Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag | Better Late Than Never

It’s been a minute since I did a tag on here.

So I’m here today to do the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag. I love this tag, because it’s a great way to reflect on my reading year so far and look back on all the wonderful (or not so wonderful) books that’ve gone by.

The original creators of this tag are Ely and Chami. Check out their channels!

Best book so far in 2019

Ah, the dreaded question. LOOK I DON’T KNOW OKAY. I’ve read some stellar five stars this year, but I’m gonna go with Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett. It’s not a 2019 release, but I read it this year, so I’m going with it!

It may very well be because this is the most recent five star book I’ve read, but I just can’t stop thinking about this one and recommending it to all of my friends. It’s fun, has major summer vibes, and one of the most best romances I’ve read in a while.

Honorable mentions to Small Town Hearts, Sadie, The Poet X.

best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee takes the cake on this one.

This is a sort of sequel/companion to The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would! Felicity was a lot of fun in the first book, but in this one, she really shone. I loved the female relationships and friendships. This book does a really amazing job at showing that there is no one way or “right” way to be feminine, or a woman, or strong.

If you loved the first book, or even if you didn’t, I’d absolutely recommend this one!

new release you haven’t read yet but want to

I’m going to use “new” in the strictest sense of the word here (because if I didn’t, this list would be a mile long), and just go with some books that came out in the last couple months!

I Wish You All the Best, I Wanna Be Where You Are, Technically, You Started It, and Red, White, and Royal Blue.

most anticipated release for the second half of 2019

Again, so freaking many, so I’m going to go for one I haven’t seen much buzz about: Michigan vs. The Boys. Basically, this book is about a female hockey player who joins the boys hockey team after the girl’s hockey program is cut in her town and dealing with the backlash of it.

I’ve been especially excited for this one since I read Cold Day in the Sun by Sarah Biren, because this also featured a girl on the boys hockey team (and I’d definitely recommend it!)

biggest disappointment of the year so far

I’m really sad that I have to say this but… Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

I’m in no way saying I didn’t like this book (I gave it a solid three stars), but I definitely expected a whole lot more. I did adore the writing and the setting was so rich, but the characters, especially the love interest, were so flat and surface-level and I feel like it tried to accomplish a lot of themes without actually delving deep enough into any of them to make me care about the main character’s struggles.

biggest surprise of the year so far

Nothing is better than reading a book you expected would be decent and it actually knocks your socks off. Thanks, Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale.

I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this one earlier this year and I totally expected it to just be a three star summer romance, but WOW. This writing blew me away, especially considering it’s a debut. The setting was rich and detailed, and the romance was so charming. If you haven’t picked this up yet, it is the perfect book for summer, and you can read more of my thoughts in my review! Five stars!

new favorite author (debut or new to you)

I feel so cheated, because I waited until last month to finally read a Jenn Bennett book.

Alex, Approximately sat on my bookshelf for almost three years and, as I mentioned above, it turned out to be my favorite book of the year so far. Jenn Bennett surprised me out of nowhere, and I am so excited to continue on reading her romances. Good thing I’ve got Starry Eyes on my shelf!

newest fictional crush

Are you sick of me talking about Alex, Approximately, yet? Too bad. Peter Roth is the most swoony, charming, and just awesome love interest I’ve read in a long time. Not only that, but he felt like a really realistic character, too. As much as I love him, he’s still flawed, and I’m glad that Bennett made him such a human character. (Also surfer boy?? And science geek?? Sign me up.)

newest favorite character

I don’t want to get too repetitive and talk about Small Town Hearts yet again (although Babe, the main character, is such a powerhouse), so I’ll mention a new fave from my current read: Hugo from Field Notes on Love.

Hugo is so sweet and kind and tall and I’m having such a good time reading from his perspective (and just reading this book in general!). I feel like his struggles with his family are very relatable if you also have siblings, because a lot of the issues he’s dealing with, I’ve definitely felt in the past. If you like trains, family dynamics, and film, check this one out!

book that made you cry

This is weird for me, because I usually like to read books that are a little sad, but no books have made me cry this year… yet. No book has even made me particularly sad. Guess I better pull out the tissue box for the second half of 2019 because this must be rectified immediately.

book that made you happy

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins! This duology is just such a light-hearted fun one that reading it just keeps me in a good mood. Also shout-out to My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, because even though the first book is still my favorite, this book was still super funny and such a joy to read.

favorite book-to-move adaptation

If you asked me this a few months ago, I probably would’ve hoped my answer would be The Sun is Also a Star, but while the book remains a favorite, the movie did not even touch it.

So I’ll go with Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott for this one. I read the book last December, but the movie came out this March and it exceeded my expectations! They preserved so many parts of the book. I cried like a total baby.

favorite review you’ve written this year

Self-promo time. 2019 is the year of fangirling so hard in my reviews. I used to hate writing reviews because I had trouble articulating my thoughts, but practice truly does make perfect, because now, I really love doing it.

That being said, my favorite review this year is probably the one I did for You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn. I gushed like crazy in this review but I also think it was at least semi-coherent, so check it out!

most beautiful book you’ve acquired this year

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell. I loved this book so much, and I barely see people talking about it?? It’s such a spectacular sci-fi. And the cover is equally spectacular. So, so beautiful.

Sidenote: I was so positive I had posted a review of this book on my blog way back in March but I never did? It’s just sitting in my drafts? What??

what books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I always act like the biggest Katie McGarry stan, but I haven’t read her 2019 release yet, so I’ve got to get to Only a Breath Apart. I also want to give some of the fantasies on my shelf some love, because they’ve been sorely neglected this year. That means A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Nocturna, and The Gilded Wolves.

I wanted to end this post off with good news: I‘m two books ahead on my Goodreads challenge! I know two books isn’t exactly a glorious lead, but I’m used to being two books behind, so halfway through the year, this is certainly something to celebrate.

How did the first half of 2019 go for you reading-wise? Blogging-wise? What were some of your favorites? Least favorites? What new releases have you not read but will OBVIOUSLY be reading in the coming months? Got any new favorite characters? Tell me in the comments! 🙂

Stay bookish,


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