NEW YEAR NEW YEAR NEW YEAR + Resolutions and Reading

Well hello there. Happy New Year! Also, HOLY COW IT'S THE NEW YEAR. When did that happen???

I'm the type of person to freak out at the passing of time because I feel like I can barely grasp it fast enough to appreciate the moments before they're gone. Journaling has been helping with me feeling like there are actually distinguashable days instead of the great void of time that is my life. As I was reading through my 2017 journal, I realized something.

2017 was an amazing year. (for me)

My year in a gif: 
Somehow I am both of them (and the guy walking in the background who just disappears #same)

It's really weird hearing and seeing all of the horrific and maddening events that have taken place this year because it's such a contrast from the 2017 that I know and love. I am very grateful that I have been able to not let any of the outside craziness affect my year. I hope that 2018 will be a better year for those of you who didn't have a very good 2017, and for those of you that did, I hope 2018 is your best year yet.

My little New Year's Eve ritual was nice: I usually stay up until midnight (yep, just me. Everyone else in my family has jobs and goes to bed at a normal time. Pshh, they're boring), listen to my favorite music, and watch the fireworks that everyone else is lighting off from the comfort and lack of human interaction of my backyard. This year I added popcorn and a half-asleep mother wrapped in a blanket.

New Year's Resolutions
  • Publish a book. Obviously it wouldn't be released in 2018. I'm not that delusional. But I would like to have an agent, publishing house, and...who knows what else I might need???
  • a blanket to cry into after all the rejection letters?
  • snacks? presents to bribe give the publishing house?
  • Do something active every day. 
  • Even if it's one squat. I really want to be in the mindset of purposely taking time to do something active. I am a big fan of habits because they make not enjoyable things (like exercising) a little less easy to ignore.
  • Take a vitamin every day.
  • This resolution is a bit more lofty than the others. My relationship with vitamins is like a cliffside: rocky. BUT: I am confident in my ability to stick to taking a vitamin every day. 
  • Basically what I'm saying is that in 2018 I am going to become the picture of health.
  • I AM GIVING UP MY COMPUTER AND ONLY EATING KALE AND MOVING OUT TO THAILAND TO PURSUE YOGA AND WRITING BY HAND.
  • jk.
  • i would never write by hand.
I don't expect the motivation of the New Year to propell me through these without a hitch. I am dedicated and willing to stick to these to the best of my ability, but also give myself grace if I mess up.

Or something like that.

Book Recap(ish)
Everyone is doing a book recap right around now, so I figured I would jump on the bandwagon because I'm nothing if not original.

Instead of going through all my reading stats (as fun as that is, I don't have the attention span for numbers of any kind), I'm going to pick my 4 favorite books of 2017, which very well may be the hardest thing I have had to do. Disclaimer: This is in no particular order. I cannot even fathom the hours it would take to decide which of these four came first, which would inevitably happen if I tried to order them (and Jerry has been saving up his vacation days to leave on such an occasion as this. I don't dare make him work overtime).

This Adventure Ends aka the inspirational one.
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
When a beloved painting by the friends' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

I already wrote a review as soon as I read it, so I won't go terribly in depth, but y'all! This is one of my favorite contemporaries ever. The oh-so-important life-changing quote has stuck with me, and I'm intending to carry it with me throughout 2018. 


Vicious aka the perfect oneVictor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. 
As Mary Poppins once said, "Practically perfect in every way." And really, this book is practically perfect in every way. 
It did take me more than the first chapter to figure out what was going on. In fact, that was one thing that I liked about Vicious. It was like a puzzle, but the finished picture of the puzzle was a brooding anti-hero and his smol child. I am fascinated by this book, and I'm sure that I could read it a million times and still find some new layer. It's like a lasagna, or a six-layer dip, or...multiple cakes stacked on top of each other (can you tell I'm hungry?)

 Scythe aka the Morality one. 
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

What is it with Neal Shusterman and morally complex and thought provoking books? Unwind was a doozy, and so is Scythe. I actually bought it the other day (which officially marked the end of space in my bookshelf. My poor bookshelf is stuffed like a bookshelf overflowing with books.) and probably should have reread it in preparation of this post, but as you can see by how late I'm getting this New Years post up, I excel in preparation (in case you can't tell, that was sarcasm. No matter what my mother says, I don't actually see being underprepared a strong skill of mine)



All the Crooked Saints aka the title I CANNOT say.
(I have called it All the Bright Places multiple times. To be honest, I even typed All The Bright Places as I was writing this post. They both start with "All the", and it's just too confusing for my tiny brain)
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars. At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

First of all, that synopsis is flawless. I could read a book made up of just that synopsis over and over and still be happy.
Second, anyone who knows me knows that I am a massive Maggie Stiefvater fan, and everything she writes I think is perfect and marvelous and OMG GODDESS. All that to say: I am not biased.

K, that was funny. At this point I am very biased but I hid that bias in a dark corner whilst I read All the Crooked Saints. And let me tell you, boy howdy, that is a unique book (then again, isn't everything she writes? ...oops, sorry, hiding the bias again). I am so confused and so enraptured and fascinated and in love with this book, but this post is not me raving about All the Crooked Saints (or at least, it wasn't supposed to be), so I will focus on only one thing. 

If you want to learn how to write scenery description, read this book. The desert became a character that was imperative to the story. It has been over a week since I finished it, but I still am processing all my thoughts and feelings on All the Crooked Saints
AMAZING BOOK. FIVE STARS. (goodness Evangeline, move on already)
ME @ All the Crooked Saints
So far, 2018 has been a good year. 2017 was a year of change (mostly good), and I'm hoping that 2018 continues to bring change and growth and all the tea and books a girl can hope for. 
Speaking of which: I said that I wasn't going to do any stats because I have no patience for numbers, BUT I will give you one. The most important. 
Cups of tea drank in 2017: (a modest estimation) 1095
And with that, I wish you a happy New Year! 

How was your 2017? What were your favorite books? Have you read All the Brigh-(dang it, I did it again) All the Crooked Saints? Did you have a New Year's celebration like a cool person? I'm cool too, okay? Just because I spent New Years with my mother...


Toodlepip

Comments

  1. I haven't read any of these books, but I have heard good things about All the Crooked Saints and Schwab's work in general. (Have you read All the Bright Places? What did you think of it? I've heard mixed reviews)

    On New Years Eve I stayed up until like 2 am trying to think up New Years Resolutions...yep, LIKE A COOL PERSON XD.

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    1. (I'm going to assume you meant Maggie Stiefvater?? XD) I love All the Crooked Saints (as you can probs tell from my review. I cannot rant about that book enough). And All the Bright Places is the only romance book that I actually really like. Though...you should be warned that there is some...content (swearing, a few paragraphs here and there to skip over because of..."adult sleepover time" lol, but nothing graphic). I love it, and have reread it many times, and every time it wrecks me.

      Yo, we're the cool party people. All those other losers who went out and celebrated are missing the real fun. XD

      Delete
  2. I've probably watched that gif a thousand times and I never noticed the disappearing guy. That's hilarious!

    A nice recap and goal post! It sounds like you have an epic year ahead of you!

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    1. We here at An Odd Blog live to bring all the gif-y enlightening you need. XD

      Thanks! I think I do, too. :)

      Delete
  3. Sounds like quite the year for you! And I like the way you spend your New Year's Eves. That is basically what I do as well, minus the fireworks. :)

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    1. It's a great way to spend New Year's Eve. You seem like you know what's up. ;D

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  4. Emma Mills writes some amazing contemporaries! I love First and Then-- it's a good taste of just mundanity, when life all around me feels insane.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

    P.S. I'm ALWAYS the flailing guy when it comes to photobombing photos. xDDD

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    1. Right? (okay so I've actually never read First and Then but it seems like it would be really good)

      Well yeah! The flailing people have the most fun, too. XD

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  5. Okay, I officially need to read All the Crooked Saints. I’ve heard so many good things about that book. I needs it.

    Also: I absolutely love the gif. And how you’re all three people at the same time. Sounds about right. XD

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    1. YEEEEEES DO IT. But also no pressure. XD

      The gif sums me up pretty well lol.

      Delete
  6. I guess I want to improve my scenery description because I can only do dialogue xD

    I never wanted to read All the Crooked Saints but you convinced me and I want to get it in the library now! Do you have any other scenery book recommendation?

    And good luck with your book!

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    1. Well then you're in luck because All the Crooked Saints is a great book to learn from!!! :)

      Hmm, I would say Auralia's Colors. The story itself is fine, but the scenery description (and just any description in general) is STUNNING.

      Thanks! I need all the luck I can get. ;)

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  7. I...have not read any of these books. SO OBVIOUSLY I MUST CHANGE THIS. XD This Adventure Ends looks AMAZING, and Scythe looks like a story that I am going to fall in love with immediately. I've actually never read any of Neal Shusterman's work, but I've heard a lot about him, so I really need to remedy that...

    Also, your New Year's Resolutions sound amazing, and MOM'S ARE THE ABSOLUTE BESTEST EVER!!! XD And also popcorn. Popcorn is amazing.

    And now I can't remember if I've ever commented on your blog before??? If not...HI! I'M KENZIE FROM SMUDGED THOUGHTS. *waves* (your blog is lovely, by the way!)

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    1. OOO, GIRL, Neal Shusterman is an amazing writer! I am a very strong advocate for his books. XD

      Right? Aren't mom's amazing? And POPCORN IS MY WEAKNESS. I could eat bowls and bowls...

      WELCOME!!! Glad to have you. :) (also my blog is amazing? YOUR BLOG, KENZIE. Ach, I'm in love with it)

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  8. Your New Years Eve sounds lovely and cozy. I think we watched a dumb Hallmark Christmas movie. #why

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  9. *confetti* I'll go to China and write by hand too in a forest with monkeys! JK

    ;)

    And me too. I would love to get published this year (in a manner similar to you) but I'm likely to wait till next year. :D

    D.G. Snapper | silverphoenixwriter.blogspot.com

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    1. lol sounds good. :)

      Yeah? I wish you all the luck in publishing, whenever you do it!!!

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