Mid-Year Book Freak Out 2020 | Lots of Books, Still Freaking Out

It's a Book Tag!

Yes, I can’t believe it either, but it really is the middle of the year. Which can only mean one thing… it’s time for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!! (AKA my favourite reoccurring book tag!) Thank you so much to Margaret @ Weird Zeal for tagging me to do this! I’m super excited to get to these questions – this is only my second time doing this, and last year I had a grand total of 7 books to choose from. This year I’ve kept reading slumps at bay and conquered 38 books, which I am so impressed with. My goal for 2020 was to read one book a week and I’ve surpassed that, so I’m very happy.

So, I’ll leave you with a dog picture (in what has become the tradition I think the world needs right now) and get on to the questions!

Dog picture
Pip enjoying the mid-year sunshine!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

Saga Compendium One by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Saga is by far the most unique, original, and complete storytelling package. It’s the Sci-Fi-Fantasy of my dreams and is truly epic in every sense of the word. This giant compendium is one of my favourite possessions – both for its ridiculous size and the epicness it contains.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

This book could definitely stand alone in the best book of the year category, but it makes more sense to call it the best sequel because it fits both of those titles. The Ask and the Answer has an incredible storyline and powerful writing that absorbs you – I was in my own little bubble completely separate from the rest of the world for the conclusion and you couldn’t have reached me if you tried.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore book cover

I really want a physical copy of Dark and Deepest Red, so I’m being forced to wait for the paperback release which doesn’t happen until January 2021 😭. (I’m not a fan of hardbacks if you’re wondering.) Meanwhile, You Should See Me In a Crown only just came out this month, and I have access to the audiobook so I’m hoping to read that very soon indeed.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

Loveless by Alice Oseman book cover

I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned it on my blog so far, but I’m still here waiting for my signed pre-order of Loveless to arrive. Soon…

Biggest disappointment?

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

I was so excited by the premise of The Kiss of Deception – a fantasy with a mystery element! Who’s the prince and who is the assassin? Unfortunately, the writing just didn’t live up to my expectations. I really enjoyed the first half, then felt like I was trudging through so much unnecessary journeying for the second half. Hopes = crushed.

Biggest surprise?

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I by no means had low expectations when I went into The Priory of the Orange Tree, but when a book has over 800 pages it’s normal to be a little nervous. So I was surprised by just how easily this wonderful fantasy world swept me away. It was epic, it was beautiful, and the characters, the society and the story will stick with me for a long time. I can’t express how comforting it was to read about a world without a trace of misogyny or homophobia.

Favourite new author (debut or new to you)?

The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

I’m currently reading The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde and even though I’m only 50% through the first book I’ve ever read by her I’m ready to pronounce her my new Queen of Queer Contemporary. Like, the wholesome discussions about gender identity and pronouns and sexuality? I’m so here for it. More, please!

Newest favourite character?

The Great Library series by Rachel Caine

I can’t think of any particular character that has really stood out to me, so I’m going with the squad from The Great Library series. I’m an absolute sucker for a good friend group and these guys are found family to the max.

Newest fictional crush OTP?

Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson book cover

(I’m copying Margaret and changing this question because I don’t exactly get crushes.) I just finished Technically, You Started It and I’m absolutely in love with Haley and Martin together. Seriously, this book is so pure and wholesome and lovely, with a good dose of awkward nerdiness thrown in. It’s so sweet and features great conversations about sexuality (specifically being demisexual, like me!). So yeah, it’s my latest obsession and I love it. Oh – it’s also written entirely in text messages, so that’s fun!

Book that made you cry?

More Happy Than Not fanart Thomas and Aaron

We all knew this was coming. If there’s an Adam Silvera book to go on this list you can guarantee it’ll be filling the slot about crying. While More Happy Than Not wasn’t my favourite Silvera book, it still made me bawl while feeling like my heart was being torn out. Soooo yeah, thanks Adam.

Favourite book to movie adaptation?

P.S. I Still Love You Netflix

While I haven’t actually read the book (I know, the ultimate sin!!!) I really enjoyed the Netflix film of P.S. I Still Love You. It’s just great cinematography, I’d honestly recommend it for the dreamy colour palettes alone.

Favourite review?

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree is one of the stand-out books I’ve read this year, and I think my review did a pretty good job of summing up my thoughts and feelings. I’m yet to upload it to my blog (I don’t exactly do review posts often) but you can read it over on Goodreads.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year?

I’ll be shallow for this question and assume it means physically beautiful – I’m going to go with Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I bought the edition with the new cover and I find myself staring at it often. I know it’s what’s inside that counts, but I do love a beautiful book.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Another goal I set myself was to have either read or unhauled all the unread books I owned at the start of 2020 by the end of the year. There are currently nine books left on that list and I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to get through them on schedule. (I have already unhauled a ridiculous number of books through this challenge. It’s really taught me how often I buy books I don’t even want to read that much.)

So, all in all I don’t have too much to freak out about this year. I’ve read more books so far than I have in any previous year, and I’ve got no intentions of slowing down. In the first half of 2020 I’ve slashed my owned TBR in half, ended my book buying ban, and stayed consistently ahead of my goal of reading a book per week. I think my focus for the second half of the year will be trying to keep up my reading while also blogging more often. My current blogging schedule is a post roughly every 2 weeks, and I’d like to be more active than that! Other than that, I’m going to be sticking to all of the goals I’ve mentioned in this post. Hopefully I’ll be ready with them all completed to check in with you at the end of the year!

Since I love doing this post every year, I’m sharing the love! I tag:

Veronika & Sabrina @ Wordy and Whimsical πŸ‹ El @ Elated Books πŸ‹ Sophie @ Me and Ink (I know you’re on hiatus right now, so no pressure to do this!) πŸ‹ Ashley @ The Infinite Library πŸ‹ Olivia @ Purely Olivia πŸ‹ Sarah @ Thoughts of the Reader πŸ‹ And I was going to tag Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner but she’s already done it so you can go read her post instead! πŸ‹ As always, there’s no pressure if you don’t feel like doing this. And if anyone else wants to have a go at this, then I tag you!

Love and lemons, Abi

28 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freak Out 2020 | Lots of Books, Still Freaking Out

  1. I think one of my favorite things about Priory was also how Shannon built a world that just included same-sex relationships. Even the wedding ceremony was ungendered, and I don’t think the book even included the words “husband” or “wife”. It seemed so effortless, but I know it was intentional and probably took a lot of thought on her part.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that was definitely one of the best elements. I just checked back and the changes she made to the language were so simple yet made such a difference: just swapping fiance/ee for “betrothed” and husband/wife for “companion”. Now all we need is for everyone else out there to realise it’s that easy to be inclusive!

      (On a side note, I bought a copy of Chilling Effect and am very much looking forward to reading it!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. O great!!! I was actually just thinking about it the other day. You said that your queer sci-fi weren’t usually queer enough for you, and I didn’t want to give you false expectations. It’s m/f, but it *is* inter-species which in sci-fi I feel is queer-adjacent b/c of the societal difficulties of such a relationship. Anyway, I hope you love it anyway, I sure did. It’s a wild ride.

        I was also going to suggest Space Opera. It *is* super queer, but less exciting. More … British humor. It’s like a 21st century Hitchhiker’s Guide. If you like that sort of thing, I know it’s hit or miss.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha it’s fine, I was mostly sold on it by the psychic cats πŸ˜‚ I also like reading about inter-species relationships because of the different dynamic it creates. And mostly I just love sci-fi with a sense of humour.

          Ooh, I’ll have to look at that as well then – I am British, so it’ll probably be a hit with me!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of the best tags around, it is just so fun !! And I loved reading your answers!!
    I’ve heard so many good things about Saga and I really do need to read it !! I love the massive bind up !! I’m glad you loved it !! The Priory of the Orange Tree has never been a book on my TBR but I don’t know why because it actually sounds like something I will love and I do enjoy long books so I really need to get my hands on it !!
    I love the idea of changing the fav fictional crush to fav fictional OTP !! And I just read Technically, You Started It and it was so good. I love the idea of the text messages and you actually really got to see so much of the characters and romance so it was such a good read !!
    I hope you have a great rest of the year (in terms of life and reading, haha) and thank you so much for tagging me !! ❀


  3. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year since I last posted a tag like this haha! Really want to take part again, since I’ve really become a book blogger now. Love your posts so, so much and posting more consistently would be a dream but of course no pressure! Do what you can. Take care πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, it’s so sad that The Kiss of Deception turned out to be such a terrible disappointment. I’m mostly sad about the failed potential.. it could have been SO GOOD. I’m really looking forward to Loveless and You Should See Me in a Crown! Wow, I haven’t seen this edition of Cinder – it’s so damn stunning! I’m really looking forward to hear your thoughts on Crooked Kingdom and Letters to the Lost, both of which are some of my favorite novels. πŸ˜€ I’m glad you’re doing well with your reading challenge, and I hope the second half of the year will have some amazing books in store for you! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for tagging me!! πŸ’› I’ve been hoping to take part in this so I’m really excited about that. I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned here except More Happy Than Not (thank you Adam Silvera for always breaking my heart) so I got some recommendations!! I’ve heard a ton of good things about The Priority of the Orange Tree, ahh. I hope you have an amazing rest of the year! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Abi!
    I loved reading your version of this tag!! Yes the new covers for The Lunar Chronicle series look beautiful!! I watched the To All the Boys movie but haven’t seen the sequel yet! Did you enjoy it more than the first movie?
    That’s awesome that you cut down your TBR in half- I should do this to my TBR as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! They are so stunning – I don’t want to be a shallow bookworm, but they’re definitely the main reason I finally decided to pick up this series πŸ™ˆ Hmm, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it more than the first one – it was a bit angst-ier – but still very cute and worth a watch! Good luck withcutting down your TBR – it’s difficult but definitely worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hooray for you for getting through 38 books so far this year! πŸ˜€ That’s amazing!! Also, give your dog a good pat from me ❀
    Ahh I love that The Ask and the Answer is one of your favorites of this year! It’s now been a few years since I read that series, but I still think about it all the time, and I absolutely LOVED that one in particular. And oh boy, I understand about Loveless – I feel like a broken record bc I can’t stop talking about how excited I am to read it πŸ˜‚ But I’m just SO FREAKING EXCITED!!
    I’m delighted that you loved Priory so much! And you’re making me even more excited to read Technically You Started It for that demi rep πŸ˜€
    I’m so glad that you’re feeling good about your reading so far this year, and I hope that continues into the second half! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! πŸ˜„ Okay, he’s been given a good pat! 🐢

      I just finished Monsters of Men and that whole series is now one of my all time favourites, it absolutely blew me away. If you need me I’ll just be here worshipping Patrick Ness’s writing, forever. πŸ˜‚

      I just got an email telling me my copy of Loveless has been dispatched and I honestly nearly screamed. IT’S ALMOST HERE!!! πŸ˜†

      The demi rep in Technically, You Started It is so cute – the main character starts out quite confused and is kind of just discovering how she feels (with the help of a few internet quizzes πŸ˜‚).

      I hope you have a great second half of the year as well! Happy Reading! ❀


  8. Ah, the good old mid-year freak out tag. Such a great book tag. Saga is awesome. I have two unread issues sitting on my shelf which I definitely have to get to soon. It’s just so much fun.
    Oh goodness, Priory. I’ll get there. I will. It keeps staring at me every time I go grab my next read. I’m so glad you enjoyed it though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a classic tag, I love when it comes around every year. I love Saga so much, I’m only on chapter 26 because I’m trying to pace myself while the creators are on hiatus. πŸ˜…

      Haha, it’s definitely a big leap to pick up a book the size of Priory, but it’s worth the investment once you get into it! I hope you enjoy it when you do.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I really need to read Priory of the Orange Tree but it is HUGE! I LOVE SAGA! I also need to finish The Folk of the Air trilogy because I absolutely loved The Cruel Prince (it was soo good). Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Priory seems so huge but when I was reading, so many things happened that I couldn’t believe it was all one book – it felt like I’d gone through a whole series! Yessss Saga is so good! I bought The Wicked King as soon as I finished Cruel Prince, which was over a year ago now and I STILL haven’t read it, which I definitely need to fix. Thank you! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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