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Well, we made it! We’ve survived the first half of 2022. At least.. we hope you’re surviving. If nothing else, maybe this tag will distract you for five to ten minutes and give you something of a reprieve.

Here we go!

What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2022?
M : I’ve had a crop of 5 star reads so far this year and it’s hard to choose. So I’m going with Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood which releases in August and The Blood Traitor by Lynette Noni.
H : I’m picking two (no, this isn’t a loophole) because one is an ARC that won’t be out for mooonths and the other is already out. Respectively those are Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle (out October fourth) and Book Lovers by Emily Henry.

What is the best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022?
M : The Blood Traitor by Lynette Noni finished The Prison Healer series on as much of a high as it started.
H : The Long Game by Rachel Reid.

What’s a new release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
M : I’m looking forward to Only on the Weekends by Dean Atta.
H : Per usual, I consulted our Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases of 2022 list and, with exception to those not released yet, I’ve once again read all of mine (the Mhairi doesn’t count as I was dumb and used the UK release date), which isn’t hard as the majority were listed for fall (and, since posting that, a few have even been bumped to 2023, not salty at all). Therefore, I’ll be going with The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian and A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
M : I’m looking forward to The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik.
H : Nonaaaaaa (aka Nona the Ninth) by Tamsyn Muir. And also The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik because oh boy that cliffhanger from last year was rough.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
M : I’d been meaning to get around to The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix and when I did, I was incredibly disappointed by the story and in particular, by the characterisation, misogyny and how all the women were written.
H : Neither are my lowest rated of the year (so far..) but the first one I was disappointed about — though it’s likely due to my own expectations on what it was supposed to be and the vibe — was Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler. The second I’m including is one that isn’t out yet but I’m The Girl by Courtney Summers just really let me down. Sadie this was not.

What has been your biggest surprise?
M : Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was the kind of book I didn’t know I needed, but that I’m all the richer for.
H : I’m going with Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel. It’s a feminist retelling of a Hindu epic and I went in knowing nothing about the content or the author (debut alert!) and came out appreciating both very much.

Do you have a favorite new author (debut or new to you)?
M : Patricia Briggs has been my find of the last two years. I’m currently reading two urban fantasy/PNR series by her and loving every minute of it.
H : Even though I just highlighted a debut author, I am hesitant to call them a favourite until I read another release, so.. I’m going with no, I have no new favourites, debut or otherwise.

Who is your newest fictional crush?
M : Hart from The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen and Levi from Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood. These guys are both definitely grumpy.
H : He isn’t a new crush but my reread had me re-crushing on him and that’s James Mycroft from Ellie Marney’s Every series.

Who is your newest favorite character?
M : Six Thirty from Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Intrigued by that name? Go read it.
H : Hall from Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle.

What book has made you cry?
M : A book coming out in August The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen had me mush-crying twice. Highly rec this fantasy rom-com.
H : Almost everything I read makes me cry. Better question would be which book didn’t make me cry. But the ones that stick out the most are also the ones I’ve liked the most (correlation?) and those are : Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle and Book Lovers by Emily Henry.

What book has made you happy?
M : The Takeover by TL Swan. A total escapism read from a new to me author.
H : Heartstopper : Volume Four by Alice Oseman, I think, has made me the happiest.

What’s the most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?
M : Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman was really pretty with gorgeous edges.
H : I don’t think I’ve bought a single book this year! Yikes.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
M : I intend to be up to date with the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, I want to start one of Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy series and start The Poppy War series.
H : These will be familiar titles for those of you who are familiar with our TBR posts but I would like to complete The First Sister trilogy by Linden A. Lewis, the Seven Devils duology by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May, and (a reread of) Phèdre’s Trilogy by Jacqueline Carey.

credit for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out tag goes to :
Chami →
Ely →

We’d love to know how the half way point of the year has you feeling about books you’ve read and anticipated. Any highlights so far? Any big disappointments? Tell us your feels.

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