The Goodreads Challenge | 2021 Goals!

Hello!

When I started my journey of reading ‘20 books in 2020′ I had no idea how much fun I would have but also creating the review pieces on here! As you might already know, I don’t do what my fellow bloggers who do these types of reviews – I like to be creative with my wording and try my hardest to make you understand my issues and loves with every story each month. I’m not your average person, why would I be an average book blogger too?

One of the things I did at the start of 2020 was give you a little peek at what kind of books I would be reading–and at the time of that post, I hadn’t been introduced to Prime Reading nor Kindle Unlimited yet so all of the books listed on there were ones that I bought myself and actually stayed on that same course for a good three to four months before getting into Prime Reading and then it was like, all bets were off! Once I discovered PR and KU, it was like an endless sea of books at my disposal and it became a little hard to breathe because I could constantly search for new treasures, which was the reason why I was never able to read the classics like I wrote about in that post. I’d still give Little Women by Louisa May Alcott a second chance but as for the others, I just don’t really know at this time.

Here are some of the books I have on my list to possibly read in 2021.

  • A Touch Of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair | the review will be up next Wednesday!
  • A Game Of Fate by Scarlett St. Clair
  • Still Me by JoJo Moyes
  • Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • Elizabeth Woodville: Mother Of The Princes in the Tower by David Baldwin
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Finding Love At The Christmas Market by Jo Thomas
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning
  • High On Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  • Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

Of course, if you read my previous post I had both Glass Sword and Wicked Beat on that list too, so even though I have this giant list already together, I may not even get to it but I hope I can finally make some time for them because they’ve been on my list for a long time. I desperately want to finish more books this year. There were two things that happened in 2020 that I have to say, irritated me but made me feel so proud at the same time. I was able to complete my first ever book series with Jenny Han’s “To All Of The Boys I’ve Loved Before” going into autumn and last bit of the year. I felt so accomplished by doing this, especially still having vivid memories of just hating books and reading as a whole.

There are just two series where I am itching my way to finishing it and I am very excited about this. It is pretty daunting task, especially with Still Me and Wicked Beat, since they are the last in both of their series’. After doing this, I would like to finally get all of the books and store them along with my Jenny Han books too. I love having them close and on display because I feel like they bring out positive energy for me that I will need for the days, weeks, when I don’t feel like doing anything, especially read a book.

Another goal I would like to do is read more romance. Now, at the time I made this goal, I hadn’t found the Hades x Persephone series, so although they are very erotic, I just want more stories that were featured in The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham. The romance aspect wasn’t the biggest part of the main character’s life, I did end up enjoying it anyways and I definitely want more stories like that. So, if you or anybody out there who may have some ideas for me to go, please let me know!

What are some of your goals you want to accomplish in 2021? How many books do you want to read this year? What is your favorite book series too?

December Playlist

Hello,

I made a tiny error when I was coming up with material for Blogmas 2020. I totally forgot about making room for the monthly playlist. I wrote about the “Ultimate Christmas” playlist but just left it as the only one for December. So, I thought before continuing on with the 2021 content, I should probably share what I was listening to in December, because it wasn’t all Christmas music. Don’t get me wrong, there is quite of bit of various holiday songs included, but my heart wanted a lot of hard rock too.

Although the playlist on Spotify looks small, that’s only because since I had created a Christmas playlist, I didn’t feel the need to repeat the process of adding every single song onto this list. These are the Top 20 songs I enjoyed the most in December.

May It Be by Anuna featuring Sara
They Don’t Want What We Want by Asking Alexandria
Bruises by Train featuring Ashley Monroe
Take It All Back 2.0 by Judah & The Lion
Brick Wall by A Day To Remember
Blessed Be by Spiritbox

Blame It On The Mistletoe by Ella Henderson
Chemicals (Acoustic) by Conquer Divide
B.I.G. by Caitlyn Scarlett
Weight Of Everything by Ill Factor featuring Katie Garfield
Long Suffering by Eliza Grace
Come Little Children by The Hound + The Fox
Pity Party by Vigils
Head Above Water by Roll With It
All The Things She Said by Lena Scissorhands featuring Chase The Comet
Love Song by Sara Bareilles
Make It Work by Forest Whitaker & Anika Noni Rose
Breathe Again by Pop Evil

I like how I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I listened to a bunch of rock music but it seems pop music ruled the entire playlist. I was really in the mood to search for all sorts of music and it’s become a bit of a ritual to be excited about the new music coming out on Friday and then jump back to Monday with my Discover Weekly playlist. So, whatever style of music I had listened to the week prior, it’ll collect music that matches that vibe and it is definitely one of my favorite ways to find new tunes during the week.

Speaking of Monday, the January playlist should be out next week. I know for a fact that it’ll be a jumble of heavy metal in the entire post, so if that is your kind of music you should make a note of it, and come back here to check out a whole new list of music!

What were you listening in December?

2020 RECAP | Trial & Error

Hello!

2020 has been a very complexed year. For a lot of people, it’s been one of the worst ones whereas I think it’s been a very successful year. I have had bad days and unsavory moments happen within the year but overall it’s been pretty good. It isn’t what anyone expected but I think how you look at it as a whole can make or break your perspective. I will say it wasn’t perfect all throughout these 12 months, something has happened to possibly crush everything you love and worked on, but you’re still here, so that should count for something, right?

In this post, I will be discussing three different sections that I thought were important to highlight that defined 2020 for me and this blog as a whole.

Three Good Things

At the start of the year, I decided I needed to share a ritual I have been doing off and on since 2014 and that is choosing three things (or more if you had a great day!) and talking about them to my followers on my social medias. Unfortunately, it never took off on Twitter but I’m hoping I can do better in 2021 so more people who want to look past any unsettling mishaps and focus all of their attention on the good instead. I feel this was the reason why I think back on the year with a smile on my face.

I just want to point out that despite the fact I want to spread positivity to everyone, I need to say you will have bad days here and there. You’re never going to have perfect days or moments endlessly, but that’s not being realistic. I wish I had said something about this in the beginning because I think it would have helped me get over the really bad days after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I tried to keep a brave face but honestly I wasn’t feeling as confident as I usually am, so that’s why I took that long break over the summer to think about things that were going on around me. After some time I came back, although I wasn’t 100%, I still thought I needed to do something so I asked my followers to share their good things and reading their responses did give me a boost to join them again the next evening.

Once 2021 begins, I will be posting them every other day, because it was just easier to get things done because I found out through posting them every single day, that I am vert much a perfectionist! I was wondering when it was going to rear its ugly head back to me. I’m just thankful it didn’t stay around when I was working on my Christmas Tree projects like I thought. Anyways, I am already doing this schedule and have been for a while now, but I really enjoy it again so I think I will keep it going for as long as I want to, until I feel ready to switch back to the regular format.

I wrote this post three days before it was scheduled published and I knew the background I used for the first day was yellow, but I guess it didn’t register well enough when I made last night’s list. I was only going base off of what I used the day before–which was black, because I wanted a little black and gold theme for the final few days but again, I just forgot all about this until I went to update it (and man, wasn’t that an adventure!) anyways, do you remember what your first top three good things for 2020 was? What did you list for the last day of the year too?

Trial and Error

The reason why I am calling this post “Trial & Error” is because of what I put on my “Three Good Things” on the first of January 2020. The first one says “I chopped and peeled a potato without hurting myself.” Although I wish I could forget the events before this happened, I remember saying to my mom afterwards, “oh, it’s okay. Trial and error I guess.” And yes, I can recall what I said word-for-word because this would become the year’s motto. It was also a stab at my perfectionist side always attempting to break through on a daily basis! At the time, I didn’t think it would mean much but then I would catch myself saying it to anything that I did on my own that I normally wouldn’t do, so over time it started to mean something important to me.

I did a lot of things that I figured would never happen again, like completing my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year and bring back painting pumpkins. Everything that happened that I haven’t done for a long time kind of scared me at first because I didn’t know if I should enjoy it and fear it would disappear for an even longer time, so I had to battle it out my emotions a bit, but now that I’ve done them, I fee like I can do them again and be better at them the second time around and I am overjoyed at it in the future!

Two Week Blogging Schedule

After 11 years of trying to work out a schedule that would not only work as far as publishing new content during the week, but inspiring myself to keep writing during a full month was really my biggest issue. I could work great for three months and lose all my love for blogging for like four months at a time and I would just feel absolutely defeated, so I knew I had to do something big or else I would have to stop blogging altogether and I don’t have any other backups or outlets that can compete to blogging so I was very determined to fix this problem once and for all.

When I decided that I was going to attempt reading ’20 books for 2020′ I knew I was going to make room to read, but what I didn’t exact was how comfortable I would be taking two weeks off a new month to devote myself to reading and then if I had time during my monthly vacation to do some work for the first full week back that was awesome too!

I really didn’t think I could last no more than a month using this new method but I did it for the entire year without feeling like I was going to experience a burnout like I would normally feel after a couple months so I knew I was doing something right here! There were times I would need an extra week because I was asked to review an artist’s music and I had established that Monday were the days I would talk about music, Wednesday would be about books; especially the reviews of the newly finished novels I was able to read in the weeks before, and Friday would be for anything else I wanted to talk about, but if I didn’t have anything special going on, I would post another review on that day. Everything seemed to work out perfectly and even this week, I kept the same layout I adapted towards the beginning of 2020 and was still exercising that format to the final week and was still enjoying it, seems incredible to me.

Well, I think I have officially run out of what I wanted to say in this post. I hope you have enjoyed all three posts in their rightful days. As of now, I should be back on the 18th of January, with all new content for you to consume and if you’re lucky, you might even get a book review on the 20th too, since I am right in the middle of A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St Clair. I am whizzing on through it as we speak so I hope you had a lovely and better 2021.

Bye.

snowflake

2020 RECAP | Top 5 Books!

Hello!

I have been so excited to write this post since August when I completed my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge! I still can’t believe I read 20+ books, and I absolutely loved it! I think my inner seven year old self was in disbelief the whole time. She would have definitely been hiding in a corner, shielding herself like it’s something poisonous or something.

After I finished with the first 20 books, I thought I had a clear-cut top five lineup but as more time went on, I was still analyzing everything that went on with two separate books and just couldn’t get them out of my head, so I took this as a sign that they should have the top spot together. This also meant I needed another book for the last bit of the countdown and thankfully, I kind of knew which one I wanted to put into the group and so, now I have SIX books in this post instead of the normal five but I’m okay with that and I have a feeling you are perfectly fine about this too!

1. Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone & The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham

This book was almost knocked off the top spot because I was really tempted to give it to another book, but Jane still has a strong hold over me, and it’s been 11 months since I finished it and I am still recommending it to random people on Twitter! Everytime I see anyone asking for books, it is the first thing to pop in my head and I certainly don’t regret it.

I think the main reason why this is my favorite book of the year is because it’s not something that I would normally read in the first place. I have never been interested in suspense thrillers, but in 2018, I watched the film What Lies Beneath for the first time and I just fell in love with it and I just wanted more of that genre and somehow it managed to spill over into what kind of books I read and from the moment I saw it on Prime Reading, I started dancing in my seat because it has been on my TBR list for little over a year and I just got this vibe that I would enjoy it, and I thoroughly happy with myself for taking the chance on it and it’s just an amazing book!

The only thing that really sucked was later in the year, I had a chance to read the sequel to it called, “Problem Child” and even though everything that I loved about Jane was still there, I just didn’t connect with it as much as the first so this really messed with me for a while, but it happens though! If Victoria is writing a third book in the series, I definitely want to read it and see if it is the same or has a completely different vibe going on, so we’ll just have to see what happens in the new year or maybe early 2022.

The German Midwife was the last book I read to finish out my reading challenge and it was the best thing I could have done, but also made me want anything–and I’m not kidding!–about World War II and the Holocaust. I have a bad weakness to women’s stories; I’m not picky whether it is fiction or nonfiction as we’ve seen with all of the books I read this year! I still think about this story, I was very upset about these women who were pregnant while being in the concertation camps, and knowing how little food they were given on a daily basis, and then if you are a history nut like I am, you could say it was like mediaeval times and childbirth was just as deadly in the late 1930’s into the 40’s.

While Jane was about seeking revenge and basically seeing how her mind worked in every scene, Anke was full of compassion and love, and she knew what was happening to these Jewish babies after she helped their mother give birth to them but still helped every pregnant woman in her care anyways. These are two different women and I just fell in love with both of them.

3. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

One thing that I didn’t expect to happen in general was I actually finished a book series this year!

I thought it would happen to another series I’ve read but I lost interest in it just before I started the challenge and I still find it sort of odd that it was this series because I celebrated 10 years of being a high school graduate in 2020 and while I was reading these books, I felt like I was being transported back to my high school days and dealing with my crushes. I wasn’t as lucky as Lara Jean but I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.

I loved this book for many reasons, the one that comes to mind is Lara Jean’s friendship with Stormy. She learned and grew a lot by hanging out with Stormy. I have my nana and we have a great relationship, but I wouldn’t compare her to Stormy because she’s not as rowdy and loves her cocktails like Stormy, but she loves to chat about her past and we can get into trouble sometimes. I feel after Lara Jean’s sister Margot went overseas, having someone like Stormy became her lifeline and she was allowed to flourish into this beautiful young woman. I think back at it now, this book was more about her as an individual–away from her family and the boys, she grew a lot and I certainly did too, because I started to realize that I have changed a lot since I’d been in school and I didn’t even know about it until several weeks ago!

3. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippinscott

This was the most anticipated stories on my list at the beginning of the year, and for good reason too, because it was so lovely! On that list, I had three books that I knew would talk about disability in some form and I figured it would be smarter on my part to get through those first before heading into the others. I knew they would make me cry so I just wanted to save myself part of the misery that comes with reading these types of books!

What I still find kind of eerie in a way is that I read and watched the film version two months before COVID came around, so I remember learning the importance of each of the main characters standing six feet apart from each other at all times, but it didn’t necessarily hit me how much I would hear this statement until the guidelines were plastered everywhere! I will say, I understand why Stella was so on it with her medicine and wanting to create an app to help other people with Cystic Fibrosis. And I also understood the bitterness Will carried as well, so their stories kind of carried over into what 2020 became and as strange as that sounds, this was a really good book!

4. City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

By the time I had found this book listed on Kindle Unlimited, I had almost given up hope for it.

I mentioned in the review that I was a big fan of the film that came out in 2013, but at that time I never wanted to really read the book because I figured I would do what I did trying to read the Harry Potter books, and compare every little scene but once I saw it online, I just couldn’t take it anymore and read the whole thing in like two weeks I think .I have seen how thick these books are on YouTube, so I was a little imitated by the sheer size of it but I was so proud that I read it after I have been waiting like four years to actually get my toes on it. I was very happy that I didn’t compare the two a lot but in my defense though, it’s been a long time since I’ve watched the film so I knew it wouldn’t be too bad.

One of my favorite things about it was how detailed the author made every scene, and I guess I never paid attention to the amount of material an author goes to making every scene stand out, and I’m glad I was able to read not just one fantasy novel this year but two others that I still think brought out everything for the readers, and it was deeply appreciated too!

5. After You by JoJo Moyes

I find it kind of odd that I have both the first and last books of the challenge included in this list. There are some similarities between Lou and Anke, such as how they treat everyone around them. They both want the best out of their situations and second guess everything and neither one has the power to do things differently that could maybe better their outcomes.

When I read the first book, I was only doing it so I wouldn’t be wondering what happens in the book, so I just made it easier on myself and it was the best decision I made because I was introduced to this lovely person: Louisa. She had no experience at caring for someone with a serve physical disability and had to figure out how to cope with his wish to die. When I got this book, I was thinking we were going to see her in Paris and having the time of her year, but we didn’t. We were introduced to Lou as she was losing all of her confidence and hope for the future. However, an opportunity popped up out of the blue and directed her back to who she was after meeting and falling in love with Will.

Honestly every book I read this year was amazing in their own way. I know I probably sound like figuring out the best books was easy but it really wasn’t. It’s hard to pick out each one because they were all different and I had a personal journey with all of them. For the most part, all but maybe one or two books actually received five or four stars on Goodreads because I thought they really deserved that type of rating.

I ended out the year reading 25 books, which was more than I ever expected to and it makes so damn proud because not only did I complete my original goal but I finished a whole series too! I think this is utterly amazing and I know I have a lot of family members and school teachers who have told me that they’re proud of my accomplishments, but I have felt like my heart could burst with excitement over this feat. I still remember my childhood days of hating to read both out loud and in general. I never found it to be fun until I was practically forced into it my freshman year of high school!

By the end of January when I come back to blogging after having a couple weeks off, I will be telling more about my next books and of course, announcing what I decided on how many I choose to read in 2021. Hope you to see again for that post.

Were you able to read any books this year? Did you give yourself a goal? If so, how many did you want to complete? After reading this post, do you want to set a reading goal for the new year too?

snowflake

2020 RECAP | Best Songs Of The Year!

Hello!

Well, we are ending this crazy year in a few days and since it is Monday, I thought we would go through 2020’s best songs, so I hope you are ready for this huge playlist!

I think music was at the heart of everyone, our favorite artists, bands were played over and over in order to help keep us going with life. When COVID-19 started to take away our music festivals and tours, I think a lot of us panicked because for some, going to concerts and seeing their favorite people on stage is the biggest and possibly the safest drug on Earth. The same goes with everyone putting on these shows every night, this is their job and livelihood so this virus took away any income for anyone who help build these performances, they are just as important than the artist and/or band.

One of the first songs I heard that was inspired by the quarantine life was “Level Of Concern” by Twenty One Pilots. Thankfully it is a very pop generated type of song, so it has a happy beat and catchy lyrics. This is probably one time that I listened to pop music about how someone is dealing with this new normal and find it really comforting… You will see in the depths of the playlist that I tried to listen to a lot of pop-y music at the start of the year and somehow switched to another genre as the seasons and circumstances changed with the world.

There were a lot of things that happened this year, and one of my “favorites” was during the summer, after everyone was coming out of the lockdowns and we are all dealing with the aftermath of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Everyone was so affected by their deaths, police brutality and Black Lives Matter movement, they created a large cataclysm of musicians wanting to express their overall feelings to the world and even though I would rather have anyone killed by the police alive and well–the music that was being released was so amazing and special to experience. The one song that really makes me think of this time is DaBaby’s track “ROCKSTAR” with Roddy Ricch, who was celebrating being on the music charts with “The Box”. This was the second song that came from Tik Tok that I became obsessed with for like two months!

Once we finished with summer and life decided to go back to sort of this weird normalcy again, I found that there was only one genre of music that I just wanted all the time and it was heavy metal. This genre just makes me feel better about my surroundings so once I put on that security blanket, I just tried to consume as much music I could in these last six months.

By late September, I noticed that I was keeping my TV on the modern hard rock channel, Sirius XM Octane, and within like a week, I had already found a large collection of new music and the first was “Popular Monster” by Falling In Reverse. It instantly reminded me of both Linkin Park’s older records like “In The End” and “Faint” and Papa Roach’s recent releases, and I was hooked after that. I started looking on various rock playlists on Spotify to see what I’ve missed and it was just what I needed at the time. I am still keeping a close eye on that station and the genres really make up the bulk of the playlist below.

Let’s get into that right now. Here are my Top 50 songs of 2020!

The In-Between by In This Moment
Sunday Best by Surfaces
Woman by Ellie Goulding
WAP by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion
Alive by Daughtry
Bang! by AJR
Heartless by The Weeknd
Simmer by Hayley Williams
Love Me by Stanaj
Show Yourself by Idina Menzel & Evan Rachel Wood
The Other Girl by Kelsea Ballerini featuring Halsey
I Love You’s by Hailee Steinfeld
Adore Me by Harry Styles
Pinky Ring by Ne-Yo featuring O.T. Genasis
React by The Pussycat Dolls
Mambo by Nikki Vanna
Good in Goodbye by Madison Beer
Yummy by Justin Bieber
Before You Go by Lewis Capaldi
Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves
Goddess by Krewella x NERVO featuring Raja Kamari
Trust Nobody by DJ Snake
Parasite Eve by Bring Me The Horizon
Marching On Versailles by Ad Infinitum
Footprints On The Moon by Gabby Barrett
Rage by Halocene
Thinkin Bout You by Ciara
Slow Motion by Charlotte Lawrence
Candy by Serena Ryder
Control by Zoe Wees
Midnight Sky by Miley Cyrus
Levitating by Dua Lipa featuring Madonna & Missy Elliott
Shame Shame by Foo Fighters
Ice Cream by BLACKPINK featuring Selena Gomez
Share That Love by Lukas Graham featuring G-Eazy
Anxiety by Palaye Royale
Everything I Wanted by First To Eleven
My Own Dance by Kesha
Heart Of A Champion by Hollywood Undead featuring Papa Roach & Ice Nine Kills
Animals by Architects
Bite Back by FEVER 333
Brick Wall by A Day To Remember
Brand New Thing by Zayde Wolf
Inferno by ABIR
Lie by Sasha Sloan
Unmapped Darkness by Seven Spires
Primrose by Dram State
Wasted On You by Evanescene
Go Crazy by Leslie Odom Jr.

Even though I wasn’t doing a lot of music reviews this year, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening to them. I know there were three that I absolutely adored and each one is from the same three genres that I was obsessed with in 2020.

Rare by Selena Gomez, Manic by Halsey, zer0 by Krewella, Apocalypse & Chill by Delain, Heartbreak Weather by Niall Horan, Kelsea by Kelsea Ballerini, Diamonds by The Birthday Massacre, Mother by In This Moment, Human: II Nature by Nightwish, Half Written Story by Hailee Steinfeld, Like A House On Fire by Asking Alexandria, Everything’s Strange Here by G-Eazy, Brightest Blue by Ellie Goulding, I Am The Empire – Live from the 013 by Kamelot, S&M2 by Metallica, The Album by BLACKPINK, Post Human: and Survival Horror by Bring Me The Horizon.

Since I decided to list out the albums I loved this year, I figured it was only right to tell you the ones I will be looking out for in 2021 too!

So, there’s Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted by Passenger, Suckerpunch by You Me At Six, Certified Lover Boy by Drake, Medicine At Midnight by Foo Fighters, Californian Soil by London Grammar, Death by Rock and Roll by The Pretty Reckless, Riddles, Ruins, & Revelations by Sirenia, For Those That Wish To Exist by Architects, Omega by Epica, Life Support by Madison Beer, and The Bitter Truth by Evanescence are the ones that have a “secure” due date and I’m sure others will be released soon.

If you would like to check out the rest of my playlist, click here to be directed to Spotify.

What were your top songs of 2020?

snowflake