Um how is it the end of June 2021 already? I feel like it was only yesterday that I was doing 2020’s Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag during lockdown… and here I am back in lockdown again. One of my reading goals at the start of the year was to read a little bit every single day and I haven’t quite achieved that but I’m proud to say that I’m reading a bit more than I did last year. So hopefully I’ll have some okay answers to some of these questions… even though I’m already 17 books behind my Goodreads goal. Jeann and Bec will also be giving their answers to these tag questions too!
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?
Jeann: This is a hard one because I’ve read so many amazing books! But it’s definitely The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin which I read for The Name of the Book Club. It’s probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021?
Jenna: Can I say Chain of Iron again?
Bec: A Dance with Fate! It’s my only highly rated sequel that wasn’t a reread.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
Jenna: Jeann recommended Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean to me a few weeks ago and I purchased it right away because it seems right up my alley. I’ve got the copy here and I just need to find the motivation to sit down and read it. Ooh also Rule of Wolves, which Jeann has already read and reviewed.
Jeann: I’m ashamed that I haven’t read The Other Side of Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner yet (which Bec has reviewed), given I got it when it was released!
Bec: I could list so many books here because I’m the worst when it comes to reading new releases quickly. A Court of Silver Flames, The Prison Healer, and Rule of Wolves are some I’m most looking forward to reading.
4. Most anticipated release for second half of 2021?
Jenna: I’m really looking forward to the next Simon Snow book, Any Way the Wind Blows. It’s out next month and I’ve already preordered it! Aila, Jeann and I did a discussion review of Carry On a few years ago and I’ve also reviewed Wayward Son.
Jeann: I’m pretty excited about She Who Would Became the Sun by Shelley-Parker Chan! It’s an Asian own voices military fantasy based on the Ming Dynasty and I’m totally keen.
Bec: Does Witchshadow count if I haven’t received my pre-order yet?
5. Biggest disappointment?
Jenna: I love YA contemporary novels and I was particularly interested in Meet Cute Diary because of its cute premise and its great LGBTQIA+ representation. Unfortunately, even though it delivered in a lot of aspects, I wasn’t a fan of the main character or the plot.
Jeann: A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer, after loving the first two books, the series just got progressively worse. The last book was a poor follow up to the last two books that featured such strong heroines and I felt like it just went backwards in terms of the plot .
Bec: From Blood and Ash. I thought I’d enjoy this because I usually do agree with the hype but alas, it was not to be. I liked the plot concept and the world but had a lot of frustrations with the story structure, writing, and pacing. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood.
6. Biggest surprise?
Jenna: The biggest surprises of the year for me so far are Talia Hibbert’s The Brown Sisters books. I knew that Jeann really loved them so I was expecting to enjoy them but I was surprised by how much I loved every single one of them! The characters are so well written and so easy to root for and I love that the books have so much great representation.
Jeann: I think it must be Gideon the Ninth. I actually DNFed it the first time I tried to read it. It’s also a very confusing book to read where I just had no idea what was going on, but when I reached the end of it, I was totally obsessed!
Bec: The Simple Wild and The Last Migration. The Simple Wild I knew I would enjoy because I love K.A. Tucker, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. The Last Migration is a completely different genre to what I normally read and the writing and story as a whole left me speechless (I have a full review for it coming soon).
7. Favourite new author?
Jenna: Talia Hibbert!
Jeann: N.K. Jemisin, definitely not a new author but a fantastic genius storyteller which I will now forever rave about.
Bec: Chloe Liese! She’s a romance author who writes inclusive stories, with characters who experience a range of disabilities, chronic illness, and mental health problems and/or are neurodivergent (with #ownvoices for autism rep in some of her books).
8. Newest fictional crush?
Jenna: I don’t think I have one?
Jeann: No one laugh at me (especially Bec) but it’s actually Hawke from From Blood and Ash.
Bec: If I listed all the heroes I loved from books I read this year we’d be here for ages.
9. Newest favourite character?
Jenna: Again, I don’t know if I have one just yet? I do love all three of the Brown sisters though.
Bec: I am too indecisive for this!
10. Book that made you cry?
Jenna: I reread The Infernal Devices trilogy at the start of this year and needless to say, it was a cryfest throughout the entire reread.
Jeann: I was totally ugly crying by the end of The Fifth Season, I didn’t expect it to traumatise me so much. But also The Burning God by R.F. Kuang. Why do I love books that wreck me?
11. Book that made you happy?
Jenna: I’ve read so many books that made me happy for different reasons but Take Me Home Tonight really put a smile on my face with all of its fun action and adventure.
Jeann: As Jenna mentioned, Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean was such a fun read that made me happy! I also loved the books by Talia Hibbert and The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.
Bec: Second First Impressions. It was so adorable and made me laugh a lot.
12. Favourite book to movie adaptation you saw this year?
Jenna: I don’t think I’ve seen any yet this year? I’ve been putting off watching Bridgerton and Shadow and Bone on Netflix but I’ll definitely get to them in the second half of this year!
Jeann: Yessss definitely Shadow and Bone, omg it made my Crow heart so so happy. They really nailed it!
Bec: I think the only adaption I’ve seen in 2021 is Shadow and Bone? I really enjoyed it.
13. Favourite review you’ve written this year?
Jenna: I think I love my A Pho Love Story review the most… but probably only because it’s been one of my favourite books of the year so far.
Jeann: I’m quite fond of my review for The City of Brass, simply because it’s so hard to pinpoint what I loved about books that I really enjoyed!
Bec: I don’t know if I have one at all? For any point in my reviewing career.
14. Most beautiful book you bought so far this year?
Jenna: I love love LOVE the cover and aesthetic of A Pho Love Story. The hardcover is extremely beautiful and has the best texture! I also got the Illumicrate set of The Infernal Devices and of course those are super beautiful too with the sprayed edges and cogs design.
Jeann: It’s definitely the Fairyloot Ember in the Ashes set that I ordered earlier this year! Just look at how beautiful it is!
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15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Jenna: I mean… do I really need to read anything?
Jeann: I don’t really need to read anything, but getting through my TBR would be nice. Ha ha ha…
Bec: Just more of my physical TBR honestly. Nothing specific (I’m a mood reader so as soon as I say I plan to read something I am guaranteed to NOT read it).
I’m feeling really positive about the second half of 2021. I hope you’ve all had a great reading year so far and that the rest of 2021 will be just as great!
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