Mid-Year Freakout Tag 2020

graphic from Shanah the Bionic Book Worm

I did this last year, and had such a blast that I’m doing it again!

Of course, the first half of 2019 and 2020 were both awful, but in their own unique ways. Yet despite how horrible it was, books have kept me (quite literally) going.

Best Book I’ve Read So Far in 2020

I’ve read 15 5-star books so far—I can’t pick just ONE favorite! However, these three are definitely up there—and because I’m going to be talking up some other books that I adored just as much, I’ll keep it to just these three. Loophole!

I’m absolutely convinced The City We Became will win next year’s Hugo. It’s that good. And Network Effect was the full-length Murderbot novel I needed, and I cannot wait for the next in the series. How to Hide an Empire was fantastic, and should be required reading for all Americans. As you begin your antiracist journeys, I highly recommend including this pick along with them.

Best Sequel I’ve Read in 2020

I cried during both of these—for entirely different reasons!

Just like Marisa Tomei stole a movie that shouldn’t have been stolen in My Cousin Vinny, Grayland stole The Last Emperox. Well, a certain ship did anyhow. But that would be a huge spoiler. And Sticks and Scones was little Bitty announcing himself to the world, pies, skates and all. I loved it.

New Release I Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

*stares in TBR*

Let’s just go with the recently published…

Most Anticipated Release For the Second Half of the Year

Oh, you thought I’d say Harrow the Ninth? Friend, I have been waiting three. long. years. for this book. Most anticipated doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings.

Biggest Disappointment

It’s a solid tie between The Honey-Don’t List and Scavenge the Stars. I feel that Honey tips the scale, since I’ve been falling out of love with YA fantasy for a while now, and this lovers-to-enemies and enemies-to-lovers quartet was sure to hit all the high notes. And yet while it definitely had its moments of hilarity, that ending was just…straight poopykins. And Scavenge the Stars had so much potential and started so gorgeously only to fizzle out into YA blandness when the two leads met.

Of course I’m not going to mention my worst read of the year so far, which was not a disappointment since I was already expecting very little from it.

Biggest Surprise

Gods of Jade and Shadow was one of my most highly anticipated releases of last year, and one of my biggest disappointments (the honor for that, however, went to Ninth House). I wasn’t planning on reading Mexican Gothic, but I read some early reviews raving about it and was like, ya know, I could always use a good gothic horror in my life (reader, I was wrong. I’m a wimp and should not do horror under any circumstances).

This book is incredible. Gothic, creepy, filled with microaggressions of racism and misogyny, and just all around weird as fuck. Definitely one to check out.

Favorite New Author

Alyssa Cole! I tore through her Reluctant Royals series in one month, which was shocking because I’m notorious for never finishing a series or trilogy! And then two months later I did it again with The Interdependency, so who even am I? She’s starting a new royals series in December and I’m so ready!

CL Polk is another new favorite. I adored Witchmark, and while Stormsong wasn’t as good, the worldbuilding was still remarkable. I can’t wait for Soulstar in February, 2021.

Newest Fictional Crush

Errr…Freddie from The Royal We. I’m trash, I know. It’s ironic because I don’t find Prince Harry, the obvious inspiration for the character, attractive in the slightest. Prince William is also blech looking.

Newest Favorite Character

Too many to name. Pass.

Book That Made Me Cry

I was reading this and realized I was crying. Tears spontaneously started leaking from my eyeballs. I’m not a crier, so at first I was convinced that The Seep was real and it was melting me down into salt, but then I remembered that despite everything The Seep is not real and I was merely swept up in this beautiful, beautiful book. I will happily shove this into anyone’s hands and scream at them to read it. Of course, the tears might deter them, but I don’t care.

Book That Made Me Happy

Pretty much all of these (that I’ve read, and minus my disappointment) have made me deliriously happy, but The Empire of Dreams was just…so lovely. It brought back nostalgia for my favorite YA sword and fantasy novels like Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small quartet, Sorcery of Thorns and The Cadet of Tildor, while addressing trauma and having a rip-roaring, twisty plot. It felt like falling back into a warm embrace from a long-lost friend.

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation

Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Didn’t like the book, loved the movie!

I can’t think of any other book to film adaptations that I’ve watched this year, aside from P.S. I Still Love You, which was adorkable but not as perfect as TATBILB.

Favorite Post I’ve Done This Year

I did my first ever guest post! I’m so happy that Krisha let me write about The Under Hyped Lesbian and Bi Girl YA Books You Should Totally Be Reading. I got to talk about my favorite things: YA and sapphic girls (no sci fi or fantasy, though).

Most Beautiful Book I’ve Bought This Year

And I’m still upset that the book itself sucked.

What Book Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year

*laughs hysterically*

Oh wait, you’re serious.

Well most definitely The Fiery Cross and The Stone Sky. I’ve put them both off long enough.

What Were Your Favorite Reads for the First Half of 2020?

Feel free to join in the book tag fun! If this post calls to you, consider yourself tagged!

4 thoughts on “Mid-Year Freakout Tag 2020

  1. I agree about your prediction on The City We Became… even though I still have to read it. And to expand on it I really think that Network Effect will also most definitely be a Hugo finalist, I had mixed feelings about the Murderbot novellas but still loved this novel a lot.
    And I hope you like Finna! I read it this month and thought it was fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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