The 2021 Mid-Year Check-In Tag

I know we’ve already gone well over the mid-year mark by now but as I’ve been away for the last few months I decided that it’d be a good way to catch up on some of the things I’ve read this year!

I started the year off pretty strong in terms of marking what I’ve read and crossing off prompts for one of the challenges for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, but as the months rolled on, the more I read, the less I reviewed and the less I updated my books and challenges. When that started happening is when I decided to take my break and while I’ve been trying to catch up on updating things, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve forgotten a lot of what I’ve read! Oops… I know that a lot of the books I sped through were romances but I read through them so quickly I honestly can’t remember what I thought of them anymore. So I’ve just decided to leave off marking those off for now and I might come back to them later on.

Clearly, we’re off to a good start, right? 😂 All that being said, I don’t have fancy stats, charts and graphs and what’s marked on my Goodreads Reading Challenge isn’t the most accurate record of what I’ve read cos plenty of books are missing but… We’re rolling with it! (I feel like I’ve said that a lot these last few posts, haha!)

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?

I thought it’d be a lot harder to choose but I am tied between Jade City and The Ones We’re Meant to Find. They’re both SFF though one is adult and the other is YA, and their stories couldn’t be more different either. But aside from fantastic writing, the characters were just *chefs kiss* — I love them so much!


Best sequel so far of 2020?

I haven’t read a lot of sequels this year but even so, I think Jade War would steal the show. THIS BOOK!!! 🥺😭


new release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

What haven’t I not read yet? 🤣 So much… So much… But one release I want to read very soon, as in this weekend soon, is She Who Became the Sun. I read these two amazing reviews by Lia and Jess and I’m sold!


Most anticipated release for the second half of 2020?

There are so many I don’t even know where to start! I don’t think I have one especially anticipated release but these are some I’m super excited for…

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney
Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson


biggest disappointment?

I know my choice for this is quite an unpopular opinion because everyone seems to have loved the book but… I was really disappointed with A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (please don’t come for me)! I was bored for the majority of it and the haphazard world building + info dumps combined with Poppy’s incessant questioning monologue just really got under my skin in the worst way 🙈 It didn’t stop me from reading the third book though and I’m glad I did cos we finally get the strong Poppy we’ve been waiting for and I really enjoyed it!


biggest surprise?

I’m gonna go with the Murderbot Diaries. So many people love this series and I was (often) told that I’d love it too and they weren’t wrong, but I was surprised by just how much I love this whole series! Murderbot is such a well-written character and they have quickly become one of my all-time favourites! I’ve read all six books as a buddy read with Leslie @ Books are the New Black and it was so much fun!


Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)?

I think this cherry goes to Fonda Lee, author of The Green Bone Saga and two of my top favourite reads so far this year. I was so intimidated by the hype around these books but I’m so glad that I finally read them this year because they were mind blowing! I cannot put into words how much I loved them. I think this series is outside my comfort zone in many ways so I was not expecting to fall hard and fast. Fonda Lee’s world building, characters, and plot are just… The ultimate *chefs kiss*! 🤣


newest fictional crush?

This is easy but I’m kind of cheating a bit because it’s a book that I just read last week and obviously, it’s well past the mid-year point! But I honestly can’t think of anyone else right now because I loved Axel Bergman, our hero from With You Forever by Chloe Liese. If you love inclusive, heartwarming, steamy romances with great H/H, and meddling, boisterous and loveable families, you won’t want to miss this series!

Bonus crush: I also have to give a special shoutout to Rafe, our favourite very buff, very tall, and very tattooed male nanny.


newest favourite character?

I can’t choose one! I’ve read so many amazing characters this year but some favourites that come to mind:


Book that made you cry

As an emotional reader, books make me cry fairly often! 😂 Though perhaps out of all the books that did make me cry, the one that made me cry the longest/hardest was The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi. This one crushed me!


Book that made you happy?

Just as easily as I cry in books, it also doesn’t take much to make me laugh but I’ll go with Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. I adored Dani and Zafir—their banter was bang on and their chemistry was so fire! 😍 I had so much fun reading this book and it gave my heart all the happy feels 💜


favourite book to movie/tv adaptation that you saw this year?

So… I haven’t really watched many things this year? I still haven’t watched the popular adaptations like Shadow & Bone yet. I guess the only thing that comes to mind would be Fruits Basket—does that count? 😂 I think it was a manga first, right? I binged the first and second seasons on Netflix super fast!


favourite review you’ve written this year?

I’m really bad at talking up any of my posts on this blog so this was a bit of a struggle to pick… I’m sharing my review for The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. This was a blog tour review but it was also the first review where I made a journal spread and I had so much fun with it 😍

I was also quite happy with my reviews for Silence is a Sense, The Death of Vivek Oji, and Shards of Earth!


most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

This has to be the Strange the Dreamer Box Set. Sadly though, the quality of the books aren’t half as good as I expected and considering what I paid to buy them, I was pretty disappointed. Still, the artwork is gorgeous and they’re a beautiful addition to my shelves!

Note: this picture is not mine—I found it on Google!

what books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I wouldn’t say I need to read any of these, except for the ARCs of course, but I do really want to read most of this smol sample of my TBR by the end of the year!

Well, that’s done! *phew* This post always takes me longer than I anticipate but I’m glad I did it! It’s made me realise that I haven’t read half as much as I thought I have, even with the “missing” books from my list! 🤣 Oh well… How are your reads going this year? What’ve been some of your favourites? Have you read any of the books I mentioned here?

12 thoughts on “The 2021 Mid-Year Check-In Tag

  1. Ooh Dini that Strange the Dreamer boxset is SO PRETTY. ❤ I hope you enjoy She Who Became the Sun! It's so good. 😀 I'm really excited for Vespertine and Under the Whispering Door, too, and I'm off to read your review of The Ones We're Meant to Find because I've been hearing such good things about it. Happy reading!

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  2. Such a great update, Dini!! I am so glad that we read Murderbot because I was always skeptical but one of my favorite characters of the year!! Such a fun time doing a ton of buddy reads with you. HAHA! Flesh and Fire was definitely my least favorite of the three. So glad you kept going with us though because the third did make up for it a *bit* haha. Can’t wait to see what all you get through the rest of the year. I totally haven’t updated my PopSugar reading challenge in forever. I’m very confident that I’m less than half way and majorly failing. I know the TBR portion is full of big chunky books that I most likely wont get to. Oops! I just got Jade City & Jade War from the publisher and hoping to hit those this month. I cannot wait!! ❤

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  3. 92 books! You’re doing great! I’m excited for Rooney’s newest book, as well. I still need to read Liese’s series. I’m constantly watching to catch the first one on sale. 😉

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  4. I’m actually sad I didn’t like Jade City as much as I would have liked, haha. I still haven’t picked up the sequel yet.

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  5. ooh looks like you had a great first half of 2021, i’m so happy to see jade city and the ones we’re meant to find as your favourites, i really loved them as well, so excited (and terrified!) for jade legacy soon! she who became the sun is one i’m anticipating as well… wishing you all the best with the tbr and i hope you’ll love them! have a wonderful 2nd half of 2021! ❤

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  6. Great post, I also still need to pick up She Who Became the Sun and can’t wait for Under the Whispering Door. I adore Dani and Zafir. Hope you have a great last half of the year 💜💜💜

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  7. I read All Systems Red a few weeks ago and I’m obsessed with Murderbot! So good! I need to pick up the next book in the series.
    I really loved Dani and Zafir too, they’re my favorite couple in the series, even though I absolutely loved the three romances and the characters in this trilogy.
    I also have Way of Kings on my shelf and I wanted to pick it up in 2021, but I’ve been in a weird reading mood lately so I don’t know if I’ll manage to pick it up. I hope you enjoy it!
    Great post, Dini! ❤

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