Salutations Chapterlings! Yes, the theme has finally changed and brought back the sunflowers! Summer is in full bloom with never-ending heat, bees trying to sting my face, and the endless bumps on my skin that are bug bites. BUT! Despite all of this, I’m enjoying summer the best I can and I have been tagged by the lovely Lauren at Lala’s Book Reviews to do the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag! Can you believe we’re almost halfway through 2020? Where has the time gone?
So far this year has brought many hardships, many challenges, but I keep hoping that we’ll start to see change and something good will come out of everything happening in the world. Change is the only way for the world to grow for the future.
Anyway, if you’ve been following this blog, my social media platforms, then you know I’ve been very vocal about things happening in the world right now. And even though I’m getting back to a normal schedule and regular posting, I will continue to keep voicing those things on my platforms. As a quick recap, I have two blog posts that have specific links to help show support for the Black Community (Weekly Check-In & June 2020 TBR) and those posts don’t even scratch the surface. Please make sure you are signing petitions, using your voice and platforms, support Black authors and Black own businesses (like Black owned book stores), showing support and boosting the voices of Black LGBTQIAP+ organizations, etc… Things are far from over so please make sure you use your platforms and voices because that can bring about change.
Moving forward… I haven’t done a Mid-Year Freak Out in a really long, hot minute. So seeing Lauren tag me in this was like drinking a glass of ice cold water on a blistering hot summer day. And then it hit me. Have I had a good reading year so far? Did I read any books that I want to recommend to all the people? Where am I at with my goals, my personal challenges, etc…? Now, I get to unleash that chaos into this post.
🌻 Best book you’ve read so far in 2020? 🌻
This is a really hard answer. I had so many amazing reads so far for 2020 and I don’t know how to choose one. I think I’m going to choose Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. I was completely blown away by this book. From the chronic pain and illness representation to the way the main character and love interest fell for one another, my heart was so full because of this book.
🌻 Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020? 🌻
Hands down has to be Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa! I love The Shadow Fox trilogy (although I still need to read the third book in the series). I think I recommend this series to everyone all the time. I love it so, so much and I truly never stop talking about it.
🌻 New release you haven’t read yet, but want to? 🌻
I would have to pick Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon. This book sounds so sweet, so wholesome, and just a feel good time. This is a romance contemporary about two men who develop a slow burn romance for each other, but also brings back a slowly dying romance book club. Just do yourself a favor and read the whole synopsis because it sounds fantastic! Also, I believe a lot of his work is self-published. So if you haven’t picked this book up yet, go support this gentleman by purchasing his book and then tell me you bought this book so we can plan a buddy read!
🌻 Most anticipated release for the second part of the year? 🌻
Okay, ya’ll knew this was coming! You had to know it was coming! Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas for the win! I have posted about Aiden reading parts of their book, I have screeched about this book from the highest points of my social media, and I’m pretty sure Aiden is on the verge of telling me to be quiet with how often I’m telling them they’re making me melt with the constant overflow of fan art of Yadriel and Julian. Seriously though, I’m so excited for this book and Aiden is just a total cinnamon roll. September can’t get here fast enough. Plus, Adri posted an amazing reading vlog on their YouTube channel about this book that ya’ll need to watch!
🌻 Biggest disappointment? 🌻
I don’t think I’ve had one yet for this year. Keyword: yet. Most of the books that I’ve been reading haven’t gone lower than three stars, most recently the things I’ve been reading have been somewhere between four to five stars. I think the reason that my reading has been so good has been due to me really taking the time to ask myself these questions…
- Does this synopsis sound like something I would really enjoy? If so, why do you think you would enjoy this or what elements stand out to you the most that’s similar with past books you’ve enjoyed?
- Is this a book with diversity, ownvoices, or something you really feel drawn to or you’re excited to boost?
- Have you read the reviews for this book? Have you talked with your trusted reviewers and friends? Have/has problematic content or issues been addressed or brought to attention? If so, do you still think this is a book to put your time and energy into?
- What content and trigger warnings have been stated about this book? Are you in the right head space right now to read this book? If the answer is no, do your self-care and come back to this later.
Those are just some of the questions I’ve been asking myself recently when I’m purchasing books, making my tbrs, even when I’m pre-planning books I want to buy in the next year, I ask these questions and double check. I’m constantly editing, adding, or removing books based off these questions. Obviously, it’s not perfect and I’m sure there’s flaws, but this has really been helping improve my reading.
🌻 Biggest surprise? 🌻
Oh gosh, did I mess up and state a book too early?! Okay, let me think… I think I’m going to have to say that it’s a tie between The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones and Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi.
The Only Good Indians for so many reasons! This book is probably going to hold a very special place in my heart for a very long time. I interviewed Stephen and it was a truly incredible experience. Also, reading this book, it chilled my bones. I haven’t read a horror novel that chilled me the way The Only Good Indians did in a really long time. The reading experience alone is something I won’t be able to shake for a long time. And while I’m not Blackfeet, I am Apache and as an Indigenous reviewer, having an arc of this book… I can’t express how honored I feel, how seen I feel, and how grateful I am.
Emergency Contact was a book I had on my backlist for the longest time. I never picked it up because so many reviewers said they didn’t like it. Out of all my friends and all my trusted reviewers, only two seemed to enjoy it. So I was really hesitant to pick it up. So when the Backlist Readathon happened, I used this as an opportunity take a leap of faith and finally read it. It was so good. I can understand why many readers struggled with it, but to me, it felt like two very real teens struggling with their own issues. I have no idea why I put it off for so long.
🌻 Rereads this year? 🌻
The only books I reread for 2020 has been the InnBoons Boro trilogy by Nora Roberts. I promise I’m working on an overall series review because so many of you want to hear my thoughts on it as a whole. But I will link my review for each book down below.
🌻 Newest fictional crush? 🌻
Surprisingly, I haven’t found one yet. Keyword: yet. I have some theories on which books may hold a new fictional crush, but right now, those books aren’t on my radar at the moment.
🌻 Newest favorite character? 🌻
Ooooooohhhhh… this is a hard one. I’m going to go with… Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. I loved the side characters and our main three characters. Okay wait, when I refer to side characters, I’m talking the circus crew and Aros because they were fantastic. Even the wonderful and mysterious reporter we get introduced to near the end of the book, I loved her. It’s just a colorful cast and if you haven’t pre-ordered this book yet, please do so!
🌻 Book that made you cry? 🌻
Go read my review for The Sound of Stars. That’s all I have to say on that because just thinking about it, I’m getting a bit emotional.
🌻 Book that made you happy? 🌻
Despite the emotional moments in this book, I loved this book with my whole heart and it makes me so happy! If you haven’t read Check Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Stones yet, please change that right now!
🌻 Favorite book to film adaptation? 🌻
Sooooo… I don’t watch a lot of t.v. or movies… I think the last movie I watched was last year during the summer when my family was visiting…
🌻 Most beautiful cover you’ve bought this year (or received)? 🌻
Hands down, this award goes to A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown! The synopsis sounds amazing and I’ve heard nothing but good reviews for this book. On top of it the cover is STUNNING!
🌻 What books do you need to read by the end of they year? 🌻
All of them. Literally all of them because they all sound amazing and some of them are part of series that I need to finish, but I can’t read that fast and I get burnout so quickly. Or worse, my mental health will take a nose dive and then I have to claw my way out of the reading slump void to get back into reading.
🌻 Favorite post that you have done this year? 🌻
- The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones Review
- Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1) by Romina Garber
- 10 Books Paired with 10 Matching Songs
- 1 Year Blogiversary Part I & Part II
- Blog Tour: Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco
🌻 Favorite book community members? 🌻
I have so, so many! So here’s a small list of some of them!
- Kayla from Books and Blends
- Robin from Paperbacks and Planners
- Emer at A Little Haze’s Book Blog
- Destiny at Howling Libraries
- Rameela from Star is All Booked Up
- Mel from Meltotheany
- Dani at thunderbirdwomanreads
- Michelle from Thor Wants Another Letter
- Bethany at Beautifully Bookish Bethany
- Monte from itsmonteprice
- Brody at Et to, Brody?
- Allie from alliewithbooks
- Starlah at StarlahReads
🌻 Tagging: 🌻
Anyone who wants to do this and that includes the lovely souls above!
Okay, readers! I think those are all the questions (unless I missed some)! I had such a fun time answering these questions and some of them were so hard to chose answers for. Please feel free to tell me in the comments below if you have a Mid-Year Freak Out post so I can go check it out. Until next time, may you stay healthy, keep hydrated, stay safe, I love you! 💛