My Year was Excellent! (2017 Wrap-Up Post)

by - December 31, 2017

Hey, everyone! Can you believe 2017 is almost over??? I definitely can't.

 But this, of course, entails the necessary "Year-long Wrap-up Post", where I give you some recs and my favorites in several different categories from the year. I won't drag out this intro--let's just jump right into it!

Best Books of the Year

(modern; I'll get to classics in a minute)
Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Of all the Tales of Goldstone Wood, this one is by far the best. I'm so glad I decided to use my birthday money to buy this series. <3

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
While I read the whole Hunger Games series, the middle installment is definitely the best...(because FINNICK AND JOHANNA AND OMG I LOVE THEM)

Deny by Tricia Mingerink
I guess I must really love the middle books in series or something...while I'm a huge fangirl for the whole Blades of Acktar series now, this one is my favorite of the four. And that's saying something.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
My bestie actually bought me this book for Christmas a couple days ago! I'm SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY! I've read 3 Diana Wynne Jones books so far this year, but this one is my favorite. No competition. <3 Because HOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWLLLLLL.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan GraudinBlood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
These two are better when viewed as a whole rather than one book at a time. It's alternate history, asking the question "What if Hitler won World War II?" And it's heartrending and destructive and violent and gritty, but it's beautiful. Ryan Graudin's characters stole my heart. I can't really recommend them, but they're still wonderful for those who have the stomach.

Counted Worthy by Leah E. Good
I've found so many good indie-published Christian speculative fiction novels this year, and it makes me ridiculously happy. This story takes place in a dystopian America where Christians are persecuted, and it's kind of in the same genre as my novel Watched.

This Changes Everything by Jaquelle Crowe
One of the few non-fiction books I've read this year that wasn't for school, and it's amazing. I can't really say much about it, but Jonathan has an amazing review here that you should definitely read if you're at all interested in this book.

The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo

This adorable little novella is a Cinderella retelling that takes all the cliches and flips them on their head. It's written by my dear friend Allison, and it's so incredibly good :)

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson
Another novella, although I really wish that this one were a full novel. It's just too good to be so short. Kara Swanson is an author to watch.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Last but definitely not least is this one I read at the beginning of the year. It's a gorgeous, sweeping, heartbreaking story. You can find my full review for Rebellious Writing here.

Top 3 Classics

This was SO HARD! But I've finally come up with three of the best classics of the year. :D My American Lit class has been, well, lit this year. I love it so much, and I've read so many great stories (as well as some not-so-great ones...looking at you, Edgar Allen Poe.) Here are three classics that really captured my heart in 2017.

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
What is there to say about this book? I think I like the movie better, but that's not saying much. I loved this book from the moment I began it and I'm still incredibly in love. <3

Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In my Christmas Carol post (last week), I mentioned how much I love Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This is his epic poem Evangeline, about the plight of the Acadian people in Canada when Britain expelled them from their land. It's a very American story, which is cool; I don't know how much I agreed with the characters' motives, but I did appreciate their devotion. Definitely recommend this as an easy-to-read story that's both a classic and a poem!

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Heartbreaking. Eye opening. Pulls in classic tropes but often actually allows you to forget that they're tropes. Makes you cry. Definitely recommend if you feel like crying and being inspired to change the world.

Best Movies of the Year

A lot of these are new releases, but many of them are not. I'll try as much as I can to only give movies I watched this year for the first time, but some of them will be rewatches or movies from last year. 

Best dang movie of the year. Yeah, yeah, I know it came out last year, but who cares????!!! (Not me.) It's epic, it's heartbreaking, it's incredibly quotable ("I'm capable of running my own diagnostics!") and it's classic. Jyn and Cassian are two of my favorite fictional characters (and so are Bodhi and Chirrut and Baze; Krennic is a villain I love to hate; Saw Gerrara is my favorite dude to raise eyebrows at.) I just love this movie. It's so incredibly good. All the heart eyes.

Got to see this one in the theater. I'm not a huge fan of Lloyd (center, in black and green) on the show (please don't lynch me) but in the movie, he's...pretty darn epic. I love Lloyd now.  (Also, why is Cole not in that image? That's really bothering me now. Grrrr.)

Saw this one in the theater too and I love it. Lego Batman, y'all. There's really no way to go wrong with it. XD

A film that's grown on me with time, just like Benedict Cumberbatch. I loved it. It felt like Marvel, but still different enough to really make a splash.

Best superhero movie to come out this year. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

The Greatest Showman

I actually had to edit this post to include this movie once I was nearly done with this section. I went to see The Greatest Showman on the 27th, and it was SO GOOD. I absolutely loved it. <3 Definitely recommend it, and if it's still in theaters near you--GO SEE IT. 

Amazing Grace
I think I watched this one four times this year. I regret nothing, you guys. This is the best movie ever made. The best movie I've ever seen. It is so beyond good and you must watch it yesterday. (IF YOU'VE ALREADY SEEN IT TALK TO MEEEEEE ABOUT IT!!!!!) This is the story of William Wilberforce, England's greatest abolitionist. He was able to stop slavery without a war in Great Britain and his story is so inspiring for me as an activist.

Best Songs of 2017

(Again, not necessarily new releases; just songs I discovered this year.)

Here's a playlist of my favorite songs this year. (Note: One of them, "Imperfection" by Evanescence, does contain one f-word, and "The Last of the Real Ones" has a d-word.) Other than that, I'm pretty sure they're all pretty clean.

Rather than talking a whole lot about each of these indivually, I'll just throw the playlist at you and let you listen to them. XD But please know that lots of Band Highlights posts are coming next year, dealing with all sorts of artists and my favorite songs by them.

Blogging World

Have some stats from me:

  • This will be my 70th published post
  • I have 53 followers on GFC, 16 on Bloglovin', and something like 6 email followers (supposedly I have 416, but most of those seem to be spam)
  • I'm at 15,190 views all time
  • My Top Five Posts:

I think we can all agree that the controversial posts are a good thing...
And thanks to Mary Kate for getting the Cookie Book Tag up there (mayonnaise!!!!)

Shoutout to my blogging friends whose links have brought me the most views:

and Lila!

as well as to everyone else who posted my link on their blog! It really does mean a ton to me and warms my heart every time I see my blog linked on someone else's site.


At the beginning of the year I gave you all a look at my writing goals.

Well, let me just say, very few of those came to pass. 

However! I did accomplish lots in the writing world this year---way more than I was expecting!

  • I wrote a (very) rough out-of-order draft of my brainchild, The King's Daughter, which came to over 90,000 words.
  • I discovered that not every project needs to be written speedily and callously with my very personal novel The Wacky Factor, which I actually had to stop writing because the personal level of it hurt too much. I did, however, reach about 25,000 words on that one.
  • I finished writing a FULL OVERHAUL second draft of my dystopian novel Watched and am now plotting for the third draft. That draft was nearly 100,000 words (a milestone for me.)
  • I wrote the beginning of a really rough story for the Rooglewood contest and eventually had to remind myself that just because you start a story doesn't mean you have to finish it.
  • I got a spot as the apologetics columnist at the magazine for one of my online schools!
  • Thanks to Savannah @Scattered Scribbling's writing contest, I started a random little free-write story that turned into my Rooglewood Press submission, Ink Storm. 
  • I actually sent stories to alpha and beta readers (thanks to all of you who have read something for me this year--you know who you are :)) and let them READ my work. That was probably the most terrifying thing I did this year. *gulps*
  • I began yet another version of The King's Daughter, which I'm hoping to finish by the end of January (I'm CRAAAAAAAAAAAAZY!!!!)
Have a snippet from that draft, as well. :D

The princess sat on top of the tower, her mind full of others’ thoughts.
            It was just barely morning, and the faintest traces of stars were visible overhead. The sun in the east rose over the trees with the speed of an inchworm, slow but steady until beams of pink light spread over the entire town. The princess sat there unmoving, her pale blue nightdress tightly secured by her nightgown so that it did not move at all. She was not afraid of the morning; she feared nothing.
            At least, sometimes that was what she told herself. 
  • I actually submitted a story to the Rooglewood Press contest!!!! I'm exceptionally hopeful that I'll win, or at least reach the top of the competition. It may not be likely, but I'm hoping and praying.
Overall, this was a pretty successful year for me in writing. I'll be doing a post with my goals for 2018 at some point in January, so stay tuned for that!

My Walk with God

What a year this has been. 

Our little church in Maine has been blessed so much this year. At the end of last year to the beginning of last year, I was in a massive crisis of faith, and I felt about as dark as I've ever felt in my life.

It was not good. But this year has been better.

I've had struggles. I've clung to God's word and sobbed out my eyes. I've had weeks at a time where I've feverishly prayed for half an hour at a time that God would just give me some indication he's listening to my words, that he would be my all-in-all.

And I've emerged in a place where I see how great he is. 

It's hard to make myself sit down with my Bible some mornings. There's a lot of days when I never actually get around to doing devotions. But I feel like I'm genuinely growing in my walk with God, and I give him all praise for that.

Books of the Bible I've read this year:

  • Joshua
  • Ruth
  • Job
  • About half of Psalms
  • Ecclesiastes
  • About half of Jeremiah (until I realized it was too depressing)
  • Matthew
  • Mark 
  • Luke
  • John
  • Romans (twice!)
  • 1 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • Revelation

I hope you all enjoyed this little look into my world this year! So much has happened, and yet the year has gone by like a blur. I'm so glad to have gotten to know you all, and I can't wait to make even more friends and content in 2018. God bless you all, and have a great New Year's! See you all very soon!

Chat with me! Have you seen any of these movies/read the books/listened to the music? What are your favorite books and movies of the year? Was 2017 a great year, a decent year, a crummy year...tell me all the things!!!!!!

You May Also Like


  1. Wow seems like you accomplished a lot this year!! And I also adored Wonder Woman - yaaaas for girl power <3 It was incredible.

    I'm dying to watch The Greatest Showman! It looks so good! Glad you enjoyed it :)

    Hope you have an amazing 2018, Faith.

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

    1. I loved Wonder Woman. *high five for girl power* So good.

      I absolutely loved it—I hope you’ll get a chance to see it too!!!! :)

      Thanks! You, too.

  2. Around the same time you were going through a dark moment in faith in God, so was I. I find it interesting and amazing that after all that time, God has brought us to meet through our blogs. I'm so grateful for God and GTW that I found your blog.

    I want to see the Lego Ninjago movie. I'm waiting for it to come to Netflix, though. XD And I think I always liked Lloyd. Except when he was a brat. XD

    You have accomplished so much this year! Good for you! <3

    Have a wonderful New Year. I'll see you in 2018 and beyond. :)


    1. That’s super cool and awesome! I’m so sorry you had to go through that too—it really isn’t something I’d want anybody to have to experience. <3

      When it comes to Netflix, you definitely need to watch it. So good. <3 XD Lloyd’s never been my favorite, but I know he is the favorite of a lot of people. So no grudges at all. XD

      Thank you so much! You’ve done a lot too—have a great 2018!!?

  3. I adored Wolf by Wolf and A Monster Calls. They're both so powerful and amazing in their own way. And I received a copy of "Evangeline" for a birthday a long time ago. I wonder why... XD


    I'm so thrilled to hear that you're growing in your walk with the Lord. 2017 has been the year that everything changed for me in terms of my walk with Him, and I get so excited about fellow Christian's growth. God is so amazing. <3

    1. They are. And now I have copies of both of them on /my/ bookshelf, which makes me so incredibly happy. Hee's a mystery of the most mysterious kind....XD


      That's awesome! I'm so happy for you. <3 When you really start to grow in your walk, it's just...the greatest thing ever. God is so, SO amazing. <3

  4. Yesssss, Doctor Strange! And Wonder Woman! And the Lego Movie! I love those movies soooo much!

    And I am SO hoping and praying you'll win the contest, Faith!!! I honestly think your story is going to stand out to the judges. <3

    Happy New Year, Faith! I loved reading this post and hearing your wrap-up thoughts of the year. I especially loved hearing how God has moved in your life. That's been my favorite part of every 2017 wrap-up post I've managed to catch up on. :D He truly is an awesome God.

    1. They're so gooooooood <3 Doctor Strange is one of my all-time favorite superhero movies now.

      I am hoping for that too! O_O I really hope they'll think it's awesome--and I'm praying YOU'LL win too!!!!!

      Happy New Year to you too! It's been pretty cool to see that for me, too. God is good, and seeing the evidence of that in so many posts has been amazing.

  5. 100% agree about Catching Fire! It's my favorite book and movie from that series.

    Howl's Moving Castle!!! *heart-eyes* Another blogger recommended that one to me... either earlier this year or last, and it was so good!

    I WANT TO SEE THE GREATEST SHOWMAN SO MUCH!! I'm not sure I'll be able to, but I really would like to see it in theaters. If not there, as soon as it comes out on DVD!

    Can't Live Without and He Will Carry Me, those are beautiful! <3

    Sounds like you did a lot this year! From writing to reading to everything else. I especially liked the end where you talked about your spiritual walk; I was thinking recently about myself this time last year: anxiety was constantly hitting and just running me over--and I was letting it. It's still hard, but I've definitely gotten better at managing it and turning a lot of my concerns over to God and reminding myself to rest in His peace, and everything in that line of dealing with constant concerns. It's amazing to see the difference between then and now, and I pray that we both keep growing. :)


    1. It's just so good, ya know?

      It's beyond excellent. And now I finally get to put it on my bookshelf! <3

      I really hope you get the chance! It's just so amazing on the big screen--they actually have a message from the director and Hugh Jackman at my theater, thanking the audience for "coming to see our movie as it was meant to be seen." Which is of course super cool.

      They're two of my favorite Christian songs. <3

      I've done so much this year--it's kind of crazy to me! I keep a prayer journal, in which I can kind of follow my spiritual journey from desert to mountain to ocean to river. I definitely recommend it. I pray we'll both keep growing too! God is amazing.

  6. I'm so glad to hear this was a good year for you! That just makes me happy. ^_^

    You read so many good books. MOONBLOOD. SUCH A GOOD ONE. And I'm so obsessed with The Hunger Games trilogy. (I've read those books 5 times. o.o) AND HOOOOOOOOWWWWLLLLLL! THAT IS MY FAVORITE BOOK. HOWL IS MY FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER. JUST. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Ahem. I maaay go into full fangirl mode when even a hint of Howl's Moving Castle is mentioned. I make no apologies.) The Reluctant Godfather was also so, so, SO good! A lot of these I REALLY want to read, like the Acktar books, The Girl Who Could See, A Monster Calls, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

    Doctor Strange is literally the only movie on your list I've seen. SHAME. I reeeeally want to see The LEGO Batman movie and Wonder Woman. And I apparently need to watch Amazing Grace too! o.o

    You accomplished soooo much writing stuff this year! :D Congrats on ALL your awesome work. I am in awe! And that's SO exciting your got your Rooglewood submission sent. EEP. I hope all that goes well for you!

    That is so beautiful your walk with God has grown this year. Your're always an inspiration, Faith. I do hope 2018 is an even more amazing year for you. HAPPY NEW YEAR! <333

    1. Thanks, Christine <3 I still need to come read and comment on your post.... :/ Now I feel super behind. I will get to that soon--promise!!!!

      MOONBLOOD IS THE BEST. 5 times?!! That's crazy--I've still only read them once each, but I'm hoping to get the whole series at some point and read it again. <3 HOWL IS MY FAVORITE TOOOOOOOO!!!!! (and no shame. You're definitely not the only one. XD Dianna Wynne Jones says that every girl she's ever talked to about that book has asked when she can marry Howl. XDDDD) You need to read ALLLL of them. You have no idea what you're missing. XD

      SHAME INDEED! Just kidding. Wonder Woman is so good, kind of unbelievably so, and AMAZING GRACE. If I have convinced you to watch that movie, this blog has not been in vain. XDDDDDDD But hey, at least you've seen Dr. Strange! That one is epic!

      Why tank ye :D I initially thought I hadn't gotten any writing done this year, but then realized--holy cow, I've written a ton of stuff! And thanks! I do too!

      <3 You're just the sweetest, Christine. I hope you have a BRILLIANT 2018!

  7. Sounds like you had an epic year, girl! <3

  8. So many awesome reads, Howl is the best! Good luck with the contest!

    1. Howl is beyond amazing. Thanks--you too! I hope I'll get to read your story someday!

  9. Happy 2018 (it feels crazy writing that, wow)!!!

    I'm glad that I was able to give you more page views, your blog is amazing, and deserves all of the fame and adoration! <3


    Also, I LOVE Ryan Graudin's writing, you're so right about his characters! Wolf by Wolf was AMAZING.

    Fall Out Boy and Evanescence are so good, just yes, 100% yes!

    I'm so glad you've grown in the Lord and I hope next year continues to show you his grace, Happy New Years!!!

    1. I knooooowww. How are we already here?????

      Awww, thank you! I hope you've gotten some more views from my link here too! <3

      EXACTLY. 'NOUGH SAID. *Gray drops mic*

      The characters are legit the best. Have you read Blood for Blood yet?

      Exactly again! *is listening to FOB right now*

      Happy New Year to you too Gray. <3 I hope you grow in the Lord too this coming year!

  10. Faith, you've done so much this year! Proud of you, m'dear. TO 2018!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

  11. Oh my GOSH, I saw The Greatest Showman too!!!! I LOVED LOVED LOVED that movie!!!!!

    Ahhh, Scarlet Pimpernel...

    ROGUE ONE!!!!

    2017 had been BUSY. I'll just say that.


    1. *all the heart eyes* Now I'm just trying to figure out how to go see it again....


      Oh, yeah. I feel ya. I hope you have a blessed 2018, that gives you a few moments to breathe!

  12. Thanks for letting me beta read your story! It was really fun! Yours was actually the first story I've beta read. Hope I was helpful!

    What did you think of Blood For Blood? Mary Kate let me borrow it and I was very very upset at the ending. Still not over it.

    Still not over Rogue One either. That was a heartbreaking movie. Haven't watched any of the others, though I hope to go see the Greatest Showman soon!

    Love reading your blog!

    1. That's awesome! I'm so glad you did that for me---it was a huge help!

      I loved it. The ending broke my heart, but was still amazing. I loved how it showed hope in the darkness.

      It was heartbreaking, but I still love it. (Again: HOPE.) You need to watch it--get Catherine to take you or something! XD

  13. I believe I've already mentioned my love of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, but among this list I've also read (or rather, listened to) and enjoyed the Scarlet Pimpernel. And I love the film Amazing Grace- it's a favourite!
    Congratulations on all your writing accomplishments!

    1. You have indeed! Lol. You've seen Amazing Grace???? *glomps with glee* It's so good!

  14. AHHHH *facecat* More books for my TBR. Seriously, though, I've been hearing a lot about the Goldstone Wood books. Might have to look into those soon.

    Actually haven't watched a lot of new movies this year (might have to do with VidAngel issues), but let me say ROGUE ONE IS THE BEST. Seriously, Jyn and Cassian are wonderful. And the rest of their awesome team.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!


      Man, I hope VidAngel gets resolved soon. I haven't used them yet, but I kind of need to. BUT ROGUE ONE.

      Happy New Year to you tooooooo!


    YAY you liked Doctor Strange!! He's actually one of my favorite Marvel heroes now!

    Ooh, you're listening to Fall Out Boy? LOVE them! Haha, Bat Blood has got to be my favorite parody! XD

    Yay for submitting to Rooglewood! Best of luck to you!! <333 And I hope you have a wonderful 2018, Faith! ^_^

    1. YES IT WAS.

      He's my very favorite rn, which surprised me...but BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. <3333333

      Bat Blood is so good. XD My family and I just kind of go around singing it...frequently...

      Thank you so much! I hope your 2018 is the greatest!


Hello, friends! Do make yourselves comfortable and stay for a while--I'd love to chat with you! I simply ask that you keep it clean. :)