The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

on October 5, 2015

Thank you very much to Calliope @ calliopethebookgoddess for tagging me to answer these questions about all the books I’ve read so far this year. Calliope has awesome taste in books so please do give her blog a visit!

It’s not exactly the middle of the year anymore, but if anything that’s even more reason to freak out (I mean, hello, it’s nearly Christmas again, what’s that all about?), plus I’ve read zillions more books to freak out over at this stage in the year, so hopefully my answers will be more interesting now than they would have been back in the summer…

Best book you’ve read so far in 2015:

Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates


This is a powerful, eye-opening book, which raises so many relevant arguments, and tells so many important stories about sexism in society today. I really admired how considered and rounded this book was – it isn’t purely about misogyny and attitudes towards women (although of course this is explored in great depth), but also about how sexism affects men, and the way men and women are shoe-horned into their gender roles from an early age, and expected to carry on conforming to them for the rest of their lives. This book should be compulsory reading for everyone – female and male, all ages.

Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2015:

Undivided (Unwind Dystology Book 4) – Neal Shusterman


I find a lot of series lose steam towards the final books, but this one didn’t at all; for me, it was the best of the entire series. What I found so exhilarating and terrifying about these books is that the author kept putting the characters into such impossible situations, I genuinely never knew if they were going to make it out alive. My favourite YA dystopian series of all time.

New release that you haven’t read yet but want to:

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys – Stories Selected by April Genevieve Tucholke


It’s almost Halloween, so this collection of creepy stories is next on my list.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

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This book is coming out in a few days, and I’m so excited. I loved ‘Fangirl’, and this story is based on the characters Simon and Baz, who the protagonist Cath writes obsessive fanfiction about. Expecting this to be just as quirky, funny and lovely as Rainbow’s other novels.

Biggest Disappointment:

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy 3) – Laini Taylor


I loved the first book in the trilogy, but unfortunately they got progressively worse, and the last one was relentlessly bleak and long. I still love the characters (especially Zuzana, who brightens up every scene, and was the saving grace of this novel), but sadly I spent the majority of this book wishing it would end.

Biggest Surprise:

Unteachable – Leah Raeder


Although I read a lot of New Adult books as light entertainment, I never expect much from them, quality-wise. This one, however, was stunningly written, gritty, dark and emotional, and the protagonist Mase had way more going on in her head and life besides the guy she was falling for. This book blew me away.

Favourite New Author:

Sarah J. Maas


I’m obsessed with Sarah J Maas’ books, even though I only discovered them a month ago! Throne of Glass is seriously competing with Mortal Instruments for my #1 favourite YA series of all time.

New Fictional Crush:

Ethan Holt from Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

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Ethan was such a hot mess of a character – he had a lot issues, but there was something irresistible about him. The sexual tension in this book is through the roof. One of my favourite new adult reads this year, and I can’t wait to read the sequel, Broken Juliet.

Newest Favourite Character:

Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series

Celaena is headstrong, feisty, and ruthless, but she’s also arrogant, insecure, sensitive, sometimes selfish, and often afraid. She’s one of the most complex and flawed characters I’ve read, which is why I loved her so much. She’s a real female character, not one that you can fit into a neat stereotype-shaped box.

Book That Made You Cry:

Wild – Cheryl Strayed


I was blubbing within the first chapter of this book, because the way Cheryl writes about grief cracked me open. This is a beautifully written memoir about a woman who, feeling like she’d lost everything, made the brave decision to walk 1200 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail on her own, in the hope of finding a way back to herself. I picked this book up when I was feeling lost, to give me some perspective. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year; I thoroughly recommend this inspiring, breathtaking book.

Book That Made You Happy:

Know Not Why – Hannah Johnson


I was smiling all the way through this book. You can read my review here.


I also want to mention Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (I’ve just finished reading this, and will be reviewing soon), which was equally adorable. I enjoyed these two books so much; it’s made me realise I need more happy books in my life!

Book to Film Adaptation You Saw This Year:

I’ve been re-watching the Harry Potter films, as I’m doing the studio tour in London for my birthday later in the month!

Favourite Book Review You’ve Written:

My review of Holly Bourne’s Am I Normal Yet?because I loved the book so much, and because Holly retweeted my review/ welcomed me to the Spinster Club!

spinster club

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year (Or Received):

I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelsson (beautiful inside and out)


What Books You Need to Read by the End of the Year:

I set myself a challenge of reading at least 5 classics this year, and so far I have only read 2 (Anna Karenina and Far From The Madding Crowd). As an English graduate, I am too ashamed to admit which classics I’ve never read, so I won’t list them here, but there are 3 more on my list which I’m definitely-maybe going to read by the end of the year…

I nominate… anyone who’s freaking out that this year’s almost over, and anyone who fancies bragging about how many books they’ve read this year!


9 responses to “Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

  1. Aww, thanks for the lovely mention. And even though my copy of I’ll give you the sun is different, both covers are very pretty! 😉

  2. I can’t wait for Carry On either! I am so excited to get my hands on that book. I am determined to get through my current TBR before I buy it though. We shall have to see how long I can keep my resolve on that.

    I have been meaning to read Every Day Sexism forever! I love a bit of feminist literature of an evening!

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha, I’m the same – I get so distracted when a new book I want to read comes out, and always have the urge to completely abandon my TBR for it! You should definitely read Every Day Sexism, it was fantastic! Are there any similar books you would recommend? x

      • Oooh that’s a difficult question. In terms of books I would class as feminist, I just read Asking For It by Louise O’Neill. It’s a really difficult book about rape and sexual consent, but I think it’s one of the most important books to come out this year.

        Lots of memoirs by women in comedy have pretty strong feminist elements too. Basically anything by Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey or Amy Poehler is awesome.

      • mudandstars says:

        Ooh thanks for the recommendations – I really want to read Mindy Kaling’s book! I’ve also just finished reading Asking For It – it was definitely a difficult read but an important one!

      • It is! And you should definitely read Mindy Kaling! Why Not Me? Is such a great book. I read it in a few hours because once I started I didn’t feel like doing anything else.

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