Wrap-Up: December

The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)Sick Kids In LoveJosh and Hazel's Guide to Not DatingMy Favourite Half-Night StandDon't You Forget About MeThe Infinite NoiseStarsight (Skyward, #2)BloomThis Is How You Lose the Time WarDangerous Alliance: An Austentacious RomanceAurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)

Fiction: 11
Non-fiction: 0
Short stories: 0
Graphic novels: 1
Total: 11
Page count: 4 346

3 Favourite Covers:

  • Starsight
  • The Toll
  • The Infinite Noise

3 Favourite Books:

  • The Toll
  • Starsight
  • Aurora Rising

3 Favourite Characters :

  • Spensa (Starsight)
  • M-Bot (Starsight)
  • Greyson (The Toll)
  • (+ Pretty much every single character from The Toll)
  • (and the characters in Aurora Rising are pretty great as well)

3 Favourite Relationships (Romantic):

  • Spensa & Jorgen (Starsight)
  • Greyson & Jerico (The Toll)
  • Citra & Rowan (The Toll)

3 Favourite Relationships (Platonic):

  • Spensa & M-Bot (Starsight)
  • Greyson & the Thunderhead (The Toll)
  • Squad 312 (Aurora Rising)
To Be Brief…

The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3): An outstanding ending to an outstanding trilogy. Somewhat bittersweet, yes, but ultimately satisfying. Since the first couple of chapters were used to introduce some new characters, it took me a bit to get into the story, but I did eventually, and if there’s one thing Shusterman is good at, it’s writing multiple perspectives with interesting and sympathetic characters. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, now’s your chance to binge it. That is, if you can handle the emotional….toll. 4.75/5 stars

“Hope isn’t lost,” she insisted. “It’s just misplaced.”

Sick Kids In LoveA YA contemporary about two people with chronic – but not terminal – illnesses (translation: no one dies! Yay!). This was such a sweet story, and though I can’t relate to what the main characters are going through, I still feel like it gave me just a tiny bit of insight to what it might be like for someone living with a chronic illness. I believe it’s #ownvoices as well, which is always a bonus. 4/5 stars

“Is this how you seduce guys? You mock them?”
“Yeah.”

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating: The last few months before Christmas proved to be quite taxing for me (which I’m sure a lot of students can relate to), and you know what the perfect remedy for a tired and school ridden brain is? A light and easy contemporary novel! I had quite a good time reading about these two people refusing to accept that they’re meant for each other for 309 pages, and though it had some flaws, it was just what I needed. I will say this, however, I almost never like epilogues….and this was not an exception (burn it with fire). 3.5/5 stars

“She’s made me weird,” Em says. “It’ll happen to you, too.”

My Favourite Half-Night Stand: Another feel-good, fun, adult contemporary romance about online dating, sheenanigans, and friends developing feelings for each other but not wanting to jeopardize their relationship. I really liked the friend group and enjoyed the book overall, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the cat-fishing thing. It’s kind of what I signed up for, though, so I guess I brought it upon myself. 3.5/5 stars

“Well, maybe I should have been more offended. But I only have one emotion, and it’s hunger.”

Don’t You Forget About Me: Yet another adult contemporary novel. This book, while still witty and fun, deals with quite a few more serious topics, such as grief, cheating, emotionally abusive exes, and trauma, but it’s also about overcoming it, loving yourself, and finding worth in a job well done. Yes, there’s a hint of romance in there as well, but it takes a back seat to the other stuff going on, which I really didn’t mind. The book wasn’t super realistic when it comes to a certain itty bitty detail, but I’ll overlook it this time. Some of the british slang nearly gave me an aneurysm, but in a fun way, and I can see myself reading more from this author in the future. TW for quite detailed sexual assault. 4/5 stars

“I was furious afterwards, the kind of fury you reserve for people who accuse you of something that’s absolutely true.”

The Infinite Noise (The Bright Sessions #1): A Sci-fi/YA contemporary book based on a podcast from 2015 called The Bright Sessions. It’s about this teenage boy who finds out he can sense other people’s emotions. Upon this realisation, he starts noticing Adam, a student at his school who’s surrounded by all-consuming feelings of sadness and loneliness, and decides to befriend him. This is a very character driven book, which I’m a huge fan of. I like the getting to know each other phase – the friendship but maybe something more stage. This book has that…but it also has some serious pacing issues. Such a large part of the story was dedicated to developing the relationship between Adam and Caleb, which I wouldn’t have complained about if Shippen hadn’t then in the last fifth of the book decided to introduce several new characters and conflicts that there were no time whatsoever to properly deal with. The ending felt rushed, weird, and disconnected, which is a pity considering how much I enjoyed the majority of the book. It really did have many things going for it, like the relationship between Adam and Caleb, as previously mentioned, the overall concept of extreme empathy as a superpower, and the way it handled Adam’s depression. This is why I still gave it 4 stars (though I’m pending between 4 and 3.75), but I’m hoping the next book will be better. 4/5 stars

“Another villain vanquished by the Great Amazing Feelings Boy. Hooray.”

Starsight (Skyward #2): When will Brandon Sanderson let me live? Just like Skyward, this book was filled with amazing space action, great characters, and a feral rat girl who just wants to defeat her enemies in peace with her slug and snarky AI by her side, and of course I loved it. Sure, I wasn’t exactly overjoyed about the direction of the story at the beginning, or the 6 month time skip, but at the same time, I could definitely see why Sanderson made the decisions he did (vague, I know), and by the end of the book, I really appreciated that he took that risk. Also, there was an entire chapter of Jorgen baking bread, which, as you can probably imagine, was amazing. I can’t believe we’ll have to wait until 2021 for the next book. 4.75/5 stars

“Jorgen!” I shouted. “I need you to come here right now and talk me out of doing something incredibly stupid.” He turned toward me, then – with a look of sudden panic – ran over and hauled himself onto M-Bot’s wing.”

Bloom: A cute little graphic novel with an adorable art style and lots of baking. Yes, the MC was a whiny little brat, but Hector was a cinnamon roll enough to make up for it. 4/5 stars

This Is How You Lose the Time War: I’m not sure how to rate this book, because although I truly love the idea of it, I really can’t claim to have understood it all that well, and I don’t know if the fault is with me and my insufficient vocabulary, or with the book for not being interesting enough to make me put in the effort. The writing was beautiful in its own way, but it was just too flowery, poetic, and if I’m honest, overwritten for my taste, and while I do believe I would be able to process it better after one or two rereads, I’m not sure I liked it enough to try. Like, I appreciate the occasional metaphor as much as the next girl, but this was just 201 pages of wondering what the hell was going on, and while I sort of liked the letters and could feel the longing in them, I was too confused to truly be able to focus on or get invested in the romance. I’ve seen a few people mentioning that this book made them feel stupid and like they were missing an inside joke, and unfortunately, I have to sort of agree.

“Books are letters in bottles, cast into the waves of time, from one person trying to save the world to another.”

Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance: In the synopsis, this book was described as Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue meets Jane Austen, and unfortunately, I can’t say that I agree with that assessment. There wasn’t anything inherently wrong with it, but it definitely lacked some of the humour, romance, and excitement necessary for a comparisment like that. I did sort of enjoy myself and it was a pretty okay book, but not much more. Also, it was extremely predictable (who would have thought that the obvious villain was the villain?). 3.25/5 stars

“You’re right, Thea. If I don’t care for him today, I shall find someone else to marry.”
“Someone else with a large fortune, whom the prince regent approves of, with unimpeachable moral conduct,” Althea muttered.”

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1): I’m so glad I finally got around to reading this new space collaboration between Kaufman and Kristoff. I didn’t like it quite as much as Illuminae, but the story definitely has potential, and what can I say, I do love me a ragtag crew of misfits. I’m excited to see more of the characters in 2020. 4/5 stars

“I think I’d like to be unconscious again, please.”

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