2021 Wrap Up: Stats, Charts and Reflections + 2022 Goals

It’s new year’s eve you guys! Wow it feels surreal saying that.

It’s scary how “next year” has become “tomorrow”. You know the feeling where you can actually feel time rushing past you? Pretty much like a passing metro right in front of you. And the kind that is accompanied by a blast of air that leaves you sputtering and trying to keep your hair out of your mouth. Ok i spoiled the metaphor didn’t I?

Anyway. Being the opportunist I am, let me grab this opportunity by the toes and reflect on my reading and blogging this year. So keep aside that biology assignment (which the school felt essential to give RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER BREAK, why?) and settle down to read this chaotic post. Also, this is my first time wrapping up the entire year, so while i’m obviously very excited, this post is longer than I expected it to be. Like much longer. But hopefully you’ll not doze off in the middle (remember that bio assignment? yeah we cannot have you sleeping while precious time runs out) since I’ve tried my best to keep things interesting with lots of cute ‘lil graphics and with all that said and done let’s start right away!

Reading Stats

Books Read: 71 || Pages Read: 26662 || Average book length: 375 pages

Best Book(s) Of The Year: Six Of Crows duology
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
Worst Book Of The Year: The Young Elites
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)
Most Read Author(s) Of The Year: Leigh Bardugo and TJ Klune
Leigh Bardugo
T.J. Klune
Book Genres

Not surprisingly, fantasy has dominated my reading (imagine little knights and fairies and goblins from the fantasy kingdom charging forward with swords and chasing away the other genres)

I’m honestly disappointed that I hardly read any historical fiction this year. It is one of my favourite genres, but I guess I didn’t find many historical books that sounded particularly intriguing to me, so please, hit me with recs in the comments!

What’s new is that started reading YA contemporaries! I mean, this happened pretty late into the year, like my first one was Perfect On Paper in the month of October. One small step for most of the bookish community, a giant leap for Rachel. (who, btw formerly couldn’t understand why on earth people would choose high school drama over dragons and magic. but she has evolved. congratulations and happy realization to her. and now third person is getting weird so she is going to stop)

Book Formats

This too is hardly surprising. Since my neighbourhood library shut down and then moved to a new location (thank you Covid), I’ve been reading mostly on my Kindle (which has proved such a boon in these trying times). Not that I don’t have a lot of unread physical books sitting on my shelves; it’s just that I haven’t been prioritizing them over others. Guess I need to do that in 2022.

But I started reading audiobooks for a change! Its basically reading without having to use your hands and eyes and that honestly makes it so much easier for someone having a chaotic life (like me, obviously). I also live under the illusion that listening to murder mysteries and horror books makes them less scary than reading them on page, but i’m pretty sure that’s delusional so let’s not go there i’ve embarassed myself enough.

Series / Standalones / ARCs

Till last year, I was a huge series person but now I’m just intimidated by them so I stick to standalones and duologies. And even those 29 books that are mentioned as part of series in the graph are mostly the first books of a trilogy or something, and in most cases I never read the sequels. Like the Gilded Wolves trilogy for instance. I really enjoyed the first book, it was even on my top 10, but for some reason I keep putting off reading the sequel? Idk I feel like I’ve lost commitment to anything more than a duology.

Authors

I mean, since 2021 was the first year I actually became part of the bookish community, I discovered loads and loads of new fantastic authors and books I’d never heard about earlier. Yay to that.

Blog Stats

Posts Published: 85 || Views: 7678 || Visitors: 3291 || Likes Received: 2575 || Comments Received: 1079

Post Categories

So here I’ve analysed the different categories of posts I published in 2021, and i’ve mentioned my favourite posts from each category as well as a few lines reacting to the number of posts in each category I wrote this year. (wow that did not make sense at all)

Book / ARC Reviews

Quite understandably, book reviews make up a significant population of posts on my blog. I feel like I’ve really REALLY improved in writing book reviews (i’m not bragging, you just haven’t seen my very early reviews lol) over time.
I and my friend April also started the hype-o-meter series, which is basically reviewing popular books in a way that deems them worthy (or not) of the hype they get.

My favourite book review posts: The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He || We Are Not Free by Traci Chee || We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Discussion Posts

I have a confession to make. Idontlikewritingdiscussionsanymorehelp *ahem* What I meant was that for some reason I don’t enjoy writing discussion posts these days (yes i know that’s unforgivable, it’s the worst form of betrayal to the book blogging community, it’s treason it’s-) and when I do, they don’t really turn out that great so yeah that’s why there weren’t many discussion posts this year.

My favourite discussion post: Appreciation For Book Bloggers

Lists / Recommendations

These consist of themed book recs, and lists of certain types of books or characters. I like how short and to the point these kinds of posts usually are (please ignore the fact that i gush about nearly the same books in every recommendation post). I’d definitely like to increase the number of this category of posts next year.

My favourite list/recommendation posts: My Top 10 Reads Of 2021! || 8 Diverse Books I Loved, And 8 That Are On My TBR! || My Worst Reads Of 2021!

Random (aka weird) bookish stuff

Aha! Undoubtedly my favourite type of posts to write. I mean, yeah you have to sacrifice a few brain cells, but no big deal. These posts that honestly come out of nowhere can be found aplenty on my blog, especially in these last few months of 2021. We have every level of weirdness here. Comparing books to road trips when they have nothing in common (or do they?)? Check. Trying to relate quotes from books to real life? Check. Choosing books to throw at someone’s face? Also check.

My favourite “random bookish stuff” posts: Books As Road Trips || Books I’d Use As Weapons // aka books i’d throw at jesper if i was david

Look out for more of these posts in 2022!!

TBRs & Wrap-Ups

While I stopped making monthly tbrs a while back, I still love writing monthly wrap-ups! It is a fact well known that the wrap-ups on this blog always start with weird bird facts (also that is getting just a tiny bit old, so wait and watch in 2022 *wink wink*) so that’s a special feature.

My favourite wrap-up post: September Wrap-Up // ft. more diverse reads and lots of blog hopping!

Tags & Awards

While I was absolutely going crazy with tags and awards last year, this year i hardly did any of them. And the ones I did do were the generic ones like the mid year freakout, the end of the year etc etc. Sure, tags are great for a rainy day when I do not have a single post idea in mind, but I tend to not use them much for regular days when I already have posts planned. But. I do have a few very fun tags sitting in my drafts at the moment, so look out for those in the coming weeks!

My favourite “tags / awards” post: The Christmas Song Book Tag || The End Of The Year Book Tag

Read more historical fiction. As I mentioned earlier, though I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction, for some reason I haven’t been reading much of it. So prioritizing historical fics on my tbr is something I hope to do tomorrow next year.

Shorten that physical tbr. Those unread books will collect dust on my shelves no longer. (Let’s ignore the fact that I lost all control and ordered a lot of books recently for some reason so more pretty copies are on their way to me while I procrastinate reading the ones I already have.)

Catch up on arcs and arc reviews. Apparently I have no self control and went on a requesting spree on Edelweiss. Plus when authors contacted me to review their books, guess what I did? I said yes, of course. So I’m slowly wading through the pile of arcs and an even bigger pile of pending reviews.

Follow up on series. At least, the ones whose first books I enjoyed. Because I’m internally dying to know what happens.

Work on my WIP. I realize I never announced over here that I. AM. WRITING. A. BOOK! I mean, it’s less a book than a jumble of words right now, but that’s exactly why I want to give it some more time and effort. And also don’t get too excited because there’s basically no plot yet. We’re thriving on vibes.

Who was your most read author this year? Any historical fiction recs for me? What are some of your goals for 2022?(which, let me very unhelpfully remind you, is not more than a few hours away) Chat with me in the comments, goodbye and happy new year everyone!

~ Rachel

December Wrap-Up // ft. disappointments of 2020

And its a wrap! Its officially the end of the year that never was (or was it there too much?) – 2020. Anyway, now we’re welcoming 2021, a new year, with new hopes and new aspirations.

So today I present to you my monthly wrap-up! In December I read, *drumroll* wait, only 4 books?? Yeah *dejected sigh* only four. I triple-checked. What exactly was the reason of this massive downfall (I’d read 7 books last month), you ask? Well, one reason might be that I didn’t participate in any readathon this month. Another would be the huge amount of schoolwork and extra examinations ever middle-school student has in their life. Anyway, since I am not here to express my many woes, let’s start!

Reading (and buddy reading!)

As I mentioned earlier, I did not take part in any readathons this month. I read a total of approximately 1520 pages, which is even less than half of what I read last month😔. Anyway, here are the 4 books I read this month, in the same order as I read them :

Cured by Bethany Wiggins

I had read this book’s prequel “Stung” a year back, and I didn’t remember much about it but still when this book came to my notice I read it. And umm… it was okay-ish, and I think I remember liking “Stung” better. This book seemed a little like a forced sequel. Although, the ending was all “happily ever after” type, and after everything the characters had suffered, I felt they deserved it. 2.5 stars!!⭐⭐.5

Hollowpox : The Hunt for Morrigan Crow

This is the third book in the Nevermoor series (which is my current fav series) and it was as fantastic as I had hoped it would be. 5 stars!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

How To Pack For The End Of The World by Michelle Falkoff

This book was my first ever buddy-read! Yes, you heard right, I finally did a buddy read! My reading buddies were Ashmita @The Fictional Journal , Tiction @Books and Words and Nehal @Fictionally Crazy

Although I didn’t like the book all that much, buddy reading it with them was fun and I had a great time! As for the book, I think I will give it 3 stars! ⭐⭐⭐

Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm

I finished this book only yesterday, and I have to admit, the end was quite unexpected. The beginning was a little slow, but halfway through, the book picked up pace and a lot of things started happening at once. The plot twists were great, I liked how Vihaan’s character developed throughout the story, but what I felt was that a real interaction with the Videshi could have made things even better.

This book gets 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐!

Blogging

Like November, December was a quite interesting month in terms of blogging too. Since I am a newbie here, I discover some new amazing feature every day, and try to enhance my blog. I also tried some new this month –

I also read a lot of amazing posts by other book bloggers, but I am not listing them because, first, I don’t really want to go and search for each one of them now, and second, there are just too many.

Now onto the next part of my post!

Disappointments of 2020

So I saw a lot of book bloggers doing a “surprises and disappointments of the year” post which gave me the idea for this. But I am not doing a separate post on this since I don’t think I have any ‘surprises’ as such. I generally only pick up books I think I’ll like, so there are only disappointments. And one more thing is, I really don’t remember many of the books I read in the first half of the year ’cause I have really bad memory, and I didn’t pay as much attention to remembering the books I read as I didn’t have a blog back then and most of the books I read were borrowed from the school library (gosh! that seems an eternity ago when we used to go to the library every week and all my classmates would go and pick up something like Wimpy Kid or Enid Blyton while I’d go straight to Agatha Christie or Divergent series or some other YA. Then everybody would eye me and the hefty book I had picked up, and whisper amongst each other that there was no way I could read that in a week. But I proved them wrong every time. Oh, am I going off-track?). Yeah, so this post is actually more of “Disappointments in the latter half of 2020”, but I will mention a couple of my earlier reads as well.

I am going to start from the bottom, meaning, from the books that disappointed me less, and then move on to those who let me down more. Let’s go!

#5 Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer

First of all, I gave this book 4 stars. Okay, I know that now most of you’d be yelling and asking me why this is in my ‘disappointments’ list. Here’s the thing. I love Jeffrey Archer novels and they never fail to impress me with the unique writing style, the plot and everything else. So naturally, I had set a very high bar before reading this, and it didn’t live up to that very much (but that could be only because I didn’t understand the ending, and most part of the story was so confusing…if you’ve read it, you’ll understand)

#4 School For Good And Evil by Soman Chainani

The reason why this book disappointed me less was that I never had many expectations from it. I had heard lots of mixed reviews about it so I decided to give it a try. After finishing it I was like, “Seriously?”, and believe me, that was my attitude throughout the novel. Still, before starting I had expected it to be a 3 star, but it turned out to be 1.5, or maybe even 1.

#3 Elementals : Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

I had read this in October. It isn’t quite fair to say that it was not a good book, because it was. It was a good 3.5 star middle grade. But I had set my expectations too high, and I was sure this was going to be a 5 star after reading the synopsis and the first few chapters. But unfortunately this book failed to engross me and the middle and the end were not up to the mark.

#2 Black Coffee by Agatha Christie

This was again not that bad of a book, but I had expected a much better ending. This book didn’t seem like it had been written by Agatha Christie, the same person who wrote EPIC novels like And Then There Were None (my fav Christie novel till date). The murderer was one of the suspects only, which was very much unlike other Christie novels. This gets 2.5 stars.

#1 The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Yup! This was the biggest disappointment of the year. I did rant all about how high hopes I had for this and how it let me down etc etc in the review I wrote a couple of months back. But let me just tell you in short. The synopsis and the beginning were quite promising and I could foresee an amazing book ahead, but I don’t know what happened and everything came collapsing down after the first few chapters. There was no character-building, no world-building, no unexpected twists. Perhaps others might have liked the simple story line, but I most definitely did not.

All opinions were my own and I do not intend to offend anyone. If any of you have read and enjoyed these books, its totally fine. In fact, I would love to hear your thoughts on these books, maybe you can convince me to give them a reread!

How was your December? What did you read and did you take part in any readathons? As always, I would love to chat with you all!!