January 1, 2016

2015, Thanks for the Memories.

January 1, 2016
Well, it's exactly 11:59 PM here in Honolulu . . . only one minute 'till the new year.  To send off 2015 in an appropriate fashion, I decided to make one big wrap-up post to commemorate another year gone by.  This post includes favorite books, favorite memories, and pretty much anything random that pops into my head at this ungodly hour -- ha, ha!

Happy New Year everyone!  Here's to 2016.

So first off, I'm including a "Books Read in December" in here.  I would include an entire year's worth of books, but quite frankly, I just can't remember all that I read!

Books Read in December:

I feel like I'm missing a few, but I honestly can't remember.  I have a terrible memory.  (But I'll blame it on winter break.)

My Favorite Book of 2015:
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

It's difficult to put into words exactly why I loved this book as much as I did, but . . . it's simply glorious.  It'll probably remain an all-time favorite of mine for a long, long time.

Honorable Mention:
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Although this book had plenty of those sad, tear-jerking moments, it had bright and sunny ones, too.  I'll Give You The Sun made my heart oh-so happy.  A (very!) close second for my favorite book of the year.

Favorite Author of 2015:
Jandy Nelson

I read both of her books this year.  The Sky is Everywhere was my last read of 2015, and I love, love, loved it.

The Best Thing That Happened To Me:

Hiroshima Peace Scholarship

Two juniors at my school are selected every year as "Hiroshima Peace Scholars" to travel abroad to Hiroshima in the summertime and promote peaceful relations -- all expenses paid for.  After submitting a thorough application, an essay, and a project proposal, I was selected as a finalist.  And after an interview with the scholarship committee . . . I was selected!  I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to stand as a promoter of peace in my community and abroad.

From now until departure, my fellow Hiroshima Peace Scholar and I will be busy with trip preparations that include:

- Organizing a project to prepare a 1000 paper crane garland (a symbol of peace)
- Coordinating an anti-nuclear petition that will be sent to the United Nations
- Preparing a project that will be presented at a peace forum at Jogakuin High School

I'll be sure to share my experience online, here, on my blog.

Other Awesome Events:


I was able to visit Kauai, the island where my grandfather grew up.  It wasn't a long trip, but I enjoyed hearing stories from his childhood and spending a few days with my grandparents, brother, and mother.  I documented my time while on the island, so if you're interested, check out these posts: Kauai Coconut Diaries Day 1, Kauai Coconut Diaries Day 2, and Kauai Coconut Diaries Day 3 (and a half).

The East Coast

I was also fortunate to go on a second trip this summer -- to the Northeast US mainland!  I visited family, looked at colleges, and went to lots and lots of bookshops.  Check out my bookshop shenanigans here: Travel Diaries: Seven Bookshops to Visit In (& around) Boston.

Co-blogging @ APCB with Rachel & Mishma!

I had only been blogging for a few months, but Rachel scoped me out and asked if I wanted to be a part of APCB!  Well . . . OF COURSE I DID, haha.  These two have been the absolute best co-bloggers -- ever.  They're always thanking me, so now I'd like to thank them, too.


New Year's Resolutions:

- Posting more often.  Like, WAY more often.
I know I suck at this.  I'm working on it.  Promise.

- Reading AT LEAST 60 books.
I feel like I read about five books per month, so I should hit 60.

I just really like writing and I always feel the need to write.  My problem?  IDEAS.  I just don't know what to write about.  And of course, there's that thing called free time I'm currently lacking.

- Scheduling posts . . .
This is probably the toughest one for me, to be completely honest.  Ha-ha.  I have no idea how all you expert blogger-people do it.

- Updating Instagram
Yes, I actually do have a bookstagram.  It's @yapeach

And lastly . . .

Thank You.

I started up this book blog back in April, so 2015 is special for me.  Just . . . thank you to everyone who's commented on my blog, followed, been a good friend, the whole works.  You've all made my first year blogging awesome and totally worth it.  So, again, thank you.

This photo of me was taken exactly one year ago on New Year's Eve.  It's crazy to think 2016 is already here.

P.S. Sorry for the extremely convoluted New Year's post.


author image

Julia Anne

I'm a teen with a refined taste for good books and great writing, currently living in Honolulu, HI. I'm a reader. A dreamer. And an aspirant writer. One day I have hopes to travel the world, but for now, I'll settle with venturing through the written works I read.


  1. Happy New Year!! What an eventful year! Congratulations on the Hiroshima Peace Scholarship!!

    Looking forward to more awesomeness here at Peach Print in 2016. :)

    1. Thanks, Aunty!! I'm excited for 2016. Hope I'll be able to visit you AGAIN this year, ahaha! :-)

      Julia Anne

  2. Looks like a great year not only book and blog wise but personally. Congrats on the scholarship and opportunity. Also your pictures of Kauai are amazing. I have been lucky enough to visit and it is such a beautiful place. I loved I'll Give You the Sun and I have Made You Up on my list to read in 2016. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Grace! I wasn't on Kauai for a long time, but yes, the island is so beautiful. It's very different even from where I live, Oahu. I hope you enjoy those books as much as I did. Happy New Year!

      Julia Anne

  3. Your life has been filled with such crazy experiences. I can't help but think what I'm doing in school all day means nothing if I'm not experiencing the world outside rather than from a stuffy school desk. It really sucks that I can't travel anywhere nice because I have a lot of siblings and we're almost going to college soon. I've never been to Hawaii, never seen crystal clear blue waters (well unless you count Florida but then again, the water is really dirty and gross). You're so lucky and I would just love to go to Hiroshima since I'm learning Japanese in my school now anyways. It'd be good to put some of those skills to use. You're so lucky u went to Hawaii though :(
    Happy New Year luv. Hope we get closer in this new year <3

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. Lol, Alex, no!! I've actually never been out of the US so this will be my first trip abroad. And since I live on Oahu, my trip to Kauai was only a 30 minute or so plane ride away. But hopefully you'll be able to travel more in the future! I'll be going to college soon, too, so I'm hoping I'll be able to travel abroad more once I get there. :-) Thanks so much for the comment, Alex!

      Julia Anne

  4. WOW!! Congrats on being chosen as a Peace Scholar! & I love all the pictures you showed us on your blog, they are amazing! :) So Happy New Year Julia and I hope that you will have an epic year full of amazing and new experiences!! ;)

    1. Thank you!! I wish the same for you this new year. Thanks for always commenting and reading my posts. :-)

      Julia Anne

  5. omg the hiroshima thing. it sounds so amazing and the cause is so wonderful. so glad you got selected <3

    also really happy youre on apcb! i love that blog and i love the three of you already. i don't know when you started blogging but i'm incredibly proud of your blog. you are so well spoken and you totally know what you're doing. much love <3

    - novaa

  6. YEAH JULIA ANNE! It sounds like 2015 was amazing for you, so I hope 2016 is just as good for you! ♥ Congrats on being chosen as a Hiroshima Peace Scholar - that sounds like such an amazing and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous recap! ♥

  7. CONGRATS ON THE HIROSHIMA PEACE SCHOLARSHIP! that is so so super awesome and i'm so happy that you got in! i'll be looking forward to your blog recaps of it! ALSO YOUR PICTURES ARE BEAUTIFUL. kauai looks absolutely amazing (still can't get over the fact you live in hawaii? because that is so cool! it's on my travel bucket list). so happy to have found your blog this year because honestly it's quickly become one of my favourite blogs. i love it whenever i see a new post from you in my feedly! so here's to 2016! hoping it goes amazing for you! <33

  8. Oooh congrats on the scholarship girl! That's really awesome :) and you take such beautiful pictures! I was thinking of making a bookstagram but then I decided to just merge books with my personal account lol. I hope you have an amazing year and good luck with all your goals!


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