Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag: 2021

It’s been such a long time since I’ve done a book tag that I feel as if I don’t know my blogging self anymore. Zezee with Books LOVES book tags! I should be doing one every week! But I can’t even remember when last I declared a book tag week. Things are getting out of hand here.


June is almost over, so I intend to do the usually end-of-June book tags that help me reflect on my reading progress so far.

I’ll start with the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag, which was created by Chami and Ely Jayne.

Best book I’ve read so far

In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce

It’s historical fiction about a female serial killer and it’s a superbly fantastic, though at time disturbing, read. It is a thriller that borders on horror, and it is very well written and atmospheric and immersive too. It is a great read that I highly recommend. (See my review here.)

Best sequel I’ve read so far

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

It’s the second novel in the World of Five Gods series. It’s a fantasy novel about the dowager royina Ista embarking on a roadtrip to escape the gods who plague her but gets swept up in divine machinations anyway. It’s certainly a different tone to the first book, The Curse of Chalion, but just as engrossing despite being of a slower pace.

Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel’s Chosen was also a fantastic read. It follows Kushiel’s Dart, which is a fantasy novel largely set in a country whose people are said to be descended from angels. Although the format of Kushiel’s Chosen was very similar to the first book, I enjoyed it immensely and consider it a favorite and can’t wait to read the third book. (See my review here.)

New release I haven’t read yet but want to

The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

It follows The Goblin Emperor, which is one of my favorite books. It’s such a heart-warming story. I recently read several reviews of The Witness of the Dead and they all make me eager to try it, but I HATE getting hardcover books so it’s possible that I might hold out for a year before getting to this.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

To be honest, I haven’t been paying attention to books in the planning to be published later in the year. I’ve been relying on blogs and my bookstore to let me know what the new stuff are.

Biggest disappointment

Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert, narr. by Selina Scott-Bennin & Philip Batley

Probably Wrapped Up in You, which is contemporary romance about a popular movie star returning home to the U.K. for Christmas for a chance at love with his long-time crush. I was SO bored the entire time I listened to this on audio and I didn’t like how the narration was done either. The story is a novella but there’s so much packed in that I think it needed to be longer, and it was very emotionally heavy for a light Christmas romance. (See my review here.)

Biggest surprise

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Based on the description of this novel, I did not expect to like it at all. It’s a satirical contemporary novel about a young Black man from Brooklyn who gets a sales job at a tech startup. It’s SUCH a good read that I highly recommend it although parts of it were so frustrating and uncomfortable to read that I had to take a break. (See my review here.)

Favorite new author (debut or new to me)

Julia Quinn

I wouldn’t go as far as calling her my new favorite, but I’m certainly hooked on her Bridgerton series, which I started to read after indulging in and falling for the Netflix TV adaptation of the books. The Bridgerton books are all historical fiction set in the early 1800s, I think, in the U.K. So far, I’ve been taking in these books (I’ve read the first two so far) on audio and am enjoying them. The narrator, Rosalyn Landor, does a great job. (See my reviews for the first and second books.)

Newest favorite character

Dellaria “Delly” Wells

I’ve encountered some great characters so far this year, some good folks and some not, but I chose Delly for this category since she’s what hooked me to Waggoner’s second novel, The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry, which is a fantasy novel about a young woman (Delly) down on her luck who gets a break in the form a job — joining a team of women to serve as bodyguard to a young heiress. Delly made it a delightful read for me. (See my review here.)

Book that made me cry

I don’t recall reading anything that made me tear up.

Book that made me happy

DCeased by Tom Taylor, illus. by Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Guadiano, and many others

Yes, this horror comic book made me very happy because I enjoy watching zombie movies and TV shows and apparently now I like zombie comics as well, and I can’t believe I’ve never thought of superhero zombies before encountering a review of a comic book in this series over on Bookidote. It was SUCH a good read!

Favorite book-to-film adaptation I saw

The Punisher

I finally started on this and have now watched season 1 twice because I loved it so much.

Favorite review I’ve written

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Umm… I can’t choose, so I’m just gonna mention Raybearer since I haven’t yet and it’s a book I enjoyed reading. If you like YA fantasy, then I recommend it to you. It was a good read and I liked the worldbuilding. (See my review here.)

Most beautiful book I bought (or received) so far

Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield

I believe this is YA contemporary, which I usually steer clear from, but I couldn’t pass up this cover or its end pages. It’s so stunning.

Books I need to read by the end of the year

Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey

There are many books I’d like to read before year’s end, but it would be really nice to wrap up these Kushiel books this year.

That’s my year so far.

How’s your reading going? Have you read anything outstanding lately?

18 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag: 2021

  1. Yay for The Punisher!🤩
    In the Garden of Spite looks very intriguing; I’ve read Bruce’s previous book, You Let Me In, and it was also a superbly written and highly disturbing read 🙂


  2. I really enjoyed reading your answers for this tag! I need to pick up The Curse of Chalion, if only because Paladin of Souls sounds like something I definitely want to read. I’ve also been meaning to check out The Goblin Emperor for… oh, for about forever, maybe longer lmao.


    1. Lol! Oh my gosh! That’s how I was with Goblin Emperor. It was on my TBR for so long. Thanks to the Wyrd & Wonder, I finally read it. I HIGHLY recommend it to you. I highly recommend all the books you mentioned, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been on the fence to do this book tag, mainly because I don’t readily have answers to these questions. I also haven’t done a book tag in a while, so I guess I feel a little rusty, lmao! Great post!


        1. These little insights into your reading experience with it is tempting (as well as the reviews I’ve been reading). I may have to give in and get the hardcover copy.


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