#RockMyTBR December Update (2019) & Wrap-Up

Hi everyone! I know I said my last Top Ten Tuesday would probably be my last post before I went to South Africa, but I realised I had yet to post my wrap up for my 2019 #RockMyTBR Challenge, so I wanted to get that done before I left. 2019 has been kind of a weird transition year for me, I graduated Uni back in June which was an amazing achievement, but the whole period between graduating Uni and now has been a bit strange, going from being a student to working full time and now heading off to a whole new country for three months, it’s definitely been a whirlwind year! I mean I wrote my whole 10,000 word Journalism project in 3 months, I graduated, I’ve had two jobs, I went to YALC again, I’ve been to see not one, but three amazing West End shows, I’ve had a great holiday with my friends, who I’ve been able to see more since I’ve been back down south, I sent my book out to agents, I turned 23, it’s been a very full on year, but I did so much that I’m proud of in 2019 and I’m hoping that 2020 will be as good.

Anyway, I’ve been spending most of the last few days organising stuff for South Africa, I can’t believe I’ve only got two days left to go now! December went okay in terms of reading, I would have liked to have read more, but I did read two books, which took me over my Goodreads Challenge of 40, to end the year on 42, which is the best I’ve ever done since I started doing the Goodreads Challenge in 2015 so I’m massively pleased with that! As with last year, this post will be a tad longer than my usual ones, because I’ll be recapping what I read in December, rounding off this challenge for 2019 and looking forward to what I’ll be reading this month, so I hope you’ll stick with it till the end!

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Reign of The Fallen By Sarah Glenn Marsh:

My final #RockMyTBR book of the year! I liked this one but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I was hoping to! I liked the idea, but I didn’t really think that it was developed well enough and it just wasn’t quite as exciting as I was hoping for. I read this one from 13th-29th December. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/reign-of-the-fallen-reign-of-the-fallen-1-review/

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Keri Maniscalco:

My audiobook read of December and my final read of 2019. Again, I did like this one, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first one, and I’m definitely enjoying the third one more. I thought the mystery in this one was just a tad overcomplicated and hard to follow and that the story was quite slow paced, though I loved the setting and the new characters. I read this one from 17th-30th December. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/hunting-prince-dracula-stalking-jack-the-ripper-2-review-audiobook/

So that’s it, my final update of 2019, or first of 2020, I guess! I put together my list of reads for my 2020 Challenge at the beginning of December, which will be the third post down under the #RockMyTBRChallenge Tab, marked #RockMyTBR 2020 Challenge, if you want to see what I’m planning on reading for my challenge this year. For the rest of this post, I’m going to recap what I read for this challenge in 2019 & look forward to what I’m going to read for the first month of 2020:

What I Read This Year Ranked In Star Order:

  1. To Kill A Kingdom-Alexandra Christo-5 stars

I had two five star reads this year, but I decided to put this one first, because Alexandra Christo was definitely one of my favourite author finds of last year! I loved this book so much, it was so dark, and twisted, with so much fun banter, and Lira was just such a badass heroine and the enemies to lovers romance was done brilliantly.

2. The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue-Mackenzi Lee-5 stars

This one was just so much fun! Monty was brilliantly funny, I loved his friendship turned romance with Percy and I loved watching their hijinks around Europe. I also really loved Monty’s sister Felicity, and I’m so excited to read her book this year.

3. Stalking Jack The Ripper-Keri Mansicalco-4 stars

I really enjoyed this one, I can’t say that murder mysteries are something that I read often, but the concept for this one really caught my eye and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The mystery was kind of simplistic yes, but I enjoyed the characters and the writing and have so far enjoyed the rest of the series as well.

4. Siege and Storm-Leigh Bardugo-4 stars

Whilst I definitely prefer the Six of Crows duology to the original Grisha trilogy, this book was definitely my favourite out of the three. I just love Nikolai, so, so much okay, the humour level in this book was much higher, and though the plot still felt largely padded, it was much more enjoyable than Shadow and Bone.

5. Catwoman: Soulstealer-Sarah J Maas-3.5 stars

I’m not a massive comics fan so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this but it actually worked out a lot better than I was expecting. I really enjoyed the crew of Selina, Ivy and Harley, the plot was relatively fast paced and engaging and it was nice to read something by Sarah J Maas that wasn’t a massive tome! I think this was the first book of hers since Crown of Midnight to be less than 400 pages!

6. Reign of The Fallen-Sarah Glenn Marsh-3.5 stars

I definitely thought this book was underdeveloped in some areas, the character and world development could have been a lot better, but I loved the concept and I loved that there was so much LGBTQ+ representation. I’m hoping the world will be expanded more in the sequel.

7. An Ember In The Ashes-Sabaa Tahir-3 stars

I was expecting to really love this one, and whilst I didn’t hate it, I did feel like it was somewhat overhyped for me. It was definitely a decent debut novel, but I didn’t love the characters, they felt quite flat to me, as did the worldbuilding. I will probably read the sequel but I’m not really in a rush to get to it.

8. The Last Namsara-Kristen Ciccarelli-3 stars

I liked the stories and mythology for this one, but basically everything else fell kind of flat. Asha was pretty bland, as was Torwin and the other side characters were all kind of flat as well. I also didn’t really feel like the world was all that developed and there weren’t enough dragons. I don’t think I’ll read the companion novels for this one.

9. An Enchantment of Ravens-Margaret Rogerson-3 stars

This book was fine, but I just felt like nothing really happened? It was a whole 300 pages of basically just meandering journeying and the world and characters were hardly developed at all. I’m hoping that her second book, Sorcery of Thorns, which I have on my TBR for this year, will be better.

10. Uprooted-Naomi Novik-3 stars

I liked the idea of a fairytale type story that wasn’t a direct retelling, more inspired by Eastern European folktales, but I didn’t love Novik’s writing, I didn’t love the characters and I wasn’t a fan of yet another romance between a 17 year old girl and a man who is several hundred years old.

11. Alex and Eliza-Melissa De La Cruz-3 stars

To be honest I rated this 3 stars when I read it, and I probably would go more like 2.5 now, looking back. It wasn’t at all historically accurate really, the characters were flat and not well realised and I honestly didn’t think the writing was that great.

12. Strange The Dreamer-Laini Taylor-2.5 stars

I’m starting to think that perhaps Laini Taylor’s books might not be for me after quite a few disappointments! Strange The Dreamer for me was just confusing, I couldn’t follow the plot, I couldn’t connect to the characters and it felt like all the issues with the book were kind of glossed over by pretty writing.

So that’s a recap of everything I read in 2019, here’s what I’m planning on reading in the first month of 2020:

I’ve actually already read my first book, Crossfire by Malorie Blackman, so I’m not going to include it here, though it will be on my January update!

Circe-Madeline Miller

My #RockMyTBR book for January, which I just started reading today. I haven’t really got far enough in to make a judgement, I’ve only finished the first chapter, but I’ve heard good things, so I hope I enjoy it.

Escaping From Houdini-Keri Mansicalco

I’m reading the third Jack The Ripper book on audio right now, and I’m really enjoying it so far, the mystery is a little clearer than in Hunting Prince Dracula, but I still have no idea who is committing the murders!

Foul Is Fair-Hannah Capin

My Netgalley read for this month, I’ve only just started it and I’m enjoying it so far, though again, I’m not all that far through it yet.

Capturing The Devil-Keri Mansicalco

I’ve really loved reading the rest of the Stalking Jack The Ripper series on audio, Nicola Barber is a brilliant narrator and I can’t wait to see what happens to Audrey Rose and Thomas in the final book of the series.

I’m so pleased with how much I read this year, 42 books is so good, but I’m not going to be pushing myself to read even more this year, I want reading to be fun and if I get over 40 books again this year that would be great, but honestly, as long as I enjoy what I read, I’m happy! I also managed to read all 12 of the books on my challenge list last year, which made me so happy. Here’s to 2020 being another great reading year!

How did everyone else’s December reading go? What was your first read of 2020? What did you set your Goodreads Challenge at this year? Let me know in the comments!

 

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