The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2019 edition)

Normally, this tag, at this time of year, is circulating like wildfire. (I don’t think that simile worked). I actually haven’t seen anyone do it this year which is like…wow. Is the book community…changing? GASP.

So to maybe start the trend of everyone doing this tag, I’m going to be answering five questions from The Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag which is always a really fun post for me to write!


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe which has become one of my all time favourite books. I don’t know how to put into words how much I cherish this gorgeous book. It’s about being a teenager, growing up, friendship, family, and love. This book genuinely owns my entire heart. I’ve read it three times over the past two months. It is everything. Every time I talk about this book, I feel so insufficient because any attempt to describe how amazing this book is futile. But I’ll say this, every time I read this, I cry, have twenty breakdowns and clutch the book to my chest because I love it so much.


muse of nightmares cover

Muse Of Nightmares by Laini Taylor! I adored Strange The Dreamer in 2017, and Muse of Nightmares was somehow even better. I adored the lyrical prose, the character exploration and how wild and creative the story was. I’m convinced that everything that Taylor writes is actually just pure magic in word form.


NINTH HOUSE by Leigh Bardugo  – Okay I will read anything Bardugo writes since I love Six of Crows with my whole heart. Yes, I still haven’t read King of Scars but I have a library hold so I should be getting to that soon. I’m aware this is adult, and not YA, but the blurb is actually so intriguing and I really want to read this!

GIRLS OF STORM AND SHADOW by Natasha Ngan – I mean, this is the sequel to Girls of Paper and Fire, and I am dying for it!! I can’t wait to see what happens to my Lei and Wren in the second instalment, and to be swept up again in this dazzling world!

THE STARLESS SEA by Erin Morgenstern – I don’t think I talk about my love for THE NIGHT CIRCUS enough but I truly do love that book, and Morgenstern’s writing style has me on the floor, because it’s literally art. I’m so excited about her new book, which is about underground libraries? I know I’m going to adore this.

THE QUEEN OF NOTHING by Holly Black – Okay I’m the biggest JudexCardan fan and The Wicked King left me on the biggest cliffhanger, that I NEED book three. I don’t want this series to be over!! I love it so, so much (read: I am obsessed).


The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman – I already wrote a review about why this was so underwhelming but I was so excited for this Stranger Things x Raven Boys book but it was so boring, the characters were dry, and I just didn’t enjoy it.

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins – Somehow, I thought A Global Bestseller would be…good. I was wrong. This was so bad, boring and not thrilling in the least. And that’s the tea

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman – I’m going to be talking about this in a review, soon, but this was so repetitive and stale, and I just didn’t enjoy it. And it’s a shame since I love the author’s debut, Starfish.


Oh gosh, so many, but I’ll narrow it down to four.

The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman // I have meant to read this forever. I’m probably going to read this in my summer holidays because I want to really invest myself in the story!

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak // Also probably going to read in the summer holidays! It’s  a huge read and I can’t wait to delve into a book I know I’ll love.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini // I don’t know why I haven’t read this but I think I’m just going to wait until I have a day free and binge this and cry.

We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal // To be fair I only received this in May so it’s fine! I’m really excited to be immersed in a rich fantasy arabian-inspired fantasy world!!

I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you want to do this, then you can. (yes I am That Blogger) Here’s the questions if you want to use them, I only answered five of them.

CLICK HERE FOR QUESTIONS Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017 so far? New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want to? Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of 2017? Biggest Disappointment? Biggest Surprise? Favourite New Author? Newest Fictional Crush? Newest Favourite Character? Book That Made You Cry? Book That Made You Happy? Favourite Book to Movie Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year? Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year? Most Beautiful Book You Bought or Received So Far This Year? What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

What’s one book that’s disappointed you this year? Fave book of 2019 so far? What are you currently reading? And do you cry over books? What books are you excited to release? Tell me in the comments!


59 thoughts on “The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2019 edition)”

  1. Great choices. Totally agree on Girl on the Train, I really can’t understand all of the hype around that book.

    So excited for The Ninth House and Queen of Nothing too. I have them on preorder.


  2. I was thinking of doing this tag again too so great minds think alike. We fall in with the popular crowd but in style ya know.


    UM WAIT STARLESS SEA HAS A COVER NOW?! why did I not know ?! * remembers i’ve uninstalled all my social media * oh.


    9th House will slay me. I already love the dark academia aesthetic, my wildest dream was a book of that but with GIRLS and Leigh Bardugo is delivering like an absolute queen. And finally some good New Adult (with less sex more darkness!!)

    Summer bird blue oh noooo. I was so excited for ace rep 😔.

    As for most disappointing read? Hm. Idk I have no expectations usually ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Though I’ve had some pretty unpopular opinions and 1 star reviews this year so (Kingdom something or the other dark siren book comes to mind look i don’t know the title and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. I’m typing on my phone and looking it up on Goodreads is not worth it). All of those.


    1. IOANA YES YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE MUSE OF NIGHTMARES. the character development of mina? best thing to ever exist.

      and yes the starless sea has a cover, and i love the UK one a lot! fun fact: i emailed the publishers for an ARC…and they said that they’d run out of physical copies. SO I COULDVE GOT AN ARC OF THE STARLESS SEA BUT MY LAZY PROCASTINATING SELF STOPPED ME FROM DOING SO.

      and i’m sooo excited for ninth house oh my god i know i’m going to be obsessed with it!

      hdjsHJDGFDHGFH TO KILL A KINGDOM IOANA. which i LOVED your review for. your salty reviews are AMAZING!!


  3. I know I haven’t really seen this tag anywhere?? And it’s always one of my favourites to read! I’m so excited to read Erin Morgenstern’s second book – I’m reading The Night Circus at the moment and it’s amazing?! Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get to it – I’m so behind on hyped books and have such a backlist!!


  4. I have this scheduled for next week – but you’re right! Yours is the first post I’ve seen! I feel like last year a lot of people did it in early July, though. 🤷‍♀️ I’ll watch for your review of Summer Bird Blue! I actually added Starfish to my TBR because of you, so I’m interested to hear why SBB didn’t work for you. Lovely post, Ilsa!


  5. Same!! I always see this tag blowing up around June and I think you’re the first person I see do it and I’m shook. It’s such a shame that you were disappointed by Summer Bird Blue because it was the most recent book I finished and I enjoyed it a lot! It was the first book I read by Akemi Dawn Bowman, so I’m hyped for Starfish nonetheless! I also have to read We Hunt the Flame before the year ends. I’ve been anticipating it since January, and I’ve seen mixed reviews, and I’m very excited to read it & see where I land.


    1. RIGHT?! and ahhh i am so bitter about not loving it because um hello? starfish was great. sbb just did nor work and it’s strange bc a friend of mine really liked it, so i thought i would do. starfish is much better imo. and yes, i’ve seen lots of different things about we hunt the flame but the arabian-inspired fantasy aspect has my interest peaked!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was literally just going to post this tag today but I hadn’t had time to finish it and get it up yet. XD
    Starless Sea sounds cool, though I’ve never read Night Circus. And I’m surprised you didn’t like Summer Bird Blue cuz I’ve heard most people do. But I haven’t read it or Starfish though. I have a copy of Starfish I got for Christmas, so I’ll probably get to it later this year. 🙂


  7. I was thinking about this tag just the other day and was like?? Where did it go?? I’m definitely going to be doing this really soon, thank you for the reminder. 😉

    Ahh I want to read Bridge of Clay too! I got it for my sister for Christmas so I may be temporarily stealing it back. Markus Zusak has yet to disappoint me. I’m SO looking forward to Girls of Storm and Shadow because I recently finished Girls of Paper and Fire and it was to say the least AMAZING. (possibly my favorite read of the year??) Great list, Ilsa ❤


    1. ikr?? what is everyone DOING?! and i’m lookung forward to ur post for this tag now!!

      eek i need to read it. I LOVE the book thief and so I have really high hopes for Bridge of Clay. AND YAY IM SO HAPPY YOU ENJOYED GOPAF!!! I’m actually getting an ARC of the sequel and I AM SCREAMING.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. oooh i love this tag, i’m gonna do it too! i wouldn’t say it’s my biggest disappointment of the year but i sadly did not get into daisy jones and the six as much as i thought i would have? i didn’t finish the book yet so maybe i just need to get back to it and i’ll end up loving it??? my FAVORITE this year tho is deffff red white and royal blue written by casey mcquiston!! i loved the characters and the story so freaking much omg!

    loved this post!! 🙂


    1. ah! i heard that’s a really great book on audiobook, and not as enjoyable as a physical copy? but i hope if you finish it, the book redeems it self somehow! and ahh i’m going to be reading rw&rb soon because i’ve heard it’s amazing ❤


  9. I put this tag on my schedule for the end of the month and I remember questioning why the hell it hasn’t already blown up this year because like!!! In my two (2) years of blogging it has been done by like hundreds of bloggers by now lmao!!!! But shdhshd we ALL saw Ari and Dante coming (I literally hate you so much for making me want to reread it even more) and I’m just so glad you loved it so much ❤ And I'm sad you didn't love SBB but I get why you might have felt that way!!! Also dfhshdhs @ Jimmy Pat P L E A S E I need an ARC of GOSAS :(((


    1. someone said it blows up early JULY every year so maybe i’m just early and didn’t need to question the entire universe?? and yes i remember just seeing my reader have nothing but this tag’s post lmao. ahhahhaha….what do u mean you saw it coming…i’m totally subtle about my love for it. and dfhjdsfhj i expected to love sbb because u like teared up over it but idk what happened. AND I WILL SCREAM AT JIMMY PAT TO GIVE YOU GOSAS U DESERVE IT SM!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always thought it was like early June?? bc I always do it near the end of June to get that True Midpoint of the year and then I remember feeling late each time because everyone did it earlier lmao. I AM V HAPPY U ARE GETTING ARC THOUGH!!!!!


  10. OH damn it you’re so right, I haven’t seen this tag once on my feed, while all of the other years I’ve blogged, it’s ALWAYS been there and done by everyone?? the community really is changing?
    Anyway, I always loved this tag and reading the answers, too, I loved this post! I’m excited for The Starless Sea just as well, it sounds really really good and I can’t wait for you to read The book of dust – the next book with Lyra as a young adult main character releases this october and I AM ALL THE EXCITMENT ABOUT IT AHHHH. Anyway, can’t wait to hear what you think of that one – and we hunt the flame as well, I’ve seen some mixed reviews about it :/
    Happy reading!! ❤


    1. YEP!??! the stars have misaligned, the universe is out of balance!!! but don’t fear i have restored peace by doing this tag!!
      the starless sea sounds so magical and it’s about libraries and fjhdshfgds i need it. MARIE I REALLY I NEED TO READ THE BOOK OF DUST. i feel like i’ve failed u by procastinating it so much!! ILY!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. you’ll never, ever, ever fail meeeeeeeeeee. but keep me updated when you can read it, whether it’s soon or in three years, I want to know everythiiiing 😀


  11. I’ve put this tag on my calendar for the summer, but you’re honestly so right…I HAVENT SEEN ANYONE DO IT YET?? But This means that you’re starting the trend 😏 Your most anticipated releases for second half of 2019 are honestly so ON POINT and such great picks. I can’t wait to read Ninth House and Girls of Storm and Shadow. I honestly need to move my butt and pick up The Night Circus, Aristotle and Dante, and Strange the Dreamer as well~ I can’t wait to see more of your posts, Ilsa!! 💖


  12. I love seeing people’s answers for this tag! 😀 Yessss Ari and Dante is such an incredible book – I need to reread it! I also found myself disappointed by The Devouring Gray…but I’m SO looking forward to Ninth House and Girls of Storm & Shadow later this year!


  13. I totally agree with The Girl on the Train! It bored me so much and I just spoiled the ending for myself so that I wouldn’t have to read everything. Maybe adult thrillers just aren’t my thing, or maybe it’s just that one book.


  14. Usually people post this end of June to any time in July haha, which is why you haven’t seen much yet. I’m planning on doing it after my finals end in the first week of July. Also, the original questions for this post by the creator are a LOT. It’s a long list and it takes time to write the post and make it look good enough to sit through all of it.


  15. Oh I so so need to do this!! I keep meaning to but I’m just coming to the realisation that I am, in fact, the worst blogger ever (LE SIGH). But anyway! I was kinda disappointed by Summer Bird Blue too 🙈And GAH I AM SO EXCITED FOR QUEEN OF NOTHING. Will pass out while waiting. I think my favourites of this year so far have been The Wicked King (surprise haha), Emergency Contact, Red White & Royal Blue, and a ton of rereads! I’m rereading Ace right now in preparation for King of Fools and I hope that’s my next 5 stars 🤗


    1. U R NOT THE WORST BLOGGER!!! ur just living that glamorous (ha) author life now! i’m kidding but also take ur time with posts!! it’s fine if you’re not creating content 24/7 we still love you! Queen of Nothing…I’m so excited but it’s starting to sink that it’s the last book and then after that NO MORE JUDE/CARDAN?? why can’t this be like a sjm series and have 20000 thick books pls and thanks!


  16. I just did this tag on my blog! I loved the way you included pictures for each of the books you talked about (maybe I’ll try that next time!). I really enjoyed this post, and I also want to read Bridge of Clay in the future. –Sound of Books (Ryan)


  17. Amazing post, Ilsa!! I’m so behind on commenting and catching up on your posts omg :(( I cannot wait for Ninth House and Girls of Storm and Shadow, I’m literally so excited I – 😩

    I really loved Summer Bird Blue and I wish you had a more positive experience with it, but I definitely see how this isn’t for everybody, especially since it can be slow and the narrative style was very jarring. I need to read We Hunt The Flame soon and it may be on my July TBR! Are you down for a buddy read of this one possibly? As for favourite book of the year, it’s definitely Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram! This made me cry, think and feel so deeply and I LOVED it. Sorry for such a long comment, but I hope you’re having an amazing day, ily 💘


  18. I just recently finished ‘summer bird blue’ and I agree with you. While I liked some parts, majority of it felt repetitive without much character growth. It was fine for what it was, but not my fave as I loved starfish 🙂 📖


  19. Wonderful post, love! Oh my goodness, I still need to read We Hunt the Flame, Bridge of Clay, and King of Scars too! I don’t know how I’ve been evading all of them for so long! I even own them all! I haven’t read anything by Akemi yet, but I’m sorry to see that Summer Bird Blue was a disappointing read for you. I’m hoping to pick up Starfish some time year! And, I am absolutely dying for the Queen of Nothing! I NEED more Jude and Cardan! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. […] Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink: Ilsa is one of the loveliest people in the community, and Ilove her and her content as a whole so much (obviously), especially her discussion posts. Her discussion posts are some of the most unique, eloquent and nuanced posts that I have ever read, and she also really well verbalizes how I feel on many topics. She is unafraid to deep dive into topics that the blogging community may be uncomfortable with talking about, and really picks topics apart objectively and critically. She is also one of the smartest bloggers I know, and that really comes through in her discussion posts. I love her so much. […]


  21. Oooh I just finished Strange the Dreamer – I’m glad to hear that the 2nd book is just as amazing, can’t wait to pick it up! 😍


  22. Aristotle and Dante means the world to me – it’s such a gorgeous book in every conceivable way. I really want to re-read it soon, possibly via audiobook as I learnt that it’s narrated by Lin Manuel Miranda.
    I own both Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares but I’ve read neither yet (whoops). I’ve read Daughter of Smoke and Bone though and although I didn’t love the story the writing style is gorgeous, so I’m really keen on starting this series.
    Great post!


    1. I’m…a year late to replying to this but yes!! The audiobook is amazing – I listened to it the first time I read it and was blown away. I actually recently read daughter of smoke and bone and didn’t enjoy it much 😔😔 but strange the dreamer is still a book I adore so so much so hope you love it too!!


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