Needless to say, for me at the very least, 2015 wasn’t a particularly good year. At the very beginning, I was determined to write every single day – whether it be a blog post or a chapter/section of a story I’ve been dying to work on for the longest time. But then life got in the way and life wasn’t kind. Other people were going through worse than me, of course, but that didn’t negate how low certain events were making me feel. I kept it all to myself though.

I had so many plans that I wanted to do, so many places I wanted to go, books I wanted to read, films I wanted to see – just a lot of living, really, but it didn’t really work out that way. This year, I’m working harder to make sure that even when things go wrong I have something to fall back on – a little glimpse of happiness whenever I need it.

For me, writing has always come easily. Reading and writing have always been the natural way for me to explore myself. When I read a book, I like to get immersed no matter where I am. There’s something amazing about opening the pages of a good book and diving head first into a new world, a world you may have seen before but is unique because it’s from the imagination of a single person. Being able to look into a person’s mind that way has always intrigued me.

Last year, I decided to set myself a reading challenge – I had to read twenty-one books before the end of the year. Despite everything that was going on, I managed to surpass that goal and read thirty-seven books. The one thing that I managed to fail on with my goal was writing reviews for each book as I’d hoped to do. Joining GoodReads, I found that keeping track of my reading on there gave me a sense of accomplishment that I hadn’t felt in a long time. No one else in my family reads like I do. The only other person who likes books as much as me is two years old and I can’t exactly have an in-depth conversation about The Shining or A Clockwork Orange with her. On there, I didn’t feel as lame. I could share my thoughts and think that maybe someone out there agreed with me. Maybe someone would share their thoughts with me in return.  It happened occasionally, but really I just enjoyed seeing the number of books I’d read increase each week.

My problem was finding the effort to write a review. The more I read the more I had to say and I just couldn’t find time where I felt willing to do anything like that. Soon enough, there were too many books for me to possibly catch up in time and the rest of the year past with me not really doing as I’d hoped. If I were to look in my posts folder on here, there’s definitely a bunch of drafts for reviews I wanted to write but lost inspiration for very quickly. I’m not going to let that happen this year.

Writing makes me feel like I can express myself easily. When I talk, I can’t get the words out right – I start to stutter, my body starts to move in ways that I’m not consciously making it do, I turn into a nervous mess even though I have so much to say. Writing gives me the chance to make someone better than me.

In November, I took part in NaNoWriMo and to my astonishment I managed to write every single day. Even when I only wrote a couple of hundred words on some days, I got to the fifty-thousand-word deadline ahead of schedule. In it, I created a character who narrated the story that I hope people will be able to relate to. She’s confident in a way I’ve never felt but vulnerable enough to know when she needs help. I tried to keep away from making her like me as much as humanly possible. I didn’t finish the story though – that’s my goal this year.

One of them, at least.

This year is going to be great – even if I have to find obscure ways to get where I want to be. I learnt from my experiences last year and I’m definitely a different person to whom I was a year ago. 2014, I had a panic attack on my birthday and started 2015 feeling like hell. 2015, I was beyond ready to end the year and get into 2016. Now I’m here (and got through my rant) I want to summarise my reading year.

In 2015, I read (in order with ratings out of 5):

  1. The Shining – Stephen King – 5 stars
  2. Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian – Rick Riordan – 5 stars
  3. Ready Player One – Earnest Cline – 4.5 stars
  4. Take Back The Skies – Lucy Saxon – 3 stars
  5. Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire – Derek Landy – 5 stars
  6. Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars
  7. Lockwood & Co.: The Whispering Skull – Jonathan Stroud – 5 stars
  8. A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin – 5 stars
  9. Paper Towns – John Green – 4.9 stars
  10. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess – 5 stars
  11. Solitaire – Alice Oseman – 5 stars
  12. Cinder – Marissa Meyer – 4 stars
  13. Hollow City – Ransom Riggs – 4 stars
  14. Assassin’s Creed: The Secret Crusade – Oliver Bowden – 4 stars
  15. Bad  Girls Don’t Die – Katie Alender – 4.5 stars
  16. Miss Mayhem – Rachel Hawkins – 3 stars
  17. Crown of Midnight – Sarah J. Maas – 5 stars
  18. The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow – Katherine Woodfine – 3 stars
  19. Scarlet – Marissa Meyer – 5 stars
  20. Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake V.1 – Natasha Allegri – 5 stars
  21. Famous Last Words – Katie Alender – 4 stars
  22. From  Bad To Cursed – Katie Alender – 5 stars
  23. As Dead As It Gets – Katie Alender – 5 stars
  24. Zom-B – Darren Shan – 3 stars
  25. Username: Evie – Joe Sugg – 4 stars
  26. Cress – Marissa Meyer – 5 stars
  27. The Amazing Book is Not on Fire – Dan Howell and Phil Lester – 5 stars
  28. Library of Souls – Ransom Riggs – 5 stars
  29. Nick and Charlie – Alice Oseman – 5 stars
  30. Lockwood & Co.: The Hollow Boy – Jonathan Stroud – 5 stars
  31. This Book Loves You – PewDiePie – 4 stars
  32. Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer – Katie Alender – 3 stars
  33. This Winter – Alice Oseman – 5 stars
  34. A World Without Princes – Soman Chainani – 5 stars
  35. Fairest – Marissa Meyer – 5 stars
  36. Demon Thief – Darren Shan – 4 stars
  37. Winter – Marissa Meyer – 5 stars

This year, I’ve set myself the goal of reading 50 books before 2017. I am determined to beat that goal and write as many reviews as I can handle.


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