Wrap-Up | Dec 2019

It's the last wrap-up of 2019. 
I'm rather gutted to be typing that, but then again, a new year, a new decade. Bring it on!
This year has been it's usual ups and downs, but that's exactly what happens over a large expense of time, nothing can be perfect all the time. 

(I'm editing this four months later, but what a year, ay? New year, a new decade.. pfft.)




Obsidio (The Illuminae Files 0_3)
Amie Kaufman; Jay Kristoff

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
I think my biggest mistake I made when I started this one, was to not revisit the first two books. Seriously. 



City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1)
Victoria Schwab

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
I still really loved this, even after a second read through. I've seen some people roll their eyes at the Harry Potter references, but I still stand by them, as they make sense for the age these books of Cassidy and whom these books are written for. 



Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2)
Victoria Schwab

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
Of course, after reading City of Ghosts, I had to pick up the sequel straight up. What I love about Schwab's writing is that it doesn't feel like the dark themes of her YA and Adult books have been completely stubbed out. They're still there and just as prevalent. 
I really enjoyed how this one expands on the first book, with character growth of not only Cassidy, but her ghost bff Jacob as the mystery around his existence starts to creep up - I am really looking forward to seeing where Schwab takes this.



The Priory of the Orange Tree
Samantha Shannon

Goodreads
My Thoughts: 
I briefly mentioned this on Twitter (or maybe Goodreads?), but I am actually really disappointed that this didn't become a hard fast favourite. For me, it was the pacing that let me down. It started off quite slow, which is to be expected because of the world-building and character introductions - which I really like! However, it then felt like the ending changed that steady pace that was set and was rushed through.  



Meet Cute
Helena Hunting

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
Okay, this was so incredibly cute. I slipped and accidentally spent 6-hours straight laying in bed reading this one on my phone. I became invested in the characters, what trials they were facing and I am trash for falling for former-actors. The biggest down for me was the writing style. It relies a lot on being explanatory rather than descriptive so I felt like although I connected to these characters and how they were feeling, I couldn't make that decision for myself.



Meat Market
Juno Dawson

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
Last month I found Clean in my local library and devoured it in two sittings, and the same could be said about Meat Market. Juno Dawson is doing something that no one has dared to do, nor have they been given the platform to expose some of the darker sides of the fashion industry. 


Throne of Jade (Temeraire #2)
Naomi Novik

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
I was a little bit disappointed with this one, despite still enjoying it. The story was slow with a lot of conflicts that I would have been more interested in if it were set in a different setting, as we spend two-thirds of the book at sea. In the final third, you finally get to China and learn about how they value and incorporate dragons into their society - that bit was fascinating!


The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)
Holly Black

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
Okay, I get the hype. I was concerned that this was going to be a hate-to-love romance that gives into the toxicity of Carden's behavior; yet, there's a complexity to it that really ropes me in. Then there's the way Black has created this world of fae that pins it down as a story of fae that I have always wanted to find. I need more stories like this! Please!



Devoted
Jennifer Mathieu

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
This one was a pleasant surprise. Found on my Kindle one night, I must have requested this title on NetGalley. I didn't enjoy this as much as her publishing debut, Moxie. 

I enjoyed Rachel's narrative and the emotional journey she goes on especially with the division of her changing beliefs conflict with her family's devout Christianity.


The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch
Written by Neil Gaiman; Illustrated by Dave McKeen

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
This was eery and atmospheric, and I will never be able to watch Punch & Judy the same way again. 

The Lost Boy
Greg Ruth

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
I'm writing this four months after reading it, and I can't remember much of the story; although, it reminded me of Holly Black's Spiderwick Chronicles? Just with added creepy child doll and less fae-like creatures.



Doctor Who: Time Reaver (The Tenth Doctor Adventures #2)
Written by Jenny T. Colgan; Performed by David Tennant and Catherine Tate

Goodreads
My Thoughts:
I don't know how I ended up re-listening to this one and not the first adventure. I'm so glad that Big Finish exists. Honestly. These are so much fun and give me life. 


The Starless Sea
Erin Morgernstern
⭐+
Goodreads
My Thoughts:
Erin Morganstern knocked it out of the park with this one. I was expecting lyrical, soul-destroying stuff and she delivered. This isn't going to be for everyone; this novel is heavily reliant on the reader piecing the puzzle pieces together, switching between narratives like a puzzle box until it comes together. I'm obsessed!

Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
Christina Lauren
My Thoughts:
This was my first ever Christina Lauren book... EVER! It was cute. But, it didn't make me want to read their entire back titles, which with adult romance, is what I require. 



Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Dir. J. J. Abrams

On reflection, I'm not as thrilled about the conclusion to the Skywalker storyline as I was when I first exited the cinema.  There were so many things that I could spend all day writing about that was wrong with it, but by this point, half the internet has already spoken their mind on the matter that I don't see the point. 
I think I would feel madder about it if I hadn't taken my brother with me and had fun spending time with him, as I was in Bangor when the Last Jedi was released so I couldn't take him. He's enjoyment of the film certainly rubbed off on me.



The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Series Three
Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino


I don't do American comedy. The exceptions? Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel. This lived up to its previous seasons. 
(I really wish I had actually the written detailed notes when I had planned to because four months later and a whole lot of crazy has left me forgetting what points I had to make about this fantastic season.)


December worked out to be more stressful than I had wanted it to be. It was the first one in years in which we weren't living out of someone else's front room and had completely free reign as to how to decorate, what we were doing on the day and who we were spending it with. This also meant that Mum went a bit overboard with her want of everything to be perfect and exactly how she envisioned.

Christmas was good. I got to spend most of it upstairs in my room reading, which is what I have always done on Christmas Day, and my Nan and Uncle came over for the turkey. 

Don't tell my Mum and Sister (I'll never hear the end of it), but they got my present pretty spot on this year. I've been toying with repurchasing the RTD era of Doctor Who on DVD for a few months due to my nature to rewatch them more times than is good for me. But it's been years since I've listened to the episode commentaries and the confidential episodes. Surprisingly, I had not verbalized this at all, but my sister spotted this and it landed in my hands, on Christmas morning.

Of course, I kept my annual tradition alive and rewatched The Christmas Invasion. And I'm sorry to say, I still know the script better than the back of my hand.

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