Mid-Year Book Freak Out 2022 | Adventures in fantasy land and my unending TBR

Mid Year Book Freak Out

Hello, my lovely lemons! 🍋 I can’t believe it’s this time again already! This is my favourite tag ever, yet somehow I manage to forget when to do it every single year. So I’m very grateful to Caro @ The Bookcheshire Cat for tagging me!

Before we get into the questions, I thought I’d do some stats of my reading so far this year! I’ve read 38 books so far this year, beating last year’s 31 and bringing me level with 2020. I have mixed feelings about this. If we’re looking just at the number, it’s great! But I know that 5 of those were volumes of a manga that I reread over 2 days, and I’m doing kinda badly on my TBR challenge. Out of 34 books, I’ve read 11 and DNF’d two. Which leaves me with 21 books to try and get through in the second half of the year, without including any other books I own. That’s only the books I bought in 2021.

Before I dwell on that too much, some more stats! I’ve read 20 print books, 15 digital books, and 3 audiobooks in the first half of 2022. My most read author is Annette Marie (coming in at 5 books), whose Guild Codex series I binged on my Kindle while I was ill earlier this year. My average rating has been 4.5 stars, which is really high! (I don’t rate my DNFs though, or that would probably lower it a little.) And I have read 10,853 pages!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2022?

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

I’m sad to say I don’t have an instant, stand-out answer to this question. I’ve read plenty of books that I loved, that made me happy, but none that have stood out to me as all-time favourites. I’m going with Taming Demons for Beginners though, because I sped through the entire thing in a day. It’s a spin-off that ties into a series I was already loving, and it gave me new characters I adore.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022?

A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation Volume 5

2022 brought with it the next volume of A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation and I could not have been happier. More of the peaceful, slice of life fantasy adventures of Lizel and Gil! This is my favourite manga (I reread the first 4 volumes before starting this one) and it’s so nice to see the characters evolve as the series goes along. While it has its exciting moments, I really love this for how peaceful and quaint it is.

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

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry! I loved You and Me on Vacation and I have a copy of Beach Read I haven’t got to yet, so when this appeared in the supermarket on release (only £4.50!) I snagged a copy immediately. I’m so ready for this coincidental romance, and I’m looking forward to the heart and humour I’ve come to expect from Emily Henry.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

*screams from rooftops* NONA THE NINTH!!!!! I preordered a copy of this the second it became available. Both a Kindle edition (so I can start reading the very minute it releases) and a physical copy so I can hold it, cry, give it a hug, maybe throw it across the room. I have literally set up a countdown on the homescreen of my phone to tell me how many days are left until I can read Nona. Only 72 to go!!!!

Biggest disappointment?

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

Sadly The Unbroken by C. L. Clark just didn’t work for me. I was so excited for this book to be the fantasy equivalent of Gideon the Ninth but I couldn’t make it beyond 60 pages. The worldbuilding was so heavy and the story was heavy too. There was no lightness or humour, nothing to get attached to. I tried so hard – I literally sat outside with nothing but this book to read uninterrupted and I was still struggling to get through even a chapter. Maybe it got better, but I just couldn’t push myself to find out.

Biggest surprise?

How to Keep House While Drowning by KC David

I was not expecting a short self-help book I came across while scrolling a 99p Kindle sale I should not have been looking at during work to literally transform my space and my attitude to chores. But that’s what How to Keep House While Drowning did for me. I’ve not even had this book for a week, and I’ve donated two full bin bags of clothes, thrown out a load of crap I was hoarding in a cupboard, and tidied my entire kitchen. And I felt good doing it all?? I genuinely think I’ve found something revolutionary for my life.

Favourite new author (debut or new to you)?

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

And here we are with another thing I picked up in a 99p Kindle sale. I bought The Love Hypothesis because it was cheap and hyped and I was just trying to get more into reading romance. I did not expect Ali Hazelwood to become an auto-buy author for me with just one book. But that’s the situation we’re in right now. She gave me the wholesome demisexual representation I crave, an absolutely stellar fake dating romance, and I will love her forever.

Newest favourite character?

I’m going to go with my current read here and say Wren from Twin Crowns. I got this book in a subscription box and while I never would’ve picked it for myself I’m absolutely loving it more than anything I’ve read in a long time. Wren is strong, determined, and best of all – incredibly funny. Her sarcastic commentary and crazy antics (and honestly, most of this book) keeps getting me in fits of giggles.

Newest fictional crush/OTP?

Vampire Blood Drive by Mira Ong Chua

I have to go with the main couple from Vampire Blood Drive by Mira Ong Chua. Bunny and Velvet are goals. Oh, to be a naive college student crushing on a hot butch vampire. These two are so good together, and honestly just,,,, women are pretty. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Book that made you cry?

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I’m only halfway through this and already there have been tears. I’m dreading what the ending will do to me. Also, as far as I can remember this is the only book to make me cry this year? What’s wrong with me?? Clearly I’m not seeking out enough literary emotional damage.

Favourite book to movie adaptation?

Heartstopper Netflix banner

I’m sure I’m going to have the same answer as literally every other blogger this year, but: Heartstopper. It’s sweet, it’s lovely, the cast is amazing, it’s so well adapted, aaaaand I still haven’t watched the whole thing because I am the literal worst at finishing TV shows. Seriously, I can count on my fingers the number of shows I’ve seen the final episode of. I AM THE WORST!!!

Favourite review?

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Since it’s the only real review I’ve written this year (I was surprised I could find the one to be honest) it’s going to be the one for my reread of Air Awakens by Elise Kova.

Reread (March 2022) – 5 stars

This book felt so different the second time around. I really appreciated and enjoyed it a whole lot more. Even though it was all familiar from reading a few years before, it felt like a fresh and fun take on what is in reality a very trope-heavy fantasy.

The tone of this book is very up and down – it starts out with a young girl falling from a ladder into the arms of a Prince, and ends with war and torture and death. While it has all the lovely magical elements of fantasy and romance and handsome, charming Princes, this book doesn’t shy away from any form of brutal reality.

Unsurprisingly, Aldrik was still my favourite thing about this book. He’s complex and hard to read in a way romantic leads rarely get to be. He most certainly makes mistakes, and does horrible things, but he’s fully aware of this and in his own defence, he has never once claimed to be “good”.

I truly don’t understand my comments about pacing in my original review – this time around I thought the story moved so quickly, and was impressed at how much had happened plot-wise in such a small number of pages. The story gets going really quickly, throwing you straight into action and mystery even by chapter 2!

Honestly, having reread this I can’t believe I never continued with this series the first time. I think I could sit here and read the whole thing in one sitting. I don’t remember the last time I highlighted so many quotes in a book (and of course, it was fun getting to see what I highlighted the first time around). Onwards I go!

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year?

It doesn’t get more special than a Fairyloot special edition. And since this was my first ever box I was floored by how beautiful they are in person. The edges! The foil! The special endpapers! It’s covered in LEMONS!!! 🍋 So yeah, I definitely going with This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede.

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

Hoo, boy. Here we go. Last year I had 6 books left on my TBR Challenge to go in this section. This year there’s 21. H E L P M E. I don’t honestly expect to complete the challenge this year. Looking at this intimidating wall of books, I’m thinking it might be time for a rethink. Or at least a pass on the ”if you’ve not read it by the end of the year get rid of it” rule. Because these are all books I want to read, I just don’t know when I’ll get the time! I suppose we’ll see how I did in another six months…

Once again, this was so much fun! A huge thanks to Caro for tagging me in this. I would tag some people in return, but I set a goal to publish this post today, it’s already 11:15pm, and I don’t know who’s already done it. But this is the mid-year freak out! You’re all tagged!

I love writing these posts just as a little time capsule for myself, but I hope you enjoy reading it too! What’s been your favourite book of the year so far? (I already had that section of the post written, but now that I’ve finished it my answer is definitely Twin Crowns.)

Love and lemons, Abi

8 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freak Out 2022 | Adventures in fantasy land and my unending TBR

    1. Haha, I’m your sign from the universe to read it 😂 Oh yeah, that’s the UK Unhoneymooners cover and it just totally misses the mark compared to the cute bright one with leaves and birds on it 😭 but I got it for £2 so I can’t complain too much 🤷‍♀️

      Like

  1. I loved reading your answers!!!

    [shouts back at you] NONA THE NINTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That reminds me I need to actually go preorder it!!!!

    If you haven’t made it to the end of Song of Achilles, and you’re already crying, the end is absolutely going to wreck you. It sounds harsh, but omg. That book made me cry like…ugly cry gasping breaths. So good, so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NONA!!!!!!!! My home screen countdown tells me we now have 64 days to go 😂

      Oh yeah, I knew what sort of ugly crying I was letting myself in for but now I’m reading it very slowly because I’m scared! I think I need to prepare ahead of time and set aside a few hours, a lot of tissues, and an emotional support blanket 😂 The books that make you cry are always the best though, so I know I’m going to love it.

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  2. Ahhhh I really need to get to book lovers as well, it seems so fantastic! THE SONG OF ACHILLES MADE ME SOB LIKE A BABY, that ending was utterly heartbreaking 😭

    HEARTSTOPPERRRR AHHH IT’S SUCH A GOOD SHOW I AM OBSESSED WITH IT!! The casting was amazing and the little doodles are so cute as well :,) hope you LOVE the last episode!!!

    THAT FAIRYLOOT EDITION IS SO SO PRETTY??? I am OBSESSED!!

    loved this post !! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I AM SO READY FOR THE SONG OF ACHILLES TO TEAR MY HEART OUT. It’s gonna hurt so bad but I always love the books that make me cry the most.

      I’ve made some progress on Heartstopper!! I’ve just got 2 episodes to go, so I’m excited for the last one now! 🥰

      IKR IT’S SO PRETTY!! I’ve got it out on my shelf and I just keep staring at it 😍

      Thank you! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved reading your answers to the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag 🥰 I definitely need to check out A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation, I’m in need of some new manga to get invested in 😄 I’m hyped for Book Lovers as well, I just read Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation, they were so good 🥰 Twin Crowns looks like so much fun! I didn’t even know about it, but I love funny stories so much 💕

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