Mid-year Freak Out Tag 2021

Let’s just ignore the fact that it’s August already, and start the damn tag okay?


BEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2021?

Some years I have a clearer notion in my head of which books among all the ones I loved really stand out, but this year it’s a bit more difficult. I do have a Goodreads shelf for my favorite books of 2021, so I think for now I’ll just post that (in chronological order btw):

Didn’t I read The Scorpio Races last year? Yes, so this was a reread, but even a reread of this book can be one of my favorite reads of the year…


FAVORITE SEQUEL OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR?

Without a doubt, The Dragon Republic and The Burning God! There were plenty of others that were fantastic but this is such a remarkable series and I just love it to death. Plus, TDR was my first read of 2021!!


A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED TO?

I’ve read plenty of my anticipated new releases but I am missing a few that I’m either scared to read, not as excited about anymore or just so mad the physical copy is at an expensive price that I might wait a while to read it instead of caving in and reading the book. Do you ever get that feeling?


YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?

I’ve already posted about my anticipated new releases for the second half of 2021 (or the summer anyway) in Anticipated Releases of 2021: June to September, but again, this is an easy choice for me: Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Synopsis: The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed. 

*I’ve requested an arc about a month ago and it’s still pending and I can just tell I’m not going to be approved… but I am legit dying to read this book.


YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR?

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. It was such a slow-moving story for a thriller. The plot premise was interesting at first and I liked the characters, but the pacing ruined it. It made it boring. (And this was so disappointing I’ve lost interest in reading other books by this author).

Also, The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones. It wasn’t bad by any means, but I completely lost interest in it halfway through because I didn’t care for any of the characters at all.


A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?

Contemporary romance and fantasy romance have been my favorite genres this year, but if you’d asked me this a year or two ago, I would’ve seriously doubted that. But it just makes me so happy. And I’ve recently posted my top 10 favorites list on instagram.

BUT I’m going to say The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody because it’s one of the best middle grades fantasy I’ve read in a long time and it was a book that made me incredibly happy when I was going through a tough time.

Synopsis: The last thing Barclay Thorne ever wanted was an adventure.

Thankfully, as an apprentice to the town’s mushroom farmer, Barclay need only work hard and follow the rules to one day become the head mushroom farmer himself. No danger required. But then Barclay accidentally breaks his town’s most sacred rule: never ever EVER stray into the Woods, for within the Woods lurk vicious magical Beasts.

To Barclay’s horror, he faces a fate far worse than being eaten: he unwittingly bonds with a Beast and is run out of town by an angry mob. Determined to break this bond and return home, Barclay journeys to find the mysterious town of Lore Keepers, people who have also bonded with Beasts and share their powers.


YOUR FICTIONAL CRUSH FROM THIS YEAR?
  • Desmond Flynn from The Bargainer trilogy by Laura Thalassa.
  • Garret Graham from The Deal by Elle Kennedy.
  • Leon from Her Soul to Take by Harley Laroux.
  • Travis Ford from Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey.

YOUR NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER?

I don’t really get too hung up on characters anymore… I mean I love some to death, sure, but they are mostly from my favorites. Some new favorites for me this year is – to one’s surprise because I’ve already mentioned those books twice – Rin, Kitay and Nezha – from The Poppy War trilogy. (Rin was already a favorite but I love her even more now.)

My fancast for Nezha would be Kwak Dong-yeon (this is his look in the kdrama Love in the Moonlight).


YOUR FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE/TV SHOW THAT YOU’VE SEEN SO FAR?

I’m going to have to say Shadow and Bone, but honestly, I just haven’t watched many book-to-movie/tv show adaptations this year. If you can technically include Marvel, then I’d also add Wandavision and Loki.


WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK THAT YOU HAVE BOUGHT?

The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo. You might have heard me raving about this book a few times last year.


YOUR FAVORITE POST THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN SO FAR THIS YEAR?

There were a few that immediately came to mind, among these my #1 favorite post to write Upcoming Releases with Gorgeous Covers You’ll Want to Read! – but I browsed through the meager list of posts I made this year and made a small list of posts I really enjoyed writing.


WHAT ARE 6 BOOKS THAT YOU WANT TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

Besides my big ass arc list, backlisted physical books, all the anticipated 2021 releases that I haven’t read yet or are yet to be published? I’ve added TSLD to my TBR this month, so I’m really hoping I’ll actually read it!

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