aaahhh where should I even start!  It’s been such a crazy year, the first of my blogging career, and I’m so grateful for everyone for helping me get this far!  To honor this year, I want to do a big wrap up of everything that has happened, from the day I created my blog to now, so I apologize for a longer than normal summary post. If you make it through everything, I’ll love you.  (side note, I started this on December 5th just so I would have time to add everything I wanted to)

Top Books I’ve Read…

  1. Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn— this book was super awesome, because it was a suspense thriller (one of my favorite genres) but it had so much character development that I sometimes feel like these type of books lack.
  2. The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory— Another book from one of my favorite genres, this historical fiction novel had Queens, romance, and excitement.
  3. Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline— Once again, a historical fiction book.  This one is more recent American history, following the life of an orphaned little girl.
  4. What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty— After reading this books, I want to read all of her other novels! This was such a powerful book about human relationships, taking place after a divorcing mom hits her head and loses her memory.
  5. Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson— no list would be complete without at least one nonfiction novel.  I loved this one because it had so much factual information, but was told like a fiction story, which made it intriguing and exciting.

Worst Books I’ve Read…

  1. Iron and Silk, by Mark Salzman— This book is a memoir about a man’s time in China, but I just couldn’t get into it.
  2. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy— This is an extremely unpopular opinion, but for me, his writing style led to no emotion, and I need emotion to get into a book.
  3. Fat Kid Rules the World– This book was decent, but I felt like it risked stereotyping, and tried to make a book purely by defying these stereotypes.

This Year’s Bloglights…

This is a hard category, since it’s actually my first year ever blogging, so literally everything that happens (down to every view) is a highlight for me.  Still, I managed to boil it down into the things that happened that I think are most important for the year.

  1. I reached 75 followers! I can’t believe that in just one year, that many people would decide that they like my work enough to subscribe to it.  Thank you all so much for that.
  2. On Twitter, I reached 300 followers! That was a goal of mine for a while, and I’m happy to say that I’ve succeeded.
  3. I managed to find a layout that I actually like for my blog.  I messed around with it for 9 months, but now, my baby is born (pun intended).
  4. I started getting more involved in the community, with blogger and author interviews, Twitter chats, and just making sure that I’m reading and commenting on other people’s work.

Posts you Guys Loved…

  1. Books to Make you Question Your Eating Habits.  I have to admit, this is one of my favorites as well, which is why it got bumped up a bit on the list.  Oops!  I talked about 4 books that either promoted vegetarian/veganism, or had ideas about healthier foods to eat, and you guys seemed to really like them! (EDIT 1/8/22: I deleted this post, I think because it felt a little toxic in hindsight)
  2. How School Devalues Reading.  I guess this one is pretty self explanatory, and was popular because everyone (or nearly everyone) can relate
  3. Channillo.  I have to admit, I’m really proud of this one.  I did a ton of research, talked to people (yes, I reached out!) and wrote a fairly unbiased (I think) piece about the paid serial writing platform.  If you’re interested in earning money for your work, I suggest you check it out!  (EDIT 1/8/22: I deleted this one too, for reasons unbeknownst to me)
  4. Top 5 Series That Went Downhill.  This #T5W post seemed to get a lot of attention, probably because it’s a meme (note to self: do more of these next year)
  5. Outgrowing Young Adult.  Last but not least, no summary would be complete without sharing one piece by Shannon Rose, a booktuber who posted here for a few months.  This was my favorite piece she wrote!

This Year’s Bloggish Lows…

Yes, of course there were plenty of these too, especially since it was my very first year.  In order to try not to promote negativity, I’m sticking with just 3 things that didn’t really go my way.

  1. I wanted a coblogger, and nobody replied to my post requesting one.  However, this isn’t actually that bad, because I found Stephanie and I’m super excited for her to start helping out.  Apparently actively searching for one is a better strategy than posting and hoping one shows up.
  2. I ended up stopping blogging for a few months over the summer, which I wish I hadn’t done.  That being said, when I came back I became way more involved in the community and so I guess it could be a good thing!
  3. I reviewed less than 20 books this year, and I hope that I can make that number much higher next year.  I think it will do a lot for the blog if there’s more reviews as opposed to other things.

Real Life…

  1. I got into the college of my dreams, so I don’t have to worry about that anymore!
  2. It’s my very last year of high school, and that’s so scary. I’m so nervous looking forward for college and just the future of everything……..

To wrap up, I just want to thank all of you so much for being there and making blogging so much fun over the past year.  If not for you guys, I would never have wanted to stick with it as long as I do, and spend so much of my free time writing blog posts!  Thank you all, and I look forward to spending another awesome year with you!

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