2021 – Year In Review

Reading Review

This has been such a huge year for me when it comes to reading. My reading habits have changed drastically from previous years, and I read 43,584 pages from 139 books, which is far more than ever before. My average length was 313 pages and my average rating this year was 4.0. I’m lucky to have not read many books I didn’t like this year. I love looking at numbers and data…so, here’s a ton of other stuff I learned from my Goodreads and Storygraph stats pages.

This year I read many books that were adventurous, dark, and emotional. I’m sure I probably craved adventure due to being stuck in the house most of the time. I tended to read books of medium or fast pace more than slow-paced books. A majority of the books I read fell between 300 and 499 pages in length, which I can definitely say is my preference. If a book is too long, I tend to lose focus before the end and find myself just wanting them to be over. Most of the books I read this year were fantasy, YA, LGBT+, science fiction, or some combination of those four genres. I wasn’t surprised to see that because they are my favorites. This year has been especially exciting because of all the LGBT+ books/characters I’ve been able to read since I didn’t really read this genre much before this year. I’m incredibly happy to have found such great stories and representation. I’m curious to see what the next year will bring and discover if my preferences change at all as the new year progresses.

Blogging Review

When I started blogging, I didn’t really have any goals in mind because I had no idea what I was doing. I was mostly writing reviews for myself to help keep track of my thoughts about what I was reading. I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing (LOL), but there are a few accomplishments I’m proud of this year. First and foremost, I reviewed 26 books on NetGalley and earned the 25 reviews badge. I set that goal pretty late in the year, and I’m happy to have achieved it. I’ve also had more views, likes, and comments than I ever anticipated when I started out. My total views for the year are approaching 7,000, which I still can’t really believe. So, thank you to everyone who has stopped by the blog and interacted in any way. I really appreciate it.

Wrap-Up posts are typically the most viewed posts that I write, but I’m not going to include them in this list because that is all it would include if I did. Here are my top 5 posts of the year (not including monthly wrap-ups):

  1. Book Review – The Darkness Outside Us
  2. Book Review – Any Way the Wind Blows
  3. ARC Audiobook Review – Not My Ruckus
  4. Stacking the Shelves (16) – July 31, 2021
  5. ARC Review – Shards of Earth

Not all of my posts were super popular this year, especially toward the beginning of my blog. I think many of them had so few views because I didn’t have a lot of followers then. Check them out and see if they truly deserve the honor of least popular post. Here are my 5 least viewed posts of the year:

  1. Book Review – Doctor Who The Official Annual 2021
  2. Book Review – Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark
  3. Book Review – Solaris Seethes
  4. Comic Book Review – Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious: Monstrous Beauty
  5. Book Review – Star Wars: Shadow Fall

Final Thoughts

I hope you all have a great holiday, and I wish everyone the best for the new year. I’m excited about what is to come in the new year, and I’m looking forward to continuing to share my thoughts about great books with you all in the year to come!

First Lines Fridays (35) – December 31, 2021

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
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My Favorite 2021 Reads

Hello, everyone! Today’s post highlights some of my favorite reads of 2021. It was so hard to pick my favorites because I’ve read so many great books this year. I decided to do something a bit different to highlight a wider range of books that I enjoyed. So, I’ve split my top 10 in two with half including books published in 2021 and half with books published prior to this year. I’ve also listed my top four 4-star and top three 3-star reads to highlight some of my favorite reads that didn’t quite reach 5-star status.

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My Ranking of the 2021 Star Wars Books

Hello, everyone! As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now if you’ve been following my blog, I love Star Wars. I consume almost every type of Star Wars media that exists: movies, TV shows, cartoons, books, and comics. This makes today an exciting day due to the premiere of The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+, and I decided it would be the perfect day to reflect on all the Star Wars books from 2021 as the year draws to a close. So, here it is, my ranking of the Star Wars novels released this year.

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12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

Hello, everyone! I know I’m supposed to be on hiatus from blog posts right now to focus on the holidays and finish up my Reindeer Readathon TBR, but I couldn’t let this book tag pass me by before the Christmas season ends. I first saw the tag at Fi’s Bibliofiles, and it was created by Lizzie Loves Books. I did my best to avoid repetition, but many of these could be used for multiple answers. Without further ado, here are the questions!

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Mini Review – A Time of Prophecy

In the years since Kitty, Nate and Thom escaped the Kingdom, the Plague has ravaged the population and the rebels have seized two of the northern countries. In an attempt to bring order to the chaos, the leader of the rebels, Nate’s old friend James, has agreed to hold trials for those responsible for intentionally leaking the Plague.

Unfortunately, the rumour in the Kingdom is that Kitty is responsible. To make matters worse, Blaise tells Kitty that the Council, who still count her father as one of their own, are once again experimenting on Radiants. It’s a horrifying realisation that hits too close to home, and for the first time in her life, Kitty thirsts for vengeance. It’s a thirst that’s matched by the one person who has always been her mirror — her Complement, Thom.

On the other side of the Wall in the Outlands, desperate to bring Kitty home and finish the Council once and for all, Thom begins plotting, using the skills he’s long honed to outsmart those with more power. But outsmarting his enemies might turn Thom into the very thing he’s always feared becoming, and war soon seems the only possible solution to stopping the Council and the Hangman. But with more than a few looking to the ancient prophecy of peace, Thom searches desperately for a way to circumvent more bloodshed.

Yet the weight of the years have taken their toll, and as Thom’s physical and mental health deteriorate, Nate struggles with the fallout of past crimes, both the ones he did commit, and the ones he didn’t …

This is a hard book to review because it is difficult to separate my feelings about this installment from my feelings of the series overall. I love this series and these characters so much. It has become one of my favorite dystopian reads of all time. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot and liked where all the characters ended up. They each showed a lot of growth over the course of the series and that was brought to its logical end point here. I particularly love Thom and enjoyed reading his perspective here. He changed a lot over the course of the novel, and I liked who he ended up with romantically because it really showed how much he had changed. Although, I didn’t like that his growth was nonlinear. He made a big decision in this book that felt quite regressive for the character, and I kind of wish he had insisted on finding some other way to accomplish the goal. It just felt a bit expedient and made all the growth up to that point in the novel feel less impactful. As with all the books before, this book tackled trauma, relationships, and the interaction of the two in a brilliant, unflinchingly honest way. I also really enjoyed the continued world-building and the inclusion of many characters from previous books. It made this send off feel quite grand in scope. My only other major complaint would be that the story felt rushed. I think this would have worked better as two books as there was lot to unpack with the formation of the rebel government, rescuing Kitty, the new plague, and overthrowing crown and council (plus all the character/relationship stuff going on). Despite the fast pace, the book did a good job of tidying up all the loose ends and providing a satisfying conclusion to all the character arcs. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.