Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag // Gushing about my 2020 reads + me trying to be concise

For some reason, it is already July?

Which means it’s time to look back on the year (in terms of my reading) so far. I always love doing these sorts of posts, and I’ve read some pretty good things in the first half of the year, so I figured I would do this post before it got too late.

And yes, I know I disappeared for a few weeks? I’m really trying not to do this, but some personal things came up (+ rising senior stress) so that I wasn’t in the best headspace to blog. But I’m back, and I’m really going to try my best to be consistent. You all are such gems and I love you all so much ❤️

Note: I’ve omitted some questions I find irrelevant or couldn’t come up with answers for, so this is going to be shorter than others’ answers for this tag.

It is what it is, I suppose.

GENERAL STATS AND MUSINGS

Screenshot 2020-07-05 at 11.18.06

So, I’m on track with my reading challenge? I will be the first to say that I have read significantly less than I have in previous years.

… I read like 75 books in the first half of 2019? … who is she.

I’m not complaining though. Because while I have been slumping, the quality of my reading has increased significantly.

Quality over quantity, am I right?

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BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1) by R.F. Kuang

This is 130% going to The Poppy War! I’m super happy that 2020 has been a year of some really great reads, but this was absolutely EVERYTHING I wanted. The writing, the Asian influence, the nuance and the narrative …

Happy Sigh GIFs | Tenor

But don’t get me wrong, this was a painful and stressful experience. While I didn’t like the Dragon Republic as much as this one (it was still great though!), it made me find a new favourite author and ah!! I love this book so much 🥰🥰🥰

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BEST SEQUEL OF THE YEAR

Amazon.com: Heartstopper Volume Two (9781444951400): Oseman, Alice ...

Not going to lie, this question was a bit harder for me since I didn’t end up reading many sequels in the first half of 2020, but for variety, I’m going to say Heartstopper, Volume 2. I haven’t talked enough about how much I love this series (but to be fair, the series gets plenty of hype already), but this is so wholesome, cute and I just love it so much. And just the Britishness of it all, I guess.

Also, I need the next volume ASAP. Hurry up @/2021!!

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NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1) by Cassandra Clare

I am … deeply ashamed to admit this, but there is a glaring answer for this … which is Chain of Gold. I love the Infernal Devices and have heard nothing but amazing things about this. Honestly, the only reason I haven’t read this is because I haven’t got a physical copy of this. I’m trying to hold off a little because it’s so expensive! 😭😭😭 But honestly, I just might cave because I really want to read it soon.

Also, my clown self accidentally saw a spoiler when looking at the cover of the next book, and I am upset.

Very upset.

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MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE(S) FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir 45857086. sy475

We are going to have a whole post about this at some point over the next few weeks, if everything goes to plan, so I’ll just talk about three that I’m super excited about.

Which are coincidentally … Asian books?)

Look, we all know how much I love Darius the Great Is Not Okay, read: it is my entire brand and the fact that it has a sequel on its way? I am diseased and ecstatic (but also begging it not to disappoint me).

I’ve been waiting for A Sky Beyond the Storm for two and a half years, and I can’t wait to see how everything pans out. I’m definitely scared because Sabaa Tahir is not nice to her characters, but please, just be nice to my favourites. Aka my queen Helene Aquilla ❤.

And if you’ve been on my blog for the past two months or so, you all know how much I ADORE the Poppy War. I’m terrified about what will happen in The Burning God, but also excited to see how everything wraps up!

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BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli Amazon.com: Time of Our Lives eBook: Wibberley, Emily, Siegemund ...

If we’re talking about general things, I would 100% put the potential of 2020 and the Roaring 20s here, but we’re talking about books.

C’est la vie, I suppose.

For this answer, I’m pretty torn in between Yes No Maybe So as well as Time of Our Lives. I’ve loved Albertalli’s works for such a long time, but with each new release she’s come out with, I’ve liked it less and less. This one was just way too on-the-nose for me to enjoy and read kind of young, too?

As for the latter, we all know how much I love Wibbroka’s work and the concept of college tours was meant to be a winning combination for me, but it was not, and I am very upset about it.

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BIGGEST SURPRISE

Anna K: A Love Story (Anna K, #1) by Jenny Lee

I’m really going to have to go with Anna K here. I was definitely expecting to enjoy it before going in, but I really did not know how much I loved it. When reading it (especially that last third), I just felt so sucked in and truly invested in the characters and the plot. I cannot wait for the sequel.

If you want to know how much I loved it, I loved it to the point that it made me actually want to read the original Anna Karenina. And we all know how afraid I am of classics like that, so!

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FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR (NEW TO YOU OR DEBUT)

The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1) by R.F. Kuang

I really did promise that I would not repeat myself here, but I really have to go with R.F Kuang for this one. Her writing is just simply so phenomenal and sucks me in, and she makes me love characters who are just oh so despicable but also who are deeply complex. How she writes anti-heroes is just absolutely everything *chef’s kiss*. Also, I love her Twitter account and she’s literally lowkey someone I look up to. She is just such an icon and wow, we have to stan her ❤

<small>Also, the fact that the Poppy War only made it twice here? Proud.</small>

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BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

This has to go to Know My Name! When I say this book changed my life, I wasn’t being dramatic. It made me see so many issues in the world and experiences that I had in a completely different light. While this was incredibly difficult to read (it did take me two weeks to read it), it was so worth it. Every word of this was powerful, painful and something that everybody should read. I had to hold back full-on sobs when reading this book and Miller’s victim statement, and like wow. This book is absolutely everything to me, and I am just in my feels.

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BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Look, I know like so many people have read this, but I have to put down Tweet Cute for this one. This book was so perfect and so cute and literally everything I wanted from it. I love the characters and the romance (and yes, the setting) so much that I really want to re-read it as soon as I can. I can’t wait for Emma Lorde’s next book!

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BOOKS TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

Here’s the thing: I’m planning on making a post about this, so I’ll save most of the list until then! But for now, I’ll just talk about five books that I really need to read before the end of the year.

Rebecca : Daphne du Maurier : 9781844080380 A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell The Silence of Bones by June Hur Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1) by Cassandra Clare The Great Gatsby - Kindle edition by Fitzgerald, F. Scott ...

  • Rebecca: I’ve been reading this on and off for quite some time, and I really just want it finish it this year. From what I’ve read so far, I love it, and I’m really hoping that I do end up loving this.
  • A Phoenix First Must Burn: A SFF anthology surrounding the black experience (especially those of black women and gender non-binary characters)? This sounds amazing and everything I’ve ever wanted.
  • The Silence of Bones: Another one that I’ve read some of and have really liked! This is a Korean-inspired psychological thriller set in 1800s Korea, if I’m not wrong? This sounds like an automatic 5-star read.
  • Chain of Gold: See question three. If I don’t read this by the end of the year, please call me out because I am a fake Shadowhunters fan if I don’t.
  • The Great Gatsby: Another classic that I desperately want to read! So many of my friends love F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I just want to give this one a shot. I have watched the adaptation, but you know the rules: the book is better than the movie.

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So, how has your year (in terms of reading and life) been so far? What are your favourites (and least favourites) of the year so far? Any books that you’ve read here? Which of these should I prioritise?

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and doing well ❤️

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26 thoughts on “Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag // Gushing about my 2020 reads + me trying to be concise

  1. I always love reading this tag! The poppy war is so good! Can’t wait for the last one 🙂
    Also cannot wait for A sky beyond the storm!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah I LOVE all your answers!!

    Warning,,, Chain of Gold gives you ALL of the emotions hehe.

    I SUPER SUPER SUPER need to get my hands on Volume 3 of Heartstopper omg. I NEED IT NOW *insert heart eyes*

    I also have severe FOMO and must-read The Poppy War asap. High fantasy scares me… send help hehe

    Also very much looking forward to Anna K. Tweet Cute is THE BEST and omg such a delight. Definitely a happy making book and I must reread soon. I just want to re-experience it all over again

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Ruby! I’m so excited and scared for Chain of Gold, and I can’t wait to see how I feel about it! Heartstopper Volume 3 was so cute, and I really hope you get to read it soon.

      About the Poppy War – I will definitely say that it being an adult high-fantasy series really scared me at first too, but I think it’s totally worth it! Please do take note of the content warnings before proceeding though; it’s a very graphic book and isn’t for everyone.

      I really hope you enjoy Anna K, should you read it. It was such an enjoyable but also heartwrenching read, and diverse too! And YES to Tweet Cute being a delight to read. I am so close to doing a re-read of it in July because I miss it that much 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read Tweet Cute at the very beginning of the year and I’m happy to see that you loved it as well – it’s got so many wholesome vibes 🥰 I’m also a bit nervous about Yes No Maybe So because I feel like I like Albertalli’s works less and less as well 😅 One of my reading highlights this year definitely was Darius the Great and I’m excited about the sequel as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yay!! I’m so glad to hear that you loved it too 😊❤️ Maybe going in with no expectations for Yes No Maybe So would be best if you’re worried about being let down? I defo went in with pretty high hopes, so it wasn’t surprising that I felt disappointed.

      It makes me so happy to hear that you loved Darius and that you can’t wait for the sequel either, I hope we both love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ahh you read so many amazing books this year!! the poppy war is amazing and i can’t wait for you to read chain of gold! yikes i’m a little worried to read time of our lives so i’ve been putting it off 👀 and yes!! tweet cute makes me so so happy too 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. congrats on being ahead of your reading schedule! i heard amazing things about chain of gold, so hopefully you’ll enjoy it as well!

    i am not surprised at al to see darius the great deserves better in your list, because i feel like it has been on everyone’s! this makes me really happy, i don’t see this book being talked as much on like book tube and such, but it’s quite popular in the book blogging community! (i think the same can be said about anna k, though i know it was very talked about on book twitter). and considering how much i know you loved the first book, i hope this sequel does not disappoint!

    i really like the great gatsby’s movie, and i even thought about writing a re-telling of the story at one point! i heard a lot of people saying it’s not as intimidating as other classics, so hopefully you’ll enjoy it!

    hope you have a great month ahead, taasia!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lais! I really hope that all goes well with Chain of Gold and that you enjoy it 😊 Honestly, no one is surprised to see Darius the Great Deserves Better on my list, because we all know how I feel about it, haha. I’m so happy to hear that so many people are excited for it to come out! And I 100% agree with what you said about it being significantly more popular in the book blogging community in comparison to Booktube, because I rarely see people read it there? I do remember Anna K being talked about quite a fair bit on Twitter, especially around when it was released. Tbh, if the sequel does disappoint, I will probably (definitely) cry.

      Ahhh I really do hope you write that retelling of the Great Gatsby! I’m sure it will be great and I can tell you for sure that I would love to read it ❤️ I hope you have a wonderful July 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. me seeing the poppy war as your best book of the year 😎 i love spreading the poppy war agenda!!! you of course know how much i love it and how excited i am for the burning god, i can’t believe rin’s story is going to end 😭😭 and i hadn’t heard of rebecca until recently (i saw it once for the first time a few weeks ago and now it seems like it’s popping up everywhere for me lmao) but it sounds interesting and i want to read more classics so i might pick it up too!! congrats on being ahead of your reading challenge and i hope you have a great last half of 2020 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We stan the Poppy War agenda (and you, ofc!) I’m so excited but scared to read the Burning God, we all know R.F Kuang really has no mercy for her characters 😭 I hope you really enjoy Rebecca if you pick it up! From what I’ve read of it so far, the plot and atmosphere are so interesting, but the writing can be hard to get through. I hope you have a great last half of 2020, too ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I actually hadn’t heard of Heartstopper before I saw Tiffany mention it but I’d love to read it! You do need to read Chain of Gold… I’m trying to figure out what spoiler you got from the cover of Chain of Iron but I can’t haha. I’m on page 400 of Anna Karenina and I really want to read Anna K! Also The Poppy War, I have a copy right now but I’ve been busy… Rising senior stress is a mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heartstopper is actually so cute and I really hope you love it if you pick it up! You can literally binge all three volumes in a day and have a blast with it 🥰 I got the Chain of Gold spoiler from accidentally reading the first sentence of the synopsis, actually 😭 i should not have gone on that goodreads page …

      okay, but respect to you for reading Anna Karenina! i hope you’re enjoying it, and that you enjoy Anna K if you read it after Anna Karenina! The Poppy War is literally PERFECTION and I hope you can read it soon! Rising senior stress really is something, sending you lots of hugs and support ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved reading this post!
    Tweet Cute is definitely a book that made me happy, I loved it – one I can see being a comfort read for sure. It’s a shame you didn’t like Yes, No, Maybe So. I did enjoy that one and gave it 4 stars I think? But I definitely agree that it did read a little young and it’s not my fave Abertalli book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emme, you are too sweet and I do not deserve you 😭❤️ Tweet Cute is literally the cutest delight and I am so happy you loved it too! I’m really glad that you enjoyed Yes, No, Maybe So – I can definitely see why others would like it, it’s mainly the writing that threw me off, I think. To be honest, Simon is a pretty tough book to top, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahh, I need to finally get to The Poppy War – everyone loves that book and I’ve owned a copy for ages. Hopefully I’ll get to it this summer. I read Tweet Cute this year, and I agree, it definitely made me happy! (Although I’m pretty weird, I suppose, because it also stressed me out at first!? All the academic pressure and the expectations from the mom were A LOT, but it got less serious as the story progressed, I thought.) Hope you’ll get to all the novels you’re planning on reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Poppy War is so amazing, and I do hope you get to read it this summer! Just please take note of the trigger warnings, though! Yeah, I totally get what you mean by the pressure and feeling second-hand stress from Tweet Cute, because I remember that was pretty heavy, especially at the beginning. Hope you get to all the novel you’re planning on reading too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved reading all your answers for this, Taasia!! I hope you’re doing well, sending you all the love and positive energy.💗

    I’m really wanting to read Heartstopper, and this post just solidified that I need to do so soon! It looks so cute and I need a good wholesome read in my life. I’m looking forward to the sequel to Darius the Great so much too, this reminds me that I should reread Darius the Great sometime before I can read the sequel…I hope you love it! Happy reading for the rest of 2020 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, Olivia! You’re too sweet to me and I don’t deserve you 💗 I really hope you enjoy Heartstopper, because that wholesomeness is something we all need, honestly! It reminds me that I should probably do a Darius reread too. Happiest of reading for the rest of the year, Olivia! 🥰🥰🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yayy, I’m so happy your reading year is going well! In terms of quality and being on track with your reading challenge! I am, unfortunately (though predictably) behind on my challenge 😅 But there’s time! Worst comes to worst I might just * whispers * lower my challenge.

    !! Your answers for most anticipated releases for the second half of the year are perfect! And absolute same. I can’t believe Darius the Great Deserves Better will be out in less than 2 months! And emotionally I know I’m not ready for Burning God.

    I hope the second half of your reading year goes well! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Chana 🥰 You’ve got your reading challenge, and even if you do lower it, there’s nothing wrong with that! Do what works best for you. I am NOT ready for Darius or Burning God, I am going to be reading these books with a tissue box and chocolate (aka my support kit), because we all know these books are going to send me straight to therapy! I hope the second half of 2020 goes well too!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well done for being ahead for your goodreads challenge, that’s incredible! I’ve also read Heartstopper V2 and agree it’s such a great sequel! Also super excited for A Sky Beyond the Storm, I’m currently reading the second book now and I’m hoping to catch up with the series before it comes out😊

    Liked by 1 person

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