End of Year Wrap Up

Happy Holidays, Shelfies! I hope everyone has been enjoying this season with their families, friends, or adventuring on their own, both through books and in “real life.” Today is the first year end review wrap up post. Up first is contributor Alex of Catfairy Books sharing what she’s read and loved in 2018, and what her goals are for her reading life in 2019. 

Life Update…
I know that this is so typical to say but my mind cannot FATHOM that 2018 is already coming to a close! I would say that 2018 brought so many changes in my life! I started a new grade level (I am an elementary teacher for those of you that don’t know.) and I started working as a college adjunct which was scary for me at the time!

And I have actually managed to write 13,000 words to my novel! This is a huge accomplishment for me since I have been ignoring my WIP for about two to three years now! I am excited to say that it is a YA magical realism novel with latinx rep. My excitement for this novel has no words because I finally feel like I have figured out the missing piece to the puzzle to bring my novel into workable fruition!

Number of Books Read
I have read 33 books this year so far! This has been the year of audiobooks for me! I have gone through sooooo many books due to the fact that I have been consuming most of them through audio. The number of books that I have read through audiobook is 20 books out of the 33 I have read in total! Out of those 20 books that I have listened to there are some that I have combined with reading the physical book as well. Children of Blood and Bone was one book where I actually needed to read the physical book because it’s typically hard for me to digest fantasy books. Although I still combined COBAB through physical and audio due to lack of time and the fact that I was a few weeks away from meeting her in person! EEEK! For those of you that are reluctant to audiobooks, I urge you to give it a try! They are so many books out there now with some AMAZING narration that can just bring the book to life sometimes more than actually reading it physically! Sometimes books have music and different voices! The best audiobooks I have read are definitely the Harry Potter ones! Jim Dale is the king when it comes to narration!

My Year of Books for 2018
My goal for 2018 was rolling along rather nicely due to transitioning to mostly audiobooks with my busy schedule and then October happened! The month of October was pure INSANITY FOR ME! Along with teaching full time, being a college adjunct, I also enrolled myself for an all-day workshop for three Saturdays in order to have an intern for the new school year! The month of October was the hardest month for me and October is my favorite month of the whole year! So it was a major bummer because I am the queen of Halloween and I always look forward to all things spooky!

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Then came November and November was the time for NaNoWriMo which was just another disaster. I was focusing on my WIP and I DNFed so many books that month it’s not even funny!

Although…there are still 11 days away and I am currently listening to The Afterlife of Holly Black and plan to finish a Hallmark fluffy romance. And I plan to add in some poetry and picture books to my list because that counts as reading too! (First-grade teacher life…don’t judge.) So your girl is going to have 50 books achieved before the year is over!

Goals for Next Year 2019
My goal for next year is to read the same amount of books that I always pledge to read every year which is 50 books! I wanted to increase to 60 books but I am honestly not focused on reading challenges as much. My main reading challenge is to push myself to read more recently released books more than backlisted books. I am the queen of backlisted books and I can never get caught up to the recently released books! Also, I want to continue to read more diverse books since I have read some amazing ones like The Poet X, Analee, in Real Life, and The Hate U Give. And I want to read more books on Netgalley since I have never really given Netgalley a real chance and it would be great to reach out to publishers more for recently released books.

Book reviews have also been a challenge for me this year and my goal is to write at least two book reviews a month. One of my favorite things to write is book reviews and I make my book reviews extremely interactive and over the top with book playlists, book castings, pop culture references, and gifs. I love writing book reviews and delving really deep into the review but it typically takes me about two days to finish a book review. I want to put an end to pressuring myself to always write one book review a week because it’s just not realistic to my life frankly.

The year 2019 is going to be the year where I am going to focus more on the essentials and not add unnecessary stress to my plate if it’s not serving me. I have even finally figured out ways to simplify my blogging schedule and plan to schedule in three posts a week instead of five posts a week which wasn’t working out for me. I am not setting my blog posts to specific days anymore because it just adds too much pressure for me.

BookTube and book blogs have added so much unnecessary pressure to my reading like never before and this is the year where I am tired of comparing myself to other people. Compared to many people in the world reading 30 something books is quite an accomplishment and for the first time in a few years, I am finally ok with that! Let’s take away the stress of reading and start to just enjoy the act of reading for 2019!

Alex’s FOMO Book List

TGIF, fellow book lovers! Erica here to introduce a fun post from Alex of CatFairy Books all about FOMO books. As you know from my previous post, a FOMO book is a buzzed about book that you haven’t read and aren’t sure if you’re missing out or not missing a thing. You, the readers, get to tell us which books we should absolutely read and which ones we can totally pass on. Which books on this list should Alex read? Let her know in the comments!

My Fomo Books…
Guys if you know me I am always experiencing the feeling of FOMO! (FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out.) Now I am a huge YA fan but I personally feel like I hopped on the YA train a bit too late! I started to really delve and obsess over the world of YA about two years ago. What I discovered is that there are so many books that were published about two or three years before I discovered YA that still have so much hype and unfortunately I haven’t read any of these books! And then there were books that were published back when I was in the late teens that I should have read and finished a very long time ago! This is when the FOMO feeling breaks in…

Here is my list of FOMO Books! (Prepare yourselves, don’t yell at me!)

The Harry Potter Series…

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I know gasp! What is wrong with me?! I started to read the Harry Potter series back when I was 19 and stopped when I got to the third book!

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I am known to be absolutely terrible when it comes to finishing a book series! Fortunately, I am now officially catching up to the Harry Potter series! I just finished the audible version of Order of the Phoenix and I only have two more books left to go! Audible has been a lifesaver for me when it comes to catching up on books!

ACOTAR Series

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When I first got into YA all I would hear about on BookTube was Sarah J. Mass and the ACOTAR series! I was so intrigued to read it because they described The Court of Thorns and Roses to have a Beauty and the Beast vibe! Beauty and the Beast retellings are my jam and I will read any well-written Beauty and the Beast story! Unfortunately, I just never got a chance to read it because I kept getting distracted by other books that were recently released already! (Recently released books are evil!) Now I am actually FINALLY picking up the ACOTAR series! I just started reading the first 50 pages of The Court of Thrones and Roses and so far the story is very intriguing!

Fangirl

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Honestly, it doesn’t many any sense that I haven’t read this book yet because I am a complete SUCKER for YA contemporary books! I gobble them up like I gobble up my pastelitos de guayaba!

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Fangirl is about a blogger who writes Harry Potter like fanfiction! I mean really…I need to read this because this book has me written all over it! Although I did read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell thinking it was a good start to introduce myself to the world of Rainbow Rowell but now I want to kick myself! Eleanor and Park wasn’t a favorite for me to say the least and I wish I started with Fangirl! TBR goals!

The Sun is Also a Star

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This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for way too long! I read Everything, Everything last summer and I completely fell in love with it! I couldn’t stop reading it and even though I wasn’t thrilled with the ending I am in love with Nicola Yoon’s writing! See my book review about it here.

The Sun is Also a Star got amazing reviews and it looks like the perfect contemporary read to get you out of those dreaded book funks! The book is essentially a romance of two strangers meeting in the bustling city of New York and falling in love but it’s not only about romance. One of the main characters finds that her family is going to get deported to Jamaica and this is when the conflict ensues… Nicola Yoon is a gifted writer and I can’t wait to finally read this!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Are these books worth a read?! Have you experienced FOMO when it comes to books?! What books are they? I would love to hear your opinions!