Well, we’re in the middle of January and I’m finally bringing my December wrap up and haul. I did get behind on my content with the holidays kicking my butt lol. The time management I had planned flew out of the window :p But for reading in December, I only finished 4 things that month. I wasn’t in the greatest of headspace for a couple weeks and had to travel for unexpected circumstances. But I liked what I read (mostly) so let’s jump into the reading part.
Total Books Finished: 4
Audio Books: 2 1/2 (listened to half on audio, read the print version for the last half)
Physical/E-Books: 1 1/2
Read from November 29th-December 4th
Rating: 3 stars
Format: Library Book
I had decided that I was in a Cat Winters mood again with the winter, so I got her first adult novel from my library. I was really curious how I would like her two adult novels compared to loving her YA novels. This one had a great back drop of WWI and all the mass panic of the flu, prejudice against immigrants and Germans and what it means to be an American. Cat Winters truly captures the insane amount of hatred and paranoia people had at the time and you feel that on every page. However, the romance was something I couldn’t get behind. Their foundation for their relationship wasn’t healthy and while the male love interest had some complexity, he wasn’t quite well rounded enough as he could’ve been. Also, the paranormal elements felt like an afterthought until the last quarter of the book. I liked it, but not early as much as her YA books. I have her other adult novel to read still, but if you want to try her work, I would recommend her debut novel In the Shadow of Blackbirds or The Steep and Thorny Way.
Read & Listened from December 1st-14th
Rating: 3.75-4 stars (I’m unsure)
Format: Library audio book and personal paperback
I wanted to read/listen to another historical fiction book, so I listened to the first half through my library app Overdrive. I also love Lauren Fortgang as a narrator (she narrates mots of Leigh Bardugo’s work), so I grabbed this one. I did think that this stronger in a few ways compared to her debut novel but I still wasn’t completely blown away by it. The really mature themes of child neglect, prostitution, child abuse and living as a young teen in 1950 New Orleans was definitely handled well. The French Quarter really felt lived in with all the sleaziness, gambling and shady people of the time period. I also liked that Josie wanted to soar above what her terrible mother was like and her circumstances. She tries really hard to accomplish her dreams, which is really admirable. But I just couldn’t completely connect to her; I feel like she always had a part of her that was never exposed to truly let her be vulnerable. I cared for the side characters like Cokie, Willie and Patrick a lot more than Josie. It’s a very solid read for mature readers, but I still haven’t been blown away by this author yet.
Listened from December 13th-16th
Rating: 3 stars
Format: Library audio book
*Somewhat unpopular opinion time* I got this audio book for a long drive that my husband and I had to go on in December. This book has gotten a lot of hype, so while it did help make the drive more fun, I didn’t love this book. I only really enjoyed the chapters with Lady Satomi and Suki. I never thought that I could just like Tatsumi or Yumeko. A lot of the travel sequences felt like filler detail compared the time limit of their quest. It felt like a lot was packed into this first book and I just didn’t love it. I liked the narrators for the most part, except the voice for Yumeko was very very bland for the first good chunk of the audio book. I will try the sequel after I see some reviews though. I wanted to love it so much more, since I like anime, but it didn’t really do it for me.
Listened from December 18-31st
Rating: 5 stars
Format: Library audio book
This was my final read of 2018! Man this really blew my expectations out of the water 🙂 I haven’t been the biggest fan of Marissa Meyer and this superhero series was my last chance to try something by her. But this story was interesting, original and quite the surprise. Nova was a more gray character and I understood her motives and her reasons for being the way she was. Plus the way Marissa Meyer created this world was so original and had so many issues and complexities that made it fascinating. I also was surprised that the romance wasn’t central to the story, which is a reason why I wasn’t a huge fan of her other books. So I’m beyond excited for book 2 this year.
I did group many of these books together in my post of mini reviews which is found HERE.
DNF @ 50%
Format: Library Audio Book
This wasn’t getting a ton of buzz when it came out last month, but hearing that it was a book of how we humans try to keep evolving ourselves sounded interesting. But after listening to half of it, I had to give up. There are short stories in this book that connect later in the book. The first story was about two siblings in the far future, where the sister was in the brother’s head. The brother was going to have a revolutionary surgery. While it was good, it was way too short for me to want more. The second story was about a girl who gets to be the source of nasty rumors after having sex with a popular boy. She’s also half cyborg. At first, it was pretty decent with the talk of rumors and how a girl whose not completely human would feel. But the ending was a major disappointment and made me not like the story anymore. The final story that I had finished was actually a great one, being about a girl whose the daughter of a famous and extreme preacher. They had been in Africa when riots broke out and her story is what happens afterward. I wanted it to be so much longer with all the tragic details and the girl’s voice. So what made me quit at the halfway point? Part of it was my somewhat downer mood from the traveling I had to do (the reason behind it) but also the fact that only one story was good and the rest weren’t wasn’t a good sign for me. So I quit it halfway through and I haven’t thought about it since.
DNF @ 48%
Format: NetGalley E-ARC for a blog tour
I was invited by the publisher to participate in the blog tour for this book back in late November and I said yes. I love the cover of this book, so when I read the synopsis, I wanted to try it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish it and decided to post my official thoughts after the blog tour. I personally felt like the dark themes of abuse, rape and torture were beating me over the head so badly that I became numb to it. I understood why the protagonist was but I didn’t have to be constantly told. It was also kind of creepy that there was supposed to be sexual tension between her and the pretty goblin noble. Even though he doesn’t treat her like crap, she is in servitude to him and I couldn’t get behind that. Also, some of the world building was barely present and the couple magical abilities that the goblins had were just there and not explained. Plus I personally didn’t like the writing. If this does sound interesting to you, then be advised of the content warnings 🙂 But this isn’t my kind of book.
December Book Haul
December was a fun month to get some things! I got the December Fairyloot Box that was the theme “Dragons.” There were some magnetic book marks that were supposed to be included but they got missed. But they are being mailed this month (January). But I really liked this book box with the dragon necklace, the artwork, book sleeve, the ARC of The Storm Crow and the chosen book Fire and Heist. I definitely love the Toothless art print, which is beyond cute. This box was simple but to the point and I loved the variety of the dragon things. I think that Fire and Heist is very underrated and I’m so happy that they picked it for the box. I’m also interested to see how The Storm Crow plays out.
Then I bought some books for myself and got one book for Christmas. I was so so happy to get A Spark of White Fire from a dear friend for Christmas, which is the only book that was gifted to me. Then after Christmas, I bought Archenemies, Give the Dark My Love and The Dark Vault from Amazon. I did do a trade on Twitter and I got the December Owlcrate edition of Amber and Dusk. YOU GUYS THIS OWLCRATE COVER IS EVERYTHING! They design their exclusive cover a lot and this was their best one. So I think this variety of YA made it a great month for hauling 🙂
What did you guys get in December? Did you have a great holiday season? If you have read or heard of any of these, let me know your thoughts below!