December Wrap Up

Book Post Title PictureAnd here we are at the start of another reading year. A year ago I began writing about what I read, and I’ve pretty much kept up with it. As I said in my last post, I had a goal of reading 100 books in 2013 and I only reached 94. This year, I’ve decided to go with a goal of 75 books in 2014. School is hectic, applying to nursing school will be hectic, and studying for my TEAS test will be time consuming, so I had to be realistic this time.

So, in the month of December I read 7 books. Not as much as I wanted, but between finals, finals exhaustion, family time for the holidays and my sister’s birthday, there went a ton of my time. But it was all good, and hey, I got a B in my human anatomy class! Be warned when reading the recap, major spoilers abound about the books, so if you see the title and haven’t read it, beware!

The first book I read was Eon by Alison Goodman, but as I read that before I published the November Wrap Up/December TBR, you can find my review for that amazing book there.

The next book I read during December was No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong. Book 7 in the Women of the Otherworld series, focusing on Jamie Vegas, the necromancer in this series. I picked this up almost immediately after I finished Eon, because I couldn’t wait to get back into Armstrong’s world. Jamie is taking part in a tv special where her and two other “necromancers” are going to talk with the spirit of Marilyn Monroe and she is being haunted in a way she isn’t used to. Throughout this book she tries to figure out exactly what is going on and how to stop the haunting that is happening to her. In this book we also get to see Eve, the awesome witch-turned-angel and Jeremy, everyone’s favorite alpha wolf, who Jamie has had a thing for since she met him in her first appearance in this series. It was great to FINALLY see Jamie and Jeremy get together. It’s only perfection. Loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

I also read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell in December. This book as been making its way around booktube and book blogs, and oh, the hype around this book was so true. I loved every moment I got to spend with Cath and see what happened in her world. Cath is a fan of Simon Snow, which is kind of the book’s equivalent of Harry Potter. And when you say she’s a fan, what that really means is she’s a complete superfan who has her room decorated in Simon Snow stuff, brings posters with her to her new dorm room at college, writes fanfic about Snow as “magicath”, wears clothes that sometimes are Snow themed, and goes to all the midnight releases. And she is just wonderful. She and her twin sister, Wren, go to university and everything changes for her, she no longer lives with her sister but with her new (completely AWESOME) roommate, Reagan. And Reagan’s friend Levi is always hanging around. Cath still tries to write installments in her Simon fanfic story while she’s in school, and she also writes for a fiction writing class, and does partner writing with a guy in her class, Nick. When Nick stole her story additions and told her he was turning the story in only under her name, I was so angry for her. Just hated that he did that to her. But when she got her vengeance by reminding him that he wanted it to be his story when he needed her to sign her name to get it published, haha oh I loved it! Go Cath! I cried a little at some of the stuff between Cath and Wren and their dad, it was a little sad but it ended pretty well. And I was glad when their dad stepped in to stop Wren from basically destroying her life. I was so glad Cath had so awesome a roommate as Reagan, who was just what her shy personality needed to help her out in adapting to life. And Levi was just the perfect guy to hang around Cath. If I had a criticism I’d have to say he was almost too perfect and dammit where are the guys who are really like him? But I loved that they got together halfway through the book instead of at the end, because we got to see their relationship bloom in the last half of the book. I’d have to say this book was just my favorite book of December. It was just so awesome. This has hooked me into her writing and I can’t wait to read Eleanor and Park now, and Landline when it comes out later this year. If you haven’t read this one yet, READ IT!!!! Seriously.

The next book I finished was Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken, after reading the short story In Time. I loved both of these stories, In Time focusing on everyone’s favorite adorable little girl in the story, Zu and Gabe, the adult who picked her up and was trying to earn his status as a skip tracer. It follows the two of them in their journey across the country, and it was a great in between story for between The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. And Never Fade was just great. I was so excited to read this and I just tore through it in a very short time period. Which might have been dumb to do because now I have to wait for the untitled third book in the series, really crossing my fingers for another novella in between Never Fade and the third one. The characters in this book were awesome, both the originals, Ruby, Liam, and CHUBS!!!! ( I KNEW HE COULDN’T BE DEAD!!!!), and the new characters like Vida, Cole, and Jude. And dammit Clancy came back. Ugh, I cannot stand him. When Ruby’s Children’s League team goes in for a rescue mission on one prisoner, and the description is so much like Liam, I was slightly terrified and slightly excited. AND THEN IT WAS COLE! And while he was awesome, I was slightly sad it wasn’t Liam. But since that happened later on, I was okay. I loved the different names people had for Ruby, honestly. Cole calling her Gem and Jude calling her Roo. I loved Jude. He was just a sweet kid and I cried serious tears when it turned out he was dead. I really hope that by some miracle he isn’t, but since I already got that with Chubs, I may not get it again with Jude. And Vida was just awesome. Girl had one foul vocabulary and I liked that she would actually use it, instead of just something like “Vida swore and ran at me…” or something. Yes, she was slightly bitchy, but she was a wonderful character and I can’t wait to see more of her. Cole was kind of a dick sometimes, but he was a very important part of the story, especially the big revelation about him, which was just an awesome one. He is definitely not the same as Liam, except for appearances. And yes, as I said, he was kind of a dick, but he interested me a lot, so I put up with it. Chubs in this book was slightly different from Chubs in the first book. After his father helped him recover, he went up north for a bit, then got falsified papers to make him a skip tracer. I hurt for him when it was revealed that he had to turn a kid in to get his status as a skip tracer. But I was so glad to see him okay that it was good. When Liam (FINALLY) made his appearance in the book, I was so scared for him. He was so sick and it was just not good. But I loved that you could tell he remembered something about Ruby many times. And when he finally remembered everything, I was so happy. And then so upset when Liam was mad and not talking. I mean, I understood, but still I wanted them back. This was another wonderful installment, and I really can’t wait for the third one, I know it’s gonna be amazing! I could say so much more about this book, but I’ve said so much I think I should stop!

The next book I finished was The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan. The second installment in the Kane Chronicles trilogy and it was so great. I had some trouble getting through The Red Pyramid, not because I didn’t like it, but because there was so much to it. With The Throne of Fire I had no such problems. All of the things that happened to Carter and Sadie were interesting, from being chased by a goddess and a god through London to running through the Kremlin and the adventures in the Egyptian desert and the Duat, everything was great. Trying to figure out what was wrong with Walter, and the hopes that they’ll find a cure for him, made for a good side plot in this story. Bes was such a great character, and I was so sad when he lost his self and everything with that. It just made me hurt, and I hope they can find some way to give him something back in The Serpent’s Shadow. The battle against Apophis and Desjardins not only joining forces with Carter and Sadie during the battle, but giving his life to delay Apophis from rising for a little longer was great. As always, Riordan writes amazing tales. I cannot wait to read the finale in this trilogy.

And finally I read Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I am such a sucker for fairy tale retellings, and a story about Cinderella being a cyborg in a futuristic, slightly dystopian society was just awesome. I admit I did kind of guess the big reveal about the Lunar princess who everyone thought was dead, but that’s okay. I think it was probably written to make me guess that. Cinder was such an interesting character, and her relationship with Prince Kai was fun to read too. I loved Iko the android and her defective personality chip. Made her such a fun side character. And poor Peony. It made me so sad to see her die just after Cinder was able to get some of the antidote needed to heal her from the plague. The Lunar queen was such an interesting, horrible character that I couldn’t help but kind of love to hate her. This is one of the best fairy tale retellings I read all year, can’t wait to read Scarlet and Cress this year.

Since this post has gotten a little long with the book reviews, I’m going to split the wrap up and TBR into two posts, the TBR to come tomorrow. So till then!

2013 Wrap Up and Top 13 Books of ’13!

Book Post Title Picture

Oh my goodness, we have made it through another year! Happy 2014 everyone!

So for 2013 my goal was to read 100 books. And I… fell short. BY 6 BOOKS!!!! Ugh. All that studying got in my way. But I accomplished my goals of school, so I guess I’ll accept that I only read 94 books (haha, only).

I read some awesome books this year, and quite a few awesome series (serieses? I know that’s wrong but it’s kinda cool.) I also read some not so awesome books (City of Fallen Angels, I’m looking at you). And I even read some books that I had to put down repeatedly because I would feel rage coming on (Beautiful Disaster, I’m side-eyeing the shit out of you). And yes, there were some books I started and simply could never finish, such as The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, which I conveniently lost my place in 1/4 of the way through. I also couldn’t finish City of Lost Souls, even on an audiobook, because I just could not handle Clary and Jace for one more second. Sorry Ms. Clare.

I picked 13 books/series that were my top favorites of the year. Yes I combined stand-alones and series because I really couldn’t decide on the books in the series that I included. They are in no order, they are just the ones that I loved the most.

  •  The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian). Oh I loved reading all about the life of Percy Jackson and his friends in this series. As I’ve said all year, Rick Riordan hooks me in from the beginning and when I finish I want more. And speaking of Rick Riordan series, the next title on my list is:
  • The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, and The House of Hades). These ones were slightly darker than the PJO series, and the wait between The Mark of Athena and The House of Hades was terrible. This series is not yet complete, we still have The Blood of Olympus to read soon. Oh booooy… Love these books.
  • The Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds, In Time, and Never Fade). This series was a wonderfully dark and addictive series that I can’t wait to read the final installment of and I hope that Ms. Bracken does another short story between Never Fade and the final (still untitled) book. Yes, I did think they were slightly creepy, but I did not mind it at all, I could not put the books down ever.
  • A Million Suns and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis. I started reading this trilogy in 2012, and loved the last two books in it so much. Yes, the cover change drove me nuts, but the content of the books, sci-fi fantasy, were perfect all the same.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Oh this book. This beautiful, painful book. The final bits of this book absolutely destroyed me and the whole thing was just so wonderful. If you’ve seen the movie with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, but haven’t read the book, please read the book. They left so much out in the movie and some of the parts they left out were so wonderful.
  • The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess). This series was everything The Mortal Instruments series wasn’t. It was much better written than TMI was, and the characters were so much more interesting. I loved reading about Will, Jem, Tess, Charlotte, and Henry and all the others. I also loved seeing the creations and backstories on many people, places, and things in TMI, and loved seeing ancestry of certain TMI characters. And while some may not have loved the ending, I really did.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Oh this book, this lovely, wonderful book. I read this in December, so look for more about it in the December Wrap Up post, but this book was just so wonderful. I loved Cath and Wren and Reagan and Levi. It was so great. Now I have to read Eleanor and Park because Rowell has me hooked on her writing.
  • The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant). Yay dystopia! Tris was such a great character, and while the ending of this series may have been (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) painful, it was a great series and I sort of understand why Roth wrote the ending the way she did. READ THESE BOOKS BEFORE THE MOVIE COMES OUT! The movie will be great though, can’t wait to see it.
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. Alien invasion, dis-trust of everyone, and some awesome characters made this book so great. I had no clue who to believe and who not to believe and was hooked through every sentence. I cannot wait for The Infinite Sea to come out, pre-ordered and everything. Although I can say I’m only slightly disappointed the second book won’t be titled “The 6th Wave”.
  • Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (Legend, Prodigy, Champion). Wow this series was great. Everything about it from the covers to the type-color in each book for Day to the plot was awesome. Although dammit that ending! June, you should have set Day straight!!! ARGH! But the world was so cool and the characters were awesome, I’m so glad I picked the series up. Hopefully Ms. Lu will write something new in the next few years.
  • The Women of the Underworld Series by Kelley Armstrong (Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, and No Humans Involved). Meera started me on this series this past summer and it has been so fun so far. I love that they have Elena,  female werewolf, as one of the main characters. All the women in these books are awesome, and some of them started as kind of wimpy and really grew in the books. I still have six more to go in this series, and I’m sure they’re all gonna be awesome!
  • The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing). This was a really cool trilogy to start me on Libba Bray books. Gemma was a great teen protagonist and this trilogy was dark and captivating and beautiful. I love historical fiction, so that excited me too. And the ending was really great for Anne, Gemma, and Felicity.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer. The first in the Lunar Chronicles, I read this in December, so again, I’ll get to review it more later. But it was a great read, I love fairy tale retellings. I also went straight to Books A Million and picked up Scarlet (on sale too!!!) after finishing this book. And I’ll be pre-ordering Cress and Winter too. It’s gonna be great.

So that’s my list of Top 13 of ’13. I’ll get to the December Wrap Up/January TBR post tomorrow. Hopefully.