How are you? I actually had motivation to write a blog post so here we are! The Mid Year Book Freakout Tag! This was super fun to write so I hope you like it.
𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓫𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓫𝓸𝓸𝓴 𝔂𝓸𝓾’𝓿𝓮 𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓭 𝓼𝓸 𝓯𝓪𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓼 𝔂𝓮𝓪𝓻
How am I supposed to answer this succinctly!?
Problem solved. I won’t.
I have curated the top seven books so far as I have given only seven books five star rating so far but most of the 4.5 ratings are also books that I am in love with. But we can talk about those in another post? Anyway, here we go, my five star reads, in chronological order:
𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝑳𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑻𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝑾𝒂𝒓 by Max Gladstone and Amar El-Mohtar. This book was brilliant. I would consider it high or hard sci-fi and it’s SAPPHIC so pick it up.
𝑨𝒄𝒕 𝒀𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝑨𝒈𝒆, 𝑬𝒗𝒆 𝑩𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒏 by Talia Hibbert. The best adult contemporary romance I’ve read in a long time. The last book in the Brown Sisters series (or like, companion novel series?) finished it off with a goddman bang.
𝑾𝒂𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑷𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒆 by Leo Tolstoy. I loved this book. I would have hated if I didn’t because the commitment oh my god. My copy was 1215 pages and it was a brick. But i just love Tolstoy so much. I love it differently than Anna Karenina – for me, Anna is my all-time favourite classic – whereas, War and Peace I love in a more gentle way, with not as much passion as I love Anna.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒇 𝑪𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒍𝒖𝒏𝒆 by Christelle Dabos. This is the second book in the Mirror Vister Quartet and holy fucking shit. Stunning. Iconic. Brilliant. Legendary. I might write a full post about this series so far because it blew my mind.
𝑰𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝑯𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒆 by Carmen Maria Machado. I think this was my first memoir of the year and I have no other words than that it was perfect. Read it (but check for trigger warnings)
𝑶𝒏𝒆 𝑳𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝑺𝒕𝒐𝒑 by Casey McQuiston. This got me so emotional. I loved it. Biyu (Jane) Su FOREVER.
𝑳𝒆𝒔𝒔 by Andrew Sean Greer. I did not expect to love this book but it now has my heart.
𝓑𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓼𝓮𝓺𝓾𝓮𝓵 𝔂𝓸𝓾’𝓿𝓮 𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓭 𝓼𝓸 𝓯𝓪𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓼 𝔂𝓮𝓪𝓻
No hesitation. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒇 𝑪𝒍𝒂𝒊𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒍𝒖𝒏𝒆 by Christelle Dabos. Just read this series please. If you love super slow burn, slow blooming stories, character studies, as well as murder, conspiracies, assassination attempts, betrayals and an epic fantasy world, freaking read it.
𝓝𝓮𝔀 𝓻𝓮𝓵𝓮𝓪𝓼𝓮 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓱𝓪𝓿𝓮𝓷’𝓽 𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓭 𝔂𝓮𝓽 𝓫𝓾𝓽 𝔀𝓪𝓷𝓽 𝓽𝓸
There are so many that are staring at me right now on my physical tbr. But I’ll choose only a few.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑰𝒏𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝑳𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑨𝒅𝒅𝒊𝒆 𝑳𝒂𝒓𝒖𝒆 by V. E. Schwab (i know, i can’t believe i still have not read this yet)
𝑳𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝑵𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑻𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒑𝒉 𝑪𝒍𝒖𝒃 by Malinda Lo. Sapphic. I repeat: Sapphic.
𝓜𝓸𝓼𝓽 𝓪𝓷𝓽𝓲𝓬𝓲𝓹𝓪𝓽𝓮𝓭 𝓻𝓮𝓵𝓮𝓪𝓼𝓮/𝓼 𝓯𝓸𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓼𝓮𝓬𝓸𝓷𝓭 𝓱𝓪𝓵𝓯 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔂𝓮𝓪𝓻
Oh, my god. How much time do we have? I have a list. Should I write down all of them? (are you screaming ‘no’ at me right now? too bad, I can’t hear you). HERE THEY ARE:
I am so excited for these and I have pre-ordered all of them.
𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓫𝓲𝓰𝓰𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓭𝓲𝓼𝓪𝓹𝓹𝓸𝓲𝓷𝓽𝓶𝓮𝓷𝓽 𝓼𝓸 𝓯𝓪𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓼 𝔂𝓮𝓪𝓻
I am an overachiever so i have more than one because I am one picky bitch.
𝙿𝚕𝚊𝚒𝚗 𝙱𝚊𝚍 𝙷𝚎𝚛𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚜 by emily m. danforth. I had such high hopes for this book. and yes, I did rate it four stars because objectively it was still solid. it just didn’t reach it’s potential. I wanted more actual horror stuff? Most of the haunting aspect of the boarding school happened off page? And that was mainly why I wanted to read it? But in saying that, the LGBTQIA+ representation was immaculate.
𝙱𝚊𝚍 𝙷𝚊𝚋𝚒𝚝𝚜 by Flynn Meaney. Ugh. I think I wrote a full review for this book. I gave it three stars but looking back, should have given it a two.
𝙲𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚎 𝙷𝚘𝚞𝚜𝚎 by Elisabeth Thomas. I just didn’t vibe with this one, which really surprised me? It has everything that I would typically adore in a book, but I felt as though it fell flat for me.
𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙷𝚘𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚙𝚒𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚜 by Isabel Allende. UGGGHHH. I understand why this is promoted as ‘if you liked One Hundred Years of Solitude, you’ll also like this’ but, for me, there is no comparison. Don’t read this, just read One Hundred Years of Solitude.
𝙱𝚕𝚞𝚎-𝙴𝚢𝚎𝚍 𝙳𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚕 by Lisa Kleypas was an adult romance that was objectively just bad. Bad characters, bad plot, mediocre writing. Just not good.
𝙷𝚘𝚠 𝚝𝚘 𝚂𝚝𝚘𝚙 𝚃𝚒𝚖𝚎 by Matt Haig. This….was not great. I was really expecting something great from Matt Haig because I’ve only heard amazing things about this author. But this book. It was boring. And I read long character studies for fun. And Viriginal Woolf. So, I am not fazed by books that move slowly but this book had no depth. What was the point? (rhetorical question, I know what the point was). Seriously, I finished that book and thought, was that it?.
𝙶𝚛𝚢𝚏𝚏𝚘𝚗 𝙷𝚊𝚕𝚕 by Alexis Duran. Paranormal m/m romance. Just…don’t recommend.
𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙰𝚋𝚢𝚜𝚜 𝚂𝚞𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚜 𝚄𝚜 by Emily Skrutskie. Now, I had high hopes for this book because, again, everyone only had great things to say about this book. Similar to How to Stop Time, I found this book boring. The world had no real depth (there was next to no world-building) and the characters had potential but…they were easily forgotten. I also don’t quite think that a seemingly white author can write a Korean-American MC.
𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚒𝚕𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝙲𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜 by Laura Purcell. I also didn’t quite vibe with this book. I didn’t find it that creepy nor did I enjoy the build up. I found it lowkey boring.
𝙼𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚌𝚎 by Heather Walter. I had such high hopes but nothing really happens. The ‘relationship’ between Aurora and Alyce was so lacklustre and had no development. Alyce was not the greatest MC but I’m hoping that the sequel does better in terms of character and world building.
𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚒𝚕𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝙿𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚝 by Alex Michaelides. Now, I didn’t quite know what to expect from this. I don’t have the best relationship with thrillers/mysteries (unless they’re Agatha Christie, I’m realising), so typically I just borrow them from the library so I don’t spend my money on them. I saw the twists coming from a mile away. That’s not a bad thing, it means the writer was doing their job. But because of that, I was bored. So bored. I did not feel the way some others felt about this book – I was hoping to be immersed but instead i just wanted it to end. Also, i felt that the characters themselves were not…fully fleshed out. But i did enjoy the unreliable narrator.
𝓑𝓲𝓰𝓰𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓼𝓾𝓻𝓹𝓻𝓲𝓼𝓮 𝓼𝓸 𝓯𝓪𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓼 𝔂𝓮𝓪𝓻
Oh wow. I’m literally going to have mutliple answers for every question! I have had some incredible surprises this year. I’ll start with the biggest ones:
I just recently read 𝑳𝒆𝒔𝒔 by Andrew Sean Greer and holy shit. I love this book with my whole heart. Definitely one of my favourite literary novels. I don’t think it will be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have similar taste to me (check out my instagram where i post reviews more frequently), then I definitely think you will.
I have to mention 𝑰𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝑯𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒆 by Carmen Maria Machado. This memoir destroyed me in the best way. How did I not read this prior to this year? I loved every page, every word – Machado has such a masterful skill that I already purchased her other novel, a short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties.
And the 𝑴𝒊𝒓𝒓𝒐𝒓 𝑽𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓 𝑸𝒖𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒕 by Christelle Dabos has taken over my life at this point. I have read book one and two and book three is currently glaring at me. I am too terrified to pick up the third because I know that I will have to wait until October for the last in the quartet!
And some honourary mentions:
𝑨 𝑫𝒐𝒘𝒓𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝑩𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒅 by S.T. Gibson. This was so fantastic, it should have been a novel and not a novella because the writing? was STUNNING. I cannot sing its praises enough.
𝑲𝒊𝒎 𝑱𝒊𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒈, 𝑩𝒐𝒓𝒏 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo was incredible and so powerful. I gave this 4.5 stars and is a book I recommend to anyone who listens. I know I’m not describing the plot for any of these (check out Storygraph or Goodreads for those) but this was a fast-paced contemporary literary (?) novel translated from Korean which was a phenomenon in South Korea when it was published. It explores the systemic misogyny and sexism in Korean society (and is relatable to the western context). I just found it fantastic.
𝑷𝒊𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒊 by Susanna Clarke. Wow. So inventive and creative – it took a bit to fully get into but holy hell, did i devour it. If you asked me to describe this book, I don’t think i can? It was so unique and something that i had never read previously.
𝑪𝒐𝒏𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝑺𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝑾𝒐𝒎𝒂𝒏 by Sayaka Murata. Holy holy hell. Similar to the subtleness of Kim Jiyoung, Convience Store Woman’s power came in the aftermath of reading it. I literally was sitting on the toilet the morning after, doing my thing, and coming to the realisation that, shit, i’m just a cog in the fucking machine. Brilliant.
𝓝𝓮𝔀 𝓯𝓪𝓿𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓮 𝓪𝓾𝓽𝓱𝓸𝓻
CARMEN MARIA MACHADO.
CARMEN MARIA MACHADO. CARMEN MARIA MACHADO.
𝓝𝓮𝔀𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓯𝓲𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷𝓪𝓵 𝓬𝓻𝓾𝓼𝓱
I don’t really get fictional crushes anymore, so sad, right? BUT, in saying that, Jane Su from 𝑶𝒏𝒆 𝑳𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝑺𝒕𝒐𝒑. I mean…can you blame me? And Zaf from 𝑻𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝑯𝒊𝒏𝒕, 𝑫𝒂𝒏𝒊 𝑩𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒏 was *chefs kiss*. So, my libido is still working thankfully.
𝓝𝓮𝔀𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓯𝓪𝓿𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓮 𝓯𝓲𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷𝓪𝓵 𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓻𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓮𝓻
𝑶𝒑𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒂 from the 𝑴𝒊𝒓𝒓𝒐𝒓 𝑽𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓 𝑸𝒖𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒕. She is my favourite and I love her with my whole heart. She is not a hero, she doesn’t want attention of any sort, but she deals with the shitstorm that comes with everything that she is pushed into like a champ. She is not flawless and sometimes she makes stupid decisions, but she is so intelligent and will work it out on her own. I adore her.
𝓐 𝓫𝓸𝓸𝓴 𝓽𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓶𝓪𝓭𝓮 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓬𝓻𝔂
Honestly though, most books that make me feel things make me cry is some respect, if that is gettying teary-eyed or having a tear fall. I’m just super easy to make cry.
𝓐 𝓫𝓸𝓸𝓴 𝓽𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓶𝓪𝓭𝓮 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓱𝓪𝓹𝓹𝔂
All of the books that i have spoken about (other than the disappoints and those i haven’t read yet) are books that made me happy. Obviously.
𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓶𝓸𝓼𝓽 𝓫𝓮𝓪𝓾𝓽𝓲𝓯𝓾𝓵 𝓫𝓸𝓸𝓴 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓱𝓪𝓿𝓮 𝓫𝓸𝓾𝓰𝓱𝓽 𝓯𝓸𝓻 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓼𝓮𝓵𝓯 𝓸𝓻 𝓻𝓮𝓬𝓮𝓲𝓿𝓮𝓭 𝓯𝓻𝓸𝓶 𝓼𝓸𝓶𝓮𝓸𝓷𝓮
Okay. So i found this book, 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒆𝒙 𝑳𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝑨𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒏𝒔 by Frankie Bongiorno to be so pretty. Look at that cover art!
I also think that 𝑨 𝑫𝒐𝒘𝒓𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝑩𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒅 by S.T. Gibson has a spectacular book cover.
𝓦𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓭𝓸 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝔀𝓪𝓷𝓽 𝓽𝓸 𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓭 𝓫𝔂 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓮𝓷𝓭 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔂𝓮𝓪𝓻?
How long do you have? Jokes (not really). My priority TBR for the next half of the year is:
- 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅 by Sigrid Nunez
- 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑶𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝑻𝒓𝒆𝒆 by Samantha Shannon
- 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒐𝒏 𝑹𝒆𝒑𝒖𝒃𝒍𝒊𝒄 by R.F. Kuang
- 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑰𝒏𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝑳𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑨𝒅𝒅𝒊𝒆 𝑳𝒂𝒓𝒖𝒆 by V. E. Schwab
- 𝑴𝒊𝒅𝒅𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒓𝒄𝒉 by George Eliot
- 𝑶𝒏 𝑬𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝑾𝒆’𝒓𝒆 𝑩𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒇𝒍𝒚 𝑮𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒐𝒖𝒔 by Ocean Vuong
- 𝑮𝒊𝒓𝒍, 𝑾𝒐𝒎𝒂𝒏, 𝑶𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 by Bernadine Evaristo
- 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒏 𝑻𝒓𝒊𝒍𝒐𝒈𝒚 by Brandon Sanderson
- 𝑨𝒔𝒔𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒏’𝒔 𝑨𝒑𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒆 by Robin Hobb
- 𝑵𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒍 𝑷𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 by Sally Rooney
- 𝑶𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑭𝒖𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔 by Alix E. Harrow
- 𝑴𝒚 𝒀𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝑹𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑹𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒙𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 by Otessa Moshfegh
I honestly have so many more but I’m going to stop there. Just for my own mental health.
And that is it for my mid year book freakout tag! I hope you enjoyed! I love this tag so much, so it was super fun to do.
Let me know the best book/s you’ve read this year!
Until next time, happy reading!