It’s halfway through 2021 which means it’s already time for the mid-year book freak out tag! This is a tag that I’ve done every year since I started my blog, so this is the fourth time I’ll do this tag! At this point, it’s less of an actual book tag than it is something that people just do automatically. Check out my 2020 answers here, my 2019 answers here, and my 2018 answers here! I’m going to try to not use the same book for multiple prompts, but I’ve read fewer books so far this year than in previous years.
I’ve actually been dreading this question, because SO MANY of the books that I’ve read this year have been new favorites! Because choosing one will be hard, I’ll mention a few of the best books I’ve read this year. First, The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne. This was such a perfect book for me, from the characters to the world building to the atmosphere! It needs to be made into an adaptation ASAP. I also absolutely adored For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten, which is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood but with a monster boyfriend and a splash of nature horror. Finally, I have to add A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas to this group solely because of how much I love these characters and the way this book made me feel!
I’ve read 4 sequels so far this year (and started 8 new series) and I think my favorite sequel was Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert. I just loved Eve’s character so much, and the relationship between her and Jacob was so sweet and steamy! I read this one in a day because I just couldn’t put it down. This series was my introduction to Talia Hibbert, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of her books, including the upcoming spinoff series from this one! This one also has autism rep, which I can’t say if it’s good rep or not myself but from what I’ve seen it’s great rep!
Oh god, there are so many books that released this year that I haven’t read yet but want to! A few that I can see staring at me from my shelves include The Wolf and the Woodsman (which should be up next on my TBR!), Realm Breaker, and Neon Gods! I’d be lying if I didn’t say that every day I find a new release that I’m interested in reading, so if I were to say all the new releases I want to read we would be here for a really long time!
I actually have three books that I’m anticipating for the second half of the year that I don’t already have ARCs for! The first is Wings of Shadow, which is the third and final book in the Crown of Feathers series and releases on July 13th. The second is The Bone Shard Emperor which is the sequel to The Bone Shard Daughter and releases on November 11th, and the final book I’m anticipating is Beautiful Nightmares, which is the 4th book in the Fortuna Sworn series and comes out on December 7th!
Unlike in previous years, I haven’t had any books that I really disliked but I had one that was just…okay. I was really hoping for more our of Near the Bone by Christina Henry, but it was just really predictable and there wasn’t much closure. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a favorite either. It was also tough to really like or understand the characters, but I did like the idea and contrast of a human monster and a monster trying to survive.
I didn’t want to repeat a book, but I have to say that my biggest surprise was The Shadow of the Gods! It’s not that I expected it to be bad or anything like that, but I just didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. In fact, I loved this book so much that I gushed about it to my dad about how amazing this book is, and he isn’t a reader. I just want to see this book adapted into a movie or TV series eventually, because I think it has tons of potential.
I think my favorite new author so far this year is KJ Sutton! So far I’ve read the first two books in the Fortuna Sworn series – Fortuna Sworn and Restless Slumber. I still need to read the third book Deadly Dreams, but I’m waiting until we’re closer to the 4th book’s release date to actually read that one. This is a great fantasy romance with fae who are brutal and vicious, and all the fantastical creatures that you can think of and a few you can’t. I just love Sutton’s writing, and I’m excited to read more from her!
Hawke from the From Blood and Ash series! The series as a whole has some issues with it especially with the world building, but the characters are fantastic and after reading Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, I absolutely fell in love with him! The growth that both he and Poppy go through is great to watch, and their chemistry is amazing. If I’m being honest, I’m reading this series for them (and Kieran) and not necessarily for the world building which is….not the best.
Hmmm…this is also a tough one, but I think I’m going to have to say Red from For the Wolf. I’ve read a lot of books where the main character fights against their fate, but Red was so different in how she handled everything. She knew what was going to happen and knew that it didn’t matter how much she fought against it, so she instead decided to make the best of it and always kept an open mind. She was so open minded in a world where everyone thought the worst of the Wilderwood and Eammon and took so many things in stride. While she accepted her fate, she also didn’t just let life pass her by and was able to not only survive, but thrive.
I haven’t full on cried at any books this year, but one that definitely made me tear up was A Court of Silver Flames. The amount of times that SJM has made me super emotional with her books is too many to count, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that I was also emotional during ACOSF. The female empowerment and taking what you want was so great to see, and I felt so terrible for Nesta and all that she went through.
I think I’m going to go with The Nature of Witches for this one, because I was so happy to see climate change take a major role in a fantasy! I loved all the powerful messages about handling climate change and how important our decisions are. I also loved watching Clara come to terms with her magic and how she learned to love herself, which I found parallels in my own life with body image and trying to learn to love the way I am, so just overall it was a very personal read for me.
Hands down I have to say Bridgerton on Netflix! I also read The Duke and I after watching the first season, and I loved seeing all the similarities and differences between the two. If I’m being honest, I like the TV show a little bit more because it’s not only visually appealing, but the music is amazing and the characters are great!
This is a hard one to answer, but only because my posting this year has pretty much consisted of new releases, TBRs, wrap ups, and a few reviews here and there because I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump. Is it still a slump if you’ve been lacking motivation for half a year? I guess I can say that I liked my discussion post on blogger burnout since I’ve been really struggling lately, and for reviews I love my review for The Shadow of the Gods.
I’ve gotten so many beautiful books this year! A lot of the ones that I’ve gotten have been from Owlcrate because they have exclusive covers and are always stunning, but my favorite one so far has been Witches Steeped in Gold! It’s just so pretty, from the green, black and gold to the stunning artwork of the characters. Check out my instagram for more photos of some pretty books!
Oh god, so many books! I definitely want to try to finish my 20 in 2021 TBR and so far I’ve only read 2 books off that list, so if I could read at least half that list I would be happy. I would also like to get a few books crossed off my 2021 series list too, but my hopes aren’t as high for that one considering that I haven’t been reading nearly as many books as usual.
What were some of your answers to these questions? I’d love to chat! I always love doing this ‘tag’!