My 2018 Reading Year in Review

2018 was actually a really good year for me; reading wise and life wise. This was the first year I’ve read 200 books and I really can’t believe it! But more importantly, I have made so many more friendships and connections and I truly feel so blessed that I get to gush about books with so many people! Thank you so much to everyone who interacts with me and takes the time to read my reviews. It means more to me than you’ll ever know! And I’m wishing you all pure happiness, unconditional love, good health, and all the good reads in 2019! But let’s talk about some stats now!


➽ And thanks to the amazing Brock at Let’s Read, here are some other statistics that I was able to gather from his amazing spreadsheet:

➽ And if you’re interested, here is his spreadsheet for 2019!
(File>make a copy for your use)


My Top Ten Favorite 2018 Publications:
➽ 10.) Sadie by Courtney Summers
➽ 9.) Bloody Rose (The Band #2) by Nicholas Eames
➽ 8.) The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco
➽ 7.) The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
➽ 6.) Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence
➽ 5.) Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
➽ 4.) Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1) by Natasha Ngan
➽ 3.) Circe by Madeline Miller
➽ 2.) Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
➽ 1.) The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black


My Favorite 2018 Publications that ALMOST made my Top 10 (Books 11-15):
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Shadow of The Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa
Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor


My Five Favorite Books NOT Published in 2018:
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare
The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade #1) by Seth Dickinson


But The VERY Best Book I Read all Year?
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black


Extra End of the Year Things:
Most Disappointing Reads of 2018
My Ten Favorite 2018 Author Debuts
My Favorite Book Quotes of 2018
Ten Things I’ve Loved in 2018 that weren’t Books
I Read My “Top 12 Books I Must Read in 2018” List


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My 2017 Reading Challenge
My 2016 Reading Challenge
My 2015 Reading Challenge


PS – If you’ve made it this far: I love you!
And my very first Booktube video goes live tomorrow and 9AM PST!
Happy New Year! 💖


December 2018 Wrap Up

WrapUp12

Hey, loves! I cannot believe that it is the end of the year already! I promise you, this will be a lot less chaotic after the 31st! But I have so many exciting new adventures that are starting on January 1st! I hope you all are having the happiest of reading and that you’re having an amazing end of 2018!

But on to what I read in December…
(Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.)

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye – ★★

“Reader, I murdered him.”

I’m going to try to keep this review short, mostly because it depresses me to think that I actually am giving this such a low rating. Out of all the books on my “Must Read of 2018” list, I was most excited for this one. I was also the most positive that I would five star it, but here we are.

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★

“There was blood on the Council dais, blood on the steps, blood on the walls and the floor and the shattered remnants of the Mortal Sword.”

Friends, it has been a ride. I have spent the last six months reading everything that Cassie Clare has created for the Shadowhunter world, and it was all leading up to this moment – the release of Queen of Air and Darkness. And friends, it was so worth it. Not only was reading all of these books and stories, and falling in love with so many of these characters and worlds, a highlight in my reading year, it was just a highlight in my 2018. And I just want to thank each and every single one of you that came along with me on this journey.

Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert – ★★★★

“…Princesses like no-strings sex just as much as the next girl.”

Oh, friends, please pick this one up for the holiday season! It was so heartwarming, so atmospheric, and brought me so much joy to read! I loved both protagonists, I loved the wintery setting, I loved the Christmas tattoo shop, and I completely recommend this one with my entire heart. And now I need to go and read everything by Talia Hibbert.

Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, & Kasie West – ★★★

“I got you something…”

This is a heartwarming holiday anthology that just came out at the end of 2018! This is a collection of four short stories, but I truly only recommend two of them. Seriously, this is a wild break down of two five star reads, and two one star reads. But I truly loved two and I hated two. Yet, I also truly believe the Kasie West and Nic Stone’s stories are so good that it would be worth it to pick up this collection, especially if you are in need of a little holiday cheer!

The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare – ★★★★

“Charming princes weren’t always what they seemed. Shining armor went out of fashion with the Crusades. And if fairy godmothers existed, hers was running several years late.”

Wow, The Duchess Deal single-handedly restored my faith in historical romances. Seriously, all of 2018 has been me being disappointed with every historical book I pick up, but this one? Friends, I was laughing out loud, I was clutching my pearls, I was melting into a puddle of goo on the ground. This book made me feel everything, and I can’t wait to read so much more by Tessa Dare in the new year!

Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers #1) by J.A. Redmerski – ★★★

“There is a stark difference between fear and uncertainty, Sarai. You fear nothing but are uncertain of everything.”

I have had this book recommended to me a lot over the years. But the thing is, dipping into older published dark romance normally isn’t the best experience, so I’ve put off this 2013 publication for a while. But honestly? This actually was a really enthralling read that held up really well in 2018. And I am really excited to continue on with the series.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black – ★★★★★

“He looks like a faerie lover stepped out of a ballad, the kind where no good comes to the girl who runs away with him.”

This reread? PERFECTION!

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ★★★★★

“Alone in the world and alone in my marriage. Alone in love, really.”

This is a very short read, that is told completely in the format of letters from the late seventies. Letters between two cheating individuals, but, more importantly, letters between the spouses of those cheating individuals, who are sharing the letters they find between each other. Taylor Jenkins Reid is kind of known for pulling off some powerful and emotional twists in her stories, but I am in awe of how flawless she was able to do it in such a short number of pages!

The Queen and the Cure (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #2) by Amy Harmon – ★★

“I fell in love with you in pieces. Layer by layer, day by day, inch by inch.”

I loved The Bird and the Sword so much when I read it, so I was looking so forward to the indirect sequel, the Queen and the Cure. But, sadly, I was so let down by this next installment. I didn’t care about the character, the story, or any of the hardships that they were going through. Honestly? The only parts I really liked where when the characters from The Bird and the Sword made brief cameos.

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi – ★★★★

“Sometimes the only way to take down what had destroyed you was to disguise yourself as part of it.”

Most of you know that Roshani Chokshi is one of my favorite authors. I loved both The Star-Touched Queen & A Crown of Wishes with my whole heart and soul! So, I knew when she was writing a brand-new series, about a found family completing heists and solving puzzles, that I wouldn’t be able to resist once I got my hands on an ARC. And friends, this was such a treat to read.

Bound – A short story (Book of the Ancestor #2.5) by Mark Lawrence – ★★★★★

“But the fact is that few people are able to see value in the words of someone they truly dislike. Have your own opinions spoken back to you by someone you despise and you will likely begin to find fault.”

Wow, what an early holiday treat. This was a short story filled with action, suspense, and girls kissing! And, dare I say, perhaps the start of a polyamorous relationship? But this is an amazing little story about a mini murder mystery that involves the poisoning of some very wealthy and powerful people, and the poison is being implemented in a way that is impressing even master assassins. And Ara is just the person for the job to go undercover at a party full of nobles, considering her social status, but she will have the help of Regol.

The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty – ★★★★★

“It is time we get some vengeance for what they have done.”

Friends, this was such a phenomenal installment that was such a treat to read. This is an own voices Muslim Fantasy series, and a historical setting of the early 1800s, which barely touches upon the Ottoman Empire. And The Kingdom of Copper picks up five years after the events of The City of Brass

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) #1) by C.S. Lewis – ★★★★★

“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”

I loved this more than words! It felt like winter and it felt like childhood and now I want to reread the entire series! Review to come soon!

The Shadowhunter’s Codex (Shadowhunter Chronicles) by Cassandra Clare – ★★
Honestly? I was a little bored while reading this and I kept forcing myself to pick it up! I did think the illustrations were absolutely beautiful! And I loved the addition of the scribbles and doodles in the margins, so we can see what some of our beloved characters thought while reading this book that is supposed to be an actual book in the Shadowhunter world. But, sadly, it reads like a textbook. But I am happy I read it, because I do think it not only expanded my knowledge of the world, but a few parts were actually interesting. But I for sure think you do not *need* to read this by any means whatsoever.

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden – ★★★★★
Perfection! Review to come soon! ❤

High Voltage (Fever #10) by Karen Marie Moning – ★★
What a way to end 2018! Fitting, to be honest! Review to come soon!

And I also read the last three volumes of Saga!

Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples – ★★★★★

“Nothing in the universe was safe from the endless war between mom’s planet and dad’s moon…”

This seventh installment is truly a masterpiece, and one of the most impactful graphic novels I’ve ever read. The ending of this is true and utter perfection, and the emotional range that Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are able to evoke is truly something I don’t have words for. This but seventh volume truly shows why Saga is one of the best graphic works in existence.

Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples – ★★★★

“In the beginning, there was Landfall and there was Wreath.”

This ended up being such a heartwarming volume, after bawling my eyes out after Vol. 7. The start of this was for sure still a tearjerker, but Saga truly will make you feel every emotion possible. This series continues to prove that it is a tier above so many out there, and I truly hope it never ends.

Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples – ★★★★★

“That is the hardest part of being alive.”

BRB, crying forever! BUT, also, review soon! ❤

Okay, loves! That’s it! I’m so sorry the end of the year posts have been a bit wild this last week! I promise, things will calm down soon! But I hope you are all having the happiest of reading! And I’m wishing you all the happiest of new years! 💛✨

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December 2018 Book Haul

Haul12
Hey, friends! I’ll be honest with you, I have stretched myself so very thin with projects for the end of year, that I am just going to post this without all the links that I normally do! I am so very sorry, but I just have so much work to do that all must be done by Jan 1st! But I love you all and hope you’re having a wonderful end of the year! I also hope you enjoy these pictures of me hauling way too many things this holiday season! (Spoiler alert: I have the best friends and found family in the entire galaxy!)

HOLIDAY GIFTS FROM MY FRIENDS:


HOLIDAY GIFTS FROM MY FAMILY:


PHYSICAL BOOKS FROM PUBLISHERS:


SUBSCRIPTION BOXES:


Again, I am so sorry that this is such a quick little post! Especially because this book haul is so damn big! And BIG thanks to everyone who thought of me, wished me happy holidays, and went out of their way to gift me something. I appreciate you all so very much! And I can’t wait for all the buddy reads in store for us in 2019!

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Down the TBR Hole #24

Down the TBR Hole was originally created by Lost in a Story! The point of it is to help cull your reading lists down, or maybe push higher anticipated releases up on your TBR! And maybe you all can help me along the way, and tell me if you’ve loved or hated any of these!


How it works:
➽ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
➽ Order on ascending date added.
➽ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
➽ Read the synopses of the books
➽ Decide: keep it or should it go?


The Six Books:

Becoming by Michelle Obama
How have I not read this book yet? Ahhh! I’m beyond words excited for this one! And nothing could make me take this off of my TBR!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
This manga is totally on my list because of Alexa on Booktube! Alexa loves this so much, and her passion really made me want to pick it up! Maybe I will soon, because I have to read more Manga come 2019!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Shallow Gravesby Kali Wallace
This is completely on my list because of my friend Alexis who loves this book!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Ravencry (Raven’s Mark #2) by Ed McDonald
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but for some reason I just didn’t read this one! I don’t know if I should continue on or not! What do you all think?
Verdict: Delete ❌

Kill The Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell #1) by Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne
This looks so cute and so funny and I can’t believe I haven’t read this already! I remember back in Spring I was really trying to get an ARC of this, but I haven’t thought about it in a while! I guess that’s the beauty of these posts! But yeah, I totally still want to read this!
Verdict: Keep ✅

The Waking Fire (The Draconis Memoria #1) by Anthony Ryan
I can’t believe I haven’t started this series! I am such a damn slacker! But I have the highest of hopes for this one, and I really need to prioritize it, come 2019!
Verdict: Keep ✅


Okay, my loves, this is the last “Down the TBR Hole” for 2018! I can’t even believe that it’s going to be 2019 next week! But these are the next oldest six books I have on my TBR! Let me know if you love, hate, and/or recommend me to read or trash any of these books! Thank you all so much, and I hope whatever you’re currently reading is five star worthy and I hope you’re having an amazing holiday season! ❄⛄

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My Ten Favorite 2018 Author Debuts


Hey, friends! I knew that I wanted to write up a post about some of my favorite debuts of the year before 2018 came to a close! Being a debut author is so hard, and I always want to boost new and rising voices, but these ten debuts were my very favorite of the year!


➽ 10.) Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) by Laura Sebastian

I was just so invested with the romance, the rebellion, and the betrayals, that I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Ash Princess is Laura Sebastian’s debut novel, which is a story about a girl named Theodosia, whose ruling mother was murdered, and their land taken over by another kingdom when she was only six-years-old. the Kaiser allowed her to live, but only so that she could live among them, while they take everything she has ever known away. She is used as a reminder for her people that the Kaiser has enslaved, and when they do anything to rise up, Theodosia takes the punishment. Her back is incredible scarred from the whippings she has had to endure, but the Kaiser also inflicts so much mental and emotional abuse alongside the physical.
⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 9.) The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep is a story about a small town off the coast of Oregon, called Sparrow, that is the pinnacle of a small, sleepy town, except for in June when tourists come from all around in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Swan sisters who were drowned to death for witchcraft over two hundred years ago. From June 1st until Just 21st (summer solace) no one is safe. And each and every summer, accusations get thrown at more and more girls, from boys who claim them to be the sisters who are responsible for the drownings. Friends, if you’re looking for something atmospheric, spooky, and completely captivating, that is so very beautifully written, please pick The Wicked Deep up.

⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 8.) To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

In this world, humans fear the sirens that lurk below the water. And under the ocean, sirens are forced to bring back a human heart during the month of their birth and present it for all to see. But our dear Lira has taken to only the hearts of royals. This story is very loosely inspired by The Little Mermaid, therefore, I’m sure you guys can somewhat guess how these two’s paths cross. But after Lira upsets her mother, the Sea Queen wants to find a new way to ridicule and humiliate her, so what better way than to force her to steal the most royal heart of all, but also forcing her to do this task as a human, and while no longer having her siren voice to lure towards her.

⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 7.) The Queen’s Rising (The Queen’s Rising #1) by Rebecca Ross

I feel like I keep reading YA SFF and just not feeling like there is anything new or unique. I went into The Queen’s Rising expecting to feel the same, especially amidst all the lower reviews I kept seeing on Goodreads, but this ended up being a treat to read. I really enjoyed this, and I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns. In this world there are Houses, which are small boarding schools that specialize in five passions: art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge. If you have a natural talent for one of these five categories, you will go away to school once you are ten-years-old and begin your education that will last for seven years. And the unique thing is the House will only admit one child per passion for those seven years!

⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 6.) Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

In this world of Orïsha, magic used to thrive and be celebrated. Our main protagonist, Zélie, remembers this time and what a powerful Divîner her mother was. But she also remembers the way her mother’s body looked, when it was left on display the day that magic died. Now, the king of Orïsha wants to make sure magic is kept dead, while also keeping all the Divîners that live in Orïsha oppressed. The king ensures that the Divîners are reminded they are lesser, in hopes that they will forget how powerful they once were, along with everyone else. And this has worked, for the last eleven years, that is until a powerful artifact is found and if it is combined with a couple other powerful artifacts it can bring magic back to Orïsha once and for all.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 5.) Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud

Mirage is a magical, wonderful, important, gift to the YA SFF world. From characters I fell in love with, to the messages about the importance of your culture and your family, to the most lyrical and beautiful writing. I loved this story with my whole heart, and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to fall in love with it. This story is an ownvoices Moroccan inspired story about a young girl named Amani, who has known nothing but oppression on the moon that she and her family live on. She and her family are farmers, trying to live the best life possible, even with the constant heartbreak surrounding them.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 4.) The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War is a fantastic debut that I feel so very privileged to have received an ARC of. This is the first book in an ownvoices Asian inspired fantasy story, and this first installment is told in three parts; each getting darker and darker. But in part one we meet our main protagonist, Rin, who is a war orphan who is living with a foster family that was forced to adopt her. Rin has been working at the family’s local business, while also being forced to deal drugs. That is, until one day her family decided that it would be more in their interest for them marry Rin off to a man who is much older than her and who she has never met before. Rin is then forced to do the only thing that will allow her to not have this life forced upon her.

⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 3.) The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

The Sisters of the Winter Wood follows two Jewish (ownvoices) sisters who live on the outskirts of a town, in a forest, with their mother and father. Their family feels rather isolated in Dubossary, (on the border of Moldova and Ukraine), but they make do the best that they can, always relying on each other. That is until one day the mother and father get called away and leave their precious daughters behind. Yet, before leaving, the mother tells them a secret that she has been keeping from them their entire lives. And this secret changes everything.  I loved this book so very much! And I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 2.) The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

This is an ownvoices novel about a high-functioning autistic woman who has succeeded in every aspect of her life, except for love. Her mother is putting pressure on her to find someone and start thinking about family, now that she turned thirty. Plus, Stella is kind of lonely anyway, and as much as she loves throwing herself into her work, she wants to spend her life with someone who she can completely be herself with. The problem is, Stella thinks her autism makes her unable to successfully date, and maybe even unable to be good at/enjoy sex. So, she hires the dreamiest escort to help her! I am so excited Helen’s next book, set in this world, to drop in 2019!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


➽ 1.) The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It’s powerful, moving, poignant, lyrical, important, and touched me beyond words. From the discussion about mental health and the stigmas we still have in 2018 (especially in Asian cultures), to the true portrayal of grief, to the heartbreaking truth about depression, to the realistic depiction of what it means to be not only biracial but to be white passing, to the discovery of your identity. The Astonishing Color of After is a book I will cherish for the rest of my life and a story that I will carry inside of my heart for the rest of my life. Emily X.R. Pan has crafted something that is so raw, but so magical. Plus, this is one of the most impressive debuts that I’ve ever read in my entire life.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


 


Honestly though? 2018 was such a great year for debut authors! I could honestly make a part two to this blog post talking about ten others! What was your favorite debut of 2018? What is the debut you’re most looking forward to in 2019? Descendant of the Crane by Joan He is the one I can’t stop thinking about! And I can’t wait to start it at the very beginning of the new year, because I can’t possibly wait any longer! I hope you’re having an amazing end of the year! ❤

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2019 Reading Challenges


Hey, loves! Okay, so I figured I would write up a little post about the reading challenges that I’m going to participate in for 2019! There are so many good ones out there, and if you have one that you’re hosting, please let me know! But as of today, these are the ones that I plan on trying to complete with the new year! (And please click on the title links if you’d like more information, and to download better quality check lists/game boards!)


Reading Women Challenge


Book Riot’s 2019 Read Harder Challenge


Romanceopoly


2019 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge


TBR and Beyond Yearly Reading Challenge


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I Read My “Top 12 Books I Must Read in 2018” List


Merry Christmas, to all my friends who celebrate! Today’s post is something I’ve looked forward to doing all year long, so it’s really a gift to myself! So, on January 6th of 2018, I made a blog post all about the twelve books that I *must* read during 2018! And I finally read the last one at the start of December! This was my first year doing this, but I loved it so much that I hope to continue to do it forever. It really helped me to read books that I already owned, and it gave me a much-needed break between ARCs when I was feeling rather burnt out. And even though I did predict these all being five stars (they weren’t), I still ended up loving so many of these titles! 🎄🎁❤


The Secret History by Donna Tartt – ★★★★★
This was the first book I read in 2018! And I still have never read anything like this book in my entire life. I laid in bed for over an hour last night upon finishing this book, just tossing and turning and thinking about everything I just consumed. I still don’t think I can put my feelings into words, but I can honestly say this book was a cathartic experience for me, and the irony of the word “catharsis” being a Greek rooted word is not lost on me, because if this book is anything it’s a modern-day Greek tragedy.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – ★★★★★
I fell completely in love with this. This was so intelligently crafted and so expertly woven! And the dark feelings and vibes throughout really makes this such a unique and amazing reading experience. And I think this is a book that I will be able to read and reread over and over for the rest of my life. You also best believe that if I ever have children, this will be required reading once they get a bit older, because this book seriously has an immense amount of power. And I truly believe this is my favorite classic of all-time now. And I never want any woman to feel like a bird trapped in a cage.


Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye – ★★
Reader, I was so damn bored. I was a little intrigued at the start. I mean, it is hard to not get hyped about a serial killer who loves Jane Eyre. But as more and more time went on, I just cared less and less. Also, I really was leading myself to believe there was going to be a sapphic relationship in this, only to cry over what could have been, and that’s never a good feeling, even if I queer-baited myself.


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – ★★★★★
In high school I became really obsessed with Greek mythology. I couldn’t get enough of the adventures in The Iliad and The Odyssey. And the Trojan War is almost a decade worth of adventures that I fell completely in love with. And I always had a special soft spot for Achilles, son of a god and a king, being convinced to join the Greek army by the Greek commander, Odysseus, to become the greatest warrior in the world. But so much happens before that deadly battle between Hector and Achilles outside the gates of Troy. And The Song of Achilles is Madeline Miller’s love letter to Achilles complete story, and it is an actual masterpiece that is the best reimagining I’ve ever read in my entire life.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ★★★★★
This is one of the best books I’ve ever had the privilege to read. It is probably in the top five for best books I’ve ever read in my entire life. I have been looking for a book like this my entire life, and no combination of words I’m about to type, and you’re about to read, is going to do this masterpiece justice. If you all ever take a recommendation from me; please have it be The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.


The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere #2) by Meg Elison – ★★★★
Meg Elison writes the queer, feminist, inclusionary literature of my heart. This book is important, and powerful, and empowering. It’s hard, and brutal, and heartbreaking, but I promise it is so rewarding. The reason I am giving it four stars is because the ending felt rushed to me. And even though I loved this entire ending with the soul of my being, it just happened in the blink of an eye. Yet, I am so excited to see where the next book picks up, because I am sort of obsessed with their location! But friends, if you are in the right headspace, please give The Book of the Unnamed Midwife a try. It’s truly a masterpiece, and this entire series means more to me than I have words for.


Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga #2) by Kiersten White – ★★★
Friends, I’ll be honest with you, I have been dreading writing this review. I don’t know what’s wrong with me or my reading tastes, but this series just isn’t the series for me. So many of my friends love this series more than anything and you should check out their reviews: Chaima (Muslim ownvoices), Elise, and Emily! But, sadly, I’m calling it quits and I’m not reading the third book. And if you want my honest opinion? Read The Traitor Baru Cormorant, because it’s a better version of (Radu’s storyline especially) this story. I didn’t hate this book by any means, it’s just really a 2.5 star, middle of the road book for me. And I’m going to try to keep this review short, because I completely recognize that this series just doesn’t work for me! But this is a historical reimagining, starring two children during the fall of Constantinople, but one of those children is a genderbent Vlad the Impaler.


The Queen and the Cure (TBATS #2) by Amy Harmon – ★★
I loved The Bird and the Sword so much when I read it, so I was looking so forward to the indirect sequel, the Queen and the Cure. But, sadly, I was so let down by this next installment. I didn’t care about the character, the story, or any of the hardships that they were going through. Honestly? The only parts I really liked where when the characters from The Bird and the Sword made brief cameos. Kjell is the captain of Tiras‘s guard, and is on a mission to find any remaining Volgar. Not only is Kjell a strong warrior and leader, he is also a very gifted healer. But his healing comes at a price; for every life he saves, he gives up a day of his own life. But he stumbles upon a young woman named Sasha who is in desperate need of healing, and he doesn’t even hesitate to save her life.


A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred #1) by Joanna Shupe – ★★
I am not sure if this is because I just don’t read that much historical romance, or that I just couldn’t connect with these characters or story, but this just did not work for me. Honestly, I think I’m going to try a Tessa Dare book, and if that doesn’t work for me then I’m just going to swear off historical romances for a while. This was just so boring. Nothing happened what so ever. And I’ll admit, I picked this up because I was craving romance, so maybe the fact that the romance didn’t even start until 70% into the book made me really not enjoy it.


The Abyss Surrounds Us (TASU #1) by Emily Skrutskie – ★★★★★
I fell totally in love with this story and it surpassed every high expectation I had for it. The writing is addicting, the story is so unique, and this book holds my now favorite enemies to lovers, angst-filled relationship of all time. Oh, and it’s between two girl pirates. Sold yet? You should be. This book was a gift.


Hideaway (Devil’s Night #2) by Penelope Douglas – DNF @ 58%
I’m just going to DNF this and pretend that Corrupt is a standalone. You all, this is just awful. From the Japanese main character who constantly talks about dojos, to the constant grey area consent, to pedophilia and even incest. I can’t. I cannot do this. And I refuse to read a Damon redemption story for the next book. This is easily one of the worst things I’ve read all year.


Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake – ★★★★
This world is gloriously feminist, and I loved each point of view from the different islands. And the writing? Beautiful, lyrical, genius. And I fell so very in love with each sister, easily, and happily. These characters are honestly a tier above almost every YA character I’ve ever read. And again, this was such an amazing journey and I hope more people give this book a shot, despite the mixed reviews.


Okay, my loves! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did actually doing it! And I absolutely cannot wait to do this again for 2019, but with an even more exciting twist! And hopefully I have just as many five star reads ahead of me, and hopefully no DNFs! Let me know below if you all do something similar to this with your reading year! And I hope you’re all reading something that’s five star worthy! Merry Christmas! ❤️🎄🎁

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