Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag! (2019)

Anyone wanna tell me how it’s almost the end of June already? It doesn’t seem like so long ago when it was just the beginning of 2019. Well, I guess this works in my favor, because I won’t feel like I’ve waited that long for my most anticipated releases. *evil laughter*

The Mid-year Book Freak Out Tag usually gets popular around the month of June, and 2019 is no exception. It’s a way to talk about how the first half of our reading year went. I always love reading/watching this tag, and I was considering doing it myself, but I wasn’t sure because honestly, my reading year so far hasn’t been very good. It’s been mediocre read after mediocre read. However, I was tagged by Mir and Mel @ TBR and Beyond (they’re the best!), and I just took it as a sign that I absolutely had to do this. I guess I’ll just make do with this meh reading year and find the diamonds in the rough!

What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2019?

▪️The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

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Technically, The Weight of Our Sky was the only book I gave 5 stars to this year, because it’s the most objectively good out of all the books I’ve read so far. However, if we’re talking about a book I could gush about for hours, I would have to say We Set the Dark on Fire, which I gave 4 stars to due to some issues with its writing. But I just love it so much! I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes a 4 star read can be more of a favorite than a 5 star read?? Please tell me I’m not alone in this!

▪️We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia

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What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

▪️ The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

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Sadly, I’ve only read two sequels this year. (I really need to get better about reading sequels!) But seeing as the only other sequel I read this year was disappointing, the title goes to The Wicked King by default. I think that the hype ruined it a little for me because everyone was screaming about the ending, and when it came, I was so underwhelmed. And seeing as I read and loved The Cruel Prince last year, but then read a few of the negative things people had to say and agreed with them, my love waned a little for the series. I did still give The Wicked King 4 stars, and I can’t wait for the finale coming out in November!

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited to?

▪️ The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee

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So. Many. But besides the ones I’ve already talked about 24/7, I want to talk about The Fever King. I think I’ve been anticipating this book since 2017. I remember coming across it on Goodreads, when it only had a title and a one-sentence pitch. People were intrigued by the little information available about the book, and a booktuber I followed added it to her want-to-read shelf, so I went and added it to my want-to-read shelf as well. Fast forward to 2019 and the book has received a ton of praise. I can’t wait to finally read this story. And is it weird of me to say that Noam and Dara are already my sons purely because of what people are saying about them?

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

▪️ Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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I did a whole post dedicated to anticipated releases of the second half of 2019. But if we’re being realistic, I can’t choose a book that will come out in late 2019 because I’m sure I’ll only be able to get to it in 2020. When am I not drowning in my TBR pile, you know? So I chose Wilder Girls for this question because it comes out pretty soon–July 9th. And I’m so ready for the body horror and gay-ness it promises!

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

▪️ In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire

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I actually haven’t had any 2 star reads yet this year–just a hell of a lot of 3 stars. And I like to think that I’m good at anticipating if I’ll like a book or not, so my lowest-rated books aren’t that disappointing. For this question I’m choosing In An Absent Dream because it proved to me that the Wayward Children series peaked at its first two books. After reading this, I’ve decided to no longer immediately add the upcoming books in the series to my TBR.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

▪️ These Witches Don’t Burn (These Witches Don’t Burn #1) by Isabel Sterling

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I noticed this on a few anticipated 2019 releases lists, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it because I hadn’t heard much buzz about it, and I’m more picky about reading debuts because, being the author’s first work, they tend to have more flaws. But I put this on my Pride TBR on a whim, and I was so surprised when I read it and really enjoyed it! Find my full review here.

Favorite new author? (Either debut or new to you)

▪️ Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

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Another testament to the fact that my reading year has not been great so far is the fact that I haven’t found a new favorite author yet. The closest to a favorite author I’ve found this year would be Akemi Dawn Bowman. I adored her writing in Summer Bird Blue, and her debut, Starfish, along with her upcoming releases sound like they’re gonna be amazing. I like that her books feature a lot of diversity and tackle hard-hitting topics.

▪️ Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Who is your favorite fictional crush from this year?

▪️The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang—Fang Runin

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I’m surprised that when I was coming up with an answer to this question, Fang Runin came to mind. I don’t really get fictional crushes, especially now that 2019 has been so dry character-wise, but I think that Rin is such a deliciously morally grey character. And if she murdered me.. I would say thank you.

Who is your new favorite character?

▪️ We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia—Carmen Santos and Dani Vargas

Please don’t make me choose between the two of them. They are perfect foils to the others’ personality! Dani is more of a quiet force, while Carmen is a confident queen, and together they are the definition of a power couple. If you want to read about me gushing about them in a more in-depth manner, here’s my review.

A book that made you cry?

I’ve said this a few times on Twitter, but no book, or piece of media for that matter, has ever made me cry. I have no idea why I don’t cry in books. It’s a thing I’d heard of people doing as a child, and I always thought that it would eventually happen to me too. But it’s never happened yet.

A book that made you happy?

▪️ The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

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The Prince and the Dressmaker was so cute–art, story, and character-wise. Despite the trigger warning for an outing scene, breezing through this graphic novel made me so happy!

Your favorite book to movie/TV show that you’ve seen so far?

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I don’t remember watching any book-to-movie adaptations this year, though I feel like I must’ve. I generally don’t care for them anyway (oops), so for this question, I’m going with The Umbrella Academy, which is adapted from a graphic novel series that I haven’t read. The Umbrella Academy received some buzz when it came out earlier this year, and I’m late to the party having just started and finished it last week. But this series.. It just snuck up on me. All of the Hargreeves children are trash, but they’re my trash, okay? And I definitely don’t think this series is perfect, but it’s so binge-able.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

That has to go to my hardcover of Descendant of the Crane, which I hauled in my previous post. DOTC’s cover is already beautiful, but it’s even more magnificent in person!

What is your favorite post that you have written so far this year?

I started my blog in late February, which was the worst timing ever because school and a summer study tour completely got in the way of my blogging. I only have about 25 posts to choose from, but my favorite would have to be my Pride Month rec post, where I recommended Queer SFF based on Queer Contemporaries!

What are 6 books that you want to read by the end of the year?

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I want to read all of the books, honestly. But since I have to be realistic, here are six books that are high on my TBR, but I haven’t talked about much yet!

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor- I’m so excited to delve back into the world of Weep and read Laini Taylor’s luscious writing once more! Plus, I have to get to this before I forget everything that happened in the first book.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon- This is a high fantasy featuring queendoms, an f/f romance, and dragons. Everyone say thank you, Samantha Shannon. But seriously, this has received stellar reviews, and I can’t wait to read this 800-page monster and give myself a pat on the back for finishing it.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire- I was disappointed by Seanan McGuire’s continuation to the Wayward Children series, but I am still a big fan of her writing and story concepts. Middlegame sounds amazing, and I know that an author like McGuire will absolutely deliver on its synopsis.

The Foxhole Court (All for the Game #1) by Nora Sakavic- Laura binged the AFTG books recently and loved them. And since she has already read Captive Prince after my incessant nagging, I really should read a favorite of hers too. I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time anyways because it sounds a lot like CaPri.

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram- This was Taasia‘s first 5 star read of the year, and I trust her opinion because, like me, she’s picky with her 5 star reads. The diversity in this is also incredibly promising–Iranian rep, queer rep, mental illness rep and I think fat rep!

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman- This is a 2019 release that I’ve been anticipating since the beginning of the year and still haven’t gotten to. Honestly, who’s surprised? But I am a big fan of the aesthetic of this book and its author, and I’ve heard mixed things, so I’m excited to see where I land!

I have yet to read a book this year that I would consider a new favorite, and We Set the Dark on Fire is the only one that comes close. *sigh* I really hope things take a turn in the second half of the year!

I tag:

Laura @ Laura Herondale (Yes I know you’re on hiatus, Laura, but nobody’s stopping you from doing this tag in August.)

Taasia @ Librae Paints Pages

Sabs @ Vengeance and Starlight

Apologies if I tagged anyone twice and it’s absolutely okay if you don’t want to do it!

What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2019? Just tell me how the first half of your reading year has gone! I’d love to know!

51 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag! (2019)

  1. I’m sorry 2019 hasn’t been the best reading year for you so far! I really need to get to We Set the Dark On Fire, These Witches Don’t Burn, Descendant of the Crane, The Priory of the Orange Tree and Middlegame. There are too many books and too little time to read them all in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s okay! comments like these cheer me up ;), but for real, they do! so thank you ❣ ok besides the ones i’ve already read, I can’t wait to read all of those books too. omg, that is a *mood*! i just want to read all of the books but i know it’s impossible TT

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  2. i DESPERATELY need to reread we set the dark on fire because i read it as an arc last year and don’t remember much about it ahhhhh. p.s. there isn’t really much gay-ness per sey in wilder girls, there’s just one kissing scene and about two lines about liking girls and boys lmao. not that it’s bad, but i think a lot of people are expecting a full romance but it’s more about girl friendships, i’d say! i hope you like the priory of the orange tree, i remember the absolute headache i had when i finished that lol.

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    1. hope you get to reread it soon! I desperately want to reread so many things but I still haven’t gotten to them because I’m the worst rereader ever, ughhh.

      ohhh, thank you so so much for the heads up! that definitely doesn’t deter me at all, because I am all for female friendships.

      omg a headache? wow, i am now even more excited to read Priory hahaha 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aah, I’m sorry 2019 hasn’t been a great reading year for you, I’m hoping it looks up during the second half of the year! ❤ I haven't read many of the books you mentioned here, but I have read Darius the Great and I loved it, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks and i hope the second half of your reading year goes amazing! oh yeah, i definitely relate to not having read a lot of the books on someone’s post. :’) but i’m so happy you loved Darius because it sounds so.. great (omg see what i did there… why didn’t i include this in the actual post)

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  4. I really hope that the second half of 2019 will be awesome, reading wise, for you! ❤ (and for everything else, just as well!) ❤
    I LOVE We Set The Dark On Fire and I'm so very happy to see the book here ahhh we can scream about it together 😀 and I hope you'll get to read The Fever King, I really enjoyed this one a whole lot and can't wait for the sequel ❤ AND Darius! Oh I need to read that one before the year ends as well, it sounds too good! ❤

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    1. thank you, and I wish you an awesome reading year as well!
      love it so so much, and the cover for the second book ended me ahhah! Yes, i feel like it’s a book that I’ll really enjoy! i was planning to read it in March, but it’s almost July and I still haven’t read it yet ahhh. Right? It does, and I can’t wait to read it 💖💖

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  5. Yas!!!! About We Set the Dark on Fire! OMG Yas!!! I’m like obsessed and you can totally love a 4 star I think – at least I know I can lol I read the book this month and I’m already dying for the sequel. That ending….

    Great answers – sorry it’s been mostly a three-star read year, but hopefully that means you have all 5 stars coming your way!

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  6. I’m so happy you did this tag! I meant to tag you on mine but I completely forgot about the tagging part of the tag 🤦🏼‍♀️

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  7. I hope your reading year gets better but you do have some great choices on your list… and I’m so happy you mentioned that sometimes, 4 star books are more of my favorites than 5 star ones… I have realized for a while now that I tend to reread a lot of my 4 stars but very rarely the 5 stars… I’m glad I’m not alone in this feeling 😊😊😊

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  8. Awesome post!! Omg, sometimes 4 star books can be more of a favourite than 5 star books. The Poppy War sounds interesting, I’ll definitely have to check it out. Also Umbrella Academy was AmAziNG. Holy crap, I don’t think there can be any other dysfunctional family that I will love as much as the Hargreeves. Loved this tag; so excited to see the your posts for the rest of 2019 🙂

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    1. thank you, Jennifer! riiight?? I’m so glad that someone agrees! you definitely have to, but def read the content warnings first before reading! It can be very difficult to read at times.

      I don’t know how i didn’t lose all self control and completely binge the series because every episode ended on a cliffhanger ahhh! and idk how i can hate all of the hargreeves, but love them at the same time.

      thank you again, and I am really really excited to see your posts too ❤❤❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I honestly couldn’t pinpoint a book that I loved this year because I loved so many of them! Amazing list, and I am uber glad that you got to read These Witches Don’t Burn because it sounds super good!
    -Emma 🙂

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  10. I also have yet to read The Fever King but I REALLY WANT TO! Everyone gushing about it makes me so excited to find out what all the hype is about 😀 I also can’t wait for you to read The Priory of the Orange Tree, because it’s been one of my favorite fantasies of this year. It’s huge, but it’s worth it!! Hope your reading continues to go well into the second half of the 2019!

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    1. OMG SAME. i have so many books on my priority tbr, but trust me when i say that tfk is like, the priority of the priority tbr!

      Yay thats so so good to hear you dont even know! It seems exactly like my type of book and i hope those 800 pages will be worth it hahaha! Thank you and i wish you all the five star reads for the rest of 2019 and basically of all time hahaha ❤️

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  11. Oh my gosh, I’m horrible at reading sequels too! Like, even if I ADORED the first book, somehow I struggle to continue on with the series????? (me@me: WHY KAT WHY). I think it has to do with the fact that I have a short attention span and am always distracted by some new, shiny book. *oh look, a butterfly* Anyways, it looks like you’ve read a lot of AMAZING books this year! I hope the second half of 2019 is full of good books too ❤

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  12. I’m really looking forward to Wilder Girls (: although I’ve got to admit that I’m actually really looking forward to dozens of books over the rest of the year, especially during September and October for some reason :L I don’t really cry during books either, I have done it a couple of times in films though so maybe I just don’t pick up the same sort of tearjerker style books? I don’t really know. I also agree that the cover for Descendant Of The Crane is gorgeous and I cannot wait to read it!

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    1. Omg same!!! September and October are just *the* 2019 release months. I really am excited for Wilder Girls too, because it sounds right up my alley! Actually, the only time I’ve cried because of a piece of media was when I watched Hatchiko as a wee young child. I thought that I would cry like that because of other books and films too, but that was the only time I’ve ever cried because of a piece of media. I’ve picked up quite a few of tearjerker books I think, and none have even come close to making me cry :((. It issssss! I can’t wait to read it too! I’m planning to next month 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes they definitely do seem to be! I can’t believe how many amazing books come out in those two months. I hope it lives up to your expectations (: Is that the one about the dog that keeps going to the train station? Aww, I guess some people just don’t cry at books. On the bright side at least you don’t have to try and read passed blurry eyes as a result of tears :L I really hope you love it because it sounds fantastic 😀

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  13. ahh i wish 2019 was a better reading year for you! i really enjoyed the weight of our sky & summer bird blue, and i’m glad you did too! i need to read we set the dark on fire really soon, because i’ve been putting it off for way too long! i’m a little apprehensive about the wicked king, since i’m not in love with the cruel prince, but i’m down to give it a shot!

    i can’t wait for you to read (and hopefully love) darius! it’s so good and i can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it! please read it by the end of the year i’m begging you lmao 😂 and thank you for tagging me! this is one of my favourite posts and you gave me further incentive to do it 🙂 i hope you have a better reading year in the rest of 2019!

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    1. ahh Taasia I’m so happy because things are actually looking up for me in the second half of the year!! like the universe finally decided to give me some slack I can’t believe it 😭❤ We Set the Dark on Fire definitely had its flaws, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless and I think that a lot of people did too! I don’t really think you have to worry about twk if you just keep your hope low. I know a lot of people who didn’t like tcp and were pleasantly surprised by it!

      same! weirdly, I’ve been having so much luck with hard hitting contemporaries this year, so I actually think that I’ll love Darius! it’s honestly so weird to me that I’ve only had two 5 star reads this year and both of then are contemporary. as someone who doesn’t really pick that genre up and considers herself to be a fantasy fan, I am puzzled but not unhappy 😂 and yes I will, anything for u ahhh feel free to slap me or something if I don’t!! same, i love this tag so much, and I cannot wait to read your post if you do decide to do this tag!! i hope you’re finding more five star reads 💖💖

      Liked by 1 person

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