2019 Blogging Wrap-Up + 2020 Goals

Hey all!! Welcome back! I have finally finally done this post, 20 days later than I anticipated. But I’m really excited to see all the things I accomplished last year blogging wise, and share with you my goals for this year.

This is probably going to be a long post, so let’s get started!!

Blogging Stats:

  • Posts and Comments: I wrote a total of 179 posts last year, with 105,632 words. 105,632 words guys. That number just seems so big and absurd. That’s around 590 words per post which isn’t too long, but it’s still a lot of words. I also had a total of 1,996 comments, which I’m guessing includes my replies and pingbacks.
  • Followers: I gained 224 followers last year. 224!! Two hundred and twenty four. I can’t really believe it, that so many people actually liked my blog enough to follow. It means so much to me, and really, I never expected so many follows. I mean, my goal (that I set at the end of 2018) was to gain 40 more followers. 40. And I gained 224. Thank you so much to every single one of you for reading and following my tiny corner of the internet!! It means so much to know that you enjoy reading what I have to say!
  • Views and Visitors: In 2019, I had a total of 8,746 views and 3,260 visitors. It was kind of a shock, because most of those views tbh, came towards the end of the year. In Aug 2019, I went from around 700 views to 1,000 in September. And it’s been increasing since then. October and November were around 1,100 views, and then December was around 1,400.
  • May was my lowest month by far, because I took a month long hiatus. It was Ramadan, and I didn’t really feel like blogging and reading while fasting. But after I started Let’s Talk Bookish in August, my views went up by a lot, and Friday has become my most popular day for views. So, yeah. I’m super proud of this as well.
  • Now for a breakdown of the types of posts that I wrote:
    • 46 Reviews
    • 37 WWW Wednesday Reading Updates
    • 23 Discussions
    • 16 Book Tags
    • 5 Awards
  • Those amount to 127 posts. So that means I had 52 other posts which were random, announcements, or Monthly wrap-ups. Overall, I think I still did pretty well.

2019 Goals Review:

  • Write 200 posts ❌
    • 100 should be book reviews ❌
  • Read 100 books ❌
  • Get 40 more followers 
  • Focus more on quality, not quantity (lol) ❔
  • Read more diverse books with either diverse characters, topics, or places ✔
  • Be more creative with my posts ❌

Lol. Four definite nos, and only two definite checks. I was close for some of them though.

  • Posts: I wrote 179 posts which is 21 short of 200. I didn’t even get close with the reviews.
  • Books: I was 2 books short of 100, so I’m still happy about that.
  • Followers: I got 224 more followers and I’m seriously very very proud of that.
  • Quality vs Quantity: I really don’t know how to figure out if I did? I think, for the most part, it was more about quantity and keeping up with my posting schedule. But I did have a few quality posts that I loved writing.
  • Diversity: Yes. For sure, my reading has become a lot more diverse. I read about so many diverse characters last year, and that has led to me learning about so many things that I didn’t even know existed. So yes. This is a very big yes.
  • Creativity: Haha no. I don’t think I was really creative? Unless we’re talking about graphics/header images, then no, I don’t think I was very creative with my posts.

Most Popular Posts:

Let’s Talk Bookish – Bookish and Blogging Myths

Diversity and Representation in YA feat. a rant about ‘Americanism’

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee – Review

Sunshine Blogger Award #2

Behind the Blog: 200 Follower Q&A Answers

Favorite Posts:

Honestly, I can think of only three posts that I’m super proud of or that I loved to write: my second ever discussion post, my review of Six of Crows, and my discussion about authors inspired by the uproar with Kathleen Hale.

Diversity and Representation in YA feat. a rant about ‘Americanism’

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Spoiler Review

Let’s Talk Bookish – When An Author Has Gone Too Far

2020 Goals: Bookish, Blogging, & Personal

  • Read 110 books
  • Take part in two reading challenges (and stick to it!!)
  • Read at least 40 books with diverse main characters or topics
  • Try to read more Adult thrillers and mysteries
  • Get to 400 followers
  • Get through my 27 backlogged reviews, and review at least 50% of the books I read this year
  • Monthly views should be more than a thousand
  • Catch up on my blog hopping and stay on track
  • Get through my first year of dual enrollment (college + high school classes) successfully
  • Continue making healthier versions of my favorite desserts
  • Continue exercising at least 5 times a week

And that’s it!! I had a lot of great stats for 2019, even though I didn’t meet most of my goals. I also stopped the two reading challenges that I started last January, but this year, I will do my best to continue. Overall, I’m really proud of everything that I accomplished last year, and I’m looking forward to making 2020 even better.

Chat with me

What was 2019 like for you? Did you meet your goals for the year? What was your favorite post from last year? What are your goals for 2020? Chat with me in the comments below!

P.S. If you wrote a post on any of this, be sure to link it in the comments below so I can check it out!!

End of Year Book Survey + Reading Wrap-Up | 2019 Edition

Hey guys and welcome back! Today is the 7th day of 2020 and life is finally getting back to normal. Yesterday was the first day of school again, and to be honest, I kind of missed having classes and assignments. I know. I can barely believe that I even thought that myself. But of course, when assignments properly start, I’m going to be wishing for another break once again.

Anyways, today I’m going to be wrapping up my 2019 reading year.

To help wrap up my past reading year, I’ve decided to do Jamie’s End of Year Survey with a twist. Instead of answering all her questions (46!!), I’m going to pick a handful to answer, and also do a wrap-up my way. Initially, I was going to do 2 different posts, one with the survey and the other with my wrap-up, but that’s going to be repetitive, so I’ll be combining both.

(This is the 10th year that Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner has hosted this tag, so if you’d like to do it, head right over to her lovely blog to see all the prompts and questions!)

This is probably going to be rather long, so without further ado, let’s get started!!!

2019 Reading Stats

Number of Books Read: 98

Number of Re-Reads: 3

Genre You Read the Most From: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense


I didn’t make it to 100 books. But that’s okay. Because I got to 98, which is still a pretty good number and I’m really proud of myself for making it that far.

The re-reads were The Fixer and The Long Game, both by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter. The first two were great, and I loved re-reading them. The third one was a little cringey, and I can see why it appealed to a Younger Rukky, but it was not for Current Me.

Lol, no surprise. Mystery/Thriller/Suspense was by far the genre that I read the most from, with Fantasy coming in second, and Contemporary in third.

I made a little pie chart to break down my reading even further, and I’m so relieved that it turned out looking okay.

if it’s a little fuzzy, I apologize!

I also did another chart showing my year in books by rating, so here you go:

I like how most of my books were 4 or 3 stars. The books were either mediocre or pretty good, just not super great, and I’m happy with that. I think it also shows that I’ve figured out what books work for me, and what don’t, and so hopefully next year, this will have much less 2 or 1 star books.

I did have a couple of DNFs (Did-Not-Finish), and most of them, I plan on trying to re-read another time, while some I absolutely did not like.

For Blanca and Roja, Ninth House, and Blindsighted, I don’t think i was in the right mood when I picked them up, so I was really bored and impatient with them. These are the ones I plan on picking up some other time.

Marshall Law just wasn’t for me. I got it for review from Reedsy, but I didn’t like it and never finished it.

Captive Witness was disappointing, because I loved Nancy Drew once upon a time, and when I picked this up, I couldn’t get over how old fashioned it was. I was cringing so much, and decided to stop so that I wouldn’t ruin all my great memories of reading all the various series.

The Perfect Husband was a nightmare. I am so done with that book. Usually, when there is extra stuff going in books, especially in thrillers and mysteries, I just skim past and move on. But this book had stuff in pretty much. Every. Single. Chapter. I can’t believe I got to 74%. SEVENTY-FOUR, guys. And you’d think that they don’t have time for any of this extra drama, and so called “romance” when the MC is being hunted by a pure 100% psychopath. But no, they can’t stop their “love” for five seconds.


So yeah. 3 of them, I might try later, 2 of them were just not for me, and 1 of them was a true nightmare. But I’m still pretty glad that I only had 6 DNFs the entire year.

Best in Books

Best Books Read in 2019:

Mystery:

  • Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci
    • This was more of a political thriller, but I still loved the mystery of who was behind the attack. I’m also a huge fan of any book with “secret agents” and Mary and Stone were amazing and made me love the story even more.

Suspense:

  • I Found You by Lisa Gardner
    • It was interesting being told what happened to Frank in bits and pieces, and what brought him to that beach. There was so much suspense, as things were slowly revealed and I liked that. The book wasn’t perfect in other aspects, but the suspense was really great.

Thriller:

  • No Exit by Taylor Adams
    • This is a master thriller. It was honestly the first time that I’d been truly petrified and nervous, and anxious about how things would end in a book. It was a little over the top, and would probably be better as a movie than a book, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fantasy:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    • I loved this. I loved the characters. I loved Kaz’s cunning ruthless and brutal, I loved Inej, Jes, Wylan, Nina and Matthias, I loved everything about it. Well, it was slow until the heist at the end, but I liked the build-up and relationships between the characters, and how we got to know them so well. This is honestly my top fantasy book of 2019.
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
    • This is a fantasy that I loved because of it’s worldbuilding. The way Allomancy was described, the way the Empires and cities felt so real that I could literally picture everything happening clearly, that was amazing. I loved the heist, and was shocked at how things turned out, but what I loved the most about this was how real, and possible, and well-thought out the world and Allomancy was.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievfater
    • I got a recipe for November Cakes. That’s honestly enough to bribe me into loving this book. But really though, I sincerely enjoyed the story. The happiness, calm, and peace that came after I finished reading it. The deadly but utterly beautiful horses. Puck and Sean fighting for what they want, what they love. It was really beautiful, and I’m so glad that Meegs pushed me to read this.

Contemporary:

  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
    • He’s grumpy. He’s strict. He’s mean. But underneath that tough exterior, Ove is hurting. And this book is about what caused it, and what happens when a new bustling family, with a fiery and delightful mother, moves in next door. I loved this because of the characters, and because the found family relationship that all the neighbors built with one another. Ove is also really endearing, and it was heartbreaking reading about everything that went wrong in his life. Even if it was fictional. This book made me so happy, because Ove learned to live and love again.

Historical Fiction:

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    • I may have loved this solely because the ending shattered my heart. But I’m also a big fan of coming-of-age novels, and this is one of them. At first, I didn’t like many of the characters, and I was a little annoyed, and maybe bored. But as the story continued, and the years passed, and the war dragged on, I began to feel for all these characters. I began to understand them, love them. And when that ending came, even though I knew, even though I’d been warned, it still shattered me when that happened. It’s a book that made me laugh, made me smile, made me cry. And I don’t think a book has ever done all three to me.
  • The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
    • This was a great book about a woman fighting society’s sexist and racist views through a newspaper column in 19th century Georgia (aka the 1800s). Jo was a great main character, and I loved Old Gin, Noemi, and Nathan so much. She’s brave, she’s fierce, and she was risking so much to write her Miss. Sweetie column and using it to inspire change in her community. This was one my most anticipated books this year, and it did not disappoint.

Best series you started in 2019?

Honestly, it was Mistborn: The Final Empire, but to pick a different book, I’m going to go with the Shades of Magic trilogy.

I’ve already read the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, and even though it was slow in the beginning, I loved the magic and the world, and I can’t wait to read the second book.

Best Sequel of 2019?

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. This was such an awesome sequel, and I loved the new villains, as well as Victor’s search for a cure. The ending was really great, but I hope that there is still a 3rd book! Mitch, Syd, and Victor were so sweet together, and honestly, this book was just perfect.

Best Series Ender of 2019?

Nope, none. The only Series Ender I read in 2019 was The Queen of Nothing, and that was most definitely one of the worst I’ve ever read. I’m just really disappointed and salty about it.

Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

My new top three authors that I discovered in 2019 are:

Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races), V.E. Schwab (Vicious), and Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire).

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

It’s a tie. I can’t pick one over the other! Both covers are just so beautifully gorgeous.

 Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read? 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. I’d seen it in my library a lot, and I can’t believe that I never picked it up until earlier this last year. It was one of the first YA mysteries that I read, and I really loved it.

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?

This post is already over 1,500 words long, so I’m going to stop here. I think I’ve covered all the major questions, and if you’d like to see all the books I read last year, check out my 2019 Year in Books on GoodReads. I’ll probably be doing a Blog/Life Wrap-Up next, and I may do a Most Disappointing Books of 2019. Not sure yet, but keep an eye out for another wrap-up!

Chat with me

That’s it for this post! What was your favorite book of 2019? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above? What did you think? How many books did you read in 2019? Chat with me in the comments below!

Anticipated Releases of 2019 | Expectations vs Reality

The end of 2019 is here and it’s about time that I started all these end of year/year wrap-up/top 10 books etc.. posts. As you can already tell by the title, today I’m going to be sharing with you my anticipated releases for this year, and whether they lived up to my expectations or not.

I did 2 posts earlier this year in which I shared my most anticipated books for 2019, and my most anticipated books for the second half of 2019. Out of those 20, I’ve only read 5, and I just got a sixth one, so maybe I’ll finish that by the end of this month. To be honest, the lowest rating I’ve given a book I was excited for this year is 3 stars. So none of them have truly, really disappointed me, but there were still some that I was expecting much more from.

Let’s get started!!

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

This was really good. Initially, I was kind of bored, and I thought that the Husband was a bit annoying, but it was still pretty good and I loved the suspense and the mystery.

However, I was expecting more, and the plot was pretty similar to other books that I’d read. The POV was definitely unique, and it was interesting seeing how the murders happened and why. However, it was just not a amazing as I anticipated it to be. I was just expecting more.

In the end, this was a dark and twisted thriller with an unconventional narrator, and a surprising ending.


We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

I seriously was super excited for this book. I was looking for a heist, with some diversity, and also a fantasy book, since it was out of my comfort zone at the time.

And this was good in some ways. I loved Nasir and Altair (seriously, there’s no way not to love Altair. He’s obnoxiously awesome!!!), I respected Zafira and the other characters, and I loved the descriptions and the culture.

However, it was seriously lacking in the plot department, and until the very end, not much happened. Honestly, the characters were the only thing that kept the story going, at least for me.

In the end, this was an amazing Arabia inspired fantasy with phenomenal characters.


Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

I read this right before One of of Us is Lying, and I’ve gotta say, it was pretty good. Not spectacular like I’d been expecting, but it was still a decent mystery.

The pacing was a little slow, but the family drama, and the several mysteries were pretty interesting to follow. I liked some of the characters, but now that it’s been 10 months, I really don’t remember much, except that it was just good. Which is kind of disappointing.

In the end, this was a suspenseful mystery with great characters and an amazing twist/plot.


The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

3 Stars | GoodReads | No Review Yet

When I initially heard about this, I was super excited because I seriously loved The Naturals and The Fixer series by JLB. I was sure that this was going to be another awesome book, and I was pretty disappointed.

Book wise, it was ok. However, I came in with the wrong expectations, and didn’t get a mystery, but more of a search-and-rescue, which is the point of the book. I wasn’t expecting the search and rescue to be the main focus, so that added to my disappointment.

I didn’t connect much to Kira, the main character, either, but I thought she was cool and different from the usual YA heroines. Free and Jude were such a welcome relief and I loved them for that, but honestly, they were all just meh. This book was really just meh. Really disappointing.

In the end, this was a good book with okay characters, and a meh plot.


The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

5 Stars | GoodReads | Review

This was truly one of the best books I’ve read this year and I loved it. The idea of the story, the setting, the time period, the characters, it was all so splendid and I couldn’t have been happier.

This was one of the few Historical Fiction novels I’ve read this year and it was the most perfect. I loved Jo, I loved the atmosphere, and I loved how she was determined to make a change in a society that did not want that kind of change. I loved all the side and semi-MC characters who supported Jo through everything and made this book the beauty that it is.

In the end, this was an amazing historical fiction novel that tackles diverse topics, with an amazing cast of characters.

That’s it! These were the five books that I had on my list that I managed to read, and hopefully I’ll be getting to a sixth one (The Queen of Nothing!!!!) before this month’s end.

Chat with me

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What were your most anticipated releases for 2019? Did they live up to your expectations? Which books surprised you and why? Did you read as many books as you hoped to this year? Chat with me in the comments below?

2018 Wrap-up and 2019 Goals

Hi friends! 2018 has come to a close and I’m excited for the new year. New year = new beginnings and goals. I started this blog three weeks ago, and I’ve already met so many amazing and welcoming people. I’m very glad I decided to take this risk and joined the bookish community.

Continue reading “2018 Wrap-up and 2019 Goals”