Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2020 Edition!

So… 2020 is nearly halfway over. It feels like it’s been five years crammed into six months. And it’s not done yet!

Of course, being the middle of the year, it’s time once again to do the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag. This is my fourth year doing this tag. It’s fascinating to see my reading tastes and blogging style change from 2017 to 2018 to 2019 to now.

Reflecting back on my reading so far in 2020, I’ve found that I haven’t had as many books stick with me even if I rated them 5 stars. I can’t be sure if that’s because of the quality of the books or just because this year has left me in a daze.

Still, there have been a few standouts I’m excited to highlight. I’m excluding any rereads, so Shades of Magic will not appear on this post in any capacity. Otherwise, well, it may have taken up a few too many spots.

Anyway, here’s what you missed on Glee!

Best book you read so far in 2020
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Out of all the books I’ve read so far this year, this is the one I keep recommending to  people. There’s no way anyone can read this book and not automatically know that it’s genius. The world is so imaginative and unique. The magic system is brilliant. Even though I guessed a twist, I didn’t feel let down. On the contrary, I was excited to discover I was right and find out why I was right. And there were many other amazing twists as well. I love this book so much and can’t wait to continue the series and then read the rest of Jemisin’s catalog.

Best sequel you read so far in 2020
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Had I read more sequels this year, I probably wouldn’t have picked this book. It’s good, but not as good as Gideon the Ninth. That said, it was a 4-star read and I really like Muir’s writing, characters, and world. I’m eager to see what she does with the final book in the trilogy.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

I’ve heard mixed things but this book and originally hadn’t even planned on reading it. But I’m lowkey in the mood for somewhat trashy YA and this has a villain romance in it. It could be really dope, so I’m excited to give it a try.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War was good, but The Dragon Republic was incredible. I am so excited for the conclusion to this series. I just know it’s going to be one of my favorites of the year.

Biggest disappointment
Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie

I was lucky enough to get an ARC for this Finnpoe-inspired sci-fi adventure with a M/M romance and… it really let me down. The character and relationship development aren’t great and that it’s an adult novel that reads like mediocre YA. I’m still really bummed about this one.

Biggest surprise
Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

I went into this book with low expectations because I’d heard it was an average book, but I wound up really enjoying it. It gave me The Raven Cycle vibes, but with witches and sapphics. I really hope Latimer has a sequel in the works because I need more of these characters.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)
N.K. Jemisin

So far, I’ve still only read one of her books but I already know Jemisin is one of my all-time favorite authors. I’ve finally gotten the rest of the Broken Earth trilogy and The City We Became and I’m so excited to dive into them. Jemisin is easily one of the greatest writers of our time.

Newest fictional crush
Sid from The Midnight Lie

I really don’t get fictional crushes anymore, but as soon as I met Sid in Marie Rutkoski’s latest release I knew I’d have an answer to this question this year. Sid is the lesbian of my dreams. She’s gender non-confirming and a rake with a heart of gold. More than once she made me swoon. I want my own Sid so bad.

Newest favorite character
L from Death Note

I’m kind of stretching things here because I’ve only seen the anime, but it’s based on a manga so I say it counts. L is a genius, he’s willing to take dangerous risks but is also strangely wholesome. I read his character as autistic, but that’s never been confirmed canon. He is my son and I love him.

Book that made you cry
What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker by Damon Young

The essay where Young talks about his mother’s death had me in tears. His whole memoir was eye-opening, but this essay got to me the most. The essay is called “Living While Black Killed My Mom,” so you can imagine how heavy it is.

Book that made you happy

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Am I just happy I got the ARC? Yes, yes I am.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received so far this year
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

I’m not sure what it is about this cover, but I really dig it. It’s got an almost cartoonish art style that, based on everything I know about this book, fits in really well with the story and tone. I haven’t read it yet, but plan to soon.

Books you need to read by the end of the year

How has your reading year been so far? Any standouts? Good or bad, let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2020 Edition!

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