2022 Mid Year Book Freak-Out Tag

It’s that time of year again, folks. I did this tag last year, and I want to keep the trend going. I know that I just did a tag, but you cannot get mad about me throwing tags in your face when I’ve been making such good content (yes, that is *mostly* sarcasm. Please don’t come for me.) So, without any further ado, let’s get into the tag.

Oh, and I follow Cait’s tag format from her blog, Paperfury.

How much have you read?

I’ve read 23 stories this year. I say stories instead of books because some of them have been short stories, but Goodreads counts them as books, so who even knows anymore. Anyway, I’m really happy with this number because this is usually how many books I end up reading by the end of the year, so to reach this many halfway…it’s a good feeling.

What have you been reading?

I’m always really surprised at how much fantasy I read, but this year is my unofficial deep dive into the fantasy realm. I don’t regret any of it, either. My friends recommend lovely fantasy books, and they have good taste, so my fantasy reading game has been strong. Also, I’m fairly lenient with my star ratings, as you can see. However, I did give one book a 2.5 rating because it just…didn’t grab me like I wanted it to? Besides that though, I’ve had a really good reading year in terms of ratings.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2022

I have loved many of the books I’ve read this year, but none have come even close to These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (at least not until I finish Six of Crows). My review of this duology is set to publish in about a month, but I cannot recommend this book enough. The characters are so complex and intricate, the plot had me racing to try and keep up, and the sexual tension between Roma’s knife and Juliette’s gun is wild. Also, I feel like I’d be part of the White Flowers, but please confirm or deny in the comments because I’m very curious what you think.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022

I dived into the Grishaverse this year and devoured the Shadow and Bone trilogy within a couple of months. I didn’t like Leigh’s writing style at all in the first book, but the second one intrigued me. A lot of other people have said that nothing happens in Siege and Storm, but I disagree. It’s a lot more politics, but the first third of the book contains some of the most action, which I really enjoyed.

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

I don’t even remember how I found out about this book, but the minute I saw the cover and read the blurb, it was on my TBR. I mean, it literally has everything. Ghosts? Check. Writer? Check. Editor? Check. Romance? Check.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I refuse to choose only one book when there are four that I’m waiting to read. The Dragon’s Promise is the sequel to Six Crimson Cranes, and it releases the soonest on August 30th. Wishtress is Nadine Brande’s upcoming fantasy novel, which comes out on September 13th. Foul Lady Fortune is the first in a spinoff duology set in the same world as These Violent Delights, and is available on September 27th. Finally, We Could Be Villains is Megan McCullough’s debut superhero novel that comes out on October 3rd.

I’ve also preordered The Dragon’s Promise and Wishtress, and will order the other two as soon as possible.

Out of your comfort zone

This book was recommended to me last year by Maddie, and I finished it early in 2022. I honestly don’t know if I would have ever picked it up if she hadn’t recommended it, so I’m gonna say this was *technically* out of my comfort zone.

Biggest surprise

Tessa and Weston: The Best Christmas Ever really surprised me because I expected it to have the same problems as 100 Days of Sunlight. So, you can imagine my shock when this turned out to be the most delightful little holiday novel with a cozy romance and massive conflict. I read it in about three days, and I think it’s still the fastest book I’ve consumed all year.

New favorite author (debut or new to you)

Leigh Bardugo, hands down. While I still think the Shadow and Bone trilogy is a mess in terms of the writing, Six of Crows has converted me. I’ve also read the her work the most this year, including the Shadow and Bone trilogy, The Tailor, and The Demon in the Wood. (I believe Leigh is going to be my most-read author by the end of the year, which will be amazing because I’d lose my mind if Shakespeare was my top 2022 author, lol).

Underrated gems you’ve discovered recently

I haven’t read a lot of underappreciated novels this year, so I’m gonna plug a couple of the short stories I’ve read and really enjoyed. The first one I read was The Weight of the Dead by Brian Hodge, which is a really gritty dystopian with incredible prose. If you don’t like descriptions of decomposing bodies, I’d recommend skipping this one. Next up is A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong. This is a very well-written story, but it can be a little hard to follow because it time jumps a lot and uses poetic language. The third and final short story is The Era by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, which is a dystopian sci-fi piece about a world where the truth is always told, no matter how painful or rude. All of these stories are free to read online, and I’ll link them below:

Rereads this year

I generally don’t reread books very often, but I reread The Taming of the Shrew earlier this year. It felt even more sexist and misogynistic than I remembered, but I did enjoy seeing the different ways that people interpret the final scene.

Book that made you cry

I actually wish that I’d cried harder while reading Our Violent Ends, but it only made me tear up at a few parts. My expectations were a little too high, and as a result, the ending felt a little lackluster to me. It was a perfectly good ending, but it just felt off to me, which is a very unpopular opinion because literally everyone is screaming and crying about this book on Goodreads.

Book that made you happy

There You’ll Find Me was a very cute little book that made me very happy…until the last third of the book happened. The way the characters handled Finley’s eating disorder made me want to rip out my hair, but everything else was adorable. Also, it’s set in Ireland so the scenery and imagery were top tier.

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

I bought more than one beautiful book this year, so you get four. The Six of Crows duology I bought on Amazon because I couldn’t wait any longer to meet Book Kaz; The Genesis Wars was probably the first book I bought in 2022; and Stepsister was my proudest find at my local used bookstore because it’s actually an ARC.

Goals for the rest of the year

Okay, let’s see…

  • Read at least seven more books. I really want to hit my reading goal for this year, and I’m so close it’ll be a tragedy if I fail now.
  • Read all the Grishaverse books. This means finishing Six of Crows, and then reading Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars, Rule of Wolves, The Language of Thorns, and The Lives of Saints.
  • Post more book reviews on my blog. I have my review for the These Violent Delights duology scheduled, but I’d like to do a Shadow and Bone trilogy review, as well as a Six of Crows duology review once I finish them.
  • Redo my bookshelf. I’ve preordered some books that will come later this year, and my bookshelf is currently not ready for them. So, I really need to figure out how to make more space and shuffle some books around.

Let’s Talk!

Which Grishaverse series is your favorite? What’s the best book you’ve read in 2022 so far? Has any book surprised you? Do you like reading short stories? Let’s talk about all the 2022 bookish things in the comments!

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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.

3 thoughts on “2022 Mid Year Book Freak-Out Tag

  1. Wow, that is a lot of fantasy! But I can’t say I blame you…there are so many amazing fantasy books out there! Seeing the breakdown of what genres you’ve been reading is fascinating…I should do that at some point.

    Wishtress is gonna be awesome! Definitely an anticipated release. 🙂

    I have been very skeptical of Tessa and Weston: The Best Christmas Ever…but with your endorsement, I might need to add it back to my TBR…

    I’ll look forward to seeing your reviews! From my brief exposure to her, Leigh Bardugo is not my favorite, so I’m curious to hear from someone who really likes her work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Best Christmas Ever is definitely worth reading, but it was also exactly what I needed it to be when I read it, so I might have more critical thoughts if I reread it now.

      Well, I did not like Leigh’s writing at ALL in the Shadow and Bone trilogy. It felt very amateur and did way too much telling rather than showing. However, her writing seriously leveled up with Six of Crows to the point that it doesn’t even feel like it was written by the same author. So, I’d definitely recommend Six of Crows over Shadow and Bone.


  2. I haven’t finished the Grishaverse books yet (I have Crooked Kingdom sitting on my shelf), but I believe I became a fan of the universe when I finished Ruin and Rising. That ending both surprised and satisfied me. I was really worried that I was going to hate the trilogy, but the third book gave me everything I never knew I needed in that story. Of course, Six of Crows made me fall even more in love with the world. It’s my favourite so far. Though I haven’t watched the TV show yet, the news of it happening made me realised just how MUCH I was obsessed with all things Grishaverse. XD

    My favourite book of this year was Edge of Fates, the sixth episode of On Wings of Ash and Dust serial series by Brittany Wang. It was so EPIC.

    I really like how you weren’t completely positive for both book that made you cry and book that made you happy. Usually I noticed with this tag that when people answer those questions that they completely love the book that made them cry and laugh. At least as far as I’m aware from the mini review. Who knows if they do have problems with them. But that’s the point I’m making – you actually mention issues you had in your short summary about them. I just really enjoyed reading that. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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