The Mid-Year Check-In 2021

Hello everyone,

As of today we are officially halfway through the calendar year and that can only mean one thing – it is time for the Mid-Year Check-In! This is an annual post I really enjoy doing as it poses some interesting questions and helps me look back at all the books I have read in the last six months through various lens.

Thank you so much to Amy for tagging me. She is a wonderful little ray of sunshine in the book blogging community and comes up with the most creative posts that are written with infectious enthusiasm, so do check out her blog!

Let’s get straight on with the questions 🙂

How much have you read?

I have so far read a total of 30 books in 2021, which despite being less than I managed by this stage last year, has me on course to successfully complete my Goodreads Challenge of 54. I am happy with progress, especially as my life has become a lot busier in recent months and has afforded me less time to read.

What have you been reading?

As always, I have read a very wide variety of books. I am constantly switching between genres to make sure every next book I pick up feels refreshing and different to the last. So far this year, I have sampled mysteries, myths, fantasies, thrillers, historical fictions, middle grade, and young adult romances among others.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2021

I have been lucky to read some fantastic books in 2021 up to now, but due to my somewhat exacting standards I have only awarded one five-star rating. That was for Deity, the latest instalment in Matt Wesolowski’s exceptional series of mystery novels told in the form of true crime podcasts. The way the story was crafted was simply immaculate, and offered a compelling social commentary.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

To avoid a repeat of my previous answer, one absolutely brilliant sequel I have read is Crooked Kingdom. I only finished reading it this week and although for me it took a while to truly get going, it was utterly captivating, with the help of a cast of characters and a world that I have come to adore.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

So many – it is impossible to choose just one!!! For that reason I shall pick three, all of which have gorgeous covers and synopses that promise something close to absolute perfection. I feel like I already know that I am going to love them.

I have a copy of Ariadne and plan to get to it as soon as I can, while obtaining the others in physical format is a priority – perhaps something for my birthday in August…

Most anticipated release for the second part of the year

Now this one is easy! I absolutely loved These Violent Delights when I read it at the end of 2020, so much so that it immediately became one of my all-time favourites. For me, this sequel cannot come soon enough!

Biggest disappointment

This is not the worst book I have read this year by any means, but it definitely has to go down as the most frustrating. It was going pretty well, and then the ending happened. Basically, the author ruined everything with a quite frankly ridiculous final act.

Biggest surprise

When I began this book I had high hopes, but it ended up going above and beyond my expectations. I was absolutely hooked from start to finish, courtesy of a gripping plot, complex characters, and a delightfully eloquent writing style.

New favourite author (debut or new to you)

Following my last answer, Anita Frank has to be up there, but instead I shall say June Hur. I read The Silence Of Bones in May and found it extremely powerful and poetic, as well as unique. From now on, she shall certainly be an auto-buy author.

Underrated gems you’ve discovered recently

The Mystery Of Black Hollow Lane was a heartwarming middle grade book containing an interesting mystery, which will provide lots for adult readers to enjoy too. It deserves a lot of love.

Rereads this year

You will barely catch me rereading books, simply because of the enormity of my TBR. However, when I tried out audiobooks for the first time this year I decided to listen to a story that I had already read (and loved!) in physical form, just to see what the whole experience was like. For the record, it went relatively well!

Newest fictional crush

I do not have any fictional crushes – sorry to disappoint 😉

Newest favourite character

This year I have encountered the Six Of Crows duology for the first time and I love all the characters, especially Inej and Jesper. Elsewhere, I connected very strongly with Seol from The Silence Of Bones, and in terms of sheer entertainment we have Elizabeth from The Thursday Murder Club!

Book that made you cry

I obviously must have a heart of stone, as to the best of my memory no book has made me cry yet this year.

Book that made you happy

This is just such a cute story with characters who are impossible not to adore. The whimsical beauty of it, and the humour, meant it was a joy to read.

Image credit: Netflix

Favourite book to film adaptation

Just like Amy, I would have to say Shadow And Bone on Netflix. A lot of things were changed from the books but it was still extremely fun to watch.

Most beautiful cover you’ve bought (or received) this year

As soon as I first saw the hardback cover of Girl In The Walls on Twitter, I knew that I had to buy it. The combination of the old house, the clock, the blue archway and the shadow of the titular girl meant that I could not get my hands on it fast enough. I did check the synopsis as well of course, but that was just to convince myself it was not entirely a cover buy!

Favourite posts you have done this year?

I Tag


Let’s Chat

What is your favourite book of the year so far? Have you discovered any great reads that exceeded your expectations? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading 🙂

28 thoughts on “The Mid-Year Check-In 2021

  1. Thank you for the tag!! 💜💜 Loved your answers too, so glad you enjoyed Crooked Kingdom, and The Lost Ones as well! I loved both too. I still have a few of your answers on my tbr. Congrats on how many books you have read this year so far 🥰💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, Kat! Crooked Kingdom was not what I expected in a way, but I loved the characters and the author’s attention to detail. The Lost Ones was just wonderful. I can’t wait to see your answers when you do the tag! 💜🥰


  2. Thanks for the tag Stephen, great post as always! I’ve just written up my answers, so hopefully they’ll be up in a few days. I’m looking forward to reading Ariadne as well this year, I bought it a couple of weeks ago and the cover is stunning!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now it’s my turn to catch up on all your blog posts! 😅 Thank you so much for your kinds words, your comments always make me smile and reading this has definitely made my day a little brighter! I’ve heard nothing but good things about The House on the Cerulean Sea, and it’s definitely one I need to add to next months TBR! Happy Reading! ❤️✨

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooo these are such fun answers 😊 I can’t wait to read Ariadne either but I already know the myth so I’m kinda apprehensive about picking that up!
    I’m also very excited to read SoC soon, hoping to get to it in September 🤞🤞

    Liked by 1 person

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