The year that ended

This has been one crazy year! And we wanted to kind of go through the year and look at all the great things we've done and share them with you! So this will be a personal post, but also a bookish one as well.

The year of 2015 started with my family in Harstad, my hometown. My first semester ended with some good grades and a couple of good books! I started off my year with some love; Looking For Alaska by John Green and some fantasy; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. It's been a crazy year for me, I've been on two trips out of the country to Rome and Platanias, Crete - I'm about to end my second semester of Bachelor of Arts and Media Design - and I've had a lot to do with a new job, continuing in my old one, yeah, it's been a ride!

I've not only read a lot of books, but I've also watched quite the few tv-series and movies! Some of them were highly anticipated. To mention some of the tv-series; Outlander, Modern Family, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, The Tudors, etc. But also continuing the one's I've seen for years like Supernatural, Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Homeland and Sleepy Hollow.

Reading Challenge
Goodreads has become like a part of my life. I'm in there at least once a day, and I try to keep it up-to-date whenever I'm reading something. It's also one of the best ways for me to actually remember when I read something, what I thought, and to find new books that I can start reading. This challenge started at like 15, and then when I had read 15, I went to 20, and I kept pushing it – ending up at 45 together with Ida, which is a lot if you're in two jobs and a full-time student. I reached 41, which is something I'm so proud of – and I feel like I've done a really good job at this.

1. Looking For Alaska by John Green. Read in December/January 2015.
A book about strange people becoming friends, and how one person can change someone else. Contemporary romance! ★★☆☆☆

2. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Read in January 2015.
The Mortal Instruments is about the supernatural that lurks in the places where we can't see it. Paranormal romance? ★★★★☆

3. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Read in January 2015.
Eating disorders and teenage angst? Anderson writes about the more serious problems that hits people in their teenage-lives. ★☆☆☆☆

4. Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse. Read in February 2015.
The mythological world of Percy Jackson is amazing, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a well-written book with some greek mythology thrown into it. ★★☆☆☆

5. Forbidden Fruit by Gillian Colbert. Read in February 2015.
I want to laugh just thinking about this one, not recommended at all. It's like porn, but in written form. ★☆☆☆☆

6. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. Read in February/March 2015.
Who says that stories grow too old? Romeo and Juliet just took my breath away in a whole different way than I thought it would! ★★★★☆

7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Read in February/March 2015.
So I had a period of time where I read so many old books I was starting to think in the old english language. Jane Eyre is a beautiful book, and I seriously recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers with a whole lot of romance. ★★★★☆

8. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. Read in March 2015.
How is it that a movie that I thought was so good, had a book behind it that was so boring? ★★☆☆☆

9. Legend by Marie Lu. Read in March 2015.
This was one of the big surprises of the year, one of the best dystopian books I've ever read! And this was the book that made me fall in love with Lu! ★★★★☆

10. Prodigy by Marie Lu. Read in March 2015.
The sequel to Legend, and still as strong and good as the first book. Maybe even better? ★★★★☆

11. Champion by Marie Lu. Read in March 2015.
The best book in the Legend trilogy. I loved it so much, and I'm planning on re-reading it soon! Also, the first book of the year that I actually gave five stars! ★★★★★

12. Annabel by Lauren Oliver. Read in March 2015.
A short-story in the Delirium trilogy! I feel like I've cheated here, because all though it's counted as one book, I feel like it shouldn't. But hey! ★★★☆☆

13. Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Read in March/April 2015.
The first book of the Delirium trilogy, a dystopian book! I recommend the series, because they're interesting, absolutely worth a look.

14. Hana by Lauren Oliver. Read in April 2015.
The second short-story in the Delirium trilogy! ★★☆☆☆

15. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Read in April 2015.
A really good book, a classic in fact - and a book I highly recommend to people who like mysterious and thriller-ish books. ★★★★☆

16. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. Read in April 2015.
The sequel to Delirium, and what I thought was the best book in the trilogy. ★★★★☆

17. Requiem by Lauren Oliver. Read in April 2015.
The last book in the Delirium trilogy, with a really shocking AND annoying ending! ★★☆☆☆

18. Raven by Lauren Oliver. Read in April 2015.
Also a short-story in the Delirium trilogy, and probably one of the best! ★★★★☆

19. The Prince by Kiera Cass. Read in April 2015.
A short story in the Selection Series, and a test to see if I wanted to actually buy these books. Which I wanted after reading this, but not because it was a good short-story. ★☆☆☆☆

20. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. Read in January-May 2015.
It took me months to finish this, not because it's a bad book, but because it wasn't too interesting! ★★★☆☆

21. The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Read in May/June 2015.
Another book by Marie Lu that I absolutely love. Actually, right now, while I'm writing this exact line I have the sequel to this next to me. Dystopian, love, it's amazing! ★★★★★

22. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. Read in May 2015.
A book that I didn't quite get, but that I kind of loved at the same time. It's not the kind of books that I like, so after reading it I was kind of shocked. ★★★☆☆

23. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Read in May 2015.
One of my absolute favorites of 2015, and a book I seriously can't wait for my friends to read. THIS IS A MUST READ. I'm currently waiting to get enough money to buy Glass Sword, which is the sequel to Red Queen. ★★★★★

24. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. Read in May-June 2015.
One of the best in the series, and probably the one that had the biggest cliffhangers and the biggest plot turns. ★★★★☆

25. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Read in September 2015.
A classic, and a book that I fell in love with. I want this in my bookshelf so much, just so I can re-read my favorite entries whenever I want. ★★★★★

26. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Read in May 2015.
I absolutely loved this book so much I wanted to scream while reading it. It's so thrilling, so weird, so beautiful. it's absolutely worth the while reading it! ★★★★★

27. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. Read in June-July 2015.
I felt like the books were getting better and better, and this was no exception. ★★★★☆

28. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Read in July 2015.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series. ★★★★☆

29. The Darkest Part of The Forest by Holly Black. Read in July 2015.
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves.★★★★☆

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.★★★★☆

31. The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls. Read in July/September 2015. 
Jeannette Walls has written a deeply moving novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love each other and the world, despite its flaws and injustices. ★★☆☆☆

In the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?★★★★☆

33. Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. Read in September/October 2015. 
After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. ★☆☆☆☆

Dorothy thinks she's lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. ★★★★☆

35. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Read in October 2015. 
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. ★★★★★

36. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Read in October/November 2015. 
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. ★★★★★

37. Cress by Marissa Meyer. Read in November 2015. 
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. ★★★★☆

38. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Read in November 2015. 
Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock. ★★☆☆☆

39. Wake by Amanda Hocking. Read in November 2015. 
Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.★★★☆☆

40. Lullaby by Amanda Hocking. Read in November/December 2015. 
As Gemma and Harper plunge deeper into a magical world they barely understand, it becomes painfully clear that Gemma's old life may be lost forever. But can she still hold on to her humanity? ★☆☆☆☆

41. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Read in December 2015. 
Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. ★★★★☆

This year has probably been the craziest I'll ever have. I've basically been living in boxes the whole year, since I've moved four times within three different cities (and I'm moving again in the beginning of January...), I've worked four different jobs, I've had three big exams and done more crazy, spontaneous shit than I ever thought I would do. It kind of feels like I've been living a bunch of different lives at the same time this year. Like there is a God or something sitting up there and thinking "What if Ida has to move in to a tiny little room by herself for the next three months? Lets try it!" and then "But what if we move her to a completely new city and check if she can handle making completely new friends and a whole new job? Let's try that instead!". So, it's been crazy. But it's probably also been the best year ever. And I think 2016 is going to be even better!

Luckily for me, I've managed to read some pretty good books during the year. Not as many as I thought and hoped, but that's okay. I started the year with "On the Island" By Tracey Garvis-Graves and as I'm writing I'm halfway through "Golden Son" by Pierce Brown, which probably will be the last book of the year for me. I've been diving through books in multiple genres: thriller, fantasy, young adult, romance, crime, classics, historical fiction, humor and more. There's been surprisingly few bad books this year actually, although I was tempted to read E.L. James's new book "Grey" just to trash it in a review (not pre-judging at all...). But yeah, there's been lots of books, but not as many as I thought. Which leads us to this year's reading challenge:

Reading Challenge
On goodreads, I first set 15 as my goal for total books read this year. Then me and Marlene decided to go big and both set it to 45. And for a while, I really thought I had a chance. But I didn't. So my final score for 2015 is a total of 18 books. 18/45 is maybe not the best I've done, but I still think 18 is a large number considering all the studying and moving and work and I've been doing this year. So, I'm actually happy nonetheless! So let's look at my list!

1. On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. Read in January 2015
What happens when a teacher and his student has to survive on a deserted Island? Romance and survival are the main topics of this one! ★★★☆☆

2. Joyland by Stephen King. Read in January 2015
A summer job in a amusement park doesn't sound like the beginning of a crime and mystery book, does it? But this is a Stephen King book, so of course there is! ★★★★☆

3. The Calling by James Frey. Read in January-February 2015
12 people has to compete in the endgame, where the winner and his bloodline will be the only ones to survive the end of the world. ★★★☆☆

4. Dear by Linnèa Myhre. Read in February 2015
Famous Norwegian blogger Linnèa Myhre writes several letters to different people telling what she really feels.★★★☆☆

5. Britt-Marie was here by Fredrick Backman. Read in February 2015
When Britt-Marie, a woman in her 60's, decides to leave her husband, her whole world turns upside down in ways she never would have imagined. ★★★★★

6. The Old man and the Cat by Nils Uddenberg. Read in March 2015
Uddenberg writes about his cat, and cats in general. And that's basically it... I never wrote a review on this one because I never figured out if I liked it or not. It's very well written, but... there's limits to how much I can read about Uddenberg's cat. ★★★☆☆

7. Blood and Snow by Jo Nesbø. Read in March 2015
Olav is a dyslectic, hopelelssly romantic poet who likes to read and write, although it takes ages for him to get something down on a paper. He's also an assasin, hired to kill every person his boss Daniel Hoffman tells him to. It's usually no problems when his boss gives him a job to do, but this one has two: The assasination is to be done on Hoffman's wife, and Olav falls completely in love with her.

8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Red Rising #1). Read in April 2015
Darrow is a Red, and his and all the other Red's purpose in life is to make mars livable by mining. Humanity depends on them. That's what they've been told their whole life, but Darrow finds out that it is all a lie; Mars have already been inhabited by people who look at the Red's as slaves. Darrow gets involved with a rebellious group who want's to stop it all.

9. We were liars by E. Lockhart. Read in May 2015
This book.... I seriously, I just can't really say shit about it without ruining it for you.

10. The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins. Read in June 2015
Rachel takes the same train every morning, and get an everyday-glimpse of a beautiful couple that lives in one of the houses on the way. One day shee sees something shocking, and suddenly she's involved in a big murder case. ★★★☆☆

11. The Amazing adventues of Dietgirl by Shauna Reid. Read in July 2015
In January 2001 Shauna Reid was twenty-three years old and twenty-five stone. This is the story of how she lost twelve and a half stone, her ups and downs and seven years of her life.

12. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Read September 2015.
Greg Gaines is on his last year of high school. He has one friend, or rather a co-worker, named Earl, who he makes movies with. he has succesfully managed to blend in with every group at the school. That way, he has no friends, but also no enemies, wich is exactly the point. Then Greg's mother forces him to start hanging out with Rachel again, and soon his life is changes forever.

13. Trigger Warning - short fictions and disturbances by Neil Gaiman. Read October-November 2015
A collection of short stories written by Neil Gaiman. All from three-pages of horror to longer fantasy-stories. ★★★★☆

14. The Call of the Wild by Jack London. Read October - November 2015.
When the dog Buck, half St.Bernhard and half shepard, is teared away from his family in California and set to be a sled dog in the Yukon territory, he has to fight for survival in ways he'd never imagine. ★★★★☆

15. See You Tomorrow by Tore Renberg. Read in November 2015.
Three days in September thing goes crazy for a bunch of people. Not really related to each other, they all will be during the actions that take place in the book. Not everyone will survive the drama in Stavanger. ★★★★☆

16. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Read in November 2015
When orphanes Mary has to move to her uncle, she's spoiled, sickly and sure she won't enjoy staying there. But Misselthwaite hides many secrets, including a garden that no one has been in for a decade. ★★★★☆

17. The Long Walk by Stephen King. Read in November 2015.
100 boys gather to participate in The Long Walk. A yearly contest where the winner gets the ultimate price. The catch is, there's only one winner, and to lose is fatal. ★★★★★

18. Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Red Rising #2). Read in December 2015.
Darrow continues his fight to bring down the society from within.

There's a lot to say about the transformation of our blog this past year. We've been changing the design countless times, we took away all the movie and tv-show reviews, and now it's strictly books. We wanted to concentrate on the things that we love the most, all though we both watch countless tv-shows and movies all the time, books are kind of special to us.

We also changed our ratings from like 1/10 to the stars, which we think is pretty neat. We also tried to find some new topics to write about, all though book-related, it has made our blog kind of more diverse and bigger in a way. I absolutely love how it has transformed itself, and how it has changed over the course of 12 months.

M's worst and best
The worst book I've read this year is easy, I'm not kidding when I say that I was embarrassed while reading it, and then putting a review up on the blog was like, even more embarrassing, but I just had to get it out there. So the worst book of 2015 for me, is, Forbidden Love by Gillian Colbert.

The best book had been a hard one to choose, I've read so many amazing books and it's hard to actually pin-point which was the best. But I have to say that the one book that made me actually think twice about the stuff that I've read, and given five stars to was, none other than, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. It was thrilling, new and so amusing. I've been trying to get my friends to read it for a really long time, and now, I'm thinking that I might have to buy everyone a copy so that they can read it because it's the best book I've read in ages.

I's Worst and best
As I mentioned, there haven't really been lots of bad books this year... But since I have to choose, I'm going with Old man and cat by Nils Uddenberg. That's kind of unfair, because it's a very well written book and I finished it and even recommended it to a friend of mine since she loves cats. And the reason I read it was because there were so many people that bought it at the bookstore I worked in. But, it's the only book I can truly say that I really could have saved myself from reading this year. If I never read it, I don't feel like I would have missed anything.

The best book of 2015 is kind of hard to pick. I've given three books five stars, and it's really close between all of them. But I think I have to go with The Long Walk by Stephen King, since I've had the pleasure of enjoying that book way beyond reading it and because I'm still not over it. If you read my review, it's easy to figure that I was deeply fascinated and loved it for a lot of reasons.

We both feel like 2016 is going to be a big year for both of us, but mostly for our blog. From the summer of 2016 nd for the rest of 2016, we're going to live together, which is something we think will improve the blog, and therefore make our content more interesting and more bulletproof.

We've already started making plans for how to make this blog even better - and talked about what we're going to do with the blog during the next year. It's so exciting to talk about, and I seriously can't wait to see how everything will turn out!

We also want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who's read review's on our blog, liked us on facebook, sent us a message, liked our pictures on instagram, discussed with us on instagram and so on. It's so amazing to see that people are reading what we're writing, and it makes our day to find people that want to talk about the books we've read. Just thank you so much. We hope to see you all in the next year as well!

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