How are we all doing?
I know I say it every year, but I genuinely can’t believe it’s time to do The Mid Year Freak Out Tag again!
This year I set myself the goal of reading 70 books and I’m definitely having a slight freak out that I’m not going to reach the goal because I’ve had a few reading slumps so far this year. But we move, and hopefully my reading game will pick up in the second half of the year.
If you’re new to the book community, you may be wondering what this tag entails. Basically it’s a series of questions rounding up the books you’ve read so far this year. I’m not sure who originally created the tag, but please let me know in the comments if you do so I can credit them 🙂
Hope you enjoy this post, let me know if you’ve read any of these books and your thoughts on them in the comments below!
Before we begin, here’s my Goodreads reading goal and how much I’ve read so far:
1. THE BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ IN 2020 SO FAR?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Oh my goodness, THIS BOOK!
I felt all the emotions reading this and thought it was absolutely incredible. Not only is there so much great rep; bi, gay, Black, LGBTQIAP+, it also covers so many important topics. I didn’t think I’d enjoy a book about a fictional movie star’s life, but I felt so connected to Evelyn and her story. In many ways she’s a morally grey character, but the book highlights that not everyone is perfect and I thought it was brilliantly written. I was utterly captivated by the story from beginning to end and actually cried reading it. It’s very rare that a book makes me this emotional!
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I only picked it up because there’s a lot of hype surrounding it and didn’t have any high expectations at all. I’m glad in some ways because I went in blind not knowing anything about the book and went on such a journey reading it.
I would highly recommend giving this book a read if you haven’t already. I know it’s been out for a few years now, but it’s 100% worth the read – I LOVED IT!
2. BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020?
The Two Towers – J. R. R. Tolkien
There’s a trend of me not reading many sequels in these yearly posts… I’ve only read two so far, can you tell I prefer standalone books? Haha. The sequel I’ve read this year is The Two Towers – J. R. R. Tolkien, the second book in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Middle-Earth this year and I haven’t reread the trilogy for years! It goes without saying that the LOTR trilogy is one of the best high fantasy series and I’ve loved re-reading the books. I always prefer books to films, but even I can’t deny that the Battle of Helm’s Deep in the film is incredible and beats the book.
If you love fantasy and have never read any of Tolkien’s books, you need to, they’re outstanding.
3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO?
Oh how the list could go on and on here…
I’m going to go with The Vanishing Half – Britt Bennett.
This book has been on my radar for a while now and I’ve heard some incredible things about it. I recently purchased it from Waterstones and can’t wait to get around to it. It focuses on racial identity, two identical twins and how their lives are vastly different. I’m hoping to read it in July.
4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE NEXT HALF OF 2020?
Okay, okay… don’t judge me.
Midnight Sun – Stephenie Meyer
Yes, I know. I loved the Twilight series as a teenager so it would be rude not to read Midnight Sun. It’s going to be interesting to see the story from Edward’s point of view.
5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT IN 2020?
Infinity Son – Adam Silvera
I was beyond excited to read this and was so disappointed. I fell in love with Adam’s book They Both Die at the End and when I heard he was writing a fantasy novel I couldn’t wait. I wish I hadn’t bothered though, the writing felt very amateur and the plot felt like a draft rather than a published novel. The story was confusing and tried to cover far too much in a short space of time. It was all just a bit confusing and I didn’t connect with any of the characters at all.
It’s such a shame because I wanted to love it so much but wanted to DNF it the whole way through. I don’t think I’ll be continuing on with this series, I didn’t care for it at all.
6. BIGGEST SURPRISE IN 2020?
Our Stop – Laura Jane Williams
I could have chosen The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo for this one, but decided to go for Our Stop instead.
I bought this book on Audible on a whim, it was one of the daily deals a few months ago for £1.99. It was a book I’d heard of but wasn’t overly bothered reading, but when I saw it was partly narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher, I thought I’d give it a go.
I’m so glad I did because I throughly enjoyed it. The narration was brilliant and it was a lovely, cutesy romance. I loved the “will they, won’t they” throughout and Nadia and Daniel were both great characters. If you enjoyed reading The Flat Share, then this book is a must read for you!
7. FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR (DEBUT OR NEW TO YOU)?
I recently read The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta. It’s been on my TBR since before it was released but I hadn’t got around to reading it until this month. The story follows Michael, a half-Jamaican, half Greek Cypriot boy living in London. We follow his story from childhood through to university. The book is written in verse and it was incredible. It discusses race, family dynamics and sexuality – also drag queens.
I loved Dean Atta’s writing so much and I can’t wait to read more by him in the future. I hope he comes to YALC in 2021 as I’d love to meet him and hear him talk on a panel! I’m gutted I didn’t see the panel he was on in 2019!
8. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH?
I don’t have a new fictional crush so far this year!
9. NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER?
The teachers in Heartstopper: Volume 3 – Alice Oseman
I loved them so much! I don’t want to give many spoilers away but they were hilarious and I loved the tension between them throughout the book. I hope they both appear in more volumes, please let this happen Alice!
10. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
As I mentioned above this book made me feel all the emotions and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me cry on more than one occasion! It was such a moving book.
11. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
I’ve been re-reading Tolkien’s books this year and started off with my favourite, The Hobbit, it didn’t disappoint. I loved this book as a child so much and re-read it multiple times; when I was little my mother also read it for me. I decided to use an Audible credit at the start of the year to purchase it and the audiobook was so nostalgic.
Not only is The Hobbit a fantastic book, with many brilliant characters that I love, it was one of the books that kickstarted my love for reading, so it always makes me happy when I revisit it.
12. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT OR RECEIVED IN 2020?
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy
This is such a beautiful book not only visually, but the writing is so touching. If you’ve not read this book I definitely encourage you to. It’s a quick read and will only take you an hour or two, it’s so beautiful and also sends many important messages to readers. It focuses on friendship, understanding and love, and how important each are.
This would be the perfect coffee table book and the illustrations are incredible. I hope Charlie publishes more books like this in the future as they’d be auto purchases for me.
13. WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF 2020?
There’s so many I could include here. Here’s a few I can’t wait to get around to reading:
Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them? Got any books you think I need to add to my TBR for this year? Let me know in the comments below! 😊
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