December is always a great reading month for me. The short days, the cold, the Christmas break, they all result in a lot of reading so I was very curious to see how many books I would be able to read. Most importantly of course, what the quality of my reading would be. And here we are with 14 books read, I discovered some amazing books and I hope you’ll add them to your TBR!
Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes
(Proof received for free, this does not affect my opinion.) So after we received this proof at YALC, a friend of mine immediately read it and absolutely hated it. Like “burn this thing, I never want to see it again”-hated it. And well, I obviously LOVED it. I do think this is a hate-it-or-love-it book without any grey areas. It was extremely difficult to take, but tackles the topic of trauma amazingly. It’s real, claws at your soul, makes you think and humbles you. It’s definitely not a book for everyone, but if it is, it’s going to stay with you for quite some time. I wish I could say more to convince you to read it, but this one of these books you need to read without knowing too much about it.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Starting a new series of my series I need to finish list. I was completely riding the hype-wave when this book first came out, but I didn’t discover anything spectacular between its pages. I could objectively see that it was a good story, but I could also predict everything that was going to happen and it took away from the story. So yeah, curious to see what I would think of this reread. I think I liked it more than my first read, even if I still knew what was going to happen. Looking forward to continuing with the series and I hope the twists will become less obvious.
Girl in the Window by Penny Joelson
The short description of this book immediately drew me in and I was very curious to read it. Within a few pages however, I discovered that this book is very young-young adult and it annoyed me a little. This was not what I was expecting at all. The mystery was fun to read, and fairly original, but it couldn’t truly hook me either. All in all, it was a fun, quick read, but it didn’t have too many meat to its bones. Perfect for a 14-year-old, but a little too simple for me.
The Girl King by Mimi Yu
(Proof received for free, this does not affect my opinion.) I had already tries to pick this book up, but the first chapter confused the hell out of me, so I put it down again. This time, I kept reading though and everything quickly became clear. This is one of those fantasy novels that is absolutely not info-dumpy and as a result the world becomes clearer and clearer while your plowing through the story. I loved both the sisters and how utterly different they are, even though I would have loved some more ambiguity so you’d truly have a choice for which sister you’re rooting. Original fantasy setting and as a result, I highly recommend this one. Bring on book 2!
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Last book in this series! As it’s more of a middlegrade than an true YA series, I knew that the ending would be all sugar and spice, and everything nice. Even though it’s a little too rosy for my taste, I am infinitely pleased that my sweet little precious also got his happy ending. (And no, I’m not saying who my sweet little precious is.) I truly loved returning to Riordan’s writing, and I’m determined to quickly pick up his other series. Most of all, I’m just happy this behemoth of a book is finally of my TBR shelves.
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
I quickly picked this one up after finishing the first book in the series, but it didn’t continue on the same track. Our main character Mare got very annoying in this one, even seemed unhinged at times and I didn’t like it for one bit. I did enjoy where the story is going though, so at least I have that going for me. I still have a long way to go until I know how the story ends, but I’m looking forward to see how it continues. As long as someone is going to sit Mare down for a good talking-to. ‘Cause girl, you annoying.
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
My November Illumicrate book, and luckily for me, one that was already on my reading list. This story is utterly unique and I loved every second of it. The style of writing, the premise, the story, the world, the culture, I adored every single part of this book. Period. It was absolutely mesmerizing and enchanting. And the best part: it’s a stand-alone fantasy novel. I think it will be a long time until I find another read that will be just as addictive as this one was. I could not put it down. Howly cow this was amazing.
Replica by Lauren Oliver
Another reread to finish a series and I don’t know how this book ended up on that list though as I didn’t particularly liked it the first time I read it. It annoyed me the second time I read it too. I accept the originality of having to turn your book around to read the other POV and the opportunity to choose how you read the story, but at the same time it’s absolutely redundant. Just stay with the normal way of telling a story, thank you very much. Gemma also annoyed me to death, and if it wasn’t for Lyra, this story would have no redeeming qualities at all. Also discovered some plotting errors like knowing a character’s name before he introduced himself. It bugged me.
The Shock of the Fall
This is a book that had been standing on my TBR shelves for so long, that I absolutely forgot what the story is about. I remembered that this book was absolute hype of few years ago, so I was curious to see how I would like it. Okay so, it ended up being a story about grief and schizophrenia, two things that are on my buzzword list. And I absolutely loved the portrayal of both these topics. The chaotic style of writing fitted the story perfectly, but SOMETHING failed to click with me. Still, very happy that I’ve finally picked it up.
The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
I’ve been very slowly buying this series book by book, and I was so glad to have gotten my hands on the next one. I’m so sad I never knew about these books when I was a kid, I would have absolutely loved them. Not that I’m not adoring them now, but as an adult you can never appreciate a children’s book as much as you would have as a kid. I’m continuing on collecting these hardcover editions and discovering the orphans’ unfortunate lives.
The Death Cure by James Dashner
So this series has become an ordeal to get through (and no I’m not even going to pick up the prequel) and I absolutely dreading starting this one. At this point it felt like the story wasn’t plotted out enough and the whole thing made no sense at all. All the characters, every aspect of the story, basically EVERYTHING annoyed me and there are barely any redeeming things left. I’m glad I finished the series so I can throw it out and free up some shelf-space, that is the only positive thing that has come out of these books. Yikes.
Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
I didn’t particularly like the first two books in this series, both the stories just weren’t original at all and hugely disappointed me. This third book written by Maas… worried me. I don’t have the best track record with her and I just didn’t know if this one was going to be any better than the previous books. So yeah, my expectations were about as low and dubious as they could get, BUT HOWLY COW I WAS WRONG. This book ended up being exactly what I wanted it to be. Original, funny, with so many different layers. It was an absolute treat.
Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire
When I first got this book in my hands, I was absolutely surprised by how short it is. I’m not biased against short books, but it is always a question if the story will be powerful enough. This one definitely was. The truth is, this book is simply not packing any more weight than it has to. The story is so original and meta, that you cannot help but love it. I was utterly in awe during every magical second of the story and I’m already looking forward to the rest of this series.
King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
This was an absolute torture from beginning to end. At the certain point I was actually looking forward to cleaning instead of reading this book. Not ideal. I just couldn’t give a damn about the story and especially what was happening to Mare, she’s basically an ignorant and annoying brat. The only reason I kept reading was because I accidentally discovered a chapter in Evangeline’s point of view and I absolutely love her. All in all, even that couldn’t save the book for me though and I’m dreading picking up the last book in this series.
What do you think of all the books I read this month? Are there any on this list you’d like to read too? Let me know in the comments!