Happy New Years everybody! Pop those corks, pump up the music and hug it out. You’ve made it through another year!
It sounds corny, but I’m so appreciative of everything in my life as 2015 comes to a close.
I feel like my relationships with friends and family have only grown stronger this year, and I feel lucky to have a number of amazing, passionate and loyal people in my life. 2015 has been a big personal year for me and I’ve learnt so much. I’m more sure, centred and confident about who I am, to the point where I really don’t care what anyone else thinks! And I’ve stopped obsessing over the what ifs that used to stop me from taking chances.
2015 saw me complete the dreaded dissertation and graduate from university top of my class and in the top 10 of the university with first class honours in psychology. It’s the year I turned 21 and braved driving lessons for the first time despite my terror. I took a chance and dyed my hair brunette… and then changed it back again! I got a job, gave my blog a whole new look and read some amazing ARCs. I gained a boyfriend and we went on some travels to Wales (for the town of books), Belgium, Amsterdam and France, creating some amazing memories. Finally, I went to my first ever bookish convention, YALC, where I got to meet many of the authors I idolized such as Non Pratt, Malorie Blackman, Patrick Ness and Samantha Shannon! Here are some of my fave pics from the year:
Unfortunately, it wasn’t such a great bookish year in terms of actual reading.
Although I got through 30 books and 13,794 pages and came across some amazing YA fantasy reads, I only discovered five, 5-star books that I wanted to exclaim to the world about, while most of my reads gathered around the 3 stars mark. 2015 saw me entering one of the worst reading slumps I’ve ever experienced! I’ve never really suffered from them before, but I think it may have been because I had so many other personal things going on. 🙂 However, there were still some reads that blew me away, and here are some of my favourites:
- The Diviners by Libba Bray ★★★★☆ – A compelling supernatural murder mystery with vibrant characters and gorgeous creeptastic imagery.
- Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (Diviners – Book 2) ★★★★★ – A spellbinding second installment of The Diviners series which captivates and enthralls.
- The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon ★★★★★ – An immersive fantasy story with a smoldering romance.
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ★★★★★ – A unique and powerful book unlike any other I have read. Raw, emotional and haunting.
- All the Bright Places by Jenniver Niven ★★★★★ – A heart-wrenching novel about depression, friendship and survivors guilt. (Yet to be reviewed).
- Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne ★★★★☆ – The best book on mental health I have ever read, about a girl with OCD fighting to hide the truth. (Yet to be reviewed).
- The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling ★★★☆☆ – A slow-paced slog about village politics with a killer, heart-wrenching ending that will have you thinking more than any other novel you read this year.
- A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin ★★★★★ – With endless pages of non-stop action, twists and shocking deaths this was the best installment of the series so far!
And how did I do with my 2015 resolutions?
Pretty well as it turns out! I graduated with way over a 2:1, got a job (just) and I not only started having driving lessons but my instructor says I’m almost ready to do a mock test! I also succeeded, much to my surprise, to not worry about my lack of future plans and avoided falling into a post-uni slump (which may or may not have been helped by the distraction that is the new boyfriend)!
I also did pretty well with my bookish resolutions. I finished the House of Night series (at last, huzzah!), and continued to finish off several book series/get up to date with them (managing to catch up/finish 5, and nearly managing a 6th!) However, I completely failed with keeping up to date with review posts. While I did well at the start of the year, I lost my reviewing mojo when the reading slump appeared! I also epically failed at reading 5 books off the Rory Gilmore Challenge, only managing one (A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens). However, I found that I wasn’t really in the mood for classics this year and found myself opting for lighter reads, and I didn’t want to force anything for the sake of it!
And now for my personal and bookish resolutions for 2016!
1) Pass my driving theory and practical tests so that I can officially drive!
2) Travel, travel and travel some more.
3) To seek out new experiences. – I’ve had a lot of fun days out this year and it has made life so much more fun. So I want to try and keep this up!
4) Start properly considering a future career path. – This is the only not so fun one on the list *grumble, grumble.*
1.) To read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – I’ve wanted to pick this famous classic up for about 7 years and somehow it never ends up happening. 2016 WILL BE THE YEAR PEOPLES.
2.) Read 3 books off of the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge.
3.) Try and reduce my TBR pile. (DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT. I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING. BUT I REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME.) My TBR currently stands at 154 books and the thing is, there are so many amazing books on there I never get to, and it’s time I did!
And that’s a wrap! I hope you all have a wonderful New Years Eve and a great 2016. Let’s make it a great one. 🙂
Do you have any personal or bookish resolutions this year? What were your favourite reads of 2015? I’m always looking for recommendations!