Hi, and thanks for stopping by.
Today's post is my regular monthly reading update, part one. Here I'll share the first load of books I read in December; you can look out for part two coming soon, most likely at the very beginning of January. Let's get going!!
Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves
I stand by my initial comments about this series; I am so engaged in the characters and their eccentricities and their journeys but as far as the plot goes, I have NO IDEA what is going on. Glendower and ley lines and Greywarens (I'm honestly not even sure if those names are correct, that's how confused I am, apologies if they're not!!) just go right over my head for the most part, but I'm just ploughing through the series regardless, completely oblivious and enjoying it quite a lot!
Maggie Stiefvater’s Linger
I must admit that I was only persevering with this book because of Cole's narrative and storyline alongside Isabel, really. I'm a little sick of Jack and Grace and I swear their plot was so blatantly predictable?! I have Forever ready to go sometime soon, but I'm not that excited for it to be honest.
My True Love Gave to Me – An Anthology
4 stars (average)
If you're looking to feel festive, you must read this anthology. I enjoyed it more this time around than I remember doing the first time, weirdly. Special mention goes to the three stories I gave 5-stars to (and therefore my favourites in here) - Rainbow Rowell's Midnights, Stephanie Perkins's It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown and Kiersten White's Welcome to Christmas, CA. This might be my favourite anthology out there, actually - I'm excited to reread the summer version when the warmer weather comes around!
Kasie West’s P.S. I Like You
My favourite Kasie West book that I've read so far. This wasn't necessarily one of those life-changing 5-star reads but it was just a classic, wonderful YA contemporary that I personally couldn't find fault in. The characters were funny and the plot was a little quirky and there was just bucket-loads of chemistry. I read it in one sitting and wanted to start it all over again from the beginning right after.
Gayle Forman’s If I Stay
One of my least favourite Gayle Forman books, weirdly, considering it's her most famous, I guess. The romance element still had her signature cool, classic, subtle style which I absolutely adore, and Mia's family are wonderful, but for some reason I just couldn't connect to the larger story as a whole. Really can't put my finger on why I wasn't such a fan of this, sadly.
Gayle Forman’s Where She Went
Although not a lot actually happens in this book (nearly all of the actual action is related in flashback form) I still found it to be engaging, page-turning and emotional. It was also an opportunity to admire Gayle Forman's brilliant writing style, especially in those quieter moments, particularly those shared between Adam and Mia & in the discussion of Mia's losses and subsequent grief.
Let It Snow
A festive reread for me, once again. All three authors really, really shine here and I'm still just in awe of the clever ways in which their characters and plot-lines were intertwined, particularly coming together in the third and final story. I think my favourite story is probably the first one, Maureen Johnson's The Jubilee Express but all three were great, particularly notable for their excellent senses of humour.
Maggie Stiefvater’s Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Book three of four, and I think perhaps the charm of the characters and the brilliant sense of humour these book encompass is starting to pale in comparison to how ridiculously confused I am. I don't really understand what any of these words mean: greywaren, cabeswater, glendower, ley lines...and feeling lost is no longer quite as amusing. I'll finish the series though because I did NOT invest this much time and brain power to give up at the final hurdle!!
Justin A. Reynolds’s Opposite of Always
I think, for me, the problem I had whilst reading this book was that I was far more invested in a secondary character and his storyline than I was in the main action. I wanted to know the entire story of Franny and his dad and their relationship. Jack and Kate did have an interesting plot, and the repetitive nature of the story was written very well, but Jack wasn't my favourite character in here at all and I found the weird moments between him and Jillian uncomfortable (and crappy towards Franny, right?!).
Rhian Ivory’s Hope
I like that this book focused on what to do when the university "dream" doesn't work out the way you want it to in the application stage, because I haven't really seen too many other books explore that. I also thought the hospital setting was a brave and difficult one to write. Sadly though, the rest of the novel fell quite short. My main issue was that the romance was literally ENTIRELY unnecessary to the story; it didn't need to be there at all. I wish romance wasn't just included in the vast majority of YA books purely for the sake of it; it takes time and space away from worthier elements.
Connie Glynn’s Undercover Princess
Certainly not what I was hoping for. For a book about a princess, this was definitely missing that magical spark I had hoped for (not even necessarily literal magic, just that special feeling). Maybe it's my own fault for picking up a book about characters far younger than I enjoy reading about, but the plot just felt quite pedestrian and predictable to me. A shame.
So those are the books I read in the first half of December! Let me know your bookish favourite of the month so far. If you have any Christmassy reading recommendations, or any recommendations at all for that matter, please do leave them in a comment down below.
Till next time