The 2021 Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

Posted July 10, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in Tag / 9 Comments

I’ve seen this tag around and it sounded fun, so let’s see if I can do this and have as much fun with it! The tag was created by Ely @ Earl Grey Books and Chami @ Read Like Wildfire.  I saw it first done by Tammy over at Books, Bones, and Buffy, so I might be doing mine similar to her post, because I know how much trouble I’ll have picking just one book a lot of times.

# of Books Read So Far:

I used to always set my goal 5 books higher than the year before because I used to exceed it every year. But the past few years haven’t worked quite that way. Maybe because I’ve been doing more writing? I don’t know. I think it might actually be more playing games on my phone actually. But anyway, I am right on track, so that is good.

Best Books I’ve Read So Far This Year:

Two YAs that fit #ownvoices, and one of the SmartyPants Romance books really grabbed me and stood out. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury, A Pho Love Story by Loan Le, and Dewey Belong Together by Ann Whynot.

Best Sequels I’ve Read So Far This Year:

I know other people didn’t like it so much, but I only expected what it was, and so I guess I was extremely pleased with Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, I mean listening to the audiobook with Wil Wheaton as narrator may have been what made it so good. The Bookworm’s Guide to Flirting by Emma Hart was so good, all of the books in this series have made me think of myself, but this one seriously was like someone had a camera on my day to day life. And finally, one of my top books last year was Flirtasaurus by Erin Mallon, and her follow up in the series, Lovebug, was just as much fun.

New Releases I Haven’t Read But Want To:

So I actually own all three of these. The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren audiobook, I used my credit this month on Audible for it. And I do have a copy of Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge that I got as one of my Book of the Month choices, but haven’t read yet. I purchased Moon Child by Gaby Triana as soon as it came out, but alas it too is still on my TBR shelf.

Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2021:

I really loved Chloe Gong’s first book, These Violent Delights, and when I got to the end of it, I knew it could either be over, or it left off in a way that I was excited to see a sequel was coming! Gwenda Bond is a favorite author of mine, but this seems like a new genre for her, even if it does have some paranormal aspect, so I’m excited for Not Your Average Hot Guy. And I really liked the first book Well Met, and the second one in that series was okay, but since I listened to it on audio, I think I would have preferred to read it. The third book is two characters I can’t wait to see where their story goes!

Biggest Disappointments:

It’s kind of funny, all three of these are audiobooks, although that’s not why I didn’t enjoy them. And I didn’t completely hate these, they all had good points. First of all, I loved the first two books in the Checkmate series by Kennedy Fox, but for some reason I didn’t quite enjoy the next two, starting with This is Reckless. Love, Lacey Donovan by Jill Brashear started out sooooooo good, and then it just all fell to pieces for me, which you can read in my review linked with the title above. The Icing on the Cake by Linda Seed had some really good potential, but in the end it let me down. I also wasn’t a fan of the male narrator’s voice either.

Biggest Surprises:

I think with all the horrible reviews I saw for Midnight Sun, and how long it had been since I’d read my favorite Twilight books, I was afraid I would not enjoy this one. But I ended up enjoying it almost as much as the original. Celebrity Dirt by J.D. Hollyfield surprised me because I am not always a fan of mafia books, and I would never have imagined someone could bring humor to that type of story, even with the really serious topic of human trafficking, but Hollyfield totally blew me away with this one! And finally, another type of story I’m not always a fan of is the bully storyline, but Foes & Cons by Carrie Aarons had me in tears but loving the whole story as well.

Favorite New Authors:

I actually had picked a different author to go with this, but then I realized I’d already read that author last year. So my picks are actually all debut authors! Liselle Sambury, whose book Blood Like Magic was one of my best of the year so far. Carla Luna, who wrote a recent read of mine, Blue Hawaiian. Ann Whynot finally, who also wrote one of my picks for best books, Dewey Belong Together.

Newest Favorite Characters:

I really liked the main character Ellie in The Secret Recipe to Moving On by Karen Bischer. How she kind of recognized that often her ex-boyfriend and his best girl friend getting together would be the true romance story in a their own books. I also loved Ry Archer and getting back to the world of Jay Crownover’s Marked Men in her next generation book, Fortunate Son. And as I mentioned above, I really feel like Emma Hart was spying on me somehow when she wrote the main character Saylor in The Bookworm’s Guide to Flirting, especially with her watching Harry Potter movies over and over.

Books That Made Me Cry:

Okay, I had a hard time even narrowing this down to just 3. A lot of times in the romance stories though, it was because one of the main characters was being stubborn and that made me cry. But the first one there, Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein, even though it didn’t live up to what I’d hoped, it totally made me cry. In Much Ado About You by Samantha Young, I cried because I was so mad at how the heroine acted at the end. In Bet the Farm by Staci Hart, it was the hero. I don’t remember what all contributed to the crying in The Wedding Game, I just know that Meghan Quinn knows how to bring the tears when I read her books! And finally, The Art of Falling for You by Maya Hughes, that ending! Even though I knew there were two more books in the series, it got me. And really all the books in that series were tear-jerkers.

Books That Made Me Happy:

Well, I had trouble again choosing just 3. I decided to pick books that made me laugh a lot. And honestly, I read a lot of really funny authors, I mean I could have just put all of Emma Hart’s books on this list, or all of Meghan Quinn’s, or all of Sara Ney’s. But instead I tried to pick some books I hadn’t already shared. Because honestly, Blue Hawaiian by Carla Luna and Lovebug by Erin Mallon were of course ones that I laughed out loud as I read. And the audiobook I’m listening to in my car right now also has me looking like an idiot as I drive and laugh so much. But for the past year, I picked these: Hard Luck by Sara Ney, Uncork My Love by Rich Amooi, Crave Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter, and Earn Your Extra Credit by Meghan Quinn.

Favorite Posts I’ve Done This Year:

Well, I tend to do mostly reviews or memes. But I guess if I had to pick a couple favorites, I’d go with some of my Lisa’s Looking Forward To posts where I featured one upcoming book with an interview from the author. And then there was also the time I knew I wouldn’t get to an ARC a publisher sent me, and so I asked a teacher at my school to read it and review it, because she does a lot of reviews on Goodreads and is a big reader as well, so that was a fun post.

Most Beautiful Books I’ve Bought or Received This Year:

I bought all of these. I’ve only read the middle one, and I had to buy a copy of it because I loved it so much, and I loved the cover. The other two I still need to read, but wanted to own them, so went ahead and bought them. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, The Secret of Moving On by Karen Bischer, and Moon Child by Gaby Triana.

What Books I Need to Read By the End of the Year:

Umm, the list of what books I need to read could go on and on. I’ve chosen three that I am currently reading that are really big books that I’d like to for sure finish by the end of the year. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon is the second in the Outlander series, and while I’ve watched the whole series, I’m slowly going through the books. The second season wasn’t my favorite, so that could be why it is taking me longer to get through this almost 1000 page book. I started From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout at the end of June, FINALLY! Seeing as how I had to buy it as soon as it was published a year ago. And it is really good. I’m trying to read about 50 pages a night if I’m not too tired or behind on review books. And finally, the Australia anthology I bought back when Australia was having all the fires to help support a fundraiser that a bunch of authors did. I was reading one story a night, but haven’t read any in probably a month. I need to get back on track with that as well.

Final Thoughts:

So, this was fun, but actually took a lot of time! I loved almost all the books I read this year. I guess that’s what happens when you start DNFing books that you aren’t enjoying. But I’d say there were a lot of good fun reads for me this year! Have you done this post? Or if you decide to, leave me a link so I can visit and check out your picks!

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9 responses to “The 2021 Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

    • Lisa Mandina

      You might not need to re-read the first one. I was worried I would as well, but I feel like they did a pretty good job catching me up at the beginning of the second book. But if you have time, then you might want the reread. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. I DNFed Slingshot, but now you have me curious. I am also super excited to read Well Matched. I think this couple will be fire. I hope you get to read Soulmate. I loved it. It was very happy and feel-good.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I can see why you’d DNF it. It was really a depressing ending, so I don’t know if I’d suggest picking it back up or not. I did get the audiobook of Soulmate, so I’ll probably listen to it after I finish the one I’m listening to now. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I have got to move Firekeeper’s Daughter up to a higher place in my TBR. I’m guessing my amount of reading might go down with my new job, but we’ll see!

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