Every Goodbye is a New Hello (and this one in particular is my birthday too!) Today is the day where we say goodbye to 2015 and we welcome in the New Year. I’m very much looking forward to the 2016 and all the exciting new things it will bring to not only me but also my blog.
I have lots of things that I can’t wait to share with you in the New Year including reviews for some fabulous ARCs, new discussion posts and a brand new feature that shall revealed to you very soon.
Now looking back at the past year, I’ve achieved lots of great things on my blog and that is all thanks to you. I have had 6,500 views, reached 249 wordpress followers, 753 Twitter followers and 75 Goodreads friends. I’m so proud of all these achievements as well as being so grateful to each and every one of you who takes the time to read my blog, like, comment and follow me. I’ve also received my first ARCs and attended my first bookish event. It has been a very thrilling year and I’m looking forward to another one which is even better.
Look out soon in the New Year for my Christmas and Birthday Hauls, as well as my New Year’s resolutions and my introduction to my brand new exciting feature.
Before you go I’d love you forever if you could take two minutes to fill out my survey so I know what I can improve in 2016. You can find it here: https://t.co/fT5fjINFRw
I’m going to end with a
Happy New Year to everyone reading this!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,400 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.
I was provided with a free ARC copy of My Life Next Door by Maximum Pop Books to review. This does not affect my views – my opinions are still all my own.
I have never read anything by Huntley Fitzpatrick before, but I’m now off to eagerly add all the rest of her books to my Christmas list and hope desperately that Santa is kind enough to leave one in my stocking! Recently I’ve been loving contemporary novels and this book reminded me why I love them so much.
One of my favourite things about this book is the Garrett family – I love them all and if I could I’d go and live with them. I especially enjoyed all the scenes where you got to see the Garretts interact as family with each other and Samantha. Families are something which are entirely underrepresented in YA novels so it made me so happy to read about this great one! And the Garrett family weren’t the only one portrayed in this book. You also see Samantha’s family, with her single Mum Gracie who is running in the election and her sister who has spent years being rebellious and is now off to college. The dynamic in this family was completely different – Sam’s sister barely features and her mother appears at times apathetic towards her daughter. The final family we are introduced to in this novel is Nan and Tim’s family, the Mason which includes their constantly cheery Mum, their uncaring Dad, Tim the alcoholic, drug addict who has been fired from almost every job and Nan who constantly strives to be perfect and escape their town, even resorting to cheating. The fact that multiple different family types, rather than just one was portrayed made this book even more impressive.
Guess the next thing I’m going to mention. Let’s talk about … baby. Let’s talk about you and me. That’s right – sex. This book had two teenagers talking maturely about safe sex and contraception and the importance of mutual pleasure. Often in YA novels, sex isn’t mentioned and if it is, the practical side of things is never worried about. However saying that the sex wasn’t at all graphic or an main part of the book.
When asked by Maximum Pop Books to choose my favourite Garrett, it was a tough decision but in the end though, I’m going to have to say George becuase she never fails to make me laugh. He’s absolutely adorable with his welcoming nature and ability to always think of the worst scenarios.
To start talking about the romance, I have to say Jase and Samantha were so cute together! Their relationship seemed really genuine and I loved how he made her a part of his family. They seemed so accepting and supporting of each other, being able to let go of preconceived notions and love each other for who they really were.
Overall for me, it was 9/10. A really enjoyable read that I couldn’t put down. I loved the vibrant family dynamic and the adorable romance. To describe it in three words I’d say family, love and discovery.
These are my top ten books of 2015, in no particular order. I decided not to include any 2016 ARCS, so despite the fact some of those books were amazing, they will not be appearing on this year’s list – perhaps next year’s instead!
A Court of Thorns and Roses
I love Sarah J. Maas and I loved this book even more than the Throne of Glass series. She has such a talent for writing fantasy! The world she creates is so vibrant and real, that when combined with an intriguing plot and fantastic characters, this book is impossible to put down. I am eagerly awaiting the next book, because I can’t wait to see what happens to Feyre, Tamlin and Lucien!
I wasn’t sure how this one was going to turn. as Rainbow Rowell isn’t a fantasy author, but she conquered this genre with the same talent and lovable characters that she used to take over contemporary. This book has wonderful hints of Harry Potter that immensely pleased the Potterhead within me, whilst also being completely unique and brand new. I adored the characters and the settings and the spells and basically everything!
Rites of Passage
This was the first book I read in 2015 and I’m so glad I started the year on such a high. I loved this book so much, that I’m debating rereading to welcome in 2016. This book is about the nitty gritty reality of being a girl in a Military Academy. I love the main character Sam and completely admire her strength and determination. It is a powerful novel that explores the harsh truth of sexism in the military, whilst also containing hints of adorable romance.
Nowhere But Here
I loved how this novel didn’t focus solely on romantic love, but also on family, an entirely underrepresented area in YA. This novel showed you don’t have to be related to be family but families are the most powerful forces out there. I loved the romance between Emily and Oz, they were so cute and I also loved the setting of a motorcycle club.
I read this book back in April, as the film was out. I’m so glad the film motivated me to read the book, as this book made me laugh out loud whilst also managing to tackle tricky teenage issues, such as sex, self esteem, and friendships. The characters were great as I wanted a Wes of my own and I could really relate to Bianca and her friends.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book, but I loved it! This book tackles the tough issue of teenage pregnancy and how it affects every area of a girl’s life. It made me think and really brought facts to life, with well written 3D characters, some of which I loved and some I wanted to slap. This book really helped to get me addicted to contemporary novels and I’m so glad I read it.
My Life Next Door
One of my favourite things about this book is the Garrett family – I love them all and if I could I’d go and live with them. Families are something which are entirely underrepresented in YA novels so it made me so happy to read about this great one! And the Garrett family weren’t the only one portrayed in this book. The fact that multiple different family types, rather than just one was portrayed made this book even more impressive. As well as the diversity of families, this book had an adorable romance that isn’t to be missed.
The Winner’s Curse
This one was unexpected for me. I picked it up on a whim at a bookshop and I really enjoyed it. This book is a bit of an unusual one, I think officially it is classified as fantasy, but it is unlike any fantasy I have ever read. The premise was really unique and the characters were great. I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on the second book in the new year.
Emmy and Oliver
This book was the perfect combination of cute romance and family problems. I think it’s really tough for a contemporary YA book to deal with difficult topics without it becoming an issues book that’s entirely focused on the issue and nothing else. This book handles the kidnapping of Oliver by his dad, very sensitively, never making judgements, simply showing all of the various people’s different views and how it impacted their lives. For me, this is the best way for a novel to explore an issue as if the other comes across as opinionated and judgemental, it can be difficult for reader to enjoy.
Am I Normal Yet?
I have raved all over Twitter about this book. I love it so much! To put it simply, it’s about friends, feminism and mental health. This book really helped me to start a dialogue among book bloggers, even leading to a survey on people’s experiences of mental health education. Holly Bourne has managed to give a voice to those who usually sit silent. This book is pure brilliance and I’m so grateful for it!
So there you go! My top ten of 2015!
This is just a quick post to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
As it is the gift giving season, I want to say thank you for all the wonderful gifts you have given me over the past year. I’m so grateful for every single like, comment and follow. Your support means the world to me and is the reason I keep blogging.
So on this special day, I just want to take time out to say thanks and wish you a very merry Christmas. I’ll be posting again before the new year (and my birthday – 31st December!) so I’ll see you all then. Have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends and I hope you receive all the books you were hoping for.
Find out more and sign up here.The other day I asked on Twitter about any reading challenges you guys knew were happening in 2016. I got some really interesting answers, so I thought I’d ever so kindly share the list with you.
- Books of Amber’s Goodreads Awards challenge which encourages people to read as many of the finalists for this year’s Goodreads awards as they can during 2016. Baring in mind how many great books were nominated, this certainly seems like a good idea. Find out more information and sign up here.
- Popsugar’s Ultimate Reading Challenge 2016 which includes a whole host of categories to try and read books from such as a romance set in the future, a book translated into English and a New York Times best seller. Check out the website for the full list here.
- Mel @ The Daily Prophecy is hosting the (Fairy Tale) Retelling Challenge 2016, which is where you aim to read as many fairy tale or mythology, myths, legends or folk tale retelling as possible. There are so many really interesting looking retellings out there, this seems like a wonderful idea! You can find more information and sign up here.
- Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl is hosting the 2016 Debut Authors Challenge, which I’m definitely signing up for because there are so many great books coming out from debut authors in 2016 and I can’t wait to read them all. This will be a fab opportunity to connect with other people who are also reading these great books and a way to seem like you’ve done awesome in a challenge. Sign up and find out more information here.
- Shari @ Delighted Reader is hosting the 2016 Review Writing Challenge which is perfect if you’re like me and struggle to be motivated to write reviews. It sounds like a fab idea to encourage you actually get your butt in gear and write those reviews that are piling up around you on post it notes. Find out more and sign up here.
- Nicole @ Feed your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It starts at Midnight are hosting the Book Blog Discussion Challenge, where you aim to host as many bookish or bloggy discussions on your blog over the year of 2016. I think this is a great idea as discussion posts are often lots of fun to read and write but they certainly don’t feature that much on my blog. Find out more and sign up here.
- And finish off my list of fabulous bookish challenges for 20176. we have the 2016 Challenge Challenge hosted by Maggie @ The Novel Orange. The basic aim is to complete as many reading or blogging challenges as possible during 2016. A perfect way to end my list! Find out more information and sign up here.
A couple of weeks ago I asked Twitter this question
And I received some really interesting answers from 22 different book bloggers.
The first category of people were those who chose Harry Potter characters, because, lets be honest, everyone loves Harry Potter, especially at Christmas time.
Then we have those that chose some of our favourite swoonworthy book boyfriends.
We also have those that chose people they’d like to hang out with
Cath was included twice, once with Wren and once with Levi, so she’d have a bit of a hectic Christmas, having to swap her partner in between to keep everyone happy.
Celaena was also included twice, but I’m sure the three of you could all spend Christmas together as you both seem keen on the food and you can always exchange gifts before going to kill people. There’s plenty of time!
And finally, there’s those, like me who just don’t know how to choose, after all, there are so many great fictional characters out there, you cant just pick one. The others will be offended.
Were you featured? If so, let me know. If not, tell me who your pick would be!