The Mid-Year Book Tag | 2024

 


This is my 8th (maybe 9th?) year doing this tag and it's always a fun one. I like pausing mid-year to take a look back at what I've read in the last six months. Which books have been real stand-outs, which authors have knocked my socks off, and what books I'm looking forward to in the coming months. So let me pull up my Goodreads shelves for reference and we'll get started.

I don't get too wrapped up in my Goodreads challenge. I set a reasonable-for-me number and then don't think much about it. So here's where I stand halfway through the year.
 

At this point last year I had read 63/100 books so I'm either reading less or reading slower... or both. 😏


BEST BOOK YOU'VE READ SO FAR IN 2024


This was easy. The Women was the first book I read this year and remains the best of the year. Talk about starting the year strong! And it's no surprise to me that it's Kristin Hannah who provided it. She never fails to deliver a powerful and insightful story that also carries an emotional punch. Her novels are well researched and it shows. The Women shined a light on the mostly overlooked combat nurses that served in the Vietnam War and it left a lasting impression.

BEST SEQUEL YOU'VE READ SO FAR IN 2024


Yes, Iron Flame (and previously Fourth Wing) is overhyped. And sure, it may be lacking in top-notch world-building. But that doesn't change the fact that I was 100% invested and devoured every page. Fantasy readers (which I am not) can likely find fault with nearly every aspect, but I've loved Yarros's writing for years and she gave me what I love: characters that I cared about, plenty of tricky machinations, a who-can-be-trusted plot, and plenty of swoony moments. For sheer unputdownability, this series takes the cake.

A NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN'T READ YET BUT WANT TO


I've been reading Maupin's Tales of the City series for more than twenty years and I love returning to the beloved residents of Barbary Lane with every release. While those new releases have come further and further apart over the last several years, Maupin did gift us with Mona of the Manor in March of this year. I haven't managed to work it into my reading yet, but I love knowing I have it to look forward to.

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2024

     

I love the story telling style of both Rebecca Yarros and Mia Sheridan so Variation and The Broken Places are two that I'm excited about.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT


Blitz was not a book I disliked, nor a book I rated low (I gave it 3.5★). But it did fall far below my expectations. I typically love Devney Perry's contemporary romances, and while this one was definitely a contemporary it was severely lacking in romance.

BIGGEST SURPRISE


I picked up Last Call at the Local on a whim. I was looking for an audiobook to listen to on my commute and figured it would be something light and easy. While it was a fairly light read, I was surprised at the topics it covered. There was a strong focus on mental health (one character had OCD, one had ADHD) and it was handled with such care. I found myself fully invested in the main characters and their struggles. Maybe it was a case of the right book at the right time, but this one surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. It didn't hurt that the narration was perfection. 

FAVORITE DEBUT OR NEW-TO-ME AUTHOR

     

This would be a toss-up between Sarah Grunder Ruiz and Cara Bastone. Both were new-to-me authors this year and both Last Call at the Local and Ready or Not were a delight.

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH


I don't know about "fictional crush", but I will say that Carson "Crew" Knight from Corinne Michaels' Forgotten Desires is one of the sweetest, swooniest heroes I've come across in a quite a while. 

NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

     

So many wonderful characters that I have met and spent time with this year! But I will narrow it down to two: Ivan Lukov (From Lukov with Love) and Soledad Barnes (This Could Be Us).

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

   

Have you met me? I cry over half the books I read. 😉 But these were the top offenders: Pucking Ever After: Volume II, Boone, Ravensong, and No Tomorrow.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY


Happy, you say? Um, I don't read a lot of happy books. I read books that are angsty and emotional and make me cry. But okay, sure, I can come up with one that made me happy. 😉 The cinnamon roll characters in Heartstopper (Volume 5, in this case) never fail to put a smile on my face.

FAVORITE BOOK-TO-MOVIE ADAPTATION THAT YOU SAW THIS YEAR


Stop the presses! I actually have an answer for this prompt this year! I am not a tv/movie watcher so I usually skip this one, but I did just start watching Daisy Jones and The Six last week. I'm about four episodes in and so far it's been a fantastic adaptation.

FAVORITE REVIEW/POST YOU'VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR


This always seems like a weird/impossible to answer question. But I'll go with my review of The Women from back in January.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU'VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR


This alternate cover edition of Fragile Sanctuary gives me heart eyes. 😍

BOOKS YOU WANT TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

   


How much time do we have? Obviously, I want to read All The Books, but for the sake of brevity, I'll leave it at these: June First, Mile High, Hills of Shivers and Shadows, and Heartsong.

HOW MANY 5-STAR READS THIS YEAR?

I am very, very stingy with my five-star ratings. Those don't get handed out to just every book I liked. Not even the really good ones. Nope, five-stars ratings are saved for those unicorn reads. The books that I fall into and don't want to climb back out. The ones that move me, make me feel, and cannot stop thinking about long after I've turned the last page. So I've had only one five-star read so far this year and that was The Women by Kristin Hannah. 

BOOK YOU WANT TO RE-READ THIS YEAR?

     

I very rarely re-read and when I do it's usually because I'm in the mood for a comfort read. It's most often a favorite audiobook, something easy that I enjoy returning to time and time again, comfy like an old sweater. A prime example is Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. But there are a couple books that I would like to re-read in order to refresh my memory, and reliver the experience. A couple of these would be: Still Beating, Pucking Around, and Cake.

5-STAR PREDICTIONS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR


      

Well, this is a tough one. As I mentioned above, five-star ratings are not common for me. I hand those out sooo sparingly. So I may not even have another 5-star read this year. But, just for fun, I'll look into my crystal ball and say that both Catch the Sun and Pucking Sweet will get those elusive five stars from me. 

Have you read any of these books?
What's the best book you've read so far in 2024?

29 comments

  1. That's awesome that you had such a great start to the year with The Women! That's always encouraging. I still want to read that Cara Bastone book, I've seen such good things about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angela - I definitely started the year on a high note! :)

      Delete
  2. You are doing well. You are ahead of schedule with your books. So, bravo! I am so happy to see you enjoyed your first books by Bastone and Ruiz. I love their books! I am trying to mentally prepare myself for Boone. You know I am a crier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam - I think I'm 1 or 2 books behind right now but it's not something I tend to think about/worry about. It's not like I'm bothered if I don't reach a reading goal. LOL I'll stand by with tissues when you read Boone.

      Delete
  3. I'm working on my Mid-Year Book Tag. It'll be my first time participating.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've read The Women and loved it! And I just finished reading Fragile Sanctuary. (Which does have a very beautiful cover.) And I'm pretty stingy when it comes to giving books 5 stars, too. Though I've given out more this year than I did last year. Very fun book tag! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lark - I really enjoyed Fragile Sanctuary. It really followed Cowles' formula but I don't even care. I'm a suck for her romantic suspense novels. :)

      Delete
  5. You've reminded me of more than one book that I still need to pick up. Can't wait for Catch the Sun & Pucking Sweet!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison - I am crazy excited for Pucking Sweet! :) I 'm so ready for Poppy's story.

      Delete
  6. You've read so many great titles already! I definitely still need to join the Fourth Wing bandwagon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ethan - I hope when you get around to it, you'll really enjoy Fourth Wing. Hopefully you'll be able to look past the insane hype and just enjoy a fun (light) fantasy adventure. :)

      Delete
  7. Looks like you're making good progress with your GR goal. I loved From Lukov With Love so I'm happy Ivan made your list. I also enjoyed Iron Flame. I don't think it was as good as the first one, but yes, I agree it was unputdownable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel - I think after the insane hype that surrounded Fourth Wing, it was almost certain that some would expect perfection from Iron Flame. So many people bash it. :( No, I didn't think it was quite as good as FW, but I still loved it and thought it was a great time! :)

      Delete
  8. I can't wait for Variation. I hope we both love it. Yu have me curious about Last Call at the Local. I might have to request that audiobook from my library. I hope you enjoy Mile High. I think you will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deanna! :) Last Call at the Local was a real surprise. I hope your library has the audio!

      Delete
  9. Both of your picks under the new favorite character category (From Lukov with Love and This Could Be Us) are high up on my TBR, so I'm happy to see them on here! <3 And 40+ books is still pretty good. I'm at that point in the year where I'm reading slower too. 😂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aimee - I hope you'll love both of those books! (From Lukov with Love and This Could Be Us) Both were excellent in their own ways.

      Delete
  10. The Woman and Ready or Not are on my list too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sophie - The Women was astoundingly good. And Ready or Not was a fun surprise. :)

      Delete
  11. I'm posting this tag tomorrow! Congrats on reading 47 books. I think I'm at 33 or something. I'm glad you liked the Kristin Hannah book because I want to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aj - It was fun seeing your answers to the tag! I hope you'll enjoy The Women when you get to it.

      Delete
  12. Noooo Iron Flame was so bad. I was so angry with it. I skipped parts just to get to the end to hope all the pain and suffering was worth it and it was not! Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hena - Iron Flame is a good example that not every book is for every reader. It's impossible for an author to make everyone happy. :)

      Delete
  13. I'm glad THE WOMEN met your high expectations. I've been looking forward to reading it ever since I heard about it, but I haven't gotten to it quite yet. Soon, I hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan - I hope you will love The Women as much as I did!

      Delete
  14. This is always such a fun tag! Agree completely with your assessment of Iron Flame. Heartstopper always delivers the happiness and I can totally see how Ravensong made you cry. Hope you'll love Mile High :) And also, yay for Daisy Jones, that's indeed such and amazing adaptation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lindsey - I always loving doing this tag, and seeing others' answers. I can't wait to pick up Mile High!

      Delete
  15. Charlotte (Bewitching Books)July 12, 2024 at 8:19 AM

    I haven't read any of these but I do have a few on my TBR. The main one is Fourth Wing as the hype is certainly getting to me. But I also really want to read Daisy Jones before checking out its adaptation (although I also want to read Evelyn Hugo before that as I want my first experience with the author to be in true novel format). And I also really want to try Kristin Hannahs books one day.I can see why you mentioned Fragile Sanctuary for the beautiful cover. That colour scheme is stunning 😍 Also you could be reading longer books too number wise? It can make quite a difference when you pick up a few big read

    ReplyDelete