December Monthly Wrap Up

Can we first just appreciate that I actually posted this wrap up on time, like on the last day of the month, not a week into the next month? Thank you.
Believe it or not, 2021 is over. Like, we’re actually headed into 2022. And I know I’ve already said this about 5,000 times this year, but how has this year gone by so fast???
Let’s look at my December books.

Amazon.com: A Winter's Promise: Book One of The Mirror Visitor Quartet  eBook : Dabos, Christelle, Serle, Hildegarde: Kindle Store
Amazon.com: These Violent Delights: 9781534457690: Gong, Chloe: Books
  • A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos. I finally dipped into the books I got last Christmas that I didn’t end up reading. And honestly…I did not enjoy this one. It just felt like a whole lot of nothing was happening, and while the worldbuilding is good (this book’s worldbuilding is very hyped) it wasn’t something that I was enraptured with or anything. ⭐⭐
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I forgot how nice rereading books is! And especially this one. It was awesome to be able to see the crows again, head through the heist with them, and catch so many things woven in the story that I didn’t get the first time! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. Another reread, this one in preparation to read the second book. The first time I picked this one up, I found it kind of slow, and the writing style was a little more dense than I was used to, but this time I was able to appreciate it so much more! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Just Ash: 9781541599246: Santana, Sol: Books
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Continuing with the rereads, I guess! I got a little sick one weekend this month, so after I got home from school that Friday I just picked it up and flew through the first half, then finished it before I got out of bed the next day. Just as good as I remembered! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Just Ash by Sol Santana. This was such an interesting read because it’s the first book I’ve read with an intersex character, not to mention main character with multiple intersex side characters as well! At times, I got a little bored but overall it was a really interesting book and I learned a lot. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Little Thieves by Margaret Owens. The first of the books I got for Christmas! I loved Owens’s other books, the Merciful Crow series (which I think is extremely underrated) so I couldn’t wait to try this one and I’m delighted to say that it was just as great as the Merciful Crow! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong. I…don’t know what to say. I loved this book, I loved the story just as much as the first. However, it did feel like a few parts were a little rushed or sudden. Still, overall, awesome! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim. I only vaguely know the story that this novel is based off of, but I really enjoyed this retelling, I thought it was unique and I liked the twist at the end! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake. I really enjoyed this one! It was kind of a short, easy read but it still definitely dealt with a lot of important stuff. I thought that writing the book from Mara’s perspective was a really interesting take, and overall, this was a great book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I posted three times this month which is much better than usual (mostly thanks to winter break). I also posted one of my favorite posts of the year, the 2021 book tag!

the 2021 book tag!
My 5 favorite books of the year
4 bookish resolutions for the new year

December Goals:

  • Work on your english project (because I feel like this is something I’ll forget)✅
  • Post at least 3 blog posts? (including wrap up)✅
  • Stop reading just to finish books (read what you want to read!!!)✅
  • Hang out with your friends✅
  • Enjoy your time not in school✅
  • Study more

I’m pretty sure I worked on my english project TOO much and totally annoyed all my group members by bugging them to do things as well, so I don’t know how to feel about that. But I did manage to post at least three blog posts, and that’s NOT including the wrap up! As for reading to finish books – I did do this once or twice, at one point with a book that I did NOT enjoy, but other than that I still think I did pretty well. School has helped a LOT with hanging out with friends, so that’s nice, and with break and everything, I’ve been able to enjoy more time not in school. Studying, as always, is not my strong suit but at least I’ve been doing pretty well in school?

January Goals:

  • Read at least 5 books
  • Drink water
  • Keep up with your book google form thing
  • The first thing that happened, way at the beginning of December, was the baseball lockout. I know you all have gotten kind of tired of me talking about baseball, but this is IMPORTANT. Basically, there is literally nothing happening in baseball right now, like trades and signings aren’t allowed, I mean essentially there are no baseball players at all.
  • ANOTHER disappointing thing that happened this month was that Netflix officially CANCELED Julie and the Phantoms. For those of you who’ve been following my blog since approximately last March or earlier, you’ll know of my obsession with the show Julie and the Phantoms, but now there will not be ANY more seasons!!! However there’s a petition to bring it back, so if any of you love JATP or, I mean just wanna help out some JATP-lovers, please sign here!
  • This month, we had our school concerts, so I had my orchestra concert this month! Honestly, we all thought we were terrible, and I messed up badly enough to mess my stand partner up for a good two lines at one point, but it was still fun and it didn’t sound awful on the broadcast.
  • There was Christmas, of course! I got 12 books on Christmas, which is a pretty good haul if I do say so myself! I’m going to try to get a Christmas book haul post out eventually. (don’t ask me when eventually is, if I publish a Christmas book haul in the middle of March then so be it)
  • I also hit 300 followers on my blog this month, so that’s a cool one!

That’s all for the last wrap up of 2021! I can’t wait to talk to you all in 2022 and let’s see what adventures we all get into next year!

What books did you read this month? How’d you like the posts that I published? Did anything interesting happen with you in December?

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My 5 Favorite Books of the Year

It’s the end of 2021. And I literally cannot believe that I’m writing these words so soon.
It feels like just yesterday that I posted my massive January of 2021 wrap up, reading 26 books and talking about how the new year has just started. This entire year has gone by way too fast, and so many things have happened, some good, some bad. But one constant is that I still read a lot and that I’m still bad at keeping track of my books.

Last year, my first end-of-year in the blogging community, I remember being so impressed with all the graphs and charts and lovely posts that everyone rolled out talking about their spreadsheets they kept of the books they read, and how much data they had, and everything like that. It was something I really really wanted to do, and I started a new spreadsheet for 2021 immediately, looking forwards to creating those lovely graphs at the end of the year.

I got exactly 4 books into the spreadsheet before I gave up.
So, unfortunately for both me and everyone here who’s reading this and really wanted to see some pretty graphs, there will be none in this post. Instead, I will do my best to talk about my favorite books of 2021 without the aid of graphs, using simply my own terrible memory for help.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender was without a doubt my favorite book of 2021. I read this book right at the beginning of the year, back in January when I had that phenomenal reading month (26 books, I truly do not understand my own power). And wow, I remember loving this so much. I just talked about it over and over on my blog, to my friends, to everyone.

I do not remember books. I’ll read one book, and the next week, the plot will have totally slipped from my mind. But Felix Ever After is a book that I remembered. It was just such an amazing book that brought to light so many issues, gave so much amazing representation, and just wove a totally awesome story, that I’ve thought about this thing ever since I read it, even asking for it for Christmas despite the fact that I’ve read it before (this is a rare occurrence; if I read a book from the library, I almost never then request to own it).

Loveless by Alice Oseman

This book, you guys. Like honestly, just this book. It is so amazing, so beautiful that I just don’t know what to say. Loveless, by Alice Oseman, follows Georgia as she starts University and learns some new terms, and begins questioning her own sexuality. Throughout the book, she realizes that she is aromantic and asexual and comes to terms with this.

Loveless is such an important book to the aroace community (okay I can’t speak for everyone, but at least for me). It is so hard to find aroace rep of any kind in books, and to have this one come out and not only have an aroace main character but to follow that main character’s questioning journey and journey with coming to terms with herself is just so important to have in books. And not only was this book great for the representation, but the characters were the literal best, I mean Oseman went above and beyond with all the side characters in this one, and the plot was extremely interesting throughout the whole book.

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth

Not only was Not My Problem one of my favorite’s of the year, but it was probably also the funniest book that I read all year. There are books whose plot is funny, but then there are books whose character is actually funny, the main character actually has that type of personality that makes you laugh, and actually having that woven into the character and making it authentic is not something that many books are able to pull off.

Humor aside, this was an awesome book. The characters–I feel like I’ve been talking about characters a lot–were absolutely amazing, they each had their own unique personalities and did their own things and it all felt very real. Besides, there was some more great representation in this book (seems like representation=favorite books) and another thing that was interesting to read about was how Aideen, the main character, was poor because really, this is not at all something that is addressed in YA books, and it was good to see.

A Clash of Steel by CB Lee

When I started A Clash of Steel, I did not expect it to make it onto my favorites of the year list. The thing about this book is that it starts out slow. It’s a bit over 400 pages I think (I actually don’t remember, it could be anywhere from 300 to 500 for all I know, but goodreads says 432), but the inciting incident, which is mentioned in the synopsis, doesn’t happen until over 100 pages in.

But wow, once this book picks up, it certainly picks up, and while I don’t read many pirate adventures, this one was certainly one of the best. A Clash of Steel is a Treasure Island retelling, and I actually have not read Treasure Island before, nor do I know much about it (I assume there is some kind of treasure involved, correct?), I’m beginning to wonder if I should pick it up. It’d been a while since I last read a full blown adventure book, and I do believe that I forgot how much I enjoyed these kinds of things.

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

I read Perfect on Paper at the peak of my realistic fiction reading binge, and if any of the books that I read stood out, it was this one. It had a really unique plot and the characters were great and the representation was great and EVERYTHING WAS GREAT (you’re welcome for that 10/10 analysis).

Okay, but if you’d like me to be a little bit calmer: probably the best thing about this book was the deep dive it takes into biphobia, especially internalized biphobia. There have been more or more books recently that have bi characters, but rarely does a book look so deeply into the way that bi people are sometimes treated by the rest of the LGBTQ+ community (particularly gay and lesbian people, more specifically).
But while this book does have stellar representation, I mean it’s also just a great book. Like I mentioned before, the characters are really well written and they all have their own personalities, the plot stays interesting and progresses nicely and, of course, there’s plenty of banter.

Well, that’s it for my 2021 books of the year! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What are some of your favorite books of this year? Let’s talk in the comments!