December 2018 Wrap Up

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Ah! This is the last wrap up of 2018 which is a whole other level of crazy, but I am really excited to discuss all the books I read this month because it was a lot more than I expected! I read a total of 12 books this month and that is a lot for me, especially since I read most of these during the first two books of the month I had school. Anyways! Let’s get into this wrap-up.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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I was re-reading this book in anticipation for the release of Queen of Air and Darkness, the third and final book in this amazing trilogy, and just like the first time, I adored this book. This book takes place in the world of Shadowhunters (people who are half angel and half human) who fight demons to keep humans safe. The first book, Lady Midnight follows a large cast of characters but most specifically, Emma Carstairs, a Shadowhunter who is hunting for answers about her parents’ murders but the whole plot of it turns out to be more than she and her friends assumed. This book is not by any means short, but it is 700ish pages that somehow never seems long enough because I just want more and more and MORE. As always, 5/5 stars.

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich 

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As a Broadway fanatic, I jumped at the chance to read the YA novel adaptation for this Broadway musical. I’ve listened to the soundtrack countless times, and I was blown away by how greatly the author pulled the lyrics and atmosphere out of each song and transferred it into a book. The characters sounded the same as in the songs, and the plot was enjoyable, important, and interesting to read about. I felt all the feelings while reading this too; I laughed, smiled, cried, and cringed in all the right places and because of that, I loved this book. Dear Evan Hansen follows our main character, Evan, who is struggling to connect with others at school but when a boy from his school named Connor commits suicide, his family somehow thinks Evan was a close friend of his and they bring him into their world and even their family. However, Evan wasn’t friends with Connor and he struggles with revealing this. This book makes me want to see the musical live even more and hopefully, one day I will! 4/5 stars

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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I have a tradition of giving The Perks of Being a Wallflower a read once every year because, to me, it is a classic that everyone needs to read. It deals with mental disorders like anxiety and PTSD, abuse, and finding yourself, all important things at really any age. We follow Charlie, a quiet kid who is starting his freshman year of high school and feels more alone than ever. But when he is taken in by two seniors, Sam and Patrick, and introduced to their friend group, Charlie starts to find himself and finally begins to participate in life. Amongst all that, Charlie is a reader and writer, which makes me love the story even more. Not only is this a good read, but it is a quick read too. 4/5 stars

The Outsider by Albert Camus

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If this wasn’t assigned to me to read for English class, I would have never picked it up and it probably would have been years until I heard the name of the master, Albert Camus so for once, I am happy with my assigned reading for class. The Outsider is a short piece of fiction that features a character representing the idea of existentialism – the idea that life has no true meaning other than what we give it individually. Recently, I’ve done a lot of research on philosophy, including existentialism, nihilism, etc, and found the entire study incredibly fascinating and Albert Camus captures the overall idea of existentialism perfectly in his character, Meursault. Meursault is a passive character who receives news that his mother dies but fails to feel the way society expects him to. When Meursault commits a terrible crime, his inability to connect to others and the world around him becomes apparent and surprises everyone. This is a really interesting story and I found Meursault fascinating because he truly was neither morally good or bad. He was grey. 4/5 stars

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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Yes, YES! I read and finished the final installment in The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare in the month of December. It took some time (almost 3 weeks to be exact) because I was busy and also wanted to savour the book because…well, it was a lot. It was 912 pages of happiness, heartbreaks, and adventure. Once again, this takes place in the Shadowhunter world and is the sequel to Lord of Shadows which I read earlier this month. While it wasn’t everything I hoped for, I did love it and I loved seeing most of my favourite characters stories come full circle. However, a lot of their stories didn’t because, in a few years, Cassandra Clare is releasing The Wicked Powers, a series following characters from The Dark Artifices but 3 years after the events of Queen of Air and Darkness…so yeah, this didn’t really feel like the end to a trilogy because of that! 5/5 stars though

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Since I am in the midst of my writing break, I thought Big Magic would be the perfect book to pick up and dive into because it is all about creativity and living the creative life. Gilbert speaks of her own creative journey, and all of the wisdom she has gathered from years of experience and other people. While I didn’t get as much out of it as the first time I read it, I still enjoyed re-reading this book and it helped to nurture my shaky flame of creativity. I definitely recommend it to every creative person! 3.75/5 stars

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

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Ugh. I have a review going up for this book (hopefully) this Wednesday, but long story short, it was not my cup of tea. We follow Liesel, a German girl who has stifled her love for music in order for her brother to grow as a musician (why does SHE have to give up her dream, I don’t know) and one day, while in the market with her sister, Kathe, is taken to the Underground by some goblins to wed the Goblin King, a figure from Liesel’s childhood she thought was fiction. Liesel ventures to the Underground, the land of the goblins, to save her sister from the monster she thought was nothing but a story who instead has become a crystal clear, bitter reality. This book was not great. Lisel was annoying and the plot went all over the place, however, the writing was beautiful so there’s that. 2.5/5 stars

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

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This is the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway, a book I read back in August, and oh my god, this book was amazing. Somehow, Seanan McGuire manages to fit so much plot, world-building, and character development in UNDER 200 PAGES! Like how? I can’t explain this book really without spoiling the first book, but basically, we follow two twins who are present in the first book and who play a large enough role in it. We learn their story and the world they went to when their doorway appeared because, in this world, doorways to different worlds appear to children and if they venture into it, they live there for a while before being given the choice later on whether to stay or leave. It’s really interesting and I cannot wait to read her next book! 4.5/5 stars

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

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City of Lost Souls was my audiobook for the month as I’ve been slowly, but surely, making my way through my re-read of The Mortal Instruments series via audiobook. I’m kind of bummed because while I love this book, I took some gaps between listening to it and overall, that took away from some of my enjoyment of the story. Either way, I enjoyed it of, course, because I love these books, these characters, and this world. This book also takes place in the Shadowhunter world, as all of Clare’s other books. It is the fifth in the six-book-series, but the first book, City of Bones follows Clary, a fifteen-year-old girl whose mother is kidnapped by a man called Valentine, and Clary suddenly finds herself in a world of angels and demons, one that she has more of a place in than she thought. These books hold a special, special place in my heart as they do for many people, and I always love revisiting them! This was by far my favourite audiobook in the series though because the narrator, Molly Quinn, is actually an actress in one of my favourite TV shows, Castle so that added to the experience! 5/5 stars

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I loved, loved, loved this book and if I have time, I can see myself re-reading this book again for the millionth time sometime soon. While this book is over 400 pages, I flew through it as always because the pacing is so quick and the story is so cute and wonderful. In Fangirl, we follow Cath who is starting her first year of college with her twin sister, Wren. However, while Cath is eager to hole herself up in her room and write Simon Snow fanfiction, Wren is eager to make new friends and go to parties, leaving Cath behind. Cath slowly becomes friends with her roommate, Raegan, and her best friend, Levi, learning to come out of her shell a little more though, and soon her friendship with Levi becomes something more. Everything about this story is great and I am so happy I was able to re-read it! 5/5 stars

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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Strangely enough, I have never read Alice in Wonderland despite it being a classic. Reading it made me question why it is really a classic though because honestly, I was less than impressed. Alice is a difficult and not entirely bright character, but I did think the world was a lot of fun and creative for the times, so maybe that is why. I don’t feel the need to explain what this book is about because…well, it’s Alice in Wonderland…its a classic. I do wish I enjoyed it more than I did, but it was really short so I’m not complaining. 3/5 stars

The Selection Stories by Kiera Cass

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The Selection trilogy (we don’t talk about it as a series) is my all-time favourite guilty pleasure…even though I’m not guilty about it, but loud and proud. Anyways, I was getting the urge to re-read it, but I decided that instead of starting the trilogy for the millionth time, I would just pick up one of the novellas. I’ve read it once or twice before, but enjoyed it just as much this time. It was a lot of fun and I really like most of the characters in this series so yeah, it was an enjoyable little read to end off my reading year! 4/5 stars

There you have it! Those are the 12 whole books I managed to squeeze in this month, which is crazy, because the only time I read 12 books in one month is July when I am off from school. For the most part, I enjoyed these books except for the few flops so overall, it was a successful reading wise quality as well as quantity wise. Anyways, don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts below for more bookish and writing related content! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2018!

There are a fair amount of books I am looking forward to this year, and while I tried to make a list of the top 8 I was most excited for, I could only come up with a top 7…but oh well, I wanted to choose books that I am just dying to get my hands on, and while I am sure I will be adding to this list as the year goes on, these are the 7 most current book releases I am anticipating in the year of 2018!

Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Nicola Yoon, Nina LaCour, Emery Lord, Katherine McGee, Dhonielle Clayton, Katie Cotugno, Jocelyn Davis, and Sona Charaipotra 

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If you been paying attention to almost any of my other blog posts, you would know I am a sucker for cheesy romances, and this book has that written all over it. Basically this book was made for me, and I know I will love it! If you don’t know what a meet cute is…it is basically what it sounds like! When two people who fall for each other meet each other in a cute way. Most movies have meet cutes, and while they are cliche, everyone loves a good meet cute. This book is a collection of different stories featuring different, diverse characters who…you guessed it! Have a bunch of different meet cutes. I don’t know who came up with this idea, but I am all for it. January 2, 2018

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Restore Me was a surprise to all fans of Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me” trilogy, but it was a very pleasant and exciting surprise. It is hard not to love the “Shatter Me” world and characters, and I am thrilled to be getting another book to this series. The synopsis of this book is pretty vague, but from what it says, I gather that while we thought Juliette and Warner and Kenji and Adam were safe, after winning in the last book and all, there is a new threat on the horizon for them to tackle. I am so, so, so excited to get my hands on this book, and cannot wait till it hits the shelves! March 6, 2018

A Reaper At the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

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This is the third book in Sabaa Tahir’s “An Ember in the Ashes” series, which follows a series of different characters and an epic world of corruption and danger. In the first book, An Ember in the Ashes, we follow Laia, a girl whose brother is taken by the Empire and she sets off to save him. We also follow the journey of Elias, a soldier of the Empire who wants nothing more to part himself from it. As we read on, we watch as their paths meet and how they help each other reach the other’s goal. I really enjoyed the past two books in this series, and cannot wait for the third book to release! If you love fantasy, and complex characters and worlds, I definitely recommend you get started on these books. April 10, 2018

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandyha Menon

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Recently, I picked up Sandyha Menon’s “When Dimple Met Rishi”, and no, I haven’t read it yet but I just know I will absolutely love it! In this new book, we follow Twinkle Mehra, an aspiring filmmaker who is approached with the opportunity to make a film with fellow film geek, Sahil Roy. Excited to show off her talent she agrees, and Sahil just happens to be the twin brother of Twinkle’s long time crush, and the opportunity to spend time with him is something else she can’t pass up…that is, until she starts falling for Sahil instead. This just seems like an adorable contemporary that I would adore, and I also just love reading books where the protagonist is pursuing a creative life because I can easily relate! May 22, 2018

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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Morgan Matson always delivers what I go looking for when I pick up her books, and that is a fun, easy contemporary that steals my heart! Her other books like “Since You’ve Been Gone”, is one of my favourite contemporaries and I cannot wait to see what this new book has in store. I didn’t read much of the synopsis because I want to go into this book not really knowing what to expect, but I do know that it involves our main character, Charlie, and her older siblings who are all reunited after years for her sister’s wedding. I am excited and curious to what will happen, and cannot wait for the cute (and cheesy) romance. June 5, 2018

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas

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When I was younger, Catwoman was a movie I absolutely adored. She was such a strong and determined woman who not only made me want to be part cat, but someone who was as powerful and confident as she was! I am not entirely sure where this story of Catwoman begins or goes, but I have no doubt that it will be action packed and filled with kick-ass characters. August 7, 2018

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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I haven’t a doubt in my mind that like Cassandra Clare’s other two books in this trilogy, “Lady Midnight” and “Lord of Shadows”, I will absolutely adore this book. Each year her books have become my favourite book of the year, and I cannot wait to dive into this last and final book of the “Dark Artifices” trilogy! The first book follows a big cast of characters, the Blackthorn family and Emma Carstairs, as they try to unravel the mysterious death of Emma’s parents, and in a world of Shadowhunters (half human half angel) and demons, the answer and journey will be anything but ordinary. I cannot express my love for these characters and this world and story enough, other than I am dying for this to be in my hands. December 4, 2018

Those are the 7 books I am anticipating for 2018 and I hope you enjoyed! Make sure you comment some of the books you are looking forward to reading in 2018 because I am always looking for more books to read. Also, if you like reading about the topic of creative living, check out my last blog post where I posted a semi rant on the topic!