The 7 Reading Highlights of 2016 // Plus A Fantabulous 2016 Annual Sum-up

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Christmas is over? New Year’s is here? THE YEAR OF 2016 IS DEAD AND GONE, YOU SAY? I digress. 2016 is basically dead and gone, just like you said, and now it comes to me to do a very obligatory, reluctant little midsection about the GREAT AND GLORIOUS READING YEAR THIS WAS. And it was, truly. But still the only thing I am prone to enjoy about this post is the chaotic throwing of graphics and photos everywhere.

If you honestly believed that I would just smack down my 7 favorites of 2016, you are entirely wrong. There’s also going to be that thing with the whole GOALS OF 2016 since I’m being an ambitious little bean and then of course MY FAVORITE BLOGOSPHERE AND WRITERSPHERE BREAKING NEWS. Well, breaking no more, but still.

I’m awaiting the Beautiful People sequence that’s going to admonish me to WRITE MORE AND MORE AND MORE IN 2017. And what did I say? I said I’ll write a ton this year in 2016 reading back. AHAHAA I’M SUCH A LIAR.

But to be fair, if you bravely make it to the end of this post, and stressing the if–my liar-ness shouldn’t seem to bother you too much when I say I’m going to read ALL OF THESE GREAT UPCOMING BOOKS and write more and all of that because you, here, are doing an excellent job of tolerating this eccentric person over here.

In fact, you have done a better job of tolerating me than I am myself.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

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dotted-copy-3I used to think that people with biological and cultural roots that tied them to India, or what it used to be before Britain split it–who are now called either ‘Indians’ or ‘Middle Eastern’ didn’t really have any important history or civilization before the Revolution. I didn’t know about the Arabian nights, I didn’t know about stories and stories, and more stories about Indian myths and fables, I didn’t know about the religious stories that told tales about great god-like-incarnations–I didn’t know of any it.

And after I did learn of it, I simply thought it wasn’t very important. I am fortunate enough to be an American, but even being an American I felt like I was being misrepresented in all the books, movies, music–you name it. Or rather, I wasn’t being represented at all. And so this is exactly why I love The Wrath and the Dawn so so much. It is a fantastically diverse (and I say that because I’m biased and this book REPreSeNTS my culture hurray) idea and it was pulled off spectacularly.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

dotted-copy-4Fantasy is my book genre all the way, you guys. I’ve hardly ever had a taste for anything besides fantasy, and when I did, it was for dystopian. However, I’m VERY fluent in fantasy.

YOU GUYSSS. I gave TatBILB 5 stars, and that’s not just it. THIS BOOK IS CONTEMPORARY. IT IS A CONTEMPORARY NOVEL. I can’t scream about it enough. At first I thought it would be too sweet for my taste, but I have a knack for loving all things sweet and besides–this book is TOO CUTE. It’s so simple, and realistic, and Lara Jean is probably the only teenager ever who can ever make me ramble like this. EUGHHH ALL I WANT TO DO I SCREAM IN CAPS LOCK UGH.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

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So by far, it must have come to your attention THAT I AM ENTIRELY A SUCKER FOR BOOKS THAT DEFY STEREOTYPES. AND LET ME TELL YOU: every single time an author promises me a book full of malice and hatred and lots of dying and ALSO LOTS OF VILLAINS HUZZAH they almost always fail to deliver.

GOOD-NESS IS NOT UNIVERSAL FOLKS. Vicious is the only book I’ve read by far that is a superbly touching story that is a perfect mirror OF ACTUAL LIFE YOU KNOW YES THAT THING. The backstory is understandably poignant and the actual plotline–it’s so, so, irresistible. It’s something you simply CAN’T STOP TURNING THE PAGES OF. Partially because of that uber magnificent writing and then for all the twisted, lovable, villainy-ness. It’s the hit of 2016, folks.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

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The Dark Artifices IS SPLENDID AND HALP I’M IN LOVE. The book is intense. You NEED pie on the side at all times because it can get a heavy causing you to die little overwhelming. I am notorious in my crimes for predicting books. I’m just too good at guesswork, folks. BUT THIS MY GOD THIS I CAN’T EVEN FORM COHERENT WORDS. That’s probably because I have no words, because I have no guesses. It’s unpredictable and that makes me ecstatic.

Also can we take a moment to APPRECIATE ALL OF THE SPECTACULAR CAMEOS?? JACE AND CLARY AND MAGNUS MY LORDS MAGNUS AGHHH. Thank all the gods to have ever existed because if Clare thought she could drop my TMI babes on MIA for this trilogy I would have screamed and left severely dejected.

  1. Freaking. Stars.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

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Crooked Kingdom has too many dark, bitter cookies for me to love and, well, predictably, I love them all. Mostly Kaz, but all of them still. I LOVE KAZ AND INEJ YOU GUYS IT’S WHAT I WILL SAIL FOR THE REST OF MY LYFE OKAY. I’ve never written fanfiction before, but I swear I will write fanfic for Kaz and Inej BECAUSE I’M NOT OKAY WITH THEM JUST HOLDING HANDS. I NEED PIE.

And then there’s that ending that I’m not okay with because it has left me broken forever. THE STORY IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECTLY CRAFTED and then you throw in that twist in the end?? I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS TOO MUCH.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

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I’m such a traitor. All the way until after Queen of Shadows was dead and I read it and it was all over and gone I said I SHIP CHAOLENA BECAUSE IT IS MY LIFE FORCE. And here I go and give up my life force and fall at the feet of Rowaelin. Okay, I exaggerate, but I still LOVE ROWAELIN. I mean, they’re a bit overdramatic and insufferable and generally irksome, but when they’re just talking and having all the normal brilliant innuendo and not going up against walls and all that NA stuff–my heart is melting right here.

BUT MOSTLY I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS. I say that, but really I mean Dorian and Manon. They are my new life force, you guys, and this time I’m hanging on because DORIAN IS PERFECT AND MANON IS MANON AND THEY BELONG WITH EACH OTHER AS LONG AS SHE DOESN’T CLAW HIS HEART OUT WITH HER NAILS OR TEETH OR WHATEVER.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

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Oh dear. This. It’s actually ENTIRELY NA more than YA, so I mean, there’s a whole lot of funtimes in it near the end, but the story is SOO MUCH BETTER THAN ACOTAR. I knew I had a hunch when I gave ACOTAR two stars because as soon as Rhys entered the frame, there was no chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin, alright? I MEAN I’M IN FREAKING LOVE WITH AELIN AND I LOVE HER TO DEATH because she is so snarky and entirely moi. BUT FEYRE?? I HATE FEYRE ARCHERON. I relate to her in no way at all; she’s a perfect little snowflake twat who attracts all powerful fae and then has all the powers of all the high lords. Obviously very realistic and relatable, you see.

BUT RHYSAND? ASIDE FROM THAT MIND-BLOWING ENDING AND STORY WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO WITH RHYSAND LADY MAAS. I’m crying myself to sleep here that he doesn’t exist because god help me if Rhys and Feyre existed, I’d become Manon and rip right between them. 🙂 all in good faith, though, of course.

THIS RIGHT HERE IS MY FAVORITE PRECIOUS CHILD OF THE YEAR, YOU GUYS.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

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How To Rock Your Bookstagram. Favorite post #1! Believe it when I say, I’m ENTIRELY attached to bookstagram. Like, I am rock-solid committed and I LOVE LOVE TAKING PHOTOS WITH THIS DARNED AMAZING CAMERA. But anyways, I’ve seen so many posts about bookstagram and how to work it or whatever, but you know, it really depends on the person. And personally, I think Ava’s post here speaks to me the most 🙂

Being A Successful Blogger: What Does It Really Mean?. Y’all, this is so on point here. Being the person I am, I am always herding after myself and I’m NEVER EVER satisifed. I could be the greatest blogger on Earth and my strange, strange mind would still be like: NOPE. YOU CAN DO MORE. YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH, DARN YOU. So reading this post was kind of eye-opening, you know? It didn’t exactly serve me a change of heart on a silver platter but it, well, really did touch my mentality. I don’t think I’m going to change and to start to accept myself just yet, but I can try, yes?

How Can I Feel Good About My Writing?. AGAIN. Are you noticing a pattern here? All of the posts (of which I have five favorites this year) I’m featuring here are either pushing me to have more of a flexible mentality and accept myself OR their helping get to where I want. I REVOLVE around success, y’all. I’ll talk about it further down the post, but I really do. I don’t function on happiness, or love, or anything. I function on the promise of success and achievement–SO THIS IS BASICALLY MEANT FOR ME. This post and I are soulmates folks. Also, Abbie is the MOST FREAKING AMAZING BLOGGER I’VE LIKE EVER SEEN. Have you seen her blog, folks? IT’S SO MUCH EYE CANDY I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT.

What Does A Book Blogger Actually Do?. Well then. Here comes the Cait. You guys, this post is hilariously accurate. I’ve never, ever, thought of being a book blogger who blogs about book blogging. It’s a clever paradox and really, all of Cait’s posts are just as superb. They make up my life force, y’all. She’s the one blogger that I’ve ever really stuck to throughout my whole blogging experience. I check her blog everyday to see if she’s posted something new. THERE ISN’T A SINGLE POST OF HERS I HAVEN’T READ IN THE PAST YEAR. Yes, I know, I’m more of an obsessive fan than a reader, but still. I have another few posts that I absolutely love of hers, but this one beats them all ❤

6 Reasons I Get Into Reading Slumps. This post speaks to my soul. It will probably speak to yours, too. I’M ALWAYS IN A SLUMP OF SOME KIND. Whether it be writing, blogging, art, reading, swimming, playing music, taekwondo–you name it, I’ve probably experienced a slump in that category recently. So when I’m honest here–this post isn’t just about reading slumps. It’s about slumps of all kinds. So basically, IT’S ABOUT ME. This thing is my smol precious child y’all. AND IT’S SO MIND-BLOWING-LY ACCURATE. cue uber dramatic surprised emojiscreen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

 

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I’ll be honest here–THIS YEAR WAS A TERRIBLE WRITING YEAR FOR ME. I didn’t actually ever go back to edit any of my drafts, and some of my first manuscripts I didn’t even finish! Yes, I know, shame on me. I DESERVE NO PIE. But I still got some things done, you guys.

I finished a draft with 82,668 words. I am clearly aware of most YA novels being 90,000 to 120,000, but when the story is told, the story is told. And if it only took me 80K to tell the story as it is, then so be it, you know. BUT I’M BASICALLY FLAILING IN PROUDNESS BECAUSE IT IS SO HARD FOR ME TO EVER FINISH EVEN A FIRST DRAFT. My brain always gets bored and moves on. But not this time, y’all.

I started off another story draft with 28,558 words. Again, I’m clearly aware of people writing 100K in like a week, or two weeks. BUT AGAIN, I’M NOT A WRITING WIZARD YOU GUYS. So it took me 366 days to write 110K, and again, so be it. (woah look at me being all accepting of myself) But this is an entirely different story, so before I even consider 2nd drafts or editing, I need to finish this first.

I plotted out 4 new ideas for stories. Now, you might be thinking that I sat and wrote out an entire outline, but that’s not exactly what I consider plotting a story. The first thing I do when I get an idea is to go to notes on my iPad or Macbook and write down all the key words I can think of for the story. Then, I actually start to BRAINSTORM a story from start to end. And believe it or not, I do use an actual plot map with the boxes and the arrows and sub-boxes and everything. Search it up–it works.

I outlined two ideas after plotting. Well, to be clear, mostly I just outlined 1 and 1/2, but let me exaggerate and be proud of myself, okay folks? So what’s next after this? Hopefully writing out these two ideas and then outlining my other two ideas.

And that’s what I got done in 2016, more or less, and I don’t exactly need any hints here. My little sister already did a good job of telling me I slacked off a lot. So in 2017, I’m going to finish off my draft with 30K, hopefully edit my first 80k one, but more likely edit and redraft my second one once it’s done, outline my remaining ideas, and get started on atleast one new one once it’s done being outlined.

Well, we’ll see, I guess. In 363 days, I’m just hoping I don’t write another annual-sum-up post with more disappointment in my inner writer 🙂screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

 

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BLOG MORE AND MORE AND MORE–but consistency and heck yes brevity, folks. You guys–this year was SOMETHING, really. But beside all the hiatus’ I took and the inordinate amount of time between each post currently–it was A GREAT YEAR. Omg that was such a joke. I did not exactly like my blogging year for 2016, you guys. SO I NEED TO BLOG BETTER NEXT YEAR. I need to blog more because I actually do enjoy it, and if I don’t have enough time than I better do it quickly. I mean, in life, you have to make time for the things you love. So there.

This year I have a ton of regrets with blogging and they all go under not being able to accept what I can do and comparing myself to other people. THIS IS MY BLOG FOLKS. I WILL SOUND AS HYSTERICALLY IDIOTIC AS POSSIBLE IF I WISH.

BOOKSTAGRAM Y’ALL (stick with the same theme Veda)–5K PERHAPS? Or maybe I should rather say 5k please, yes? Let me just laugh hysterically at this one for a second–EXCUSE ME WHAT AM I SAYING?? I very much don’t think this is entirely realistic, but I have to have something on here to boost my personal self-esteem, y’all. 5K WOULD MAKE ME THE MOST SLEF-ESTEEM-EST PERSON EVER. Help this charitable cause here 🙂 I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY. I love bookstagram. And I finally, finally love the new theme I have going on. It’s only going to go upward from here, y’all.

BE AN ORGANIZED HUMAN BEING AND JUGGLE YOUR ACTIVITIES DEAR. See, right there on my first goal for I made a point to stress the fact that no matter what, you can always make time for the things you love. So this kind of falls under that, yes? I always get carried away on my Mac–it’s my poison. I love it, but it’s my poison. I’m addicted to it, and I ALWAYS ALWAYS GET LOST WEB-SURFING when I should be blogging or graphic designing. THIS DOES NOT QUALIFY AS AN ACTUAL ACTIVITY FOLKS.

I have not devoted my life to blogging or reading or even writing, though that would my dream job if it paid more. The thing is, depending on what you believe, I could be a shallow person. The only thing I want in life is success and money, and I’m willing to give up what I love for that. My dream job, if I didn’t care about money, would be being an astronomer or an author, because I LOVE THOSE TWO THINGS. But try not to tell anyone–this is entirely my secret, you guys. It’s like I’m cutting out a piece of myself and putting it up here.

But I’m being frank here–everything I do is looking forward to getting success. SO I DO A LOT OF THINGS Y’ALL. I DO A LOT OF ACTIVITIES. And I love doing them all. So if I’m going to do them all, then I need to get good at time-management AND BEING ORGANIZED. I am an entp, after all, so this’ll only be a little hard.

READ 70 BOOKS AND TRY MORE GENRES. So in 2016, I read 60 books. AND I AM CLEARLY AWARE OF THOSE MAGIC READING WARLOCKS OVER THERE WHO READ LIKE 100 OR 200 BOOKS A YEAR. But I, unfortunately, am not a reading warlock. Refer to me talking above about all of my activities. So basically, this year, I WANT TO UP MY GAME FOLKS. I’m not at 100 yet, but ten more books is a big deal for me, and like I said earlier you guys, it can only go upward from here.

GET BETTER AT HAND-LETTERING SINCE YOU BOUGHT A FEW OF THOSE EXPENSIVE PENS ANWAYS. Art is something I’ve been passionate about since I was little. Maybe not always good at, but passionate about. I love making expressionistic art because I love warm palettes and human faces, and speaking of that, I’M THAT PERSON WHO LOVES REALISM. But I finally found which kind of art I love the most–and that’s hand-lettering and calligraphy. I’ve never done it before, but I’m an eager, angsty person so I went and bought myself the expensive brush pens anyways and now I have to make an unbreakable vow that I WILL WORK ON IT THIS YEAR and not let anything go to waste. It is done.

FINALLY GO BACK TO TAEKWONDO AND COMPETITIVE SWIMMING (like please stop depriving yourself of things you love). Some of you may or may not know that I’m, well, a black belt in taekwondo. I’ve done it since I was little–since I was four years old. I participated in hanmadang for a while, and then–it became too much. I was burning out and I simply didn’t want to do it anymore. I wasn’t as eager to do it, but now–now, I guess I finally understood that you don’t know how much something means to you until it’s gone. I’ve swam since I was a smol person too, since I was 6. AND I LOVE SWIMMING. I honestly do. But recently I gave it up for the exact same reason–I couldn’t do it anymore.

And you know, now I’m thinking, if I love it so much, then I can. I can do it, and I can go back and start loving it all over again.

HAVE NO REGRETS. AT ALL. NEVER LOOK BACK.
This is kind of hard to explain, but here goes–2016 wasn’t exactly a great year for me. It had its ups and it had its downs like every other year–but 2016 is probably one of the most formative years of my life. It was so dynamic and moving, you know. I went through depression, lost my self-esteem, grieved for several weeks, gave up competitive swimming and my fervor for blogging–basically I hated the world. Not exactly life, but the world. Fate, perhaps. And so I didn’t do a lot of things that I had the opportunity to do and I deeply regret it.

So this year, above all the other resolutions I have up there, my number one resolution is to have no regrets and never look back. I’m going to take it one day at a time, and by the end of each day, I want to have regretted nothing. I want to do everything I love and everything I can. I don’t want to hate the world anymore–I want to live in it. I want to live life, but not as I’ve always been doing. I want to live it more.screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-11-07-07-pm

 

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This past year has been entirely something else. There aren’t even words to describe it. But really, it’s mostly because of y’all. I’ve went through some very dark times this year and to be honest, this great community that I’m a part of has been a huge part in bringing me back to myself–bringing me back to my life. So above all, I just need to thank you for being such great people 🙂 So from me to you, I hope y’all had a great holiday season and are ready to bounce into 2017!

xox, Veda

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6 thoughts on “The 7 Reading Highlights of 2016 // Plus A Fantabulous 2016 Annual Sum-up

  1. Kaz and Inej are so OTP it hurts. Crooked Kingdom was everything I wanted it to be and so much more, although a certain death crushed me. I’d quite happily read a novel on all the steps Kaz and Inej take in their relationship. The complexity of the characters was sensational and I loved how each member of the crew had their part to play.

    2016 was a mix bag for me. The highlight was definitely my month stint in New Zealand – it’s made my wanderlust go wild. Other than that 2016 was just a year of me trying to figure out what I want to do now that I’ve finished university and let me tell you, adulthood sucks. 😛

    I hope 2017 is kind to you. Happy New Year, 😀

    1. KINEJ IS THE LIFE FORCE THAT SUSTAINS ME. And yes, that certain death absolutely shattered me. I had super high expectations, and Crooked Kingdom surpassed them spectacularly, even though it left me with a broken heart. I AM PREPARED FOR THE ONSLAUGHT OF KINEJ NOVELS. It will probably be the only romance series I’ll ever love in a long while!
      The characters are stunning. And the way Bardugo writes–it’s flawless! Like it literally CAPTURES you.
      New Zealand is beautiful! I’ve always wanted to go and see it. However, I unfortunately live all the way across the globe, so. CONGRATULATIONS ON GRADUATING OMGG LOIS (lane 😉 ). Adulthood does suck 🙂
      I hope you have a great year too! ALSO I’M IN LOVE WITH THE NAME LOIS OMG CAN I JUST SAY THAT ONE DAY I’M GOING TO USE IT IN A BOOK I WRITE AND YOU WILL BE MY SOLE INSPIRATION ❤ not even kidding.

  2. All the best for 2017, Veda! I hope you’ll have a wonderful year 🙂
    I loved The Wrath and The Dawn so, so much as well, such a gorgeous and diverse book, it was just beautiful. Thank you so much for mentionning my post, I am so glad you liked it! 🙂

    1. THANK YOUUUU MARIE. The Wrath and the Dawn is pretty great! Shoots to me and Ahdieh for finally making me feel good about being an Indian AND FINALLY BEING REPRESENTED HECK YEAH. Your post was absolutely wonderful–it asked and answered every question I never knew I asked myself 🙂

  3. Well, I really hope you have a great 2017 and that you finally get to be yourself in your blog.
    I had a good 2016, a very good one and I hope 2017 will be even better!
    https://perfectioninbooks.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/2017-resolutions-and-goals-that-i-hope-i-actually-get-to-accomplish/
    https://perfectioninbooks.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/2016-recap-my-birthday-cake/
    https://perfectioninbooks.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/favourite-books-of-2016/
    https://perfectioninbooks.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/favourite-things-discovered-in-2016/
    Those are all my outro posts and intro.
    I think my fav book was ACOMAF and not far is Six of Crows, can’t they both be together in the same place? Yes, they can.

    1. Well, I hope I have a great 2017 too (where is that crying-while-laughing emoji that is my life when you need it) and that extends to you too! Being myself has always been hard for me because I’m never good enough for me, if that makes any sense.
      I’m glad you had a good 2016! I’m going to go look at those posts now 🙂
      SISTER YOU FEEL ME. ACOMAF and SOC/CK were so great! I CAN’T BELIEVE ACOWAR IS COMING OUT IN MAY EEEK SO CLOSE YET SO FAR. (again, I need that emoji)
      much love Aldii ❤

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