Hello friends!! Welcome to the 2022 edition of the mid year book tag. We sometimes call it the mid-year freak out… but that implies I only freak out at mid-year. Which is categorically untrue. So, I’m now calling it a book tag.
Also, I am fully aware that it’s no longer ‘mid year’. I try to do this post in July every year. But last year I didn’t post it until October. So at least it’s earlier than that!! If you’d like to see previous years’ posts, please click these links: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018.
I’m now trying to remember how long I have been blogging (because I very rarely do anniversary posts) but… I will have to use two hands now. I’m up to seven years this November, which is just crazy.
Disclaimer: I will not be using any rereads to fill the prompts (except the reread one). Only books I have read in 2022 that are new to me. Also, I am going back to pick and choose from the ranged list of questions out there, as there do seem to be multiple versions of this tag flying around. And I’m don’t want to answer ~25 questions. I am tired.
So, let’s get started!!
2022 mid year book tag
How much you have read
As at the end of June 2022, I had read 44 books out of my goal of 100 (44%). Which, is the worst fared that I have been at any mid-year point for my goals to date. In terms of percentage, anyway. Even now I’m still trying to play catch up, being 5 books behind where I should be.
What you have been reading
According to my spreadsheet, about half romance, a quarter fantasy and a quarter contemporary. With a few sprinklings of thriller, historical fiction and paranormal. So, about the same as what I normally* read.
* ‘Normally’ in this context means since 2020 when the world changed and I needed more ‘happy’ books in my life.
Best book you’ve read so far
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure if it’s just because it’s the most recent 5 star book that I’ve read. But Book of Night by Holly Black is going to take out this spot. For now.
Book of Night is Black’s first adult fantasy and I was keen. I have loved most of the dark, twisty YA books of hers that I have read. (Noting that I didn’t like all of the short stories, and I haven’t finished The Curse Workers.) But, the world-building and the magic systems in Book of Night absolutely blew me away.
I cannot recommend this book enough. And while I actually would have been happy to leave this as a stand-alone, I believe it’s been confirmed that she is writing a sequel. So, fingers crossed we get that in the next year!
Best sequel you’ve read so far
I would say that House of Sky and Breath is here because it was on equal footing with the only other sequel I have rated 5 stars this year. But that book is going down with the ‘book that made me cry’ section. So just keep that in mind.
It’s funny though, because I’ve seen so many reviews from people who hated this book. I think it helped (for me) that I literally read House of Earth and Blood, and then picked up the sequel immediately. It was definitely beneficial in terms of following the story because I absolutely would have forgotten things.
But now we wait… I don’t think there’s even a title for the next book, let alone a release date. So I guess we just keep waiting?! But I liked this. And I’m really glad that I didn’t see the spoilers for it that I know ruined it for a bunch of others.
New releases you haven’t read yet, but want to
Books that I have received or bought this year that I haven’t read yet include:
- Gallant by V. E. Schwab
- Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean
- Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater
- Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson
- The Cursed and Broken by Chloe Hodge
- This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede
- The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
- Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Reading a whole lot of fantasy at the moment has me super keen for Kerri Maniscalco’s finale, Kingdom of the Feared. Like, I could not be more eagerly anticipating it. I basically have a countdown on my phone, and I have already preordered it. Just waiting for the postage notification…
Also, I bloody hope it IS the finale and we don’t end up down the same road as I did for season 4 of Stranger Things. You know, where the last thing you saw said it would be the final, but then you’re halfway through the second last episode and you’re all “… I’m confused. I thought this was the last season and there are A LOT OF LOOSE STRINGS HERE, PEOPLE.” And then you google it and it turns out there’s a whole other season coming.
Not that I’m disappointed. But I was expecting something else.
LOL. Midnight Sun is my only 1 star read of the year… but I was expecting it to be rubbish, so it wasn’t that disappointing.
So instead, let’s focus on a book I was genuinely excited for, and was thus disappointed. Which would probably leave me with The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black.
Is it contentious that Holly has written my favourite book of the year AND my biggest disappointment? Maybe. But I think this is just a product of her writing getting better over time.
These books came out 10 years apart, and while some of the stories in Poison Eaters were good, I think Black’s narratives come across better when they are more fleshed out. A lot of the short stories felt rushed or unfinished.
I bought Displacement in December 2020, and at the time I remember thinking “Oh, this sounds good.” And then, like most book collectors I know, I went home and put it on a bookshelf. Ostensibly (not intentionally) to gather dust.
So, when I was looking for books that I could smash through pretty quickly in January to give myself a head start on my reading challenge, I grabbed it.
Despite being an odd mash-up between historical fiction and science fiction, I feel like this is the kind of book that should be discussed at high school. Because the content is important.
Displacement talks about the awful actions that were taken against Japanese-American people during WW2. It talks about their experiences in internment camps and how their rights were taken away. It’s probably one of the most important graphic novels you could read.
Underrated gems you’ve discovered
This is a selection of my underrated gems for 2022:
- The Kings of Nowhere by C. G. Drews
- Displacement by Kiku Hughes
- The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel
- The Spare by Miranda Dubner
- Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron
- Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin
- A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin
Books you have reread this year
After watching Heartstopper on Netflix, I went through a smol Alice Oseman reread… These are all of the books I have reread this year.
- Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Oseman
- Heartstopper Vol 2 by Alice Oseman
- Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Favourite new author (debut or new to you)
ARGHH!! I’m not entirely sure that I can pick just one… So I’m going to pick three. (And no one can stop me…)
- Sajni Patel
- Farah Heron
- Vanessa Len
Book that made you cry
You know that meme, Excuse Me Sir, Do You Have a Moment to Talk About our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? That’s me, but replace “Jesus Christ” with “Mr De Lainey”. Because Mr De Lainey is worth his weight in gold. Or diamonds. Or whatever is the highest selling commodity based on weight at the moment.
The Kings of Nowhere by C.G. Drews (aka PaperFury) is the most amazingly beautiful story in the world. And I cried HARD. Pretty much from beginning to end.
It’s also the sequel to The Boy Who Steals Houses (which I also cried a lot in). And C.G. has also released a prequel novella (a prequella?) called The Girl Who Stole Christmas. You’ll never guess. I cried reading that too. Like full sobs. At the car wash. Technically, in the cafe at the car wash place. In front of staff and other customers. It was a time. And now I can never return.
This book, which everyone needs to read, is available on C.G.’s Patreon account, where you can read the entire book now. But read book 1 first.
Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year
If I don’t say Netflix’s adaptation of Heartstopper, then I would be lying. I’m absolutely adoring that Netflix is getting the author’s involved in translating books into series now. Leigh Bardugo is heavily involved in Shadow and Bone, and Alice is actually writing the screenplay and scripts for Heartstopper. And, I haven’t seen it yet, but from what I understand, Gamian was also involved in The Sandman.
This is what all book lovers deserve, and not some randomly changed plot points to create more drama. We don’t need changes. We just want to see our favourites, living their best (canon-plot-based) lives for us to enjoy, in another format.
Favourite blog post published this year
Speaking of Netflix’s adaptation of Heartstopper, on 1 May this year I published a post that took me a week to write. Mostly because I had to rewatch Heartstopper about 4 times (oh the tragedy) with lots of pausing and rewinding, and then a lot of searching for specific covers through the depths of Goodreads. The post was all the books Isaac reads in Heartstopper.
It might not look like much with its 21 likes and 14 comments, but that post (for some unknown reason) garnered me (in its first two months if we’re just doing to June) more than 6,000 views. Which is insane when you think that my blog got 15,000 views in total last year.
So, thank you to everyone who visited it. I really loved writing it, and yes, I do plan on doing it all over again when seasons 2 and 3 drop.
Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received so far this year
Technically I got this book in July (because post-gremlins), but since it was the March FairyLoot book, I’m including it. The Girl Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh is a beautiful book in a normal edition. BUT, FairyLoot when above and BEYOND in their edition.
The slightly recoloured edition is so beautiful. It has stenciled edges, a foil image naked hardcover, AND end pages with such beautiful art.
I’ve linked an instagram account (@rantingbooklover) who shared photos of all of the aspects. I think this might be the most beautiful book I own. EVER.
Book you need to read by the end of the year
I’d actually like to have read The Dreamer trilogy by the end of 2022. I LOVED The Raven Cycle, and I’ve been buying copies of the Dreamer trilogy as it’s been released, but I’ve been saving them to read in one go. AND I think I’d like to do a Raven Cycle reread beforehand… which means I should probably start soon!!
Goals for the remainder of 2022
My main goal at the moment is to just get through 2022. I am behind on ALL of my goals, personal and bookish. And even though I’m now referring to September (as opposed to June), I am WAAAY behind on blogging and blog-hopping. I did get a new job at work at the end of June, which has recently resulted in a promotion — which is amazing. But it has left me with less free time than I had anticipated. (Sorry Top 5 Tuesday-ers! I will be catching up!)
But I’m hoping I get into a new groove soon, which will mean I will be back living my best blogging (and reading) life soon!!
So. This only took two and a half months to write. Which at this point in time is about average for me. Also, does anyone do an end-of-year version of this? Like, why do I only get to tell you about my biggest surprises and underrated gems for the first half of the year?? Maybe we should start a quarterly one of these. Although, I am not that organised. 😂