My Random Thoughts

My 2020 end of year review (and what a year it was)

Well, I won’t be the only one to say this but what a shit show of a year it has been. I didn’t get half as much blogging done as I would have liked but thanks to the lockdowns I managed to get 144 (at the time of posting) books read.

January and February were fine and I was able to complete what I set out to do which was to read the fairytale retellings.

Then the world went to shit…

Then March came and my husband was suspended from work for having a cough and someone reported him (he didn’t have the virus, every year at that time his allergies play up). After that, there was a high report completed and he was removed of sight because someone started a nasty rumour about him and his employer let it get around the entire site until it reached the person who can decide whether you stay or go.

This went on throughout April so I was functioning with quite a high level of anxiety at this time. In addition to this, I wasn’t hitting my target of getting three people into work a month. As such, my job was also threatened as my probation was extended in February. Anxiety inbound. My manager then told me I wouldn’t be passing probation (great) and when I finally said I could maybe get people into work she went ahead and told her boss I could defiantly get people into work, laptops were ordered and lo and behold the participants didn’t answer their phone. I get a phone call off my boss who actually said: “You’ve put the whole team in the shit now Laura.” Are you being serious right now? You’ve already threatened my job and my husband’s job is on the line. Not what I needed at all. Encouragement wouldn’t have gone amiss.

So March, April and May were a complete mess and I do apologise for my lack of posting at this time.

Mid May my husband is informed he is now banned off-site but he will be allowed to work as a temperature checker at another site, this, however, has gone from a 5-minute walk twice a day to a £170 taxi bill each month for a one-way trip as I try and pick him up at the end of his shift to try and save money.

Things started to lookup

On June 1st I was able to keep working for the same employer but in a different role under a different manager and I feel so much better for it but the job itself was hard work. I was solely responsible for three areas and I had to make sure 20 people were doing their jobs correctly and because I was doing such a good job of it they gave me another area to do on top of this. All this for £5k less a year. Don’t get me wrong I love my job and I know I shouldn’t complain about the money but I am doing more now than I was doing my previous job.

What’s good about this new role that I have? I am now on par with my old boss and if she doesn’t do her job properly well I then step in and find faults and report them to our joint boss who is amazing.

I have worked throughout the pandemic from home with two kids at home for six months so as much as I wanted to blog I simply didn’t have the time or the technology as my laptop was on the way out. Now, me and my husband have a joint laptop which I’m still getting used to as I can’t get passed the keypad on it with it being a gaming laptop (I much prefer consoles).

and now…

Since November, things have settled down and I am hoping to be more active in the future providing I am actually able to use the laptop. I’ve got 8 NetGalley books to read and review which I will try and get as many on here, and there look to be some good new releases next year like A Vow So Bold and Deadly, A ​Court of Silver Flames (I’m still not overly keen on the new covers, but more on that another time) and I personally am looking forward to Jaymin Eve’s and Kelly St Clare’s new releases which have been promised for early next year.

After what we have been through as a family this year I now know that whatever next year brings we can get through it. Some families have had it worse because they have lost people to this awful virus and I am not taking anything away from them. I don’t know how I would have coped in their shoes. I can’t compare my problems to theirs but I know for a fact that this last year was the most difficult one that I can remember and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else, not even my worst enemy.

Now for a quick wrap up of the books which is why I am sure you’re all here

Best Book of the year

Feather (Angels of Elysium, #1)For me, it was this Feather (Angels of Elysium #1) by Olivia Wildenstein

Synopsis: It was supposed to be a quick mission. The only thing quick about it was how rapidly I failed.

With only a month left to earn her missing feathers, twenty-year-old Leigh embarks on a trip to Paris to meet her newest project, twenty-five-year-old Jarod Adler, leader of the Parisian Mafia and the worst kind of sinner . . . a Triple.

If Leigh can get Jarod to accomplish a single act of kindness, she stands to win 100 feathers, more than enough to complete her wings and ascend to Elysium, the land of angels.

What she doesn’t count on is Jarod’s dark charm costing her feathers.

She’s dead set on saving him, and he’s dead set on destroying her.

Until he realizes destroying her wings is also destroying her heart.

A heart he longs to hear beat only for him.

This is a Romeo & Juliette retelling and I have never had a book make me feel the way this book did. It probably won’t be for everyone as it does come with the following Trigger warnings: graphic sexual scenes and a difficult ending. Not recommended for Young Adults. I absolutely loved it so much so that my husband has actively tried to get the physical book for me but whenever he asks a bookseller they’ve never heard of it. Celestial (Angels of Elysium #2) is being released early next year and I will be getting my hands on it as soon as I can.

Least enjoyable Book of the year

Pizza GirlI tried with Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier but I couldn’t make it passed 25%.

Synopsis: In the tradition of audacious and wryly funny novels like The Idiot and Convenience Store Woman comes the wildly original coming-of-age story of a pregnant pizza delivery girl who becomes obsessed with one of her customers.

Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She’s grieving the death of her father (who she has more in common with than she’d like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.

Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled covered pizzas for her son’s happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other towards middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.

Bold, tender, propulsive, and unexpected in countless ways, Jean Kyoung Frazier’s Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.

It just didn’t seem to be going anywhere and the main character (I still don’t know what her name is) seemed to be really confused about all her relationships but weirdly bonds with a woman who called the pizzeria she works for and asks for a pepperoni and pickle pizza.

I couldn’t bond with the character and the writing style wasn’t for me. I honestly feel sorry for all of Pizza girls relationships as from what I fed she is on a downward spiral

What’s Next?

I really don’t know. I haven’t decided if I want to try and challenge myself like I did this time last year and I failed miserably and I don’t even know what my GoodReads challenge should be but I know that whatever I do I will make the most of it and be happy because honestly what better to ask for (other than to lose 50lbs).

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