Farewell, 2019! // My favorite things from last year, and goals for the future!

Let’s take a look at my first official year with the book community! 😊

I started this blog at the end of September 2018, and at the end of that year, I hadn’t done nearly enough to make a 2018 wrap up. And now that I’ve had a full year on this platform, I thought it would be fun to make a wrap up of my favorite things from 2019!

Favorite Books 

Yes, it is true that I read 50 books in 2019, but because almost half of them were for school, I still don’t really feel very accomplished. Compared to how I used to read before I joined this online community, I read so much more in 2019 I used to! I would generally read about 4-7 YA books a year, and during 2019, I read… 34! That’s so many for me! Even so, not all of those YA books were “my favorite”, so I’m narrowing down the ones I rated the highest and putting them here on this list, in no particular order. 

(Most of these books didn’t even release in 2019, but what can I say? I will forever be known as a backlist reader.)

Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
my review | goodreads | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


I don’t remember much of Gemina, since I think I read it almost a year ago, but I do know that I cried a lot and really enjoyed it. At this point, I still have not finished the series, but only because I’m not fond of the way that each book forces you to get to know new characters at the beginning of the plot. 

The Wicked King, by Holly Black
my review | goodreads | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Wicked King! I really liked this book so much more than The Cruel Prince, since TCP kind of put me to sleep and TWK was written at a better pace and included more characterization.  

Strange The Dreamer, by Laini Taylor
my review | goodreads | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ .25


I whole-heartedly loved Strange The Dreamer! I enjoyed it so much that I might read it again soon! I only didn’t give it 5 stars because it was a bit slow at times, but I’m sure I would love it more the second time around. 

The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black
my review | goodreads | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


I finished this book almost two months ago, and I still can’t figure out why I loved it as much as I did. Even through its flaws, I still laughed and cried and very much enjoyed my experience reading The Queen of Nothing. 

Skyward, by Brandon Sanderson
my review | goodreads | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It took me a while to finish Skyward because I got distracted by school in the middle of it, but I really enjoyed the beginning and ending. Hopefully I will finish the sequel, Starsight, very soon! 

Challenger Deep, by Neal Shusterman
my review | goodreads | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Okay, this was a reread, so it really shouldn’t count… but I just had to include it, because it was the only book that pretty much earned 5 stars in 2019. 

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My blog grew a lot this year! 💫 My blogging skills have really gotten better over the past year, and I feel like I’m getting closer to being wholly comfortable with my blog and my creative ideas. 🙂

I won Best New Book Blogger! 💖 Earlier this year, The Third Annual 2019 Book Blogger Awards were hosted by May, and I won “Best New Book Blogger” with the wonderful Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea! 😊 I still can’t believe this happened, but I’m very grateful!


I read 50 books! 📚 As someone who normally used to read like 14 books a year before joining the Book Community, this is a huge deal for me!

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I visited New York City and Disney World with my family! 💕 I’ve been to both places before, but every trip is better than the last! I got to see some Broadway shows and eat some amazing food in NYC over the summer, and we celebrated the New Year in Disney World! (We also rode the “Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure” ride in Universal Studios, and we waited in line for almost 5 hours, but it was so worth it!)


I continued my Fantasy WIP! ✨ Although I am nowhere near the finish line, and I had originally wanted to finish writing this book in December 2019, I definitely grew as a writer and expanded my abilities to create plots and characters!

✨ relatedMonthly Writing Update #5 // set-backs and aesthetic boards

I reached 1,000 followers on WordPress! 😭 When I first started blogging, I never thought this would happen, and I’m still in shock! I can’t believe I reached this goal, but I would be here without all of you!! 💕 (And thanks for putting up with my very late replys!)</small!>

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My Top Posts

In wrap-ups, I usually talk about my favorite posts that I made, but instead I’m just going to give you the facts and list the posts which received the most likes and the most views from 2019! 🙂 After looking at the stats, I just realized that all of my top-performing posts were the ones I spent 5+ hours on, and that makes me so happy and proud 😭 I’m so glad that you all appreciate the posts I put the most effort into! Thank you!

I excluded one or two because they were tags, but here they are in order of most views:

4 Things About Blogging That Seem Scary, But Really Aren’t That Bad 

How To Survive School AND Blogging // tips and tricks from a college book nerd 

8 Things I Should Have Known When I Started Blogging 

What I Should Have Known As A New Blogger // Part II 

Major Things You Forgot (or didn’t know!) From Harry Potter 

Discussions & Rambles // What makes a novel “Young Adult”? 

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Goals for 2020

Blog Goals:

I would like to post on my own time, under my own rules. I don’t want to be stressed out in 2020 just because of my blogging schedule, and I just need to learn to take things at a comfortable pace. In 2020, I want to reach 1,500 followers on WordPress, but if that doesn’t happen, at least I’ll know that I tried my best and wrote as many original posts as I wanted. 🙂

✨ relatedMy Love/Hate Relationship With Blogging // a tiny discussion about what’s been goin on with me 😌

Reading Goals:

Again, I would like to read 50 books! I’m sure I will be able to reach this again… but who knows, maybe I’ll lower the number a few months from now.

In 2019, I read mostly backlist books, and this is what I plan to do again in 2020. I want to read what I want, when I want, and I don’t want to stress myself out over trying to read new releases anymore! (I just won’t happen!)

Writing Goals:

As I said earlier, I would still like to finish my Fantasy WIP in 2020. Hopefully I can try to complete it by June, since I have some more ideas for other WIPs I would like to start soon!

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What were your favorite things from 2019? What are your goals for this year, and what are you excited for?

Chat with me about it!

You can also be my friend on Goodreads! 📚

Happy reading, everyone! 🙂

Starry Sky Books-13

38 thoughts on “Farewell, 2019! // My favorite things from last year, and goals for the future!

  1. I completely agree with your reading goals for 2019! In 2019, I started to rediscover my love of reading because I stopped restricting my reading and just read whatever I want to in my own terms, and that’s how I plan on continuing in 2020. Good luck with your goals!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh happy belated new year!! 50 books is awesome and 13k pages is A LOT!!!! I really LOVED The Wicked King – it was just so clever! Good luck with your goals anyway!! I’m looking forward to what 2020 brings all of us! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you’ll have a wonderful year, Xandra!! I like that your reading plan is just to read the book you want and are excited about. That’s what I’m also planning to do! I really want to try Adult Fantasy, more classics, and more Mystery/Thrillers. And my Goodreads Reading Challenge is also 50.😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Daria!! I hope you have a great year, too! I really want to focus on the books I’m excited about, rather than the books everyone wants me to read, because I think that will make me more happy! Good luck with your similar goal! I also want to try adult fantasy, and adult books in general – I feel kind of childish for not wanting to branch out, sometimes 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on everything you accomplished this year, Xandra! And it was an honor to co-win the award with you 😭❤ 100% deserved! And I have a copy of Skyward (the book is so beautiful!), and I really wanna read it soon!

    Good luck on all your goals for 2020 as well! Those are such admirable goals to have, and I hope that you’re kinder to yourself about reading, blogging, and life in general in 2020, because you deserve it ❤ I also can't wait to learn more about our WIP (I love your writing series so much!), and I hope that you make a lot of progress with it this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Caitlin!! I’m so glad we won it together! Your blog grew much faster than mine, and you definitely deserve it! ❤ Let me know what you think of Skyward when you’re reading it!

      And yeah, I hope I’m kinder to myself, too 😂 I’m learning that we all need to put less pressure on ourselves for blogging, because if we’re blogging for fun, it should be more fun than stressful. ❤ I hope you have a wonderful 2020, and that you’re having a good year so far – and I also hope you get to read more 5 star books this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. xandra, i’m still in shock that despite being busy with school, you still managed to read and blog so much. and achieve 1,000 followers in such a short spam of time! and the book blogger award! 2019 was for sure a good year for you, which is amazing!
    i am wishing you all the luck on 2020, especially in reaching 1,500 followers. i totally think it’s possible, as your content is so special. hopefully, you’ll find more time to read books you truly want in 2020 and not only books for school, and find more favorites.
    hope you have a fantastic new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much, Lais! 2019 was definitely a fun year for me! And thank you for saying that about my content – I tried to pick a goal that was not too hard to reach this year, but I also do not want to stress over reaching a goal, since I know I will probably post less this year 🙂 Good luck with reading, blogging, and everything in 2020! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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