A Decade of Reading

“It was the end of a decade but the start of an age.”

Taylor Swift, Long Live


As the year 2019 came to an end, we did not only closed a year but we are closing a decade. And because of that, I’ve been seeing this trend of people looking back in their decade. So here I am looking back at my decade of reading.

I have been wondering how I will do this but I finally come into terms with just mentioning books that have become the highlight of my year or a book that changed my perspective during that said year.

I have to warn you that this will be a very very veeeerrrryyyy long post because this decade is not just a decade of picking up favorites or seeing how my reading taste changes, this decade is my journey of becoming a bookworm.

So without further ado, here is a decade of my reading…

 

 

= 2009 =

It’s funny how 2009 is the year that I started reading, though I can say that I am not into it as I was today. I did not grew up reading a book, no one in my family likes to read. My mom often tells her friends or our relatives that she doesn’t even know how I acquired the habit. But the answer is… school. We used to have a subject called Reading Comprehension back in our Sophomore year in High School. The subject is divided into two: library and laboratory. During our library time, they would asked as to pick a book in the library and read it; they also taught us how to look things up in a catalog or how to locate the books that we are looking. Ever since then, my friends would always go to the library during lunch time to borrow a book or read there; and because I don’t want to be left out, I would pretend to read or pick up a book. Until finally, I stumbled upon a book that I really like – The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley.

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This is the first book that I actually read for pure pleasure. This specific book in the photo, The Unusual Suspects, is the book that I picked up from out library. But our school does not have a very wide selection of books and it is not even updated. I think this is the second book in the series and I remember being so frustrated that I can’t read the rest of the series because I have no means of acquiring it, I didn’t even know that there is such a thing as an e-Book back then.

I stopped reading again after this book. I remember picking up another book in our library but it does not really piqued my interest and I think I did not finish it.

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I thought my reading adventure journey would die along with my hope of completing The Sisters Grimm series. But then I discovered this movie called THE CLIQUE. And being the bitchy ass student that I was back in High School, I feel like this book speaks to my soul. It’s not just the girls dressing up or being the alpha in their school, it’s their friendship. I was so obsessed with this movie that I ended up downloading the soundtrack and knowing all the names of the actress in the movie. And that’s when I learned that this is a movie adaptation of the book! Of course I wanted to read the books, I want to know what happened next. But of course, the same problem with The Sisters Grimm, I don’t know if I will be able to read this book because of our limited selection in the book store.

But lo and behold, I managed to find these books in the bookstore and it’s on sale. It only cost $3 each. However, these are the 3rd, 6th and 8th book in the series. But I read them all! Finding these books is the highlight of my year, because from this year onward, I was shaped to be the reader that I was today.

 

 

= 2010-2011 =

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My 2010 to 2011 is a treasure hunt. This is where I developed the habit of going to the bookstore every time I go to the mall. And it’s all because of The CliqueI never even imagined that I could have the whole series on my shelf but a big congratulations to my 2011 self for finding all these books!

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2011 is a bittersweet year for me. During this year, the final book in this series came out and I am bawling just by reading the dedication of the author. It’s been a long 15 books journey plus 1 Clique-tionary. I may not have Harry Potter or Percy Jackson growing up, but I have these girls and their friendship. I have matured with them and I am so thankful.

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A big thank you to Lisi Harrison, for shaping me to be the woman that I am today. I did not know that I could read 15 books in a series. I am a bookworm now but I think this is the first and last book series this long that I will ever commit myself into reading.

And so, with the end of this series, I bid goodbye to the characters in the year 2011. But I never thought that 2012 will be more surprising.

 

 

= 2012 =

This is the year where I transition from being a High School student to being a College student. After finishing The Clique Series I realized that I quite enjoy reading. I like the comfort of sitting in your bed with an open book on your lap.

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Reading became my escape, a perfect break from all the stress of coping up with my first year in college. I pick up books here and there to relax my mind but there is one trilogy that really makes me want to read more.

2767052An through my best friend, I discovered the wonder that is The Hunger Games. She told me to pick up the book because the movie just came out. I was a little hesitant to read it at first but I ended up downloading it on e-Book.

I read this in my phone and I absolutely love it! Everything about this book fascinates me. The world of fiction has taken a different turn in my perspective. I have only read contemporary book but this book feels like a game changer. There is no magic but it felt raw and compelling at the same time. I read the whole trilogy in a month. I even remember staying up late to finish Mockingjay during a family vacation.

The moment I finished the Mockingjay, I wanted to go to the bookstore so badly just to buy the whole trilogy. And so, I did buy the boxed set of the trilogy later on. And with that, my book collecting journey started. Because who wouldn’t want a physical copy of the books that they love?

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= 2013-2014 =

2013 to 2014 is a YA Dystopian year for me. After finishing The Hunger Games, I crave for more stories with the same feel to it. And that’s when I read Shatter Me Trilogy, The Selection Trilogy, Matched Trilogy and of course, Divergent Trilogy.

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Trilogy really is a thing back then. I could even do a YA Dystopian starter guide with all the books that I have read. But after the Matched Trilogy I feel like I am so burnt out with all the dystopian books that I have read. And so came the shift in my reading taste.

2014 is the year that I discovered Rainbow Rowell. Her books feels like a breath of fresh air. I started leaning back to contemporary again and I also stumble upon Jennifer E. Smith.

 

And up until this day, they are the only two contemporary authors that I would surely pick up whenever I need a breath of fresh air from all the fantasy books that I have been reading.

 

= 2015 =

This is my favorite reading year. After my dystopian phase, I finally dived into fantasy. I have read a couple of fantasy books before but I am not really into it. I believed I read the first 2 or 3 books of The Mortal Instrument in 2014 but it does not capture my interest. But who would have thought that I would fell in love with Urban Fantasy?

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This is one of my all time favorite trilogy of all time! Everything about this trilogy is perfection to me. The plot twists, the action, the adventure, the romance & the characters; I am here for it all. I found these books as intimidating because it is quite hefty. But the world is so rich that I can’t put it down. (This is also the inspiration of my book blog name.😊I wanted to reread these books again and I was hoping this will be the year for me.

Another book series that I have read this year that also made it to my all time favorite series is The Vampire Academy.

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Truly do not judge a book by its cover. Because if there is a book series that needs to have a cover change this is it folks! The covers do not do justice with how good the story of the whole series is. How kick ass the main character is and how good the plot is, it does not even reflect 1% of it in the cover. But I am so glad that I picked this series up because I was introduced to one of the most beautiful friendship ever. It’s a new decade of reading, I hope I will finally have to courage to pick up Bloodlines soon enough.

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= 2016 =

I believe 2016 is a year of exploring for me. I have read books from different genres during this time. I have picked up some favorites and some not so good books. And considering that I am graduating from college this year, I feel proud that I managed to read a lot of books this year even though I have a busy schedule. But one of my proudest moment in this year is reading and finishing 2 books from A Song of Ice and Fire series!

 

I never thought that I would finish A Game of Thrones but I never even imagined that I could finish A Clash of Kings as well this year! And if you are wondering why the hell I am so proud of finishing this book when most people could finish this in a month, well the thing is I don’t read big books. The longest book that I probably read before is 600 pages long. And to think that I have the time to finish these books while doing my college thesis is a mystery to me.

This is also the year where I discovered NetGalley and along with this is discovering a new author that I fell in love with, Sarah Morgan.

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I remember requesting Sunset in Central Park in NetGalley and from that day onward I fell in love with the author’s writing. This is the only adult contemporary author that I can tolerate up until this day. The story is not just about the romance but there are also values and moral lessons that you would pick up just by reading the books.

Sarah Morgan is my go to author whenever I am feeling a slump coming my way. And with the amount of books that she has published through the years, I will never run out of books by her whenever I feel like it.

 

 

 

= 2017 =

After reading 61 books in 2016, I only managed to read 27 books for this year. I believe that this is not a good reading year for me. After graduating from college and stepping out of the real world, I feel like I am still finding a way to balance my life during this year.

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I don’t know if I should consider finishing A Storm of Swords as a highlight of my year because it gives me the biggest reading slump of my life. After reading this book, I feel so burnt out because of all the information that I need to take in.

And so, after finishing this book, I never got around to continuing the series which sucks. Because now I don’t remember half of the things that I have read and if I want to continue, I need to reread the first three books again. But I really want to finish this series (well finish reading the current book that’s out in the series that is…).

 

 

= 2018 =

After that dreadful year of 2017 when it comes to reading, I decided to go back to my first love for this year. And so I go back to reading dystopian books. I know that even though I feel like I have already read all the YA dystopian books out there I still miss out on reading a few popular dystopian books during that time.

I have picked up these trilogies (though Legend is no longer a trilogy because there is a fourth book now) and they feel like home. Going back to my first love, the dystopian genre, feels like coming home after a long tiring day. And even though I am not a big fan of the Legend Trilogy (that is not a trilogy now but a trilogy still back then) I still enjoy the political aspect of the book, I am just one of the minority who does not enjoy the ending. But oh my gosh! The Darkest Minds Trilogy is definitely my jam! I have asked myself all those times that I am reading the whole trilogy as to why I only pick this book up. I am quite thankful that I have Rebel and The Darkest Legacy on my shelf because I have a reason to dive back into these worlds and reread it, even though I have a lot of unread books on my shelf, before I read the said books.

 

 

= 2019 =

The year of series  that’s what I would call this year. I have binge read a lot of series this year! And this is the year that I feel like I am finally getting the hang of reading again after a long time of struggling to cope up with the balance of working and reading.

Here are all the series that I finally managed to finish this year:

  • The Thousandth Floor Trilogy by Katharine McGee
  • Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis
  • Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

You read that right! I finally managed to finish the whole Harry Potter Series!

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It’s been a long time since I wanted to read the whole series. And now I know what the fuss is all about. But even though I already expected to love Harry Potter, I never expected to enjoy and love Narnia. Because to be honest, I always avoid watching the movies before on Disney Channel. But what do you know, I fell in love with it and even though the ending breaks my heart.

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This is probably one of the best reading year for me. I have read a lot of good books that I have truly loved and which made an impact to me that I still think of up until this day.

Books are really magical, the thinnest page holds the most magical world. It would give you an adventure even though you are just sitting in the comforts of your bed. It would make you laugh, cry and even fall in love. You would meet non-existent characters and yet they feel like they are your family.

Looking back in this decade and my journey as a reader, I feel so grateful that I decided to pick up a book and I am so thankful to the authors that created the worlds and characters that I will forever love and treasure. And even though my 2009 self does not have the slightest idea that a book community exists, my 2020 self is thankful that I am now part of this growing community.

Here is to more adventures to us and a lot more books to receive in our doorstep!

I know this is quite a late wrap-up of my decade but still, I want to wish all of you a happy new reading year.

 

Till next time!

Maria❤

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