The Best of | 2016

Nothing quite makes the end of the year feel truly complete without a summary of what the year entailed; what made that year, what filled it, what made it whole. I am a sucker for these lists, I love to pour through other peoples list of albums, films, books, theatre shows- hell even candles- that have made their year complete. It's not only insightful of that person and how they experienced the same year to you but also highlights things that you missed out, like a film you perhaps didn't watch but should have.

So, to follow the trend (and because my memory is so poor I know I will thank myself in a years time to see what my 2016 version of me enjoyed singing in the shower to and staying up until 3am reading with tears pouring down my face in all the best way) here are all the things that made my 2016.


Let's start with what is going to be one of the shorter lists: films. Admittedly I didn't see nearly enough movies this year and my main excuse (which I will tell anyone as long as they will listen) is because the cinema is so expensive. As a student I make allowances for a lot of things outside of my budget, but really struggle to justify almost £10 for a new release. When I do end up going, its to things I have made sure I definitely want to go to and other than that, going when someone else is paying for me. I saw 10 new movies this year, when I wanted to see about 30, and only enjoyed 4 of them.

Deadpool- without a doubt one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time that only seems to get better with re-watching, Ryan Reynolds dry crude humour is what appeals to the sarky brit within me.

Bridget Jones Baby- admittedly I was a skeptic because the first two were just iconic as a duo but this addition to the world of Bridget Jones proves that it may have been 10 years but she hasn't changed one bit.

How To Be Single- (okay so a disclaimer, I didn't go to the cinema for this one) it may have one of the most cringe inducing titles possible but on a 8 and a half hour flight to America, my expectations weren't high. What I found was a pure story of realising it's okay to be on your own and life is so much better when you just get on with it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them- I genuinely made small squealing noises akin to a hamster when walking to the local cinema to watch the latest instalment in the wizarding world dreamt up by the genius that is J.K Rowling and co. It was so refreshing to have magic bought back onto the big screen after 5 long years that felt familiar yet so brand new.

In a similar yet different vein, I think my Netflix account has got more action this year than the last couple of years combined. It seemed like there was an endless amount of great new series being produced and I for one happily indulged. There will be a few BBC and ITV classics on this list as well because the internet is shocking at my family home and well, someones got to make use of the television licence haven't they. 

Stranger Things- not that these lists have an order at all but hands down, without a doubt Stranger Things was the best thing I watched in 2016. I watched the series another 3 times over the Christmas holidays I am that obsessed with it. All I can say is watch it and then come back to me so we can countdown to season 2 together. 

The Great British Bake Off- no year is complete without GBBO and this year certainly proved to the nation why it is such a firm favourite. It united my housemates every week to curl up on the sofa with cups of tea and baked treats strewn across blanket covered laps to tensely watch if someone had a soggy bottom. 

Orange Is The New Black- every year I anxiously wait for June so I can hear (and then skip) Regina Spektor singing the opening song to start the new series. This year was no different but the series hit the internet headlines with full force as it discussed real life situations and didn't shy away from the conversation. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I on-and-off cried for about 3 days after that episode; you know the one. 

The Crown- one of the most interesting series on Netflix purely for showing the usually stoic royal family in a warmer light even if it is fictional at times. The cast are the real gems, encapsulating every detail about the real life persona they portray with such care that I sometimes forget it is fictional and that Matt Smith really isn't Prince Phillip in real life.

I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!- now, in my feeble defence I have never been into reality television nor have I ever been into soaps either- I think its a commitment thing. However, something I don't ever need to defend is spending time with my housemates and nothing made me happier every night for two weeks was to sit down and indulge in their company over hot chocolate. Plus Ant and Dec's commentary kept me laughing through the too frequent ad breaks.

It comes to no surprise to everyone who knows me in real life, I have an addictive personality. If I like something, I will want to know everything about it, I will want to consume it until it's engrained in me, that I know it inside out and back to front. Music is the same, if I hear a song and fall in love with it I will listen on repeat until I know not just the lyrics, but the hitches of breath, the exact moment the drums fall away and the when the bass kicks in. That means my music taste doesn't change often enough unless someone introduces me to a song or artists and I just end up listening to the same thing over and over again. This year has been better, but I need to start liking artists for one song they do (if I like it!) and not dismiss them because I don't like an entire album.

Matt Wills- back in 2015 I went to see Halsey in London and I admit, had not even given a second thought to the support act and I'm not sure if this makes this discovery that little bit better. I was so wonderfully surprised by how much I enjoyed Matt Wills that when I took the train home that night I was still humming his songs and not Halsey's. I've enjoyed having Matt Wills on repeat over the course of this year and can't wait for his full length album next year.

The 1975 (ILIWYSFYASBYSUOI)- I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it is the second album from my favourite band The 1975 and as second albums go, they smashed it. I was shocked like most people when I heard The Sound originally as it was such a departure from the style of the first self titled album but I adore 80s inspired music and love that the new album is such a breath of fresh air. I know this album isn't just a 2016 favourite but an all time favourite of mine.

Vancouver Sleep Clinic- on this blog before I have spoken a lot about why I love Vancouver Sleep Clinic so much and please read that if you need further convincing. I have so many memories from this past year at university where VSC was playing dreamily in the background and I in some twist of fate managed to see them live in November in London. What's more, I met Tim and the band afterwards to tell them how much they meant to me and how exquisite their music is. Again, I can't wait to listen to the full length album next year and I am sure they will make another appearance in the best of 2017!

Panic! at the Disco (Death of a Bachelor)- I, like most emo-pop-punk teens of the noughties, was obsessed with Panic! at the Disco and as I've grown up that hasn't ever really left me. Luckily, my dodgy hair choices and excessive make up has gone but my love of that pop punk sound hasn't. The new album was released early in the year and I'm listening to it as I type up this blog post. They may have lost members along the way (it's really just Brendon Urie now) but I love that their sound has changed yet kept the underlying tone the same.

The Wombats- my housemate got me into The Wombats during my first year of university and I soon became obsessed with their fresh, fun sound. I know if I need a pick me up tracks like Emoticons, Your Body is a Weapon and Give Me A Try are the ones I head straight for. I'm hoping to see them live at some point soon because from what I've seen online, it seems like a right old party.

Special Mentions- Hayley Kiyoko, Don Broco, MNEK, Halsey, Raleigh Ritchie and Twenty One Pilots.

Ah, my first love: books. I have been a bookworm since I could read and frustrated my family endlessly as my nose was always about three centimetres from the page in the car. I will admit, whilst at university I do not read as much as I should and so these books are all on the lighter side as to not take up too much time. I must try and read more over the summer as that's when I have the time to and not keep making excuses!

How To Stay Alive (Matt Haig)- like probably everyone else on twitter, I kept seeing all types of people talk about this book and finally succumbed to the well worth hype. Matt has such a way of telling his story it simultaneously made me cry about the girl I used to be and make me proud of who I am today.

This Modern Love (Will Darbyshire)- ah yes, a 'youtuber' book. However I've never seen Will as a youtuber, instead as a filmmaker that uses the platform youtube to share his work and from the quality of his videos you'll see what I mean. I loved the idea of a collection of love letters, digital or old school or anything in-between, being meshed into a book and it did not disappoint. I read it cover to cover and even now I pick it up to open it at random just to feel something. (plus, I submitted to this modern love and sadly wasn't picked but I'm glad I did anyway!)

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (J K Rowling)- see here's the thing, I'm conflicted on including this. On the one hand, I lapped up the chance to read something new on Harry Potter and the wizarding world because I still can't get enough and I did enjoy the book/script. However, I just wished there was something...more to it. If I'm being honest, I don't want to know about Harry now. I want to know about the marauders, the first war years and the years immediately post battle but thats just my take!

Milk and Honey (Rupi Kaur)- before the eye rolling starts, yes I am aware that everyone in the world has read this poetry book but theres a reason for that. It's incredible and moving and happy and sad and raw.  Go out and read it if you haven't, I promise you its worth it.

Our Numbered Days (Neil Hilborn)-  I have always loved poetry but since discovering slam poetry on youtube I've had a brand new obsession. Neil became semi online famous when his poem 'OCD' went viral a couple of years ago and his book is equally heartbreaking yet funny. 

So there it is! I'm looking forward to comparing this years one with next year to see how things change and what changes; will I fall in love with foreign films? Will I read actual proper, 800 page books? Who knows but I like the lists from this year very much. 

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