Hello! Another year, another rewind. Don’t expect anything spectacular. I think 2021 might be my worst reading AND blogging year yet. One of my biggest goals for this year was to go back to blogging regularly and to find a full-time job. Sadly, I failed on both of these goals. Job searching and still working at my part-time restaurant job really made moving on really difficult and I feel like this entire year was just wasted. I am determined to make 2022 a better year, both for the blog and my own life. While I didn’t read as much, I did manage to find some new favourites this year.
L I F E
As I mentioned, this entire year was mainly working at my restaurant job while also searching for a full-time job. We were still in lockdown at the beginning of 2021 so there was not a lot going on at the moment for me. One shining moment was I was able to take my graduation photo! My university wasn’t the greatest at communication so we never really understood whether we were going to get a ceremony or photos. We did get online graduation which was just as awkward as you’d expect. And I managed to get my photos taken during the summer!
I struggled a lot to read this year. Not having that certainty of a full-time job made it really difficult to balance my time since working in a restaurant during a pandemic is very, very stressful (and tiring). I used to really enjoy being a waitress but after this year, I don’t see myself returning to working in food/retail once I’ve moved on from this role. I know I sound all doom and gloom, but the thing I am proud of is that I’ve returned to drawing! I used to draw a lot when I was a teenager, but I didn’t really enjoy using a graphics tablet. We used to have a hand-me-down but after getting an iPad in March, it made me realise that I prefer drawing directly to the screen.
If you follow me on Twitter, you would know during this year, I started playing Genshin Impact. It is an action RPG gatcha game where you follow a traveller who is searching for their sibling in the fantasy world of Teyvat. My friend from work had been pushing me to play since last year and I finally managed to get my clunky laptop to run the game. I was immediately hooked. The story, the art and the music (listen to the ost now!!!) blew me away. I’ve played a few mobile gatcha games growing up but I never really committed to games, unlike Genshin. I was sure I was going to be a free-to-play player but I was introduced to a red-headed character called Diluc and I could slowly feel my money slipping away from me.
If I had to look back on my year, Genshin and drawing are two things that took the spotlight. Both were a great source of comfort for me in what was a pretty terrible year overall. Here are some of my artwork from this year. (yes they are mainly Genshin Impact fanart shhhh … let me live in my brain rot)
B O O K S
She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
SWBTS is definitely one of my top reads of 2021. “The writing is so atmospheric, you could feel the impact of the landscape resonate with each character. Especially with Zhu as you witness her climb from a nameless child close to death to a well-rounded leader with men of her own. “Read my full review here!
The Unbroken by C.L. Clark
I don’t know what I love more, this book or the memes about Touraine’s arm. I follow C.L. Clark on Twitter and the jokes are endless. The Unbroken quite literally broke me out of the worst book slump ever. It’s extremely powerful and a definite recommendation for anyone needing a new political fantasy to break into. Read my full review here!
Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo
I’ve read a lot of manga this year and Spy x Family might take the top spot. Master spy Twilight (Loid) has to build a family to execute a mission, not realising the girl he has adopted and the woman who agrees to be his wife are a mind reader and an assassin, respectively. Anya is desperate to keep her parent’s secret, believing they will send her back if she spills, while Yor uses this opportunity to further her hidden identity. The manga is still ongoing, with an anime in the works for next summer, so it is the perfect time to get stuck into the series!
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
I read this back in January and I still think about it. “The story was just one big sucker punch after the other. Only when you think you know what was going on, another twist, another secret comes crashing in, throwing Hesina off her trajectory. The court dramas, both law and royal, was fantastical. Everything was just unique and brilliant. ” Read my review here!
A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark
“A Master of Djinn is set in an alternate 1920s Cairo. After Al-Jahiz opened the veil and vanished and with the aid of the Djinns, Egypt forced out the British colonisers and re-established themselves as a world power. Clark’s worldbuilding is vibrant and magnificent. The magical setting with political and social issues while also figuring out a murder mystery was top-notch and a journey to read. And with a satisfying conclusion that paves the way for more exciting stories.” Read my review here! I also drew some fanart back in July!
M U S I C
Well, that’s it for another yearly rewind! Thanks for reaching this far and I hope 2021 will be much better for all of us!