December was a … really, really bad month.
So I’m kinda looking forward for 2018 to be over but at the same time in disbelief that we (as of writing this post) have such little time left?
I also just wanted to say that I removed so many sections in this monthly wrap-up. I went on hiatus for half of December, so I’m woefully behind on reading blog posts, and I don’t feel like I can curate a proper list of blog posts. This will most likely be coming back in January.
I still love you guys so much though ❤️
I’m going to be doing quarterly (or maybe half-year? Is that what you call it?) book hauls, since
I’m a broke student, I don’t receive enough books per month to justify having a whole section on books hauled in the month, especially since it’s empty most of the time. There’s nothing wrong with that, honestly, I just don’t think it doesn’t make sense.
As a result, a good chunk of the post is going to be removed, but that means I have more space to talk about the books I read, which I’m definitely going to be using!
Onto the reading, which went significantly better than my personal life and
everything else. But for real, I did enjoy every book that I read, so that’s always a plus.
In December, I read 8 books. I do think that this was quite solid, especially since mocks took up the first half of December. I’m going to go more into that in my life update/wrap up post, which should be coming in a couple of days if all goes to plan. I think I read a good mix of books, and though I didn’t find any new 2018 favorites, which was a big shame, not going to lie.
Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★☆☆
- This was TJR’s first book ever published, and in all honesty, her weakest and least favorite IMO
- But I still did enjoy it!
- The audiobook narrator for this was very good and I probably wouldn’t be able to get through a huge chunk of the book if not for her
- The writing was really good and poignant (Please note that I’m biased because I’m trash for her writing)
- This book is incredibly deep and heartfelt, and I really did feel for the main character even though I could get very annoyed with her sometimes
- The relationship between Elsie and her mother-in-law, Susan, was very well done and well developed
- TJR’s characters as a whole are very realistic and well-developed
- I really feel that this book’s exploration of grief was very well-done and done in a respectful manner
- However, I do feel that Elsie occasionally treated her best friend, Ana, quite badly
- I would recommend this if you want to read all of TJR’s books, but maybe pass if you don’t?
Our Stories, Our Voices edited by Amy Reed ★★★★☆ (4.25-4.5)
- Before we get into this, I just want to say if I ever make a Goodreads review for this I’m not doing individual breakdowns of stories because there are way too many (aka 21 of them)
- But I do think this was a really strong anthology as a whole!
- By the way, I read this as part of Riveted #25DaysofDecember promotions which you should totally check out! (I’m not sure whether this is over on the time of publication though so we shall see!)
- Back to the book, I feel like most women brought something completely new to the table
- This is definitely something that female teens should definitely read (just skip Ellen Hopkins’ story, I skipped hers on the recommendations of many trusted bloggers and I regret nothing)
- Many pieces really helped me come to terms with harmful messages that I had internalized
- My favorite pieces (that I could really remember) were by Maurene Goo, Amy Reed, and Alexandra Duncan as they (1) hit a place close to home, (2) all of them were extremely well-written, and (3) overall just incredibly important in their own ways
- Even though this is an American anthology, I do think that many of these messages are universal and this anthology provides important insights into intersectional feminism
- Overall I definitely recommend this anthology! It has so many important themes and messages that really need to be heard. Please read it in 2019, or bump it up your TBR
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★☆
- To be honest I thought I would love this way more than I did due to the Goodreads hype?
- But I still did really enjoy it!
- I was literally so excited for this, you guys have no idea
- This was incredibly binge-able and well-written
- This novel is a great example on how you do character-driven novels
all y’all best bet you should learn from TJR
- Another reviewer on Goodreads (I can’t find the review in particular) described this book as something like “being in a front seat of a train wreck” and that’s basically this book in a nutshell tbh
- This concept is really unique
- I really loved the exploration of Lauren’s self-discovery and her relationship with her family
- I’m simultaneously marveling (upon realizing) how incredibly smart the title is but also facepalming myself for just realizing it
- I do think that I would’ve enjoyed it more if I didn’t place such high expectations and hype this up so much for myself
- But I definitely do recommend this! This is my second or third favorite TJR, haven’t decided yet
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf ★★★★☆ (ARC, 4.25)
- My 1st ARC ahhhhh!!
when will I ever shut up about it oh my god
- I never thought this would happen in a million years, thank you Vicky, the author and the publisher for providing this opportunity
- I’ve done an ARC review on the blog so you should check that out for more in-depth thoughts!
- In a nutshell, this is basically a fictional account of the 1969 KL riots, and it was really harrowing but also very compelling?
- All the things that made this book so uniquely and authentically Malaysian GOT ME SO HARD
- I’m trying to keep it brief because again I have a full review so I don’t want to repeat myself
- But please know that this is a very heavy and hard-hitting book, and thus comes with a lot of triggering content that comes with it
- However, if you feel you’re ready, I definitely do recommend picking this up on the 5th of February!
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
- So I’ve read all of TJR’s published books go me uwu
- This one was … fine
- I do appreciate how the book really talks about people changing over time, and that discussion was interesting and also did hit close to home
- Points for the concept – it’s really unique, like all of TJR’s books
- I really liked the storytelling method overall, and appreciate how the love triangle is more about Emma (the main character) herself and learning about herself, rather than going back and forth on how she had two hot guys to choose from
- I think a lot of the reason why I didn’t like this as much as I could’ve is that I was a little burnt out from contemporary as a whole and TJR (I still love her and her works though)
- Like all of TJR’s works, this was very bingeable
- I finished this at 3am on the night before the last day of my mocks
because I’m dumb and love to punish myself I suppose
- I say pick it up if you think the concept is interesting and/or any of these things interest you, if not, maybe skip this one
You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon ★★★☆☆ (3.75)
- I pretty much binged read this in a day to test out whether I was in a reading slump
- This book also came highly recommended from all my Goodreads friends
- I don’t think I was in the right mood to read this one
- However, I was still interested enough to read this in a day
- This book was so beautifully haunting and incredibly well-written
- The twins’ relationship and the development of each twin themselves was very nuanced, beautiful and well-done
- To be more personal, I particularly related to Tovah and really came to terms with parts of myself, so that’s always a good thing
- This is a very character-driven novel so it can and does get slow at times
- I liked this book’s tone of telling things as they were
- I think that you have to be in the right mood and have the patience to read and properly enjoy this book
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer ★★★★☆ (4.25)
- I actually just finished it and I really enjoyed it!
- This series is simultaneously super fun but has me incredibly emotionally invested
- So if this doesn’t come out on the 5th November 2019 someone is going to riot (for real)
- I feel like this got me out of the reading funk that Queen of Air and Darkness and the TJR binge I was on
- While this book was highly entertaining, with a fair amount of political intrigue, this book surprised me as it really made me think about questions of morality, power and a lot of deep stuff in general
- Nova and Adrian are so angsty and I just want to scream at them
- Why this wasn’t a 4.5 star read: the pacing in the middle really dragged
- Tbh this book could be trimmed down a bit and it would still be as good
- This is a problem that Renegades also had, in my opinion
- But overall I’m so glad that Marissa Meyer delivered again!
- I’m also now out of my reading funk yay (I think)
- If you need a very readable, quick, fun superhero series, check this series out
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare ★★★☆☆ (3-3.5)
- Wow the mixed feelings were real
- I still can’t decide a proper rating because ya girl’s ridiculously indecisive
- I think one of my biggest issues was my ridiculously high expectations
- IMO this is the weakest installment in the Dark Artifices
- This book was so long but there were so many things left unanswered
- There was so much potential not achieved
- I cared a lot less about Emma and Julian to be honest?
- At this point, I’m reading for the plot, not the characters (mostly)
- It felt way too safe for a conclusion, especially when comparing it to Cassie Clare’s other conclusions
- But it’s such a great set-up for the Wicked Powers
- The Last Hours better be great, and from what I’ve seen so far, it should be?? Idk anymore??
- Yes a full review on the blog should be coming!
Obviously, going on hiatus has significantly reduced the content I produced in the early parts of December, but LOTS of end of year posts are coming, especially towards the end of the month, and it’s stressing me out
a little a whole ton. I’m pre-writing and pre-scheduling all of them this week so I can rest and go on vacation and do life stuff. In fact, I’m probably in Kuala Lumpur (FINALLY) at the time you guys are seeing this, or on the road, or even back in Singapore, I really don’t know.
- I wrapped up a fine November reading month and officially go on a mini-hiatus (but I’m clearly back hehe)
- I posted my ARC review of the Weight of Our Sky (my 1st ARC ever, and thank you for all your kind words ❤️)
- I signed up for some 2019 Reading Challenges
- I put up my way too long End of Year Bookish Survey
I’m still flailing over how 2018 is almost over. Like, how? Obviously, January is coming, and I have such mixed feelings. To be honest, I’m really not ready for 2019, and I can’t believe we have four days left of 2018 (at the time of writing this, I’m literally so behind in writing blog posts).
School is starting back in January (which I am really NOT looking forward to). Even though mocks are over, we apparently still have two other papers that we have to take?
I just want to die right now, goodness isn’t my school the best.
I’m also feeling incredibly stressed out for January. Schoolwork is going to be a nightmare. I’m also organizing a launch for an organization as part of my MYP Personal Project, and thanks to mocks, my own internal stress,
and procrastination, I’m very behind.
I know I should include something about how I think my January reading is going to go, but I truly have no clue, because of school and the fact that I’m a huge mood reader. I’m going to be heavily tracking my reading and my 2019 blogging.
Though I’m incredibly stressed and exhausted for the New Year, it also provides an opportunity for me to have a fresh start. I literally have so many things I want to do and am excited for 2019 and January, especially post-wise.