2017 IN RETROSPECT

by - December 18, 2017

2017 draws to an end.

I've heard this said so often around here in the past while but it never ceases to pack a punch. Like ALREADY? The older one gets, the faster time goes. I remember doing my July recap like it was yesterday and thinking, "oh my word, how can half the year be over?" Well, now it's another half.

I scream internally every time I think about it. 2017 gone. Help. It's just very sobering. As much as I love stepping into fresh year (it;s one of the best feelings) it's always very jarring to realise ... how fast it happened.

But to look on the bright side --- I FEEL SUPER PRODUCTIVE WITH THIS YEAR. Yay!!










>> It's been a huge milestone in my writing life. This year is when I started to take it seriously. I loved writing for fun previously, just whenever it struck my fancy. I never finished anything. But this year I took one step forward :D

>> I wrote a story called The Sand and the Sea for TeenInk in March. It was my first ever published piece, and I was super proud of it...

>> I entered a local writing contest in my old city and was one of the winners (YAY) (you can read the entries here and here).

>> I found out what blogging was! I remember having such fun in January just hopping from blog to blog to blog ... it was such a new amazing thing and oh my goodness I'm so happy it happened because ...

>> I ALSO STARTED A BLOG!! In June I decided to go out on a limb and try. I remember how demanding it felt at first and how terrible I was with aesthetics and all (feel free to laugh with me now, all you who saw it the first time). I wrestled so hard with design in the beginning, and now I'm happy about how far I've come.

>> I actually got really far in my books!! Usually I get in like one or two chapters and then ... nothing more. But this year (actually in the past half year) I actually wrote 20 chapters (almost) in on both projects!! whoohoo!

>> I did Nanowrimo and Camp Nano for the first time ever! (Ok so I didn't know such a thing even existed before this year lol)

>> I don't know how much I've written this year collectively but in the past half year I have written 100k in fiction, plus all the blog posts, journals, essays, school notes ... and before July I didn't even count so don't ask :D




>> Christmas marks my one year anniversary of adventuring in YA! It was last Christmas that I dived into Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy, finishing it withing ... three days maybe?? I know Diveregent (and even more the two following books) tend to get a bad rap sometimes, but for me, they drew me into this new genre and because of them I'm reading YA now. I loved them and they would really be the "epitome of comfort" for me to read now.

>> Starting with Diveregent I have tried to review every book I read this year ... and I have succeeded. I've have 45 reviews on Goodreads (which is like half of what I've read) but the rest of them I have stored for myself ... somewhere ...

>> I got my Goodreads in May, on one of those days when I didn't have anything better to do. These days I'm not very active there (because of the annoying update feed which only tells me ten times when ten friends liked the fact that one person friended another -- ugh). However it has proven useful for yelling at others to read my favorite books, and growing my tbr at neck breaking speed.

>> I also learned to review books this year by reading other people's reviews!!

>> And the number of books I've read this year is ... 100!!! Yup, that is not bad at all. I'm pretty sure that's the most I've ever read in a year? You can view most of my reads right here.




STNADALONES

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer          The Scorpio Races           Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker           In 27 Days by Alison Gervais

Letters to the Lost [by Brigid Kemmerer] // This book is about two teens -- Declan and Juliet -- who become very good friends while writing letters to each other anonymously. Of course, they don't know that they go to the same high school and are not on very good terms there. Both consider the other to be a jerk. But. You can probably guess what happens. I loved this to the core because of the letter-writing, the dramatic irony, the friendships and various relationships, the development and growth, photography and cars and babysitting ... ^-^ This book was definitely on the best of the year.

The Scorpio Races [by Maggie Stiefvater] // With the usual unrivalled Maggie Stiefvater-style characters, and and epic race for the plot, with water horses as the fantasy element -- this book was a wild ride! and ... THERE IS A STRONG AND SERIOUS AND SILENT CHARACTER!!! To quote the book itself, I loved "The sky and the sand and the sea and Corr".

Chasing Jupiter [by Rachel Coker] // I actually reviewed this full thing right here, but let's just recap it. To quote myself, "This is a story about family and dreams and heartbreak and loss. It's a story about peaches and pies and peanut butter and Peter Pan and promises and peace. It's a story about cooking and baking and Spanish and summer and friends and love. It's a story about music and the moon and space and hippies and rockets and the kitchen and animals and odd people who do wonderful things." That so sums it up. 

In 27 Days [by Alison Gervais] // I loved this one so so much I actually bought it for myself for Christmas?? (shh don't tell me it's a surprise for myself) It's about a girl who agrees to go back in time to save a guy she barely knows from committing suicide. It's about caring. It's about friendship. It's about loneliness, and it's about showing someone you're there. A lot of it takes place in this adorable coffee shop, and it's full of family, with quite a few tragedies and accidents, and has both Thanksgiving and Christmas in it so this season is the perfect one during which to read it. 


SERIES

Cinder by Marissa Meyer         The Maze Runner by James Dashner         A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes        The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Lunar Chronicles [by Marissa Meyer] // Ok this is totally the best series I read all year. Meet Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rupunzel, and Snow White -- all connected in one epic story set in a sci-fi future. Every book was mind-blowing. With an amazing cast of characters, friendships, adventures, action, twists, schemes, plots, and settings all over the world all the way to the moon, this series is literally the best I can recommend for fairy tale retellings.

The Maze Runner trilogy [by James Dashner] // I reviewed this here. So James Dashner is a cruel author -- one who teaches you to love characters, and ship some, and then destroys them, smashing your heart ... and I want to write like that someday. The whole premise is centred around a sci-fi future where a great disease is wiping out humanity, and they are trying to find those who can resist it ... and one never knows who is good in here, and who is bad. And it hurts hard, but it's super super memorable. And realistic. 

Out of Time trilogy [by Nadine Brandes] // This is a amazing trilogy (and I do confess, I have yet to read the last book) and it's all centred around this idea: How would you live if you knew the day you'd die? And that's the first thing I love about it, because that is so relatable. This book is about time, and how you use it, and that message is what really really resonates with me. Besides that, is has some really exciting harsh reality, severe consequences, amazing characters, a superb villain, cool technology, and of course, God playing an epic role in a sci-fi setting -- and that's just beautiful. 

The Hunger Games [by Suzanne Collins] // I have a feeling that so and so many years from now this just might be a classic?? Maybe? Idk, but it really deserves it's popularity and fame. There's Katniss Everdeen -- the cliche example of a "strong female character", but is she? There's the arena and the Hunger Games and teens forced to fight to the death and games of treachery and rebellion played on every side -- this is apocalyptic, and it's dystopia at it's best. And that ending -- so real it really makes one hurt, and it makes me admire Katniss in another way -- not for being "strong", emotionally or physically, but for breaking on behalf of everyone else.


INDIE 


Martin Hospitality by Abigayle Claire       The Blood Race by K.A. Emmons             The Sorceress and the Squid by Emily Mundell  

I read quite a few indie books this year -- considering the fact I'd never heard of indie books before. I really really loved them all, but there three really stood out --

Martin Hospitality [by Abigayle Claire] // The first indie book I bought or read, the first indie author I knew or connected with, and actually the first book I ordered this year at all. And five stars for it because it's gorgeous, it deals with family, and realistic problems, characters with rough edges, and rural farm country -- this was all I ever dreamed it to be. 

The Blood Race [by K. A. Emmons] // This is the only book I ever won in a Rafflecopter giveaway lol. This book (review here) is about parallel worlds, and super powered humans, and a darkness creeping up in the future which young people are being trained to prevent. It's allegory runs pretty deep, and the writing is stupendous, so I absolutely suggest you check it out (and the sequel's cover and title were just revealed yesterday xD)

The Sorceress and the Squid [by Emily Mundell] // This was my first ever ARC, blog tour, and giveaway win! We have here a fae sorceress, a human warrior -- and what happens in the battle between them? Well, he turns into a squid. Now that is creative in the least. This fantasy world, which really reminds one of Narnia, is charming, and the plot is really twisty. It's a lot about travel -- but not boring in the least -- which is a real accomplishment. Plus, there are a few pretty cool twists that keep this book going long after you assumed it should be finished.








[not mine]


>> So I began blogging in June, and that's like half a year now. I've really really learned a ton in this time and it's hard to believe it's been half a year?

>> I've done ten reviews, which can be found on the "reviews" page up there ^^

>> I've got 52 GFC followers, 17 email followers, and 10 Bloglovin' followers, so I'd say I've been relatively successful

>> Most popular posts: 















>> So I finished grade 9 and began grade 10, doing online school and really enjoying it!! :D

>> Speaking of that I did an arts course, and I think it really showed me a lot of new things I didn't know before.

>> We moved to the West Coast in October, which was big and awesome and I learned a lot

>> I started work too, which is new, and rather interesting, and makes me feel all grown up, which of course, I am not lol 

>> I'm learning to take photos a bit more (due to having a phone) and I really enjoy searching for images to use in posts and editing them -- sometimes I do it for fun too

>> I listened to more music than ever before, discovering quite few new artists with the help of you all

>> Also Spotify is amazing

>> I've learned a lot about social media from observation

>> I've seen so many detective/mystery movies this year that I dream about being chased by bad guys almost every night





That was is what I can remember of the year -- and I can actually say that it's been really awesome. I say thanks to God for all the adventures and experiences I've had, and you know, for once, I think that looking back, I am happy too, not only in shock of time's fast flight xD

I know this post is two days late, but I have had so many things to do ... I hope you all are having a great week in prep for Christmas <3

smiles,
lisa



what are the best things that happened to you this year?
how much did you read?
are you all ready for Christmas?

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26 comments

  1. Just a quick heads up about two things. I am about to fangirl over The Blood Race sequel cover and in your life category, you have stuff supposed to be linked, but its not. Okay, fangirl mode engaged. I NEED THAT BOOK!! THAT COVER IS AMAZING AND I NEED IT BECAUSE KATE IS AWESOME AND HER WRITING IS AMAZING AND I NEED THAT BOOK!!!

    Seriously, though, I will be buying that book. I will have a book fund by then. XD

    This post is amazing. I just want to say that your blogging aesthetics inspire me a lot. God bless you, Lisa!
    Beautiful post. I loved reading about your month and year.
    Have a Merry Christmas!
    <3

    ~Ivie

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    1. AH YES FEEL FREE TO FANGIRL! That cover and title tho <3 I NEED IT TOO ASAP. :p

      Eh I know and Blogger wouldn't let me fix those links ugh *headdesk*
      Aww thanks you so much Ivie <333

      Merry Christmas to you too!

      Delete
  2. TO ALL WHO MAY READ THIS:

    at current moment my blogger is glitching and some of the links aren't linking so sorry I'll try to fix it later

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well done, Lisa!

    I think writing was a hurdle that I overcame this year and I'm glad the same happened for you. And it's great that you're enjoying online school.

    Hope to see you during the new year!

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU GRACE <3

      *high five* I's super happy that you were able to take a step forward in writing too this year ^.^

      *nodnod* Hope to see you around too <3

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  4. You did accomplish a lot this year! You also read so many books.
    You make me want to be productive.

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    Replies
    1. AHH YE THANKS SKYE <3
      Ah I'm sure you were productive! After all, you wrote a novella for the contest in half a year. That's productive, if you ask me! And I just need to look at your blog and I know you've done things this year *nods*

      <3

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  5. Congrats on finishing your freshman year, Lisa! That's awesome!

    100 BOOKS HOW ON EARTH DID YOU DO THAT???? I only read like 28 or 29 books...but hey, that's way more than last year so #winning

    HUNGER GAMESSSS YES I JUST READ THAT TRILOGY THIS YEAR TOOOOO. AND MARTIN HOSPITALITY ^-^ YASSS TO ALLLLLL THE GOOD BOOKS OF THE YEAR. My favorite reads were Unwind by Neal Shusterman, Hunger Games, Martin Hospitality, and others I'm forgetting Dangit.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. THANKS GIRL (btw do you have a name you go by online other than "musicgirl"? Not that I mind calling you Musicgirl lol).

      UMM I GUESS I USED TO HAVE A LOT OF TIME TO SPARE? Idk to be honest, I'm a professional skimmer so that might have something to do with it haha. Well good for you! #winning As long as you liked most of your reads then the number doesn't really matter XD

      HUNGER GAMES FANS YAY *high five* AND MARTIN HOSPITALITY WHOO *fist bump* Let me know when you read Andora's Folly :D (I know that's sorta off subject but I just realized I completely missed talking about all my beta reading in this post and also totally missed Andora's Folly which was awesome lol)

      I REALLY NEED TO READ UNWIND *sticks it on 2018 tbr* WAAAT HOW CAN YOU FORGET YOU READ ONLY 29 BOOKS?!! xD Are you on Goodreads, by any chance?

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    2. I go by Fire Fox over @
      Mymiraculoussite.wordpress.com

      I co-blog with one of my good friends over there. You should check it out. I also go by Robin and Rogue, which are fun names my friend called me in her fanfiction. I've also gone by Melendrir before, which is my Middle-Earth name. But you're free to call me any of them, if you want.

      Oh, yeah I try not to skim my books if possible.

      YES *high fives you* I will totally let you know when I read Andora's Folly, it's on my list of books that I need to get.

      GO READ UNWIND. IT'S BEAUTIFUL AND HONEST AND RAW AND DISTURBING AND LOVELY AND YOU NEED IT. *shoves you off to go buy it* No, I'm not on goodreads...I actually don't have any social media accounts as of yet besides my private blog and the blog I linked to above. But if you drop a comment over at My Miraculous, I'll be sure to respond and we can chat and maybe I can get my co-blogger to chat with us and it'll all be savvy. ;D

      Delete
    3. WHAAAT OH MY GOODNESS WHY DID I NEVER REPLY TO THIS COMMENT?? I'm running straight of to your blog to comment there!I don't mind chatting on my blog either so we're good *thumbs up*

      Hmmm... I guess I'll call you Fox or Robin, lol XD I like those names ^.^

      Delete
  6. That's so awesome that you were so productive!! I don't think I can say the same of myself. XD Best thing that happened to me was probably traveling all over the U.S. which I have never done before! I was doing really well with my TBR until I read The Scorpio Races and the Embassy Row novels, then basically my reading life was ruined because I can't anything I like better. XD
    Ahhh..and Smiles! That sounds familiar. ;)
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Ugh, I've been meaning to get the Embassy Row series! My friend told me about it and I was hooked. ;)

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    2. They are amazing!! The mystery weaved in with the politics and psychology just takes your breath away—and the plot twists??!! *dies*

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    3. Ooh, plot twists? *runs and puts the Embassy Row novels at the top of TBR*

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    4. @Nicole -- Thank you <3 Hey, all it takes is a little looking back to see what you have accomplished, and the little things count! I mean, you don't have to write 6 books to be productive -- even if you just finished one short story you feel good about and that taught you something, consider that worthwhile :D (ok but in all honestly I don't think anyone can ever feel productive enough -- even I don't -- so *ahem* you just have to learn to say, I am happy with what I did XD)

      But see! TRAVELLING ALL OVER US REALLY REALLY COUNTS. I'm sure so many of us would be jealous and consider that an insane accomplishment!! (do you have any posts up about that?)

      Ahh Scorpio Races is so awesome *highfive* I totally know that feeling! I don't believe I've even heard of Embassy Row *scrambles to look them up*

      Delete
  7. This was a really awesome post, Lisa!! I had forgotten that you started blogging this summer! It feels like you've always been around :)

    I feel you on the Goodreads thing. Drives me crazy too to see one thing repeated thirty times.

    I read both of your short stories again - holy cow, they are good!

    Here's to an even better 2018!

    Merry Christmas!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. AHH THANKS SO MUCH CATH <3 Yeah to be honest, I kinda forgot I started blogging only this summer too XD

      Yeah Goodreads is awesome but annoying too lol. ALSO THANK YOU AGAIN <3 I'm really happy you like my short stories ^-^

      I'm with you! Here's to the new year! Merry Christmas!

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  8. The aesthetic in this Lisa! I love your look and the face reveal! You look so pretty :) (obviously I haven't been around the blogosphere lately missing all these things)

    Your year has totally been filled with productivity...keep it up girl! <3

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    1. AWW ANNA HELLO I'VE MISSED YOU <333
      THANKS SO MUCH! It means a ton to me that you like the aesthetic :D Haha thanks I'm glad you like my face too? I mean yeah it's been up for a while actually but hehe no problem I get it that we're all so busy and missing things!

      *hugs* you're so encouraging thanks <3

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  9. I love reading posts like this! Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished this year! That’s a lot!

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    1. YAY THANKS NABILA <3 *high five* It's been a fully year, absolutely! Merry Christmas and hope you have an amazing new year too! ^-^

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  10. Wow I had no idea you started this blog back in June Lisa, You seem like a seasoned blogger! Sounds like the year has been a pretty good! you've read 100 books?! :O That's amazing! Congrats on all you've accomplished during your short time of blogging, I'm sure you'll do amazing things in the future and I can't wait to see it!

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    1. OH HAHA YOU DIDN'T REALIZE I WAS A BABY BLOGGER? *congratulates myself* In all seriousness though thank you Marrok ^-^ That's high praise!
      Oh yeah my year has been pretty awesome! 100 books for the year is my record currently! Aww thanks -- it means a lot that you and everyone else is here cheering me on! Same to you! *high five*

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  11. Wow, Lisa...you've been productive in the blogging world this year!! (I don't think I realized/knew you started blogging this year? I though I just discovered you this year XD)
    Dude literally all of the books you mentioned I've either read or am about to read. So many good books!!

    I'm looking forward to see what will happen for you in 2018! Happy New Year!

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU HANNE!! <3 I guess I started very inconspicuously and no one realized it until later XD

      DUDE ALL THE BOOKS?? Tell me how you like them if you have/when you have read them!! They were my favorites of the year!

      THANKS girl :D I can't wait to see all that you will accomplish either! Happy new year to you too!

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