2017 Recap Gazette - The Year of Not Reading All That Much

Thursday, January 4, 2018
Twenty-Seventeen Recap Gazette

In last year's recap, I committed to using a spreadsheet to keep track of everything I read in 2017, and I was doing pretty good with logging books, but then when school started up again, I basically forgot that the spreadsheet even existed... haha I suppose organization of that sort just isn't in my tea leaves....

Number of books read this year: 55

Funnily enough, another thing that I pretty much stopped doing around the same time was reading.... School is just taking up more and more of my time, which I suppose doesn't bode that well for my reading future. I'll just have to find some way to fit more time for reading into my schedule, but that's for 2018 Kai to figure out.... Now onto the good stuff.... (I feel like I've been severely overusing ellipse, whoops.)

For this next part I'll be answering some questions taken from Jamie's End of the Year Survey plus two questions of my very own.

Best Book You Read In 2017?

(decisions this hard should be illegal...)

Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh

After much intense internal debate, I had to go with Axie Oh's Rebel Seoul. This book wasn't particularly mind-blowing or revolutionary, but it reminded me exactly why I love reading, and for that, it's the best book I've read this year.

(A Sh*t Ton of) Honorable Mentions

  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns I'm usually pretty cautious when it comes to antihero stories, but damn this one did it right....
  • Geekerella I'm a huge sucker for fairytale retellings and god this book just stole my heart away.... *melts*
  • Noteworthy I was definitely a bit cautious going into this book, but it quickly sucked me in, and the tiny album the author made to go along with Noteworthy is so eerily gorgeous!
  • When Dimple Met Rishi When Dimple Met Rishi was so toothacheingly adorable and sweet, and plus, the author is also the sweetest!
  • The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue I mentioned this book as one of my most anticipated in last year's recap, and boy was I right to anticipate it. Gentleman's Guide is a brilliant and wildly amusing romp from start to finish.
  • Strange the Dreamer In Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor masterfully builds a sumptuous and sweeping mythological world that left me breathless and yearning for more.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

(*hisses* dissssssssssssssssappppointmenntttt....)

The Serpent's Heir by Dean DeBlois

Most of y'all probably haven't heard of this one (in fact, according to Goodreads, it was the least popular book I read in 2017), but it was a book I was really looking forward to.... The Serpent's Heir is a How To Train Your Dragon comic book that picks off right where the second movie ended, and usually I'm wary of these types of continuation works (I've read more than my fair share of crappy ones), but this one was co-written by the director so I though I was safe... but apparently not because The Serpent's Heir ended up feeling quite lackluster and unoriginal *sigh*.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

(whoops, imma rule breaker)

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

So I technically haven't read An Enchantment of Ravens yet, so um I didn't read it in 2017, but would you just look at that cover??? *salivates*

Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2017?

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

I was assigned to read The Namesake during the summer for school, and it really touched and spoke to me. Two of the main characters in the novel immigrate to the United States from Bengal, and reading about their fictional experiences really helped me quantify what my own parents had to go through to provide me with the lifestyle I've grown up with. Reading this book has helped me understand and appreciate my parents so much more and has helped me further embrace my Chinese heritage.

OTP of the Year

(I will go down with this ship!)

Girls Made of Snow & Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

I immediately fell in love with Lynet and Nadia (what would their ship name be??? Lynadia? Nynet?) from Girls Made of Snow & Glass because they are so stinking adorable. There's been a lot more gay rep in YA recently which is GREAT, but the vast majority of it's m/m, so seeing a f/f couple (in a Snow white retelling no less) was so awesome!

Honorable Mention: I know I already listed Klance (Keith and Lance) last year, but haha I've fallen so much deeper into the Voltron fandom in 2017 so I thought it deserved a mention....

Book That Made You The Most Mad?

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

I had to think a while about this one, but ugh Trouble is a Friend of Mine really, really, really pissed me off. The writing and story weren't bad, but *groans* the Asian stereotypes were so terrible.... It was literally hard to read and it reminded me of all the sh*t some people assume of me because of my race, and to make matters worse, the author is Asian herself, so I have absolutely no clue what happened there....

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017?

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane was a such a wonderfully humorous and magical twist on the story of Lady Jane Grey (which is honestly really quite sad) so I can't wait to see what's to come with the next book in the Janies series, My Plain Jane. Though I'll definitely have to read Jane Eyre—the book My Plain Jane is retelling—before getting to this one in 2018.

Favorite Shows & Movies of 2017

(or basically what made me cry the most...)


Did I tear up in all of these? Yes, I did.

A Silent Voice I tear up a lot during movies and shows, but rarely do I ever really start crying, but A Silent Voice is that rare film that had me seriously sobbing. It's a touching and heart wrenching story about bullying, disability, and self-hate that'd I'd recommend to literally everyone.

Your Name This film totally stole my heart with its gorgeous animation and heart-pounding story. While it's not without issues, if you enjoy a good body swap story, then you should definitely give Your Name a shot.

Coco I initially had some worries about this film related to cultural appropriation, but after seeing many Mexicans and people of Mexican descendant give glowing reviews of it, I decided to give Coco a chance, and boy am I glad I did. While it wasn't nearly as much of a tearjerker as I expected, Coco is still a sweet and heartfelt story that emphasizes the importance of family in Mexican culture.

Avatar the Last Airbender I rewatched this show for the first time with my brother over the summer, and I love it as much as ever. A lot of people dismiss Avatar due to its animation format, which is honestly such a shame, because this show handles difficult and complex issues exceptionally well and has characters that are better developed than a lot of live action shows. (I will never get over just how terrible the live action film is though *groans*....)

Favorite Musicians of 2017

Run From Your Love by Khalil Fong

I wasn't a huge listener of music before this year, so this section is wholly brand new. Also if you click on the artist's name, I've linked my favorite of song of theirs.

Troye Sivan Troye Sivan started this all. When I picked up running again during summer break (I still suckkk sadly) I listened to him while getting in my daily mile and then I began listening more and more while doing other stuff like: coding, writing, and reading. His songs are just so beautiful and full of meaning.

Subin Troye may have started my music phase, but Subin is completely responsible for my newer k-pop phase. I fell for her Flower and never looked back. Though, I only like her solo for some reason, none of her work with Dal Shabet interests me.

Khalil Fong I'd been searching for a Chinese song artist for a while when I found this guy. He's technically Chinese-American so his Cantonese ain't the very best (at least according to my ma) but his songs are amazing all the same.

BTS This group is practically unavoidable in the realm of k-pop so I was bound to come across them at one point or another, and a lot of their songs are so terribly catchy so I've got quite a number of them on my playlist.

How was your 2017? Do you have any music to recommend, cause I'm all ears!