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MID YEAR BOOK FREAK OUT TAG // 2023 edition: i’ve read almost 30 books so far ft. stunning 5 star reads, new favourite authors & exciting new releases

Time for my overused Christmas in July joke once again? We all laughed right? Glad I can amuse you.

Anyways, I always love doing this tag but I’m realising it’s been a minute since I did a tag. And there are more questions than I remember so hopefully you get this at a reasonable time and not in like November. I deserve a commandment if this post is early honestly. An entire ceremony if you ask me,

Alright, I’ll shut up now and get into the questions!!!

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR SO FAR

Honourable mention:

  • Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong

Happy Place by Emily Henry

The internet had me scared for a second there with all them bad reviews but turns out I should trust my gut. And also my mother Emily Henry. Because she never disappoints and I loved this one. As expected.

God, I loved it so much. And hated it. Conflicting but in a good way. Emily Henry is writing my obituary at this point honestly. Not to be morbid or anything, but I do need her to do that. Anyways, yes this book destroyed me and brought me back to life. You had doubts she could pull off a second chance romance? Or that the characters would be unrelatable at this point? Well, don’t be because Ms Emily is here to wreck you, which we welcome with open arms right? Definitely not masochistic behaviour, what are you talking about??? *nervous laughter*

Spoiler-free blog review here

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR

Honourable mention:

  • Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman
  • A Spark Within The Forge by Sabaa Tahir & Nicole Andelfinger, illustrated by Sonia Liao

If Only You by Chloe Liese

As usual, I thought I had read no sequels, and suddenly I remembered this was technically a sequel (kinda) and also thought of more to add. What can I say? I’m an overachiever *sighs*

I haven’t really talked much about this book, which is shameful but life has gotten in the way. But expect a review soon because I need to talk about it. This book was absolutely everything I wanted it to be and more, Chloe Liese never fails to amaze me. Adult sports romance CHECK. Autism rep CHECK CHECK. Slowest of burns CHECK CHECK CHECK

Ugh it was so good and if you haven’t read this series yet, then do yourself a favour and fix that!!!!

Immortality by Dana Schwartz

Here’s the true sequel in technical terms. But I literally don’t care, it’s my blog lmao. I really am obnoxious aren’t I? Oops.

Anyways, I had a splendid time devouring this duology and it was literally everything. THE VIBES ARE TOO IMMACULATE FOR THEIR OWN GOOD!!! This is a YA historical fiction set in the Victorian era and there’s creepy vibes, female doctors digging up dead bodies to practise on, romance and even more that I shan’t spoil because you need to experience for yourself. But I flew through both of these and was absolutely transported into this gothic world and you’re gonna love it!!!!

Full spoiler-free review on the blog right here!

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

Begin Again by Emma Lord: I’m literally awful and owe Macmillan my life for always being gracious, I promise I’ll read it!!!

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black: fantasy has been lowkey intimidating me lately and I also don’t have a physical copy yet, so that’s my excuse

When Gracie Met The Grump by Mariana Zapata: still not over the fact that she surprise-dropped a superhero romance on us but I grabbed a review copy and I’m SO excited.

Silver In The Bone by Alexandra Bracken: I’m behind on my fave’s books but I managed to get a copy (and it was signed I’m still crying) and I’m excited to catch up ITS BEEN TOO LONG!!!

Chain of Thorns by Cassandra Clare: oof everybody has been deeply disappointed by this book, like big fans and I’m scared for my life at this point but I still need to finish this series so wish me luck *cue nervous laughter*

The Love Wager by Lynn Painter: honestly I have no idea how I’m going to feel about this one but I love this author so I’m here for the fun romance vibes xoxo

Mortal Follies by Alexis Hall: I thank the wonderful Penguin for being amazing with an eARC and I need to read this asap or I’m jumping off a cliff,,,,

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood: the internet is absolutely loving this one right now and I’m honestly super interested since I loved her last book BUT I tried it and I hope it’s just my mood. Probably is because the premise sounds so up my alley and I want this gorg over tattooed on my forehead pls and thx

MOST ANTICIPATED UPCOMING RELEASE

One of Us Is Back by Karen Mc Manus (25 July 2023): tysm to the book release gods because how else would I learn that this is coming out so soon? Me and this series always have a ball and I’m very ready to see how it concludes!

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong (18 July 2023): been waiting for mother’s new adult steampunk set in the 90s and every other stunning vibe under the sun to come out and we adore Hodder for gifting me an eARC so I shall be reading her soon *sighs*

A House For Lost Things by C.G. Drews (August 2023): i am not emotionally prepared for this series but I also need it and that’s called a conundrum right?

Between Us by Mhairi McFarlane (8 August 2023): Harper Collins making me very happy with an eARC and I’ll get into this author in a second but ahhh I’m excited!!!!!!

A Study In Drowning by Ava Reid (19 September 2023): just grabbed an eARC of this and I’ve read like one page and wowza the writing!!! This is like gothic YA rivals to lovers fantasy and I’m so excited

Foul Heart Huntsman by Chloe Gong (26 September 2023): crying that this will be the last of my fave series but I also need it RIGHT now send help!!!!!!

Percy Jackson and The Chalice of The Gods by Rick Riordan (27 September 2023): the cover gods BLESSED the pjo girlies with this freaking cover goddammit. The US one is also VIBES and I love that. Did I read this series years ago? Yes. Will I be rereading in time? Probably not because I’m too excited to wait. Percy is going to college in this book AND I NEED IT RIGHT NOW

Better Hate Than Never by Chloe Liese (10 October 2023): this book is going to wreck me and I’m so ready for it. The cover? Perfection. Taming of The Shrew retelling? Heck yes. Childhood enemies to lovers with Anne & Gilbert vibes INJECT THIS INTO MY VEINS

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare (10 October 2023): they did good with this cover!!! Honestly no idea what this is about, it’s from Cassie Clare and I’ll read it

Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood (7 November 2023): idk when chess romances started becoming popular but I’m into it ngl? Excited to see what she does in YA

Betting On You by Lynn Painter (28 November 2023): we shan’t talk about me being behind on her YA at this moment in time and instead yell about this having When Harry Met Sally vibes and I NEED IT NOW

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR SO FAR

Honestly, I haven’t read anything under 3 stars, though I will say I wanted Tilly in Technicolor by Mazey Eddings and Something More by Jackie Khalileh to be better than I found them. Unfortunately. Though I still recommend them for fun debut YA contemporaries!

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR SO FAR

Persuasion by Jane Austen

This is a rather odd answer, I know. You’re so right. I’m surprised I like Jane Austen? Honestly shut up Ruby.

But hear me out. I’m surprised that I got Jane Austen AS much as I did? Make sense. Yeah I don’t know what I’m saying either but no other books fit here so roll with me. But I loved this one so and I’m honestly shocked at that amount of love. If I’m being completely frank, I would struggle with the writing at times but the most bizarre thing was that it was literally just because I wasn’t in the right mood. Because I’d take some space and come back to find Jane literally speaking to my soul and it was a lot. I’m definitely not sounding crazy right now. All this is to say is Austen invented angsty second chance romance and hilarious feminist commentary and we vibed.

FAVOURITE DEBUT OR NEW AUTHOR

Mhairi McFarlane

I’m an overachiever in this house so you get both. I also couldn’t choose so deal with it.

Anyways, I’ve had an inkling that I would love this author for quite some time, a sixth sense if you will. And I don’t know what pushed me to read her finally, I’m a mood reader folks. But thank the heavens I did because I’m in love with her books so much and I want to scream. So far I’ve only read Don’t You Forget About Me and Mad About You, which were excellent. And I have If I Never Met You on my shelves AND an early copy of Between Us (shoutout to Harper once again ilysm). The funny thing is that I’ve recommended her books to my sister who has now read more than I have and now I need to catch up with her. But we both highly recommend this whipsmart British writer genius of women’s fiction and sprinkles of romance THEY’RE SO GOOD OMG

Ellen O’Clover

I had the privilege of reading an early copy of this book and then interviewing this lovely debut author and what a ray of sunshine!!! I was so impressed by this YA contemporary and it had been a while since I loved one this much. We follow Ro, who creates a MASH-inspired app that goes viral and somehow finds herself fake dating her childhood best friend (now enemy) and !!!!!

Yeah, this book is as stunning as it sounds and I loved every second of it. It was equally swoony and vulnerable and absolutely everything I love in a contemporary. I honestly should do a full review at some point because I have more thoughts, but in the meantime, READ THIS ONE PLEASE

You can also check out my author interview with her!!!

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Honourable mention to Miller from The Seven Percent of Ro Devereux and of course, Wyn from Happy Place by Emily Henry *sighs*

But I think I’m going with Cal Clarke from Mad About You by Mhari McFarlane actually. He was an amazing male love interest and totally had me swooning.

NEWEST FAVOURITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER

I might actually give this to Hazel Sinnett from the Anatomy series by Dana Schwartz. She came to kick some ass and I admire that. Aspiring to be a doctor in the 1800s friends. She’s truly my new role model and a brilliant main character! So excited to see what this author writes next <3<3<3

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston

I *just* finished this one and gosh was it good. And sad. And I want you to cry with me. I’m just here to inflict pain folks. At least I’m not boring. Just a bit annoying lol.

Alright, this book. All the mediocre reviews were lying to me because this book literally came for my neck. One can say I was shooketh, mind-blown, flabbergasted, and many other adjectives. And I loved every second of it. I was simultaneously screeching in happiness as well as misery. You really need to go in not knowing much because she’ll reveal herself as she goes but there’s time-travel and romance and grief and it’s absolutely spectacular. Just leave this post right now and read it because I want to yell about it!!! I’m a tad over-excited today but it’s only because I love these books okay,,,

Read my blog tour review here *weeps*

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Last Violent Call by Chloe Gong

Almost used her for the best sequel but decided against it for no reasonable explanation except I wanted to.

Um so yeah. This book was like a shot of espresso, being bathed in sunlight. A salve to my wounds that cured my PTSD. Yes, I died and went to heaven. This is not even an over-excited exaggeration. I’m telling the truth. God bless the unhinged Chloe Gong for reading my thoughts and providing me with what is now my new bible.

I literally can’t say anything without spoiling so you’re only allowed to read this book if you’ve read Our Violent Ends and Foul Lady Fortune. And you’d know why I love it. So this is me Jedi mind-tricking reverse-phsycologying you into reading these masterpiece books k thanks bye

Read my blog review here xoxo

FAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION OF THE YEAR

Shadow and Bone Season 2

There really haven’t been that many adaptations out this year so far, all the best ones are still coming out (aka season two of both Heartstopper & TSITP). I could talk about Daisy Jones but hmmm maybe not #yikes So instead,I have a bone to pick with you all about this show.

I still need to post something about this but as previously stated: l-i-f-e. If you still want a S&B review then lemme know. But I don’t get the hate? Granted I have not read all of the books and from what I understand they used lots of plot from future books, but specifically since I have not read them I didn’t find it convoluted. Not sure how to word this but from an audience perspective, it was exciting and well-executed and the pacing was fine, so that seems like a good adaptation in my opinion. She was solid and did what I wanted her to do, and I disagree with the internet. You’re all just wrong, sorry to tell you.

I’m kidding. Promise.

FAVOURITE REVIEW WRITTEN THIS YEAR SO FAR

Hmmm, Imma cheat and mention two, because you can’t make me pick between these two stunners. I read A Lady For Duke last year and only grabbed a physical copy in like December, so that review was late. And I only recently finally got to Foul Lady Fortune and loved, as expected, so there you go.

Also definitely not only now noticing that I never flipped one of these images so you never saw the old phot. It’s our little secret lmao

Click on these pretty images to go to reviews ; )

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR SO FAR

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan

Bought this second hand and I’m so chuffed with this purchase for grabbing this murder weapon at such a steal. It’s literally massive but oh so stunning and I love it a whole lot!

Happy Place by Emily Henry ARC

And this one is technically not the most beautiful books, it’s literally just a proof copy but it is mayhaps one of my most treasured books literally ever. I thank the stunning friends at Penguin for blessing my life with an early copy. Even though I’m a chicken and didn’t read it on time but we’ll just ignore that part oops

BOOKS I NEED TO READ BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR

Meet the same books I say I want to read every year,,,,

*hides in shame*

Looks like that’s over. I mean done. My brain is finished right now.

You’re all doing the tag anyways, so I don’t have anyone specific to tag. Maybe Olivia who’s making a comeback on Instagram and I can convince her to get on the blog hehe. But I also tag all of you! Go forth and have fun xoxo


WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE READS OF THE YEAR? ANTICIPATED RELEASES YOU STILL HAVEN’T READ? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SHADOW AND BONE? DID ANY BOOKS MAKE YOU CRY? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GET TO BY THE END OF THE YEAR? LET ME KNOW

6 Comments

  • Sophie @ Me & Ink

    Immortal Longings is a book I am most intrigued to get to, even if I should probably catch up with Chloe Gong’s backlist first! 🙈 Oh well, I am ready for my steampunk era!
    Yay someone else who enjoyed season 2 of shadow & bone, I had read the main five books and found the show very comforting. I prepared myself for non-canon plots/pace after season 1 and had a blast with it! What’s to hate?!? 😉😁

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Sophie omg you haven’t read These Violent Delights yet?!?! Blasphemy. I’m kidding but you def need to read it!!!!!

      Ahhh thank goodness I’m not the only lover because RIGHT. Guys, it’s an adaptation,,,, hope it gets renewed *sweats*

      All the love to you Sophie. Thank you so much for stopping by <3<3<3

  • dbsguidetothegalaxy

    I need to start the Bergman Brothers series! There’s so many now ahh. Read Silver in the Bone! I enjoyed it. Also I do want to read Immortal Longings (and it’s not even that long – I thought it was like 400/500+ pages but it’s 350+ i think? But uhh that’ll have to be done a bit later in the year (because no time now + library hold times ahha

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