2020 · Long post · Wrap ups

December Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2020

the last one of the year!

Happy New Year Everyone! It’s finally over!

I didn’t do as well as I hoped in December but I did managed to finish the books I needed and wanted to finish but I didn’t go overboard or anything. My GoodRead’s goal was 100 books and I managed 103 books by the end. That mean I did a total of 7 books in December.

I felt worn out after NaNoWriMo and struggled to read. It’s only now during the holidays that I managed to get back into it. I did do a lot of other things too which gave a nice distraction. I did a lot of DIY and painting but also a lot of YouTube and TV. I’m so relieved this year is over…

Let’s just dive in 🙂

As a reminder: To me, 5 ivy leaves is an amazing book that stuck with me, surprised me, one I could stop thinking about, I got lost in, etc. 4 ivy leaves is an enjoyable read something I really liked, but that’s it. 3 ivy leaves are either a disappointing read, or the book is just OK.

Vicious (Villains #1) by V. E. Schwab

E-book – owned

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

I really loved this book and it’s grey morality. I will definitely pick up the next one in the series.

I was totally Team Victor the whole way and I also loved his friends and people he picked up along the way. Victor never pretended to be anything else than what he was, and I loved that.

I also loved the aspect of who someone became an EO. It was well done and made perfect sense.

Darius the Great Deserves Better (Darius the Great #2) by Adib Khorram

Audiobook – Library

Darius Kellner is having a bit of a year. Since his trip to Iran this past spring, a lot has changed. He’s getting along with his dad, and his best friend Sohrab is only a Skype call away. Between his first boyfriend, Landon, his varsity soccer practices, and his internship at his favorite tea shop, Darius is feeling pretty okay. Like he finally knows what it means to be Darius Kellner.

Then, of course, everything changes. Darius’s grandmothers are in town for a long visit while his dad is gone on business, and Darius isn’t sure whether they even like him. The internship isn’t what Darius thought it would be, and now he doesn’t know about turning tea into his career. He was sure he liked Landon, but when he starts hanging out with Chip–soccer teammate and best friend of Trent Bolger, epic bully–well, he’s just not so sure about Landon anymore, either.

Darius thought he knew exactly who he was and what he wanted, but maybe he was wrong. Maybe he deserves better.

I love Darius and his family and friends. This book, as well as the first book, has this heart warming feel to it. People have your back, non really judges you, lots of tea and family support.

Everything about this book makes me want to hug it.

I loved the football team reaction to Darius coming out and the fact that they got his back against bullies. Loved it!

The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R. F. Kuang

e-ARC – NetGalley

This story continues straight after the second book and drives Ran forward against the nation and the invading forces.

All time favourite series has an ending.

It took me a while to be able to pick this up. I was scared of how much it would hurt. I was surprised to find it didn’t hurt until the end and then only a little bit.

It was a very satisfying end to a series and a book. The ending was a bit slow which annoyed me but then I realised why it was slow and it made prefect sense.

Full Review.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Audiobook/e-book – Owned

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and becomes determined not only to escape but to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. A huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s, Dumas was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment when writing his epic tale of suffering and retribution. 

Only took me 5 months to read…. I read Les Miserable in 31 days.

It was well written but I struggled to get through it. I struggled worth he point of view but I understand why it was written that way. I struggled with the pacing in the middle but I understand why it was slow there. I understand the story but I still feel it could have been shorter by a couple of 100 pages.

Not my favourite large classic but I’m glad I’ve read it as it is a good story of revenge.

A Dream of Ice (Earthend Saga #2) by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

Physical book – Owned

After uncovering a mystical link to the ancient civilization of Galderkhaan, child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is left with strange new powers. Suddenly she can heal her young patients with her mind and see things from other places and other times. But as she learns more about her powers, she also realizes that someone is watching her, perhaps hunting her—and using her son to do it.

Meanwhile Mikel Jasso, a field agent for a mysterious research organization, is searching for Galderkhaani ruins in Antarctica. After falling down a crevasse, he discovers the entire city has been preserved under ice and that the mysterious stone artifacts he’s been collecting are not as primitive as he thought. As Mikel and Caitlin work to uncover the mysteries of the Galderkhaani, they realize that the person hunting Caitlin and the stones may be connected in ways they never knew possible.

I really enjoyed this book and series. I have one more in the series waiting for me on my shelf. The sequel and middle book was not as slow as a middle book usually is as it ended on a cliff. But it was Midler than the first book

I love the mix of sci-fi, paranormal, “Atlantis” and all the science in this book. It’s well researched. It’s not the best writing but the story is good.

Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young

e-ARC – NetGalley

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

I loved the writing in this book! And the gems and all the geological aspects of this book. I was positively surprised by this book. I didn’t have a lot of expectations going in but the world is well built, the books is well written and the story is well plotted out. As expected the book ends on a cliff making you want to read the next book.

Full review to come.

Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1) by Laura Thalassa

Audiobook – Owned

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken. 

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one. 

Wow! This was so much more than I expected!!

It was fully immersive, addictive and interesting beyond the romance aspect. I loved the world and the magic and the rules. I loved this paranormal setting and the non-humans in here. I loved just how the books is set up. The friendships were great and the banter on point 🙂

I will definitely pick up the sequel.

Reading Challenge check:

Let’s hold me accountable.

I have two goals this year which involve acquiring books;

  1. only buy two books a month,
  2. only request two ARCs a month.

Rules: For buying books it only for books I, personally, spend money on including subscription boxes (one per box), but it excludes my audible membership and all free books and gifts. For the ARC’s I’ve focused on my request-button-pressing and not getting the requests approved because you don’t know if it will be approved, nor do you know when it will be approved. Therefore, only two request-clicks per month. I can move the points between the months and if I don’t use them in one month transfer them to the next month.

I will have this on my wrap-ups every month.

Let’s check if I stuck to my goals:

  • Only buy two books a month:
    • none

Available credit from last month; 9

Credit transferring over to next month: None. New year new allowance

  • Only request two ARC’s: 
    • Black Sun ✅🥰
    • Project Holy Mary 🤷‍♀️
    • We Hunt the Flame ✅
    • Skyward Inn ✅
    • The Unbroken ✅

Available credits from last month; 7

Credit transferring over to next month: None. New year new allowance.

TBR Shelf Reads

I also had a goal of reading one book form my physical shelf and one books from my e-book shelf per month. None of these can involve 2020 acquired books. Based on all the books I read this month these are the once from my shelves:

  • Physical shelf
    • A Dream of Ice
  • E-book shelf
    • Vicious

That’s it!

Have you read any of these?

Of all of them, I think Vicious was really good but Rhapsodic was addictive and Fable was rich. Somewhere in there was my favourite of the month. What was your favourite read this month?

Until next time; happy reading!

4 thoughts on “December Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2020

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