mid-year freak out tag

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well. I am here very very late to do a mid-year check in on the books I’ve read so far, and what I’m looking forward to reading this year as well. I know that I should have done this much earlier in July so please forgive me for only posting this now. I swear I know how years work.

I just wanted to add that yesterday (or perhaps earlier?) I saw I hit 150 followers on this blog, which is so exciting!! Thank you everyone for following and reading my posts. It’s been so lovely being able to talk about my recent/favourite reads, and get to know such lovely people here in the blogsphere. I appreciate you all so much πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

Okay enough gushing, let’s get into the post.


β˜… best book read so far in 2021 β˜…

The Atlas Six
by Olivie Blake:

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating
by Adiba Jaigirdar:

This is such a tough one to start with! I’ve read so many good books this year. But, I have to say, two of my absolute faves from this year are The Atlas Six and Hani and Ishu’s Guide to fake dating.

I’ve written reviews for both TA6 and Hani & Ishu, and rated them both 5 stars and they just live in my head rent free. I loved the dark academia vibes and magic system in TA6, and the heart-warming and cute romance in Hani & Ishu. Definitely my favourite books I have read this year.

β˜… best sequel read so far in 2021 β˜…

I haven’t really read many sequels this year, or at least ones that I have enjoyed eyes Mister Impossible wearily. So, I’m just going to interpret this prompt to refer to best follow-ups in series, and tell you I adored heartstopper volume 4!! It was so adorable as I expected, as well as covering the important topic of eating disorders that was done so well in my opinion.

β˜… new release you haven’t read yet but want to β˜…

There are so many new releases I haven’t read yet but really want to, but at this current moment it’s Malibu Rising!

Malibu Rising is part of the celebrity series by TJR. The other books in this verse are The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which I read last year and loved, and Daisy Jones and the Six, which I read last month and enjoyed so much too. So I want to continue with TJR’s ‘celebrity verse’ and read Malibu Rising because she has such a wonderful way of writing about the beautiful yet toxic life of hollywood stardom.

β˜… most anticipated release for the second half of 2021 β˜…

The Bronzed Beasts
by Roshani Chokshi

Our Violent Ends
by Chloe Gong

I made a post on my most anticipated releases earlier this month, but if I had to narrow down then it’s probably the bronzed beasts or our violent ends! These are both the last books in their respective series, and I am so excited to read them (and also scared because I’m expecting lots of angst).

sidenote: today I got approved for the ARC for our violent ends and ???!? I am even more excited and scared to read it.

β˜… biggest disappointment β˜…

I read a lot of books this year that were 2-3 star rated, but the one I had the highest hopes for (therefore disappointed me the most) was She’s Too Pretty to Burn.

I saw the beautiful cover and heard that it was a reimagining of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and sapphic at that, and I was so pumped for this. Unfortunately, the writing wasn’t very compelling and the characters grated on my nerves. I had really been looking forward to this and while it was a decent read, it wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped it would be.

β˜… biggest surprise β˜…

Since I finished it, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about The Ones We’re Meant to Find. I loved this book so much more than I expected I would.

Confession: I was a little apprehensive about this because I wasn’t the biggest fan of Joan He’s debut novel, but this one really blew it out of the water. It’s been so long since I read a dystopian novel and this one was just so so good and well thought out, and it even involved real world issues regarding climate change and pollution. Plus, the twists were all superb and I adored both main characters Kasey and Cee.

β˜… favourite new author β˜…

I fell in love with this book and Alkaf’s writing. It’s so rare for me to enjoy a historical fiction novel this much, and feel so connected to the story and the characters. I’ve added her other books to my tbr and am so excited to see what else she writes!

β˜… newest favourite character β˜…

I fell in love with The Atlas Six so quickly it’s unreal. Libby Rhodes is the first character we’re introduced to, and she quickly became my favourite.

I adore Libby so much. I related to her a lot – a character who puts so much of her worth in academia, who’s a big ball of anxiety and such a perfectionist too, but with such a big heart as well. I literally changed my tumblr url to her name and made an edit for her because I relate to her so much.

It was so wonderful to see her growth throughout the novel, and I’m so excited to see how she continues to grow and manifest her abilities in the sequel!

β˜… book that made you cry β˜…

The Ghosts We Keep
by Mason Deaver

The Weight of Our Sky
by Hanna Alkaf

Of course it’s The Ghosts We Keep, are we even surprised? I wrote a lengthy review on it and how much it meant to me and made me absolutely sob, multiple times at that.

Another one that made me cry is The Weight of Our Sky. It’s such a beautiful moving story – and it covers so many important things like racism and xenophobia and mental illness. Plus, I related so much to the main character Melati in her struggles with mental illness and her strong love for her mother.

β˜… book that made you happy β˜…

I adored this book so much. It really challenged the implicit biases I didn’t realise I had about muslim women, and filled me with so much joy seeing fellow muslim women striving in the world. It made me feel so seen and just so happy to be in this community, and so connected to my religion.

β˜… most beautiful book you’ve bought/received β˜…

by Zoe Hana Mikuta

The Ones We’re Meant to Find
by Joan He

2021 has had some really gorgeous book covers, and if I mentioned all of them I’ll be here forever.

One of my faves is The Ones We’re Meant to Find. The sea, the art of the girls, it’s all just so beautiful. I really love the cover for Gearbreakers too – the colours, the red light gleaming on the girls faces, and especially the mecha giant in the background which looks so cool.

books you need to read before the end of 2021

Six Crimson Cranes
by Elizabeth Lim

The Beautiful Ones
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

So. Many. My tbr is so immense.

In terms of books already released – Six Crimson Cranes was released recently and all my friends have loved it so much. I’m not typically one to read high fantasy novels but this one sounds so good so I’m eager to check it out.

And, of course, I have to read The Beautiful Ones. I’m a huge fan of SMG and think she’s a wonderful author, so I’m sure I’m going to enjoy this.


Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful day!

34 thoughts on “mid-year freak out tag

  1. the atlas six nd the weight of our sky are both on my tbr, i’m so happy to hear that you loved them!! and ahh yess the ones we’re meant to find was incredible, and i’m so ready to be broken by our violent ends haha… congrats on 150 saima, you deserve it! wishing you a lovely 2nd half of 2021! <33

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved reading all your answers!! I just actually got Malibu Rising and I’m so excited to read it! I’m also super excited for these bronzed beasts and our violent delights as well. Congrats on 150 followers as well!! That’s incredible!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ahhh i loved reading this post Saima, and your graphics are so aesthetically pleasing!! πŸ₯Ίβœ¨ i’m so happy that you loved Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating – it was so heartwarming and adorable πŸ’“ and your love for The Atlas Six makes me want to read it even more ahh!! i’ve been wanting to read more dark academia, and your tumblr edit is beautiful πŸ₯° i also can’t wait to read Our Violent Ends (i am ready to be destroyed by Chloe Gong’s writing again :’)), and i hope you enjoy the ARC πŸ‘€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved reading your answers, looks like you read a lot of impactful books Saima! Haven’t read The Atlas Six yet, but Libby sounds so relatable, I think she’ll be a favorite character too when I manage to find the time to read it! Happy July! πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Atlas Six omg!! also a favorite read of the year for me, and i agree that i adore libby; i can’t wait for the next book in the series!!

    i absolutely loved malibu rising and really hope that you enjoy it whenever you get the chance to read it. the characters in that book are amazing and tjr’s wonderful work with character dynamics really shows through.

    also, i just have to say, the aesthetic of your blog is so beautiful!! i loved the layout of this post especially ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Saima! I’m new to your blog, and already I’m loving your aesthetic and your way of writing!! The Atlas Six sounds absolutely incredible, I’m putting it on my high priority TBR πŸ˜€ I’ve seen glowing reviews about The Bronzed Beasts so hopefully pain won’t be involved πŸ˜… Six Crimson Cranes and The Beautiful Ones have such stunning covers I can’t πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

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