Mid Year Freak Out Tag: 2020 edition

Hello, friends and foe! I hope all is well. Today, I’m doing the Mid Year Freak Out Tag! I saw everyone doing this tag a couple of weeks ago and was feeling left out, so I decided to hop on the bandwaggon two weeks later and do it myself (I actually wrote this a while ago and just never posted it).

So, without further ado, here is the 2020 Mid Year Freak Out Tag!

Best book you’ve read in 2020

I’m going to have to go with Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I read it, and I read it in about a day. It was so good, and ended up meaning a lot more to me than I was expecting.

Best sequel you’ve read in 2020

I actually haven’t read a single sequel yet this year, which honestly isn’t all that surprising for me. I do plan on reading a couple in the next few weeks, though, so stay tuned for that!

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

There are a few I’m excited for. I cannot wait to read Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown, and The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya. They all sound amazing and right up my alley, and are all gorgeous. I’m also really excited for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, despite it being slightly controversial.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I don’t think it’s out yet, but I am SO excited for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. It sounds so interesting, and I actually really like the cover despite Twitter thinking it’s boring.

Biggest disappointment

I think I’ll go with This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I was expecting to love this book because it seems exactly like something I would love, but I ended up giving it two stars and almost DNF-ing it. I just did not like the writing style at all. It was so hard to get through.

Biggest surprise

I have a couple. Middlegame by Seanan McGuire completely blew me away. I’ve read one of McGuire’s books before and enjoyed it, but wasn’t amazed. But I was so invested in the characters and their story. I loved this book so much. The other book is Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. I knew nothing about this book, so I went in with no expectations. And I ended up giving this five stars because it was perfect and I think everyone should read it. 

Favourite new author (debut or new to you)

In terms of new-to-me authors, Carmen Maria Machado is definitely a standout and I will absolutely be reading everything she writes. In terms of debut authors, Rory Power was a 2019 debut, but I read her debut this year, so we’re counting it. I am definitely intrigued enough in her ideas and writing and will be reading her next book for sure!

Newest fictional crush

I don’t really have fictional crushes, so next!

Newest favourite character

I really enjoyed Maia from Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. She’s a really great main character and narrator, and I normally hate female leads in YA fantasy because authors just can’t seem to write them, but I really loved her.

Book that made you cry

Station Eleven made me cry. (cw: parent death) My mom passed away in March, and a few weeks before, we were talking about what happens after death. She said she imagined it was like the sensation you feel when you wake up from a really realistic dream. A month after she passed away, to the day, I was finishing Station Eleven, and Dr. Eleven is talking to his nemesis about dying and asks, “what was it like for you, at the very end?”, to which the nemesis responds, “exactly like waking up from a dream”. So that made me cry.

Book that made you happy

Check, Please! By Ngozi Ukazu was so sweet and cute and I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading it.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim is so gorgeous, but I technically got that for Christmas 2019. So I guess we’ll go with The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures by Noelle Stevenson. My best friend Charlotte got it for me for my birthday/Christmas and it’s so pretty and I’m so excited to read it.

What book(s) do you need to read before the end of the year?

I have four left on my 2020 backlist TBR: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore. I’m excited for all of them and will hopefully be reading them soon!

So there we have it! Some of the books I’ve read and loved or not loved this year! Have you read any of these? What’s been your favourite book of this year? Biggest disappointment? Let me know!

Ally xx

22 thoughts on “Mid Year Freak Out Tag: 2020 edition

  1. Love this post, Ally!! I’ve had Station Eleven on my TBR for years and haven’t picked it up yet, but reading about your emotional connection to the book was so moving and really conveyed your strength!! I’ll definitely be picking it up soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad to see that you enjoyed Ayesha At Last! It was a great book. What you said about how dying feels like, wow, that feels quite possible. You’ve renewed my interest in Station Eleven, I took it off my TBR cuz I read some not so stellar reviews. I am sorry to hear about your mother, though. My grandma passed last month, too.

    I want to read Middlegame and This is How You Lose the Time War(still interested in checking it out someday because TIME TRAVEL BABY :P) I also like the Addie LaRue cover, it’s different from all the usual formats despite it looking a little bare. And girl, I’m the opposite of you, I have soooo many fictional crushes I can’t even see the end of the line xD

    Great post btw! Enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ayesha at Last was SO GOOD, I’m so glad you loved it too! I know Station Eleven isn’t for everyone, but it really worked for me!

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother 💕💕

      Middlegame is amazing, and I still definitely recommend This is How You Lose the Time War! It was definitely a case of me, not the book. And so glad you agree about the Addie LaRue cover! I feel like everyone on twitter was let down, but I think it’s so pretty.

      LOL maybe you can share some of your fictional crushes with me!

      Thank you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you ❤

        Hahahaha, sureee, some of my faves would be Bellamy Blake from The 100 by Kass Morgan, Echo from Failsafe by Anela Deen, Abel from Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, and Edan from All These Monsters by Amy Tintera. The 100 is the only one I haven't read but watched. I hope you'll get the chance to read them one day!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha, I don’t know how the later seasons are but I watched 1 & 2 and they were fantastic! Bought the first book on kindle but haven’t gotten around to it, and lol, now I’m locked out of that account >.<

        Liked by 1 person

  3. i agree with you on Middlegame! it was such a pleasant surprise how much i loved it. 🙂
    your story about the line from Station Eleven lowkey almost made me cry too ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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