December Recap

It is nearly the end of the year so before I jump into my December Recap I just want to say that I hope everyone had a good 2017, and that you all have an even better 2018 filled with incredible books.

Compared to my November my December was pretty uneventful, with the exception of Christmas that is. However I did finally manage to get through a series that has been high priority on my TBR list for ages now (reviews to come in January) and I have started re-planning and re-researching my WIP as well.


Monthly Recaps - This Month

Books I Reviewed

December Recap '17, #1

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

So many people were raving about this book, both in the run up to and after its release, and after reading it I can see why. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is an incredible debut, I have so many theories on where the series will go so I desperately need the second book now.


All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

There were a fair few mixed reviews for All the Crooked Saints so, thinking I’d be let down, I went into it with lowered expectations. However after a slow start, which I’ve come to expect from the magical realism genre, I fell in love with this book and the characters I was introduced to.


The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

I’d had this book on my to-read list for ages before finally picking it up. I loved Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and I really enjoyed this one as well. The Upside of Unrequited is so much more than a typical YA contemporary book, Molly and her family made the story so much more.


ARC Review: Everless by Sara Holland

For a debut from Sara Holland Everless was a really good story. There were plenty of twists which didn’t feel cliché the way they sometimes can in YA fantasy books but it was the world building, the history and myths of Sempera, that made Everless such a stand-out read for me.

I received a copy of this book from BKMRK.


ARC Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

If I were to choose one book I reviewed this month that stood out miles apart from the rest it would be this one. Holly Black is an incredible author, definitely the queen of faerie stories, and The Cruel Prince is an incredible start to her new series leaving me desperate for the next book.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.


ARC Review: The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

Even though I didn’t really have any expectations for The Sacrifice Box before reading it I was still a little disappointed. There was a lot of potential but Stewart tried to cram too many stories in one book and it made the character development weak in places.

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Platform.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit

Top Ten Favourite Books of 2017

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018


Monthly Recaps - Book Haul

Again I didn’t buy too many books this month, in fact asides from my Fairy Loot Box I didn’t ‘buy’ any books. For Christmas my sister brought me some incredible books, one of which I have been dying to get my hands on since it was released, and next month I’ll be spending my Christmas money (on books of course) so my January haul will be a little bigger.


December Recap '17, #2

Christmas Presents

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Check out my review here.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

The Book of Dust Volume One: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

December Recap '17, #3


December Recap '17, #4

Fairy Loot

Everless by Sara Holland
Check out my review here.


Monthly Recaps - Last Month

There are so many incredible books coming out in January, so many in fact that my bank account will hate me by the time February rolls around. You’d think that would make it hard to choose just one for my Next Month’s TBR list, but when it comes to new releases there is one book more than any other I can’t wait for, one that I will be starting the very second I have it in my hands.


Iron Gold

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armour red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever: 

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.


Next month I can’t say I have too many plans. I’m just going to be trying to get back on track after December where blogging fell in the wayside so I could make time for Christmas shopping, and Christmas parties, and Christmas day. Monday I will be posting my End of Year Recap, which will be looking a little further into the future as well as back at the past year.

Happy reading everyone.

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.


this-month-on-my-blog

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.

November and December Recap

After only posting for two weeks during November I put off doing an end of the month recap and decided to combine November and December into one end of the year recap.

I read a lot of books this year, exceeding my Goodreads challenge of 200 books. While I didn’t make as much of a dent as I’d hoped in my to-read list I did get through some amazing books and discovered a lot of new authors.


Reviews

December Recap, #1

December Recap, #2

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

There was a lot of hype surrounding this book, and when I finally got around to reading it I could easily see why. The plot was brilliant and so were the characters but it was the format, layout and graphics that really set this book out from the rest. I’d highly recommend Illuminae to anyone and everyone.


The Lunar Chronicles

Marissa Meyer has become one of my all-time favourite authors. The Lunar Chronicles is possibly some of the best sci-fi books I’ve ever read. From the very first book, which introduced us to Cinder and set up the world, to the long-awaited last book in the series, which brings about Cinder’s revolution on Luna and the end of her journey, I don’t think there was a single aspect of this series I didn’t enjoy.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Winter by Marissa Meyer


December Recap, #3

Starbound Series

Between the Starbound series and The Lunar Chronicles I have been converted to a sci-fi fan. I read all three books of this trilogy this year but it still felt like a really long wait for the last book in the series. While each focuses on a different planet and a different couple their stories all weave together into one overall arc, and all the small connections that you may not notice at first are wonderfully written and put together.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


Soundless by Richelle Mead

I wasn’t a fan of Soundless, and looking at the reviews on Goodreads I don’t think many people where. It’s a shame because I have loved pretty much all of Richelle Mead’s other series, I just felt the development of the plot, the characters, and the world in Soundless was lacking.


December Recap, #4

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

It took me ages to finally get around to reading this book, it was the one book on my to-read list i actually got around to this year, but once I was finished all I could think was; ‘why didn’t I read this sooner?’ Fangirl is a brilliant coming of age novel that, in my opinion, everyone should read at least once.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

If I had to pick one favourite book of 2015, well it would be between Carry On and Winter. Carry On takes the story of Simon Snow introduced in Fangirl and expands it into a full length novel. After reading this book and Fangirl Rainbow Rowell has become one of my new favourite authors, and I have more of her books on my to-read list for 2016.


December Recap, #5

The Bone Season Series

After a lot of my favourite series finished in 2015 The Bone Season has filled the gap left behind. There is nothing I can fault with this series, except maybe the fact that I have such a long wait for the next book in the series. The plot is fast-paced and interesting, the characters are well-developed and fleshed out, and the romance feels real and doesn’t overshadow the storyline.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Fairytale retellings are probably my favourite subgenre of YA novels. I will read anything that has even a hint of fairy tales in it. Starting The Wrath and the Dawn I had only the barest of knowledge of the Shahrzad myth but I loved this story. Everything was so artfully written and I am incredibly excited for the second, and last, book in the duology.


Top Ten Tuesday

I took part in five Top Ten Tuesday topics over the course of November and December.

Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In the Past Year or So

Top Ten 2016 Debut Novels I’m Looking Forwards To

New-To-Me Favourite Authors I Read For the First Time In 2015

Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016


Waiting on Wednesday

I featured seven books as part of the Waiting on Wednesday tag.

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Waging War by April White

Remembrance by Meg Cabot

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Waiting on Wednesday #1


Anyway, as it is still December here in the UK I hope everyone has a great new year and a brilliant start to 2016. Does anyone have any New Year’s resolutions they’re going to try and keep?