Yearly Brew 2022: Favourite Reads, Musings On Albums, Final Thoughts On The Year

This year has been a mixed bag. In some ways better than last years, in other ways it’s also felt like another year slipped away from me. I did return to blogging though this year, which was nice to come back to and whilst I’m not posting as often as I used to pre hiatus. I am very much in love with my content, the upcoming content that you’ve yet to see.

Like the 2021 Yearly Brew, if there are sections you’re not interested in just hop and skip your way through the post. I’m summing up my entire year into various sections, so I know there’s likely something you may not care for. That’s fine, thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for reading my blog and still caring about my content. With that being said – let’s begin! 💜

Books & Blogs

This section holds my favourite reads for the year, favourite blog posts I’ve created along with the most popular blog posts according to my stats!

Favourite Reads Of 2022

I was able to read 21 books this year! I exceeded the goal I set for myself so I’m proud of myself. My main focus this year was to read the books I wanted to read and not to put pressure on myself to read for the sake of content or to just check another book off on the challenge. These are some of my favourites out of the books I read this year!

The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

Technically I’m cheating, however it’s my wrap up so eh. I reread the entire Iron Fey series this year. It was my first time revisiting the world since I was 14 (I am now 22 btw!) Can confirm I still adore the books, the characters and the world. I’m really looking forward to reading Evenfall which is a spin off set in the same world with the same characters. I do have a couple other books in the world to read before I get to Evenfall I think.

Anyway, the Iron Fey series will always feel like another home to me, yes there’s tropes and it feels a bit 2010’s but that was the time the books were written and released. What I loved most the first time I read this series, were the characters and the dynamics between them all. The banter and witty remarks really pull you into the pages. Now 8 years later, I still love that about the books but I also appreciate Julie Kagawa’s writing a whole lot more. The descriptions, the way Fey are presented in this series. I also enjoyed the romance of course but I definitely love the trio the most. (the trio being Ash, Puck and Meghan)

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegmund-Broka

Inhaling this book in just under 4 hours was quite the journey. My new favourite author duo as I slowly work my way through their previous books. Out of the three I’ve read, this one may have to be favourite thus far. It made me feel all the things and I came to love the way the story was being told to us, flipping from the present to the past to help us better understand why the main characters act the way they do in the present.

I really, really loved the writing like the tension, the emotions just ugh so good! Highly recommend this book. As a bonus our main characters are both writers and are contractually obligated to write another book together; problem is they can’t stand being in the same room as one another. Pretty sure this fits the enemies to lovers trope although a more accurate representation would be ‘friends to enemies to lovers’.

Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki

I picked this one up after seeing a book blogger keep recommending it in their posts. It’s a Middle Grade book and it’s told through the eyes of the children who are living 25 years after the Hiroshima bombing. The writing in this book is just everything, I really loved how it dealt with grief and loss. The fact people do not grieve the same: for some finding the remains of a loved one can bring closure whilst for others it would mean accepting that their loved one truly is never going to return.

I don’t have the words to explain how much I loved this book and just wanted to hug everyone. Each story within this book adds to the perspective given of how people are trying to live their lives after an event changed their lives forever. One of the main takeaways from this book is nothing is certain, what you have today may be gone in an instant the things we do and say matter. You may think you have a tomorrow, only for that tomorrow to be stolen from you.

Favourite Blog Posts Of 2022

Becoming A Stay 101: Guide To Stray Kids and Becoming An Atiny 101: Guide To Ateez can sit together because they’re a similar type of post. A guide to a Kpop group. I know not everyone will care for these posts and that’s perfectly fine with me. I wrote these posts with the intention to share my love of certain groups as well as helping people have a starting point if they were unsure.

Getting into Kpop was at times overwhelming, there’s a lot of content out there and no one has a map, we’re just lost wandering until you sort of figure out where to find the content. If you come for the music, then I also rec some of my favourite and underrated songs from the groups. I really enjoyed making these posts, I have plans for some others and other kpop content next year. These posts will get updated every so often with new content and more up to date photos from the groups most recent comeback. Simply, I just really liked having an excuse to write about two of my favourite Kpop groups, whose music means so much to me and I hope you enjoy them.

Shadow of the Fox // The Trilogy Which Broke My Heart was the first ‘book chat’ to go up on my blog. I really love the photos in the post. I enjoy taking book photos in nature but rather than just use them on my instagram. I wanted to incooperate them into posts, so this is one of the ways you can see pretty photos. They’ll likely appear in ‘book chats’ and possibly my brews. Anyway I love this post, loved the trilogy even though I needed a box of tissues at the end.

Falling Into Your Smile (2021) is obviously a favourite post because this drama is my all time favourite drama. I finished rewatching it this year actually and it still has my heart. If you want to hear my thoughts on the drama they’re all here in this lovely post for you.

Top 5 Blog Posts Of 2022

My post popular post of 2022 was Slow Burn Is The Superior Trope (including recs!) Honestly I really did not expect this post to be the most popular, however I am so glad people liked it as I wasn’t really sure whether they would or not.

Becoming A Stay 101: A Guide To Stray Kids is the second most popular, another surprise but one I’m proud of. It warms my heart that this post did so well and definitely gives me the motivation to keep sharing Kpop posts on the blog.

Next we have Lessons Learned From A Year Long Blog Hiatus. If you’ve ever thought of taking a hiatus, have taken a hiatus or just are curious about my perspective and what I learned. This post is for you, I’m so happy it was liked by so many!

The Pressure To Read For Content Can Be Overwhelming // Why I Stopped Reviewing Books On The Blog is a post near to my heart. I am so happy it made it into the top 5 in my yearly stats.

The 5th most popular post is A Gen Z’s Love Hate Relationship With Social Media. You can read more in depth about my opinions in the post, suffice to say I have a complex relationship with social media. It’s tricky because I’m part of the generation where many of us have only known a world with technology yet I was brought up with restricted access to a lot of the technology. I have access now but my parents chose to limit my access so my perspective on a lot of things…may not align with what you’d expect from a Gen Z I guess. Anyway I really love this post.

On Screen

This section includes my favourite shows watched as well as my favourite YouTubers, whose content I really looked forward to watching throughout the year.

Favourite Shows Of 2022

To Fly With You

This was the first drama I watched in 2022, the fact I still remember bits of it and think about it until now, shows how much I loved it. It truly is one of my favourite dramas I’ve seen this year, so much so that I would consider rewatching it at some point. I adore the main characters so much, their character arcs and the fact it balanced the sport aspect really well with the drama side. Delving into the backstories of the main characters, seeing everything unfurl and a romance gradually blossom. I really treasure this drama and whilst there were moments I wanted to smack a certain character with a wet fish. They did so well with developing the characters, the overall pacing and keeping you invested.

A River Runs Through It

Another drama I would totally consider rewatching. I just…there’s no words to describe the way this drama made me feel. I adored the nostalgic aspect to it, as it’s set in the early 00’s, seeing the early tech made me think of my childhood. Our main characters are all from a similar background, which made for a nice change since there wasn’t a difference in class. Instead this drama really delves into friendships, love and just figuring out who you are in general. The romance in this one will…well look it ruined me. I ended up crying, just from all the emotions and whilst I would have loved more. The way they tied up the romance was just so nice and yes…I wasn’t expecting it to make me cry. The romance is very much a ‘slow burn’ but you get so many cute yearning moments, and it’s friends to eventual lovers. I think what I loved most about this specific drama, was the reassurance that you don’t need to have experienced love or a relationship before or during your 20’s. That sometimes, the people who are meant to be for you may drift away but should they come back…don’t let them go again.

Lighter & Princess

I finished this drama last week of December. When I tell you I think this may be my second favourite drama of all time…it’s sits at the same table as Falling Into Your Smile for me. If you know me, then you’ll know I literally fell for that drama and finished re-watching it this year. For Lighter & Princess to just swoop in and sit at this table, was not on my bingo card for the end of the year.

Both our main characters Zhu Yun and Li Xun are programmers, which I absolutely loved that it wasn’t just the male lead being a programmer. Staring off in the present, the drama then takes us back 7 years to when they were in University for us to understand their story. I really loved the way it was told. The actors were all phenomonal like the main leads chemistry was giving me the same feels as the main leads from Falling Into Your Smile. The storyline is done really well, I was a bit wary at it being 36 episodes as sometimes the plot gets drawn out. Not here, everything unfolds in its own time and the main leads character progression is a joy to watch.

Speaking of our main leads, the chemistry was just yes it was there, it was so real. The romance was everything, I adored seeing them together. If you ask me for drama recs from now on you best believe I’m chucking Lighter & Princess at you all along with Falling Into Your Smile hehe.

Favourite YouTubers Of 2022

Now I do watch a lot of YouTube, in fact I consume more YouTube than TV nowadays, I also curuate who I follow semi regularly. That being said I wanted to take a moment in this yearly brew, to share some of my favourite creators whose videos I’ve looked forward to and massively enjoyed this year.

The Van Wives: I’ve been an avid watcher of their videos since 2019 I think now. It’s been a while and I just love seeing how they approach big projects, making progress towards living a more sustainable life.

Oh No Nina: Nina feels like a big sister a lot of the time. Her videos just feel very warm, wholesome and I always look forward to her uploads. She also has a webtoon To Love And Be Loved out on the webtoon app, which you should totally check out!

Annika’s Leaf: I stumbled across Annika’s channel last year I believe and quickly fell in love. Her videos are so relaxing to watch and I always end up feeling hungry watching them as she cooks some gorgeous looking things.

The Coffee Monsterz Co: I found Helen’s channel again this year and promptly fell down into a planning hole. Her videos are something I look forward to every Sunday and they’re just so soothing.

Music

This section covers favourite songs and albums this year. They may not have released this year but I discovered them this year and then had them on loop.

Favourite Songs Of 2022

Not all of these songs were released this year. I simply discovered the song this year and it found it’s way into my heart. I will have a section on my favourite albums/comebacks a bit later though hehe.

Beauty and the Beast by The Rose is such a good song. I really love The Rose’s music, it’s up there with Onewe and a few other groups whose music I adore and will always listen to their new songs. This song was the first new song we’d had from the group in 2 years (it originally released in Dec 2021 but I only heard it in Jan 2022!). Anyway, their songs will forever make my heart melt. Highly recommend you check them out if you love emotional songs.

Not sure how many people know this about me, but I went through a huge punk rock/rock phase when I was younger. To this day, I still adore both genres and I absolutely fell head over heels for Love It When You Hate Me by Avril Lavigne ft Blackbear. There’s just something about Avril songs, which claim my heart, similar to Taylor Swift, Stray Kids and Ateez songs do. Anyway, loved this song so much!

Voltage by Itzy was a bop I never knew I needed in my life. Their outfits, the sound and overall execution of this song and M/V left me in awe. It still gets played months later because I just adore the song so much.

Grand Escape by RADWIMPS ft Toko Miura is from the movie Weathering With You I think. No I’ve not seen it and to be quite honest, I don’t actually remember how I discovered this song? It could have been through YouTube randomly shoving it at me or I stumbled upon it by pure chance. Either way, I fell in love with this song, there’s something about it that just hits differently. The way the beat changes and ugh…it’s so good.

Excuse me but I am still not over this song Blinder by Kingdom. Soph has been slowly shoving this group at me and this song smacked me in the face. I am still not over this song, or the way it was on loop for weeks. Anyway, I definitely like Kingdom’s concept so I will keep an eye on their other comebacks. This song though, still love it even now, the chorus is everything to me.

My rock loving soul really appreciates Dreamcatcher for their overall sound and darker concepts. I loved Beauty Full by Dami which is her solo of the groups album. The rock sound just absolutely had me hooked. Dami is also my bias in Dreamcatcher. Anyway her solo is gorgeous and I recommend you check it out if you like rock songs.

Wonderland by Alexa had me in a choke hold when it first came out for her entry in the American Song Contest. Her performances were incredible, I love her songs and this is no exception.

I’m a casual listener to some of (G)-IDLE’s songs. Tomboy definitely caught my eye, the concept, M/V execution and everything was just incredible. Loved this song a lot and I did watch some of the groups music show performances because I loved this song so much.

Fairytale by Stray Kids. Ahem I had to include this because it’s from their Japanese comeback and I absolutely fell for this song. (Take a wild guess who wrote the lyrics…it’s Han yes, shocker I know xD) The lyrics are just heartbreakingly beautiful and the overall sound of the song…anyway yes I love this song.

My summer anthem is No Problem by Naeyeon ft Felix from SKZ. This song just screams summer to me, I love the way their voices blend together on the chorus.

Hit Ya by Lapillus was a song I didn’t think I’d love but it really grew on me.

Wanna Know by IRRIS is so catchy and I am keeping my eyes peeled for any other songs they drop.

Queen of Hearts by Twice has my heart. I love it, it’s a great song and you should go give it a listen.

Free Falling by TXT was one Soph chucked at me, since I hadn’t realised it was out. Anyway, love it so much, the lyrics, their voices. Ugh. So good.

Ring Ma Bell by Billie has a rock sound, need I say more? The M/V was amazing, loved their outfits and I am here for this song.

Dice by NMIXX was another song I wasn’t sure of at first. However I really love it, the M/V, their vocals and just the song in general. It throws you off at first because it sounds a bit like two/three songs in one but I really love how they executed it.

Favourite Albums Of 2021

ODDINARY by Stray Kids

Stray Kids released ODDINARY back in March and some of these songs are still stuck in my brain. I loved this album. Whilst I wasn’t head over heels for all of the concepts in this album like I was for NOEASY, they still delivered and I found myself really love their overall concept and styling for Maniac. My favourite songs off this album would have to be: Maniac, Charmer and Lonely St.

Please I could watch them perform Charmer for the rest of my life and not get bored. There’s just something so addicting about this song, the whistle, the choreo and their outfits for the performances for this song.

Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go by TXT

This album…came from nowhere and smacked me in the heart. I really, really love the Opening Sequence in this album. Their vocals in it, the choreo just really captured my attention and heart. I love the overall vibe for this album, the rock sound just makes my heart swell ok. Favourite songs from this album would have to be Good Boy Gone Bad and Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go. No but can we talk about their styling for Good Boy Gone Bad? I’m a pile of mush for this concept.

The World Ep1: Movement by Ateez

Ateez never disappoint me. This album just really makes me want to actually watch videos and try to figure out their lore. However I fear my brain may become fried if I attempted that, maybe one day. Anyway, I am loving this albums different vibe, it’s more on the rock side for a few songs. I also love how we’re exploring more of their storyline and world. I think my favourite songs off this album would have to be: Guerrilla, Sector 1 and Cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk was an unexpected fav but it’s really grown on me. Guerrilla I love the hook and the M/V. Sector 1 though is just my cuppa, there’s something about it that makes me want to dance and sing along obnoxiously loud at the ‘lets go sector 1’.

MAXIDENT by Stray Kids

Was not expecting to fall in love with this album as much as I did. My predications on which songs I thought would be favourites was accurate. Taste by Danceracha (Lee Know, Hyunjin & Felix) is a masterpiece, I don’t know if Stay will ever recover from the live performances of this song. Their voices in this song are everything and I really love this song. Super Board was not how I had originally thought it was going to be, though it’s still a kind of rock/punk vibe in the M/V and song. It’s definitely…repetitive with lots of sounds added and somehow it still made its way to my fav list.

To utterly no ones surprise Chill is also a favourite song from this album, written by Han it of course makes my list because I love anything and everything he writes. A song I didn’t think I’d love as much as I did was Give Me Your TMI, such a bop and I love the M/V for it.

Midnights by Taylor Swift

Taylor’s songs new or old, feel like coming home after a long time. Even though Midnights is a new album, the songs echo past eras from her. Again I am in awe of the way she writes lyrics, weaves stories and just…this album is like a mash up of 1989, reputation and folklore/evermore. My heart is so full.

My favourite songs off this album would be: Maroon, Anti Hero, You’re On Your Own Kid, Bejewelled and Mastermind. I love them all but these ones definitely hit differently for me. My favourite bonus tracks would have to be: The Great War and Paris. Again I love all the songs but I can foresee these ones being on repeat, many times now.

SKZ REPLAY by Stray Kids

This was a digital release, which actually put several already released songs onto different streaming platforms. It’s a mashup of the players and records various members within the group have done and uploaded to YouTube. The album also included 8 new solo songs from each member, which is what I am going to talk about because I’ve already heard the other songs and spoken about them in the past.

I am always drawn to more ballad style songs, emotional ones and rock vibes. Whilst I don’t dislike any of the new 8 songs, I do of course have preferences and I can say that 4/8 went straight to my heart and onto the favourites list. Deep End by Felix is just a song I didn’t know I needed in my life. He literally sounds like 3 different people, his range has me in awe, the lyrics too and just ugh. He quite literally yeeted me into the deep end with this song.

Limbo by Lee Know and Love Untold by Hyunjin are sat side by side because I love them both just as much. I don’t think I can pick one I love more than the other to be honest. I adore Lee Know’s vocals on Limbo, the chorus and how powerful it sounds. His song reminds me of an OST for a drama. Hyunjin’s I just love the lyrics, love the sound, love everything and his voice too. (Hyunjin has been bias wrecking me lately, send help)

Then there’s RUN by Han, I love all his songs and this one is no exception but it’s just not as high up as the others for me. I do love the lyrics though, which is no surprise because it’s Han.

Listening to the first 8 songs in the order they are on the album is one emotional rollercoaster by the way. Highly recommend you do it at least once. (listen if I had to be shook after finishing RUN only for Felix’s deep voice to pierce my ears and soul, then so do you sksksk)

Goodbye 2022

This section are my thoughts and reflections on how the past year has gone for me, as well as things I’m looking forward to next year.

Final Thoughts On 2022

I’m not really sure how I feel about this year. A part of me feels like it’s just another year gone by and another part is screaming that ‘omg it’s another that’s just passed by and have we done anything?!’ so yeah…fun times. (the answer is we survived, we made it through and that’s enough.)

Honestly I think a lot of my joy this year game from playing Genshin Impact, having that to look forward to and playing with some of my blogging friends. It was lovely and I really, truly adore the game. It lights something up in my brain and I enjoy figuring out team compositions and pairing characters together. Other than Genshin, I consumed a lot of dramas again, actually I seem to consume more Chinese dramas than anything? Genuinely thought it would be Korean dramas but I guess not – at least not right now.

The other main joy of my year has of course been Kpop – specifically Ateez and Stray Kids. I’m not going to write a ton of this but yeah, they’re my lights when I’m struggling and their music helps me a lot. The variety content, interviews and such are things I look forward to in a day and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for my two ult groups next year!

Personally, it’s been another rollercoaster with my mental health particularly in the last 3 months of the year. Looking back on the year, I think I am getting better at living in the present and trying to actively make plans and be social.

See you all in 2023! I hope you all had a wonderful end to 2022 ^.^

What were some of your favourite reads/shows/songs from this year? Anything that’s still stuck in your mind after months? Let me know in the comments loves 💜

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7 thoughts on “Yearly Brew 2022: Favourite Reads, Musings On Albums, Final Thoughts On The Year

  1. Love this Clo! I need to revisit Iron Fey series, so hopefully in 2023. Will wait for your review on Evenfall before giving it a try because I really tend to not have a good track record with sequel series lol. I love Annika’s Leaf, but I still need to check out your other youtube recommendations. And I need to finish my current cdrama watch (Love Between Fairy and Devil, I highly recommend it!) then will go for Lighter & Princess since everyone has been really loving it!

    Have a great 2023!

    Like

  2. OMG I really wanna watch Lighter & Princess but unfortunately YT says it’s not available in my country which is such a shame… it seems so cute. Soul Lanterns looks interesting, I might add it to my TBR!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw no that’s so annoying, are you able to watch it through Viki? I know it’s available on there, only the first 20 episodes are currently unlocked though :/ hopefully you’re able to see it at some point! Ah yes, Soul Lanterns is amazing ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ohh, soul lanterns sounds so wonderful! i’m always looking for more mg books so i will definitely have to look more into that one ❤ and i just found the coffeemonsterzco channel some weeks ago, and her videos (and others) make me even more excited about using my planner this year haha! her voice is soo soothing too

    i'm sorry that your mental health has been inconsistent, but i'm glad to see that you've had many joys to help! it is so lovely that you're able to game with your blogging friends ❤ and definitely relate to what you said about your favorite groups bringing you happiness when you need it!

    hope you have the loveliest 2023, clo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • aaaah yes it’s such a good book, highly recommend it! I feel like you’d probably enjoy it to be honest 💜 omg yes I adore her videos, they’re so soothing and just put me at ease.

      I hope you have a lovely 2023 too May, sending you so much love 💜

      Like

  4. I lowkey feel like rereading The Iron Fey series after all the related content from you because I absolutely loved it back then too.

    I am definitely going to get to Lighter & Princess sometime soon! To Fly With You sounds really cool as well so that’s on the list now too haha.

    I’m glad that you were able to enjoy gaming and media this year and honestly, they’re what makes our days and years. Art matters so much.

    I hope your 2023 treats you well and brings you more joy ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg yessss do it! Reread them, hehe I actually have a post coming up maybe in Feb (hopefully) where I just chat about the Iron Fey books because yes, must ramble about one of my fav series!

      Omg yes, I can’t wait for you to watch Lighter & Princess, I’m sure you’ll love it. I mean it’s like my second fav drama of all time, it sits directly below Falling Into Your Smile hehe. Ooooo To Fly With You is one of my top fav sports dramas, they balanced the romance and sports really well.

      Hope this year treats us both well 💜

      Like

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