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.
“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.
“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!
“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!
“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.
“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!
“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!
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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
“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!
“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.
“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.
“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! 💛✨