Happy Friday everyone! I hope your new year has been great so far 🙂 I’m finally here with my December wrap up and January TBR. I am planning on going back to my Monday, Wednesday and Friday blog schedule like before since I think it might help me much easier. I’m still a little blah when it comes to being active on social media but I hope that changes with the new year. But as far as December went, I didn’t get to all the books I wanted to but I did manage to complete a few books that seriously needed to be read so let’s jump in!
December TBR Check-In
TBR Books Completed: 4/9
TBR Books Started, Not Finished: 1/9
TBR Books I Didn’t Get To: 3/9
TBR Books I DNF’d: 1/9
I didn’t too bad on my December TBR! I completed the ARCs I needed to get to and that really helped. I didn’t get a ton of reading done over the holidays, but it was still a good time. There was only 3 books I didn’t get to, but I have read one of them this month in January so that book will be in my January wrap up.
December Wrap Up
Total Books Completed: 5
ARCs Read: 2
Library Books Read: 3
Audio Books Completed: 1
Read from November 30th-December 9th
ARC via Edelweiss
Release Date: January 28th 2019 from HarperTeen
Rating: 4.5 stars
This was so good you guys! I had gotten this ARC last year and couldn’t wait to get to it. This is YA paranormal/urban fantasy book and we follow Kira, who has a sacred family shrine ran by her grandfather. But one night, her family shrine is attacked by yokai demons. But with the help of her half-kitsune friend Shiro, she vows revenge and goes to find seven shinigami to team up with her and stop Shuten-doji, the demon world from destroying the world. This book is set in Japan and we go to both many areas in Japan and back and forth to the demon world. This is such a fun anime YA book with everything I could’ve wanted. I loved that Kira tries her hardest to not only harness the powers she has to see the yokai but also try to prevent the end of the world. She’s very strong but also tries to not show her fear. I also loved Shiro, Kira’s friend and love interest who helps to protect her and remind her of what’s important. This book is also heavily inspired by the iconic film Seven Samurai and there’s a lot of anime references in the book. If you’re looking for another YA anime book, please check this out when it comes out at end of the month. It was such a stand out 🙂
Read from December 11-14th
Library book, original ARC from NetGalley
Man the idea for this book sounded fun, but this was a really dry, stale and boring standalone sci-fi book. In this book, the world was taken over by a vast fog and there’s a ring of shattered metal around the Earth. Aliens can also appear in our world through reflective surfaces and Marty, our protagonist, was a black market mirror dealer. But he gets involved with the mayor’s son and they both set out to find out the truth about the aliens. While the OCD rep (ownvoices from the author) was well done, that was the only positive thing I got from the book. This book completely lacked atmosphere, tension and the two boys sounded a bit too similar to each other. Part of the plot was also annoying because it felt like the author added a really convenient plot device to make things easier for the characters so that the survival aspect was thrown out. While it was a quick short read, it’s very forgettable and I don’t feel motivated to try anything else by this author.
Listened from December 9-16th
Library Audio Book
Narrated by Moira Quirk
5 stars, re-read
I saw that my library had gotten the audio book of this and I just couldn’t resist. I devoured this audio book within a week and I still love this book with my whole heart. I loved hearing the Welsh names and setting brought to life by Quirk’s narration. This audio book helped me get through my weird reading mood and was exactly what I needed 🙂
Read from November 16th-December 22nd
ARC via Edelweiss
Release Date: January 21st 2019 from Amulet Books
I was really excited to get approved for this ARC, since I really enjoyed the first book The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. This book continues to follow Genie as a guardian of Heaven and trying to manage the demons on earth. But when a large evil looms, the Jade Emperor goes AWOL and a competition for the throne of Heaven begins. Genie is also looking into college and what she wants to do with her life after high school. While the beginning of this sequel was hilarious and easily brought me back to this world, this was ultimately kind of a messy sequel that never got deeper into genuine character development for Genie or exploring her relationship with Quentin. I personally think that their relationship is still not fantastic, with them getting mad at each other when one doesn’t do what the other wants or doesn’t think about how the other would feel. I really think this series would’ve benefited from either being a trilogy or at least another 100 pages to fill in the story with more adventure, tension and the romance. But I still think that Yee is so talented at writing snappy humor and blending reality with Chinese mythology. I’m interested to see what other books he writes next.
Read on December 25th
Library book, original ARC on NetGalley
This was a book that I was avoiding for a while, due to the low 3.5 rating on Goodreads after the book released. But while on Christmas break, I finally opened the book to get it done. This book is set both in 1986, 1987 and also back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. We follow Elena and Joaquin in the 1980’s and they live with their controlling and manipulative mother on Mariposa Island. Both are desperate to leave their mother but Elena is caught up in a toxic relationship drugs and isn’t sure how to escape. The past storylines follow their mother Caridad, who left Cuba when she was a teen and what she went through until the present timeline. While the beginning was really rough, I wanted to show what secrets were being kept in the family so I kept reading. Once I learned the truths, I felt really bad for the siblings. The mother is one of the worst parental figures I’ve read in a long time. While some people are like Caridad with having to leave their country and mentally never leaving their home country, I still felt no sympathy for her. Overall, I really respect the themes the author was showing in this book and I think the way the book ends is very realistic and I respect this book, but didn’t love it. My reviews for a lot of the books I read last month are in the link down below:
Started, But Didn’t Finish
I got a good chunk through both these audio book this month, but didn’t finish. I’m halfway through Starsight, which I honestly expected to finish on a long drive. But I will finish it soon for sure. Secondly, I started my second listen of Lair of Dreams to prepare for the final book in this quartet. I only got about 30% through Lair of Dreams last month, but now I’m nearly finished and I hope to start book 3 very soon. Finally, after downloading Girl, Serpent, Thorn, I decided to start and give it a try. I’m only about 13% through it but I do like it. I hope to finish this book once I get some more immediate ARCs done.
I only had one book that I DNF’d this year, which honestly is good because this was a bad year for DNF’ing books for me. I had finally gotten around to Crown of Coral and Pearl, and after about 110 pages, I couldn’t do it anymore. The only thing like I liked about this book was the deadly blood coral that was mentioned. This story feels like one I read or seen many times and it doesn’t do anything new. Nor is also a frustrating and annoying character and I still dislike books that still keep that old idea of how “beauty is everything” and while I know that these ideas are being combated and the point is to go against that idea, it’s still boring. So another debut that didn’t work out for me.
January 2020 TBR
I’m trying not to stress about reading a ton this month. Since I finished a LOT of ARCs last year, there isn’t a huge pile for the new year. I do have 2 blog tours in February for The Unwilling and The Life Below (the sequel to The Final Six), so I’m going to make sure that I get those books done as soon as possible. I did finish Sensational and both my author interview and book review will be up very soon. Then I also need to get to All the Stars and Teeth which is getting a TON of buzz. I’m also continuing my Diviners re-listen and I’m waiting for the audio book of Before the Devil Breaks You to become available. I want to finish book 3 right around the final book comes out. Finally, I do have an ARC of Scammed that I also want to get to, so we’ll see how that goes. Anything else besides this TBR that I finish is going to be extra.
How was your reading in December? Did you read any of these? What was your favorite book to finish out 2019? Let me know in the comments!