Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello, my lovely peeps! Life’s been busy, so it’s back to mostly reviews on this site, but I haven’t done a tag in a while, and it feels like the middle of the year was the perfect time to post one again. Today’s tag is going to be the Mid-Year Freak Out tag. I did a different mid-year review tag last year, but I’ve been seeing this one everywhere and wanted to give it a go. The creator of this tag is Ely over at Earl Grey Books, so make sure to stop by there to say hi as well!

(Click on the book covers for a link to their Goodreads page)

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2022

I read a lot of great books this year, but my favorite may have been Perdido Street Station. It may have been a hard-to-read book at times (both because of the dense writing and events/descriptions that were difficult to stomach), but the writing was stellar and the plot was pretty insane; the main antagonist being moths whose very nature made the demons from hell flee in horror. See my review here!

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022.

Not much of a surprise here. I’ve been reading a lot of standalone books and starting new series lately, but of the series that I have started (and continued on), there’s one that I will always find my nose in: The Virgil Flowers series. Ocean Prey, however, is a combination of John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series and his Lucas Davenport (Prey Series) books and was probably one of my favorite reads of the year. I loved it so much, I ended up buying it a second time as a paperback to my hardcover. Before you judge me, though, it’s also because the hardcover I got was misprinted and missing the last two chapters. Check out my review here!

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

Last year, I read Sons of Valor by Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson via NetGalley audiobooks. I enjoyed it so much; felt every rush during engagements, and felt the cold fear run down my back during other confrontations. It was a great book and I ended up getting the e-book as well during a sale. The second book in the series, Violence of Action, was released back in early June, and I’m really looking forward to reading it soon.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

The next book in the Virgil Flowers and Prey series is coming out later this year. I have an e-ARC from NetGalley, but I am very much looking forward to getting myself a physical copy when it releases. Righteous Prey by John Sandford will be out this October!

5. Biggest disappointment.

I think I may have mentioned this before in another tag, but while no books this year were really true disappointments, if I had to choose one of my 2022 finished reads, I would say that Not A Drill by Lee Child came pretty close. I have read a few of the Jack Reacher books, and they were also so exciting. Sure, this may have been a short story, but it was a bit too short, and I even felt a little bored with it. You can find my review on this book here!

6. Biggest surprise.

Ten Tomatoes That Changed the World: A History by William Alexander was surprising[ly] good. I have only recently started to really enjoy nonfiction books, but I’d mostly kept to memoirs and biographies. A book of tomato facts in a subgenre I’ve never heard of (microhistory) was not on my list of books I’d thought I’d enjoy to the point of putting a grin to my face. Yet, I loved the book so much that my mom had to leave the room in case another tomato fact came spilling out of my mouth (again). I knew it would have been fun, I was surprised on the level of entertainment I got from the book. You can read my review for it here!

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

This is hard! Far removed from my days of sticking to a single (or two) genres and a rotation of the same 3-ish authors, ever since I started Cozy with Books, I’ve really started to enjoy all sorts of different reads and authors. Most of my books, this year, are from new authors, so here are a few whose titles I really enjoyed.

Sarah Jio
A.J. Sherwood
Travis Baldree

8. Newest fictional crush.

I honestly don’t think I’ve had any new fictional crushes after Royce & Hadrian (Riyria Chronicles) and Virgil (Virgil Flowers), so no new crushes this year!

9. Newest favorite character.

Ryn, from A Mark of Kings by Bryce O’Connor & Luke Chmilenko. A horse that shape-shifts (but is not really a horse) with crazy powers, talks to people via the mind, and is older than your grandpa and your great grandpa, and your great great grandpa, and your great great great grandpa, and your many more great grandpas…you get it. He’s ancient, wise, powerful, loyal, and a major badass! You can read my review of A Mark of Kings here!

10. Book that made you cry.

I’m always a blubbering mess with books. The last book that had me sobbing was The Bookshop on Primrose Hill by Sarah Jio. Having started somewhat slowly, it quickly picks up speed, and by the end, I was sobbing for both Eloise and her daughter, Valentina. Check out my review of it, here!

11. Book that made you happy.

Ten Tomatoes That Changed the World was the last book to have me grinning like a goofy schoolkid having discovered the planets and dinosaurs for the first time. However, for the sake of not repeating a book for this tag, I also really enjoyed #Rejected Goddesses by Natalie Watson & Nina Holmes. It was such a lighthearted read and though both protagonists’ love lives were a mess in the beginning, with a bit of luck, family, and friends things eventually end on a happy note. You can read my review for it here!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

That would be A Mark of Kings by Bryce O’Connors & Luke Chmilenko. Not only is it my prettiest book this year, but it’s a gift from my brother, who had gone down my Amazon wishlist and picked the present based on cover alone! That’s two votes!

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer is the third and final book to the Shattered Sigil trilogy and I have yet to get to it. It’s been on my Kindle forever and on my TBR even longer! The first two books were amazing (though, more so the first) but I tend to freak out and get intimidated by larger books (anything 500 and above pages). I really hope to get to this final book soon, and if “finishing the trilogy” isn’t enough motivation, time sure is. I need to read it before I begin to forget the first two books!