Giveaway, Goodbye 2016 and Four Years of Blogging

Twenty sixteen. The year that took so much and gave so little in return.

The Year That Was

In Australia, we were Googling the United States election and recipes for pancakes, parents were calling their children Charlotte or Oliver and the highest grossing film for twenty sixteen was Finding Dory. Collectively, we mourned the loss of cultural identities Prince, George Michael and David Bowie among others and for readers, none more so than Alan Rickman. A man who brought the beloved Severus Snape to life in the Harry Potter series adaptations.

Racism and ignorance created a volatile United States with the new President Elect, Donald Trump. We witnessed the Bastille Day terrorist attack in Nice, atrocities Iraq, Belgium and Syria, the Orlando nightclub massacre, Brexit and the ongoing genocide in Aleppo. In Australia, we elected our first Muslim and first Aboriginal female to the House of Representatives. We still have Indigenous Australians dying in custody, Asylum Seekers on Naru and Manus Island being denied human rights and we continue to campaign for marriage equality while protesting against Neo Nazi Australians and for Black Lives Matter, along with our American counterparts.

Kanye West announced, I actually don't like thinking. I think people think I like to think a lot. And I don't. I don't like to think. Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston were an item, then not. We stood with Her, we marched against domestic violence and domestic violence within our Indigenous communities and Clementine Ford encouraged women to push back against patriarchy.

And of course, we read.

Favourite #LoveOzYA Reads

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Favourite Contemporaries

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Middle grade awesomeness

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Fantasy Favourites

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Most Anticipated #LoveOzYA reads

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Most Anticipated International Reads

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Fourth Blogaversary

As the new year approaches, I'm celebrating four years of blogging with a giveaway. Thank you to everyone who has followed, commented, engaged me on social media and recommended wonderful new reads. Thank you to Kynndra who continues to be a source of support and motivation and I miss dearly. Thank you to the Australian Young Adult Bloggers and Readers group, my fellow administrators and our friends from New Zealand who continue to support our community, our authors, publishers and most of all, our fellow readers. 

Enter to win a book of choice or an Amazon giftcard to the value of $15.00AU. Winner will be chosen at random. For an Australian winner, your book of choice will be chosen from Booktopia. For an international winner, please ensure The Book Depository ships to your country. If you are under thirteen years of age, please ask parental consent before entering. 

66 comments

  1. HAPPY NEW YEAR, KELLY!! *flings new year cake at you because is nice like that* And I love your little recap up there....so spot on with the summaries. And yaayyy for Words in Deep Blue! TRULY SUCH A MASTERPIECE. <3 I also loved Lady Midnight and The Sidekicks (and The First Third!) and omg one of my top reads was THE RAVEN KING (!!!) which probably surprises no one since I'm so rabidly obsessed with all the Stiefvater books.😂
    And resolutions? Omg. I'm still trying to figure them out. Maybe catch up on my TBR?!? Hilarious I know.😂

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    1. Thank you darling girl and may your twenty seventeen be filled with cake and books. And books about cake.

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  2. Happy blogversary and Happy new years :D thank you so much for your support this year :D thank you for being nice friend. Wish all the best for you :)

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    1. Aww, thanks Hana. You're such a treasure.

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  3. And the new year resolutions? Well, I plan to write more and reading less (not 190 book for 2017, maybe 30-50 books) . I also want to finish some draft that left unfinished.. And catch up with my TBR. :)

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    1. Good luck Hana, twenty seventeen will definitely be your year!

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  4. 2016 has been such tumultuous year! Definitely lots of good mixed with bad, I reckon!
    I really enjoyed Lady Midnight and I have Freedom Swimmer in my bookshelf! Just have to get around to it soon...But how can I, with Lord of Shadows and Draekora coming out??
    A New Year's resolution of mine is to eat the five recommended servings of vegetables - I'm only hitting around 3 at the moment -cringes-

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    1. Those damn vegetables Geraldine, they'll get you every time. Might I suggest a nice cheese sauce drizzled on top? It makes them so much more palatable.

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  5. I love that cover of Draekora-beautiful! I don't read much YA but I quite like the sound of this series so I might check it out at some point. It sounds like it has good characters, no heavy romance...much more to my tastes!

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    1. Basically it's friendship based but could be heading towards there being a sweet romance in the finale. It's a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, clean and wonderfully written as well.

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  6. Happy New Year, Kelly! Thank you for being you. Followers may come and go but you're one of the sturdy ones. And even if you decide you could no longer stomach reading the babbling nonsense that I write, I will follow you to the moon and back. <3

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    1. Joy, you are an absolute delight and so, so precious. I love you loads!

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  7. HO :D happy new 2017 ^^ I think my resolutions will be save more money not buying many books jaja

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  8. Happy New Year :D
    My resolutions regarding books will be to read some more classics :)

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  9. I do not make new years resolutions. Not realistic.

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  10. Four years of blogging? That's insane! I hope I get to four years. And happy new year! Hopefully 2017 will be better. 2016 definitely had a lot of lows and I can't quite see some of the good things from this year countering the insane lows of this year. I am seeing a whole heap of books on here I seriously want to read. I think 2016 and 2017 are the years of australian authors. The number of books I want to own which haven't managed to make it to the UK or the US is insane. I never really thought about publishing outside of the UK or the US and I am realising there a whole heap of books we're missing out on here. You're definitely responsible for me discovering a few of these books, like Breathing Under Water and Words in Deep Blue. I can only hope I manage to get a few of these books in the coming year.

    The number of new years resolutions I have insane. My main one is spending less on books, which makes me sad because that means I'll have less to read. It will mean I might get around to reading a few books I already own, though. Hopefully it works out.

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    1. That will be one of mine this year too Becky, until I read the books on my shelves that I've already purchased. I'm hoping to clean out my shelves as well and donate a lot more books to young or student bloggers and youth centers as well.

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  11. HAPPY NEW YEAR! <3
    My resolutions are
    1) Make more time to read
    2) Have designated study time each day
    3) Do something kind every day

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  12. Gah! I don't' like to make New Year Resolutions because I have failed so spectacularly each time I've made them, but if I have to choose one, I would like to get healthier and actually stick to this new lifestyle (sigh).

    Happy New Year Kelly! Wishing you a fabulous and magical year ahead <3

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    1. I rarely make specific ones too Claudia, it's just setting myself up for disappointment really. This year I just want to be well, continue to be happy and be a better version of myself. Happy new year sweetheart!

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  13. I honestly don't do resolutions. If I did, my wish would be to be able to read more books. I usually only am able to read about 40 a year

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  14. Happy New Year and Blogaversary:-) :-)
    I'm super excited for 'Draekora' and 'Begin, End, Begin'.
    Why can't they both be due out in January rather then April!!!!!!

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    1. The wait is agonising isn't it! We shall suffer together Sarah. Loudly.

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  15. LOVE THIS POST. What a year. Your caption already makes it seem so nostalgic - I think it'll be good to look back on. Good luck in the new year!!

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    1. Thanks sweetheart, fingers crossed it'll be a massive year of books so we can all ignore being adults.

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  16. Maria Theresa Santos1 January 2017 at 14:33

    To lose some weight

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  17. Fantastic post. As someone from the U.S., I'm so deeply saddened by our election results. It's just one small drop in all the horrible things that occurred in 2016. I really hope for a better 2017. Sigh.

    There was some good though. And that's always important to remember. Congrats on four years!

    -Lauren

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    1. There certainly was Lauren and let's hope the achievements, accolades and ground breaking work by so many continue throughout the new year. Thank you my darling.

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  18. In the new year I"m hoping to read more books that I actually want to read.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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    1. That sounds like a good a resolution as any Krystianna. Here's to a magnificent year of reading!

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  19. Congratulations Kelly, on four years of blogging. This year has been eventful, to say the least. Yet I'm glad that so many books have come out, and that we continue to read. I hope that this new year contains many (good) surprises, and that we manage to find a way to combat all the disparity in the world in the meaningful ways that we can. <3 I love you Kelly, here's to another year of blogging!

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    1. You're magnificent Mawa. It's strong women like yourself who continue to inspire and empower. We need more Mawa's in the world precious girl.

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  20. I don't have any resolutions for the new year yet

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  21. Four years!? That just blows my mind Kelly, especially since it seems I cannot consistently keep up blogging for like more than one month out of the full year LOL. Congrats though, it really is quite the accomplishment and I must admit that I still do stalk this blog on the regular.

    Honestly 2016 was really rough for me personally. And globally no doubt as well, for all of the reasons you listed. I hope 2017 will be better for the world but honestly I've turned into quite the cynic. At the very least though I can strive to make it better for me though lol.

    Out all of the books you listed I have only read Summer Skin lol. That shows how out of the loop I am aha. Still Summer Skin was incredible and definitely one of my favorites. As for all of the rest of the books you've listed I will check them out for sure (I trust your recommendations haha) and perhaps eventually read them seven months from now (;

    Wishing you the very best in 2017 <33

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    1. Thank you sweetheart. It was such a terrible year and seeing what you had gone through, you're such an incredible and strong young woman. Ahh books schmooks, I'm just happy to have our Larissa back.

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  22. Happy blogiversary. I am glad to have met you here, cheers to a more bookish year ahead. Love the list as well

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    1. Me too Resh darling. Here's to a kick ass twenty seventeen, can't wait to check out what you've been up to!

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  23. Happy 4th blogversary! Thank you for the international giveaway.
    2017 Resolutions - read more and get fit

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    1. I hear you there Sue. Good luck and happy new year!

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  24. Happy blogoversary AND happy new year! Here's hoping 2017 is a wonderful year!

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    1. Thanks Verushka darling. Let's hope it's absolutely fabulous for both of us and the world.

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  25. Not one to make resolutions but I want to adopt a healthy lifestyle in 2017.

    Happy Anniversary, Happy New Year and Thank You!

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  26. Happy New Year and Happy Blogoversary!! Here's hoping we can turn 2017 around.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. I hope so too Karen, surely it can't get much worse. Could it?

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  27. Have a wonderful 2017 and happy blogaversary! Hoping to get healthier this year. :D

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  28. Happy 4 years Kelly, what a wonderful achievement! It was definitely a crazy year but there were so many amazing reads. Summer Skin is on my list of favourites too!

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    1. I think I've seen Summer Skin on most Aussie favourites list for the year and rightly so. Such an amazing read! Thanks Jeann and here's to a year filled with brilliant books!

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  29. Happy new year and fourth blogoversary, Kelly! I hope 2017 will be a great year for you, in blogging as well as in every other aspect of life. <3 I've just gotten And I Darken out of the library, and I'm really excited to read it! As for resolutions, I think I'm going to keep the ones I made for 2016: eat more healthy food and exercise better, say yes to trying new things more, and prioritise my time better. Don't know how well I'll do with them, but here's to trying! :D

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    1. Good luck Cilla! Here's to a happy and healthy year and can't wait to see what you think of And I Darken!

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  30. Happy new year, Kelly! I love this summary of 2016 - couldn't have put it better myself. And such a great list of reads. I loved Kostakis' The First Third this year but was a little disappointed with The Sidekicks, personally. All the best for next year. <3

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    1. I had read The Sidekicks first but enjoyed it so much, that I read The First Third shortly after and loved that even more so! Super funny with lots of heart. I hope you have a wonderful year of reading Rachel.

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  31. Aww congratulations on the four years, love! And Happy New Year, too! I love how eloquently you summed up 2016. It is spot on, even though I wish it wasn't. There are so many amazing-sounding Australian books that I NEED to get my hands on this year- both already published on your favorites list, and out this coming year. Here's hoping for a great 2017!

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    1. Here here Shannon! Here's hoping for an amazing year. I might just dunk my head in the sand and live in blissful ignorance.

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  32. This was such a great post Kelly!
    I fucking hate Kanye West, but not as much as I hate Trump...
    2016 sucked for so many reasons but also personally it was good for me. I hope your 2017 is much better!

    Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist

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  33. This is such an awesome giveaway Kelly, thanks for this! My resolution for 2017 is to read more diversely and to blog about it more as I don't do it enough!

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  34. Thanks for the chance to enter! Living in Singapore means I don't get much chance to enter giveaways but this made it possible so thank you so much!

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  35. Try and complete by Goodreads reading challenge and read at least 80 books this year!

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  36. To finish university, and save enough money to visit London :)

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  37. Happy four years Kelly!! Also, I'm loving the new log; very simple yet very classy!!
    I hope this year brings even more achievements and happiness to you and all your loved ones!

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  38. Congratulations on four years!!! :D And thank you so much for the giveaway! I don't have many resolutions for this year, but my main one is to read at least ten books from my TBR list!

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  39. Great post, Kelly. How are you, my dear? You were in my thoughts after that twit. If you ever need to talk I just one message away.

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  40. Happy 4th blogoversary Kellybear!! How quick has time flown by, feels like just yesterday that I stumbled upon your blog, and thankfully so :D It's been a blast working with you on the Aus YA Bloggers and Readers group, you completely kill at everything that you do and you definitely keep the group rolling <3 Here's to another great year filled with the joys of books and reading :)

    MY new year resolution this year is to read more and blog more (ha). Also I just joined a gym so I'd like to see a bubble butt by the end of the year :B

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  41. I loved, loved, loved this post, Kelly! Nice synthesis of a crappy year! I know it had some good things, but Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Prince and George Michael died! :'( And the beloved Princess Leia, and her mom... Too hard!
    But well... Moving on to happier stuff: HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!!! Hope you continue blogging for many years and read lots of amazing books!!! :D :D
    As for my resolutions... I'm planning on joining the gym, because I really need to start taking care of my health. And on a bookish note, I want to read more classics!!!

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  42. Happy late blogoversary, girl! You've accomplished so much in these last four years and I am so proud of you and so happy to call you my best friend. You've done nothing but always put a smile on my face and I can not wait to see what you do next. My new years resolutions would be to read lots more this year, not worry so much and just have fun with what I'm doing. Thank you again for everything; your friendship most importantly. Love you to bits, Kellz! <3

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