A Year in Review: 2016

A Year in Review 2016

There was a lot to be sad about and to mourn over in 2016. We lost many brilliant sparks and the political culmination of Brexit and the Presidential Election this year has left us wan with disappointment. So, instead of focusing on all the ways that 2016 was a collective disappointment, I want to take one last look back over the small victories and happenings in my personal life that made 2016 enjoyable!

Things Achieved/ Happened in 2016

  1. Got a job in London
  2. Got first job in Publishing
  3. Moved to London
  4. Started renting a flat
  5. Moved in with boyfriend
  6. Spent 3 weeks in Nigeria
  7. Left the continent for the first time
  8. Took part in a traditional Nigerian wedding
  9. Attended London Book Fair
  10. Started listening to books on Audible regularly
  11. Booked tickets to spend 2 weeks in Florida with boyfriend and friends
  12. Took part in World Book Night for the 3rd year
  13. Attended my first book blogging event with Books with Bite
  14. Longlisted for the UKYA Book Blogger Awards
  15. Took part in the #TommyVCancer Tour
  16. Attended my first London book launch – Rig by Jon Wallace
  17. Celebrated 4 years of blogging with my biggest giveaway ever
  18. Started bullet journaling
  19. Held a Chameleon
  20. Saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time on stage
  21. Attended the launch of The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich
  22. Attended YALC
  23. Attended the midnight launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  24. Interviewed by the BBC at said launch and was subsequently on the TV!
  25. Attended my first interview for an amazing job
  26. Organised 30 days of author guest posts in August
  27. Read my book of the year – Nina is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi
  28. Attended my second interview for an amazing job
  29. Accepted a job as Communications Executive at John Murray Press
  30. Rejoined the gym
  31. Hosted my first panel with the amazing Patrice Lawrence, Kathryn Evans, Sue Wallman, Olivia Levez and Eugene Lambert
  32. Attended my friend book launch (read Affliction by Kasim)
  33. Started my new job at Hachette UK
  34. Failed NaNoWriMo for the first time
  35. Decided to make health and wellbeing a priority for 2017
  36. Spent New Year’s Eve on Westminster bridge with my parents and boyfriend, bringing in the new year with London fireworks!


Things I can’t quite put a proper date to:

  • Forming amazing friendships with the following fabulous people: Stevie Finegan, Grace Latter, Chris Moore, Kasim and many more in the form of work colleagues!
  • The moment I properly realised that I was working in the industry I had set out to do before starting my degree
  • Starting to feel at home in London
  • Becoming one of those people who has shoes specifically for commuting
  • Tripled my blog views in contrast to 2015
  • Posted 83 times on Howling Reviews
  • Doubled my social following and invested time in my blog
  • Read 46 books (13,876 pages)


Top 10 books of 2016:

This year I tried to be a little more experimental with the genre of books I read, branching out further than YA fiction. Looking back, even though I’ve reached a wider spread of genres in 2016, it was still very UK and US centric. In 2017 I’d like to a wider spread of authors from across the globe.

  • What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
  • Nod by Adrian Barnes
  • In the Dark, In the Woods by Eliza Wass
  • Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
  • Nina is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi
  • The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich
  • The Countenance Divine by Michael Hughes
  • 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
  • Affliction by Kasim
  • Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

I’m truly excited for the possibilities 2017 has. I’m loving my London life!

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Review – Devil’s Bargain by Rachel Caine

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Having never read any novels by Rachel Caine, but aware that she has written Vampire fiction, I was intrigued to pick up her book Devil’s Bargain. It’s a book that combines the power of string theory and psychic ability to create a mysterious investigative duo.  Not to mention the steamy moments too!
Jazz Callendar, an ex-police officer, never expected to find herself on the end of an unbelievable offer that enables her to start her P.I. business to save the name of her partner, Ben. When James Borden, attorney for Gabriel, Pike and Laskins LLP., offers her the chance of a lifetime, her instincts kick in. The catch? Their cases get priority and she has a new partner. Lucia Garza, sexy, sulty spy, who is just dying to get out from under the government’s thumb.  But they both find themselves in over their heads when not everything is as it seems. People are either Actors, Leads or they are not. Who will you be?
This book was a constant mystery to me, which I liked. The thrill of not knowing what Jazz and Lucia would face next and if they would be able to save the people that they didn’t even know existed prior to a letter from Borden. Ahh, Borden. The tension between him and Jazz was practically breathable and I was not disappointed.
If you enjoy a good conundrum and have an interest in psychic ability and its fallacies then I would definitely suggest this book. I would like to commend Caine on a well-researched novel, her detailed knowledge of the forces and law were very believable and gave the novel a new found authenticity.
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Review: The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

the dark heroine abigail gibbs

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Having come home to see my parents for the weekend I was delighted to find that I had a package waiting for me. I couldn’t remember having ordered anything so I was happily surprised to find that I had been chosen to review “The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire” by Abigail Gibbs. I can now say that I have a highly regarded respect for the author of this book because she is living the dream. Only being 18 years of age, she is already a published author with a following of several million both on and offline and is also studying at Oxford University. She shows that age is just a number and true talent can spark at any point in life.

With regards to the publication in question, I started reading it at 7:30pm last night and finished it at 4:30am in the morning. I was truly entranced by the lexical whimsy and sarcasm of Violet Lee and her strong feminine character. It has been a while since I have read a vampire novel that has portrayed women as strong and independent. Despite her compromising situation, she stays headstrong and for those who have checked out “Canse12” on Wattpad (Abigail’s pseudonym) then you will know that both Gibbs and Violet are vegetarian. I thought it was interesting to see the author’s personality come through in such a strong component of life and this was really reflected in the character. I would be interested to meet Abigail Gibbs and discuss if any other characters have quirks that are also personal ones.

I was intrigued by the short and snappy chapters; constantly reminding myself that this book was written with a multitude of exams and other school work that a 15 year old has to deal with and being only a half a year older than the author I can empathise with her busy lifestyle. I thought the short chapters complimented the book’s narrative and the second perspective we gain when Kaspar’s point of view is introduced really locks the readers fascination with the unknown about the protagonists.

The plots all weave together neatly towards the climax of the book and leave us open to a multitude of sequels that I am dying to read. With regards to her treatment of Vampire Lore, I think she has created an interesting twist by having some of the traditional expectations but also extending them with a creative touch.

I think this book feels very much like an introduction of what could be a fantastic series and I’m almost bereft at the thought that “Autumn Rose”, book 2 of the series, will not be published til at least next year. I hope to get the chance to review that book too.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Abigail again on doing what I hope to in the future and being able to study all at the same time!

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