The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag (2020 Edition)

Posted June 22, 2020 by Amber in Tags / 6 Comments


It’s the middle of June, so of course, you know what that means!!


I’ve done this post on my blog the last couple years, and I love checking back in and looking at my answers and revisiting old favorites.  For those new around here, the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag is one of those book blogging institutions, and if you haven’t already seen this a few times in the blogosphere, you’ll probably see it popping up in the next month.  And, with that said, feel free to steal this and do it on your own platform – book, bookstagram, whatever! <3

What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2019?

I hate ranking books like this because I’m a mood reader, and some books are better for certain times than others, and some books are amazing but I might not read again, while others may be stylistically lacking but utterly enjoyable.  So for today, I’m going to go with Walk on Earth a Stranger which I loved so much that I used my last Audible Credit for the audiobook after returning it on Libby, and immediately got myself a paperback copy.  No regrets – this one was up my alley in so many ways and I think I’m just a fan of Rae Carson’s writing.

2019’s Answer: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim.
2018’s Answer: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman.

What has been your favourite sequel of the first half of the year?

Ohmygosh you guys, as if of writing this, I finished The Silvered Serpents this morning and it is SO GOOD.  I’m so excited for everyone to be able to read it in three months.  I loved The Gilded Wolves, and I loved The Silvered Serpents in just as many ways… and it’s just… it’s hard to find a middle book in a trilogy that is so excellent.  My review isn’t up on the blog yet (come back in September!) but for those of you who use Goodreads, you can check it out there!  Very good.

2019’s Answer:  The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.
2018’s Answer:  Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery.

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited for?

It’s moving its way up my TBR, but for some reason, I’m just really excited for The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly?  Normally a contemporary would not make my VERY EXCITED list, but I buckled down and pre-ordered this in the last few days before release and for whatever reason, I think this will be delightful and I’m super looking forward to it.  I will definitely be reading it this year, as it’s already on my physical immediate TBR, so stay tuned in the next month or so!

2019’s Answer:  The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
2018’s Answer:  Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

I’m sure this one will show up on a lot of lists, but I’m super excited for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.  V. E. Schwab has never let me down and her writing is so beutiful and intriguing and I love the way she twists worlds and just!!! Gah, I’m excited.  Also Addie comes out on my birthday sooo… happy birthday to me, can’t wait for this beautiful, spooky book.

2019’s Answer:  The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.
2018’s Answer:  Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi.

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

Ugh, I’ve had a few books that I’ve been #nope on.  I nearly put down Children of Virtue and Vengeance for this one because I was so looking forward to it and I felt it fell flat, but, Meddling Kids was more disappointing.  It’s one of those weird standalone books that I’d been really looking forward to reading, and I loved the idea of a Scooby-Doo retelling and I just… I just thought it was sort of terrible.  I ended up rating it 1 1/2 stars, a rating so rare on this blog that I only have a handful.  Super bummer.

2019’s Answer:  King of Fools by Amanda Foody.
2018’s Answer:  Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Probably Changeling, but with a close second going to Glory O’Brien’s History of the FutureChangeling was a free Audible Original, and I don’t hold a lot of stock in those free ones because mostly, they’re been pretty meh.  But I really enjoyed this one.  It was so tropey, but it was a bunch of tropes I enjoy, so I had a lot of fun listening to it and would listen to it again.  Already put book two on my TBR.

2018’s Answer:  Lamb by Christopher Moore.
2018’s Answer:  The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

Who is your favourite new to you, or debut, author?

You know, I’ve read two Neal Shusterman novels this year, and I know he’s not a debut author, but he’s definitely new to me.  Particularly because the novels I read – Full Tilt and Challenger Deep, are not the big, hyped books either.  I’m fairly confident that since I loved these two books, I’ll be a fan of his other books as well.

2019’s Answer:  Gita Trelease (Enchantee).
2018’s Answer:  Sarah Glenn Marsh (Reign of the Fallen).

Who is your favourite love story from this year?

Before I go into this, I do want to say that this year, I changed this question?  I’ve never liked it and danced around it and tried to find male-characters-who-I-guess-are-cool? because I’m much older than most the characters I read, and even if that wasn’t very creepy, I’m just not that into fictional crushes?  So here’s to love stories instead. 🙂

I absolutely loved Ana and Daniel’s love story in The Fountains of Silence.  It was a slow burn romance and one I wasn’t sure was going to play out.  I don’t usually love romance stories, but I absolutely recommend this one.

Original Question: Who is your favourite fictional crush from this year?

2019’s Answer:  Jamie Watson (A Study in Charlotte).
2018’s Answer:  Richard Gansey III (The Raven Boys).

Who is your favourite character?

It occurs to me that I’ve been reading a lot of really mild characters this year.  I know I’ve already used The Silvered Serpents for this tag, but I have to roll back to that book again, because Zofia is one of my favorite characters of all time, period.  I love her directness, her awkwardness.  I love that we have a character on the autism scale in a fantasy book without making that aspect of her, her whole story.

Otherwise, Lexi from The Near Witch is really good, and so is Bartimaeus from The Golem’s Eye.

2019’s Answer:  Zoe & Sam (Starworld).
2018’s Answer:  Jac, Lola, and Reymond (Ace of Shades).

A book that made you cry?

Without a doubt, Allegedly.  This book was incredibly difficult to read, both in subject matter and pacing.  Mary B. Addison’s story is incredibly sad and infuriating and let alone crying – I had so many emotions while reading this book.

2019’s Answer:  Push by Sapphire.
2018’s Answer:  The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.

A book that made you happy?

Hah.  So.

Being completely honest, I should give this slot to The Invasion.

While I know throwing an older serial middle grade series on this list is a bit out of the norm, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t utterly delighted by this book and fully enjoyed reading it.  And I’m looking forward to reading the next book.  The nostalgia is real, and also?  It’s still a creative (if cheesy) idea.

2019’s Answer:  Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu.
2018’s Answer:  Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills.

Your favourite book to movie/ TV show that you’ve seen so far?

While this one isn’t a great adaptation, I really liked Nerve.  It was a fun adventure of a story, with great characters and relationships and I was completely engaged in the film the whole time.  The book can absolutely be skipped – it was just exhausting.  But the movie was fantastic.

2019’s Answer:  A Series of Unfortunate Events.
2018’s Answer:  The Handmaid’s Tale.

What is your favourite post that you’ve written so far this year?

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about supporting indie bookstores.  It was early in quarantine, about the time everything was starting to shut down.  And while it may not be my most eloquent post of all time, I still think it’s an important post and a constant reminder that this period isn’t really over, and these independent businesses need our support.  So many businesses have shut their doors for good and we need to support those we can if we want their doors to stay open. <3

So I’d say Indie Bookstores Need You Right Now is my favorite post.

2019’s Answer:  Integrity in the Community: Do We Really Like Things, or Are We Praising Because We Want Free Stuff?.
2018’s Answer:  The 90s Kid Book Tag.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

I absolutely love the cover for Harley in the Sky.  There are so few yellow books out there, let alone ones with the yellow bleeding into gold foil on the outer edges.  The visual design of this book just reminds me of sunshine and makes me so happy.  Also, the starburst pattern and simple silhouettes on the cover are so satisfying?

This cover design gets a 10/10 from me!

2019’s Answer:  All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater.
2018’s Answer:  The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton.

What are 6 books that you want to read by the end of the year?

While I can’t hold my breath waiting for these, there are a few mood books I’d really like to see pop out of my TBR Jar.  I’ve got to get through reading all these preorders before I can even pull more lucky stars from my jar, but, lets just say I’d be really pleased to see these ones pop out.



2019’s Answer:  Rebel Girls, Steel Crow Saga, Who Put This Song On?, Shadow Frost, Scars Like Wings, The Good Luck Girls.
2018’s Answer:  Catch up on the 2018 Debut Author Challenge


Is your reading going according to plan this year?  Are you reading more than you expected?  Less?  Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to drop links to your own Mid-Year Freak Out Tag so I can check it out!

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6 responses to “The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag (2020 Edition)

    • Amber

      Everlost has been on my TBR for such a long time…and I have a copy of Scythe! I’m looking forward to a lot more Neal Shusterman!

  1. Stacie

    I found your blog via book box reviews and it is amazing! It’s so pretty and planned. 🙂

    TBR Jar? Is that where you put titles on your list and pluck one out for your next read? I totally might have to steal that! I’ve had panic/paralysis in choosing my next reads lately because I just want to read ALL THE THINGS (And also feel like I should, because I’m a librarian). I was thinking of like trying to find one of those game show wheels you could fill in online. ??‍♀️

    Also, The Bell Jar is fantastic. If you haven’t gotten to it yet, be warned that it’s definitely a bit dated in some places (with references and terms), but the story itself is timeless. (I’m a huge Sylvia Plath fan. The audio book of it read by Maggie Gyllenhaal is surprisingly AMAZING, if you have the chance to try that one.)

    • Amber

      Thank you so much, Stacie! And I’m glad to bring you in via the book box reviews – outside of instagram (which is less searchable), it’s hard to find those and I’m the type of person who likes to get a feel for the contents of a box before buying… so… I figure others do too!

      TBR Jar is very much a bowl or jar with book titles written on scraps of paper that I pull from. It helps a lot with decision paralysis and creating variety. I’m a mood reader, so without it I tend to drift to old favorites instead of newer reads (oops). I wrote a whole post about it last fall if you’re interested! <3

      I still haven't gotten to The Bell Jar, but that's good to know! Also thanks for the note about outdated bits. I think it really helps going into a book to know that some things don't quite stand up so I get less defensive about some instances or terminology. 🙂 Good to know on the audiobook as well - I'm a huge audiobook fan!

      Thanks for stopping in! <3