January Whispers // New Year, Happier Me; Snow, New Blog Design is LIVE, + an AWESOME blog survey for YOU to take!!

Good morning penguins and humans alike, it’s time for the first recap of 2019!!!

Your fave is back.

I mean I haven’t been gone for long – I mean, I literally haven’t been gonna at all but please kindly shut up because I love being dramatic like a certain character from The Cruel Prince (locke, locke, locke).

Anyways as I’m currently typing this up I’m listening to music and feeling alive. Which is how I’m mostly always feeling since I am unfortunately alive – Mrs Gren folks. But anyways, let’s drift away from biology and talk about me, and how fabulous of a mood I’m in.

if you can’t tell I’m in the weirdest and best mood ever 10/10 recommend getting drunk on oxygen molecules.

I’m rambling too much, I must say. But I just want to finish this non-existent cup of tea before I start telling you all the delights and jam tarts of my life, and how it all happened in this peculiar month of January.


I read 6 books in January! One of them was a poetry collection, so obviously very short, but let’s not ignore that one of them was 500+ pages. I actually did manage to read every day, whether it be for ten minutes, or an hour, and that’s what I’m focusing on being proud of!

Muse of Nightmares A study in charlotte Grafitti The Cruel Prince The wicked king girl on the train

Also, note I deleted my Goodreads impulsively recently and I am going to talk about this in another section (ONLINE) but just to let you know, there won’t be links to my reviews because of this!

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor ★★★★★ // As the sequel to Strange The Dreamer, a book I loved and cherished with my whole heart, I was ready for the next book to blow me off my feet into strange and magical lands – spoiler: it did. This was entirely heartbreaking, heartwarming, and beautifully lyrical all at the same time and I enjoyed every word.

A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro ★★★☆☆ (3.5) // Emmabooks on Youtube has recommended this book in her videos and May @ Forever and Everly, gifted this book to me for Christmas (thank you so much!) and I LOVE Sherlock Holmes, so I was very eager to read this. Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and I’m lowkey living for Jamie’s and Charlotte’s dynamic!

Grafitti by Savannah Brown ★★★★☆// OKAY IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHO SAVANNAH BROWN IS SEARCH HER UP ON YOUTUBE AND WATCH ALL HER VIDEOS. I’m thoroughly obsessed with the spoken word poetry she does on her channel, so I borrowed this from my sister and some of the poems were so GOOD and heartfelt?!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black ★★★★☆ // This was a buddy read with Kerys @ The Everlasting Library, and a re-read! My rating went from 3.5 to 4 stars because I love Jude Duarte with my whole entire heart!!

The Wicked King by Holly Black ★★★★★ // THIS WAS ALSO A RE-READ…can you tell I’m obsessed? Maybe. This was better than the first book, mostly because Jude and Cardan’s dynamic got 3000 times better. (If you’ve read chapter 15, you know what I’m talking about.)

As you can see most of the books I read (like why did i read the girl on the train) this month were above three stars which is so amazing! I am definitely reading books I know I will enjoy, or at least hope to, and that means my average rating for this month is 3.7 stars. 


Apart from The Wicked King, these weren’t hauled in January, just acquired sometime between October and now.


So you know that WIP I plotted for NaNoWriMo in 2018. Well, even though I didn’t manage to finish it, or really start it, I started plotting it out more, and now the world and cast are SO much bigger and I’m loving all my ideas.

A new thing I’ve learned is that thinking is very key to creativity. This sounds obvious, but taking some time away from staring at a screen or paper, and walking outside to think about your novel is a very good idea. Why? Because when I walk home from school, it’s silent and I can think and it’s the best for plotting!

So here’s a snippet from a new part of my WIP. It’s like a completely new book from when I first introduced it to you, so take note of that!

I have been writing *some* poetry and I definitely am spending more time crafting them and loving them. I have one poem called “unpoetic” and I think that describes my poetry very well. 🙂


So…I might have deleted my Goodreads account. Okay, so hear me out. One evening, I was feeling VERY anxious for a Reason(TM) and I very impulsively, deleted my whole Goodreads account. This was very very stupid of me and I didn’t even export my shelves so I’ve lost all my data and reviews…and I’m very stupid. VERY STUPID. I did email Goodreads seeing if there was any to revive some stuff…but no. Alas, I am doomed. I don’t know whether to start a new account or not…so let me know.

This means all my reviews will be posted on my blog, one way or another. I think I like the idea of doing mini-reviews for regular books, and then full-length ones for physical ARCs and blog tours!

Due to this, I made a 2019 Reading Spreadsheet so I could keep track of my reading and I really love using it so far!

In other news, I publicised my Twitter again because I needed people to retweet my #bookishwish tweet. I really am a desperate, broke bookworm. No one replied so that’s fun, I’ll just miss out on all my anticipated releases that my library doesn’t have…*cries into cake*. But it’s fine because I have loads of other books at my library and at home that I need to read ANYWAYS.

I also got back into Booktube again, and I just discovered Read With Cindy and she’s like my favourite booktuber…like she’s so funny and has the best content. I also love Mel @ Mel To The Any’s channel!


Here are some posts that I really loved or enjoyed reading this month!


I’m screaming about all of these!!! Well I mean, The Boy Who Steals is the prettiest and Defy Me is ?! I don’t know what to think?


So FLASHBACK to the time when I used to do blog of the month. That was so awesome, and I want to do that again! I want to shoutout a blog that I like that has been amazing this month, or that I’ve just discovered and really love?


Okay so listen up, Tiffany’s blog is SO amazing and I lowkey just discovered her blog and I’m ashamed of myself. Her posts are so enjoyable, and she’s so sweet and amazing…I haven’t had the chance to interact with her that much but we need to buddy read something because she seems so cool. 😎

My 3 top posts from her this month were:

You should all go check out her blog if you haven’t already and show it some love! ❤


  • So our town was being weird and had this light show, and it was the most epic thing ever. You stood with loads of other people in this ring of light and looked up, and it was SUCH a magical experience. We got pizza and I had some noodles too! It was really cool and a fun night out.
  • I also went to IKEA and can I just say I want to live there, the bedrooms are so aesthetic and comfy!!
  • Going to school was OKAY…and not too stressful I don’t think. I mean, the first week back was TERRIBLE because of the bad sleep schedule that I had in the holidays but I got back into a routine pretty quickly.
  • I had a cold for like 3 days straight, so I missed school for one of the days, and my nose was runny and my ear was DEAD and it was just horrible. I’m glad I’m back to normal now!!
  • THERE WAS SNOW. It was real. I didn’t get to go out in it though because of said cold, but it was nice! The next day it was all ugly and wet though so 😦
  • I’ve also been…in a very good mood lately and it’s great?! Like I feel motivated and happy and strange all at once and it’s so weird but I’M NOT COMPLAINING.
  • I watched Birdbox and Wreck it Ralph 2!  I thought Birdbox was okay?! I liked the movie but was left with so many unanswered questions. And Wreck it Ralph was really neat and I liked the messages it sent!


Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room! If you’re reading this post on the WordPress reader or in your email, get over onto the site PLEASE and have a look at my gorgeous new design? It’s beautiful and wonderful and I love it.

Shoutout to May, Lu, Iris, Ju and my mum for helping me out with this! It was a really tough decision to make with loads of designs to pick from, but I decided I liked this one the best!!

So, I’m nervous – tell me what you think of it. Did you like the old one better, or this colourful vibe I have now?


goals from last month

  • have good posture ✅ yes! mostly!
  • drink a water bottle every day ✅❌  some days?
  • read 3 books a week ❌ no, this is such an unrealistic goal
  • do homework on time ✅ i‘m shocked?
  • keep organized ✅
  • be kind to others and yourself ✅ i’m so proud of myself. though i wasn’t that kind to others? oops.
  • get 8 hours of sleep ✅ yes!
  • have fun in your week break!! pls! ✅ yes!
  • see the hate u give? maybe. ❌
  • finish merlin rewatch (please ilsa!!) ❌❌

goals for next month

  • complete one buddy read
  • work one collab with another blogger
  • drink a water bottle daily
  • do homework on time!! don’t procrastinate!!
  • carry on having strange moods
  • brainstorm blog post ideas
  • make a new blogging friend (can already be a mutual!)
  • read for a bit everyday


  • School is going to be very hectic. I’m going to see a play at the theatre and I’m very excited to go. It’s for Drama classes and I love seeing things in theatre so hopefully, I enjoy the play! There’s also parents evening which I’m NOT excited for at all. I also have a retake of mocks and I’m quite scared.
  • I don’t have that many post ideas for next month so I’ll need to do some thinking. I might do a tag and a collab. If you have any post ideas let me know!


So, in honour of my new design, please take my blog survey! It should take you under five minutes and would really help me out in improving my posts! FREE WAFFLE IF YOU DO.


How was your January? What was your favourite read? How are your 2019 goals progressing? Do you like the design? What are you looking forward to in February? Did you take my blog survey? Let me know in the comments!

59 thoughts on “January Whispers // New Year, Happier Me; Snow, New Blog Design is LIVE, + an AWESOME blog survey for YOU to take!!”

  1. thank you so so much for sharing Houses’ cover I’M JUST SO !!! 😭💛💛everyone has been so hyped and kind about it my little heart is just exploding (!! in the best kind of way!!) also good luck with the upcoming school busyness and I feel for you with deleting the Goodreads. I will miss seeing you there, but hey if it ends up being better for your mental health, that’s good then!


    and afjdksld what the frickin frick was THE WICKED KING WHAT DID IT DO TO ME why am I still thinking about it and wrecked and wanting Queen of Nothing (THAT TITLE MAKES SO MUCH SENSE NOW HOFAJKSDLDHG) so badly and it’s not for eleven. more. months. *screams softly in agony* Jude is my queen tbh.


    1. AHHH I CANNOT CONTAIN BY EXCITEMENT FOR HOUSES. your books deserve all the love!!! and i miss seeing ur reviews on GR but thank you for supporting me.


      and i know Queen of Nothing…THE TITLE HAS ALREADY KILLED ME SO I KNOW THE ACTUAL BOOK WILL OBLITERATE ME. and it’s so far away whyyyyy


  2. UM HELLO YES I AM C R Y I N G!!! Thank you so much with showering so much love ❤ ❤ ❤ You're too sweet to me 😭 I am seriously loving the new blog design (ICE CREAM ICE CREAM ICE CREAM), and it's seriously making me consider making some changes to my own…HMMM

    Maybe we could buddy read Shatter Me if you're planning on rereading it, but we could totally read something else together because there are SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS FOR YARC THIS YEAR!!! Also, the light show for your town looks so cool?? and Yes omg IKEA is amazing but it's literally a maze where you can get lost forever. I'm so glad you're better now 🙂 I'm also in a winter wonderland (or maybe snowstorm) right now so I understand all your snowy feels ❄

    I really wanted to watch Wreck it Ralph 2 because I loved the first one but I ended up watching Into the Spiderverse instead…I would've still preferred Wreck it Ralph! (also seriously need to watch THUG) I'm glad that you succeeded in so many of your goals!! yay to sleep, good posture, kindness, and waterrrrrr (oh and homework)! If you ever want to collab, definitely HMU! I'm short on ideas atm but if you ever have something in mind, I'd love to work with you 🙂 ❤


    1. UM HELLO YES I AM C R Y I N G OVER HOW AMAZING UR BLOG IS!! And your blog and you are a blessing to this Earth, of course I had to show you some appreciation like YOU DESERVE ALL THE LOVE.

      Oh I like how your blog looks, all pink and pretty but if you want to change it – then no-one’s stopping you. Your blog is PERFECTION ALREADY THO.

      I’d love to re-read the Shatter Me books with you (the whole series?? u up for that?) Let me know when you’d be available for that (somewhere around/after March for me) but also FOATL would be fun to br if you wanted to!! (again March for that haha)

      I’m desperate to watch THUG!! It looks so good and heartbreaking and I WANT. Wreck It Ralph 2 was a super fun movie and the ending was also heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time?? i didn’t expect it to be so deep fdghjdf.

      and i’d looove to collab but i have 0 ideas – if i think of anything i will be there, screaming in your DMs aha. Thank you for you comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YOU MAKE ME SO HAPPY ❤ I've been debating moving to a theme that is more widescreen but still retains the pink, but I can't find any that hits that balance :O

        March would be great for me to reread Shatter Me! What's FOATL again?? and Not surprised the Wreck It Ralph is deep because the first one definitely was. I'll be thinking of collab ideas, and I'll let you know if I think of any 🙂


  3. Love your new design, Ilsa!! It’s so cute and colorful and I just love pastel colors, hehe 💕 Congrats on reading 6 books this month, that’s amazing! 😊 I read 7 books in January, and my favorite book this month is either Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon or A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole.

    The light show looks so cool omg, I love your pictures 😍 and yes can i live in IKEA too pls, thank you

    Wonderful post as always! I’m about to go take your blog survey now, and I can’t wait to see your YARC TBR 💓


    1. Ahhh thank you Dezzy! I’m kind of obsessed with it so I’m SOOO glad that other people like the design too. and technically, I did read 7 books this month (I finished a 7th book today) but I scheduled this post so I couldn’t include The Raven King oops! AND ooh i’ve heard interesting things about out year of maybe so i’m glad you enjoyed ❤

      And My YARC TBR is already up on my blog (my previous post) – I had it ready earlier than expected haha! Thanks for your comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really love the new design it looks SO GREAT 😍
    I’m so proud of you for accomplishing SO many of your goals, that’s honestly incredible. I hope that February will be just as good and as successful!! ❤ Sending you love ❤ (and off to take your blog survey, now 😀


    1. OMG THANK YOU MARIE!! I’m so glad you love it because I’m in love with it myself so I just want everyone to alial with me. and i’m constantly checking my blog survey for responses so i’m so grateful to you for filling that out! and i hope your february is good and awesome too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, reading every day is such an accomplishment! And that’s great that you were able to do so much planning for your novel! 💃 Glad to hear that you loved The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King so much – haven’t read them myself but everyone else seems to just love them! Also that light show looks so cool woah 😱 Happy end of the month, and I hope you have a great February!


  6. omg this is wonderful and I LOOOOOVE your new blog design!!! I am so glad you read a bunch of amazing books this month and ahhh MUSE OF NIGHTMARES

    thank you for linking up my post! and I hope you get your bookish wish fulfilled ❤


  7. The new blog design looks adorable! It’s very minimalist and I appreciate how it makes the text pop out more. Great job on it!
    I also watched Wreck It Ralph 2 this past month, and it was such a cute experience. I’ll say, though, I prefer the first one, just because the storyline of the first one was more relatable. On the other hand, I feel like the graphics por this one were sooooo stunning! It really looked very beautiful and detailed on the big screen, which I appreciate a lot.
    I also answered the blog survey, hope my answers are not way too extra. But they might be, lol.
    Hope you have a great February, Ilsa! 😊


    1. Aww thank you so much!! it means a lot that you like it.

      i don’t know which movie I liked better – both are really good!! i watched the second in cinema and it was a really immersive experience.
      and yay! thank you for filling that out and have an awesome feb too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m literally seeing your blog for the first time ( h o w, tho) so I’m sorry I can’t really answer the survey but even tho I didn’t see the old design, I like this one a lot! It’s really pretty and clean – I love that! ALSO, I think I love your writing ?? I’m sorry you were in such a crappy mood writing this but it was hilarious to read and I actually laughed a lot xD
    I keep seeing The Cruel Prince everywhere and I wanna read it soooo badly (I updated my wishlist this morning just because I was bored – and was procrastinating homework, tbh, – and I hate being a broke college student). ANYWAY, I really liked your post! 😀 Good luck with your February goals!
    (Wreck it Ralph 2 is really good!!)


    1. So glad you like this design!! I worked super hard on it – so it’s nice to see people appreciating it!! AND YAY I MADE YOU LAUGH that makes me so happy! Thanks so much for the comment, hope you enjoy TCP if you read it!! ❤ Happy reading!! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your blog is GORGEOUS! I just found you today, but the colors are so so cute 🙂 Also, I LOVE the Defy Me cover because purple is my favorite color ever and I kinda need that in my life. I cannot wait until its release!!! Congrats on a great January!


  10. That snippet from your WIP is SO GOOD omg I love it so much?!??! I need moreeee 😍😍 AND I NEED QUEEN OF NOTHING SO BADLY GOSH 😭 and omg yes IKEA is amazing I want to live there too thanks. (What has my comment become) I just discovered your blog but it’s so amazing and beautifulllll!! Your design is so so lovely my eyes are very pleased 😍


    1. EXCUSE ME while i melt into a puddle because you liked my snippet? *screams* okay i’m done but THANK YOU!!! i need queen of nothing like i need oxygen, honestly want to hibernate and someone wake me up when it’s released! i’m so glad you like my blog, thank you for your kind words, you’re too sweet!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. muse was SO GOOD I cant even put into words how incredible the duology is, laini taylor is so talented with words I want to be her when I grow up. (lowkey freaking that you deleted goodreads but then also I feel you, with how anxious it makes me sometimes, I feel the same way A LOT. but you DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH)

    okay your writing is basically amazing?? how do write so atmospheric and detailed?? I stan already
    im so happy youre inspired to write bc im TOTAL opposite right now and reading other people’s WIPs gives me hope

    READWITHCINDY IS MY FAVOURITE BOOKTUBER omgdajfdjk she’s so funny and witty and genuine, I love her sm. ikea is so aesthetic I want to live there. you had such a great January and I hope febuary is even more amazing for you (and im looking forward to more snippets young lady)


    1. i think i’m lowkey addicted to laini taylor’s writing. i want to read her daughter of smoke and bone trilogy (?) because i NEED more of her writing okay.

      and i’m regretting deleting goodreads but it’s also been good my for mental health sooooo idk what to think but THANK YOU FOR UR SUPPORT!!
      and ur an amazing writer too so shut up and stome complimenting me i cant take this.

      ciNDY IS MY FAVE AND I LOVE HER AND SHE’S SO FUNNY AND SHE IS THE BEST okay i’m done fangirling!! i’m a mess. and i hope you have a great february!!! you deserve it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I absolutely love your new format! And I can’t believe I missed this shoutout, thank you so much 💜 Sawkill Girls was so amazing and I hope you love it!!


  13. I LOVE THE NEW DESIGN SO MUCH. It’s so pretty and bright and ICE CREAM and I adore it so much. It’s beautiful. *screams*💓
    Also, that light show looked like so much fun? And pizza too, that’s always wonderful. SNOW, lucky, it has not snowed where I live and sadly I don’t think it will. But I haven’t seen snow in a good six or seven years so I wasn’t really getting my hopes up ahaha.
    I hope you have an amazing month! I’m off to take your blog survey. 🙂


  14. WHOOOHOOOOO FOR STRANGE HAPPY MOODS!!!!!!!! they come they go they come back again honestly happiness should stop being such a yoyo and we should all just be happy all the time THANKS I’M HAPPY YOU ARE HAPPY U DESERVE HAPPY AND ICE CREAM!!!

    Speaking of ice cream YOUR BLOG DESIGN AHSKELALKAR!!!! it’s so. pastel. so soft. so cute. so pastel. did I mention pastel? pastel. i love pastel. You’re still fierce on the inside but now in colourful little cupcake packaging!

    (for some reason I’ve had this comment written but never pressed send?? ok so guess i’m picking back up with it so you’ll actually see it lol)

    From all this fangirling I’m gathering I should probably read The Cruel Prince??? I’m TORN ON IT OK and I have been eyeing it cautiously but with interest from a distance.

    That snippet is so good your writing is so gooood ajjskelelaja. I hope you know I’m always softly rooting for all your projects from the dark void even if I don’t actually SAY anything!!!!

    And TBWSH cover is. So cute. Alas I admit I’m slightly dissapointed it’s not yellow but it has yellow in there AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL so I got over that twinge of disappointment pretty quickly!!!

    i hope school doesn’t kill you in February ❤️


    1. I HAVEN’T HAD A STRANGE HAPPY MOOD FOR SO LONG??!?! i think i was genuinely so full of energy in January bc of the new year and now im constantly…not. YOU DESERVE ALL THE HAPPINESS TOOOO!! ❤ <£ *aggressively pours love and appreciation all over you* OOPS.

      And yes!! i really wanted my blog to be all pastel and happy which is opposite to me because i'm a dragon.

      also yes eye the cruel prince with caution. i think you'd really love jude (she;'s very stabby) but idk what you'd think about the rest of the book sdkjbfjsdgfjhdgsbfj.
      YELLOW IS MY FAVE COLOUR WHY WASN'T IT YELLOW. but heyy at least the actual book is ugh, amazing.


  15. hmmmm what a nice design you have there wonder who helped you out with it 🤔🤔🤔

    also this might be because I just finished King of Scars and keep thinking about it + Six of Crows but your writing vaguely reminds me of Leigh Bardugo’s?? (DON’T LET IT GET TO YOUR HEAD) like the line “Breathe too hard or blink a second late and the air in the room could cut you” just sounds similar to her voice and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!

    and I’m so jealous it snowed for you fhsdlfhksdlf. but very happy you’ve made a reading spreadsheet — spreadsheets are so much fun I will love them forever. and fjdslfjs I read this post earlier but didn’t fill out the survey (I was on my phone SORRY) so I’m running to do it now!!


    1. i mentioned you as someone who helped so you don’t have to wonder!!

      WAIT i’m trying not to let this get to my head but uhm!! thank you?!? i’m literally in awe, like, imagine, my writing being even remotely similar to a queen’s.

      dude there wasn’t much snow where i live but like i went on a trip that day to somewhere else in london and THERE WAS SO MUCH UNTOUCHED SNOW THERE!! and it was so great.

      and i love my reading spreadsheet so much! i can’t wait for the end of the year to make pie charts from it?!

      Liked by 1 person

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