Hi all! I know, I know, me posting 4 times in one week, what is this madness? I wouldn’t get too used to it, I’ll be back to Uni on the 14th and then it’s project, project, project till the beginning of April. I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful New Year so far. As far as years go, 2018 was…..well bad for the world would be an understatement. For me? Well it was actually pretty decent! I’ve started my final year of University and all things going well, will graduate in June. I completed the most of my goals for the year that I have since I started doing them. I’ve met even more amazing authors at YALC, and went to several other great book events, including one with three of my absolute favourite authors in the world back in March and of course the event for Kingdom of Ash in November. I’ve had my friends up to visit here again for our annual Christmas meetup. I’ve been to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time, and to the European Championships. I’ve done one round of revisions on my novel and am in the middle of the second. I got my first ever byline in a newspaper, a massive step for my future career. I’ve turned 22. I discovered even more new music, TV, authors and movies. Yes there have been not so great parts as well, but overall 2018 was not a bad year at all for me.
Anyway, I’ve been having a great Christmas holiday with my parents and I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it before I go back to Uni and work for my final project really descends on me (I’ve already started it, but mostly the light work of organising interviews). This month went pretty well in terms of reading, I read 3 books, which brought my Goodreads total for the year to 35, meeting my challenge. Would I have liked to read more? Of course, but given how manic the end of the year was for me with fourth year deadlines, I’m pretty darn happy with 35! As with last year, this post will be a tad bit longer than usual, since I’ll be recapping what I read in December, doing a general wrap-up for this challenge for 2018 and looking forward to what I’ll be reading in January, so I hope you stick with me till the end!:
A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult:
This was one of my Netgalley reads for the month (I’ll get to the other later) and one of my favourite reads of the year. I really enjoyed it, it’s definitely up there with my favourite of Jodi Picoult’s books, it handles a really difficult subject with her usual nuance and grace, and was a very powerful and entertaining story. I read this one from November 17th-December 4th. Here is my review of it:
Our Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab:
This was my #RockMyTBR book for the month, replacing Wonder Woman: Warbringer as I wasn’t really getting into that one. I wasn’t so keen on the first book in this duology, but I enjoyed this one a lot more, the characters were developed better, the plot was more exciting and the ending kicked me in the gut. I read this from 5th-28th December. Here is my review of it:
The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork:
This was my other e-ARC from December and my last read of the year. I enjoyed the concept but felt like the writing style was far more suited for younger readers (and I mean younger than the book was aimed for) than for me. I read this from 5th-29th December. Here is my review of it:
So there we go, my final update of 2018, or first update of 2019 depending on how you look at it! I’ve already put together my list of reads for my 2019 challenge, which is the third post down on the #RockMyTBR Challenge tab, marked #RockMyTBR 2019 Challenge, if you’re interested in seeing what I’m going to be reading for the challenge this year. For the rest of this post, I’m going to recap what I read for this challenge in 2018 and look forward to what I’m going to be reading for the first month of 2019’s challenge.
What I Read This Year (Ranked In Star Order)
- Vicious-VE Schwab-4 stars
Honestly, all of my top five this year had a 4 star rating, so it was hard to decide which one to put first, but in the end, I had to go with this one, it was so clever and so wonderfully villainous and I just thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait to hopefully read Vengeful this year!
2. The Language of Thorns-Leigh Bardugo-4 stars
I honestly didn’t think I would rank this one so highly at the beginning of last year, because I’m not a massive short story reader, but Leigh Bardugo’s short stories for the Grishaverse were so wonderfully wicked and dark, and so perfect as a short read that I could fly through just before my exams, that I couldn’t help but love them.
3. The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven-4 stars
Laura Steven’s debut was everything I wanted it to be, marvellously funny, incredibly feminist and just an all round joy to read, I think I will be babbling about how much I love Izzy O’Neill for a long time to come. I’m so excited for A Girl Called Shameless to come out in March!
4. Our Dark Duet-VE Schwab-4 stars
I wasn’t certain about this one to start off with because I wasn’t a massive fan of This Savage Song, but VE Schwab definitely upped the ante in Our Dark Duet, both with the characters, the world, the plot and that gut wrenching ending-the Dark in the title is certainly not wrong!
5. Night of Cake and Puppets-Laini Taylor-4 stars
This little novella from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone world certainly was enjoyable, it followed Mik and Zuzana on their first date, and I can without a doubt say that I have never had a date as romantic as theirs!
6. Crooked Kingdom-Leigh Bardugo-3.5 stars
I was actually a little disappointed with this one unfortunately. I still loved the Dregs and the whole world Bardugo has created within these books, but I found that this book was a little too convoluted for me, and the pacing was incredibly off.
7. Moxie-Jennifer Mathieu-3.5 stars
Moxie was a fun little read, in terms of feminist YA, I preferred The Exact Opposite of Okay as I felt it was slightly more for already established feminists whereas Moxie is more of a starter feminist book, but that’s okay, we absolutely need both. Moxie was pretty good for what I needed it to be, a nice, short, fun little read but it’s probably not one I’ll be remembering for years to come.
8. Rose Under Fire-Elizabeth Wein-3 stars
Rose was an incredibly hard hitting, emotional read. I really loved the characters and the plot but I did feel like the story was a little too slow paced and there were quite a few far fetched plot contrivances that prevented me from rating the book higher, even though I did really enjoy it and flew through it in about a week.
9. Radio Silence-Alice Oseman-3 stars
Radio Silence was a good story, I think I just read it at the wrong time in my life. Whilst I’m a firm believer that YA can be read by any age, there are some YA books that I find don’t really resonate with me as much now I’m 22 and this was one of them. Had I been 16/17 and going through everything Frances was, I probably would have really related to her but as it was, I found her kind of irritating. I did love the focus on friendship and the diversity of the cast, but the story itself was a little slow paced and repetitive for me.
10. Shadow and Bone-Leigh Bardugo-3 stars
It kills me to have ranked a Leigh Bardugo book so low, but here we are. I think had I read Shadow and Bone before Six of Crows, I might have been more impressed with it, but having seen what Leigh Bardugo can do, Shadow and Bone was a bit of a let down, I couldn’t really connect with Alina and I found the plot incredibly slow paced.
11. Days of Blood and Starlight-Laini Taylor-2.5 stars
This was probably my biggest disappointment of the year. There was none of the lovely whimsicality of the first book, it was all just dark and depressing and Karou and Akiva being incredibly angsty over each other and I couldn’t deal with the gratuitous violence against women and the incredibly slow pace of the story. I still want to read the final book in the trilogy to see how it all ends, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that this year.
So that’s a recap of everything I read for the challenge in 2018, this is what I’ll be reading for the first month of 2018:
Siege and Storm-Leigh Bardugo-My first #RockMyTBR book for 2019 (a nice symmetry here, since Shadow and Bone was my first #RockMyTBR book last year). As you can see, I wasn’t so keen on Shadow and Bone, but I have decided to continue the trilogy because I want to read King of Scars and thus far, I am enjoying Siege and Storm more.
Enchantee-Gita Trelease-My current Netgalley read and OMG, it’s so amazing! I’m really enjoying this one, and if it keeps going as it is at the moment, I’m sensing a possible first five star read for 2019.
Ruin and Rising-Leigh Bardugo-I’m wanting to read both of the final two Grisha books this January so I’m all caught up before King of Scars comes out at the end of the month.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely-Bridget Kemmerer
If I finish Enchantee before the end of the month, which I should, then I’ll be moving onto A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which I’m quite excited for, because it’s a contemporary fantasy version of Beauty and The Beast, which is one of my favourite fairytales, so I should enjoy it!
I’m really pleased with how much I read this year, 35 books, only one down from last year, which is some kind of miracle considering how busy I was towards the end of the year! I also knocked 11 books off my TBR list through doing this challenge, hopefully 2019 will be the year I break the block and manage to finish all 12 though! I’m hoping 2019 will be even better for me reading wise than 2018 was.
How did everyone else’s December reading go? What is your first read of 2019? What did you set your Goodreads Challenge at this year? Let me know in the comments!