Okay, I know we’re a little past the halfway point of the year, but look at me finally getting around to doing the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag! I’ve been thinking about my post far too hard for far too long. The pressure!
My reading this year has been a little like a roller coaster. I’ve also been reading whatever the hell I want and focusing on backlist books in particular, so don’t be surprised if you see several older titles amongst my picks. It doesn’t have to be 2022 releases, just books you’ve read in 2022! Once again, I’ve challenged myself not to use the same title more than once during this tag. That made me think a little more about what I selected and why. It would’ve been so easy to use the same 2-3 books for nearly every answer, but I wanted to be more intentional than that.
So without further ado, here’s my contribution to the Mid-Year Freak Out tag madness. 😉
Best book you’ve read so far in 2022
Why is it always so damn hard to pick a single best book? I’ve read some great books so far this year, but The Dead Romantics is the one I can’t stop thinking about. It’s unlike anything I have ever read and it hit me in all the right ways. From the focus on family to the portrayal of grief to the “how in the world are they going to get a HEA” romance, everything was handled with humor and heart and I love it more than I can really explain.
Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022
After being (mostly) disappointed/unsatisfied by S2 Bridgerton (the first time I watched) I needed to right that wrong. After rereading The Viscount Who Loved Me, I decided the only thing to do was continue on with the series. (I hadn’t finished the series at that point.) Turns out Francesca and Michael were everything I needed in my life. Their story is a perfect mix of friends first, second chances, and unrequited (or is it?) love.
New release you haven’t read yet but want to
I read my first B.K. Borison last year and fell head over heels for her writing. I pre-ordered In the Weeds the second it was listed and I still haven’t read it. I have no excuse either.
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
I do have an ARC of this book, but I’ve also been putting off reading it until closer to release, which is August 23 by the way. I loved The Love Hypothesis so much and I’ve also really enjoyed Ali’s STEMinist novellas this year. So needless to say, I have high hopes for this one. I’m just waiting for the right moment to read it, but it’s getting harder to not just dive in, too.
I never thought I would DNF an Elle Kennedy book. We’ve been through everything together — college hockey romance, romantic suspense featuring mercenaries and even dystopian romance. But I just couldn’t deal with this book. The whole frat boy vs townie and plot to make a fool out of an innocent woman just isn’t my jam.
Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised about this one because it came highly recommended and had many glowing reviews, but I am. To be specific, I’m more surprised I liked it as much as I did. It’s no secret I’m a romance reader through and through. I tend to stick to what I know. This wasn’t romance, but it was absolutely wonderful. I can’t say enough good things about it.
Favorite new author (debut or new-to-you)
Listen, I’m going to need more Anita Kelly books, like, ASAP. Her writing, her characters, literally everything about Love & Other Disasters was perfection. I read it twice before publication if that tells you anything. And this post is perfectly-timed because she just revealed the cover for her next book, Something Wild and Wonderful, this morning!
Newest fictional crush
*swoony sigh* I loved Jake so, so much. I mean, I loved every little thing about this book, but Jake was basically the cherry on top. He was just so sweet, funny, kind and had the biggest heart. I’m also like *this close* to having a girl crush on Marley, too. So it’s really a two-for-one with this book.
Newest favorite character
I loved both Claire and Delilah, but it was the latter who really got inside my heart. Prickly, grumpy characters aren’t always my favorites, but there was something about her that I loved and it made me want to protect her. I think it was the vulnerability underneath that prickly exterior. Regardless, she and this book are a huge favorite for the year.
A book that made you cry
The Wedding Ringer definitely skirted the line between romance and women’s fiction, but it worked for this story. There’s a romantic relationship and it’s great, but it was the focus on friendship that really did it for me. I especially appreciated the way it tackled friend breakups and the grief surrounding them. It hit home in a lot of ways and got me all up in my feelings.
A book that made you happy
Yes, a Christmas book in the first half of the year. I wasn’t quite ready to let the holidays go when the calendar flipped over. What can I say? I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book, but goddamn it was a delight. It has total National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation vibes which is perfect since that’s one of my favorite Christmas movies. I’m a sucker for a great second chance romance and believe me when I tell you this one delivered that right along with the holiday hijinks, wacky family goodness, some steam and more feels than I expected.
The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received so far this year
I struggle with this one every year because what makes a book “beautiful”? Is it the cover? The content? Well, I’m going for both this year. There are very few books I collect special editions or foreign editions of, but anything Mariana Zapata writes is on the list. Especially when it’s my most favoritest book ever, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. I spent a small fortune to get this book from Canada, but it was worth every single penny.
A book/books you want to read by the end of the year
As has been the case in the last few years when I’ve been focusing less on new releases and more on backlist reads, there are A LOT of books I’d like to get to before the end of the year. Book Lovers is certainly high on the list. I’ve enjoyed each of Emily’s books so far, but I also feel like I need to be in a specific mood to read them. I’m sure it’ll happen sooner rather than later.
Did you do the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag?
If so, leave your link. I’d love to check out your answers!
What have been some of your favorites of the year so far?