Very important questions I have about American high schools in YA fiction as a non-American // I demand answers

Most YA contemporary fiction is set in unrealistic U.S. high schools that supposedly have horrible food and mean kids everywhere.

Like, 98% of schools are in the US, to be honest, and a lot of them are carbon copies of each other, except named after a different president or something.

Which kind of sucks because THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER COUNTRIES OKAY. (Like Canada… *cough* Or think about European countries! Or Asian countries! Australia!)

And because we’re reading about teens and all, there’s the whole issue of high school and that little thing called systemically engineered torture education!!

I know living in Canada means our high schools are not that different from US high schools, or not so different compared to other countries, but there are still several aspects that I’m not familiar with which reoccur in YA books enough to just make me wonder… does this actually happen in real life?? Maybe it’s just because I don’t live in the States?

And I know a lot of you are from the States, and a lot of you aren’t! So I thought it would be interesting to talk about perspectives on what high schools are like in fiction vs. reality!!

1. Is Phys Ed mandatory for all years of high school?

I’M SO CONFUSED ABOUT THIS. Because I keep seeing these main characters getting all worried or annoyed or frustrated about gym class and I… just don’t relate??? Not past grade 9, anyway.

I know several of my friends who did take physical education in Grade 10/11/12, but you only need ONE (1) health/phys ed credit to graduate, and I think it’s mandatory to take it in Grade 9?

Aside from that, you don’t ever have to suffer through the dreaded class again unless you choose to!!

(For the Ontario diploma, anyway.)

So why, are all these characters choosing to suffer through phys ed if they hate it so much?? Hmm??? (Okay yes, plot, but REALISM. HELLO. Where is it.) Is it mandatory in the US?

I’m just honestly so tired of seeing 17/18 year olds who, complain or face drama because of gym class when realistically, based off my experience, THEY DON’T NEED TO TAKE IT. I know it’s important to plot and such but it’s irritating! Of course, if it IS mandatory, then… whelp, I send you my condolences.

Unless you enjoy phys ed, in which case yayy for you!! But not for the fictional characters lmao.

ALSO. Is gym class usually co-ed?? Because mine wasn’t? (Usually.) Girls and guys had separate teachers, did activities and sports separately. I suppose that would strip a novel of its usual gym class drama, but just being real here.

2. Are there mean girls at every high school?

(Okay, another joke question because no, obviously.) But how common are they, hm??? Not as common as they are in books, I bet. I swear, books paint American high schools as some kind of hang out spot for girls who hate on other girls–like can you please not???

Sure, I didn’t love everyone at my school, but no one was outright mean to someone else? I’m not saying they don’t exist, but I feel like they’re overdramatized A TON in fiction. If you didn’t like someone, you just stayed away from them, plain and simple. Not blackmail them for a guy and/or try to undermine them and make sure their life is miserable… just no. Chill.

3. Do you ever have courses aside from English/Math/Science/History??

Okay, slightly sarcastic question because obviously yes. BUT I MEAN. Going by YA novels… no, you don’t.

What a sad life. (I mean, that’s school already but.)

Also why are the English teachers always the most chill ones? They’re not always? I’ve previously had and my friends have had some pretty crappy English teachers before, who are NOT super philosophical and easy going. Nope.

I am kind of curious about what courses are like in US high schools though, like obviously not that different, but what’s the day rotation like? How many do you take? Are you guys also semestered?

Why are courses just never talked about at all??

DO YOU KNOW HOW STRESSFUL CHOOSING THEM CAN BE. And you know, they can be kiiiiind of important. For college and university. Just a thought.

Maybe that’s just me and my indecisive self oops

4. How many people usually take AP classes anyway?

I think it’s slightly unrealistic great that YA contains so many smart characters who apparently don’t need to study to pass their classes, and I’m not trying to discredit anyone who takes/has taken AP (Advanced Placement) classes, but WHY is it everywhere. Just a thought. You don’t need to take AP to be smart, you know.

I low-key feel like authors just shove it in everywhere without a thought to kind of show, yeah, this character is super smart and serious about school… but then they don’t show that through anything else which makes it kind of futile?

AP is not big at all where I live, but I don’t know, there are so many books I’ve read where the main character is taking like all AP classes or whatnot. That’s great, but it makes it seem a lot more common than it might be? Perhaps? I don’t know, I’m just guessing from my own experience.

And speaking of advances classes and the like, is the IB program (International Baccalaureate) not popular at all in the States? Like, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen it in a book… but it exists in the States I’m sure, so…….

OR MAYBE… just a typical, standard high school diploma works too. You know.

5. Do people really have different hours for lunch time?

Okay, a serious question! Because I noticed sometimes characters would mention who they don’t have the same lunch period as their friend, or something similar, which kind of confused me because what is the point of that? Everyone had the same lunch time at my school??

How does that even work, and why? Does the school become too crowded? Not everyone eats in the cafeteria anyway, can’t you eat in hallways and such? I mean, I did. The cafeteria was wayyy too loud and hot and annoying lol. But we all had the same lunch period?

This sad eating alone thing also, did not generally happen, but idk, maybe I was just oblivious.

6. Is cafeteria food really that bad?

I suppose this depends from school to school no matter the country, but in 97% of the books I’ve read, the cafeteria food is supposedly disgusting, or just not appetizing and…???

OUR CAF FOOD WAS DELICIOUS, OKAY. I probably gained 10 pounds from purchasing a delicious chocolate chip cookie or muffin in the morning my first years of high school, but let’s be real, I have no regrets.

I mean, those were some GOOD COOKIES. Omg. Best $1.25 I’ve ever spent. They were super big, too!! Like a good 5-6 inches in diameter.

the return of this beautiful cookie gif omg I’ve been waiting for an excuse to use this

And we had tons of great options for lunch too! I didn’t buy my lunch that often because a) ouf that would become expensive,  b) I’m so not waiting in line for that long I’m a very impatient soul and c) *whispers* my mom packed me a lunch for a large portion of my high school years and her cooking is amazing okay.

But still, we had good food! There were large pizza slices, different pastas, sandwiches, and… POUTINE. Granted it wasn’t a very large quantity (unfortunately) BUT IT WAS SO GOOD.

Would almost go back to high school for all the food, tbh. The cookies, at the very least.

(ALSO. How daunting and scary are cafeterias, really? Books [and movies, actually] make them seem like such a feat, but… they’re really just places where noisy and slightly sweaty teens eat lunch and socialize. I totally understand how for some people that IS a feat [esp. if you have anxiety] but as a generalization, they’re not that bad; and you don’t have to eat there if you don’t want to.)

7. How do groups of friends just happen to have so many classes together?

Grade 9, sure, yeah, I had a decent amount of friends in pretty much all my classes because we had so little options in terms of courses that obviously we’d be grouped together somewhat. And we’re still meeting new people and making new friends anyway!

Grade 10, a bit less so but still not bad. Grade 11 and 12 are so much more random though? You have a lot less requirements all of a sudden and people are taking different electives and the like, which means you’re not often likely to have your group of friends all in the same class(es)?

Unfortunately most of us don’t/didn’t attend Hogwarts….

I don’t know, it depends from person to person/school to school I guess? Depending on how many classes there are for a particular subject, how many students there are, etc.

But I see in books especially large groups of bullies, for example, all in the same Math/English/typical class with the main character and aside from the fact that the bullies seem to constantly pick on the MC (which doesn’t happen? usually?) how are they all together???

I went to a pretty large school, so maybe that’s what’s influencing me but it just makes me laugh to see that happen. Because those chances are just… so slim, where I went lmao. Not to mention bullies picking on someone at all during class was just unlikely lol. Canadian genes? (Jokes, jokes… mostly. Or maybe I just hung out with good people?)

8. How long is your lunch?? 

Why does no one complain about how short lunch is?? These characters seem to fit everything in at lunch and never seem to have an issue with how fast it goes by, despite doing 10 000 things at a time.

For me it was like 45 minutes? And it went by SO FAST. Omg. It was the worst. Walking from your class to your locker/meeting up with friends; 10 minutes! Eat lunch and (GASP) occasionally socialize; 25 minutes! Even worse if you stand in line to buy lunch, have a club meeting or need to finish homework.

SIGH.

Yet here all these characters are just hiding out in the library–speaking of which!! The school library doesn’t always allow food??? What do you do then? — and/or socializing, or going outside nearby to get lunch somewhere else, without a care in the world that, oh, look, lunch is almost over crap, we gotta hurry!!

I see you, authors trying to fit in all the drama at lunch time, but it ain’t working because these students should be getting to class. 😂

9. How comfortable are your seats?

This of course depends from school to school or even class to class, but OH MY LORD SOME OF OUR SEATS WERE AWFUL. The seats were attached to the desk looking something like this:

Which meant to sit you had to make sure to be on the side without the metal bar thing attaching the desk and the chair otherwise you have to do this awkward thing where you lift your leg over the bar (which is made worse if there are people behind you, or a desk right beside you because trust me, it’s not a very flattering position).

And!! The back part of the seat usually had screws, which meant my hair would ALWAYS catch on them and djadiaehfuihfwiuhiuwef I swear it was torture. TORTURE. I lost so much hair from those chairs, I swear. (And I didn’t usually tie my hair up either because who has the time to do that also I didn’t really like to do so)

Of course there are some normal chairs out there which don’t aim to kill me, but then those desks are usually made for multiple people and then you face awkwardness if you’re assigned to a seat with people you don’t know very well or some other awkward situation….

WHY IS THIS NEVER AN ISSUE. I demand characters to suffer as I do.

10. Report cards… exams… studying… death… is that not required to succeed high school??

Sure, some people might just not study or care about exams, but then I don’t think those people also ace their exams without studying? Like, as a general rule? (If you do, that’s great! I admire your skills!)

But there are so many characters I’ve read about who just never seem to care about handing in assignments, or their marks each term and report cards, their average, or their courses, ESPECIALLY during Grade 11/12, yet are on a straight path to some Ivy League school or are in AP classes…………………

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

High school was kind of stressful okay. I have parents wanting me to have at least a 90+ average and a procrastinator-perfectionist mindset (which is an AWFUL pairing) which meant I worked really hard for my marks because they don’t always come easy!! It’s hard not to spite these fictional characters getting accepted to all their choices seemingly without have done much? How easy is high school for you Americans, hm? I demand your secrets or the lies to be revealed.

Calling all Americans to answer these high school questions!! What is/was your experience in high school? Does it match up to what you read about in books, somewhat? And if you didn’t attend/don’t attend high school in the States, what’s your experience like? Which country’s high school system would you like to read more about in books? Did anyone else have death traps painful seating arrangements or other particular high school experiences?

And I’m sincerely asking about phys ed in the US, because IT IS EVERYWHERE and my brain cannot compute (or search it up on the Internet because this way is obviously more fun).

At this point, I’d just like any schools apart from ones in the US haha no offense!! I find it’s such a shame so many books are set in the US, for so many reasons, but also particularly because of high school. It just gets so repetitive! At least make different types of high schools. Idk. Something. Because right now, there are many similar holes I see and I’m calling out these “schools”. 😂

I just realized 3 of these have to do with lunch time and I’ll just leave it up to you to determine what that says about me…

All about the fam: Types of families in YA // ft. lists and books

My family, is kind of infuriating.

(Sorry sis, you too.)

I love them, but they’re also the ones who get me the most angry/mad/sad/frustrated and sometimes it makes it really difficult to see the love part of the relationship!

But recently, my father got an injury after falling unconscious for a few minutes (thankfully he’s doing a lot better now) and it just made me remember how nuanced and complex familial relationships are?

I could claim my parents as super overprotective and that I don’t like them, but deep down a) only I can call them that and if it’s anyone else does, beware and b) I do love and appreciate my parents a lot and I would never want to lose them.

Which is why I love seeing family dynamics explored in books, because even if I can’t relate to it myself, there is probably someone who does, and there’s just so much you can do with it?

So that’s why, I’m talking all about different types of families + books that feature them especially in honour of Family Day here in Canada!!

If you’re still “meh” about family, well, let me just toss my casual mini-list at you and bribe you with chocolate.

    • You can get jealous be happy over how amazing the family is
    • You add to your character’s development (since family or the lack thereof can shape a lot of our character?)
    • You add tension! Do the siblings seriously hate each other because one betrayed the other? Do the siblings have differing values that one has to sacrifice for? Do you have a rebellious teen with conservative parents? USE THE TENSION.
    • Good families are as great as having 100 chocolate bars –> THIS IS A FACT.
    • Having bad families but ones that are nuanced and not just bad is good too!! (Because (sadly) not everyone has good families!)
    • Um, it’s more realistic?? Most people generally don’t just have… NO family at all? So you know, having some sort of family member might be a good start if you’re aiming for relatability*?
    • Cause I said so
    • Bye

*WHY ISN’T RELATABILITY A WORD. It should totally be a word. Also my font size isn’t changing and I’m disgruntled @ WP.

1. The loving Weasleys

Yes, the Weasley’s have now become a type. And I mostly define it as the supportive (and loud) family! It doesn’t necessarily have to be as large as the Weasleys (it could be) but generally they’re just super loving and caring and the sweetest!

  • Features a Molly Weasley, aka the caring and protective elder who will allow no harm to their children
  • Can be an actual mom or just the person taking care of the whole family (JULIAN 😭)
  • They’re amazing
  • Also features the Weasley children: more than 2 kids I’ll say?
Well, sweet when you’re not on Molly Weasley’s bad side.

Obviously Harry Potter, but apart from that, some other books are:

         

Click on the covers to be taken to Goodreads!

HI I LOVE JULIAN

AND STARR

AND SIMON

AND I FORGET THE LAST BOOK BUT IT HAD A GOOD FAMILY

Also shoutout to May on showing how to centre multiple images!!

2. The single parent dad syndrome

Soooo many YA novels have single parents!! Which, to an extent is totally fine, because we’ve gotten some AMAZING single parents in YA lit that I adoreeeee. (Namely, Lara Jean’s dad) Some characteristics of this family:

  • Dad usually ends up being super awesome dad or a not-so-great-dad
  • Parent may or may not improve over time in the eye of the teen as a mutual understanding develops
  • Features either a MIA or dead mother or possibly divorced parents
  • Can also be a single mother but I was too lazy to find books that apply

         

3. The good vs bad/evil sibling contrast

I just finished a book and am currently reading a book that both features this sort of relationship, so this one really stuck out to me! When done well, this is actually quite interesting. (Though I recommend not reading two books back to back with this trope hahahahaha)

Some of its characteristics:

  • Usually seems to be Good Brother vs Bad Brother but isn’t always (can also be Good Sister vs Bad Sister or Good Brother vs Bad Sister or vice versa; many options!)
  • The main character falls for the Good Brother/Sister or has to choose between both
  • (Not much of a hard decision, but hey, maybe evil people just aren’t my type)
  • “Bad” can be the “I am a roguish troublemaker who wants to seduce you” type or the “I’m plotting to murder you in your sleep” type
  • Or both?

         

Most of those books feature the evil type of brother but there’s also Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare or Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck for the bad-boy/good-boy sibling love triangle aspect!

4. Abusive parents 😦

Where’s my heart, you ask? Oh, just smashed into pieces on the floor there, no biggie.

But seriously, abusive parents or parents with (untreated) mental illness who mistreat their children breaks my heart SO MUCH, especially knowing how it could very well be the reality for many people in real life. I CRY.

Listen, if anyone reading this is an abuse survivor: YOU ROCK and you’re amazing and I love you. And I wish I could send you all the love and support you deserve. ❤❤❤

         

Bad Romance: Tw for abusive romantic relationship (emotional), verbal abuse –> there may be more that I missed so please be careful! This is not an easy read. Stay safe. ❤

A List of Cages: TW for very graphic physical/sexual/child abuse (I legit want to sob)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: Not as graphic or present as the other two books, but Monty has an abusive father

The Young Elites: Not as present as the first two books either, but Adelina’s father was horribly cruel to her.

I’ve also heard Starfish deals with an abusive household, but I haven’t read it yet and don’t know too much about it?

5. All about siblings

Ah, siblings. What an annoying intricate relationship they have.

I have a younger sister, okay. She’s tiny and fierce and very very annoying!! But I love her.

Seriously, sibling relationships have my absolute HEART okay. They can be so precious and equally vicious and that is amazing. Who else can hurt/love you as much as a sibling? A book NO ONE.

  • Both biologically related siblings or otherwise (step-siblings, foster siblings, etc)
  • Low-key my favourite out of the different familial relationships here
  • SO MANY OPTIONS
  • Also see the good and evil sibling
  • It pulls at your heart so much seeing siblings either sacrifice for one another or stand up for each other???
  • Also younger siblings wrecking havoc
  • So precious in books
  • (But annoying irl)

         

Fact #1: Lara Jean, Margot and Kitty are the best sisters ever ❤

Fact #2: Kell and Rhy aren’t related by blood but they’re the most amazing brothers ever

Opinion #1: I didn’t particularly like L&L as much as I’d hoped but YES to diversity and sister-brother relationships

Opinion #2: Vanishing Girls was so good???? Hi, sibling rivalry but also SISTERS. I have a younger sister and I love reading books about sisters okay

6. The “means-well-but…” parent(s)

I think I identify the most with this one haha.

These are the parents who you know have their heart in the right place, but there’s always that “but” where their intentions don’t always work great with their actions. Unfortunately.

More mini-lists!

  • Featuring a teen who disagrees with the parents’ values/opinions (gasp! teens forming their own opinions!)
  • Sadly this is a reality for me
  • Also occasionally ft. parents you feel bad for because the teen is so mean to them but you know the parents are only trying to help
  • Also ft. parents you dislike because they’re being super unreasonable (ughhghghgh)
  • They’re not horrible parents but they’re not always completely good ones either?

         

GUYS AMERICAN PANDA AND REIGN OF THE FALLEN ARE SO GOOD FKSJFKLJSFSD *shoves books into your face*

Hahaha I was planning to get to 10 buuuuut I’m hungry and I want to go eat lunch sooooo I’m going to end it there!! :))) That’s a good 24 books for you guys to read, right?? GO READ THEM. *chases you down with a chocolate bar*

What other types of familial relationships have you come across in books? Have you read any of the books I listed? What are your thoughts? What’s your favourite type of family explored in books? Any other book recommendations?

LET US DISCUSS!

(Also happy Family Day to those celebrating!)

Types of characters I LOVE and HATE!

Hi guys!! Hope you’re doing well and happy fourth of July to those celebrating! 🙂 I hope you’re having an amazing time + eating lots of cake and chocolate!

Anyway, to state the obvious: I am a total bookworm! And as a reader I have come across various different types of books and characters and have kind of shaped my preferences through all the books I’ve read. Especially through book blogging, since I’ve discovered so many different books because of it. I have no doubt everyone holds some preference towards certain types of characters than others as well?? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO. So let’s see which ones we may have in common, shall we?

*Pst: I also have news about my giveaway!! It ended yesterday and I chose the winner, who will be announced at the end of the post!! ❤

Read More »

Bookish characters who are absolute QUEENS and make me look like a dull potato.

HI GUYS!! Ahhhhh I know, it’s been forever since I’ve last posted, and I am SO SORRY for that but I haven’t been feeling well lately, so I just really didn’t get around to writing blog posts or blog hopping for the past couple of weeks. I hope you guys have all been well and I promise I will be around to blog hop sometime soon!! I’VE MISSED TALKING TO YOU.

But I digress. I would love to shower you with all my love right now but you might get bothered sooooo I won’t do that. Yesterday was Victoria Day here in Canada in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday, and so I got inspired to do a little themed post of BOOKISH QUEENS!! (Because queens are the best.) They’re not all in the literal sense, but these are characters I just love so much that I think are, in their own right, queens. Let’s do this!

Woah, an intro less than 500 words!! Go me.

1. Nina & Inej from Six of Crows duology

OH HI it’s just one of my favourite duos of ever???? The whole Six of Crows squad is my faveeee but these two are the only ones who really qualify for this post right now haha. Inej and Nina are both so badass and they are just such fabulous queens, slaying no matter what they do! (Just the first two bookish queens and already my talents are disappearing *sigh*) Also, they both like food (Nina in particular–you see why I love her??) and that’s automatically evidence of a smart queen in my book.

2. Yael from Wolf by Wolf

Omg. Can someone give this girl a medal?? And a crown? And all the hugs????? Poor precious Yael, her strength astounds me. Here she is riding a motorcycle race and with a goal to kill Hitler (admittedly, I wouldn’t want to be in her place BUT not the point) and then there’s me whose race is to finish exams in time and whose goal is to read more books and get more sleep?? (Failing both, fyi.) GO YAEL, true queen here.

3. Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles

Girl, we have a CYBORG here who’s saving the world like a true queen. I love Cinder so much, such a sweetie and poor soul. She accomplishes so much?? Like HOW.

4. Elli from The Impostor Queen*

You’re welcome for that uncomfortably large close up of her face!! Like people needed more reasons to dislike faces on book covers hahahaha. Even I’m kind of disturbed by this close up jeez she should smile more, smiles are good okay I’ll stop now. 

But okay, this series is hardly talked about as much but Elli is actually such a great character! She’s one of the *actual* queens as well, but there’s a whole lot going on there that makes it more complicated BUT nonetheless, she is also a true queen in other ways that I am unable to disclose so take my word for it. (I’m trustworthy I promise!!)

*I just had the greatest revelation ever realizing impostor isn’t spelled with an e???!? I am actually mindblown, you have no idea. Why isn’t with an e though??? It’s pronounced more with the e rather than an o??

5. Lila from Shades of Magic

MY FAVOURITE PIRATE!! (Psh, nah she’s not the only pirate I know…) I didn’t like her very much wayyyy back at the beginning, but all that’s pretty much history because Lila is just too fabulous, honestly. I don’t know how she keeps slaying like this. (Kell and Lila are also the best thing of ever btw) Her sass, her wit, her fighting skills and A+ pirating talents make her one of the best ever and it will take a VERY amazing pirate-queen (she’s not actually but this is a thing now??) to out-queen Lila, let me tell you. *Me: rethinks all of life’s decisions*

6. Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse

Just fyi, Kestrel is one of the most badass characters out there. JUST SAYING. Despite not having any superior fighting skill–in fact she’s kind of horrible at combat (I relate)–Kestrel proves her strength with her intelligence and strategy against her enemies. Definitely one of the main reasons I love the Winner’s Curse series so much. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be on her bad side?

8. Shahrzad from The Wrath and the Dawn

Can I first squeal over the fact that Renee Ahdieh’s Flame in the Mist is also now released and I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT?? Ahem. Okay. Anyway! Shahrzad from TWATD is actually SUCH an amazing character, I love her so much and she’s just such a fab queen as well. SO MUCH LOVE. I honestly don’t know what else to say haha. Slay, girl!

9. Zahra from The Forbidden Wish

GUYS. If you haven’t read this book yet: YOU MUST. Apart from the fact that this is an Aladdin retelling that is quite frankly almost BETTER than the Disney story (I KNOW. Mindblowing already.), this book is such a great diverse, action-packed fantasy with such wonderful characterization. The main character, Zahra, is such a strong, and unique character. I honestly don’t know how else to describe her character, because truly she felt like a breath of fresh air while still being fabulous (as a queen is :P) and I LOVED IT.

10. Juliette from Shatter Me

Brb as I fangirl over the fact that there is going to be more books in this series??!? (But I have to wait SO LONG *cries*) Okay, I’m back!! Because Juliette, my darling girl here deserves some spotlight, I don’t think I’ve mentioned her enough on this blog here lately haha. Her powers are just so cool and I also adoreddddddd her character development over the course of the series. Going from a shy, scared girl to being a strong, fearless QUEEN with fabulous skills. Go, Juliette!!

11. Starr from The Hate U Give

CUE CHEERS for a character featured from a contemporary novel!! Honestly, there should totally be more… either I haven’t read as many of them, or my brain is slow and I just didn’t think of them. (OOPS in the second case but I mean?? I’m a goldfish, how fast are their our brains anyway.) Nonetheless, Starr is legitimately one of the best characters out there ever, and such an absolute queeeeeen omg someone give her a crown PLEASE. If you haven’t read this yet: YOU MUST.

ALRIGHT!! I’m going to stop there because a) I have to go and b) if I continue I WILL NEVER STOP haha.

I had so much fun writing this post!! To everyone who lives in Canada I hope your Victoria Day was great!! I really had planned for this post to go up yesterday but I went out to the tulip festival and I clearly didn’t get to do that oops. But anyway, which of these bookish queens do you agree with? (All of them obviously.) Are there other bookish queens you know of? (Literal or otherwise!) Let me know!! I’ll be around to visit blogs later as well, I can’t guarantee my activity for the rest of the month (what’s left of it, anyway, how did it go so fast??) but I do hope to have a couple of posts up and catch up on the loads of posts I’ve missed haha. Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone! Sending you lots of hugs. ❤ ❤ 

2016 Resolutions | TAG

Hello! (No Adele joke this time, I promise.) I’d usually have a Top Ten Tuesday post up today, but I decided to do the 2016 Resolutions Tag today instead, created by Trisha Ann @ The Bookgasm. I know we’re more than halfway through January 2016, but there’s still plenty of time left for completing resolutions, am I right?! I was tagged by Summer @ Xing Sings; Thanks, girl! I had been meaning to do a post like this earlier this month, but never got around to it—now I have reason to, haha. I know this sounds hella repetetive, but I promise you, Summer’s blog is absolutely lovely. Definitely go and show her some bloggish and bookish love!

The TBR Book Tag

Now, let us get onto the tag of really ambitious resolutions…

BOOKISH RESOLUTIONS

In 2016, I will…

1. Read at least 170 books.

I set my Goodreads goal to 200 this year, which I will admit might’ve been a bit too ambitious and a bit too unreasonable when taken into account the amount of time I’ll actually have to read. So I’ve decided that if I read at least 170 books, I’m satisfied. But of course, I’m still aiming for 200! XD

2. Diversify my reading. 

I really want to continue the trend of reading diverse books! I know there are a lot of them that I missed in 2o15 so hopefully 2016 is the year I’ll be able to read more of them.

3. Read the books I said I would read in 2015, but didn’t.

There are a LOT of books I meant to read last year, but didn’t, so I’m hoping to read those books this year! I’ll probably start with the ones on this list. Fingers crossed I’ll actually be able to read them this year!

4. Complete the ten series I want to read in 2016.

If you click on the link, you’ll be led to my TTT list of series I am hoping to read this year. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to all of them, but I really hope so. They all seem so great!

5. Refrain from buying too many books each month. 

I haven’t done many book haul posts for a long time, but let me tell you, I haven’t been holding back from buying books! I have been going waaaay too overboard. I should give mercy to my wallet! Not only am I quickly running out of shelf space, I’m spending way too much money.

6. Organize my Goodreads shelves.

I really want to sort out my TBR into smaller chunks. Make more shelves, categorize the books into priority and not-so-much-of-a-priority, you know? My TBR is absolutely enormous, but it’s all over the place. I’m hoping to change that this year!

7. Find the courage to send emails to publishers for ARCs I REALLY want.

I keep chickening out of sending emails to publishers! I’m hoping this year I might find the courage to do so. I don’t want to go crazy with my requesting, so I’m mostly thinking of requesting ARCs of books I really want. (Some sequels, some stand-alones,etc.)

8. Make a TBR jar…?

As you can probably tell from the question mark, I’m not as sure for this one. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t, you know? But the idea of it is definitely appealing! The TBR jars I’ve seen always look so pretty and it’s a good way to choose what book to read next off my TBR.

9. Visit the library more often (instead of the bookstore!)

Although bookstores are absolutely fabulous and bookworm heaven, I’d really like to visit the library more often as an attempt to lower the amount of money I spend on books. I haven’t been visiting it as often as I would’ve liked to, so hopefully that will change this year!

10. Make sure that at least 25-50% of the books I read this year are books I bought in 2015 or earlier.

I own way too many unread books, so hopefully if I follow this resolution I might be able to cut down on the amount of unread books I own. Fingers crossed!

BOOK BLOGGING RESOLUTIONS

In 2016, I will…

1. Have a wider variety of posts each month.

There are so many post ideas I have, yet I never seem to get around to writing them! I’m hoping to make 2016 the year where I actually get those posts written, whether they’re discussion posts, book reviews, book tags, whatever.

2. Try to post at least 1-2 discussion posts per week.

This one is one of the most ambitious resolutions, I think. Unless I had superpowers like Cait who is able to write tons of amazing discussion posts, that is. But alas, I don’t, so I’m just going to have to go off the fact that if I put in some more effort I might be able to post more discussion posts this year! Nothing wrong with aiming high, right? (That question is going to come back to haunt me, I know it.)

3. Reduce the amount of unpublished drafts I have.

The last time I checked (not that long ago) I had almost over a 100? Some of them date way back to when I first started blogging… Yeah, a clean-up is in order for sure!

4. Catch up on my tags and award nominations!

I appreciate SO MUCH (like, really, you have no idea HOW MUCH I appreciate this) all the nominations and tags bloggers have given me over the course of 2015! I promise I will try my best to get to them all this year. ❤ THANK YOU.

5. Be able to find a consistent balance between blogging and life.

I really want to find a good schedule that works for me! Right now I’m doing okay, but it would be tremendously helpful if I were to find a way to get a good balance between blogging and school. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD THAT IS. But I am trying!

6. (Try to) Reply to comments as soon as possible.

Often times school and life gets in the way in blogging, and I find it difficult to find the time to answer to comments sometimes! Which really sucks because I appreciate your comments so much and I love talking to you, yet I don’t always get to. So, this year, I want to stay on top of the comment game!

7. Become a blog-hopping pro. 

Now this one is kind of related to #6. With school and everything, it’s hard to always visit EVERYONE’s blog. I really wish I could visit ALL the blogs, but sadly I just don’t have the time and sometimes I’m just too lazy. Attempting to be a ‘blog-hopping pro’ is quite far-fetched, but I’m hoping to at least be able to visit the most blogs as possible this year.

8. Write book reviews more often.

I’m testing out different methods of reviewing right now, and as I have A HUGE pile of reviews that I want to write, I’m hoping to be able to write book reviews more often! Even 1 per week is better than nothing, right?

9. Be more active on Twitter.

It’s amazing seeing how much social media can impact our lives these days. Twitter seems to be a popular platform to meet and talk to other bloggers, which I’m always happy to do! So hopefully I’ll use it more often in 2016.

10. Schedule more of my posts.

WordPress offers the use of a great tool: scheduling! That way if I have a post ready to go, I can schedule it so that it posts automatically when I want it to. This could prove to be very useful at times when I’m really pressed with work—so I’m hoping to use it more often this year!

CAREER/ACADEMIC RESOLUTIONS

In 2016, I will…

1. Be more attentive in class.

It’s so difficult to stay focused sometimes! GAH, school. Why must it be so boring? Alas, there’s nothing to do about it other than manage to stay on top of it all. 2016: Time to focus!

2. Try to complete all homework assignments as soon as possible.

Although I’m usually pretty good at this, there are times where I end up prioritizing other things than homework, and in 2016 I hope to prevent that by finishing all homework asap!

3. Try my best to do well in school.

It’s my last year of high school, after all, and I don’t want to be slacking! XD I might as well put all efforts in now—it’ll only help me more in the future, right?

4. Keep my notes organized.

I usually do well enough with keeping notes organized, but I want to take it a step further and actually MAKE SURE that my notes are in order and good to use. Because we all know how hard studying without notes can be!

5. Make sure my locker stays organized.

It’s absolutely horrible when lockers are unorganized! Most of the time it’s really hard to find anything, and it’s never a good sight. So this year, I’m definitely going to focus on keeping my locker in a good condition.

PERSONAL RESOLUTIONS

In 2016, I will…

1. Try to be organized in all areas!

Whether it’s school, blogging, or simply just things I need to do, I want to keep organized. I love making lists, so I’ll probably start there. 😉 I know there are many more ways to stay organized though, so I’ll be trying out different methods!

2. Stop devouring all the chocolate I can get my hands on.

If you didn’t know already, I kind of love chocolate..!! And I probably have been eating too much of it lately (IT’S JUST SO GOOD) so hopefully I’ll be better at controlling my chocolate-eating habits. LOL.

3. Get over my fear of dogs.

I’m kind of stretching it here, as I had a fear of dogs for many, many, years now, but baby steps, right? Dogs are absolutely adorable, but I’m always too scared to be around them..!

4. Stop wearing mismatched socks.

I know this is kind of silly, but I have a habit of often wearing mismatched socks—and it’s gotta stop! Hopefully 2016 will be the year it does. 😉

5. Learn to not completely fail at baking.

Me and baking are well-acquainted with eachother…although perhaps not in the good way. Let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of faux pas in the kitchen, okay? There’s tons of delicious-looking recipes I always want to try out, and I really want to do them this year.


Whew, it looks like I have a lot to do this year! I’m kind of curious as to see how it will turn out in the end—will I actually be able to complete these resolutions? It’s doubtful that I’d be able to complete ALL of them, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Now it’s your turn! You tell me: how ambitious are your resolutions for 2016? How ambitious do you think MINE are? Too much? Too little? 😛 Do you even make resolutions, or do you just go with the flow? Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below! (THAT RHYME THOUGH.)

Cheers! Hope you all are enjoying your Tuesday. ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee