2021 Mid Year Book Freak-Out Tag

I saw this tag over on Cait’s blog, Paper Fury, and decided to steal it.

All book covers will be linked to their Goodreads page, so you can add them to your shelf. 😉

How much have you read?

I’ve read eight books so far. *screams because that’s more than I thought I’d read this year, but also less* I did DNF one of them, though, because I didn’t like the direction it was going, so that was disappointing.

*gives you a photo for proof*

What have you been reading?

Seeing Cait’s beautiful pie charts inspired me to make my own for my reading thus far in the year. I did add multiple genres to the chart per book (because I refuse to put them into a single genre).

As you can see, I’ve read a lot of 4 star books and read an obnoxious amount of books with romance, which is a surprise to absolutely no one, I’m sure.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?

I’m gonna have to say The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman. If you know me, you probably know that my subconscious rates books based on how much they made me cry, and well…this book had me ACTUALLY SOBBING through the last two-three chapters. The plot twist absolutely destroyed my heart and then stomped all over the shattered pieces.

I’m also like 99% sure that the reason I didn’t give this book five stars is because the plot twist was so cruel. But you definitely need to read it, so…*throws it at your face*

Also, this happened the other day and it made my little book dragon heart so so happy.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

Typically the middle book in a trilogy is notorious for being the worst of the three. And while I still didn’t love Crossed as much as Matched, it did so much better than most of the middle books in a series that I’ve read. The way that Condie introduced Ky’s POV was so fascinating and I found myself reading it on the daily until I finished it because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

All in all, I really loved this book because Condie knew how to hold my attention, even during the moments where not a lot was happening.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this book, but it was definitely by accident. I haven’t bought it or checked to see where I can even get it, but I remember being really intrigued by the plot of the story. It was something I haven’t seen an author do, although I’m sure it has been done in some way before now.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I didn’t even know this book existed until Mads @chaptersofgold started screaming* about it on Goodreads. And suffice it to say, I read her praise of the book and immediately knew that I had to get my hands on it when it released. *hides in shame for not preordering it like a good book dragon*

*by screaming, I mean she was reviewing it.

Out of your comfort zone

If we’re friends on Goodreads*, then you most likely know that most of the books I read…aren’t fantasy.

I bought this book a couple of years ago at Barnes and Noble. I’ve always adored Beauty and the Beast retellings (I even wrote one!), and when I saw this, I figured I’d give it a chance. And when I hit my reading slump earlier this year, I decided to finally pick it up and give it that chance. Long story short, I fell in love with the characters and ended up crying a few times (meaning I loved it to pieces).

So, this was a very happy and lovely surprise for me this year, in relation to books.

*If we aren’t friends on Goodreads, go send me a friend request. I can’t guarantee that I’ll accept (I generally only accept from people I recognize or who a similar taste in books to my own), but I look through all of my requests, so if you think that we’d be a good bookworm-friend-match, go ahead and send me a friend request.

Biggest surprise?

I got a copy of the audiobook for this one, which I listened to over the course of about a week. It was an unexpected find, as I was simply perusing my library app for something to read over that week, and I eventually found this gem. It truly is a bookworm’s dream book because it’s all about a girl who has the ability to jump into books…literally. I highly recommend to anyone who’s up for an easy listening experience that wants to add another book to their reading challenge in a matter of days.

New favorite author (debut or new to you)

Prior to reading The Infinity Courts, I’d never even heard of Akemi Dawn Bowman. But after reading it, I had absolutely fallen in love with her writing style and with her ability to craft such empowering and heartbreaking stories. She’s definitely an author that I’d like to sit down with and talk to because I feel like she’d just have really good advice and words of wisdom for writing creatively.

I’ll definitely be looking into her other books in the future.

Underrated gems you’ve discovered recently

This was my first Sarah Dessen novel, but I highly doubt that it will be my last because this book was just the first way to start summer. It was an easy read, had some of the most adorable and realistic characters, and tackled some difficult themes in a beautifully refreshing way. And to think that I bought it on a whim!

Rereads this year

I haven’t reread anything this year. *sobs* BUT, if I did reread something, I bet it would be Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson or We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

Book that made you cry

Since I already said that The Infinity Courts made me cry, I’ll go with The In Between by Marc Klein for this one. While I disagreed with the general premise of interacting with the dead (you can read a more extensive content warning in my review), there was one scene that made me put the book down because it hit me really hard. After Skylar’s death (this isn’t a spoiler), Tessa has a dream where she talks and interacts with him. When she wakes up, a nurse explains that she had a “visitation dream,” which is a dream that feels hyper-real and typically involves a recently deceased person.

Now, I don’t put much stock in the idea of a “visitation dream” because the Bible is very clear that Christians should not engage in any interaction with spirits, ghosts, or deceased people. But, when I read this, it reminded me of a dream I had about a friend shortly after they unexpectedly passed away. And while I don’t believe that this friend was “visiting” me in my dream, it was a very important experience for me because it gave me a chance, if only in a dream, to say goodbye to them, which was something I never got to do in real life.

So, all of that to say, this book definitely dabbles in things that I do not agree with, but was still a powerful and moving book for me, especially since it, in that one moment, made me feel a little less alone in how my subconscious needed to grieve in the past.

Book that made you happy

This book has been on my shelf for a really long time. But, when I finally started reading it, I was reminded of how much I love (and always will love) the dystopian genre. And that made me happy because after 2020, I wasn’t really sure if my love for the genre was going to change or go away or just stay exactly the same. I mean, when you’re living through a global pandemic, it can be a little hard to want to pick up a dystopian book.

But, if I’m being honest, reading Matched felt a little bit like coming home, which is only a thought I’ve had when reading a Neal Shusterman book. And I think a lot of it has to do with it being a dystopian novel about breaking down the boxes that people try to put you into and finding a reason to be part of something greater and bigger than yourself. It has everything that I’ve always loved about the dystopian genre: love triangles, a society that looks perfect on the exterior but is internally falling apart, a strong protagonist who wants to be someone, strong family ties, and those strong boys who are really just soft and broken by their past.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I absolutely refuse to pick one above the others because all of the books I’ve read this year are beautiful, so please just take all of them as an answer because that’s all you’re getting.

Goals for the rest of the year

  • Read at least seven more books. That way I can hit my goal of reading fifteen books in 2021.

  • Finish my Camp NaNoWriMo novel. I’m a little over 12k at the time of writing this post, and I’m really enjoying the drafting process for this book. It’s so different than the last time I did anything with NaNoWriMo, and I’m so grateful to have the time and ability to participate this month.

  • Participate in some book tours / blog tours. I’ve always loved participating in these and I seem to have missed all the big ones that just happened, so if you’re planning one soon, definitely let me know.

Let’s Talk!

What’s the best book you’ve read this year? Which new release are you anxious to read? Do you have a book that’s made you cry recently? Let’s talk in the comments about all the books we’ve read this year and which books we want to devour before the year is over.

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Bree Dawn is a voracious book dragon who believes in the power of stories. As a young girl, she always begged her parents to let her read “one more chapter” before bedtime. As an adult, she uses this same passion to craft dark stories with hopeful undertones for young adults who seek a glimmer of light in this dark world. Bree is currently working on her dystopian fantasy novel while consuming as many stories as possible.

14 thoughts on “2021 Mid Year Book Freak-Out Tag

  1. (Long comment warning lol)

    YOU’VE GOT SAM SUPREMACY! I feel like it actually sort of does something similar to what you mentioned about “The In Between” but without feeling morally compromising since it’s never fully explained or understood? In a way lol.

    Okay, YES to everything you said about Dystopian. I always thought I was crazy for it, but I still call it my old comfy blanket genre lol.

    To answer your last questions:

    – The best book I’ve read (that wasn’t a sequel) is “Dark of the West” by Joanna Hathaway.
    – “Six Crimson Cranes” by Elizabeth Lim is the newest release I NEED to read.
    – I don’t usually cry when I read books, but the one I know I last teared up to was “You’ve Reached Sam” (Another plug for this book😌)

    Alright, this comment is already absurdly long so I’m going to stop now. Needless to say though, loved this post!! lol ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, haha, never worry about posting long comments. The voyager community thrives on long comments. ❤

      Ugh, now I want to read it EVEN MORE! I love book that explore grief in a really unique and fascinating way, but that do so without making me feel like I'm dabbling in dark things that God wouldn't want me reading, y'know? I'm so excited to read this book, thank you so much for reviewing it, because idk if I would've ever added it to my TBR without that review.

      Oh my goodness, yes, I'm so glad someone else related to dystopian as a comfort genre. It sounds weird to write it, but it's just true!

      Ack, I haven't heard of those two books, but based on our (fairly) similar taste in books, I'll be checking those out for sure.

      Thank so much for reading and sharing your thoughts, my friend. I love seeing you here. <3333

      Liked by 1 person


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, this is so fun – I might steal this tag, too! I’ve been wanting to read The Infinity Courts; I’m really excited. Also, I reread We Were Liars recently, and Second Chance Summer is one of my all-time favorite books for a summer reread!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Just popping in to recommend Summer Blue Bird by Akemi Dawn Bowman. I read it during the beginning of this year and I loved so much! It has moderate language, but it was such a good story about grief and it really hit me hard.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, haha, I misspelt the title even though I checked it. >_< It is so bad that it's hilarious. Anyway, it's actually called Summer Bird Blue (which you may or may not know know now, hehe).

        Liked by 1 person

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