Hello hellooooo and welcome to my very first midyear book freakout tag! Which is also my first tag in general! I’ve been meaning to do both the midyear and end of year book tags for a couple years but I always forget, and by the time I realize, it’s 3 months too late. But not this time! This challenge might be hard for me, because I have such a bad memory and barely remember the books I read anymore. Disclaimer: I’ve only read about 20 books this year and am 5 books behind my reading goal, so I will really try not to repeat books for multiple answers but I make no promises. Also, I am not counting rereads as part of this tag!
Let’s go through some stats, like always, for the first six months of 2022:
- Number of books read: 19
- Six 5 stars, six 4 stars, five 3 stars, one 2 star, zero 1 stars, and one book with no rating
- One reread: You Deserve Each Other (this book will not be counted as an answer)
- 18 fiction books and one nonfiction
- Top genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, and Fantasy
So, without any further ado, let’s get into the best and the worst of the first half of 2022.
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2022
There’s no question about it- this one has to go to The Roughest Draft by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley. I know this isn’t a comparison, but this book even outshines Emily Henry’s works. It mixes the premises of People We Meet on Vacation, Beach Read, and Book Lovers, but it delivers in such an outstanding manner. I have never read a book with so much tension and angst between the two characters, and that’s what made this book so special. Be warned: this is not a cute, summery romcom. It is set in Florida during the summer, but has a much more serious tone. I think it’s a severely underrated romance, and any romance fan should pick it up.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022
I feel that technically, if you look at my ratings, the best sequel award should go to Heartstopper Volume 2 (I rated it 5 stars). However! In terms of the best sequel that I’ve read so far which has been much better compared to the first book, I would have to go with Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. A reminder to buy her books secondhand if you can!
CoM was so much better than Throne of Glass in my opinion. I know that the general consensus is that CoM is the most boring book in the series, but I enjoyed the heck out of it. There was heartbreak, there was betrayal, there were plot twists, and there was romance (I am a diehard Chaol and Celaena fan and I don’t care what you say about them). Celaena became a much more complex and real character in this book, which made her much more likable. Even though I rated it 4 stars (because of the way a certain romantic relationship was handled), I had a really fun time reading this. Some other honorable mentions include The Hawthorne Legacy and Rule of Wolves.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
There are so many! I want to get back into reading thriller, horror, and suspense stories, so The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James is high on my TBR. I loved her other book, The Sundown Motel. I’m also excited to read This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi and I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Case McQuiston!
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
I have a ton of anticipated releases, so it’s hard to pick just one. But, if I HAD to pick, it would be The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber, which is the sequel to Once Upon a Broken Heart. I have such a soft spot for Jacks and the Caraval universe in general. Some other highly anticipated releases for me are The Final Gambit (the final Inheritance Games book), Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood, and Bloodmarked (the sequel to Legendborn).
5. Biggest disappointment
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim was my biggest disappointment. I had very high expectations, but the execution of the plot was lackluster and supremely boring. I found myself skimming a lot, and couldn’t connect to any of the characters. This is a highly unpopular opinion, so I would still say to give it a try!
Another one, which is my lowest rated book of 2022 so far (2 stars), is Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter. This is even more of an unpopular opinion, since everyone in the romance community seems to love this book. I thought the writing was very immature, and the main character was also immature. I was mildly annoyed throughout my reading experience.
6. Biggest surprise
I don’t really have that many surprises, because I always pick up books that I know I’m going to like. I guess I was surprised at how lackluster Six Crimson Cranes was (refer to question 5).
7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)
Amanda Foody and Chrisitne Lynn Herman, who co wrote All of Us Villains together, are my new “favorite” authors. Some of Foody’s books are on my TBR but I hadn’t read any of her or Herman’s works until All of Us Villains, which was a book I really liked. I’m looking forward to reading more from them!
8. Newest fictional crush
I know that everyone and their mother will say this, but my newest fictional crush is Charlie Lastra from Book Lovers. No explanation needed.
9. Newest favorite character
I feel like I’m going to get hate for this, but Chaol Westfall from Throne of Glass is my baby. I have heard that he does some questionable things later in the series, but as of now I would defend him with my life.
10. Book that made you cry
I usually don’t remember when I cry while reading books, only when I full-on sob. But, I’m pretty sure I cried a little while reading The Roughest Draft. It’s not a sad book, but it has so much angst!
11. Book that made you happy
Heartstopper Volume 2 made me so happy! It’s such a cute, romantic story of two high schoolers falling in love.
12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
I’m not even going to search up a picture of these books online because I am SO scared of getting spoiled. Anyway, I received the entire Poppy War trilogy from my friend Lorraina for my birthday this year. The books are GORGEOUS, completely at odds with the violence and gore that occurs in the story.
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I don’t ever have a strictly set TBR, I usually just read whatever I want at the moment. However, some books that I would like to get to soon include: the rest of the Poppy War trilogy, the rest of the Shatter Me series, Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal.