year in review

2019 in Review

A new decade has officially begun! It’s crazy how fast 2019 went by. And what better way to welcome in the new year than by looking back at all the books I read last year? Plus, I’ll let you see some of the books I’m planning to read this year, too! (Not my whole TBR pile, of course – just the highest priority and imminent reads!)

You probably all know that Goodreads provides a Year in Books summary for users, with tons of cool statistics and highlights. If you’re interested in seeing what mine looks like, feel free to go check it out. Sadly, I did not reach my goal of 100 books, nor did I beat my record of 82 books read throughout 2017, but I did beat last year; I managed 58 books in total. That’s more than a book a week, so I guess that’s still pretty good!

Here are a few of the most noteworthy books that I read this past year, and a short summary of why I liked them so much:

  • The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I finished the first two and am partway through the third at the moment. I adored The Mortal Instruments series, and just love how these books follow a different group of characters, while still updating us on the original characters that we know and love. Seeing how everyone has grown up is just lovely, and I’m really growing fond of the new group, too. I’m invested in their issues, and I really feel their pain. The ending of Lord of Shadows near killed me; I’m still so shaken and sad.
  • The Astonishing Colour of After (which I reviewed here). An interesting angle on grief, with strong fantasy elements. The writing was just wonderful and the whole book was incredibly emotional.
  • The final two books in Alice Broadway’s Skin Books trilogy. (I loved the first one, too, but I read that in 2018 so thought it didn’t belong in this post.) A unique story, intriguing and exciting. The plot really did thicken throughout each of the books, and the series ended nicely, too.

And finally, here are some of the books I plan to read over the next year. I’m aiming for 100 books again, so I obviously won’t be listing them all here!

How many books did you manage to read this past year? Any particularly noteworthy? And what’s your goal for 2020? Do you have any specific books you’re planning to read?

I hope you all have a wonderful new year, and that everyone finds a new book love!

2018 In Review

Another year is over! I’m not sure how it happened so fast, but happy New Year! I’m going to list off my top five most noteworthy books from the last year. (That is, the ones I read last year – not necessarily ones that were published within it.)

1822182First up is A Note of MadnessI’ve read three of Tabitha Suzuma’s books and absolutely adored them all. There is so much emotion, suspense and pain in her writing. This particular series was incredibly emotional for me as it strongly reminded me of someone close to me. It was incredibly accurate and potent.

As you know, I always recommend books that discuss mental health. I’d definitely suggest reading this if you’re interested in that area. This addresses bipolar depression and suicide in particular.

30626556Next is History is All You Left MeIt was the first of Adam Silvera’s books that I’ve read, and I immediately fell in love with his writing. Again, this is an incredibly emotional novel, and was particularly relevant to me. The biggest thing I took away from this book was how to stop feeling guilty for replacing a deceased lover. At the time, my boyfriend was still sort of grieving for an ex, and I felt as if “competing with a ghost” (a beautiful quote from this novel). It is also an LGBTQ+ novel, which is always a bonus. It nearly made me cry, too, which is very rare!

7069333Another book I thoroughly enjoyed was the first HG Wells CollectionObviously, this is a collection of several different stories, my favourites being The Time Machine and The First Men in the Moon. It’s a staple for any sci-fi lover for sure. It’s a bit dated, but timeless at the same time. I adored Wells’ writing, feeling fully immersed in each story. The descriptions were lovely, leaving enough to your own imagination while still setting the scene perfectly. I would highly recommend this to anyone, even if you’re not particularly familiar with the genre.

32827036.jpgThe fourth book in this list is Ink, a book I picked up on a whim in the bookstore. I never actually posted a review of this one as I decided to read it purely for enjoyment, without constantly taking notes. I talked to everyone I knew about this and remember it in great detail. It’s about a society where everything in your life is written on your skin as tattoos. Even the bad things – displayed for the whole world to see. But then there are the Blanks, a feared group of unmarked people. I won’t give too much away but there is a lot of exciting, unexpected twists in this and I just loved it. I’m dying to start the sequel!

42192885Finally I’ve chosen Bone & Bread. This was another mental-health-related book, though it was rather different from any others I’d read. Beena is the narrator of this, switching between recalling childhood memories, later events and the current time. Overall, this is about her sister, Sadhana. She’s dead. Her heart gave out due to complications from her eating disorder. Beena notes the early symptoms of her sister’s illness, the struggles they went through together. What made this so unique is that not only is it told from an external point of view, but Beena isn’t sympathetic at all. She’s almost harsh about it. The way the illness is described is accurate, in my opinion, and not romanticised at all.

So that’s it! My top five books from 2018. What did you guys read? What were your favourites? A ton of great books were released that I never got round to reading, so if you have then feel free to tell me about them! Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to 2019!