#RockMyTBR June Update (2019)

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great June, I definitely did, although between graduation, grad ball and meeting up with various friends, I’m not exactly sure where the time went. It was definitely an incredibly memorable month, my graduation celebrations were just as great as I was hoping, especially Grad Ball, it was lovely to have one last night to celebrate with my friends, though I know we will be friends for a long time to come, it’s not going to be quite the same as when we were all at Uni.

Anyway, for those of you who have only started following the blog since I last did one of these, I’ll give you a quick roundup, #RockMyTBR is a challenge started by Sarah K at the YA Book Traveler and I’ve borrowed it for myself over the last few years, as I love that it’s a nice low pressure challenge, you essentially just pick a list of backlist books from your TBR that you want to read and read them over the course of a year, I always do 12, one for each month. June was a pretty average month in terms of quantity, I only read two books, they were both pretty long though (500+ pages each), and it was a great month in terms of quality as they were 4 & 5 star reads, so I’m still pretty pleased with that. Here’s what I read in June:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings #1)

The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee:

Phew, this book must have one of the longest titles ever! Anyway, this was my #RockMyTBR book for June and I really enjoyed it. I loved the historical setting, the m/m romance, the characters, the humour, I just found it so much fun to read. I was very disappointed to see that her upcoming release, The Madness Blooms was so harmful to trans readers however, and I hope that she truly does make the changes that she has promised to. I read this one from 1st-12th June. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/the-gentlemans-guide-to-vice-and-virtue-review-montague-siblings-1/

Bedlam (Skulduggery Pleasant, #12)

Bedlam (Skulduggery Pleasant #12) by Derek Landy:

I’ve been a bit unsure of the newest Skulduggery Pleasant books thus far, but I really enjoyed this one! It felt like a return to form for this series, more like the first “phase” of the series, with more humour, more Valkyrie and Skulduggery moments and just generally more exciting things happening. There’s a lot of setup for potentially exciting things going forward in the series and I look forward to seeing what happens next. I read this one from 13th-27th June. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/bedlam-skulduggery-pleasant-12-review/

So that’s what I read in June, here’s what I have coming up for July:

Strange The Dreamer-Laini Taylor

My #RockMyTBR book for this month. I’m not quite sure what to think of this one yet, I’ve been reading it kind of sporadically over the past few days, I’m just not finding it all that easy to get into, but I’m hoping that changes? We’ll see how it goes for the next week.

The Priory of The Orange Tree-Samantha Shannon

Yes, I’ve finally dived into this beast! I’m reading it as part of the YA Addicted Book Group, a group I’m part of on Goodreads, as it’s our book of the month. This is my first audiobook (at least since I was a kid) and I’m actually really enjoying the format, I don’t think I could have faced this book any other way, the audio breaks it up into nice, manageable chunks and I’m nearly done with Book One, having only started on Monday.

Ever Alice-HJ Ramsay

This was my Netgalley read for last month, but I’ve carried it over, as I didn’t manage to finish it, due to being so busy at the end of the month with graduation. I’m nearly done though, I have about 8 chapters left, so I should be done by the end of the weekend, or Monday, at the latest.

Vengeful-VE Schwab

I’m not actually sure if I’ll get to this as I think Strange The Dreamer is probably going to take me the whole month to read, but if I finish it before the month is out, then this one will be my next read, otherwise, it will be my first read of August as I’m determined to read it before the end of the year.

I’m still doing pretty well on my reading progress this year, despite not reading as much as I would have liked to last month, I’ve read 24 books and am still ahead of my Goodreads Challenge, so I’m hoping it can stay that way, even though I’ve just started my summer job and am going to be very busy over the next six weeks! How did your June reading go? Let me know in the comments!

 

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#RockMyTBR May Update (2019)

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good May, mine honestly seemed to pass in a blur, what with finishing up at Uni, packing to come home and visiting friends, I genuinely don’t know how it came and went so quickly.

Anyway, for those of you who are new to the blog and haven’t seen me do one of these before, #RockMyTBR is a challenge started by Sarah K at the YA Book Traveler and I’ve kind of borrowed it for myself over the past few years, because it’s a nice, low pressure challenge, you basically just pick a list of backlist books from your TBR that you want to read and you read them over the course of a year. I always do 12, one for each month of the year. May was a good reading month in terms of quantity, I read 4 books this month, though none of them were new favourites. Here’s all the books I read in May:

41440204

We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo:

This was one of my Netgalley reads for this month and it was….yeah not great. I’d heard a lot of really great stuff about it before I started reading it, and I just found it so underwhelming. The plot was confusing, the characters were bland and I just generally didn’t enjoy reading it. I read this book from 3rd April-8th May (dipping in and out quite inconsistently). Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/we-are-blood-and-thunder-review-e-arc/

27827627

Uprooted by Naomi Novik:

This was my #RockMyTBR book for May and again I found it kind of underwhelming. I’m not sure this style of book is really for me anyway, the prose was way too dense, the plot was extremely confusing and I could not get on board with the age inappropriate romance. I read this one from 30th April-16th May. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/uprooted-review/

Romanov

Romanov by Nadine Brandes:

This was my other Netgalley read for the month, and one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I did enjoy it, but not quite as much as I was expecting to, it was quite slow and took a while to get into and it wasn’t quite as fantastical as I was hoping. Still I did love the main character and when the book was exciting, it was really exciting! I read this one from 9th-26th May. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/romanov-review-e-arc/

40309049

Finale by Stephanie Garber:

The third and final book in the Caraval trilogy was another one of my most anticipated reads for this year and again I was kind of disappointed. The plot was weak and slightly confused and there was far too much emphasis on the romantic drama rather than continuing with the more exciting plot threads that were introduced in Legendary. I did enjoy the characters though and found the ending quite satisfying, I liked how it tied everything together. I read this one from 17th May-31st May. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/02/finale-caraval-3-review/

So that’s what I read in May, here’s what I have coming up for June:

The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue-Mackenzi Lee

My #RockMyTBR book for this month, I only started it two days ago and I’m already loving it, it’s so funny and Monty is a complete ass but for some reason I really love him.

Bedlam (Skulduggery Pleasant #12)-Derek Landy

The latest Skulduggery Pleasant book! I’m going to see Derek Landy again at YALC at the end of next month and I definitely want to have this book done by then, so as soon as I’m done with Gentleman’s Guide, I’m going to be moving on to this.

Ever Alice-HJ Ramsey

This is my Netgalley read for the month and will probably be my last Netgalley read for a while since I’ve cleared all the outstanding books on my shelves and haven’t been approved for any new ones yet. It’s kind of weird having nothing on my shelf, but I think having a Netgalley break might be quite nice!

You-Caroline Kepnes

I just started Audible again, as I got a discount so I’m finally going to make good on my resolution to read more audiobooks this year. I decided to start with this one as I really enjoyed the show when I watched it on Netflix at the end of last year, and I think it will be a really good one to try on audio.

My reading progress this year is still going really well, I’ve read 22 books and I’m still way ahead on my Goodreads Challenge. I’m hoping to try and get a lot of reading done this month before my job starts in July and I have less time for it. How did your May reading go? Let me know in the comments!

#RockMyTBR April Update (2019)

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good April, mine kind of disappeared in a haze of deadlines, lots of final activities for Uni, my family visiting and various other things, I actually don’t quite understand how it went so quickly.

Anyway, for those of you who have started following since I last did one of these, #RockMyTBR is a challenge originally set up by Sarah K at The YA Book Traveler in 2016, where she challenged us to take a list of backlist books that we wanted to knock off our TBRs. I’ve kind of taken it for myself over the past two years as it’s a really nice, low pressure challenge. I have 12 books on my list, so I’m aiming to have them all done by December, reading one book a month. April was pretty good for me, not as good as March, but I feel like that was kind of a fluke anyway, I read 3 books, which is pretty decent for me. Anyway, here’s all the books I read in April:

38470247Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas:

This was my #RockMyTBR book for April and I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting? I’m not really a comic book person and I struggled to get into Wonder Woman, so I didn’t really have high hopes for this one, but I really enjoyed it, it was nice to see Sarah taking on a different world for a change, and reading a book by here that wasn’t like a thousand pages long! I read this book from 28th March-11th April. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/12/catwoman-soulstealer/

41054664King of Fools by Amanda Foody:

This was my main Netgalley read for April, and I LOVED IT. It took everything I loved about the first book and turned it up to 11, it’s so brilliantly feminist and has so many wonderful and varied women, there’s amazing character development for everyone and enough twists and turns to make you dizzy! I cannot wait to read the third book now. I read this one from 4th-15th April (a 600 page book in under two weeks is very impressive for me!). Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/king-of-fools-the-shadow-game-2-review-e-arc/

41054515A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven:

I loved the first book of this duology but I feel a little bit lukewarm about this one. I still loved Izzy, but I didn’t feel that this sequel was quite as funny as the first book and the plot was kind of lacklustre and slightly lagging. I read this one from 11th-21st April. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/a-girl-called-shameless-review-izzy-oneill-2/

So that’s what I read in April, here’s what I’ve got coming up for May:

Uprooted-Naomi Novik

My #RockMyTBR book for this month, I’ve heard great things about this one. I’m struggling with it a little because the chapters are so long, but I’m not all that far through yet, so I’m hoping that it will get better.

Finale-Stephanie Garber

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK! Only six more days to go until I finally get it. I love this series and I can’t wait to see how things end for Tella and Scarlett.

We Are Blood and Thunder-Kesia Lupo

My Netgalley read for this month. Honestly I’m not really enjoying this, I’m finding it kind of boring and confusing, but it’s a Netgalley book and I’m too far through it now to give up.

Romanov-Nadine Brandes

This is going to be my other Netgalley read for the month when I’ve finally finished We Are Blood and Thunder, and I’m so excited for this one, I really loved Fawkes and I can’t wait to see what Nadine Brandes has done with the story of Anastasia Romanova!

I’m still really pleased with my reading progress through this year, I’ve read 18 books which is far more than I usually would have by this point in the year & I have a few weeks before I go home from Uni, so I’m planning on getting a lot of reading done in that time. I’m still 7 books ahead of my Goodreads Challenge, so that’s feeling pretty good. How did your April reading go? Let me know in the comments!

#RockMyTBR March Update (2019)

Hi everyone! I hope everyone’s March was great, I really don’t know where mine went, it passed in a whirlwind of project work, passing my theory test, meeting VE Schwab (again) and visiting home, plus AGMs for all my clubs at Uni, it’s been quite the busy month!

Anyway, for those of you who are new here, #RockMyTBR is a challenge originally set up by Sarah K at The YA Book Traveler in 2016, where she challenged us to take a list of backlist books that we want to knock off our TBRs. I’ve kind of co-opted it over the last two years, because it’s a really fun, low pressure challenge. I have 12 books on my list, so I aim to have finished them all by December, one for each month. March was actually AMAZING for me in terms of reading, which is weird considering how busy I’ve been, but I’ll go with it. I read 5 books and 4 comics for a total of 9 (!!!!!) books over March. That’s summer level reading people! Anyway, here’s all the books I read in March:

42647021Speak Up! by Laura Coryton:

I actually became interested in this book because I interviewed Laura for one of my articles for my project. It’s definitely aimed for a younger audience, but it was a fun, quick read and I did pick up some useful tips for if I ever start campaigning in the future. I read this book from 28th February-2nd March (it’s only 224 pages, so it was relatively quick to read). I didn’t write a review of it, just because it was so short so I didn’t really see the point (I did however put a review up on Netgalley where I got it).

31309506Modern Women: 52 Pioneers by Kira Cochrane:

My mum got me this one for my birthday and I’ve kind of been dipping in and out of it since then, it’s a great one to do that with because it’s basically just a collection of mini-bios of all these really cool women and you can pretty much just read a couple of bios at a time then go away and come back. I really loved this one, reading about cool women from History is totally my jam! I also don’t have a review of this one because it would have been kind of tricky to review.

Shades of Magic #1 by V.E. Schwab Shades of Magic #2 by V.E. SchwabShades of Magic #3 by V.E. SchwabShades of Magic #4 by V.E. Schwab The Steel Prince (Vol 1-4) by VE Schwab:

I went to see VE Schwab at her Glasgow event in March and I really wanted to finish these before I went as I knew she’d be talking about The Steel Prince a bit. This was my first foray into comics and it was mostly succesful? I definitely preferred the first two to the last two, the last two felt kind of rushed, but the artwork was amazing in all of them and I’m really enjoying the story, I look forward to seeing what’s next for Maxim in the upcoming arc of the series, The Night of Knives. Again I don’t have a review for these, because they’re comics, and I didn’t really know how. I read them all on 6th March.

37541225To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo:
This was my #RockMyTBR book for March, and I really LOVED IT! It was dark, full of banter, had brilliant anti-hero main characters, amazing writing, lots of action and a brilliant slow burn romance. This is definitely the best Little Mermaid retelling I’ve ever read. I read it from 1st-13th March. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/to-kill-a-kingdom-review/

38746485Becoming by Michelle Obama:

I’m not usually a big non-fiction fan, but I loved Michelle’s book, she writes about her life in such a candid and honest way, like she’s sitting there telling you the story (I definitely get why so many people love the audio of this one) and I found out a lot of things about her that I didn’t know before, I think if it’s possible I admire her even more now. I read this one from 14th-27th March. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/becoming-review/

36430989Descendant of The Crane by Joan He:

My main Netgalley read for this month, since I finished Speak Up! so quickly. I loved the concept for this one but found the execution lacking, there weren’t enough fantastical elements for me, I didn’t feel like the world was fleshed out enough and the characters were a bit bland. I did however love the writing and the plot twists towards the end. I read this one from 3rd March-1st April (the pacing is not great, it took me a long time to get through). Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/descendant-of-the-crane-review-e-arc/

So that’s what I read in March, here’s what I have coming up for April:

Catwoman: Soulstealer-Sarah J.Maas

My #RockMyTBR book for April, which I actually started a few days before the end of March, so I’m already a good 40% of the way through. I’m actually enjoying this more than I expected to, given that I’m not a comic book person and I’d heard mixed reviews.

We Are Blood And Thunder-Kesia Lupo

DOTC took me longer than anticipated to finish, so I didn’t get around to We Are Blood and Thunder in March, but I’m intending on starting it tonight and it’s going to be one of my Netgalley reads for this month.

A Girl Called Shameless-Laura Steven

I’m ridiculously excited for this one, I can’t wait to read it, I’ve been wanting the sequel to TEOOO since I read it last year.

King of Fools-Amanda Foody

This will be my other Netgalley read of the month and since I’m done with Uni as of Friday, I’m probably going to be reading this and We Are Blood and Thunder concurrently, I can’t wait any longer to read King of Fools after what happened at the end of Ace of Shades!

I’m so pleased with how much reading I got done this month, considering how much work I had to do, I’ve upped my Goodreads Challenge to 35, same as last year and I’m still 7 books ahead of schedule so it’s making me feel very smug and satisfied. How did your March reading go? Let me know in the comments!

#RockMyTBR February Update (2019)

Hi everyone! I hope everyone’s February was great, I swear I always blink and then February is gone, it’s only three days shorter than 31 day months, but it feels like it’s even shorter than that. For anyone who just recently started to follow me, who haven’t seen this feature before, #RockMyTBR is a challenge set up by Sarah K over at The YA Book Traveller in 2016, which I’ve kind of co-opted for myself over the last couple of years. Anyway, she challenged us to take a list of backlist books that we wanted to read and knock them off our TBRs over the course of a year. My aim is to read one of the 12 books on my list each month, so that by December, I’ve read them all. February was pretty good, I read three books over the course of that month, and I’ve even got two books in the bag already for March, so I’m feeling pretty good right now! Anyway, here are the books I read in February:

35660233Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz:

This was my #RockMyTBR book for February, and the first book of the two books I read pre seeing Hamilton a couple of weeks ago. I read it from 1st-14th February, so it took exactly two weeks to read. I didn’t really like this one though, it was incredibly historically inaccurate, and kind of cheesy, and I just didn’t enjoy it that much. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/alex-and-eliza-alex-and-eliza-1-review/

Hamilton and Peggy!: A Revolutionary FriendshipHamilton and Peggy! A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliott:

This was the second book I read in preparation for going to Hamilton and I have to say I enjoyed it far more. I loved that it focused on Peggy and really allowed me to appreciate just how awesome the younger Schuyler sister was, and it was far more historically accurate than Alex and Eliza whilst also covering some parts of the American Revolution that I had no idea about. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/hamilton-and-peggy-a-revolutionary-friendship/

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely, #1)A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer:

This was my Netgalley read of the month, I liked that it was a slightly different take on a Beauty and The Beast retelling and that it featured a lot of diverse characters, including a disabled protagonist, but I found that the story lagged a lot and couldn’t really decide what it wanted to be. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/03/a-curse-so-dark-and-lonely-review-e-arc/

So that’s what I read in February, here’s what I’ve got coming up this month (minus the two books I’ve already finished):

To Kill A Kingdom-Alexandra Christo

My #RockMyTBR book for this month, I’ve started this one and I’m loving it already, vicious sirens, princes who want to be pirates, everything about this book screams me and I love it!

Descendant of The Crane-Joan He

My Netgalley read for this month, I’ve only just started it, but I’m already intrigued so I’m hoping that I’ll really enjoy this one.

Becoming-Michelle Obama

My second physical book of the month is going to be Michelle Obama’s autobiography and I can’t wait to read it, I love the Obamas so much, especially Michelle. I’ve heard really good stuff about it, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it.

We Are Blood and Thunder-Kesia Lupo

This will be my other Netgalley read of the month, if I get round to it. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what it’s about, but I saw a lot of other bloggers getting really excited about it and it sounds good, so fingers crossed I enjoy it!

I’m pretty pleased with my reading progress this year, I’ve read eight books already, am four books ahead of my 24 book Goodreads Challenge and have already finished two books this month and we’re only on the fourth day of March. How did your February reading go? Let me know in the comments!

 

#RockMyTBR January Update (2019)

Hi everyone! I hope everyone’s January wasn’t too taxing, I know that January feels like the month that goes on for ever (I swear how is it only just February, it felt like January was a whole year on it’s own) but it’s over now and hopefully we all had good ones! For those of you who are new to my blog, the #RockMyTBR challenge is a challenge set up by Sarah K at The YA Book Traveller in 2016, that I’ve kind of co-opted for myself over the last few years. She challenged us to take a list of backlist books that we wanted to read and knock them off over the course of the year, with the aim of knocking books off our TBRs (and immediately replacing them with more, but let’s not talk about that). My aim is to read one book from the list of 12 for each month of the year, so that by December, I will have read them all. January was pretty decent, I read 3 books book this month and here they are:

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo:

My first #RockMyTBR book of the year, and first book of 2019 overall in fact! I started it on 1st January and finished it on the 13th, so it took just under two weeks to read. I really enjoyed this one, it still suffered from some pacing issues, but I loved all the new characters, especially Nikolai! Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/siege-and-storm-shadow-and-bone-2-review/

41577908Enchantee by Gita Trelease:

This was one of my most anticipated debuts for 2019 and it blew all of my expectations out the water! It was delightfully magical, surprisingly dark and just all kinds of amazing, I was completely swept up in the story and I loved the sister relationship that was at the centre of it all. This was my first five star read of the year and is going to be so tough to beat. I read it from 30th December-17th January. No review yet, as it doesn’t pub in the UK until the week after next.

22535408Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo:

I wanted to finish the Grisha trilogy before King of Scars came out and I’m glad I did because I feel like I will understand what is going on much better now, but I found this last book a chore to get through, despite it only being 350 pages. The pace lagged for most of the book and the conclusion was just kind of lacklustre. I read this one from 14th-30th January. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/ruin-rising-review/

So that’s what I read in January, here’s what I’ve got coming up this month:

Alex and Eliza-Melissa De La Cruz

My #RockMyTBR book for February. I’m about halfway through it now, and I like it, but I’m not IN LOVE with it, there are some pretty basic historical inaccuracies that kind of annoy me given that I’m a History student and the plot is kind of light but it’s enjoyable enough.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely-Brigid Kemmerer

My Netgalley read for February, I started it last month but I kind of struggled to get into it, it’s picking up more now though. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite Beauty and The Beast retelling ever, but it’s certainly a different take on it, which I appreciate.

Hamilton and Peggy!: A Revolutionary Friendship-L.M. Elliott

My other book for February, the Hamilmonth as I’m going to see Hamilton in 15 days-yes that’s right, 15 days! I’m really excited for this one, Peggy doesn’t feature a lot in the musical so I’m interested to see what the author’s take on her and Hamilton’s friendship is.

Descendant of The Crane-Joan He

If I get A Curse So Dark and Lonely done before the end of the month, then this will be my other Netgalley read, though it’s highly likely it will probably carry over into March. I’m really excited for this one, I know the author is Chinese-American and that the book heavily draws from her culture and I’m really excited about that as it’s something different from any other fantasy I’ve read before.

I think 2019 is off to a good start, 3 books down out of my 35 book challenge is pretty good. How did everyone else’s January reading go? Let me know in the comments!

#RockMyTBR December Update (2018) and Wrap-Up

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!:

39080732A 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:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/a-spark-of-light-review-e-arc/

34397653Our 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:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/our-dark-duet-monsters-of-verity-2/

42279745The 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:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/04/the-enchanted-sonata-review-e-arc/

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)

  1. 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!