I read 19 books during December, and I’m actually pretty pleased with that! I spent a good chunk of my holiday break not reading and just enjoying time with friends and family, and I’m also pleased with that. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on all the books I read!
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
I started this month off with a bang with this book. It is a retelling of the snow child myth where an older childless couple creates a child in the snow that come to life. This book definitely could have been rough for me in the magical realism/fantastical aspect, but thankfully I was able to set my usual struggle aside and enjoy the ride. The couple in this story, Jack and Mabel, leave their comfortable life in the east to homestead in Alaska in the 1920s. It was beautiful and sad and lyrical and a perfect winter read. 5 stars.
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
This was an audio reread. I won’t bore you. 5 stars.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This is maybe one of the most hyped books ever, so while I rated it high on Goodreads, I’m not sure about how I feel currently. I will admit that I keep thinking about it, so maybe it deserves a pretty high rating just for that. If you don’t know about this book…just go read it. 4.5 stars.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisen
This book was AMAZING. Holy shit. This is another one where I think I will struggle to talk about it, so instead I say just go pick it up. It is a truly unique and amazing sci-fi novel, and I absolutely adore it. 5 stars.
Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake
Let me just say – thank god. I have such a weird relationship with these books, but I was slightly optimistic after reading the novella bind-up and really liking it. This book FINALLY succeeded on the pacing front, and it is such a relief. I’m not just ensnared by the setting and the premise. I actually care what is going on – WOO. I still adore Katharine as a character, and I’m actually excited for the last book. 4 stars.
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
This is the spiritual sequel to The Star-Touched Queen, which I read last month. I’ve seen a ton of people who didn’t enjoy this one at all, but it really entertained me. I liked the hate-to-love romance, I liked the riddles and the competition, and Roshani really knows how to weave mythology like a master. 4 stars.
As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows
I cannot believe I waited so long to read this one. Since this is a sequel, I can’t divulge much, but suffice to say – if you like slow-burn and soft boys and strong female friendships and DRAGONS, this series is for you. I need the third one NAO. 5 stars.
Wildcard by Marie Lu
This is another sequel that I read this month that I had heard mixed things about, and I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I liked the ending. I liked the conflict and gray morality. I liked the friendships and gamer aspects. 4 stars.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
I’ve been hearing for such a long time that the magic system and friendships in these books is to die for, and I’m so stoked that I finally read this one. The sequels are on their way to my house as we speak, and I hope I can finish the second and the novella before the third book, Bloodwitch, comes out this year. 4 stars.
Sheets by Brenna Thummler
This was a cute little graphic novel about grief and death and coping and GHOSTS. I really adored the art style, I loved the two main characters, and the bumbling bad guy made me laugh…and then immediately get sad. 4 stars.
Check, Please! Volume 1 by Ngozi Ukazu
SO CUTE SO CUTE SO CUTE. Gay hockey baking romance with a cute art style. Go check it out right meow, either in the hard copy first volume or the webcomic online!
The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson
I was pretty stoked when I received this book in a Litjoy subscription delivery because I love Irish folk stories and myth, but man was this book disappointing. It didn’t give us enough information and expected us to catch up, there was hella instalove, and there were jargon-y words throughout the story that WEREN’T ITALICIZED AND WE DIDN’T KNOW THERE WAS A GLOSSARY IN THE BACK. Why would you want you readers to be confused and lost the whole time? The world may never know. 2 stars.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
This is another slow-burn book that I keep thinking about even though I’ve been done with it for a couple of weeks. It is a sad, thoughtful, hopeful ode to booklovers everywhere. 4 stars.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
This is another one that I heard tons of mixed reviews about, but I actually liked it a lot! I liked the timed aspect of Ben and Arthur’s relationship – it made me think of They Both Die at the End hardcore. It made everything more believable. It read like a rom-com, which I am here for. And the ending was absolutely perfect. A+, gold star. 4 stars!
One Day in December by Josie Silver
This was my cozy Christmas romance, and it was way less fluffy that than I thought it would be. I felt myself rooting for a couple that maybe I shouldn’t have been, and I feel like that speaks to the skill of the writer when I feel things I really shouldn’t be. This is another one that read like a movie almost, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it! 4 stars.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
I DID IT. It took me almost 2 months of chipping away at it between other things, but I did it. I love so many of the characters. The world-building is insane. The battle scenes gave me feelings??? I loved a female character written by a dude??? And then the last 150 or so pages just went off the goddamned rails and I’m scared for the next one. 5 stars, obviously.
The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork
This was a fun Nutcracker retelling that, of all things, made me laugh a ton. I don’t know if the author was trying to make me laugh with the way she worded things, but I hope she was! I definitely recommend this as a winter/pre-Christmas read to anyone who has kind of a dumb sense of humor or who can at least look past dumb humor. 4 stars.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This is a solid “eh.” I read it using the Serial Reader app over about a month, and all of the characters are horrible. I get that they’re supposed to be horrible, but there was nothing else about the story that made it okay or at least enjoyable to read their horribleness. Reading Joseph’s speech made me want to take an ice pick to my eyes. This is a generous 3 stars. Don’t come for me!
The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner
I read an excerpt of this a few months ago and was really excited to read the full novel! This is another one where I had a slight issue – there were so many words and phrases in different languages that, while I’m glad they had a glossary in the back, because all the words were broken up by language in said glossary, it made it hard to find the word to figure out the meaning sometimes. This means I was out of the story for longer, so it got to the point where I just was glossing over those words and hoping it was fine. I also was hoping for a stronger sibling relationship – this was one where we are told over and over again that they love one another and that they would do anything for one another, but I felt ZERO love, and they kept lying to one another and undermining one another, and that wasn’t what I wanted. The writing was good, the story was okay, and it was definitely very atmospheric. This is a lot of words to tell you that this was a 3 star book.
That is it! Overall I had a really strong reading month to finish out a strong year, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings for me. As of writing this, I’ve already finished 2 books, one of which is a 5 star read. I am very optimistic. Let me know down in the comments if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought!