July 2017 Wrap-Up & Haul

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Hello everyone!

Needless to say, it’s been a while since I’ve written a brand new blog post.

I could probably list a thousand excuses as to why I’ve been away for so long, but I think this is the simplest explanation that I could give — I really, really needed a break. A break from blogging, from bookstagramming, and, yes, even a break from reading. I felt so overwhelmed with everything and when a fun hobby that I love so much started to feel more like a chore or a job… that’s when I knew I had to stop and step away from everything for a bit. Thankfully, I think I’ve gotten back into the rhythm of everything throughout the past two weeks or so and, though an enormous book slump loomed over me for weeks on end, the challenge of BooktubeAThon took me out of it fairly quickly (I read seven books in seven days and I am immensely proud of myself). So, finally, I’m back with a brand new website layout (feel free to click around and look through my blog because I’m really happy with how everything turned out), more books to write about (and to review because I’m very behind on reviewing the books that I’ve read this year), and lots of fangirl-y emotions that I’m ready to unleash upon my keyboard. Oh, and a diploma since I graduated from high school in June. *throws confetti into the air*

Anyway, enough with my tedious rambling. Without further ado, here is my kinda-sorta-but-not-really-late monthly wrap-up for July (and a bit of a recap of June as well since I barely read during that month *shudders*).

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2016 Wrap-Up: My Favorites of the Year

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Hello everyone!

Happy New Year! I hope you all have had a lovely past few weeks. I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging during this holiday season but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things after I finish my finals for the end of this school semester in a couple of weeks.

2016 has definitely been one of the strangest years of my life. I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t the best year for a lot of people, but I think that the one element of this year that comforted me was the escape that books provided. While I’ve always loved reading, I feel like my love for novels expanded even more this year and I didn’t even know that was possible. I set my Goodreads goal as 100 books and, although it was a bit of a struggle at times, I actually reached it. The first book that I read in 2016 was Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and little did I know how much that series would mean to me today (that is literally my favorite series of all time now). Therefore, I decided that I would re-read Shatter Me and it was my 100th read of 2016 and it pretty much renewed my love for that series so much.

I honestly have no idea what 2017 has in store for any of us but I’m trying as best as I can to keep my hopes high and, after learning so much this year, I’m going to try to utilize every lesson that I’ve learned and become an even better person this year. I am determined to read more diverse books than I’ve ever read before and I’m currently in the search of some amazing #OwnVoices novels (so, hey, if you have any recommendations, please let me know). I’m hoping that I get a bit braver when it comes to directly communicating with others in the bookish community because I still remain fairly shy when it comes to interactions but I think that I’m growing more comfortable with that as time passes. I have set my Goodreads reading challenge for this year to 50 books because I wanted to try to set a low goal that I could work with a lot easier and if I want to raise it eventually throughout the year then I will but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I know a lot of people don’t understand the huge hype about completing the challenge but, for me personally, I look at it as a way to make myself expand my bookshelves and the genres that I read. Did I ever think that I would fall in love with young adult fantasy novels in 2016? Did I think that I would marathon an entire series of books within a few weeks (I’m looking at you, Cassandra Clare books)? Did I think that I could actually accomplish my 100 book goal? Absolutely not. But I think challenging myself to read more books caused me to want to try out new types of novels and I’m really, really proud of myself for doing that because I’ve read so many amazing books that I don’t think I would’ve ever thought about reading in the past year.

So, now that I’ve babbled on for probably much too long, I’m going to get into the part of this post where I talk about some of my favorite reads of 2016. Now, this year was full of what I like to describe as catching up with book series because I read so many series that have either been out for a while or the last book was released this year and I quickly read the entire series to catch up with it. This list will probably include multiple books that were released way before 2016, a few books that were released in 2016, and basically just a mixture of everything. So, with that being said, I’m going to be separating this by author because I’ve read so many amazing books by the same authors and I think that this is the only fitting way to declare my love for these books and to give them each the proper spotlight that they deserve. Without further ado, here are my favorite reads of 2016!

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