The Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag 2021

So, hi!

I’m back… I think. Sort of. TBD. I have been in such a rut with reading and reviewing and blogging lately–I haven’t read any of your posts in a couple of months and I feel terrible about that–and I think waiting until I’m 100% back on my feet is a fool’s errand at this point so I’m just going to kind of ease back into this.

And I do this tag every year and the thought of letting it pass me by made me sad so I’m doing this a month late and not counting anything I’ve read post-June 30.

Past years:

2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Question 1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2021

I haven’t had the most amazing reading year but these were the three huge standouts: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, and Edie Richter is Not Alone by Rebecca Handler.

Question 2 – Your favorite sequel of the year

I’ve only read one but luckily I loved it–The Lost Fairytales by Anna James.

Question 3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to

Klara and the Sun by my favorite author. I honestly haven’t been in the mood to pick this up and I don’t want to force it when I don’t feel like reading it, but I’m definitely hoping to get to it by the end of the year.

Question 4 – Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Would you guys even recognize me if I didn’t say the new Sally Rooney? (No, I didn’t get an ARC. I don’t want to talk about it.)

Question 5 – Your biggest disappointment

Absolutely hated this–hands down the weakest title on the Women’s Prize shortlist, imo. Review (and more Women’s Prize coverage) to come.

Question 6 – Biggest surprise of the year

Hands down. Why do you all hate this book?! Review to come, again.

Question 7 – Favourite new to you or debut author

This book just ticked so many boxes for me. I’ll be reading anything Rebecca Handler writes.

Question 8 – Your new fictional crush


Question 9 – New favourite character

Pass again.

Question 10 – A book that made you cry

Wow, pass again!

Question 11 – A  book that made you happy

A very fun romp through Ancient Greece written by a friend. Review–you guessed it–to come.

Question 12 – Your favourite book to movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year

The 2021 adaptation of Romeo & Juliet starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor absolutely blew me away. My expectations were honestly low going in (I’m not a purist when it comes to Shakespeare adaptations but I also didn’t see how trimming a 3-hour long play down to an hour and a half without losing anything was going to work) but this is honestly one of the best Shakespeare adaptations I have ever seen, and also one of the most timely pieces of media, as I felt so much of it served as an allegory for life under the pandemic.

Question 13 – Favourite book post you’ve done this year

Allow me to talk to you about my passions

Question 14 – The most beautiful book you have bought/received this year

This one is very striking in person.

Question 15 – What are some books you need to read by the end of the year

I’m in a book club where our next three books are Wide Sargasso Sea, Rebecca, and The Little Stranger. I’ve already read Rebecca but I’d love to re-read it if possible, and I do need to read the other two.

While we’re here, can I solicit some advice on which book to review next? I need motivation. Let me know what you’d like to see me review:


The Revolt


House of Glass

Jane Eyre


The Girl Who Died

The Vanishing Half

Survive The Night



The Other Black Girl

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

Daughter of Sparta

Swimming in the Dark

The Wars of the Roses

At Night All Blood is Black


Mansfield Park

29 thoughts on “The Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag 2021

  1. This tag is so irresistible! I really need to pick up Transcendent Kingdom at some point.

    I’m going to selfishly say Ariadne and At Night All Blood is Black, both of which are books on my TBR and I need to know how far up or down my list they should be, Swimming in the Dark because once upon a time it was supposed to be our 3-way buddy read (lol) so I’m curious how you felt about it, and of course I must read your passionate defense of Mansfield Park (which is my third fav Jane Austen, so I’m definitely not a hater)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am having a hard day and told myself “okay, whatever the first blog post in your feed is, you have to read and comment on it”, to break out of my rut – and look who I find!!

    I would like you to review Magma because I’m quite intrigued by it. You should really do a disaster woman round up, if you haven’t! But I would also like to hear what surprised you about Mansfield Park.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fate just keeps bringing us together Laura!!! I must have sensed that you were having a hard day and that my blog alone could cure you of it.

      Magma is the only ARC on that list so, sold, I can definitely do that first. And Mansfield Park WILL be getting its impassioned defense, fear not.


  3. Great to see you back! Although How the One-Armed Sister… is the only title I haven’t yet read from the WP shortlist and I am very concerned that you think it is worse than Unsettled Ground, my most miserable reading experience of the year so far 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is so validating because I also didn’t like Unsettled Ground at all and I’m finding the praise baffling (will catch up with your blog today–hopefully you’ve reviewed it!!) But yeah, One-Armed Sister is in a league of its own as far as terrible WP shortlisters go, I’m afraid. Very curious to see what you’ll make of it but I will be very surprised if you like it tbh.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ru is written and scheduled, I think for tomorrow! Jane will be interesting to review, it was my second time reading it and I loved it just as much but in different ways. I need to figure out how I want to approach that. One-Armed Sister review is nearly ready too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. YES MANSFIELD PARK !!!! i feel like your support for this book is going to single handedly stop it from being called austen’s worst book. like sorry guys mansfield park isnt austen’s worst book, rachel said so 😌😌😌😌

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oof, Klara and the Sun has been THE biggest slog for me. I hope for your sake that it lives up to your expectations!

    I was glad to see your thoughts on How the One-Armed Sister… I couldn’t get further than a few pages into that one, so I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one to find the writing a turn-off.

    Don’t beat yourself up about unreviewed books. Seriously, a paragraph on each would be fine, if anything. If you get a chance, I’d like to hear why The Vanishing Half was underwhelming for you, and I need inspiration to go back and try again with Migrations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Noooooo don’t say that 😂 But happy that I could provide validation re One-Armed Sister. I’m actually surprised at how many people seem to have loved the writing style?!

      Oh yeah it’s not a beating myself up situation, it’s more like, this is something that I’ve been seriously missing in my life and needed inspiration on how to get back into it (but I think I’ve cracked the code, somehow, since I’m on a 9-day posting streak…)

      The Vanishing Half is reviewed and scheduled for tomorrow! Ooh how far did you get into Migrations? I’m probably going to talk about this in my review, but when I started reading it I thought “oh fuck no, this writing is awful” and would have put it down after 20 pages if I weren’t reading it for a BookBrowse book club, BUT it turned out to be one of those books where it’s so transparent that the author workshopped the hell out of the first chapter to submit to agents and the result is this overwrought, melodramatic crap, but after that the writing REALLY mellows out. It’s still that sort of Lyrical Writing Style but the desperation leaping off the page in the first chapter pretty much dissipated. I actually ended up loving it!


      • Ah, very interesting! I read the first 22 pages of Migrations. I didn’t get drawn in by the prose, but it has been such a huge word-of-mouth hit among my Goodreads friends that I knew I should try again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s about when it started picking up for me! I’d definitely give it another try if I manage to sell it to you in my review, lol


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