That’s A Wrap! 2018 in Review

Hey y’all. I know i haven’t realllyyy been here in a a bit now (besides the poetry posts on Tuesdays but I don’t think that’s why most of you are following me), and I want to say sorry for the completely unplanned hiatus. I thought I was going to have the time to write one post a week and still keep on top of irl stuff, but that just wasn’t the case. I’ve had final projects, final exams, basketball related things, and just general almost-christmas life stuff that just kept piling on and suddenly I’d forgotten to blog in weeks. I’m going to try to change stuff up a bit to make myself more active in 2019, but that post will come next week. Today is all about reflecting, so let’s get to it.

All About Books...

(i know i said i was gonna get to changes next week but I made sorta cute banners and so we’re starting that now)

Guys!! This year has been SO. HARD. for reading. really, really, really hard. I feel like this is probably an exact duplicate of what I said last year, but college just makes everything so much harder.  I did my best to read, and was fortunate enough to pick realllyyy good books, so I think overall, although I had a lower quantity of books, my quality was great! Hopefully y’all think the same.

What I Read

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, #1)Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)All the Light We Cannot SeeThe GirlsTurtles All the Way DownSmall Great ThingsWe Were LiarsVanishing GirlsThe Leader's Compass: A Personal Leadership Philosophy Is Your Key to SuccessThe Last Time I LiedBig Little LiesThe Queen's Fool (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #12)The Hatred of PoetryThe Princess Saves Herself in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #1)Sonnets

What I Loved

Of the books that I read, 7 of them were rated five stars! That’s pretty damn good if you ask me. Of these seven, I’d say that three of them stood out in my head as being way better than all the other / way more recommendable. What I mean by this is basically– the Queen’s Fool was a five star read for me, but unless you’re super into Tudor Court smut/for some reason obsessed with Philippa Gregory/trying to make your life more romantic than it actually is, I don’t think you’re gonna rate it the same way. On the other hand, here’s a few books that I can almost guarantee you’ll love:

Turtles All the Way Down— I know this was somewhat controversial with the way mental health was portrayed, especially in regards to medication, but for me it was SUPER RELEVANT and made me feel very seen. I don’t have OCD but the way she talked about her anxiety was amazing, and plus it was a great plot, and I think everyone should read it.

Small Great Things— Honestly, I’m in this one for the message as well. I felt like it was really eye opening for me as a super privileged white woman to see all the microaggressions and sort of get called out. Also, I couldn’t put the book down and the plot was incredible, I felt so attached to the characters. Read it.

The Last Time I Lied— It wouldn’t be a Joce Certified List if there wasn’t at least one psycho thriller on it. Last year, Final Girls was one of my favorite books ever and this year, Riley Sager’s next book is also on the list!

What I Hated

There were a few books I read this year that I absolutely couldn’t stand, as sad as that is. For the most part they were books I read for school, but nonetheless still disappointing. Also, notice that all these links go to Goodreads. Because this year, I couldn’t be bothered to review books that I didn’t love. (sorry not sorry)

The Leader’s Compass— Honestly, this book could have been summed up in three pages and been equally (if not more) effective. And then, we could have left out all the sexist descriptions of women that contribute to the patriarchal office system we have in place today!!

All the Light We Cannot See— HOW. DID. THIS. BOOK. WIN. PRIZES. I don’t get it. It was so so so boring. I listened to it via audiobook over a 4ish day period, i was reading with friends, and i still couldn’t bring myself to be interested. There was no plot or conflict, and I didn’t feel invested enough in the characters to continue without that.

Fun Stats

My shortest book was The Hatred of Poetry, and my longest book was Shakespeare Sonnets, both of which (as you probably guessed) were for the poetry class I took this semester!

I actually read three books because I was told to– those two, and then Leader’s Compass. That’s a decently significant portion of books I read, especially since if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have found other books to fill them! Reading has been super hard but being forced to read helped me get through a few books this semester.

the write life

Okay, so reading didn’t go that great this semester, but I did other things, right?? (maybe not) Let’s talk about some blogging highlights of the year!

Best Blog Posts

Here’s some posts that you all thought were good this year (or at least good enough to read)!

  1. The Book Blogger Awards— As per usual, the book blogger awards received the absolute most traffic of all my posts. There were a TON of nominations this year, and I had a ton of fun going through them and finding new bloggers to follow!! This was the second year I hosted this, and I can honestly say that I think I’ll do it for as long as I run my blog, even though it’s a ton of work.
  2. How Hype Affects Reading— Way early this year, I wrote a discussion post on how hype affects our reading, and whether it can ruin a book for us. I think it was a pretty decent post in that I still think about the topic a lot, and clearly you all were interested too!
  3. Should You Buddy Read??— After buddy reading once this year, I decided to talk about my experiences. Overall, I can say that it’s definitely something I’d want to do again! for more opinions, read the post 😉
  4. The Nope Book Tag— Everyone in the book community loves a good unpopular opinion, and the number of views this post got prove it! I got tagged in this a little while ago, and wrote all about my NOPE book opinions, which y’all seemed to find interesting.
  5. Blogging Advice: Consistency— I wrote a blogging advice post on the pros and cons of blogging consistently (hahahaha ironic considering my current blogging status of… not) which I personally think was helpful, and hopefully some of you will feel the same!

Worst Blog Posts

You know how sometimes you spend a really long time on a post, or wake up in the morning with a great post idea, and then you write it and it just… doesn’t work? Well, that didn’t not happen to me this year. Here’s some of the posts that fell flat, for whatever reason.

  1. Book Tour: The Crossroads of Logan Michaels— guys this book sounds good, and there’s an excerpt and everything in there! maybe it’s just a bad genre for the readers of this blog, but it deserves more than the views it got i swear! if you’re looking for a new book to read maybe check this out (or maybe this is a sign i shouldn’t do book tours…)
  2. The Poetry Series— I started a poetry series a little over a month ago, where I posted my opinions of sonnets I read and things. Well, y’all were not a fan, and it fell a little bit flat. Over the next month or so, I plan on continuing, so you can plan on continuing to ignore. I think they’ll be useful eventually, but I promise that i’ll start posting real posts sometimes too!
  3. The Last Time I Lied Review— Okay guys, I’m just gonna assume that nobody read this review because you all already read the book, because if that’s not the case, I don’t know what you’re doing. Read the review and then read the book!!!!!
(i know you’re probably wondering why i always have fewer things in my “worsts” list than best, so let me tell you: i’m doing a positivity challenge in life, and you can only have ~1/2 the number of complaints as positives, so i’m transferring that to the blog too!)

Fun Stats

My absolute favorite part of the summary. Let’s talk about my blogging stats!! Overall, this year was far worse than last, but that’s because I blogged way less. I mean, just look at the numbers (from december 20th, because that’s when I wrote this post):

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This year, I didn’t even hit 10,000 views, which is, to put it frankly, sad. At some point in 2017 I was hitting over 1,500 views a month, and then I stopped blogging and it dropped off. I suppose it makes sense, seeing as how I am only posting <1 time a week, whereas I used to post 3x, but I mean… still sad.

Individual posts are getting more views though! I had my first post hit over 1,000 views this year, which is absolutely incredible and just generally makes me really happy that so many people are reading things that I write 🙂

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I had a ton of search term hits, the most popular of which are shown above. My favorite is that two people searched “how would you describe someine you are passionately in love with” and clicked my blog?? Like did the same person search it and spell the word wrong twice? or did two people spell someone wrong?? i’m confused but also glad that you found your way here, dear searcher.

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Clicks!! For those of you who aren’t familiar with wordpress, clicks are basically just outgoing links from my blog. I sent the most to goodreads, twitter, and fictionpress (where I used to post writing, but no longer have an account), which I’d say makes sense. But also, I’ve sent a decent amount to everyone who won a book blogger award, which is awesome!! they deserve it!!

Personal Writing

Over the past year, I haven’t written as much as I would ideally like, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t written at all. I decided to start writing an autobiography, which is nowhere near done, but I’ve accumulated a main 20 or so pages and then an additional 15 pages or so of random other stories that I’m not sure how fit in yet. And it’s been really fun to do!

I’ve also written a lot of poetry, mostly angsty teen stuff that nobody wants to read. Other than that, my novels have mostly stalled out, although I did start a short story recently that I have no good conclusion for but feel like I could turn into a full length novel if I had the time.

I’d say on the whole, although I didn’t write a ton (and didn’t even try nano, for the first year since I started my blog), it was still really great and I’m happy with what I did end up writing

All About Books... (1)

So, what about my personal life?

As you all probably already know, I started my second year of school at MIT this year!! It’s been wildly hard, harder than anything I’ve ever done, and balancing basketball and school and friends has been almost impossible.

but that being said, I think i’ve been doing a better job. At the beginning of this year, I sort of abandoned all of my friends except for a select few, and that’s something that still makes me feel really shitty. After taking the summer to kind of figure that out, I came back at the end of this year and have been working way harder at those friendships, and I hope to continue that into next year!!

As far as me personally, my mental health has been rouuugghhhh in the past few months. I’ve had more breakdowns than ever before, and spent more time staring at the wall in my bed when I should be in class than is good for anyone. I’m hoping to do more to manage that in the next year, and I’ve been taking steps to make sure I don’t have other stressers that make everything worse.

So yeah, that’s the year! I’d say overall it’s been one of the best years I’ve ever had, in large part because of the people I have around me. I have better friends than I’ve ever had in my entire life, and am generally wildly happy when my mental health isn’t getting in the way!!

let's talk

So that’s my 2018!! How was your year? What were your favorite books? Least favorite? How’s life going!! Let me know in the comments

joce-sign-off

End of the Year Extravaganza Part I // My Favorite Books of 2017

IT’S OFFICIALLY DECEMBER! AND NOT EVEN THAT, BUT LIKE HALFWAY THROUGH.  That means it’s time for Christmas season and end-of-the-year fun and I can’t wait.  That’s why from here on in, I’m going to be posting 3x a week (monday wednesday and friday) so that I can fit in all the fun wrap up posts that I want to do.  Plus, it seems like a great way to celebrate the end of a really great year!!

For Part I of my end of the year extravaganza, I’m going to be talking about my favorite books (because, well, this is a book blog and if I for some reason fall off the face of the earth tomorrow at least we’ll have this).  It’s going to be super tough for me to do, since I read SO MANY GREAT BOOKS THIS YEAR but here we go!

Continue reading “End of the Year Extravaganza Part I // My Favorite Books of 2017”

Opinion: The Goodreads Choice Awards

Tis the holiday season… and that means AWARDS SEASON!!!

In the coming months, there will be soooo many big end of year blogger and book awards coming out for us to vote in, the biggest of which is open now: THE GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS!!

I personally love book awards and voting and stuff (not really sure why tbh) and so I decided to talk about how excited I was and also all of the things I think could be better about them…

At my time of writing this post, it’s the semifinal round (which is obviously closed soon) so I’ll just base all of my opinions off of that

Continue reading “Opinion: The Goodreads Choice Awards”

The Absolute Cutest YA Friendships Ever

Sure, most of the YA community is obsessed with SHIPs and OTPs and all other types of romance, because let’s be real, that’s fun to talk about.  And it gives us the feels in alllllll  the right places.  But to me and (I’m sure) lots of other people in the #BroodyBFF community, FRIENDSHIP is actually wayyy better.  It can be so so much more fun to read about, and still give you feels (although they’re a little different).  Just think of all of your favorite books all time.  Most likely, they had REALLY FRICKIN SOLID friendships to get them through their ordeals. Or else they wouldn’t have succeeded.  And that’s what makes them special.  Today, as part of the Broody BFF Challenge #7, we’re going to be talking about the best YA friendships I can think of.  While you’re here, check out Becoming a Main Character (almost) as Awesome as Me on Goodreads!

WARNING: THERE’S SPOILERS FOR HARRY POTTER BELOW

Harry Potter

Image result for harry potter ron and hermione

I feel like this’ll probably show up on everybody’s lists, but it’s so true.  Sure, Ron and Hermione ended up together in the end, but the entire time they were in school (aka when the books took place) it was about the strongest friendship I’ve ever seen, and it basically set me up for super unrealistic expectations of what I want to have as I grow up.  And, I mean, I had it in middle school for 2 years, but now that I’ve lost it I kind of like to return to the solace of the books, yanno? It’s the best friendship adventure I could think of, and is the vision of healthy relationships.

Code Name Verity

code name verity | Tumblr
Shoutout to Supaslim for the art

I don’t remember all of the details of this book, but I do know that it’s told dual perspective from two best friends, and set up for a slow burn reveal that KILLSSS ME and left me reeling for days.  I will recommend this book to literally anyone who enjoys YA historical fiction (and people who don’t, because you never know) because the friendship is perfect and the plot is perfect.  Bottom line, this is a must read.

Percy Jackson

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Percy, Annabeth were great friends.  I adored them and their relationship, but I never really shipped them like I do other m/f friendships. I mean, they obviously fit together really well, but at the same time they were FRIENDS TILL THE END and I loved it.  Although the main point of this book wasn’t their friendship, I think it came across really well.

I’ll Give You the Sun

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Melodramaticmelon is the real MVP for this one!

Admittedly, this isn’t quite a friendship, but it’s a brother sister relationship that’s basically friendship that got explored A LOT through the book.  It wasn’t all sunny in friendship land, but the way everything went down made me feel like it was a really good look at true friends/brother sister love. My mom would disagree with you and say that one of the two is simply an asshole, but I don’t see it that way.  I dunno.

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What are the best books about friendship? What does a strong friendship mean to you? Do you prefer books with romance or friendship?

joce-sign-off


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