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

October + November Wrap-Up // superheroes, murder mysteries, heists and aliens

*inside a cave* Quack. Quaaaaack! *no answer*

Ahem. Sorry, I was just testing whether this unbelievable bird fact that I came across was true.
Apparently, a duck’s quack does not echo ANYWHERE, and no one knows why.

With this time’s monthly weird bird fact we have established, once more, that ducks are creepy.

I am not kidding when I say October was a terrible reading month. It was one of those hectic months when suddenly all sorts of exams and tests came up- school, coaching institute and other additional projects. However, lack of time wasn’t the only reason I didn’t read much, I also fell in a sort of reading slump. The result – only 4 books, my lowest so far this year.

The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries, #1)
★★★★
THE HUMOUR?! unfortunately it was a tad too predictable for my taste

Skyward (Skyward, #1)
★★★½
idk how to feel about this book

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)
★★★★
the mystery was nicely constructed, but i personally am not a fan of how it was resolved at the very end

Perfect on Paper
★★★★½
ahh i finally understand the massive hype surrounding this

November was a total turnaround from October. I suddenly had lots of free time and found myself out of my slump too so naturally, lots of books and a very happy human.

The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, #2)
★★★
um. no. sorry.
Flash Fire (The Extraordinaries, #2)
★★★★
once again, spot on humour and the plot was better than the first one
The Helheim Princess (The Helheim Prophecy, #1)
★★★★
something about the structure of the story felt a little amateur, but otherwise all good
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
★★★★½
the six of crows vibes this gave me was just-
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
(reread)
as good as the first time if not better??
Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)
★★½
i am no expert but this is not how a mystery is supposed to be written. and what even was that ending?
These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
★★★★★
whoa. just whoa. i need the sequel now😭
This Last Adventure
★★★★
so emotional and thought provoking

Hmm there’s not much to say really. I spent more than half of October on hiatus so I posted very little, and November was a pretty average month.
Here are my top 3 posts from October and November! (click on the featured images to be taken to the respective posts!)

I share my thoughts on We Are Not Free, an emotionally wrenching story set during WWII (basically a whole lot of crying and screaming)

I recommend my favourite books by POC authors and likewise leads and also share a part of my diverse tbr!

In this insanely chaotic post I choose books to throw at Jesper if I was David from the Shadow & Bone show!

Kashvi @Kerch Books lists her favourite books of the year so far!

Phoenix @Books With Wings shares 5 reasons she’s grateful for blogging!

Siena @Booksophobia discusses why she never requests arcs anymore!

Khyati @Booklore recommends books with pretty covers!

Madeline @The Bookish Mutant shares sci-fi books with the found family trope!

Amanda @Bookish Brews explains what dark fantasy is and recommends some diverse dark fantasy reads!

Isha @Paperbacktomes writes why she prefers paperbacks over hardbacks!

April @Booked Till Midnight reviews Down Comes The Night!

Aashi @Words On Fleek shares some things she gets told as a bookworm!

Gauri @ A Book And Chai lists lots of diverse 2022 debuts to look out for!

Birdie @Birdie’s Booktopia shares her anticipated releases of November!

Kaya @ A Fictional Bookworm lists the 5 tropes she can’t get enough of!

Cherry @Letters To The Lost shares her fictional bucket list!

Rania @Rania’s Rambling Reads reviews A Lesson In Vengeance!

Asic @ Haven lists the things she’d rate a 0/10!

Saima @Stories With Saima shares her top 10 books she’s read this year so far!

💨 I went on a road trip with my parents and our neighbors to Shirdi, a very popular temple where I live. The trip took a little longer than planned (we spent more than 10 hours in the car!) but okay.

💨 I created an account on Edelweiss and went on a requesting spree, not expecting to get approved for any of them. BUT I GOT APPROVED FOR MY FIRST REQUEST (Portrait of a thief) WHICH WAS ONE OF MY MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES OF 2022!! I mean, it has a heist plot so… (I’m still waiting on my other 5 arc requests🤞)

💨 I did not touch a single cracker this Diwali! #GreenDiwali

💨 I started writing again! My WIP, which I started in late October, was abandoned for most of November, but then in the last week of November I finished writing the first chapter of my fantasy novel!!

Do you use Edelweiss? Have you read any of the books I read in these two months? Scream with me about them in the comments!

~ Rachel

September Wrap-Up // ft. more diverse reads and lots of blog hopping!

Would you look at that? My wrap-up post is actually on time for once! I can’t really promise to make this a habit though. What can I say, I like to be fashionably late. *flips hair in sass*

Speaking about fashion, did you know that the bearded vulture purposely dyes its feathers with red soil? Interestingly, it is the only bird that likes to play dress-up in this manner.

Yes, believe it or not, that was the weird bird fact for today.

Since the entire purpose of my monthly bird-fact intros is to spare me from writing long introductions to my wrap-ups, we get started right away!

I didn’t get much time to read this month – most of it was a whirlwind of exams and schoolwork – so I barely read anything for the first half of the month, it was only later that I found some time to read. The books were all 4 star-ish so I guess that’s a good thing?

The highlight of this month, however, is something else. Somehow, ALL my reads this month were written from first person point-of-view! Like, how? An utter coincidence, Nature playing a joke on this poor soul, or the bookish gods trying to convince me that not all first person narratives are boring? Whatever it may be, I am actually glad I gave (5!) books with 1st person POV a chance, because upto this point, I had ended up disliking nearly every book told from 1t person POV. However, I for once enjoyed reading the narratives of most of these 5 books, so happy realization to me!

Onto the books I read!

The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1)
The Wolf's Curse

A Clash Of Steel by C.B. Lee (ARC)
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
This was a lovely diverse retelling of the classic favourite Treasure Island – with strong woman characters, pirates and treasure hunting! It was one of my most anticipated releases this year so I’m grateful I got the chance to be a part of the blog tour!

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
A book that has gotten popular recently due to its recently released sequel, I buddy read The Inheritance Games with April for our hype-o-meter series of posts! While lacking in several aspects, I laud the author for creating such an intriguing atmospheric mystery!

The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis (ARC)
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
A beautiful, lyrical, atmospheric middle grade fantasy centered around death and life, love and loss among lots of other meaningful themes, this book completely stole my heart.

We Are Not Free

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao
Rating: ★★ (4 out of 5 stars)
This was an intriguing murder mystery set in an elite prep school where secrets don’t stay buried for long. A completely Asian main cast of characters, flashbacks and dark secrets – this book will keep you hooked.

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
Rating: ★★½ (4.5 out of 5 stars)
An impactful story about 14 Japanese teenagers living in war-torn America during WWII, growing up amid discrimination and facing all odds to stay happy together – We Are Not Free was deep. Full review to come!

Most of my posts this month were basically reviews of some sort so yeah, compared to the plethora of creative posts I published last month, this month’s content was pretty stale. Still, some of the reviews are nicely written, with quotes and moodboards and hype-o-meters and what not.
Here are all my posts this month, check them out in case you missed them earlier!

  1. August Wrap-Up // the month of mostly mediocre reads, creative posts and blog redesign! : The month started with me wrapping up my reads, blogging etc in August. The weird bird fact of the month was something on albatrosses.

2. We Hunt The Flame vs the Hype-o-meter // Review : New favourite book incoming! This post was the second in a collab series with April, in which we determine whether or not a popular book is worth the hype! And my, We Hunt The Flame definitely was!!

3. Blogger Interview with Rachel! : Soo this was not a real post at all, it was a reblog of my interview with Riddhi from Whispering Stories! She asks me a set of questions related to everything from my blog to my future career and lots more!

4. Blog Tour: A Clash Of Steel by C.B. Lee (Review + Moodboard) || A diverse retelling set in imperial china ft. lost treasure and pirates! : I got selected for a blog tour of A Clash Of Steel, and got the chance to review an arc! Plus there’s a moodboard!!

5. We Hunt The Flame Quotes As Real Life Moments! : In my favorite post this month, I compare quotes from the Sands of Arawiya duology to moments in my life! Basically a sarcastic compilation of random real life moments!!

6. Blog Tour: Top 5 Reasons To Read The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis || A poignant tale revolving around superstitions and death : As part of the book tour of the recently released The Wolf’s Curse, I list the top 5 resons you should read this lyrical middle grade!

7. The Inheritance Games vs the Hype-o-meter // Review : In the third installment of our hype-o-meter series, me and April review a book everyone seems to be reading lately! Was it worth the hype? Click to find out! (and click here to read April’s post!)

I am not kidding when I say I did a LOT of blog hopping this month and I’m proud of how many great new blogs and posts I discovered! Here’s a list of some posts I enjoyed reading in September!!

Maddie @Inking & Thinking reviews The Bones of Ruin!

Darcey @Read In The Clouds reviews Under The Whispering Door!

Aashi @Words On Fleek writes a hilarious song-review of City Of Bones!

Becky @Becky’s Book Blog reviews Among Thieves!

Sabrina @Wordy & Whimsical lists six ridiculous reading worries!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura lists six bad reasons to dnf a book!

Kaya @A Fictional Bookworm reviews an arc of Beasts Of Prey!

Malka @Paper Procrastinators gives tips for Netgalley newbies!

Anoushka @Dipped In Ink wrote a hilarious post on why bookworms can be dangerous!

J @Midnight Book Blog gives helpful tips for writing reviews!

Maddie @Inking And Thinking writes a discussion on why she follows book blogs!

Saima @Stories With Saima shares 6 things she has learnt after 6 months of blogging!

Bertie @Luminiosity Library reviews an ARC of Under The Whispering Door!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura does the fantasy tropes book tag!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner reacts to five star reviews of books she hated!

Brianne @Peruse With Coffee shares her huge autumn tbr!

Cherry @Letters To The Lost lists the reasons why you should read We Hunt The Flame!

Sabrina @Wordy And Whimsical shares blog post ideas that she discarded!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura lists 6 features of a chill-out read!

Saima @Stories With Saima shares her spooky October tbr!

Siena @Booksophobia discusses unhauling books!

Rebecca @Bex the Bibliophile reviews A Dark And Hollow Star!

Alix @Alix Reads Books writes a discussion on annotating books!

Raji @Worlds Unlike Our Own recommends 7 thrilling reads to read during Halloween!

How was September for you? Which was your favourite read this month? Have you read any of the books I read? Let me know in the comments!!

~ Rachel

August Wrap-Up // the month of mostly mediocre reads, creative posts and blog redesign!

Apparently an albatross can sleep while flying. Yes, seriously. I just found out that this bird can doze off comfortably while cruising through the air at a speed of 25km/hr. Talk about sleeping through a journey. (Kinda related, but how are people ever able to sleep in planes? It is the worst kind of torture there is for my neck)

And the “birds as weird intros to Rachel’s wrap-ups” saga continues. We had ducks in June, pigeons and July and the lucky ones this month were albatrosses. I wonder who’ll be next?

Ugh August was definitely not my best reading month. First, I read a lot lesser owing to exams, and even most out of those books were 3 star-ish. Still, I did find something I could call a new favourite, and I reviewed more books than usual so that’s an achievement.

The Supernaturalist
Down to Earth
The War That Saved My Life (The War That Saved My Life, #1)
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

Rating ★★★ ½

Comments: Hmm, decent. Like the beginning was extremely promising, but the end did not quite live up to my expectations. But overall a solid sci-fi.

Down To Earth by Betty Culley

Rating ★★★ || Find my review here

Comments: Ehh from the coming-of-age point of view, it was brilliant. I wasn’t a big fan of the pacing and the plot line though.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley

Rating ★★★★½

Comments: Its been a while since I enjoyed a middle grade, but I did. There was war, bombs, horses, found family, spies… what’s there not to like?

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)
We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2)
The Ones We're Meant to Find
We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Rating ★★★★½

Comments: Gooood. Really. But I am not going to go into how fabulous, brilliant, outstanding and enchanting this book is here because you’ll begin to (rightly) think I’m obsessed. (also there’s a full review coming right up)

We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Comments: Okay I am cheating with this one since I haven’t finished it yet. But look I am like almost done okay?!

The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He

Rating ★★½ || Find my review here

Comments: Umm I get why lots of people totally love this book, but not for me. Sorry.

So as you can see, it was pretty much a sci-fi month for me. I am proud of the fact that I am making progress on my goal of reading more of genres other than just fantasy *applause please*. Next goal – more of crimes and mysteries.

Big news: I redesigned my blog yet again. I know I know, the proclamation has lost its glamour due to repetition, but then again, I get bored of my current them every few weeks, hence the inevitable change. This time though, I’ll try to keep a check on my itchy fingers.

Content-wise, I think I was pretty much at my creative best in August. I had some great ideas and actually had the energy to sit down and type them out so I am proud of that. Most of my posts this month have been some of my favourites so far (am I… am I actually getting the hang of blogging?) so yay to that!! Here are the links to all my posts along with a small description, and in case you missed any of them you are welcome to check them out!

  1. July Wrap-Up // I used to write something here but I can’t recall what: My first post of the month was all about recapping the month of July. Also there’s some talk about pigeons, so umm yeah.

2. Blog Tour: The Twin Stars by Bridgette Portman [Review + INTL Giveaway]: I review an ARC of The Twin Stars, a YA fantasy with a mc with OCD who gets transported into her own unfinished story.

3. The Young Elites vs The Hype-o-Meter!: A very exciting review post, the first in the Hype-o-meter series with my fellow blogger and friend April. Check out whether The Young Elites is worth the hype according to us!!

4. Books As Road Trips // a random post that emerged out of the void: Okay so I impulsively published this post and I’m actually really happy with how it turned out. Maybe its the ~excellent~ metaphoring on my part (comparing books to road trips?!) but it might just be one of my favourite posts on this blog.

5. 8 Things I Look For In Books // does it show that I am desperate for recs?: I list the things that guarantee that I’ll fall in love with a book in hope that I get some good recs (and I did! thank you guys!!)

6. Blog Tour: Down To Earth by Betty Culley + Moodboard: I review an ARC of Down To Earth, a middle grade science fiction full of wonder and coming of age moments.

7. Book Review: The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He || concept? brilliant. execution? not so much: And finally, I review the recently released The Ones We’re Meant To Find in a loong post. But again, I think its one of my better reviews.

Soo. Quality, check. Quantity, check. Not bad, huh?

Its that time of this wrap up where I shout out all of your posts that I enjoyed reading!!

Sofii @A Book. A Thought reviewed The Ones We’re Meant To Find, and I agree with a lot of points she made!

Erin @Reading on a star lists her favourite book tropes!

Laura @The Corner Of Laura writes about the 6 sins of us readers!

Eleanor @Wishing Upon A Star discusses what makes a book popular!

Kashvi @Elfhame Books reviewed We Free The Stars!

Emily @Frappes And Fiction does the reader problems book tag!

Ashmita @The Fictional Journal reviewed The Inheritance Games, a book that I’m currently reading!

Kaya @The Fictional Bookworm writes a mini review of Murder On The Orient Express! Its my favourite Poirot too!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner celebrates 400 followers and gives some pro blogging tips too!

Cherry @Letters To The Lost reacts to 1 star reviews of her favourite books, some of which coincidentally are my favorites too!

Maddie @Inking And Thinking discusses bookish pet peeves!

Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of The Book recommends books based on Marvel movies!

April @Booked Till Midnight pits The Young Elites against the Hypometer!

That brings us to the end of this wrap up!! In one sentence, blogging was good, reading was not. Anyway, happy September everyone!

Which was your favourite read this August? Have you read any of the books I did? Chat with me in the comments, and feel free to link your wrap-ups too!

~ Rachel

July Wrap-Up // I used to write something here but I can’t recall what

Pigeons? Pigeons.

Don’t you think that pigeons have this aura of ignorance and guilelessness surrounding them? Oh come on, it can’t be just me who is unnerved by their continual staring thinks they’re cute but stupid. Come to think of it, they look quite like this

Whoa wait, it is these pigeons you talking about when you say that they can actually tell the difference between a painting by Monet and Picasso? Mind-blown *poof* (btw that IS a true fact, look it up). I suddenly have a lot more admiration for the birds. I wonder who had the audacity to call them ignorant.

So ahem, not exactly the best introduction, but at least it matches with the similarly weird intro in my June wrap-up so I am willing to call it a win.

I read only 6 books this month, which is not that great of a number, but not bad for a busy month either. I was in a kinda slumpy mood, some below-average books are to blame for that. I did manage to catch up on some review copies though, so yay for that!

Bloody Spade (The Cardplay Duology, #1)
The Search For Synergy
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Orphans of the Tide (Orphans of the Tide #1)
Bloody Spade by Brittany M Willows

Rating ★★★★ || Review here

The Search For Synergy by Brett Salter

Rating ½

Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin

Rating ★★★★½ || Review here

Orphans Of The Tide by Struan Murray

Rating ★★★½

The Twin Stars (Book 1 of the Coseema Saga)
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

The Twin Stars by Bridgette Dutta Portman

Rating ★★★★ || Review to come

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Rating ½ || Review to come

Best Book Of The Month

Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin

Wow. This book was so beautiful and wholesome, with a sprinkle of adventure, friendship, sacrifice and family with lots of Chinese folktales put in. Also, how can anything go wrong when there are dragons?

I’d highly recommend this to those of you looking to escape in a refreshing story about a young girl who sets out to change her fortune.

Read my full review on goodreads.

I had considered going on a hiatus earlier this month because of exams and stuff, but I am glad I didn’t, because I managed to keep on top of my blog even with so much going on *pats herself on the back*. I posted consistently, but not very frequently (just you see, this is going to change in August!). My posts this month were not exactly the most creative, but there were a couple of good ones. Click on the featured images to visit the posts in case you missed them!

I started the month with the popular Mid-Year Freak Out tag! This was my first time doing this tag, and I gained a lot of insights into my own reading.

Next came my very late June Wrap-Up! I ramble about a new favourite and set a tbr for July.

Introducing a very exciting new ‘thing’! Take a look at it if you haven’t already, it’s supposed to start soon!!

I did a Six Of Crows based post after quite a while (thought I’d gotten over my obsession with it? You were wrong) and it turned out to be good, what with all the little crow graphics and the classy Kaz at the end.

I caught up on a couple of tags in this post! I write about things I use as bookmarks, my current favorite book covers and a lot more!!

And we finish the month with an ARC review. I reviewed an ARC after a very long time (the last one was in May first week) but I totally enjoyed both the book, as well as writing this post. I also show off my first moodboard!

What to expect in August

This was a last minute addition to my wrap-up, I have a lot planned for my blog next month, so I thought I’d let you know what kind of content you can expect in the coming weeks!

First, a couple of blog tours – the books are a YA portal fantasy, a middle grade sci-fi, and hopefully (not confirmed yet) a middle grade historical fiction as well.

Then we’ll have the 4 (or more) critical analyses of popular books as part of a collaborative project with April @Booked Till Midnight which I talked about in an earlier post (linked above).

There might also be a discussion post from the Let’s Talk Bookish meme.

And of course there’ll be a couple completely random posts as always if inspiration strikes.

Jawahir @Jawahir The Bookworm talks about whether or not he wants a third book in the Six Of Crows duology!

Sofii @A Book A Thought reviews Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas!

Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of The Book reviews The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman!

Prutha @Moonchild Lexicons reviews She Who Became The Sun!

Leellyn @Sometimes Leellyn Reads lists books which feel like a much needed hug!

Rania @Rania’s Rambling Reads recommends books based on their level of sass!

Madeline @The Bookish Mutant writes her take on the Feelings book tag!

April @Booked Till Midnight celebrates her first blog-o-versary!

Alice @Love For Words talks about reading several books at a time!

What was your favourite read in July? Which books are on your August tbr? Let’s chat in the comments!!

June Wrap-Up // ft. a new favourite and a tentative July tbr!

Hey guys! What’s up? Did you know this – Anatidaephobia is the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.

Ooh creepy!! *darts around eyes nervously to check for ducks*

Sorry for that, I really had no energy to write up a proper introduction hence I went with a random fun fact 🦆 but now I am having second thoughts. Anywayy, I know this wrap up quite late (exams *sigh*) so without further ado let’s start!

June was a pretty decent reading month. I hit my whatever-a-thon goal of 6 books (yay!) and managed 8 in all. I also found a new book to obsess about, more about that in my “Best Book Of The Month” section below (yeah lets pretend I did not just make that up). I am nowadays open to more formats – out of the 8 books I read 2 were physical copies, 4 were e-books, and 2 were audiobooks. And also, 5 of them were buddy reads, how cool is that?!

On the dark side (ominous much?) I had hoped to write more reviews this month, but unfortunately managed to review only two of them and did not finish reading even a single ARC/review copy (*tries to ignore the increasing pile review copies staring her in the face*).

Onto the books I read!

Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1)
The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)
The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)
Believe

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Rating ★★★★ || Review here

The House Of Hades by Rick Riordan

Rating ★★★★

The Blood Of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Rating ★★★★

Believe by Julie Mathison

Rating ★★★½

The House in the Cerulean Sea
Shadow Jumper
Cemetery Boys
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Rating ★★★★★ || Review on my blog and on goodreads

Shadow Jumper by JM Forster

Rating ★★

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Rating ★★★★

The Girl Who Drank The Moon

Rating ★★★★

Book Of The Month

The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Well well well. I have become quite stingy in giving out 5 star ratings nowadays, so it has to be a pretty special book to get such an honour from me. Not to sound sloppy, but I could give The House In The Cerulean Sea all the stars in the galaxy and it would still not be enough. This book was equal parts hopeful, heartwarming, melancholic and so so beautiful that it took my breath away and tugged at my heartstrings in a way no other book ever has🥺. I cannot stop recommending this enough, so bottom line – read. this. brilliant. book.

Books I started, but did not finish in June

Bloody Spade (The Cardplay Duology, #1)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

I started the month with my first blogging anniversary post This blog turns 1 year old! + An A to Z of me!

Most of you probably know this, but I also did a series themed recommendation posts throughout the month of June, which I am really proud of. Check them out by clicking on the featured images below!

(Note to self: Do not change the featured image in the middle of a series next time)

Further, I wrote a discussion post for Let’s Talk Bookish – Discussion Post: Appreciation For Book Bloggers // Let’s Talk Bookish. Also, I am thinking of posting atleast one discussion post per month from now on, let’s see if I can!

And finally, my sole book review of the month – Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

I love writing out this section and revisiting blog posts that I loved reading! All these bloggers are awesome, so do check out their amazing content!!

Saniya reviewed Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie! This one’s going to give me nightmares when I read it👻

April gives us recs on the trope sunshine and grumpy! Make sure to add these books to your TBR!

Jan assesses trends in YA fiction!

Laura gives us 6 stages of reading a novel! So accurate and relatable!

Sofii gives us tips on becoming a stress free blogger!

Tirilu pitches physical books against e books! Ooh hard battle!

Cherelle reviews spin the dawn and we are not free!

Maya talks about diversity in YA and also gives recs!

Madeline lists classic sci-fi tropes!

M @Inking and Thinking wrote a discussion on whether every reader needs a tbr!

Kaya reviews We hunt the flame!

Emily lists 10 iconic opening lines of books!

Fives discusses appreciation for book bloggers!

I won’t be able to read much in July (exams, duh) but hey, that doesn’t stop me from setting up an ambitious tbr, right? And I really have to get through that little pile of review copies, so I will be reading them on priority basis in the next two months. That being said, I have no idea what else I am going to read if when I finish the ‘required’ reading. Anyway, now I present to you (a very tentative) July TBR!

Bloody Spade (The Cardplay Duology, #1)
The Twin Stars (Book 1 of the Coseema Saga)
The Search For Synergy
A Dark and Hollow Star (A Dark and Hollow Star, #1)
The Ones We're Meant to Find
We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)

What was your favourite read in June? How does your July tbr look like? Do you think doing a blog series is a better idea when compared to individual posts? Chat with me in the comments!!

January Wrap-Up // ft. Wrap-Ups for Among Us Readathon and Explore-a-thon

January has been a whirlwind of a month! I had school examinations right from the beginning of the month till 15th, then had another really important examination on 26th (I know! Who keeps exams on Republic Day?) so the entire month seemed to pass by pretty quickly.

It was also a pretty good month on terms of reading, but not so much in blogging. I feel like I kinda neglected my blog a little, and just enjoyed reading other’s posts instead of writing my own. I also posted very infrequently and with long gaps, and now at the end of the month, suddenly three posts pop up on three consecutive days. (Atleast that’s how I have planned this post, are you reading this on the 31st, or after?) So sorry about that, I hope to be a little more consistent from now onwards.

Reading

I read 5 books (plus 1 comic, but I don’t count comics in my book count) this month, and a total of 2391 pages which is a quite a lot more than what I read last month. The books I read were (in order) –

Tin by Padraig Kenny [MY REVIEW]

My first book of the year!!

Unlocked by Shannon Messenger [My Rating – 4.5 stars]

The Red Scrolls Of Magic by Cassandra Clare [MY REVIEW]

The Reader by Traci Chee [My Rating – 3.5 stars]

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo [Review to come soon!]

Among Us Readathon Wrap-Up

I took part in this Among-Us themed readathon as a Cyan Crewmate, and to win I had to complete all my tasks, which I did!

Tasks Completed

Required Tasks

  1. Swipe Card – Read a standalone (Tin by Padraig Kenny)
  2. Alien Engine Output 1 – A comic (Tinkle Digest)
  3. Alien Engine Output 2 – A book with greater than 500 pages (Unlocked by Shannon Messenger)
  4. Upload Data 1 – LGBTQ+ Rep (The Red Scrolls Of Magic)
  5. Upload Data 2 – A Recommendation (The Reader by Traci Chee)

Bonus Task

  1. Fuel Engine 1 – Most recent purchase (Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Points

1200 (for required tasks) + 100 (for bonus task) = 1300 pts in total.

Explore-a-thon Wrap-Up

To successfully complete my first term at the Explorer’s Academy, I had to complete atleast 5 classes for this readathon.

Basic/Required Classes

  1. Human History – A book set in a country outside my own (The Red Scrolls Of Magic)
  2. Technology – A sci-fi or a book with focus on some kind of tech (Tin)
  3. The many Peoples Of The Universe – A diverse read (Tinkle comic)
  4. Magics Of The Universe – A fantasy (The Reader)
  5. Survival Skills – A book over 500 pages (Unlocked)

Extra Class

  1. Basic Combat – A book that includes a battle or a fight (Six Of Crows)
Favourite posts from around the blogosphere

As I said, this month I read lots of posts by fellow bloggers. Here are the links to some posts by other bloggers that I enjoyed reading-

With that, my post is all done! Thank you for staying put and reading my post to the end (I am assuming you did😂).

How did you spend your January? Did you read some great books? Comment below!

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!!

November Wrap-Up (A successful month of reading and blogging)

Goodbye, November! Though I have to say, you’ve had your fair share of reading, blogging and a million other things done by me.

As many of you already know, I took part in Believathon in November, completed my planned TBR, and managed to read two other books! Of the total of 7 books that I read, the 5 that were part of my TBR have their mini-reviews over HERE. The mini reviews of the other two are going to be covered in today’s post.

READING

I am happy to say that this was a a month with a lot more reading done than last month, click here to view last month’s stats.

  • Books read – 7
  • Pages read – 3300 (approx)

That was almost a 1000 pages more than last month so yay for that.

For those who had not seen my previous post about the books I read, here are the names.

  • Legacy by Shannon Messenger
  • Frostheart by Jamie Littler
  • School for Good And Evil by Soman Chainani
  • Nevermoor : The Trials Of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
  • The Haunting Of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes
  • Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend
  • The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell
BELIEVATHON

Since I finished my planned TBR, I collected all the 13 clues for Believathon, plus I collected the Footprints and the Crown one extra time each, ’cause I read two extra books. Overall, I had a lot of fun with this readathon. Chatting with hundreds of middle grade lovers made me realize the vastness of the genre, and I discovered many more middle grades which I’ll be reading soon.

MINI REVIEWS

Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend

I had really liked Nevermoor, so I decided to read this next. This is the second book in the Nevermoor series, and continues the tale of Morrigan Crow after she passes the Trials and officially becomes a member of the Wundrous Society.

Like is the case with many other series, I couldn’t really decide whether to love or hate Morrigan at certain points in the book. But the one thing I disliked was how Jupiter was not part of the major part of the story. I feel like including him in all the revelations and betrayals and everything would have made the book interesting. Still, I give this book 5 stars, and am looking forward to reading Hollowpox.

The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell

This was the November book of the month of a kind-of book club called MGMonthly. Since I had a couple of days of November left, and this was a middle grade and could count for Believathon, I thought, why not?

The synopsis of this book didn’t quite interest me, to be honest. Who includes a toilet brush in the synopsis? This was precisely why I hadn’t added this to my TBR for the month. But quite a lot of people were praising this, so I decided to give it a try. And to be fair, the story was actually much better then the synopsis. But I kinda felt I had encountered a similar storyline of magical objects doing amazing things many times in the past, so this gets 4 stars.

BLOGGING

November has been my busiest blogging month so far, and I wrote…11 posts! That is a lot, by my standards atleast. I also discovered many new bloggers on WordPress, and made a lot of blogger friends too. Here are links to some blogs that I love –

Tiction @Fictionally Crazy

Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of The Book

Evin @A Curly Sue’s Ramblings

Nehal @Books And Words

And there are many many more, but I am just too lazy to link them all, so sorry guys!

So this month is actually quite special for me in terms of blogging, because –

  • I did my first ever award post (Sunshine Blogger Award)
  • I did my first ever tag (Lost in Translation)
  • I made my own weekly tag – Character Chat !!(Do have a look at it HERE)

November was also special for some other bloggers I know –

  • Cherelle and Ashmita started a book club! You can read about it it here and here. So do join this book club because…well, both of them are really sweet and awesome bloggers and they deserve your encouragement. (Sorry Cherelle and Ashmita, I know I haven’t joined your book club myself, but book clubs in general are not my kind of thing. Sorry!)
  • Evin gave her blog a wintery themed redesign! Click Here to see it
  • Riddhi @ Whispering Stories crossed 200 followers and then 250 followers, both in November!

That was all I had for this post. Do go and check out all the blogs I left links to and give them a follow, and of course, do also visit my Character Chat post, because it is the first ever tag I’ve made, and your support would be appreciated.

How was your November? What have you planned for December? Let me know in the comments!!

October Wrap-Up

And there goes another month! We are almost eight months into the pandemic, sitting in our cozy homes. Many of you would disagree with me, right? After so much time staying home, it doesn’t really feel so cozy, does it? It still does, for me. Because I can do more of what I love the most – reading!

Ah, and that reminds me of my topic today. I am going to talk about what I read in October.

So I had participated in two readathons this month. You can view my October TBR blog post to know a bit more about them. Here are some basic statistics regarding the books I read this month.

Number of books read : 4 Number of pages read : 2420 Genres read : Middle Grade

Here is more about the four books I read this month-

Nightfall (Keeper Of Lost Cities series) by Shannon Messenger

As some of you may already know, I am currently pursuing the Keeper of Lost Cities series, and I think it may just be the best middle grade series ever written. That being said, this is the sixth book of the same series and I am pretty sure it deserves a full five stars.

Flashback (Keeper of Lost Cities series) by Shannon Messenger

This was my last read for the month, and perhaps also my favourite. It has kept me on my toes, and I just can’t wait to read the next book in the series next month! Of course, this book will get nothing less than five stars.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

This was the biggest disappointment this month. I had high expectations from this book, but it did not live up to those. I give it two stars. You can the read the full and detailed review HERE

Ice Wolves (Elementals series) by Amie Kaufman

This is the first book in the Elementals series. It was my second read of the month. This book was quite okay-ish, if you know what I mean. I think I will give it 3.5 stars.

Okay, so what did you read this month? Have you read any of these four books? Do share your thoughts in the comments section. Bye!