The Mid-Year Freakout Book tag- because the year is basically ending and books are our only solace


June is almost over. Which means that 2018 is almost half way over. And when something is half way over, it’s basically almost over.

In other words, to sum up my current mental state in 7 seconds:

I have learned by observing my fellow bloggers that the best way to deal with this frightening realization is to talk about books. This seems like a logical conclusion, so I have decided to participate in The Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag.

Of course, this tag is all about picking favorites which, you may have noticed, tends to cause me even more panic.

DISCLAIMER: I’m trying not to agonize so much over choosing favorites. Just because I picked one book as a favorite doesn’t mean I necessarily like it better than another book (though, by definition, that really is what it means???). Upon further reflection, my opinions might change. WHY IS THIS SUCH A BIG DEAL TO ME?? It’s not like someone is going to come after me with a club if I don’t get this right. (Are they??)



1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018?


Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

This book. 

Orbiting Jupiter is short and poignant and overall just a lovely little bundle of pages to CRY OVER. It deals with a lot of serious, complicated issues like abuse and teenage parents. The writing is simple and sparing which gives it an almost poetic feel.

The end is a perfect blend of bittersweet and I love it forever.

I also really enjoyed Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas, the Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab, and A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews.

2. Best Sequel of 2018 so far?


Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean: This book is the first ever authorized sequel to J.M. Barrie’s original Peter Pan. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but Geraldine McCaughrean does an excellent job of emulating J.M. Barrie’s voice and style without simply mimicking and repeating old plots. She is bold in her choices and makes the story her own. And Slightly is a sweet, sensitive child who plays the clarinet. I will never not love Slightly.




A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: One thing I enjoyed about this book was the amount of time spent on Rhy and Kell interacting. In the first book Kell is off hopping between Londons and running for his life most of the time. There are very few scenes with him and Rhy together. In A Gathering of Shadows we get to see more of their relationship. There’s so much brotherly banter and insults and smart remarks. We also get to see the consequences of Kell saving Rhy’s life in the last book and how it effects their lives now. So much FAMILY TENSION. Such fun.


30038977Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas: Because You’ll Never Meet Me had this weird genre twist towards the end that I didn’t really know what to think of. It was contemporary… and then it was sci-fi? With this book I knew from the beginning that it was sci-fi so I was ready to accept extra mouths and removable hearts and all that. What I really enjoyed about this book was that it was a book about kids with “superpowers” who weren’t fighting bad guys and saving the world. They were just normal kids, trying to cope with these abilities and obstacles.



3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want to?

Ummm…. I don’t really keep up with a lot of new releases. I’m vaguely aware of books coming out, but since I very rarely buy books, I mostly notice books when they appear on the shelf at the library.

Also, I tend to be pretty skeptical about books. I don’t usually get super excited about books I haven’t read yet. Because what if they betray me???


4.  Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of 2018?

Translation: Anticipated at all. As I established in the last question, I’m not really aware of a lot of new releases and I can’t do the whole “I KNOW I’m going to love this book” thing. That being said…



Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak: I was just reading Ilsa@AWhisperofInk‘s Mid-Year Freakout post and she said Markus Zusak has a new book coming out??!! Markus Zusak, my hero, author of The Book Theif, THAT Markus Zusak. And it’s about brothers!! I hope it’s wonderful.



Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning by William Joyce:
Look at me all grown up and reading books about Santa and the Easter Bunny. These books are admittedly juvenile, but William Joyce has a way of making his books magical and charming, even to an older audience. I have become strangely fond of Katherine and North and Nightlight.

5. Biggest Disappointment?


I Crawl Through It by A.S. King: I picked this book up because it’s magical realism, which I haven’t read much of but really enjoy and would like to read more of. But this book was…so confusing and disorienting. The whole time I was reading it I felt vaguely dizzy and foggy. I like the idea of breaking the rules of reality, but in this book there didn’t seem to be any rules.

So confused. So dizzy.



6. Favourite New Author?



Michelle Cuevas. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend is clever and funny and sweet. Beyond the Laughing Sky is poetic and Kate DiCamillo-ish. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole has an adorable black hole named Larry who just wants to hug fluffy things, bless his heart.

7. Newest Favorite Character?

Ollie from Because You’ll Never Meet me and Nowhere Near You: Ollie is hyper and endlessly optimistic and encouraging, but he also struggles with guilt and loneliness and depression and he seriously needs so many hugs. (Especially towards the end of Nowhere Near You. *cries*)

Julian from A List of Cages: JULIAN, my child. This kid is so sweet and sad and abused and he needs so much love. I want to hug him forever.

Cosmo from The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole: The five year-old little brother who reads the ingredients on the shampoo bottle.

Also Moritz (Because You’ll Never Meet Me and Nowhere Near You), Beck and Joey (A Thousand Perfect Notes), Kell and Rhy (Shades of Magic Series), and Jacques Papier (Confessions of an Imaginary Friend).


8. Book That Made You Cry?


I literally had to angle the book so that my tears wouldn’t fall on the pages.


9. Book That Made You Happy?

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend. It was so quirky and funny and random. And Bernard made up songs about pasta.


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


Can we just take a moment to appreciate book to movie adaptions  that are actually good? They are a rare phenomenon, but when they do come along, they bring me great joy.


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


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Re-read): I’ve been wanting to re-read this for a while, but I recently picked it up and read a few sentences and now I REALLY want to re-read it. I honestly spent the next half hour geeking out over the sentence “Max stood up, like a struck match.”





There you have it! What have been your favorite books this year so far? Who are some of your new favorite characters? Have you read any of these books? Do you anticipate new releases? Have you done this tag? If so, I’d love to read them!




13 responses to “The Mid-Year Freakout Book tag- because the year is basically ending and books are our only solace”

  1. Ooh, so many good books! I’ve also read both A Thousand Perfect Notes and Shades of Magic this year, and I love them both so much!!! I’m sort of obsessed with Shades of Magic, and both of them just had such amazing characters!!

    (Also A List of Cages was amazing too, and nobody else seems to have read it!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love how much time the Shades of Magic series spent on the characters. Characters are my life. ❤ And the characters in A Thousand Perfect Notes! August's description of Beck being a burnt marshmallow is perfect. And I loved the writing- how sometimes it almost felt like poetry. It's so BEAUTIFUL.
      I haven't heard many people talking about A List of Cages either! But Julian is so wonderful. Why does no one talk about him, hmm?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha, choosing favorites and answering questions in general carries so much weight for me too. Even though nobody else will have any clue whether or not it’s a true answer or not, I will know- or to be more accurate, not know. Which is the problem in the first place.
    Whaaat, they authorized a sequel for Peter Pan?? That’s crazy. What is it about? Jack Frost! Have you see Rise of the Guardians? I really liked it. Also, I remember watching it on a day when it was really cold and I think even snowing which doesn’t happen very much where I live, so that made it even better. Ooh, the cover of Bridge of Clay looks very different from The Book Thief! One of my favorite books of this year (I appreciate you saying favorites, plural) is Howl’s Moving Castle, and Howl, from that book, is definitely one of my favorite characters. P.S. Some of the questions say 2017 when I think you meant 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t even know why choosing favorites is so hard. But IT IS.
      They did authorize a sequel to Peter Pan! Apparently in… 2004 I think? the children’s hospital which owns all the rights to Peter Pan decided to host a contest where people could write a sequel to Peter Pan and whichever book won would become the official authorized sequel. It sounded like a really cool idea and I wish I could read all the other entries. Peter Pan in Scarlet is about the Darlings and the Lost Boys going back to Neverland years later and… they have adventures and such. (I’m such a pro at summarizing books.)
      I have seen Rise of the Guardians! I really like it, especially the characters.
      I might have to add Howl’s Moving Castle to my to be read list!
      (Ack! Thanks for pointing that out! I’ll fix it posthaste!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I KNOW RIGHT.
        Whoa, that’s so cool! What, a children’s hospital owns the rights to Peter Pan? I had no idea. I bet the origin story of how that came to be is pretty interesting aw well. Now that you mention it, I wish I could read all the other entries too! It would be a weird experience- kind of like a choose your own adventure world, or like a multiple alternate universe thing. Hahaha, I always find myself starting summaries about books with “there’s this girl” or “there’s this boy.”
        Oh, nice! I’m glad you like it too.
        AHH, if you end up reading it, I really really hope you like it.
        You’re welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I believe when J.M. Barrie died he left all the rights to the children’s hospital- which is awesome because it means that they get all the money from royalties and such.
        It would be a weird experience to read all the entries. I think it would be really interesting to see how different people decided to approach the story.
        Book summaries are so hard. “There were people and they did stuff and uhhhh….” Yup.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ahh I really want to see Wonder! I need to put that on my to-do list.😂And ajfdklsa I’m so excited for Bridge of Clay! I hope it’s amazing (although I imagine it’ll be pretty different to The Book Thief, but eeep, still so excited). Also SAME with I Crawl Through It. I still have no freaking clue what that book was even about?! So disorientating. 0_0

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Wonder is so good! And Bridge of Clay definitely looks like it will be really different from The Book Thief, but I hope I love it anyway 🙂
      I Crawl Through It was just… I have no idea. Someone was inside out so they were a stomach, but then someone else turned inside out so they were a lizard? Whaaaaaat is going on??


  4. Choosing favorites of anything is so hard! And choosing favorite books is like choosing a favorite child, in all honesty. XD
    I loved Orbiting Jupiter! Of course it made my heart break, but I still think it was really good and definitely a book I need to reread soon.
    I WANT TO HUG JULIAN FROM A LIST OF CAGES FOREVER. Although my favorite character from that book is actually Adam (he’s a fatherly ray of sunshine), I could adopt and hug and feed many cupcakes to Julian in a heartbeat.
    I also agree that Wonder was an amazing movie adaptation! I was literally trying not to squeal with joy in the movie theater, haha.
    Great post! Although I’m quite a bit late. XD I’m just now discovering your blog, and I’m absolutely loving it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      You’re the first person outside my family who I know who’s read it. You have brought me great joy. You get all the cake. 🙂
      I love how much Adam cares about Julian. Their brotherly relationship is so wonderful and sometimes I just wanted to CRY.
      Watching Wonder made me so happy!!
      Aw, I’m glad you’re loving my blog! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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