ARC, BOOK REVIEW, Book Reviews, CONTEMPORARY, Fantasy, MAGICAL REALISM, New Adult, RETELLING, Sci-fi, Young Adult

December Wrap Up | 2018

Hello bookworms! I’m Nia and today I’m going to be talking about the books I read in December of 2018.

I know this is a pretty late post considering December was to months away, but January was a pretty busy month and these types of post tend to take me a lot of time to write, hence why I didn’t post a wrap up in January. So instead I’m going to be talking about them and explaining what I thought about them now.

I read a total of 24 books in December, which is crazy. But I had more time that I dedicated to reading, and so I had such an incredible month!

Without any further ado, let’s start with my December wrap up!

img_1522-1

Little White Lies | Jennifer Lynn Barnes

36321744

⭐️⭐️⭐️.75

My thoughts: I’ll be posting a review of this book soon, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts about it!

img_1568

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother’s “society” might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father’s identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn’t expect to find is friendship, but as she’s drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn’t the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother’s glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer’s search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.


img_1526

The Impostor Queen | Sarah Fine

23495112

⭐️⭐️⭐️.75

My thoughts: Okay, after months and months sitting on my shelves, I finally decided to pick up this book, because lately I’d been thinking about it a lot, and to be honest, I was pretty excited after reading the synopsis, and overall I have to say that it was a pretty solid story, and I really enjoyed the plot and outcome.

I would start by saying that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the very beginning of the story, though I enjoyed the plot we were following. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main character or her personality, because she was pretty plain and dull, and there was a lot of information about the magic system and the world building and society that I got a little bit confused trying to figure everything out.

However, as I kept reading the novel, I started to enjoy more and more the story we were following. The magic system was pretty complex for a first book in a series, and we learnt a lot about the society and what all the magic had to do in that world.

The characters, though weren’t super unique and I felt I’ve read about similar ones in other books, had great dynamics between them throughout the story, and overall their arcs had a good and progressive evolution.

Something I also really enjoyed about The Impostor Queen was how the story built up and created this sense of anticipation in the reader, till the point you wanted to keep reading to know what was going to happen. It was super fast paced, and there was a nice relation between action packed scenes, and heavily plotted parts, which I think were pretty interesting.

Overall, despite this installment not having the most unique plot or characters, I found that the magic system was so intriguing, and I’m interested to see where the story goes in the next two books.


img_1568

Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule. But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

img_1526

Garden of Thorns | Amber Mitchell

30118749

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: This was a pretty random decision I’ve made, because even though I’ve been eyeing this book for a while and thinking about picking it up, I’d never ended up doing so until now, but the premise sounded super interesting and intriguing, and though there were some things that I really enjoyed about this book, I wasn’t super surprised by the plot or characters, and have mixed feelings about them.

The first part of the story was great and really interesting. The tone of the book was pretty eerie and atmospheric, and the descriptions of the characters and the world were super detailed. I enjoyed how dark everything was, but once the plot started to develop, I became less and less interested in the story, despite really enjoying the writing style.

The thing about this book was, that though it sounded like it was going to be a super unique story, it ended up not being so. There wasn’t a lot of information about the magic system, and I was a bit confused at times because I didn’t have enough information to understand what was going on with the world or the magic, and that made me stay away a bit from the story.

The characters weren’t super original, and I feel I’ve come across their personalities in other books. They overall had a nice development, and their interactions ended up growing o me, but there was something about their relationship that was a bit rushed and off.

So yeah, though I think it had a very interesting start and I was really liking the first part of the book, it went a bit downhill as I kept reading Garden of Thorns, and had some issues with the pacing and the characters.


img_1568

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it. Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

img_1526

The Death of Mrs. Westaway | Ruth Ware

36373481

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: Ever since I heard about this book I wanted to pick it up, because honestly everyone was raving about it and there were a lot of positive reviews I saw, so obviously as soon as I could I decided to read it to see what I thought about it, and to be honest, I ended up really enjoying it.

Like all adult thrillers and mysteries I’ve come across, it had a very slow start, where mostly the author was telling us more about our main character and her back story and her present life, and what made her make the decision the plot centered around. And I would say though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the protagonist, I really enjoyed her inner monologues and how we got to know her throughout the book.

Also I think that the atmosphere of this book was so well done. It felt like I was reading about a haunted house, where everything was very mysterious and creepy, but there weren’t any ghosts. The descriptions about the place were so detailed that it seemed like I was inside the book living in the house as well.

The mystery overall was pretty well done, and kept me interested and at the edge of my seat during the entire time. Thought I already knew what the big reveal was before it was done in the story, I have to give this author kudos because it took me quite a while to figure everything out, and there were some things that took me completely by surprise.

Overall, The Death of Mrs. Westaway was such an interesting story that focused on family relationships in a way I’ve never read before, and the writing was so flushed and descriptive.


img_1568

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

img_1526

We Told Six Lies | Victoria Scott

37638182

⭐️⭐️.5

My thoughts: I have already posted a review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

img_1568

Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone. But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names.

The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly.

And that’s yours truly.

img_1526

Winterspell | Claire Legrand

18475593

My thoughts: Finally I picked this book! I wanted to wait until Christmas’ time to read it, because it seemed like the perfect book for that, and because I really enjoyed one book by Claire Legrand a few months before, I went with pretty high expectations, and though there were some elements in the story that I absolutely loved, I felt a little bit disappointed by some others.

Okay, hear me out. Though I really enjoyed the journey the characters went through in this story, I wanted it to be gayer. There was a relationship between our main character and the villain that gave me all Darkling/Alina vibes, and I was rooting for those two. Now I’m not going to spoil anything of the story in case you want to pick it up, but let’s say that I wanted more from them and I didn’t get it.

Apart from that, I think that though the world building was pretty cool, it’s true that I found it quite confusing, and it felt as if we were thrown there to figure things out on our own. There were some plot holes that weren’t really explained in the story, and also there was something about that world that made it seemed pretty dull and simple.

I think the most interesting part of the story was the relationship Clara had with our villain, because though it wasn’t the main focus, it was so interesting and I wanted to learn more about Anise and basically more about their interactions, and I feel that was such a short part of the story.

The romance that was in Winterspell was pretty cheesy and rushed, and I feel like there wasn’t enough interactions between those two characters for them to be in a romantic relationship, which made it pretty awkward when it happened.

Overall, though this novel had lots of potential, I had some issues with the world and the romance and pacing that made me not fully love the story, despite enjoying the character dynamics and their evolution.

img_1568

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.Her home is destroyed, her father abducted—by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets—and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed—if she leaves at all.

img_1526

Fame, Fate & The First Kiss | Kasie West

40139204

⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I was equal parts excited and scared to read this book, because Kasie West tends to be a hit or miss author, and though the premise of this particular novel sounded incredible and right up my alley, I was quite disappointed by its outcome.

There was something about her writing that made me not connect with the plot nor the characters as much as I wanted to. There weren’t a lot of descriptions and there were a lot of mindless conversations that could have been edited out because they didn’t add anything to the plot or the story, and I think that the writing was a bit juvenile and made the characters appear more naïve and younger than they were.

I also didn’t like the main character at all. Her development wasn’t the best (if she had any), and she was so annoying and said and did the most unrealistic things, and I think that’s the main issue I had with her or the cast of characters in general. Everything seemed very unrealistic, and though I’m totally aware that this is fiction, it all was so surreal that it didn’t make a lot of sense.

With that being said, I have a soft spot when it comes to books about music or movies, so even though some things weren’t the most accurate, I still really enjoyed them and had so much fun seeing more about the behind the scenes.

I also think that though the romance was a bit rushed and it happened in a minute and I tend to enjoy more slow burning romances, it was really cute and fluffy, and their relationship was adorable.

Overall, thought there were some redeemable qualities about this book, I had some issues with the characters and the writing that made me not enjoy the story as much as I thought I would.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion at all. All thoughts are my own.


img_1568

Lacey Barnes has dreamed of being an actress for as long as she can remember. So when she gets the opportunity to star in a movie alongside one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, she doesn’t hesitate to accept the part. But Lacey quickly learns that life in the spotlight isn’t as picture perfect as she imagined. She’s having trouble bonding with her costars, her father has hired the definition of a choir boy, Donavan Lake, to tutor her, and somewhere along the way she’s lost her acting mojo. And just when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, it looks like someone on set is deliberately trying to sabotage her.

As Lacey’s world spins out of control, it feels like the only person she can count on—whether it’s helping her try to unravel the mystery of who is out to get her or snap her out of her acting funk—is Donavan. But what she doesn’t count on is this straight-laced boy becoming another distraction.

With her entire future riding on this movie, Lacey knows she can’t afford to get sidetracked by a crush. But for the first time in her life Lacey wonders if it’s true that the best stories really do happen when you go off script.

img_1526

Ink | Alice Broadway

35238086

⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I thought that this book had such a unique and interesting premise, and I went to read it with very high expectations, but unfortunately for me it was quite a disappointment, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

The main issue I had with this book was that there was no plot whatsoever until the last 50 pages of the story, when I could see what was actually happening and the path we were following. There was a lot of information about how the ink worked and the importance it had in this society, but there was hardly any world building apart from what was related to the ink, and I found that everything that was happening was so simple and like any other dystopian books I’ve read in the past, and it didn’t stand out to me.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters, either. They were all pretty dull and simple, and I found the main character extremely annoying and repetitive throughout the entire book. Though I enjoyed the scenes where she was tattooing people and found them pretty interesting, I feel that it wasn’t redeemable to the rest of the story.

Overall, I found that the book dragged a lot in some parts and the ending was super rushed, and that nothing was actually happening in the middle of the story that could keep me interested, and I ended up pretty disappointed with it.

img_1568

There are no secrets in Saintstone.

From the second you’re born, every achievement, every failing, every significant moment are all immortalized on your skin. There are honorable marks that let people know you’re trustworthy. And shameful tattoos that announce you as a traitor.

After her father dies, Leora finds solace in the fact that his skin tells a wonderful story. That is, until she glimpses a mark on the back of his neck…the symbol of the worst crime a person can commit in Saintstone. Leora knows it has to be a mistake, but before she can do anything about it, the horrifying secret gets out, jeopardizing her father’s legacy…and Leora’s life.

In her startlingly prescient debut, Alice Broadway shines a light on the dangerous lengths we go to make our world feel orderly–even when the truth refuses to stay within the lines. This rich, lyrical fantasy with echoes of Orwell is unlike anything you’ve ever read, a tale guaranteed to get under your skin…

img_1526

The Lying Woods | Ashley Elston

33803125

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I’ll be posting a review of this book soon, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts about it!

img_1568

Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees’ retirement accounts, Owen’s father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout.

Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he can barely remember despise him for his father’s crimes. It’s bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac–and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing.

Owen’s only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets–and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he’s claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past–and write a better future.

img_1526

Berserker | Emmy Laybourne

33158526

⭐️⭐️.5

My thoughts: After reading this book and finishing it, I’ve come to the conclusion that Berserker wasn’t for me. I could see what other people might enjoy about it, but in my case I was extremely disappointed with it, because I was expecting a story about vikings and Norse mythology and well.. I didn’t get one.

The main problem I had with Berserker and one of the reasons why I’m giving it such a lower rating is that there was no plot at all. I was expecting a much more complex story with very unique characters, and to know more about Norse mythology, given the synopsis, and I feel I didn’t have any. It was mostly about this family trying to run away from something, and nothing more.

The fantasy elements were super confusing and weren’t explained to the reader until the last 50 pages. There wasn’t much of a world building, and I found the story to be quite repetitive and boring, until the last 40-50 pages where I could see a plot starting to form and more action packed scenes.

The family dynamics were good, and I really enjoyed their development throughout the story and how much they cared for the other, but there was a romantic “subplot” that was so rushed and came pretty much out of nowhere, and I feel there wasn’t a lot of chemistry between the two characters to create a romance.

Overall, though Berserker had some parts that I think were interesting, like the relationship between this family and different characters, it didn’t redeem the inexistent plot nor the lack of information about the magic system or the mythology, given that those two were pretty important in the novel.

img_1568

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It’s not Stieg’s fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous “gift”–she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. The siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, Hanne and her siblings use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes may be able to teach her how to control her drive to kill?


img_1526

The Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine Arden

25489134

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I’ll be posting a review of this book soon, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts about it!

img_1568

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil. After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

img_1526

The Cerulean | Amy Ewing

29751998

⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I have already posted a review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

img_1568

Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.

But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.

img_1526

Foolish Hearts | Emma Mills

33275690

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75

My thoughts: Okay, this might be quite a personal review, but I think that would explain why I gave this book such a higher rating and why I adored it so much. To be honest, I think that this book was the perfect read for what I was going through when I read it, because it cheered me up and made me so happy, and it was exactly what I needed at the time.

Though I’m totally aware that Foolish Hearts could not be the book for everyone, it was the book for me. Yes, there were some angsty and dramatic scenes and the main character could not be the cup of tea of every reader, but to be fair, I related a lot with her throughout the entire book, and I really enjoyed her character development.

I don’t know, not only I adored Emma Mills’ writing and her way to tell a story and create very different characters and make them interact with each other, but I also really loved the romance and how adorable these two cuties were. They had such interesting dynamics and I really enjoyed them as individuals and as a pair. Gideon is a cinnamon roll and I would give anything to protect him and make him happy, because he totally deserves it.

I also think that this book had a very cute friendship, and I laughed a lot during some parts of the story.

So yeah, even though this book would definitely not be for everyone, I picked it up at the right time and absolutely fell in love with the characters and Emma Mills’ writing, and will definitely read more of her in the future.

img_1568

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

img_1526

From Lukov, With Love | Mariana Zapata

37683751

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I was super excited to read this book because I’ve heard amazing things about Mariana Zapata and how good she is at writing slow burning relationships, and your girl is a fan of angsty and slow burning romance, so I decided to pick this one up since I already owned it, and let me tell you, it was slow.

One of the things I loved the most about this book was how complex and detailed the relationship between these two characters was. I really enjoyed each of the two main characters and the dynamics and interactions they had throughout the story, but man wasn’t in angsty!

If you’re looking for a slow burning romance, don’t think further, because this would be the perfect book. It was painfully slow till the point where I wanted to hit my head with the wall so finally something might happen. But to be honest, I enjoyed that angst. I feel that because it was more an enemies to lovers type of story, it took its time for them to become friends and then something more, and I enjoyed how smooth that evolution was.

However, it was soo long. There were many things that could have been cut out without any problem, or edited out to make the story a bit shorter. And also I feel that there weren’t a lot of characters involved in the story, despite them being an important part of it.

Overall, it was a very nice romance, and it gave what it promised. I really enjoyed the characters and their relationship, and I think that ice skating is something that I would love to see more in contemporary.

img_1568

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one. After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

img_1526

Stolen Time | Danielle Rollins

40139208

⭐️⭐️.5

My thoughts: I have already posted a review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

img_1568

Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.

But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.

img_1526

A Crown of Wishes | Roshani Chokshi

29939047

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75

My thoughts: I’ll be posting a review of this book soon, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts about it!

img_1568

She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire. img_1526

My Favorite Mistake | Chelsea M. Cameron

17348308

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I’ve been recommended this book a lot recently, so since I’ve already had it on my TBR I decided to pick it up and see what all the buzz was about, and overall, though it wasn’t my favorite romance contemporary that I’ve read, it was a solid read and I enjoyed it.

Something that annoyed me quite a bit about this particular story was the relationship between the two main characters. I loved the tropes that this book had and the smooth evolution of their relationship throughout the novel, and how good that transition from enemies to friends to lovers was done.

However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the female character. Her inner monologues were a bit repetitive and some of the things she said threw me the wrong way. There was some girl shaming in this book that didn’t sit well with me and I didn’t really like, and other behaviors that made me not root for the female protagonist as much as I wanted.

Still, it was a very fast paced and addictive story, and I think I finished it in two sittings, so kudos to that. My only complain was that the story seemed quite slow pacing most of the time, and during some parts of the novel it was a bit too rushed.

img_1568

Two secrets. One bet. Who will break first? Taylor Caldwell can’t decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he’s a tattooed, guitar-playing bad boy. Maybe that’s why Taylor’s afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn’t want to get burned, so she needs him gone before it’s too late.

Hunter himself has been burned before, but Taylor’s sexy laugh and refusal to let him get away with anything make her irresistible. Determined not to be kicked out of her life without a fight, Hunter proposes a bet: if she can convince him she either truly loves or hates him, he’ll leave the apartment; and leave her alone.

But when the man behind Taylor’s fear of giving up her heart resurfaces, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.

img_1526

The Cruel Prince | Holly Black

26032825

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

My thoughts: I decided to re-read this book before The Wicked King came out because I’ve become so obsessed with the series and these characters that I needed to re-visit the world again, and I’m so glad I decided to do so because there were a lot of things that are pretty important and I completely forgot about them, so kudos to me.

I think that I enjoyed it even more this time around, because I knew what to expect from it. I was rooting more for Cardan and Jude’s relationship, and I very much loved their dynamics and interactions throughout the story, and appreciated them even more.

I still think it was a very addictive read, and super fast paced. Though the beginning was a bit slow because there was a lot of information about the world and the characters, but still I flew through it.

img_1568

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

img_1526

The Lost Sisters | Holly Black

40863484

⭐️⭐️⭐️.75

My thoughts: I decide to read this short story after finishing my re-read of The Cruel Prince because I needed more of these characters and world before I could finally read The Wicked King, and I would say I really enjoyed this novella.

I think that we got to know more about Tarryn and the decisions she made in the first installment without redeeming her, and at least I understood all her motives. She can still choke, but well..

img_1568

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke.

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

img_1526

Dream Keeper | Amber R. Duell

37534266

⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: Okay, where do I start with this book? I was so excited to read it, because the premise sounded absolutely amazing, and I thought I would really love this book, but turns out I was pretty disappointed with its outcome, and had a lot of problems not only with the characters but with the plot itself.

One of the main problems I had with Dream Keeper was that there was hardly any information or explanation neither about the magic system nor about the world building, and keeping in mind that those two were two of the main focuses of the story, it only made the story much more confusing, and that made the reader ask themselves a lot of questions that were left unanswered. It felt as if we were thrown into this magical world/story and were expected to know everything that was going on.

The characters were a bit choppy and not flashed out. The interactions between them throughout the story felt super forced and awkward, and at times their conversations could have been edited out, because it seemed like they didn’t add anything to the story and were only there to add more words to the book.

The romance was another thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of. It was too rushed and shoved in your face, and I couldn’t see any chemistry between the two characters.

It’s true that Dream Keeper was very easy to read and super fast paced, and there were certain parts that kept me interesting to see what was going to happen next, but overall that didn’t redeem the rest of the book, sadly.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion at all. All thoughts are my own.

img_1568

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers.

But the truth might be more than she bargained for…For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

img_1526

Queen of Air and Darkness | Cassandra Clare

13541056

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I’ll be posting a review of this book soon, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts about it!

img_1568

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

img_1526

Amber & Dusk | Lyra Selene

37825423

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

My thoughts: I’ll be posting a review of this book soon, so stay tuned if you want to know my thoughts about it!

img_1568

Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies. So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.

But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.

img_1526

A Nordic King | Karina Halle

41957608

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: Holy moly, this was such a fun and great book! To be completely honest, I went expecting nothing from it, but turns out I really enjoyed the characters and the story, and will definitely be reading more by Karina Halle in the future (spoiler alert: I already did).

The plot of this book was super interesting and entertaining to follow, and I think that the tropes that it had were so well done and right up my alley, and not only that but I adored the cast of characters.

The interactions between them were so well done, and let me tell you, the angst and the chemistry between the two main characters was amazing. I adored their conversations and the dynamics they had throughout the novel, and also I loved the relationship between the protagonist and the daughters. It was so beautiful and precious.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with A Nordic King, and really enjoyed the whole plot and characters.


img_1568

When I first applied for the job I thought it would be like all the others: working as a nanny for an aristocratic family. Then I got the job and found out how wrong I was. Now I’m the new nanny for two adorable little girls who happen to be princesses.

Their father is the widowed King of Denmark. And my new home? The royal palace in Copenhagen. Adjusting to my new life isn’t easy but the hardest part hasn’t been the girls who still grieve over the loss of their mother. It’s their father. Cold, mysterious and moody, with an icy stare that seems to penetrate your soul, King Aksel may have hired me to take care of his daughters but he wants as little to do with me as possible.

Yet the longer I share these palace walls with this man, the more that I’m drawn to him. His chiseled face and sexual swagger are only part of the package. It’s in the long, intense glances at the dinner table, the way we’ll brush up against each other in the halls, the rare glimpses of the man deep inside, like the sun passing through clouds.

But no matter how I feel about him, we can never be together. You think it’s bad enough being in love with your boss? Try falling in love with a king. img_1526

738 Days | Stacey Kade

26114332

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I have to say that I went with pretty high expectations into this book, I don’t know why. If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll probably know already that I have a soft spot when it comes to books about movies or music making, and this story sounded so interesting, so I finally decided to pick it up, and though I enjoyed some parts of the novel, I ended up a bit disappointed with this book.

The thing about this book that I had a lot of issues with is that there was a certain plot devise that I’m not going to say because spoilers, that cause a lot of drama between the two characters, and I hate seeing that trope in a book. It immediately makes me disconnect with the whole plot and characters, because I think that that particular trope could have been perfectly solved if the character had addressed that and talked about it, which, you might already know by my rating, this wasn’t.

I enjoyed the evolution of their relationship, and I think they had nice dynamics and chemistry, but I felt that the family was so conveniently left out during more than the first half of the story, which was so weird since they were a very important figure in our main character’s life.

I also think that the book was a bit too long and there were some parts where nothing was actually happening, and I was a bit bored, despite it being a very fast paced story. So overall, even though I had my issues with the tropes and the characters, it had some redeemable qualities that made me give it 3 stars instead of a lower rating.


img_1568

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting. Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will. Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he’s sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

img_1516

What books did you read in December? Have you read any of these books or do you have them on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

img_1514

Follow me on BlogLovin’

Goodreads Instagram Twitter | Contact Me

img_1479

3 thoughts on “December Wrap Up | 2018”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s