This year, I read 39 books, which was over my reading goal of 24 books. Overall, I enjoyed many of the books that I read in 2022, especially some of the series that I read. Here’s everything that I read in 2022 (any book with a review will be linked to the book’s title):
The Wall of Winnipeg by Mariana Zapata
An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn (read 2x)
Goodreads provides a good general sense of your reading year. I have been logging my Goodreads Challenge since 2016 and I always look forward to seeing my statistics at the end of the year. Here are my statistics for 2022:
Looking at my statistics, one thing that I immediately notice is the pages read. I recently did my StoryGraph wrap-up and I noticed that StoryGraph and Goodreads each counted a different total number of pages that I read. I think this falls on me though: I don’t pay particular attention to which edition I select when I mark a book as read. Different editions can have a different number of pages, so this is most likely the reasons these numbers differ. Either way, I was happy to surpass my reading goal of 24 books by reading 39 books during 2022!
This year I read three novellas, each written by Ali Hazelwood, so I suspected that one of these books would rank as my shortest book this year.As for the longest book, I read many Sarah J. Maas books so I assumed one of them would take the title. However, I wasn’t sure iif it would be Kingdom of Ash or a book in the Crescent City series. Since I typically read books around 429 pages according to Goodreads, it’s interesting to see that my longest book of the year was twice as large as books that I normally read.
The A Court of Thorns of Roses series has made a resurgence due to BookTok, so it makes since that it was the most shelved book out of the books that I read this year. I haven’t heard much surrounding Josh and Gemma Make a Baby on social media, so it isn’t too surprising to see it as one of my least shelved books this year.
Like I mentioned earlier, I am never surprised to see an A Court of Thorns and Roses book on my list due to its resurgence in popularity. As a result, it doesn’t surprise me that A Court of Mist and Fury was the highest rated out of books that I read as A Court of Mist and Fury is typically regarded as the favorite books by fans of the series.
StoryGraph has quickly become one of my favorite book tracking websites as it does provide statistics available year round as opposed to only during an end of the year review. I like how StoryGraph uses a lot of stats besides numbers of books or page numbers to give a better sense of the style of books that you read in a year, for example, by tracking the moods and pacing of books that you read. Here are my statistics for 2022:
During 2022, I set my reading goal at 24 books so I would need to average at least 2 books per month. I was happy to surpass my reading goal by reading 39 books this year. Looking at my goal, it made me decide to try and read 36 books in 2023, so I need to read on average three books per month. I believe I met my reading goal back in June, so I read more books in the first half of the year than in the second half of the year.
Looking at my reading moods is one of my favorite features on StoryGraph and I always find it to be extremely accurate when I review the books that I read in a year. It doesn’t surprise me that lighthearted is the biggest part of my graph. Most of the books which I read this year would be classified as romance or romantic comedy, so it makes sense that it makes up the largest part of my graph. I am also not surprised emotional is a large part of my graph. I prefer contemporary romance books that do have an “emotional” element. Additionally, I read a lot of Sarah J. Maas books this year, which also have many emotional scenes. I do believe reading many Sarah J. Maas books can be attributed to adventurous and dark being on my graph. I read every book from the Throne of Glass series this year which is a huge adventure with several dark elements.
As for pacing, I definitely agree with my results. Slow is my smallest part of my graph, which I think it probably related to The Wall of Winnipeg by Mariana Zapata is the slowest of slow burn romances. For the “fast” part of the graph, I feel like this is probably due to reading three of Ali Hazelwood’s novellas released this year which were only a little over one hundred pages each, so the plots moved quickly. For pacing, I would say reading books at a medium pace are my favorite, so I am not surprised to see that as my largest category.
My page number stats are a little different than usual due to the types of books that I read this year. My largest category is typically 300-499, however, it usually occupies more of my graph. Like I mentioned earlier, I read many Sarah J. Maas books this year and her books can easily tip over 500 pages, so I think that accounts for a large portion of the 500+ category. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I read three novellas by Ali Hazelwood, which most likely accounts for the less than 300 pages category.
Recently, I discussed my most read authors of the year on my blog. While I knew I read a lot of Sarah J. Maas this year, I didn’t quite realize how much I read by Sarah J. Maas this year. In 2022, I read all of the books in the Throne of Glass series (except for book one), both Crescent City books, and I reread some books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. That being said, I am still shocked that I read double the number of books compared to the second author on my list. One of the authors on this list that really surprises me is Ali Hazelwood. I wasn’t a huge fan of her debut book, The Love Hypothesis, but I wanted to see if I enjoyed her other books. I would say my favorite by Ali Hazelwood this year was Love on the Brain, her second full-length novels, which appears on my favorites list of 2022.
Like I mentioned earlier, romance is typically my most read genre, so it doesn’t surprise me that it is the highest read genre for 2022. Looking at these statistics, I think this probably takes some sub-genres in account to because romance looks to be about 37 books. I did read 39 books in all, but I wouldn’t necessarily classify each book that I read into that genre. For example, the Throne of Glass series, does have romance, but I would primarily classify that series as fantasy.
This statistic isn’t necessarily accurate for me as I didn’t add some of my early reads of the year until March. This year, I want to make sure I am adding books and updating them frequently on StoryGraph to get the most accurate data for this category. However, I do like to see the trends of this graph, which is accurate to my reading year as I did read more books and pages in the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year.
I really like how StoryGraph incorporated these statistics into the end of the year review. I always like to look at new-to-me authors, so it was interesting to see that nine of the books that I read this year were by authors that I hadn’t read in the past. I also found it interesting that 30 books that I read were part of a series. I have noticed recently there has been in an increase ins contemporary companion series, so combined with fantasy series that I read this year, it made my total higher than I was normally expect.
I knew Sarah J. Maas would have my longest book of the year, but I wasn’t sure if it would be Kingdom of Ash or one of the Crescent City books. It’s hard to believe that my longest book of the year and my shortest book of the year accounted for a little over 1,000 pages of my 17,000 pages read!
A new year means new books to read! Here are the three books that I hope to read in January:
The Stolen Heir by Holly Black
The Stolen Heir is the first book in a new duology by Holly Black which follows some characters originally introduced in The Cruel Prince. This duology will take place eight years after the ending of The Queen of Nothing and follows Suren, who was the child queen of the Court of Teeth, after she escaped to the human world. However, Suren soon is tracked down, but is saved by Prince Oak, who was Jude’s younger brother in the original series.
Overall, I really enjoyed the The Cruel Prince series, although I was slightly disappointed by the final book in the series. That being said, the first two books in that series ended up on my favorites list, so I’m hoping The Stolen Heir will fall more in line with those books. That being said, there’s always some nervousness when a new book is released in a series long after the original, as readers don’t want it to ruin the original series. Regardless, I am very curious about this book and I hope to read it when it is released early in the new year.
Lore Olympus Volume One by Rachel Smythe
Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe is a graphic novel retelling of Hades and Persephone which has a more modern setting. I read some of Lore Olympus on WebToons, where it was originally published, and absolutely loved it. I really love Rachel Smythe’s drawing style and her use of colors throughout the story. When I saw it was published in book form, I knew that I had to add it to my collection. This book features the first 25 episodes of the online comic, as well as a short story exclusive to the print addition, so I’m excited to reread this story which I love and see some new content.
Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren
I have been disappointed with Christina Lauren’s recent releases, however I have heard a lot of positive reviews for Love & Other Words. I have also heard many comparisons between this book and Every Summer After by Carley Fortune, which I also hope to read in 2023. Love & Other Words follows Macy and Elliot, who have a second chance romance. Some reservations that I have with this book is that it is told in different time lines to show their past relationship and the current interactions and the second chance romance trope, and this type of writing and this trope aren’t always my favorite to read.
Recently, I discussed my reading goals for 2023. Today, I will be discussing my blog goals for 2023. Here are my top four goals:
Goal #1: Complete Blogentine’s Day.
My first goal for my blog in 2023 is doing Blogentine’s Day. In the past, I have written fourteen posts for the first fourteen days of February. I didn’t do Blogentine’s Day this past year, but it is something that I have always enjoyed writing for my blog. I have already started planning out my posts for Blogentine’s Day, so I’m hoping that my early planning will make writing that many posts at the beginning of the year less stressful.
Goal #2: Complete Blogmas.
On my blog, Blogmas lasts all 31 days of December. I am almost finished with Blogmas this year and it was so much fun to review recent books that I’ve read and to reflect on my reading this past year. Like with Blogentine’s Day, Blogmas can take a lot of planning. I didn’t plan as early as I typically do this year, so I had to do a lot of writing during the month of December, which can add a lot of pressure since it is such a busy time of the year. As a result, it is my goal to start planning this month-long celebration on my blog a little sooner than I did this year.
Goal #3: Keep up with monthly TBRs and reading wrap-ups.
In the past on my blog, I loved doing monthly TBRs and wrap-ups to keep track of what I read each month and to reflect on whether or not I stuck to my TBR. How many books I read in a month can greatly fluctuate, so even if it isn’t monthly wrap-ups, I at least want to do seasonal wrap-ups of books that I have read.
Goal #4: Review more types of media.
So many books are being turned into movies during 2023 that I want to start reviewing more types of media aside from books on my blog. I love watching book-to-movie, or more often now, books-to-streaming series, so I would love to write comparisons between books and movies as well as reviewing the books and media content separately.
Since it’s almost time for the new year, I wanted to write a list of books I wanted to read before 2023 ends. Instead of just thinking of my most anticipated releases of 2023, I also wanted to think of previously published books that I want to read in the new year. Throughout the year, I plan to document my progress on my list! Here are my choices:
Looking over the books I chose to put on my list I noticed several trends, including:
I am not surprised that the most books on my list fall into the contemporary romance genre, as it is my most read genre during 2022. Among the contemporary romances, there are a couple books on this list which are holiday romances. This December, there were a few holiday romances which I wanted to read, but ran out of time to read, so I want to put them on the list for the next year.
However, there are a few fantasy books and graphic novel books sprinkled into my list this year. In my book goals for 2023, Many of the fantasy books on my list are reappearances from series that I loved in the past. A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to The Hunger Games, so it is a must-read for me before the movie releases in November 2023. The Stolen Heir is a new boo kin a duology which follows characters from The Cruel Prince, a series which made it into my yearly favorites when it was released.
Something else that I noticed was the number of graphic novels included in my list. In my book goals for 2023, I mentioned how I wanted to get back into reading graphic novels. Since I have been wanting to read the Lore Olympus series, which has been published in print form, I thought this would be a great way to meet my goal.
There are a few statistics that I noticed regarding authors on my list. Out of 24 books, 16 books are from authors that I have previously read. The other six books are from authors who would be new-to-me. Additionally, on my list, there are quite a few authors repeated. Tessa Bailey, Christina Lauren, and Rachel Smythe each appear three times on my list. Tessa Bailey has two new releases planned for 2023, a duology which takes place on a vineyard, and I haven’t read My Killer Vacation, which she released last year. The author duo Christina Lauren has one new book to be released this year and I also included two previously published books that I would like to read. I haven’t been a fan of Christina Lauren’s newest releases (I DNF’d Something Wilder in 2022), but I’m hoping that I will enjoy the books that I have selected for my list. For Rachel Smythe, I would like to read at least three of the four published copies of Lore Olympus.
Reviewing my list, 8 of the books will be published in 2023 and 4 of these books were published in 2022 (it should be noted that Lore Olympus was published in print form during 2022, but was released on WebToon a different year). This means that half of the books which I planned to read in 2023 were published within the last couple years.
The List of Books (from left to right):
The Stolen Heir by Holly Black
Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren
Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey
Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune
Happy Place by Emily Henry
The Reunion by Kayla Olson
The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
‘Tis the Season for Revenge by Morgan Elizabeth
Unfortunately Yours by Tessa Bailey
Lore Olympus Volume 1 by Rachel Smythe
Lore Olympus Volume 3 by Rachel Smythe
Love Olympus, Volume 2 by Rachel Smythe
Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison
Shipwrecked by Olivia Dade
The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
The Summer I Turned Pretty is a novel by Jenny Han which follows Belly Conklin during the summer which she spends at a beach house with her mother and brother as well as her mother’s best friend and two sons. During previous summers, Belly was usually left out from the boys’ experiences. However, this summer, everything changes. To see my review of the entire trilogy, click here.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (TSITP) is the second trilogy by Jenny Han to be adopted into film. Another series by Han, To All the Boys I Loved Before, was available on Netflix. TSITP, however, is available on Amazon Prime. On one hand, it is exciting that more of Jenny Han’s beloved series are transforming into series or movies. On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly more expensive to spend money on multiple streaming services, which may drawback some fans from watching the series.
Are the Plot Changes Good or Bad?
Whenever a book is adapted to the screen, there are always changes. Overall, I feel like most of the changes from book to screen do not take away from the original series and capture the spirit of the novel. However, there are some changes which I found unnecessary. They didn’t necessarily take away from my enjoyment of the series, but if they weren’t included, I wouldn’t have minded.
In the Amazon Prime series, there are several plots or storylines added which do not appear in the original novel. This is due in part to the show focusing on multiple perspectives, rather than only showing Belly’s storyline. One major part of the television show, which doesn’t appear in the novels, is Belly’s participating in a debutante ball. This story line contains major scenes and pivotal moments within the series. While this storyline isn’t in the book, I found that it really reinforced a major idea within the show: Belly undergoes major changes due to growing up.
There are several other storylines which take place in the show, which do not appear in the novel. Viewers get to see Belly’s older brother develop a relationship with a girl from a wealthy background. Belly’s mother develops a relationship with a local author. On one hand, this allows readers to understand all of the characters in the show better, as opposed to Belly in the books. However, there were some scenes which I found myself wishing to get back to the main story line.
While the television show isn’t a carbon copy of the book, it does capture the same spirit as the novel, which readers will appreciate. However, it also brings some new ideas which freshen up the storyline and make it more relatable for current teenagers, who are the target demographic for the show?
How Were the Characters?
One of the biggest strengths of the TSITP show is the casting. Most of the characters are exactly how I pictured them in the book. Lola Tung captures Belly’s excitement as she grows older and breaks out of her shell. Rain Spencer makes Taylor, Belly’s friend, more likable and comedic. Christopher Briney embodied Conrad’s broodiness. Jackie Chung and Rachel Blanchard had excellent chemistry as Laurel and Susannah that you wanted to be friends with them too.
The only character who was slightly different than I envisioned when reading was Jeremiah. In the books, Jeremiah becomes a frat boy later on, so I always imagined him more like a frat boy of the era in which the book was being published. However, I did like the changes to his character, and if I think the book was written now, Jeremiah would have been written like he appears in the show. Gavin Casalegno, the actor who portrays Jeremiah, gives his character a “golden retriever” personality which helps to really set him apart from Conrad.
Overall, TSITP is a fun series which readers of the original series and people who haven’t read the book before will equally enjoy. While there were some changes from the book to the screen, I didn’t mind the changes and thought they provided a good update to the original series. I highly recommend this Amazon Prime series and give it five out of five stars.
Even though I am a little (read: A LOT) late on listing all of the books that I read last year, I always think it is fun to recap all of the books that I read in one year. Last year, I found myself in a bit of a reading slump, so I didn’t read as many books as I typically read in year. Additionally, I found myself not as invested in many of the books that I read in the last year. Fortunately for me, I’ve had a great start to the 2020 reading year and I hope it continues throughout February. Without further adieu, here are all the books that I read in 2019 (reviews will be linked to book titles):
For the past two Saturdays, I have held my annual Brittany Awards where I name the top books that I have read this year in several categories. Today, I will list my top young adult books of the year. This is my most read category of the year, and as a result, the most competitive. Here are my top four favorite young adult books:
Maybe This Time by Kasie West
I read three new-to-me Kasie West books in 2019 and Maybe This Time was definitely my favorite. I loved the holiday aspects of the novel and enjoyed the characters. I can see myself rereading this many times in the future, like many other Kasie West books that I enjoyed.
The Wicked King by Holly Black
I read the second and third book in the Folk of the Air series and the second ranks as my favorite. There were so many twists and turns in The Wicked King and I finally found myself enjoying the characters in this series. Second books in series usually suffer a slump, but this book is an exception.
Serious Moonlight by Jean Bennett
I read Alex, Approximately when it first debuted and I was disappointed. I didn’t expect to pick up another Jenn Bennett book, but this one sounded cute and I’m all for trying to read another book by an author that didn’t work for me the first time if the plot sounds interesting. I’m glad that I did because I really enjoyed Serious Moonlight and it makes me want to pick up more books by Jenn Bennett in 2020.
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Sandhya Menon’s books have been hit-or-miss for me. There’s Something About Sweetie has definitely been my favorite book by this author! I thought this was a cute contemporary book, which is right up my alley.
What have been your favorite contemporary books in 2019?
Hello and welcome to the first post in my annual Blogmas series, where I post everyday during the month of December. Today, I’ll be discussing my recent experience with NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, this past November. If you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, it is a, annual month-long writing writing event in November that challenges you to write 50,000 words towards a new novel in thirty days. For more information, check out the official website here.
I have participated in NaNoWriMo once before, however, I only made it to about 35,000 words. This year, I was determined to reach the 50,000 word benchmark. Throughout the month, I faced a lot of challenges to reach my goal. I was sick for the first three weeks of November. Then, in the middle of the month, I was in the process of rearranging my room, which cost me several weekends of building IKEA furniture.
However, I prevailed on the last day of the month with only a few hours to spare in the day by writing more words than I have ever written before in one day… a little over 8,000 words! While I’m not completely finished with my first draft, I have a great place to start.
This year, I really focused on just writing whatever came to mind instead of focusing so much on making every single word perfect. While I have much to revise, I am still excited to meet my goal and have words written down that I can work on over the next several months.
On NaNoWriMo’s website, they provide several statistics about your writing experience. Here are some of my statistics:
50,075 words: This was my ending total word count.
I’m a night owl–I wrote mostly between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.: This does not surprise me, considering I work all day.
I mostly wrote at home: I only worked at home while writing, so this is also not a surprise.
I wrote an average of 1,669 words per day: For NaNoWriMo, they suggest you write 1,667 words per day. For me, that number greatly varied. At the beginning, I tried to stick to 2,000 words. However, there was one week where I wrote 0 words. As a result, my word count spiked at the end where I tried to catch up, sometimes writing around 6,000 words per day.
Overall, I was excited to complete NaNoWriMo successfully for the first time. Did any of you try NaNoWriMo this year?