December Recap

It’s hard to believe December, and 2016, are now over and I’m posting my December Recap. This year seems to have gone so quickly but at the same time looking back it seems like a long time has passed since January when I was still a relatively new blogger on WordPress. Despite some of the downs there have been a lot of positive moments during 2016 for me; I went to YALC back in July – and am looking forwards to going back again this year – I reached my one-year blogiversary, met some amazing people on WordPress and overall just had a wonderful time blogging during 2016.

December I finally got started on the ARCs I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages. Besides that though I announced the winner of my giveaway and answered all the questions you sent me for my one year blogiversary, I even got around to at least one series I’ve been meaning to for a while now. A good reading month and a good month to end the year as well.


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Books I Reviewed

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

After seeing the film of course I immediately had to read the screenplay and relive the adventure. It’s always wonderful going back to the world of Harry Potter; this time learning more about magic in America and in the 1920’s.


Jennifer Niven

Jennifer Niven doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable topics in her books, but everything is carefully written and gives an honest perspective into the issues. All the Bright Places was hard for me to read, but overall both her books were wonderful stories full of wonderful characters.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

I’m steadily catching up on Sarah Dessen’s newest releases and the next one was Along for the Ride. This was a wonderful story but then I expected nothing less from one of my favourite YA contemporary authors.


Mara Dyer Series

While I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book I am glad I continued this series because the story got so much better with the second and the third. Overall it’s a brilliant, though creepy in places, trilogy.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins (Editor)

Normally I don’t read anthologies but it seemed like the perfect book to pick up just before Christmas, and I actually ended up really enjoying it. Definitely more hits than misses in this novella.


ARC Review: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book as it’s one of my most anticipated releases for 2017. Luckily my expectations were met; Wayfarer is the perfect ending to the Passenger duology.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review Frostblood by Elly Blake

Another ARC I was really excited for, though not as excited for Wayfarer I’ll admit. Frostblood exceeded all my expectations; it was an incredible book and one I’d recommend to everyone.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read for the First Time in 2016

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forwards to for the First Half of 2017

Top Ten Gift Ideas for Book Lovers Part Two

Top Ten Best Books of 2016


Standalone Sunday

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


book-haul

Originally I wasn’t supposed to buy any books in December, and not just because I was on a book buying ban until the end of the year. I overspent on Christmas presents and I asked for a fair few books from friends for Christmas myself as well. However one of these was a pre-order and another was a Christmas present from my sister so overall I didn’t do too bad.


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Waterstones


Amazon


Christmas Present


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Fairy Loot


#SFATW


next-month-on-my-blog

Every time I come up with a monthly to-read list there’s always at least one book or series I never get around to, hopefully January will be different. I have a couple more ARCs I need to get read and reviewed in January, but other than that it’s just going to be whatever I feel like picking up and getting started on.


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Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.


A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the centre of a cross-dimensional feud since she first travelled to another universe using her parent’s invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.


The Novice by Taran Matharu

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through gruelling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board manoeuvre for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.


Half Bad by Sally Green

Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.


I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas and a Happy New Year as well, hopefully 2017 will be better than 2016 for every one of you. Has anyone made any resolutions? I don’t have any concrete ones myself simply because I normally end up breaking them before January is over but let me know if you’ve got any you’re going to try and stick to.

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43 thoughts on “December Recap

  1. I do hope 2017 will have plenty of bookish awesomeness for you, Beth! I’ve made 2017 the year where I begin all these series that just HAVE to read (at least the first books) because… you know… it sucks to still not be able to say “Yeh, I’ve read that!” when you know you should have as a proud bookworm! *stands up tall and straight with a grin on the face* Hahahah By the way, in your first picture, it looks like Batman was sneaking around and his shadow got caught! 😛

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lashaan, I hope so to and I have to admit the first few books I’ve read this year have all been amazing. Ohh, that sounds like a great goal to have for this year, I wish you the best of luck with it because I imagine you have a lot of books on your to-read list to get around to this year. I certainly do! 😀
      Ha, yeah I noticed that as well. I kind of liked it so I kept the picture like that anyway. We can just pretend it was the actual Batman and not just the shadow of one of my books! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like you had a wonderful blogging and reading month, Beth! This is so great 🙂 Also, I was thinking of buying and reading A Million Worlds With You this year, but I have no idea whether I’ll be able to or if it’ll have to wait for February. So many books, haha. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this 🙂
    Happy NEw Year, Beth! Wishing you all the best ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes overall I’m really happy with my reading progress in December, it was definitely more books than I thought I’d get through! 😀
      Now I have A Million Worlds With You on my bookshelves it seems to be easier to find the time for it (hopefully I’ll manage to get around to it either this week or next) then again I’m always encouraging people to buy more books! 😀
      Happy New Year to you too Marie! ❤ I hope you have an amazing 2017! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I really did, I hope you enjoy it as well when you get around to it Lauren. I did think the first book was a little slow but the series gets so much better with the second and third books. 🙂
      I finished Caraval today actually and oh my god it was amazing! I’m not sure how I’m going to write a review that isn’t just me completely gushing over how brilliant everything about the book was!
      Thanks so much Lauren, I hope you have an amazing 2017 as well! 😀 ❤

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  3. I have a couple reading resolutions I’m hoping to keep, but I don’t usually stick well to any other type of resolution 🙈 happy one year blogiversary! Caraval looks amazing and I’m super excited for a Frostblood!! So glad you liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think for me the second I make a resolution I’m always more tempted to break it you know? Either way I hope you manage to keep your reading resolutions. The only ones I normally have are my GR reading challenge and to keep blogging for another year!
      Thanks so much. I actually finished Caraval today and it was definitely amazing, and I hope you enjoy Frostblood as well! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like you had a fantastic December, Beth. I actually didn’t stick to my buying ban completely either so you’re not alone 😂. Though, I definitely bought way less as well and received most of my books for Christmas. I can’t wait to see your thoughts on Caraval and Half Bad. I know Half Bad has been on my TBR for years but I haven’t heard enough to actually pick it up. I hope you had a fantastic New Years and have a great 2017! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Melissa, and yeah overall I was pleased with my reading month in December. I think when it comes to book bloggers on WordPress we never stick to book buying bans do we?
      I can’t wait to get started on Caraval actually. I’ve heard so many amazing things about it and I need to see now whether the book lives up to the hype, though I’m sure it will! I hope Half Bad is good too actually. 🙂
      I had a great New Years, I hope you did as well Melissa, and I hope you have an amazing 2017 as well! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We so don’t. It’s hard with all the new releases and then with the books we just want to read in general 😂. I’m definitely an impulse buyer. I actually got quite a few books on Celtic mythology and faeries to use for writing research though so I say that was a great reason to break my ban haha.
        With everything I’ve heard I have a feeling Caraval is one book that will live up to all of the hype. I haven’t seen one negative review yet. 😊
        I’m glad you had a great New Years! I had a pretty quite and calm one which was nice. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Every time I see a new release on Goodreads I feel like it gets added to my to-buy list, and given all the amazing books that are being released let’s just say my to-buy list is already long enough as is! That is a good read to break your ban, better than my reasons which just tend to be that I want a book and don’t want to wait until after my ban is over to buy it! 😀
        I finished Caraval yesterday and for me it definitely lived up to the hype. My review will be another positive one! 😀
        Calm New Years can be nice every now and again can’t they? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Same here! I can’t go too crazy this month but I do see a book buying spree in my future lol. Either that or I’ll buy as I read this year just so I can limit myself in some way.
        I do that too sometimes. 😂
        Awww yay!! I’m so glad it ended up living up to the hype for you. That gives me even more hope for it. I can’t wait to see your review.
        They really can be. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I am going to go a little crazy this month. I have my Christmas money which I haven’t spent yet but I am planning to head to Waterstones next Friday and spend it all on books! After that I maybe just try and stick to a budget or something.
        I’ll be posting my review a couple of weeks before the book is released (I think the 16th) but yes it definitely lived up to the hype for me! 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy New Year! It looks like you had a wonderful reading month in December! I’m really looking forward to Caraval, as well. So far I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. And I definitely have to begin Claudia Gray’s series. The covers are beautiful and I’ve read several rave reviews that encourage me to read them soon. And I loved the Half Bad trilogy. It’s really dark and sad, but I thought there were many elements to the trilogy that made it very memorable for me. I hope you enjoy Half Bad and the other two books as much as I did! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia, happy new year to you too! 😀 ❤
      Yeah I was quite pleased with what I got through in December book-wise. I'm definitely looking forwards to starting Caraval too because like you I've heard nothing but amazing things about it.
      I've really enjoyed what I've read so far of the Firebird series, the covers are definitely gorgeous and in my opinion the story inside is just as amazing!
      I'm hoping to start the Half Bad series later this week so I hope I enjoy it as much as you did too.
      Thanks Azia! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know when I’ll get to the Firebird series, but I definitely have to bump it up on my TBR! And I can’t wait to see what you think of Half Bad 😀 The first book was good, but the last two were much better in IMO! And no worries ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I’ve seen that more and more often, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think it means the author is just getting warmed up and they’re growing as a writer, which is always a rewarding experience, IMO, for both the author and reader! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy New Year Beth! It looks like you did quite well in December. My December was a blur I can’t even tell you the amount of books I read (it’s probably under 10) I think I watched more movies than anything else ha!
    Here’s hoping to a bright and joyful 2017! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First of all, Happy New Year!! ❤
    I'm the same as you – I don't make any resolutions. Whenever I have made them I managed to break them within two weeks of trying. SO I basically gave up on that. The only one I always have is: be a better me than I was last year. Which is vague enough and good enough for me. So there's that. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Anna, happy new year to you too! 😀 ❤
      And nah, what's the point in New Year's resolutions when you break most of them before one month through the year. I feel that's a good resolution for this year, and every year if it's an annual one you make. Mine would be something along the lines of keep on blogging for another year! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It feels like it was yesterday that I finally clicked on WP and opened the door to a wonderful land of books and great people 🙂 I’m so glad I had the chance to meet you online this year! 🙂 You’ve had a great December! Like you, I only have a few ARCs to go through so it’s gonna be lots of mood reading choices and a bit of assigned books! I wish you a wonderful and bookish 2017, here’s to a great blogging year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t feel like yesterday for me in so much as I know I’ve been on this blog for a while now, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like over a year for me either! I feel the same, there are so many amazing people I’ve met through WordPress and it’s been wonderful getting to know everyone on here.
      Seems like we both have a fair few books to get through, hopefully we do though, and I hope you have a brilliant 2017 as well Donna; both in terms of bookish, blogging and real life! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy new year,Beth 🙂 I am so excited for Frostblood and Caraval in 201.Seems like they have been getting positive reviews.I haven’t read Passenger yet but it’s on my TBR.Maybe I will binge read the series once Wayfarer is released.Fantastic beasts ❤ Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy new year to you too Angel! ❤ 😀
      Frostblood is amazing, and if Caraval is anything like what the reviews have been saying then it's sure to be as well! Passenger is another brilliant book which I would really recommend, it would be great to binge the duology once Wayfarer has been released though. 😀
      So much love for Fantastic Beasts my side too! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard amazing things about Caraval so I definitely can’t wait to get started on it! I hope you enjoy it when you get your hands on it Niraja. 🙂
      Oh yeah it was an amazing book but so hard to get through, still it was incredibly well written to deal with the subject the way it did. I agree in that Jennifer Niven is an amazing author!
      Thanks, happy new year to you too Niraja! ❤ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I bought Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow from the used library bookstore bc I loved The Scorpion Rules: Plain Kate is one of the books I Hunger Gamed back to the library.
    Did you get your SFATW package already? I must’ve not seen the post for the unboxing yet!!
    Wonderful month for you! Lucky Wayfarer reader (being in the UK and all)…hope 2017 rocks for you…and I hope you set a challenge on GR for it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I thought I recognised the author’s name from somewhere. Yep I was lucky enough to get my SFATW box before Christmas, I haven’t posted a full unboxing yet, that will come with my January book haul which will be it’s own separate post because I’m going to be buying a lot of books soon!
      Have you got your SFATW box yet?
      Yeah December was pretty amazing, and it’s not too much longer until Wayfarer is released so you don’t have long to wait! 😀
      My GR challenge is 100 books again, what’s yours?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My challenge is 100 books again, too.
        I have not received it yet, but Anne was sick and sent it late. I see that she did receive hers but hasn’t opened it yet, and it is killing me bc I want to see her reactions to it! I begged her to film it for me. I’ll prob film mine as that seems like fun.
        Sammi hasn’t even gotten her box…it’s been held up in Chicago forever! Sigh.
        Oh, Sammi’s bday is today (though for the Aussies, I guess it was yesterday) so if you talk to her, you can tell her happy birthday! Lol. When’s yours?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think 100 is kind of a nice number, and I suppose we can always change it if we look to read over or under that can’t we?
        Oh well hopefully you’ll receive yours soon, it’s something to look forwards to either way isn’t it? Plus I’m sure it will be worth the wait.
        Wow post does seem slow around the US at the moment, between your parcel and Sammi’s. Hopefully you’ll both get them soon! 🙂
        Mine’s June 14th, when’s yours?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 100 is a nice number. I like sticking with it…been lucky for me so far!
        Umm, March 8. So unfortunately, soon. I hate bdays now that I’m older! Freeze me at 21!
        Yeah, the mail has been slow, but luckily, Anne did her unboxing yesterday, as sick as she is. And I just checked Sammi’s package and it’s finally in Australia so I’m psyched. I’m expecting a package from Penguin today: I think it might be Holding Up The Universe! Very excited!
        June 14th, eh? ::marks on calendar::
        Oh, so many ppl on here are finding me on FB. It alerted me to Sammi’s bday yesterday. Are you on FB? Have I asked this a million times already? (I’m old…memory isn’t what it used to be, lmao!)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah that’s what I think too, or at least until I get further into the year.
        I’ll be sure to remember March 8th in that case! But I know what you mean birthdays aren’t really a big deal now I’m getting older. Oh I know what you mean about packages taking forever to arrive. I’m still waiting for one of my friend’s Christmas presents to arrive so I can give it to her! :/
        I am on Facebook but I’m not on it a lot. To be honest I mainly use it for Messenger and so my sister can tag me in things! 😀

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  11. I agree that 2016 seemed to fly by. It sounds like you had a bunch of incredible milestones this past year, and I hope things only get better from here. Getting through ARC backlogs can be a real uphill battle some days, but it’s good to see that you finished a few and have some really exciting new titles to read next. I can’t wait to see what you think of Caraval; it’s one of my most-anticipated books for 2017! I haven’t read Passenger yet, but I also hope you enjoy Wayfarer. The covers are so gorgeous 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, where did this year go! And thanks Diana, I was definitely more than pleased with the milestones I passed last year, hopefully this year will be more of the same.
      I can see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to my ARC backlog, AKA I’m at least halfway through now so better than I was.
      I can’t wait for Caraval, I’m sure it will be an amazing read and I’m sure you’ll love it when you get your hands on it too. 🙂
      I hope you enjoy Passenger as well if you decide to pick it up on day, it’s a great series and yeah the covers are gorgeous aren’t they? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on your one year blogiversary! It sounds like you’ve had a great December in terms of books, and I hope your holidays were just as wonderful.

    I, too, put myself on a bit of a book buying “ban” after spending way too much on Christmas; yet, somehow, I ended up with another stack of books. The struggle of being a book lover is oh so real. I hope you end up enjoying Caraval as much as I did. Also, I’d been meaning to get into Half Bad and all of the Mara Dyer books, so thanks for reminding me about that with this post c:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Morgan, I was thrilled to make it to one year on this blog, and yes overall I had a brilliant December and a brilliant holiday as well. I hope yours were just as amazing! 😀
      Book buying bans are always trouble to stick to, though believe it or not I did better this time around than I have any other month I’ve tried putting myself on a ban, not sure why
      I can’t wait to get started on Caraval, and the same with the Half Bad series, I really hope you enjoy the Mara Dyer trilogy as well! 🙂

      Like

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