December 31, 2016
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
For me, that quote sums up 2016. There was a lot of darkness throughout this year, but there were moments, even if they were small, of pure light. People have been describing this year as the one we will ignore and never talk about in the future, but I think we should talk about it. It challenged us and in my opinion will make us stronger.
I wanted to highlight some of my favourites from 2016. Whether that is books or films or even just moments. This will be my 2016 wrap-up for everything that I’ve talked about on this blog. 63+ posts were uploaded to this website, it changed format many times, and I have loved every moment of it. I have always said that this is a place for me to just voice my thoughts and I never really cared if anyone was reading it and that has stuck. I know there are some of you out there that read my blog and I thank you for that! I hope to continue posting in the coming year and really make this site into a hub for communications and creativity.
To start off this wrap up, I thought we would dive right in with the books! I have read a total of 42 books this year and I had initially set my record for 30, so this is great! I think I am going to set a goal of 50 or 55 for next year. I already have so many books that I am looking forward to reading in the new year! I read a lot of new books this year, but also re-read some including the “Harry Potter” series which is always great. Here are just some of my favourite novels I had the pleasure of reading in 2016.
Favourite Books of 2016
Fantasy: “A Court of Mist and Fury” by Sarah J. Maas
Romance: “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes
Dystopian: “This Savage Song” by Victoria Schwab
YA Contemporary: “Highly Illogical Behavior“ by John Corey Whaley
Fiction: “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs
Middle-Grade: “Heroes of Olympus Series” by Rick Riordan
I also found a few new authors that I fell in love with and will continue reading their books. They are: Victoria Schwab, Sarah J, Maas, Ransom Riggs, Patrick Ness, and John Corey Whaley.
Then of course there were books that I started and never finished. I really hate doing this, but it’s better to discard the book for now and go back to at another time. These included: “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, “Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater, “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, and “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. I am so determined to finish LFA as I have heard it is a fantastic novel!
2017 is looking good for new releases! I personally am very excited for many new books, mostly sequels! Here are some books that I cannot wait to come out in the new year!
“A Court of Wings and Ruin” by Sarah J. Maas
“The Burning World” by Isaac Marion’
“Our Dark Duet” by Victoria Schwab
“The Ship of the Dead” by Rick Riordan
“The Dark Prophecy” by Rick Riordan
If you want a more detailed review of my books for 2016, you can check it out here: My Year in Books
Now let’s talk about MUSIC. So many great bands and songs filled my headphones this year and here are some of my favourites!
“Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda
“7/27” by Fifth Harmony
“Death of a Bachelor” by Panic! At the Disco
“All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend” by AURORA
“Joanne” by Lady Gaga
“Glory Days” by Little Mix
“24K Magic” by Bruno Mars
“La La Land Soundtrack” by Various Artists
DNCE | Ruelle | Little Mix | Fifth Harmony | Bruno Mars | Aquilo | Fleurie | Troye Sivan | Lin-Manuel Miranda | Alessia Cara | Dodie Clark | Sia | Florence + The Machine | David Bowie | Dexy Midnight Runners | Amber Run | Marian Hill
Alexandre Desplat | John Williams | Nicholas Hooper | Hans Zimmer | M83 (Oblivion) | James Newton Howard | Thomas Bergersen | Audiomachine | Michael Giacchino | Henry Jackman
I highly recommend you check out all of the above albums and artists and give them some love because they really are incredible!
Okay moving on to films! There were so many good movies that premiered this year and I have to admit that I didn’t get out that much to go see them and I am going to put this out there now…I STILL HAVEN’T SEEN FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. I know, I know! What? Haley hasn’t seen the Potter revival? No, I haven’t. Whoops. I did, however, read the screenplay and I enjoyed it immensely and I have now decided that my two favourite characters are Newt and Credence. Yep.
From the films I did see, here are my favourites and their ratings!
“Star Trek Beyond” An easy 5/5 stars. Probably the best in the new series…well, no, “Into Darkness” is still my favourite.
“Me Before You” Also a 5/5. Just as good as the book.
“Captain America: Civil War” 4/5 only because I am so sick of Tony and Steve butting heads, but I really like Bucky’s story and the introductions of Black Panther and Spider Man…and Vision and Wanda. OH AND THAT AIRPORT SCENE.
“Alice Through the Looking Glass” 5/5 even though I wish the ending would have been better. I will always ship Tarrant and Alice, sorry not sorry!
“Now You See Me 2” 5/5. Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman…it was just great. Not as good as one, but the subtle HP magic references were amazing and I mean c’mon…Mark Ruffalo was brilliant in it. I am becoming a huge fan of his, he’s incredibly talented.
“Huntsman: Winter’s War.” 3/5. I did like it and it is still a favourite of mine because the action and the magic, it was good, but I think the plot could have been better.
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” 5/5. I read the books this year and I have to admit I was annoyed at some of the changes when the trailer came out, but I was so wrong! I absolutely loved the movie and my favourite scene was one that wasn’t even in the novel, so definitely my favourite movie of 2016 along with Star Trek!
I was going to put “Jurassic World”, but then I realized it came out in 2015. However, I only just watched it, so yeah, I’ll add it! 5/5 stars! I am so hyped for movie 2. I think it provided a new twist for such a beloved series and all the little tributes throughout really made me happy, especially the end shot with the OG T-Rex.
Then of course when you have Film, you also have Television. There were so many notable TV shows from 2016 and here is a list of my favourites in no particular order:
Favourite TV Shows:
“Shadowhunters” | “Designated Survivor” | “Quantico” | “Gilmore Girls” | “How To Get Away With Murder” | “Gossip Girl” | “The Originals” | “The Vampire Diaries” | “Stranger Things” | “Shannara Chronicles” | “Scandal” | “Dancing With the Stars”
I think my favourites would be Shadowhunters, The Originals, and Gilmore Girls! I was so worried about Shadowhunters, but it has slowly turned into my favourite show and I am going to binge watch Season 1 before Season 2 starts!
On a bit of a more sad note, I thought I would take some time to add a bit of a “In Memory Of” to some of the people who were lost this year. I didn’t know them personally, but they were a big influence on me as a child and as an adult through their work.
A Few Who We Miss:
And finally, a reflection.
2016 was a bit of a curve ball for me to be honest. I had a job, lost the job and haven’t gotten myself a new one. I went on a three day road trip with my mother and for the first time, finally decided what I wanted to do with my life. I want to be a writer.
My life has had it’s ups and downs this past year, but one thing always remained constant: this.
This blog for me has given me an opportunity to express myself and enjoy writing and sharing pieces of my life with the world. I am not a vocal person, but with this blog, I am able to speak my mind and shout to the heavens. Also, because of this blog, I joined Bookstagram which is the greatest thing in the world. I get so much joy from taking my photos and having discussions about books and authors and just life in general. I have met the most lovely people through my instagram and I so lucky.
Opportunities have been given to me through my blog and I am so honored to use this platform to help spread the word about lesser known authors and companies. If you have a book you would like me to read and review, feel free to send it to me. I would love to review your work!
Just to end this out, I have to say that without books and coffee and those who are in love with books and coffee, I would feel very alone in this world. 2016 gave me that opportunity to be more involved in the world of literature and I think 2017 will be better. Even though a lot of horrible things happened and it was a stressful year for politics and sports and even environmental issues, we still pulled through. Humans are a lot stronger than we think and even if one of us is broken, the others will be standing by with the glue. Have a little faith and if you’re worried about 2017, remember to take it one day at a time.
May 2017 bring you love and light.
Happy New Year from my family to yours!