So, a few days ago, I did the 2013 Book Survey, but as the title already implies, that one was very book-centered and while I'm still going on mostly about books in this post, I wanted to draw a more general and overall conclusion of this year and say a bit more about it than just answer some questionnaire.
Thus, this is what I have to say about the year 2013.
Psh some of this was inspired by Bloody's post.
I think I'm going to do everything else first, and then at the end I'm going to do my overview of all the books I have read this year. This way, it's not quite as uninteresting and book heavy at first.
Music this year has been very steady. I haven't made any groundbreaking new discoveries, but I did find some nice bands, and what I can definitely say is that I have been more open to the pop and mainstream genre this year. My mainstream playlist on Spotify has been growing a lot, more even than my main alternative one I think, and I'm actually feeling a little guilty for neglecting my usual Pop Punk bands and songs.
Highlights this year? The highlight of the highlights would be the RETURN OF FALL OUT BOY. I had been hoping for them to get back together ever since the start of their hiatus back in 2009/'10. I jumped out of my seat and danced around my room when I heard they were back, and releasing a new album soon. I was more than ready for one of my absolute favorite bands to be back again in my life with new music. Other than that, I thought the new album of THE SUMMER SET, "Legendary", was crazy good and definitely one of the best albums this year. So was "Too Weird to Live, Too Young to Die" by PANIC! AT THE DISCO. There were some albums though, like "Paramore" by PARAMORE that I was looking forward to but didn't like very much in the end. I only really loved one song of their album, which was "Ain't It Fun," but I'm still hoping that I'll like any other new music they'll release. Another musical highlight was the release of "Demi" by DEMI LOVATO, whom I have always been a huge fan of and has been one of my fewer pop guilty pleasures up until I became such a pop fan this year. Demi is one of my idols and I look up to her, so I was very excited for her new album and it really did not disappoint at all.
But well, let's look at my favorite songs of 2013. The listing is not by how much I liked them, but simply the order in which I'm reading them off Last.fm right now.
1.) A LOVE LIKE WAR (feat. Vic Fuentes) by ALL TIME LOW
“At the end of the day you can tell me I'm wrong / 'Cause you went to all of this trouble.”
2.) RHYTHM OF THE ROOM by DIVIDED BY FRIDAY
“Hey, I really wanna get to know you / Hey, I really wanna get to love you / But I keep hearing everybody's touching your body.”
3.) MY SONGS KNOW WHAT YOU DID IN THE DARK by FALL OUT BOY
“A constellation of tears on your lashes / Burn everything you love, then burn the ashes / In the end everything collides / My childhood spat back out the monster that you see.”
4.) NICOTINE by PANIC! AT THE DISCO
“'Cause you could never love me back / Cut every tie I have to you / 'Cause your love's a fucking drag. / Yeah, you're worse than nicotine.”
5.) THE WAY WE WERE by THE SUMMER SET
“We used to rule the world / Every kiss was an adventure / Every night with you was like a holiday.”
6.) WATCH YOU GO by JORDIN SPARKS
“But before we fall out again there's something you should know / I hate to see you leave but I love to watch you go.”
7.) FIRE IN MY HEART by SIMPLE PLAN
“Cause I'm burning up it ain't no joke / And all my cells are growing old / Caught up in a blaze with no way out.”
8.) LA LA LA by NAUGHTY BOY
“If our love is running out of time / I won't count the hours, rather be a coward.”
9.) STRAWBERRY BUBBLEGUM by JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
“So tell me you wanna get close somewhere far away, far away / Don't worry about your love it won't go to waste, go to waste / Don't ever change your flavor 'cause I love the taste, love the taste.”
10.) 12 THROUGH 15 by MAYDAY PARADE
“The walls keep coming down but I’ll stand brave / Love is just an empty word you say.”
11.) SUBTERRANEAN BULLSHIT BLUES by DEAF HAVANA
“I look forward to the day I can say / "Look what I've done with my life, aren't you proud" / But until that day comes I'll keep holding on for an easy way out.”
12.) NIGHTINGALE by DEMI LOVATO
“I never see the forest for the trees / I could really use your melody.”
13.) BLINK by REVIVE
“Teach me to number my days / And count every moment / Before it slips away / Take in all the colors / Before they fade to grey.”
14.) HERE COMES TROUBLE by HONOR SOCIETY
“She's lethal, with the license to kill / Her love is ripping me up in the street / She's a heartbreaker.”
15.) CANALS by ALL TIME LOW
“Darling, I don't want to know / If I'm just a short sight on a cold night / The canals are freezing / So tell me I'm alright with a goodbye.”
16.) THIS IS TWICE NOW by LYDIA
“Second time now and you've done this before / Drive around the back so I can't see them / But you're still freezing.”
Yup, that's about it. Of course there were a thousand more songs that I loved during the year, and it surprises me to say that a lot of Justin Bieber's songs were amongst those, but well, these are the ones I blasted the most. Not all of these have been released this year obviously, but a lot of them were.
Like I said, I'm really not much of a cinematic person, I never watch TV (I mean it. Never.), the only time I use my flat screen is when I play video games or watch DVDs, which isn't that often (the latter, anyways. Not the former.) I have seen a few movies this year, mostly adaptations, so let's see if I can get them straight.
1.) WARM BODIES (2013)
Yeah, I actually think this was the first movie I watched this year. I read the book before I watched the movie and I liked how they did it, and I especially loved the actors. Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer were an awesome duo.
2.) BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (2013)
Didn't really like this one much, I like how they characterized Lena and I think Alice Englert did a very good job, but the script was the thing that failed me here. I'm usually the last one to complain about an adaptation not following the book, but it messed up a lot of the plot here and made a sequel kind of unnecessary and should there ever be one, it is going to have to be completely different than Beautiful Darkness, simply because they laid so many foundations at the end of this movie that weren't there in the books and they'd have to explore in the movie.
3.) RUBINROT (RUBY RED) (2013)
This is actually a German movie, made by Germans. I'm not sure whether this has actually been translated into English or any language at this point yet, but I was really excited for this movie and it did not disappoint. Jannis Niewöhner and Maria Ehrich did SUCH A GREAT JOB, I could kiss them they were so good. The movie captured the essence of the book very nicely and while it, too, deviated quite a bit from the novel I still enjoyed it a lot. Like I said, I'm not that picky about those things, movie adaptations should be seen as a separate entity from the book and as such, I thought it was stellar.
4.) THE HOST (2013)
I actually dropped the book indefinitely because I couldn't go on after 150 pages and still to this day haven't been able to finish it, so I was extremely surprised that I liked the movie so much. It could be because it stars Saoirse Ronan, who is basically my favorite actress ever, and Max Irons, one of my favorite actors and Jake Abel whom I also like a lot. Could be. Yeah, I actually feel a little guilty because I didn't finish the book before watching the movie but I don't know if I ever will get back to the novel, really.
5.) THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012)
I only ever got around to watch it this year, and I really enjoyed it. Looks like I will be watching the sequel, which came out a few weeks ago, next year as well. And I have to admit that I watched it with German synchronization because I watched Lord of the Rings in German back in the day and it would have been weird to hear, like Legolas' English voice instead of the one I'm used to. Otherwise, I usually watch any shows or movies in English.
6.) THOR (2011) & THE AVENGERS (2012)
I think it was this year I watched these two. I think. Not sure, though. My friend had to coerce me into finally watching these, because while they had been on my to-watch list for forever, I procrastinated actually watching them. Why? I have no clue, probably because of my catchphrase: I simply don't watch a lot of movies. I liked them, though.
7.) DORIAN GRAY (2009)
The movie really made me want to read the book, which I still haven't done ... but anyways, this movie got a lot of bad reviews but personally, I loved it. Especially Ben Barnes' performance was absolutely flawless I can't even. Awesome movie, a little creepy and weird, but awesome.
8.) THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (2008)
This was a re-watch, and of course I adored it.
9.) THE CONJURING (2013)
This is actually considered a "good" horror movie and I cannot fathom why. Me and my best friend watched this together because it had good ratings, and by the middle we were laughing our asses off. This is one sorry excuse for a horror movie, but nonetheless, it entertained me — just not in the way it was supposed to. Still, the movie is kind of sentimental for me because of that wonderful, wonderful night spent cracking up with a precious, precious person.
10.) REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000)
A movie I watched with that same best friend that I was just talking about, and one I think I only enjoyed because of best friend's presence. Without him, I probably wouldn't have seen this movie to the end, because while it was interesting, it wasn't really my type of movie, or genre. Still okay, though, and apparently considered a movie that you simply must have seen once in your life. Glad I got that one off the list, 'cause I'm seriously lagging behind.
11.) FROZEN (2013)
I only watched this a few weeks ago and I really, really loved it so incredibly much. Such an amazing, complex and intriguing story, I loved the characters (Olaf and Elsa are my favorites!) and it really made my cry a couple of times. I could especially relate to Anna, because my older brother and I were the best of friends when we were kids but now that we're older, we've grown apart so much and I still have days where I miss him a lot. So, another movie with some sentimental value, but also one that is just overall great.
12.) THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES (2013)
I liked the movie, I really did. I thought they did a pretty accurate job and can I just say the actors were FLAWLESS? I expected a bit more from Kevin Zegers because he was a bit lacking sometimes, but other than that ... perfect cast is perfect. Especially Jemima and Robert were crazy good at portraying their characters.
And then there was my re-watch of all the Harry Potter movies when I was reading the books, although, like I said, all of those were re-watches. Yes, I had seen all the HP movies before reading the books, shame on me. But yeah ... this is it. No Startrek Into Darkness, no Catching Fire, no Thor 2, no Despicable Me 2
(I haven't even watched the first one yet) ... I told you, I suck at watching movies. But what about TV series?
1.) TEEN WOLF (2011)
Well, this summer I discovered Teen Wolf for me. I actually watched the first season some time last year, thought it was okay and didn't continue. But something compelled me to give the second season a try and suddenly I was like "BOY WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING JESUS CHRIST" and I was hooked. Completely sold on this show, I stayed up every Monday night till 4am just so I could watch the new episodes live. And I counted the hours, always counted the hours until the new episode. I swear I have been going crazy waiting for the premiere of 3b and I am so happy when I finally have my Teen Wolf goodiness back in A FEW DAYS!
2.) AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN (2013)
I've loved AHS ever since I stumbled across it while the first season was still airing in 2011, yeah, I was one of the first - slides on hipster glasses. - I've infected one of my best friends, namely the guy I watched The Conjuring and Requiem for a Dream with, let's just call him J for now, to watch this too and we usually watch the episodes together. We already did this with the second season last year, which was when J jumped on the bandwagon and it's always cool to talk about and I love the show and I love him (platonic) and yeah. Yeah, AHS is cool while also being extremely and uncomfortably terrifying and horrible.
3.) ONCE UPON A TIME (2011)
This is actually the same game as with Teen Wolf, I watched the first season a while back and actually started with the first episode of the second season, but I never continued somehow. One day, I said to myself "Well you gotta finish what you started" and I resumed watching. I like this show, what draws me in with this one are the character relationships which are amazingly done, emotional and realistic (well, kind of).
4.) ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND (2013)
Haha yeah I was considering putting these two together but nah, I think it deserves its own place. I'm going to be honest with you and just say it: I actually like this spin-off better than I do the original series, I think. A lot of people say that they think this spin-off is rubbish and stuff, but ... I simply love it. I love the characters, I love the plot, and I think the actors are doing such great jobs. Maybe it's because of my bias towards everything Alice in Wonderland, but I adore this show.
5.) ORPHAN BLACK (2013)
I watched the entire season in one day. I can't tell you how much respect I have for Tatiana Maslany, she is a goddess because she is able to pull off so many different characters, so many different personas and make it so damn convincing I'm seriously questioning if that is just one person after all. Great series, cool plot, nice characters and good actors. I don't need more than that.
6.) GAME OF THRONES: Season 3 (2013)
This was the last time I watched this show without having read the book first. I finished A Storm of Swords a few days ago and I am damn ready for Season 4, but I really loved Season 3 because shit really started hitting the fan in this one. As I hadn't read the books, Episode 9 really was a punch in the gut and I just sat there and laughed nervously and waited for the punchline. Only there was none and I was left to wonder. They couldn't possibly... But THEY DID. Or rather, MARTIN DID. I'm still not over it, yeah.
7.) REIGN (2013)
Terribly anachronistic and stuff, I know. And I've tried not to like it, but ... I don't know what it is, maybe it's the beautiful costumes or Adelaide Kane, but I do enjoy Reign. A lot. It was a nice and fluffy show up until episode 7 when BAM suddenly it was full of suspense and intrigue and ANGST and what even happened here?! I don't know but I like it. I don't like where the show is heading though, that last episode before the short hiatus ... why are you doing this, Mary. D: We'll see how I'll like the show if what happened last episode is going to be held up for long.
Yup, that's it for TV shows. What's on my watch list for next year? Well, I'm hoping to continue on with all of these when they come back, and I'm planning on starting these: Hannibal, Arrow, Sleepy Hollow and Misfits. Possibly The Vampire Diaries. I'm not yet sure if I'll watch Supernatural just yet because I'm sure I'll succumb to the hype and sell my soul which I can't do because I've already sold it too many times. And I'm slowly nearing BBC Sherlock, I've already watched two episodes this year. Baby steps. But since season 3 will be over in a few days anyway, I can take my time. The show won't be going anywhere .... Okay, that was cruel. Sorry, Sherlock fans.
Huh. Hm. I didn't lie when I said I played a lot of video games this year, it's just that I really didn't play a lot of new ones. In fact, the only new ones I did play were Bethesda's Fallout 3, which I liked and Dark Souls, which is such a hard game, seriously, I just... I still haven't beaten it yet and as of now, lent it out to a friend and he's having an extremely hard time as well.
Other than that, I finally, finally did a re-run of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as a Dark Elf battlemage. This is my favorite Elder Scrolls game and I haven't played it for years, so I was happy that I finally got the chance to play it again. This time I was even able to beat the full Shivering Isle add-on, I've never seen that one through to the end somehow when I was younger. And then I did three re-runs of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, simply just because I like the gameplay since it's pretty straightforward. I don't think it's dumbed down exactly, but Bethesda definitely holds your hand a lot more than in previous games and leveling and honing your skills is ridiculously easy. If you're ready to invest sit in front of the TV for a bit, you can have a level 60 character with little effort in a relatively small amount of time. Anyways, the first re-run I did as a Darkelf Fire mage (Darkelf is my favorite race, yup), the second as a Breton archer assassin and my third as a Highelf Ice mage. I started the latter a couple of days ago, and haven't done much yet (I'm currently Level 9), but I'm still debating in which order I'm going to do the quest lines.
I also played The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, although I have yet to beat the game 100%, like do all the Guild quest lines and stuff. I did it as a Darkelf battlemage again, I know, I know... always the same. However, I am so looking forward to The Elder Scrolls Online which is going to be awesome, I just know it. I plan on playing a dual-wielding character this time around, although I'm still not sure whether I want dual-wielding war axe or mace, or sword/dagger combo. We'll see.
I then did re-runs of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time, like I said this year I mostly played old games again. Not much to say here, I love the Legend of Zelda games and always will, Link is one of my favorite heroes and yadda yadda yadda.
That's basically it, yup. I spent the most time on Skyrim in 2013, I guess, especially at the beginning of the year which was when its DLCs Dragonborn and Dawnguard were released for PS3 and I really adore them. Dragonborn especially, it was such a great DLC I gushed over its magnificence so much when it came out.
Well, first and foremost, I'd like to say: Good riddance. 2013 was not my year at all and I am not at all sad to see it go and try to make a better year out of 2014. I'm usually not the one to believe in "new year, new chance" or just generally be all psyched about New Year's, in fact, it is one of my least favorite "holidays", if you can consider it that. I don't like to go out and party at New Year's and I never really feel like it's any special day. I don't feel different on the 31st of December, or 1st of January, than I do on the 7th of October. However, I want this January 1st to feel like a new beginning for once, because I want 2014 to be my year. I actually want Weightless to by All Time Low be my soundtrack of the year for once, and I want to be sad to see 2014 come to an end for once.
My goals? To feel more comfortable in my own skin. To get out more and be nicer. I've always struggled with being sociable and kind to other people, while I'm never really rude or anything, I am always kind of awkward and too snarky. And I don't even mean like "cute and "oh I'm so nerdy and geeky" awkward", no, I really mean awkward. I blush furiously every time I raise my hand and answer a question in class, I feel like everyone is watching and judging me every time I walk down the street and it is getting ridiculous. I should not feel this anxious when out in public, but I do and that's part of why I don't like going out that much. I used to, but my self-confidence deteriorated over the course of this year until there was basically nothing left. The only thing I have left is my bit of self-respect and dignity, but other than that, I'd love to jump out of this skin every second of the day. I've come to hate looking in the mirror or looking down at my body and it's getting out of hand. So, my goal for 2014 is to come to terms with this issue and preferably, resolve it and be done with it. I want to feel beautiful again. I want to be able to look in the mirror again. I want to be able to take selfies again, and actually upload and use them. And I will. For me, and me alone. It may take time, I know, but I will overcome this.
The only good thing about 2013 is that I have finally made one my dreams come true, and that is opening this book blog. I haven't made much progress with it in terms of followers, because until a few weeks ago I hadn't even figured out how to actually add the right Follower widget, so while I thought I had acquired nine followers, it was only like Google+ circle followers...thingy. I don't know, but it was the wrong one. But I'm still really overjoyed that these nine, and the 3 actual ones, have subscribed/followed me. I don't really care how much readers I have, I simply want to have a place where I can post anything, not only reviews (I could have simply remained on Goodreads for that), but also Tags and Challenges and Favorites posts... all that. I want to get my reviews out there to promote the books I loved, and while that is certainly better accomplished with some followers, I still don't mind having so little. I love and appreciate every single one, though. Obviously. Please never leave me, seeing that number three makes me not feel so utterly ridiculous when I address an audience in my blog posts and say "Take care" at the end of them. <3
Do I have any plans concerning my blogging for 2014? Yeah. I want to work on a new Blog Layout and overall design, because while my current one makes do, I don't much fancy it. It's very random and noob-ish... If I will ever acquire the skills to actually manage to do something worthwhile is questionable though, but I'm trying! Other than that, I want to make monthly Haul posts where I show off my new book purchases, which I have been wanting to do for months now but I never really got around to, mostly because I usually order one big batch of books at the beginning of the month but since those books are often shipped off in many batches I get them one by one and when I finally got them all I can't seem to be bothered to just take some photos and make a post about it. I'm very lazy in this department, and I'll change that, too. Well, then I'm also toying with the idea to make at least one movie/TV show review per week or month, not sure yet. I'm not a big film fan, as you'll discover later on in this post, and this policy will hopefully get me to watch more movies and TV shows, since I'm really not watching enough. And I want to have one thing that I'll do weekly, like some Quote of the Week, or Wishing on Wednesday, Top Ten Tuesday, something. I haven't decided which one I'll use yet, but... something. I still have some other blogging ideas, but we'll see about them. I don't feel like I really have a big enough audience to really pull any of my plans off though, I think it'd be a wasted effort but ... like I said, we'll see.
However, let's stray from my personal issues and problems and look at the brighter side: I managed to read 154 books this year, or so Goodreads tells me. I am going to construct a list and subtract any kind of novellas or other things that don't really belong there and I'll tell you what the score is in the end. Oh, my goal was 100 books by the way, and I think I definitely managed that, even if you subtract any novellas and stuff like that, which makes me really proud. I've never managed to read this many books before, my goal last year was 50 and I managed to clock in at 78, so managing the 100 is a huge deal for me. I'll mark books that became my favorites or that I especially liked with an extra star (★), and also include what rating I gave them. Books that I did a review for have links, of course. And I didn't use half stars but rather if it was a half star rating I gave the one I'd tend more to now.
• Days of Blood & Starlight (4 Stars) by Laini Taylor
• Through The Ever Night (5 Stars) by Veronica Rossi
• Tschick (3 Stars) by Wolfgang Herrndorf
• Deity (4 Stars) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
• Boundless (5 Stars) by Cynthia Hand
• The Raven Boys (5 Stars) by Maggie Stiefvater ★
• Obisidian (3 Stars) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
• Holes (2 Stars) by Louis Sachar
• Onyx (2 Stars) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
• The Indigo Spell (5 Stars) by Richelle Mead ★
• Shades of Earth (4 Stars) by Beth Revis
• Scarlet (5 Stars) by Marissa Meyer
• Prodigy (4 Stars) by Marie Lu
• Asunder (4 Stars) by Jodi Meadows
• Shiver (2 Stars) by Maggie Stiefvater
• Requiem (5 Stars) by Lauren Oliver
• Linger (2 Stars) by Maggie Stiefvater
• Clockwork Princess (5 Stars) by Cassandra Clare ★
• The Eternity Cure (5 Stars) by Julie Kagawa ★
• Beautiful Creatures (2 Stars) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
• Beautiful Darkness (1 Star) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
• Beautiful Chaos (3 Stars) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
• Beautiful Redemption (3 Stars) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
• Forever (3 Stars) by Maggie Stiefvater
• Opal (2 Stars) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
• White Cat (4 Stars) by Holly Black
• Siege and Storm (5 Stars) by Leigh Bardugo ★
• Red Glove (3 Stars) by Holly Black
• Black Heart (3 Stars) by Holly Black
• Black City (3 Stars) by Elizabeth Richards
• Let The Sky Fall (3 Stars) by Shannon Messenger
• The Archived (5 Stars) by Victoria Schwab ★
• The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (basically all of these ranged between 3 and 4 stars)
• Das Amulett (3 Stars) by C. F. Meyer
• Reboot (3 Stars) by Amy Tintera
• A Game of Thrones (4 Stars) by George R. R. Martin
• Leviathan (3 Stars) by Scott Westerfeld
• Behemoth (4 Stars) by Scott Westerfeld
• Goliath (3 Stars) by Scott Westerfeld
• The Darkest Minds (5 Stars) by Alexandra Bracken ★
• Silber (5 Stars) by Kerstin Gier ★
• Unravel Me (3 Stars) by Tahereh Mafi
• Angelfall (5 Stars) by Susan Ee ★
• Apollyon (2 Stars) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
• The Selection (2 Stars) by Kiera Cass
• Sweet Evil (2 Stars) by Wendy Higgins
• Ashes & Ice (1 Star) by Rochelle Maya Callen
• The Girl of Fire and Thorns (2 Stars) by Rae Carson
• Perfect Chemistry (4 Stars) by Simone Elkeles
• The Book Thief (4 Stars) by Markus Zusak
• Everneath (4 Stars) by Brodi Ashton ★
• Everbound (4 Stars) by Brodi Ashton ★
• Paranormalcy (3 Stars) by Kiersten White
• Supernaturally (1 Star) by Kiersten White
• A Midsummer Night's Dream (4 Stars) by William Shakespeare
• Endlessly (2 Stars) by Kiersten White
• Born Wicked (4 Stars) by Jessica Spotswood ★
• Star Cursed (4 Stars) by Jessica Spotswood ★
• Wither (3 Stars) by Lauren DeStefano ★
• The Crown of Embers (4 Stars) by Rae Carson
• Fever (3 Stars) by Lauren DeStefano
• Sever (5 Stars) by Lauren DeStefano ★
• The Near Witch (5 Stars) by Victoria Schwab
• Anna and the French Kiss (4 Stars) by Stephanie Perkins
• Dearly, Departed (2 Stars) by Lia Habel
• Shade (2 Stars) by Jeri Smith-Ready
• Shift (2 Stars) by Jeri Smith-Ready
• Shine (2 Stars) by Jeri Smith-Ready
• With All My Soul (3 Stars) by Rachel Vincent
• The Fifth Wave (4 Stars) by Rick Yancey
• Goddess (1 Star) by Josephine Angelini
• The Summoning (3 Stars) by Kelley Armstrong
• The Awakening (2 Stars) by Kelley Armstrong
• Lola and the Boy Next Door (3 Stars) by Stephanie Perkins
• Pivot Point (4 Stars) by Kasie West
• Lips Touch: Three Times (5 Stars) by Laini Taylor
• The Reckoning (3 Stars) by Kelley Armstrong
• The Pledge (4 Stars) by Kimberly Derting ★
• The Essence (5 Stars) by Kimberly Derting ★
• Frigid (2 Stars) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
• Rush (3 Stars) by Eve Silver
• The Elite (2 Stars) by Kiera Cass
• The Dream Thieves (5 Stars) by Maggie Stiefvater ★
• Mind Games (1 Star) by Kiersten White
• In The After (3 Stars) by Demitria Lunetta
• The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (5 Stars) by Holly Black ★
• Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (2 Stars) by April Genevieve Tucholke
• Grave Mercy (3 Stars) by Robin LaFevers
• Unspoken (2 Stars) by Sarah Rees Brennan
• Eleanor and Park (2 Stars) by Rainbow Rowell
• Carnival of Souls (2 Stars) by Melissa Marr
• The Body Finder (1 Star) by Kimberly Derting
• The Night Circus (5 Stars) by Erin Morgenstern ★
• Infinityglass (2 Stars) by Myra McEntire
• Throne of Glass (1 Star) by Sarah J. Maas
• Hex Hall (4 Stars) by Rachel Hawkins ★
• Demonglass (4 Stars) by Rachel Hawkins ★
• Spell Bound (3 Stars) by Rachel Hawkins ★
• The Goddess Test (1 Star) by Aimée Carter
• The House of Hades (5 Stars) by Rick Riordan
• Spellbound (3 Stars) by Cara Lynn Shultz
• Phoenix (4 Stars) by Elizabeth Richards
• Wild Cards (2 Stars) by Simone Elkeles
• Perfect Ruin (4 Stars) by Lauren DeStefano
• Allegiant (5 Stars) by Veronica Roth
• Ein perfekter Freund (3 Stars) by Martin Suter
• Never Fade (5 Stars) by Alexandra Bracken ★
• Frozen (2 Stars) by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston
• Something Strange and Deadly (2 Stars) by Susan Dennard
• Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (all 5 Stars of course) ★
• The Iron Traitor (5 Stars) by Julie Kagawa
• World After (5 Stars) by Susan Ee ★
• The Fiery Heart (5 Stars) by Richelle Mead
• The Program (1 Star) by Suzanne Young
• Vicious (5 Stars) by Victoria Schwab ★
• Tithe (2 Stars) by Holly Black
• Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions (3 Stars) by various
• All Our Yesterdays (4 Stars) by Cristin Terrill ★
• Gameboard of the Gods (3 Stars) by Richelle Mead
• Mila 2.0 (3 Stars) by Debra Driza
• Unbreakable (5 Stars) by Kami Garcia ★
• Icons (2 Stars) by Margaret Stohl
• A Clash of Kings (4 Stars) by George R. R. Martin
• The Burning Sky (3 Stars) by Sherry Thomas ★
• For Darkness Shows the Stars (2 Stars) by Diana Peterfreund
• Alice in Wonderland (5 Stars) by Lewis Carroll
• A Storm of Swords (5 Stars) by George R. R. Martin
• Vessel (1 Star) by Sarah Beth Durst
• Enclave (1 Star) by Ann Aguirre
• The Offering (4 Stars) by Kimberly Derting
• Splintered (4 Stars) by A. G. Howard
• Unhinged (2 Stars) by A. G. Howard
• Destroy Me (4 Stars) by Tahereh Mafi
• Roar and Liv (5 Stars) by Veronica Rossi
• What Really Happened in Peru & Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale (5 and 4 Stars, respectively) by Cassandra Clare
• Neverfall (3 Stars) by Brodi Ashton
• The Transfer (5 Stars) by Veronica Roth
• Brooke (4 Stars) by Veronica Rossi
• Fracture Me (3 Stars) by Tahereh Mafi
• The Moth in the Mirror (3 Stars) by A. G. Howard
That is 145 books then, if you subtract the novellas which yes, I usually don't rate novellas anything below 3 stars because if I actually take the time to read them, I like them well enough to just give them 3 stars. Anyway, I didn't do the math, but I'd say my average rating would be 3 stars, there are a lot of 4s and 5s at the beginning of the year I noticed, so apparently I started the year with a lot of awesome novels. Hopefully this will happen again.
Yeah, some of the ★ stars aren't 5 star ratings, or even 4, but they stood out in the sea of the many books I've read this year and I simply really liked and enjoyed them. And then there are some, like The Fiery Heart, where you may be wondering if I just forgot to pin the star on it, but — no, I didn't. It may have a 5 star rating because I love the series and feel like I'm obligated to give it the highest rating there is, and I did like it, it just wasn't exceptional in any way. But why The Indigo Spell then? Yeah well, I loved it and I liked it better than TFH and such. It's just the way it is.
UPs & DOWNs:
Well. I guess the list is pretty straight-forward, but I'll tell you which exceptional books were exceptionally exceptional, because that's how I roll. Even though I just did two things where I singled out my favorite books of the year, I'm gonna do it again. But with slightly less favorites.
SIEGE & STORM by LEIGH BARDUGO
The book that I promoted the most this year. I went crazy with this one and started copypasting my review onto every platform there is — Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository etc, even some forums — just to get more people to read it. I literally harassed some Booktubers in the comments under their videos to just READ THIS DARN BOOK ALREADY 'cause it's so epic. I got some of my friends to start reading it, which I'm extremely proud of and I hope I could help Leigh Bardugo in any way, however tiny. I know that she has read my review of this book, because I tweeted her my review and she responded! That was extremely cool and made me really want everyone to appreciate how amazing Leigh and her work is.
THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by HOLLY BLACK
And this is the book that I hyped the most, alongside Siege & Storm of course. Unlike the other one though, I didn't promote this one quite as much, and I feel a little bit guilty because this book is so undeservedly underrated and I feel personally responsible since I didn't push it as much. I mean, I still harassed a lot of people about it, but I didn't move heaven and hell to get my reviews onto everywhere there is. It'd make me incredibly happy if more people would discover how awesome this book is and fangirl with me, but I am content to say it's been a highlight for me this year for now.
THE DREAM THIEVES by MAGGIE STIEFVATER
The book that I anticipated the most this year. Ever since I finished the first book back in early January I had been awaiting this sequel like crazy. I seriously am not even kidding when I say that it has been physically painful to wait for this novel. And it is pathetic in a way, yes, but I was so pumped for this like I have never ever been for a book, which increases its sentimental value to me even more. And obviously, when it did finally come out, it was an amazing read and I loved it, needless to say. It didn't leave me hanging for the next in the series quite as bad, but I'd still be extremely happy if I could get my hands on it sooner than next September.
That is it for my three highlights, but what about the ... lowlights? Well, here goes:
THRONE OF GLASS by SARAH J. MAAS
Literally everyone has been going insane about this book for some time now, and I was actually excited to read this. However, I quickly discovered that I did not enjoy it as much as everyone else did. In fact, I really hated it and did not like it at all. I wanted to like it so much, but in the end this is one of the worst books I have read this year and I am so glad that I bought it as an e-book after all. Wouldn't want to have spent 8€ for a paperback copy, let alone 13€ for a hardback which I was originally going for.
THE PROGRAM by SUZANNE YOUNG
The book that brought me the most grief in 2013. I was so angry and frustrated with this book, I can't even tell you how much I despise it. Just everything about this, except maybe for the cover, is making me so unbelievably mad. This was by far the book that I regret the most, and the worst I have read this year. It has been getting stellar reviews and I seriously cannot fathom how. I'd be happy to never see this again, ever.
ELEANOR & PARK by RAINBOW ROWELL
Probably the book that I feel mostly guilty about for disliking. Because everyone else has loved this and been praising it left and right, slapping 5 star reviews on it like there's no tomorrow and I'm sitting here and being very generous with my two stars. If not for that very tragic and bittersweet ending that made this story seem so realistic and tangible, I probably would have even dared to give just one star. Or maybe not, because then I would have been chased down with pitchforks. I see where everyone's coming from with their love for this book, but it just didn't do it for me. And it's been eating away at me, because I'm still not sure if I want to give Fangirl a chance. I have it here on my kindle, but I'm still hesitant, because what if I won't like that one, either? I'd be a social pariah in the Book community, man. That's serious business.
DECEMBER WRAP-UP/JANUARY TBR
So, for my December TBR I'm clocking in at 17 books, including two novellas which were Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi and The Moth in the Mirror by A. G. Howard.
The TBR I set myself in last month's wrap-up was not fully completed. I wanted to read Control so badly, but Amazon still hasn't shipped my copy and I'm still waiting for it. Sucks. I would have bought the e-book, but it costs 9€ and seeing as I already paid 11€ for the hardcover copy I'm not paying that much just to be able to read it right now.
— Control by Lydia Kang ✗
— Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead ✓
— All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill ✓
— Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza ✓
But I also read some that weren't on the TBR:
— For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
— Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
— Enclave by Ann Aguirre
— Splintered (#1) by A. G. Howard
— Unhinged (#2) by A. G. Howard
— The Offering (The Pledge #3) by Kimberly Derting
— Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
— The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
— A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice & Fire #2) by George R. R. Martin
— A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice & Fire #3) by George R. R. Martin
— Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Then we have my "maybe" TBR from which I chose to read, ahem... one as well:
— Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu ✗
— Icons by Margaret Stohl ✓
— The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson ✗
— Slated by Teri Terry ✗
— Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor ✗
— The Transfer by Veronica Roth ✗ (release post-poned)
Too bad. I wanted to start Slated a number of times, but I always told myself to wait until the sequel, Fractured, arrived, so I could marathon and yeah, in the end, I didn't start anyways. But I think I will in January, thus my TBR looks like this:
— Control by Lydia Kang
— Defy by Sara B. Larson
— Evertrue (Everneath #3) by Brodi Ashton
— Slated by Teri Terry
— These Broken Stars by Amy Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
There are so many new releases coming out on January 28th and I probably won't be able to read any of them in January, because Amazon really hates shipping out pre-orders on time lately. If I can get my hands on any one of them before the month is over, I'll also try to read Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi, Uninvited by Sophie Jordan, The Unbound (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab or Infinite (Incarnate #3) by Jodi Meadows as well.
Phew. That was a loooong post. I think I never sat this long on a blog post, it took hours to write. But I love rambling, so I don't mind, in fact, it's really liberating to just type on and on. ^_^
Take care. <3