Happy New Year, everyone! 🎊🎆
… I say, apprehensively eyeing the title of this blog post, and dreading talking about “awards” I received, because impostor’s syndrome is real, and in addition to it, I’m still trying to find the ever-elusive part of me that can confidently talk about having accomplished something, without feeling like I’m bragging.
Confident Lily is,,, a work in progress, I guess we’ve established.
I hope you all had a wonderful start into 2019! And if not, this is your gentle reminder that how 2019 begins by no means sets the precedent for the rest of the year (!!)—despite numerous infamous sayings. Plus, I have to believe in that myself, because my start wasn’t exactly riveting.
I’ve been on somewhat of a mini blogging hiatus since the holidays, because I’ve been really busy with my studies, and I wanted to spend more time with my family as well. Maintaining a blog can be very time-consuming and exhausting (even if I love it), so it was a relief to be able to take a break, if only a little one.
If you ever miss me, know that I’m only a tweet away, though! ☺️
Anyway, to start off the new year with a clean slate, I’m wrapping up 2018 in my first 2019 blog post, and sharing my favorite books with you!
Total score 📚: 241
ARCs 💌: 11
Re-reads 📖: 26
Graphic Novels 🖌: 42
Poetry 🎨: 13
Short Stories 📘: 21
Audiobooks 🎧: 16
Buddy Reads 👭: 32
Avg. Rating ⭐: 3.0
Middle Grade: 31
Young Adult: 164
Despite the fact that it’s genuinely a rarity for me to find books I whole-heartedly love, I still had the hardest time narrowing down my favorites. 2018 was such a great reading year for me (I’m sure that an average rating of 3.0 seems very low to most of you, but I always averaged at 2.7 before :’)), and I fell in love with so many new books and authors. I’m most definitely wrapping up my reading year with a glowing smile on my face.
I already gushed about these three books in my post about books that are gorgeously written, so it should come as no surprise that they made my favorites list. They’re genuinely always the first ones that come to my mind, when I think of favorites. These are all books that I’d without hesitation recommend to anyone regardless of their preferred genre, and regardless of whether they even (think they) like to read.
Girls of Paper and Fire, The Rose Society, and The Fever King are books that I don’t “just” love because they’re objectively brilliant (or as objectively brilliant as art in any shape or form can ever be), but because they are subtly, but powerfully relevant in ways that are so immensely important—reading them has made me feel seen, and understood in ways I hadn’t before, and they’ve made me feel less alone with my experiences, growing up.
Wholesome books that warm my heart are what I need from time to time, and even though these books are by no means made up of sunshine and rainbows, and twirling through life without a care in the world, they all emit a glow of joy that reverberated in me long after I finished reading them.
Non-fiction books sustain my knowledge-hungry-self, and these four are so high my list of books-to-buy-when-I-have-my-degree-and-have-joined-the-work-force, which means a Lot, because as you know, being a income-less student and all, I only buy physical books when I’ve read and really enjoyed them.
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo Lodge [my review]
(judged by likes, comments, and overall traffic)
This is sorted in no particular order!!
special unicorns in my life
✨ Tal; my soul sister, and the person who knows and understands me better than some of my real life friends, even. You’re so kind, and funny, and smart, and always know the right thing to say when I have one of my bad days, whether it’s funny, loving, supportive, all of them simultaneously … or just a rant that makes me smile. You’re one of the best people I know, and I love you so much.
✨ Christian; we exchange the longest messages ever, and yours genuinely always make me smile?? Even though we haven’t talked to each other regularly in a while, you have a really special place in my heart.
✨ May; you’re one of the first friends I made in the book community, and I value your love and friendship so much. You make the best puns, and will insult me and boost my ego in one breath—we usually don’t do sap (or, didn’t, to be more accurate), but you deserve all the happiness in the world, and more!!
✨ Fadwa, we only met a few months ago, but it feels like we’ve known each other for an eternity?? Thank you so much for all your support, and advice, and fangirling with me, you’re such an inspiration, and I love you to pieces.
✨ CW, your wisdom and the unwavering positivity you project has helped me so much, and I wish only the best things in the universe for you. Your artistic talent and skills always make me swoon, and I hope all your dreams come true this year!
✨ Emma, my critical reading twin, you’re way too clever and witty and all-around amazing for this world, and that is all.
✨ Marie; you’re always here to bless my days with a sweet message, and encouraging words, and I’m so thankful to have met you through blogging; your friendship has been a true gift.
✨ Mel, if I consult the dictionary, your name will describe what sweetheart means. I adore you, and I can’t wait to see you conquer BookTube ✨ Hannah, thank goodness I decided to join Bookstagram, or else I would have missed out on your wonderful presence in my life ✨ Mal, a real life unicorn if there ever was one ✨ May, my fellow Marchetta stan (and first Ever follower) ✨ Lili, my name twin, your generosity and kindness are unparalleled, and I’m so glad we found each other this year ✨ Tiff, I love screaming with you about anything and everything—Taiwanese blogging sisters for life 💗 ✨ Dezzy, my B99 partner in crime, thank you for being a source of happiness, always ✨ Laura, you’re a wonderful soul, and I’m so lucky to know you ✨ Sophie and ✨ Steph (forever bonded as fellow O.W.L. survivors); ✨ Chaima, you just radiate all the cool and wholesome and fabulous vibes in the cosmos, and I’m so glad we got to know each other better this year! ✨ Zoë, I love chatting with you, you’re so kind, and your thoughtfulness always warms my heart ✨ Hamad, my favorite person to roast, I’m so happy we started this blogging journey together ✨ Kat, I love how we just get each other sometimes, without even having to say much?? Magic ✨
I’m also so incredibly glad to have joined Twitter a few months ago, because I wouldn’t have met ✨ Victoria (I just realized that we’ve pretty much been talking everyday??
In case I jinx it with putting this in my blog post, they were Good Times), ✨ Katie, and ✨ Joan, otherwise.
Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that I forgot someone, because this post was written after getting merely five hours of sleep, followed by six hours of revision, and sitting through one hellish exam, so please accept my deepest apologies!!
I would like to thank every single one of you for reading my blog, always leaving the sweetest and most supportive comments, and likes, and sending me messages (even outside of my blogging platform), and in general for all the kindness and support! It means the world to me, and I’m so thankful for each and every one of you. You kept me going, when blogging (and real life) were tough.
I’m going to stop being a sap in a minute, but I genuinely can’t believe so many of you thought of me for even one single award, let alone multiple. Words can’t accurately depict how much it means to me. THANK YOU.
We’ve arrived at the end of this post, and I have a little announcement to make—I’ve signed up for the Amazon affiliate program! If you’d like to support me (I’d love you forever!), you can use the Amazon link in my sidebar, whenever you choose to purchase something there, or the links I will add in my posts going forward, when you decide to buy or pre-order a book I feature.
As someone who’s still a student, and whose schedule unfortunately doesn’t allow her to work part-time, because all lecture attendances are mandatory, I would be thrilled to see all the love I put into my blog help contribute to paying expenses like commuting, and textbooks (which we all know are so. expensive. rip 😭), and avoid amassing huge piles of student debt. :’)
Here’s a little widget you can use—I think I need at least three sales in my first month to keep my affiliate status, so I’d appreciate it a lot if you used this link the next time you shop on Amazon. 💗
How has the new year been treating you? 💗
Do you have any reading goals for 2019? Are you taking part in the Goodreads challenge?
What’s on your January TBR? (Tell me everythinggg.)