Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Rose Red's 2021 Mid-Year Freakout Tag

It's been a hot minute since we've done a book tag on the blog and one of my favorites to watch and read has been the Mid-Year Freakout Tag (created by Chami) for years. I've loved seeing this tag take off even more Instagram this year so I decided to answer the questions myself on the blog even though I'm a bit late. 

I've had a great but weird reading year so far. During the school year I leaned hard into rereading old and new faves to make it through. Also, can we just appreciate how great novellas are when you don't have a lot of time to read. They are seriously the hero of my reading year while we are in school. 

And I wouldn't be me if I didn't tell you some of my reading stats for the year so far. Out of the 86 books (18,659 pages) I've read in the first half of 2021, 34% were rereads and 52% have been new releases published in 2021. Over 90% of the books I have read have been queer reads and 93% of my reads can be classified as romance. I've only read 4 debut novels but I have read 21 new-to-me authors. I've had a really great reading year so far and I'm super excited to see what the second half of the year brings.

So on to the tag questions!

 Best Book You've Read So Far in 2021

This was probably the hardest question of the whole tag. I've read a ton of awesome books this year but if I make the deadline June 30th for books I can include in this tag I have two that stick out. I adored One Last Stop by Casey McQuestion! It was full of queer found family and sapphic longing and topped with a bit of time slip mischief. I loved it so much! I've already reread it. The second one that stands out is A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. Y'all! This may be a novella but there is so much to unpack from the narrative. I recently saw Becky's books described as a whole as Hopepunk and it is so true! It especially applies to this book! I can't wait to read more of this series and more solarpunk books as a whole.

Best Sequel You've Read So Far in 2021

I've read a lot of series continuations this year that I've really enjoyed but my favorites so far have been Best Laid Plans by Roan Parrish, Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs, and Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells. I'm not going to say what I love about each of them because spoilers but trust me that they are all amazing sequels in their respective series. I really loved them all so much!

New Release You Haven't Read Yet, But Want To

 Gah! There are so many new releases that I have bought this year and haven't read yet despite being super excited for them. These are the first three that came to mind when I started thinking about this prompt. I don't know why I haven't read each of these books other than a slight fear about being hit right in the feels by each of them. I know that both An Echo in the Sorrow and Soulstar are going to pack a wallop for sure. And I honestly can't tell you why I haven't read Blood Heir besides the fact that it released during the busiest time of first semester and I just never had the time to pick it up after that.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

I have a lot of books that I am way excited for in the second half of 2021 so it was hard to narrow it down to just three. And these are the three books that I would give my first born child to have in my hands right now. Love Springs Eternal is the fifth book in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer series and it is Daniel's book! I am dying waiting for this book. I just need Daniel to get his HEA and if its with a certain immortal fae warrior it will be even better. And I can't even quantify my excitement and anticipation for Archangel's Light! WE'RE GETTING AN ILLIUM AND AODHAN BOOK! Every time I see this cover I get excited all over again. The last book I'm excited for is Freya Marske's A Marvellous Light which has been described at Red, White and Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell which I am totally here for!

Biggest Disappointment

 I really wanted to like Yes, Daddy because I had heard a lot of praise and hype from bloggers and bookstagrammers I trust for book recs. Unfortunately, this book wasn't for me. I can read heavy and dark things as long as there is some hope for the characters going through everything and this book was missing that. It was traumatic experience after traumatic experience with no hope in sight so I DNFed it around the 50% mark.

Biggest Surprise

My biggest surprise of this year was how much I loved The Tribulations of Ross Young, Supernat PA by AJ Sherwood! This book was cute and hilarious and I get a silly grin on my face just thinking about it. This was a fun episodic tale of a remarkably unshockable human getting pulled into the supernatural world to work as the personal assistant for a clan of supernats. It made me laugh until my sides were in stitches. It also has an adorable queer romance in it that made me swoon just a bit.

Favorite New Author (Debut or New-To-You)

Okay. I have to answers for this prompt. For favorite debut author, I have to go with Everina Maxwell. I read Winter's Orbit earlier this year and I loved it so much! It was full of political intrigue, pining, and was very much a gays in space contender! I loved everything from the worldbuilding to the characters to the romance! I can't wait to see what this author writes next! As for the New-To-Me Author, I finally read an Adrian Tchaikovsky book and it was so weird and delightful! I've been hearing awesome things about this author for a few years now and if One Day All This Will Be Yours is representative of his writing style, I can't wait to read more! It was fun, weirdly philosophical, and more than a bit cynical. It was awesome!

Newest Fictional Crush

 Jane Su. My newest crush is the Jane Su. If you want to know why, go read One Last Stop. It's pretty self explanatory.

Newest Favorite Character

I've loved so many new characters this year, but there's something about grumpy yet soft-hearted Kit Webb that really grabbed my heart. I just need more books with him and Percy being gay and doing crimes. I also really want a book that involves Kit's fence. And I can't tell you how excited I am for the next book about Marian! The wait may kill me.

Book That Made You Cry

 This book made me cry. This book touched on everything from gender to sexuality to family dynamics. The high school I work at read this as part of our summer book club and reading it with a bunch of students who could relate to different parts of this right now just made me really emotional. I also may have cried during the Zoom meeting where we discussed it. This book needs to be added to every YA collection and school library.

Book That Made You Happy

I've read a lot of books that have brought me joy this year but I can't even quantify how happy this short story collection set in the world of one of my favorite series. I loved getting to see more of Liam and Ondry! This book makes me smile just thinking about it.

The Most Beautiful Book You've Bought/Received So Far This Year

The award for the most beautiful book I've bought this year hands down goes to Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell. Look at those silhouettes with the different sci-fi landscapes in each! This book is just so pretty!

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

I want to read so many books by the end of 2021. Some of the books I'm hoping to get to this year are the above nine. I really want to have all of these read by December 31st but we'll see how it goes.

What is your favorite read of the year so far?

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