• The Fiction Fox

Mid-Year Freakout Tag 2020

I don’t even know how to introduce this tag this year. The whole “I-can’t-believe-2020-is-half-way-done-already”- thing just doesn’t even cut it this year. It’s been chaotic, it’s been a mess and it also has been a time of change for many of us, for better or worse. That includes me, and an update post will follow soon where I go into a bit more depth on that. For now, I just wanted to do my mid-year-check-in in the form of the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag, because I frankly need these prompts to make sense of what to talk about. Without further ado, let’s get into the tag:



1. The best book you’ve read so far this year. As always, I had a hard time narrowing this down, so I’m going with a top 3; one adult, one young adult and one middle-grade novel. - The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton (adult) - A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti (YA) - How to Disappear Completely by Ali Standish (middle-grade)




2. Best sequel you read so far Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. Full review can be found here



3. A new release you haven’t read yet but are excited to: The King of Crows by Libba Bray




4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year: Again: there are so many to choose from. If I had to pick just one right now, I’d give it to Deadly Education by Naomi Novik.


That being said, a big shout out goes to the following books, that I have on my pre-order list, and am probably equally excited for: - Watch Over Me by Nina Lacour - Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power - Feathertide by Beth Cartwright (which I’ve already read and loved the ARC of) - Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse - The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi


5. Biggest disappointment of the year This has to be Man’s 4th Best Hospital by Samuel Shem. I talk about this more in my May Wrap-up.




6. Biggest surprise of the year Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia. I was honestly expecting a kind of campy mediocre read, but ended up really liking it.


7. Favourite new author (new to you or debut) The Russian author-duo Marina and Sergey Dyachenko. I’ve read both of their translated novels Vita Nostra and Daughter from the Dark and very much enjoyed both of them. If you’re looking for fantasy/magical realism that is completely outside of your standard American format, these are the books for you. Highly original, very bizarre and completely different from anything I’ve read before.


Marina and Sergey Dyachenko (goodreads)

8. New fictional crush? I hate to be that person again, but I rarely crush on fictional characters, so I don’t have one.


9. New favourite character The complete cast of The Diviners. Reading Before the Devil Breaks You completely made me fall in love with them again, especially the characters that didn’t were more in the background in the previous books like Theta, Memphis and Mabel.

Character Art by Nica Galvez

10. A book that made you cry No books physically made me cry this year, but the one that touched me the most would be A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti. There’s also a scene in Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray that I literally read just this morning, but as it’s a massive spoiler I can’t tell you why.




11. A book that made you happy In the month of May I participated in Believathon, a middle-grade readathon hosted by How to Train your Gavin. Honestly, this rekindled my love of middle-grade again, and basically all the books I’ve read for that readathon gave me that warm fuzzy feeling. If I had to name one I’d go with A Pinch of Magic and its sequel by Michelle Harrison.



12. Favourite movie/tv-adaptation you’ve seen so far? Again, I hate to be that person, but I barely watch any tv, so I don’t have an answer for this.


13. Favourite review or post you’ve written? I don’t have an answer for that either, and the reason for that is (and will be) a post in itself. Instead of focussing on my writings, I want to change this question to “favourite community moments”: a.k.a. 3 moments I was very proud and thankful to be part of the bookish community, for various reasons. - First and most relevantly: the way the bookish community has stood up to prejudice, discrimination and xenophobic behaviours on all platforms. Whether it be supporting the black-lives-matter movement, uplifting minority authors and creators, or even standing up to J.K. Rowling and her bullshit on twitter. I love seeing the community come together to be welcoming and safe, rather than fall victim to toxicity as so many others do. - Second, and completely differently, I want to shout out How To Train Your Gavin, and is amazing Believathon. Middle-grade is an underrepresented genre in the bookish community, and I’m so happy that I discovered this amazing youtuber this year. Participating in his middle-grade readathon has truly rekindled my love for the genre a bit, and watching his content just brought me a lot of joy over the past months. - Last and most personally to my heart I want to thank Jen Campbell, for her continuous stream of incredible recommendations, but mostly for her videos on disfigurement, disability and chronic illness. As a young person with a chronic illness/disability (although I’m probably going to need more therapy to be ready to call it that), I had a very hard time the past few month and garnered a lot of understanding and support from your videos. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being an inspiration, and having the courage to be this vulnerable online.


14. Most beautiful bookcover I love how this went from very profound to very shallow real fast… The prettiest book I have acquired has to be the UK-hardcover edition of Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. If we’re talking about the prettiest book published in 2020, I will give it to my ARC of Feathertide by Beth Cartwright. Just imagine what the final hardcover will look like…





15. 5 books you want to read before the year is over? get ready for a complete random selection... Honestly, my “plans” are completely out the window at this point. - The King of Crows by Libba Bray

- Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

- The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld

- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

- Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky

How has your reading-year been sofar? What were your favourite books sofar? I wish you all happy reading for the rest of 2020, and until next time: keep staying safe.


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