December 22, 2022

2022 Wrap-Up: In Which I Break My Own Rules and Curse the Universe (A Lot)

Hello my beauties!
Welcome to my last post of the year, where I will wrap my 2022 up. This was a DISASTROUS year, on all counts. Life was a mess; blogging was (consequently) slow and highly irregular. I had to sit it out for a while, and I ended up writing only a VERY small number of full reviews (though I did post ten Review Morsels installments). I need a break, OK? Is anybody in charge listening? ๐Ÿคฌ ๐Ÿ˜ญ Anyhow, here's the breakdown (haha, double meaning appropriate ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜ซ) - brace yourselves for some whining...

Pt. 1: This Year in Blogging

As of today, I've been blogging for 10 (!!!!!) years and a couple of months ๐Ÿ˜ƒ.

This is what happened on Offbeat YA during the year, broken down by number of posts, events I took part in, books I reviewed, authors I interacted with and discussion posts I an off-blog, real-life section!

a) Numbers

This is my 48th post this year. That's TEN posts less than my 2021 count. As I said, I was busy taking regular ass-kickings from life ๐Ÿ˜ญ. I didn't even get the chance to celebrate my TEN YEARS of blogging in October...

Only 13 of my 2022 posts were full reviews (they were 22 last year, but...see above), 7 of which were ARC ones (15 last year). Like in 2021, backlist books took a...backseat, which continues to pain me, but again, I couldn't do better. I also wrote 10 mini-review posts (they were 7 last year), for a total of 31 books, 8 of which were ARCs (1 last year), which I guess says something...more than half my ARCs for the year didn't get a full review (though there were 3 DNF and 2 anthologies involved, plus some books under 4 stars, which explains the amount of minis, as per my new policy...and its more recent development). The books in question are detailed (and linked) in the "Reviews" section below.

So, to sum it up, I wrote 23 review posts (including the minis), for a total of 44 reviews (again, counting both formats) and 15 ARCs. Which makes it sound less disastrous, but still - 13 full reviews are a major setback for me...

Also: I DNF 9 books this year...thrice the amount I did in my previous 9 years of blogging ๐Ÿ˜ฑ...though I have to stress that before signing up for NG and EW accounts, I used to read a small amount of bought books a year, and only a handful or less that came directly from the authors/publishers...

b) Events and memes

I'm still involved in Tell Me Something Tuesday (co-hosting, providing questions, participating when I can), but like reviews, it suffered from my home problems. I even skipped a whole lot of questions I had provided myself LOL. I kept doing my Offbeat Offline monthly recaps though, even when I was on hiatus, because I needed to record what was going on (though it had better be swept under the rug, or maybe buried in a nuclear site...).

c) Reviews

These are the books I reviewed this year, broken down by genres/Reading Rooms (all YA except where the contrary is expressly stated):

Supernatural (3): In Mercy, Rain by Seanan McGuire (short story) | Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire | Skeleton Song by Seanan McGuire (short story)
(Please note...2 of these reviews are short in nature, of course, since they pertain to short stories; then again, I used my full-review format for them, so I grouped them with the regular ones...).

Unwalled (genre-crossing) (2): What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman | The Honeys by Ryan La Sala (ARC review)

Adult (8), in the following genres:
     Supernatural/Fantasy -> The Shadow Glass by Josh Winning (ARC review) | Seasonal Fears by
     Seanan McGuire 
     Sci-Fi -> Deep Dive by Ron Walters (ARC review) | Full Immersion by Gemma Amor (ARC
     Multiverse -> Prison of Sleep by Tim Pratt (ARC review) | End Of The World House by Adrienne
     Celt (ARC review) | Last Exit by Max Gladstone
     Unwalled (genre-crossing) -> The Elevator at the Brink of Infinity by Michael James (ARC 
Also, I posted 10 Review Morsels installments, featuring:
(Please note: some authors recur - *ahem* McGuire/Grant - but with different books reviewed of course...).

So...I broke my own rules this year, out of necessity, because I couldn't keep up with my review queue anymore. First I decided to only post mini reviews for short stories, novellas and anthologies (with some exceptions); then I added books up to 3.5 stars to the mix (again, I'm open to write a full review in special cases, but...); lastly, I even extended the mini-review rule to some 4-star books (e.g., the Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire, because it spans more than 10 books already, and I would never been able to keep up with it if I wrote a full review for every one of them). I don't like this, but I have no choice - and to my credit, the (definitive) minis I write for these books are longer than the (temporary) ones I post for books that I intend to reread and review in full later...
d) Author interactions


The authors I usually have the privilege to review ARCs from were in writing/subbing/pitching/revising mode this year, with the notable exception of Josh Winning, who published his adult (but teen-friendly) portal/puppet fantasy The Shadow Glass (see above), which I beta-read with my friend Carrie in 2021.


Nothing this year
. But I've been told that my beta services might be required in the near future ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. 

e) Discussion posts

I've got nothing ๐Ÿคท‍♀️. As usual, I've been saving my best ideas for TMST (though I would love to revamp my A Reader's Quirks series), except that in the last months of the year I have, for all purposes, temporarily stopped participating, what with my home life getting out of control (which resulted in a couple of hiatuses and a blog schedule simplification)...I hope to be able to take part in TMST again starting in February though!

f) Real life

I'm going to try and keep it short, but since this was yet another shitty year for me, I'm not sure I'll succeed. Anyhow, here's a recap of the most notable things I went through...

๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I got laid off at the end of April, when the radio station I had been working for since 2001 closed due to the Covid-generated economic juncture. I'll receive unemployment benefits until the end of August, after will get rough. Since I lost my job, I've taken to looking for a new position online (to no avail), but I haven't gotten the chance to do that in person, because...

๐Ÿ’‰ ...I've had my hands full with a family emergency. My husband developed a foot ulcer that he stubbornly refused to seek help for, until he finally realised that it wasn't going to heal using home-administered medications (actually, it was getting worse by the day). Since then, he's been getting home care, and after learning that the reason for his ulcer was a clogged artery, he got a femoral balloon angioplasty. Now we have to wait for the tissue to grow back, which is going to take a while though...In theory, he could already start walking again, but it's debatable - plus I don't know what kind of shoe he could use, especially since he's heavily bandaged and his other leg is a prosthetic...

๐Ÿ˜– In other news, my Twitter got hacked again (but without consequences this time), and I'm still having perm issues, even with the new hairdresser who actually LISTENS and TRIES stuff. Oh, and I added left wrist pain to my endless list of health issues (I booked an X-Ray for January 11th). And of course I'm so tired (see: family emergency above...all that running around on foot and tending to my bedridden husband and waking up early to get us ready for the nurse's/surgeon's visits)...and angry...and worried about, well, lots of things. That's my default mode right now...

(Oh, look...I managed to sum everything up quite concisely...round of applause, please ๐Ÿ˜‚).

Pt. 2: Goals for 2023

Every year, my only goal is to post at least once a week and survive...which proved to be trickier than usual this year (both parts of it...), as my 48 posts demonstrate. I mean, not bad for someone who spent 3 whole months on hiatus (only one of which covered for by scheduled posts), but still. I've also fallen out of the habit of writing full reviews lately, and I'm afraid I won't be able to get into it feels like a lot of work right now...but I WANT to. So, goals for 2023: post weekly, reprise full reviews, reincorporate backlist books into review schedule. It should be feasible, life permitting...

Pt. 3: Holidays Hiatus

As usual, I'll be away during the countdown to 2023, though I plan on visiting your blogs/interacting with you on Twitter (are you still on Twitter? are you exploring other possibilities? have you made accounts on other SMs already?). Blog-wise, I'll be back on January 1st with my December recap! (After which I'm planning a new hiatus, but fear not, it will be the last one for a while. In February I'll be back for good, unless the universe has more ordeals in store for me...and I intend to make up for those missed posts).

In the end...

('s David Tennant again this year, complete with long-ish hair, beard and mustache, wearing a mistletoe-patterned sweater and blowing a kiss in front of a Christmas tree)

...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
(or Happy Holidays if you don't celebrate)!
See you next year! Take care ๐Ÿ˜˜.


  1. I'm sorry this year has been so hard. I hope the universe listens and gives you a reprieve. I hope you and your husband's health issues improve significantly in 2023. <3 I hope you enjoy your holidays. Merry Christmas!

    1. The universe owes me one too many ๐Ÿ˜ญ. Thank you! Same to you - your year was as rough as mine...

  2. Still sounds like a lot of reviews to me. It's hard enough just writing one review.

    I'm glad you're still awake. If I were you, I probably take a lot of naps. It's tiring to even hear about what you're going through.

    I hope things go well with you and your family. It's no fun to spend the holiday worrying so I hope you take a few breaks.

    Happy holidays! And Happy New Year!

    1. I suppose I did review a lot of books, only in a different form that I was used to...which feels odd to me.

      Thank you! Same to you!

  3. You had rough year, Roberta, and my Christmas wish is for 2023 to be kinder to you.

    1. Thank you - I hope it listens...๐Ÿงก

  4. I wish I could stop by with dinner and give you a real-life hug. This has been such a rough year. I'm glad you are still around and checking in. I hope you and your husband have a lovely Christmas and here's to a better year in 2023!

    1. I'm feeling that hug ๐Ÿงก. Thank you so much Jen, and I hope you and your loved ones have a merry Christmas and a lovely new year!

  5. I hope next year is better for you!

  6. The fact that you only wrote ten fewer posts than last year despite everything going on, that's actually great! You did a lot. And mini reviews are good! I know you wanna write the full ones, but all lengths are still helpful :-) Maybe something will get a bit better for you in the new year. We can only hope.

    1. "You did a lot. And mini reviews are good!"

      Thank you! And same to you. We both deserve a break, at the very least...

  7. This year has been hard for you. I hope next year is better.

    Merry Christmas. I hope you have a lovely day.

    1. Argh, you went right into spam this time - I only saw your comment now. Thank you Mary - I hope the new year is less crazy in your neighbourhood...

  8. I hope your 2023 is wonderful. I'm sorry that you had a rough year.

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday and hope you have an amazing new year's. :)

    1. Would you believe the holidays are being rough as well? Ah, let's hope the new year will have mercy at least...Thank you! and have an amazing new year as well!

  9. My year's been like that too. A lot less posts. Although you've had REASONS and I've had... IDK. :) Your reviews HAVE spurred me though to add the Gladstone book and that McGuire series to me TBR, so yay for those!

    I hoping 2023 is a better year

    I am still on Twitter, and have almost jumped into a few conversations with you and Karen and whoever, but I'm so bad at Twitter that I go for days sometimes so I... didn;t. Ha

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! :)

    1. You've probably felt less motivated to post...maybe a little happens. And thank you for letting me know my reviews vere good for something! Now you only need to read those books LOL ๐Ÿ˜‰.

      Thank you! Though the bar for "better" is very low indeed...

      I checked your Twitter, and lo and behold, your last tweet dates back to November 2020 ๐Ÿ˜…. I also realised that you're not even following my "new" account ๐Ÿ˜‚. Even before EM took over, you weren't a huge fan of the site haha.

    2. It's been a rough year. Not rough like you've had it, just... :(

      Has it been that long? Yeah, I guess it has. wow. and I'm not? I'll have to rectify that... I mostly log on there to check DM's and don't really tweet much (obviously)-maybe in 2023 I'll work on that. Although He Who Shall Not Be Named is not making that easire...

    3. "It's been a rough year. Not rough like you've had it, just... :("
      I'm sorry to hear that. I know your mum had a few health issues - I hope she's doing better now.

      Eh, we like-minded people will have to stick together and keep our small community alive, if we can...๐Ÿ’š

  10. This is probably more of a testament to how much I've been MIA blogging - but I felt like you posted more this year lol I keep missing that you posted (like this one!).

    At this point, I think if we're still here, alive and kicking in any capacity, it's all good.

    Have a rutabaga new year

    1. LOL, it's been a weird year for both of all bets were off.

      I feel more kicked than kicking at the moment...but yeah, I'm still here...we both I suppose we should deem ourselves lucky!

      Rutabaga for the win! ๐Ÿคฃ

  11. *hugs* life sucks sometimes.

    On the plus side, you reviewed way more books than I did last year! :)

    1. LOL, but your blog has a wider scope than mine. You do review/talk about comics every week!

    2. Lol, your use of the word 'review' is almost as lenient as my use of the word 'comics' ;)


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