The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | The Awkward Book Blogger


Six months of 2020 have officially passed, and my, were they a very eventful six months (to put it nicely)! Now that we are officially in the second half of the year, I thought it would be a great time to recap the books I read in the past half year. Rather than going on and on about each and every book that I read, I thought this mid-year book freak out tag does a good job of asking the essential bookish questions.

Let’s just dive right into the questions!


Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020?


Becoming by Michelle Obama
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I couldn’t bring myself to choose just one book, so I chose my top three books I’ve read this year so far. I listed these in no particular order since I love them all equally for different reasons. I liked Becoming because there was a lot of wisdom within the book that I took home with me. House of Earth and Blood was amazing because (minus the fact it’s written by one of my favorite authors) it was intense, fantastical, action-packed, with a murder mystery twist. Felix Ever After was a surprising pick because I don’t usually enjoy contemporary books. However, the heartfelt story with its important message struck me in the feels really hard.

Best Sequel of 2020 so far?

A Torch Against the Night (Ember in the Ashes Series #2) by Sabaa ...

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
(An Ember in the Ashes, #2)

Sabaa Tahir has her way with words. Her books are equal parts adventurous, action-packed, and super intense. There is never a moment where you don’t think your favorite character is seconds from dying. Also, I think Tahir writes some of the best villains in YA. They are terrifying with a capital T. If you want to read more about my spoiler thoughts, check out the review I wrote for this book!

New Release You Haven’t
Read Yet, But Want to? Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle Book 2) eBook ...

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
(The Aurora Cycle, #2)

For some reason, I really like to put off reading the books that Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff co-write. I always pre-order the books and then proceed to leave them on my shelf to collect dust for a couple months before I actually decide to pick them up. It’s a problem. I’ve done it with Aurora Rising (the first book) and it looks like I’m doing it to Aurora Burning. I know I’m going to like the book. I don’t know why I don’t immediately start reading them once I have them. Ever since I’ve gotten it in the mail back in May it’s been sitting on my desk, begging me to start it. I’m going to try and read it by the end of this year, but we’ll see.

Most Anticipated Release of
the Second Half of 2020?

There is no such thing as too much book love so I thought I’d shout out some of the books that are coming out between July and December this year that I’m most looking forward to!


Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin
(Serpent & Dove, #2)
anticipated release: September 1, 2020

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
(Blood and Ash, #2)
anticipated release: September 1, 2020

Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia, illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
(Teen Titans, #2)
anticipated release: September 8, 2020

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
anticipated release: October 6, 2020

The Brightest Night by Jennifer L. Armentrout
(Origin, #3)
anticipated release: October 20, 2020

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer
anticipated release: November 3, 2020

If you have any books that are coming out later this year that you’re excited for, shout them out in the comments! Share the hype! ❤

Biggest Disappointment? The Kingdom of Back eBook: Lu, Marie: Kindle Store

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

I liked Marie Lu’s past works like the Legend series and her Warcross duology. I had relatively high hopes for her newest release and it didn’t meet expectations. I was hoping for more action or something but I didn’t feel like I got that. She created a fantastic fantasy world in tandem with historical fiction, but it fell flat. Plus, I was indifferent about the characters, which made me even less invested in the story. One thing I did like about it was how unique the concept of the story was. It combined what happened in history with a fantastical element to it. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. If you want to read more of my thoughts, you can check out my review!

Biggest Surprise?

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise: Gene Luen Yang, Michael ...

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise by Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino, & Bryan Konietzko

The reason I’m super surprised by this book is that I can’t believe for the longest time that I did not know they existed. Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my top favorite TV shows of all time! Sure, I knew there were books that covered the events of what happened in the TV show, but I didn’t realize there was a whole series of books talking about what happened AFTER the events of Book 3. I’ve always wondered what happened between ATLA and Legend of Korra, and now I can finally get my answers! Discovering these books was a pleasant surprise!

Favorite New Author?

Q & A with Hafsah Faizal

Hafsah Faizal

I feel like I’ve told this story a thousand times now, but it just has a special place in my heart. Basically, I had the chance to meet Faizal at this year’s NTTBF, and she was the sweetest human on earth. I struggled to talk to the authors I had the amazing opportunity to meet because 1) I was fangirling too hard, 2) I was having a hard time keeping myself together mentally the past couple months, and 3) social anxiety do be like that sometimes. However, she put me at ease and it felt really easy to talk to her. At the end of our conversation, she gave me a thoughtful look and handed me these character cards out of her purse, saying “you look like you need these.” It was such a sweet gesture that warmed my struggling heart. I have a hard time breaking out my mind, but talking to her made me feel much more present and grounded. Her act of kindness reminded that not everything in this world is absolutely terrible. On top of that, her book We Hunt the Flame is pretty great.

untitled_artwork 2Meeting Hafsah Faizal for the first time!

Newest Fictional Crush?

[Both fan arts are by Salome Totladze aka Morgana0Anagrom. I linked the Instagram post to their respective artworks.]

Bryce Quinlan from House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Elias Veturius from the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir

I had to choose a gal and a dude because, as a romantic, one cannot simply have one fictional crush. I like both Bryce and Elias for the same reason: they are both badasses with good hearts. They can be vulnerable, and they can kick some serious butt. It’s a dangerous combination. My heart is not safe.

Newest Favorite Character?

Altair from We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Altair is the much-needed comedic relief of WHTF. The story is very intense, so he provides small respites with his wit. He’s very quippy, and knows how to diffuse tense situations when they arise. Plus, he’s a badass with a good heart like Bryce and Elias, meaning that I obviously love him as a character.

Book That Made You Cry?

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I rarely cry when reading (probably because I don’t tend to reach for sad stories), but this book made me tear up. There is so many painful, heartfelt, growing pain moments that just hit the soul in a very good way. If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts, please feel free to check out my review.

Book That Made You Happy?

Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones by Ngozi Ukazu, Paperback ...

Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones by Ngozi Ukazu

Girls. Boys. Non-binary friends. And everyone in between. Please do yourself a favor and read this series. It’s only two books. I recently read the finale (aka the book pictured above) and the ending is the sweetest, most wholesome happily ever after EVER. It made my heart feel really warm and fuzzy. You probably need more of this kind of content in your life with what’s been happening this year. Don’t deprive yourself of this amazing story. Please.

Favorite Book to Movie
Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year?

Shrug GIF by CBS - Find & Share on GIPHY


I don’t have an answer to this because I genuinely don’t remember the last time I’ve watched a movie. I know for a fact that I haven’t gone to a movie theater this year because of classes and the pandemic, and I rarely watch movies in my limited free time because I’m using that time to catch up on  reading. So yeah. I don’t have a favorite book-to-movie adaptation I’ve seen this year. Plus, the books are always better.

Favorite Review You’ve
Written This Year?

Image result for geekerella"

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

I really like my review for Geekerella because I feel like I accurately got my thoughts and feelings across. I have a hard time with words, but for some reason this review was super easy to write. I remembered to hit all the points I wanted to, and I didn’t spoil anything in the process. That’s a win-win in my book.

Most Beautiful Book You Bought or Received So Far This Year? Gods of Jade and Shadow eBook: Moreno-Garcia, Silvia ...

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I got this book as a prize for completing a reading challenge for the adult summer reading program that my local library is hosting. I’ll be honest. I’ve never heard of this book before receiving it as a prize, but I picked this one because the beautiful color palette and the interesting design caught my eyes. I’m really glad I chose this book because not only is the cover pretty, the story is very lyrical and interesting. It’s not something I would normally pick up, but I’m happy that I did.

What Books Do You Need to
Read by the End of the Year?

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, Paperback | Barnes ...

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

For the longest time, I’ve had the book community tell me over and over again that I need to read this book. I have yet to come across someone who has not liked this story. Well, folks, you guys are finally getting your wish. My reading goal for this year is to get my physical TBR down to zero by the end of 2020, and I am now a proud owner of the paperback version of Red, White & Royal Blue. Now, I have to read it. I’m not mad, though. I’m pretty sure I’m going to like it, and I’m excited to read it.


I’m not going to tag anyone in particular because this is a really long tag, but if you want to give it a shot, I put a clean template right below this.


Clean Template
(for your copying + pasting convenience)

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020?
Best Sequel of 2020 so far?
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want to?
Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of 2020?
Biggest Disappointment? Biggest Surprise?
Favorite New Author?
Newest Fictional Crush?
Newest Favorite Character?
Book That Made You Cry?
Book That Made You Happy?
Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year?
Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?
Most Beautiful Book You Bought or Received So Far This Year?
What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?


Until next time….


7 thoughts on “The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | The Awkward Book Blogger

  1. thelittlebookowl 07/07/2020 / 6:03 am

    I still need to read Becoming – I’ve had it sitting on my bookshelf for a while now but haven’t got around to reading it yet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 07/07/2020 / 12:31 pm

      I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it at first because I’m not a huge memoir reader but I actually really enjoyed it! It’s definitely worth a read. 😀


  2. marydrover 07/09/2020 / 10:57 am

    Felix Ever After was just so wonderful! I can’t stop talking about it, it’s truly one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’m also dyingggggg for Blood & Honey, UGH. I can’t wait to go back to Lou & Reid. AND YES ALTAIR! He was an absolute delight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 07/09/2020 / 7:19 pm

      I was so surprised that I loved Felix Ever After as much as I did! I’m so glad I decided to read it because it will most definitely be in my top reads of this year!

      Girl, I’m DYING TOO for Blood & Honey! Only two more months to go…. (hang in there!)

      I honestly think Altair is the unsung hero of We Hunt the Flame. Everyone is swooning over Zafira and Nasir but Altair is my fav XD

      Liked by 1 person

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