TAG: Mid-Year Freakout!

I don’t know if I would call this a “freakout” since I’m feeling pretty chill about my reading this year. It’s definitely way down as compared to usual, but I’ve found a steady rhythm that works for me this year. At the time of this being drafted, I’ve read 50 books (WOOOOOOO), which means I’m 67% done with my 75 total goal. I’m secretly hoping to get to 100 since I’m halfway there at the halfway point in the year, but we’ll see. Totally no pressure this year.

My sleuthing tells me that this tag was originally created by Earl Grey Books and ReadLikeWildFire, and I was tagged by Margaret @ Weird Zeal to do it. Thank you a million, Margaret, because y’all know I’m always read to shout about books!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

Wow, we’re just kicking things off with the most difficult question, huh. Let me tell you, I have read some stellar books so far this year. I had an ENTIRE MONTH of just four and five-star reads, so this is honestly really challenging. By, like, mid-February, I had three books for my Top 10 of the year, I just couldn’t stop. I think, however, we’re going to have to go with an expected one.

I just loved The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow so damn much. I had such high hopes going in since everyone seemed to be loving it, and then it was way better than I could have ever possibly imagined. I am ecstatic about Harrow’s new witchy book, and I can’t wait to just read literally everything she puts out.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?

This is so easy, I don’t even really have to think about it.

I am trash for these books, and Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan was the most perfect sequel to Wicked Saints ever. I legit just screamed out loud at the ending, which was really just me screaming for about 50 pages straight. It was wild, Serefin was everything and more that I’d hoped for, and I am living for this trilogy.

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

There’s so many? I keep seeing Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia everywhere, but I still haven’t read Gods of Jade and Shadow because I am The Worst, and I don’t like to buy multiple books by an author until I’m sure I like their writing style, but whew boy, it’s been hard to convince myself not to buy it. I also still haven’t read Dark & Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore, so fingers crossed that’s happening next month, and, because I’m feeling like I should probably call myself out, I also haven’t read Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost and Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare, both 2020 releases. We could definitely be here all day if I list the 2019 releases I still haven’t read yet, sooooo let’s move on.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

Oh, hiiiiii, I have a post going up about this next week! If I had to pick three (shut up, I’m picking three), I’d definitely go with:

Aside from Empire of Gold by SA Chakraborty, WHICH COMES OUT NEXT WEEK PREPARE MY COFFIN, Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody, which is the finale in the Shadow Game series, is going to absolutely ruin me. I really want to reread the first two books before it comes out, and since it’s still a few months away, I might be able to get away with it. But damn, I can’t wait.

I read all of The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris books in the span of, like, two weeks, and I was beside myself with sorrow that I couldn’t read the fourth one right away. I’m not usually this amped about a middle grade book, so I’m even more excited than usual.

And yes, The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen comes out in a couple weeks, and I only just read The Merciful Crow recently, but ya girl preordered the second book 75 pages into the first one, so my excitement level is THROUGH THE DAMN ROOF.

Biggest disappointment?

Well, this is easy. I wrote an entire rant/review about why I didn’t like These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling, and I am definitely not reading the sequel. Sadly, there are a few other big disappointments from this year, but I don’t really like talking about books I don’t like, sooooo moving on.

Biggest surprise?

Definitely NPH’s The Magic Misfits series! I knew that I was going to like it, but I never expected to binge read the entire series as fast as possible. It’s so, so good, and I really need more people to read and scream bout it!

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

There’s a lot, but my most favorite is definitely:

I just read Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender recently, and it both broke my heart and stole my heart forevermore. It was the sweetest story in the world, and even though it dealt with some fairly heavy topics, it was so full of light and hope and love, and I just adore it so damn much.

Newest favorite character?

I mean, it’s 100% Fie from The Merciful Crow. I have this Rhett McLaughlin thing where every time someone talks about Karou from DOSAB, I have to start screaming KAROUUUUUUU, and so I’m always on the lookout for characters that make me feel that way, and Fie is definitely a new one. 10/10 would follow her into any battle.

Newest fictional crush?

I totally respect people who don’t get crushes on fictional characters because it definitely is weird, but I am one of those weird people, and I will love Aragorn until the end of my days. If I’d done this tag a month or so ago, I probably would have answered with Matthew Clairmont from A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, but then I read the second book, and he’s kind of a misogynistic asshole, and I’m not really vibing with him anymore. Instead, here I am, always ready to cry about Altair al Badawi from We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal.

Book that made you cry?

There’s so many? I’m going to have to list more than one here, #sorrynotsorry, I am always a weeping mess.

Oh, don’t even get me started on Amnesty by Lara Elena Donnelly, the finale in the Amberlough Dossier, which made all my dreams come true. I legit sobbed toward the end of this book, and I would do it all again. Also, am I going to continue to talk about Felix Ever After like it’s my new part time job? YES, READ IT NOW. I more cried over the movie adaptation of Boy Erased by Garrard Conley, but the book definitely got me, too.

Book that made you happy?

Again, so many! I’ve stupid grinned over a lot of books this year, but I’ll try to just pick three.

Strange Birds by Celia C. Pérez was so sweet, and I just want every elementary school to carry it as required reading. The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams was exactly what I was hoping it would be, and it was a delight. And Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera was everything I didn’t know I needed. Not only did I smile, I shouted, danced, and cried.

Favorite book to movie adaptation?

Definitely the A Discovery of Witches TV show. I’m hoping to have a review up by the end of July reviewing all three books & the first season of the show, but this is one of the few times that I loved the show way more than the books.

Favorite review?

I don’t write a ton of reviews, and, when I do, they’re usually Tolkien-related. I’ll try to grab one of each, but for Tolkien, I’ve got two favorites. Neither are technically reviews, either, but shhhhh. I wrote a post about Morgoth & Sauron that’s kind of a review because it’s trying to convince you to read The Silmarillion, and it’s one of the most eloquent Tolkien reviews I’ve ever done, so I’m really proud of it. I also guest wrote a post for Pages Unbound during the Tolkien Reading Event this year, and yes, it’s also about Morgoth & Sauron, but look, if I keep talking about them, eventually y’all are gonna hop on the train with me. And, for non-Tolkien, I wrote a review of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword because it was truly a fantastic movie, and I might go watch it again for the fourth time.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year?

We’ll literally be here all day, so here’s my top three so far:

I can’t believe I still haven’t read Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca. It’s an Indian retelling of Shakespeare with baking! Also, that cover. Give me macarons now. And look, I can’t put Felix Ever After up here again, so I’m putting All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson because it’s got similar vibes, and it also makes me want to jump for joy with its beauty. I also literally forget every damn time I see it that there’s a woman on the cover of Havenfall by Sara Holland, and every time I see it again, I fall in love all over again.

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

All of them, my TBR is so long, but, most importantly: Shadowhunters. One of my main 2020 goals was to finish all currently published Cassandra Clare books, and I’m still an entire trilogy and two spin-offs away from accomplishing that, so I really need to get my butt in gear.

16 responses to “TAG: Mid-Year Freakout!”

  1. evelynreads1 Avatar

    I always love reading this tag! I also cannot wit for Queen of volts!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Me too, it’s going to be amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Margaret @ Weird Zeal Avatar

    Dang, 50 books at the mid-point of the year seems like a great place to be 😀 I HIGHLY approve of your top book of the year so far!! Ahaha I also had to stop myself from just listing ALL of the 2020 releases that I still want to read…there are just so many 😅 Same with books that made me cry because I am a weepy reader. Also, I’m obsessed with all three of those beautiful covers that you chose!!
    Good luck with your reading going into the second half of the year ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      I truly didn’t think it would happen given how the beginning of the year was going, but I’m super stoked. We are being blessed with so many outstanding releases coming up!

      Good luck with your second half of year reading! 💕


  3. Abi @ Scribbles and Stories Avatar

    Oh my gosh, I have literally never noticed the woman on the Haven Fall cover before and now I’m just amazed its beauty. I need to read Wicked Saints and The Merciful Crow so badly. Wicked Saints wasn’t such a high priority before, but now I found out the sequel gets gay? I’m all in.

    I hope the second half of the year brings you just as many wonderful books! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Right!!! I love when covers do that. Both Saints & Gods are really good, honestly. They’re super gory and full of horrific stuff, but I stayed up wicked late reading both of them, AND the gay is beautiful, so definitely worth it.

      Thank you! ❤ Sending you lots of good vibes for the second half of the year!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Charis @ Charis Rae Avatar

    Ahh how are we halfway through 2020? *mind explodes* I honestly haven’t been that “in touch” with my reading life lately, but I’m doing better than 2019 so I’m happy about that! It sounds like you’ve had a great first half of 2020 reading-wise, and I hope the rest of your year is full of beautiful books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Seriously, how is this hellscape of a year already halfway done?? Thank you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Zezee Avatar

    I keep seeing reviews praising Mexican Gothic and describing it as atmospheric, so I too want to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. waytoofantasy Avatar

    I really want to check out Mexican Gothic at some point as well. I don’t know why I haven’t read any of her books yet–she seems like the perfect fit of a writer for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Exactly! Ugh, I might just have to buy Mexican Gothic anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jenna @ Falling Letters Avatar

    Midsummer’s Mayhem! That might be one I need to read by the end of the year. I remember borrowing it last summer but didn’t get to it at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      I’ve literally got it in my bag to go to the beach right now! I need some lowkey before Empire of Gold gets here on Friday, hahaha. So excited to read about some Shakespearian baking!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. theorangutanlibrarian Avatar

    ten thousand doors of january is the best book I’ve read so far this year too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      I’ve seen it on so many people’s lists, and for good reason!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Inspiring Blogger Award – Jai Lynn Avatar

    […] Mary Drover @ Mary and the Words – I’ve always admired Mary’s blog. She is unafraid to speak her mind and get out there and live her life. I really look up to her and she is one of the hardest working writers I know. Mary, there’s no doubt in my mind one of your books is going to be published one day and thank you for opening my eyes up to yoga. Since I’ve started doing a yoga practice daily all my stress pains have magically gone away… I’m loving it 😀 […]


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