2022 Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

I know we’re already past the mid-point of the year, but what better way to come back to the blog than with an update about how my reading has been?

My goal of 52 books this year is still ongoing. If you saw my goal check-in, you’ll know that I’ve finished 26 books as of right now. Having been on a pretty good streak of enjoying what I’m reading, I think this is one of the more successful reading years. Though I’m behind on my goal, it’s worth it if it means reading higher quality books rather than flying through a bunch of books I don’t enjoy.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2022?

me pointing to my name written on the inside cover of portrait of a thiefI think this is a tie between Portrait of a Thief and The Keeper of Night.

The former was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I was thrilled to get an ARC of it. Everything about the story was so well done and there’s nothing else quite like it that holds such a precious place in my heart. I felt seen like never before and it made me re-think a lot of the things I’ve brushed off from my own experience living in the US. You can read my review here for more in-depth thoughts.

The Keeper of Night was a recommendation I saw from Simone (@simoneandherbooks) and a Book of the Month pick that I decided not to choose because I “wanted to venture outside my comfort zone of fantasy.” Still ended up getting this and loving it so much. I think about this book constantly and have already sent a polite email begging the publishers for an ARC of the sequel.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022?

In typical me fashion, I haven’t read a lot of sequels. Well, I guess that’s not true. But is it fair for me to pick one like this?

My favorite sequel is Five Run Away Together, the third book in the Famous Five series and my favorite of the series. But does it count as the best sequel I’ve read when I’ve already read this book multiple times?

Yeah, I’m sticking with that as my answer.

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

There are a few that come to mind, but the first is The Book of Cold Cases. I enjoyed both of Simone St. James other books and this sounds right up my alley.

I am also looking forward to my buddy read of The House Across the Lake with Ukamushu (@ukamushu_the_bibliophile) whenever we get around to it. Considering how our buddy read of Survive the Night went, I’m already expecting a blessed amount of chaos.

A few other books on my list are The Stardust Thief, The Cartographers, Kaikeyi, and The Night Whispers.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2022?

The Empress of Time for sure! Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve already sent a very polite email begging for an ARC of this book. With how the first book ended on such a good cliffhanger, I can’t wait to see what happens in Ren’s journey next.

Kylie Lee Baker has solidified herself as one of my favorite authors with only a single book to her name thus far but I will gladly read anything she comes out with next.

Biggest disappointment?

I think this one goes to The Love Hypothesis since I’d heard so much hype around it. Romance not being my genre, I tried to keep my expectations low, but everyone around me said it was such a good book.

I ended up giving it 3.5 stars. Not that it was a bad book, only that I expected more since pretty much everyone online loves it. I wanted more about women in STEM, more focus on the female friendships, and the sex scene didn’t work for me. The review isn’t up here yet, but you can read it on my Bookstagram if you’re interested in some more of my thoughts.

Biggest surprise?

My random library find of How We Fall Apart! I was looking for a mystery read to squeeze into my #AsianReadathon and did a last-minute trip to the library to pick this up. It’s another story that perfectly captures how I felt as an international student in America and the pressures of academia.

Already looking forward to the sequel and I’m waiting for my copy of Katie Zhao’s 2022 release to arrive in the mail.

New favorite author?

Kylie Lee Baker!

She’s at the top of the list, but other authors include Grace D. Li, Caroline Mitchell, and Katie Zhao.

Newest fictional crush?

Will Chen and I will not apologize for it in the slightest. Combine him with Daniel Liang and I think I have a pretty perfect Chinese guy to bring home ot my parents.

(What is it about me a falling for guys who commit crimes?)

Newest favorite character?

Neven Scarborough deserves to be protected at all costs and I will fight anyone who brings harm to him!

Book that made me cry?

Easy – Portrait of a Thief. I cried twice while reading it, once during a conversation about unrequited love and once during a conversation about familial love. My heart physically ached when I read those two sections and I still can’t think of either scene without getting slightly emotional.

Book that made me happy?

Any of my rereads made me really happy, but I think it goes to my Famous Five books. I love that series so much and it was such a delight to reread them for the first time in several years. They’re so familiar that I fly through them easily.

I’m also realizing as I type this that I don’t think I’ve read many happy books this year. StoryGraph says I primarily read books that are mysterious, adventurous, and dark, which sounds about right.

Do I need more happy books in my life…?

Favorite book to movie adaptation I’ve seen so far this year?

I don’t think I’ve seen any book-to-movie adaptations this year. Unless you’re counting that the Marvel movies started as comic books or that the new Jurassic Park movie is an extension of what was originally a book.

Otherwise, I don’t think I’ve seen any adaptations yet this year.

Favorite review I’ve written this year?

Definitely my critical review of Six Crimson Cranes and The Dragon’s Promise. You can read the full thing over on my Bookstagram. It’s a long post, but very much worth it in a time when more Asian fantasy books are coming out and this one is being heralded as one of the best despite a ton of misrepresentation.

Most beautiful book I bought this year?

The Fairyloot 10th anniversary editions of the Legend series by Marie Lu! I’m so in love with these covers. Like I said in my IG story after I unboxed these, I don’t know if I could love a man as much as I love these covers.

Coming in close are the Waterstones edition of Gallant, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, and The Stardust Thief.

What books do I really need to read by the end of this year?

Pretty much everything on my 12 from 12 challenge and 22 in 2022 challenge

I’m behind on both, but I think I can get at least a good chunk of the way through them before the year ends. How many books can I squeeze into the last 3.5 months of the year and how many will end up being DNFs? No one knows.

That’s it! My little evaluation of how my reading year has gone and some updates about the books I’ve read so far.

If you’ve been following me on Bookstagram, none of these will be terribly surprising. I’ve been pretty open about what I’ve loved and hated over the months, but it was still fun to put this together and think about what my answers might be.

What about you? Do you have any new favorite authors yet this year? What about books that disappointed you or sequels you loved? Tell me everything in the comments!

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