December was a really productive reading month for me – in a race to meet my Goodreads goal, I read 13 books last month, which is the most I’ve read for a while! I’ll admit, I am very proud of myself, and I also think I covered a good variety of books – YA, classics, poetry, plays – so I am really happy with that too!
One thing I want to mention before I begin (which I think I have talked about briefly in the past) is that I am an affiliate for A Great Read, and so I will be linking to some of the books I discuss in this blog post using my affiliate link, and if you do want to use these links, that’d be really awesome! Now, onwards with the longest reading wrap up I have written in a long time.
The first book I read was Everless by Sara Holland, which I reviewed at the start of December as well! I really enjoyed this book, as I thought the world building was awesome, and there was just the right amount of plot twists to keep me alert the entire time I was reading. My full thoughts on this book are in my review here, if you want to check it out! Next, I read The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace, and I’ll admit, I mostly picked this up because it was a quick read. I have commented on this type of poetry before, and my stance on it is that, for me at least, it just doesn’t feel like poetry, although of course the message Amanda Lovelace is trying to convey is very important.
The following two are simply the poetry anthologies I am studying for English A Level – Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy and The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin. I am actually very happy with both of these anthologies, and I love studying them! My favourite, however, is definitely Mean Time, as I just generally prefer the content and style of Carol Ann Duffy’s poems! I also finally read the last book for my Beat the Backlist challenge – Cinder by Marissa Meyer! I was looking forward to reading this so much, as I adored Heartless, one of Marissa Meyer’s standalone novels. I really enjoyed Cinder, and I think Meyer has a real talent for twisting fairytales and making them new and unique! I fully intend to read the rest of the series in 2018, especially as the cliffhanger at the end of the book has left me itching to find out what happens next.
After that, I read Countless by Karen Gregory, a 2017 release I have been wanting to read for ages! A quick warning, however – if you didn’t know already, this book discusses eating disorders in quite great detail, so if that is difficult for you to read, I would give the book (and the rest of this paragraph), a miss. I thought the personification of her eating disorder, ‘Nia’, was incredibly powerful, and I felt choked up often whilst reading it. The only negative thing I have to say about this book is that it made me so frustrated at times, mostly due to the fact that Hedda was allowed to keep her baby. I’m not sure how this situation would play out in real life, but in the book, I really couldn’t see why social services weren’t more involved, especially as she was under eighteen. I also read Shell by Paula Rawthorne, which was sent to me by the wonderful people over at Scholastic. This book has been described as a modern-day retelling of Frankenstein, and I really enjoyed it! It had both thrilling and heart-wrenching moments, and I truly felt that I was getting a lot out of reading it. I am interviewing Paula Rawthorne later this month for the blog tour, so watch out for that!
Another much-hyped 2017 release I read in December was When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, which, as I explained in my review, I had mixed feelings about. I did think it was very cute, and it had excellent representation, but I didn’t find Dimple particularly likeable, and I the romance was one step away from being insta-love. The opinions on this book vary a lot, so I would recommend seeing what you think for yourself! I then went on to read The Heart Collector by Melinda Salisbury, a novella containing three companion stories to The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I am absolutely in love with this series, and I hadn’t realised how much I missed it until I read this! It was so lovely to delve back into the world of TSED, and for fans of this trilogy, I would really urge you to read this!
As I mentioned in my post on my best books of 2017, I read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and I absolutely loved it! I finished it slightly too late to include it in my list of favourite books, but it was definitely fantastic enough to be there! My favourite thing about this book was the writing – there were so many pages filled with beautiful prose, and I found myself stopping constantly to reread passages and absorb Sylvia Plath’s words. If you are looking for something other than YA to read, I cannot recommend this enough! After that I decided to read a play, both because i knew it would be quick, and because I had been wanting to read it for a while – The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I have loved the other works I have read from Oscar Wilde, and this was no different! I thought it was incredibly funny and well paced, and it had such a contemporary feel to it, it hardly felt like I was reading a play from the 19th century.
Just a couple of days before 2018, I raced through The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr. I have seen a number of critical reviews of this book, but personally I really enjoyed it! I thought Ella Black herself was an extremely interesting character, and I loved he fact that the book followed a journey. You can read about my other thoughts on this book here! Finally, I spent a few days at the end of December reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, finishing at 4pm on New Years Eve! I had tried to read this book in the summer, but had really struggled to get into it. Even with my second attempt, I found the writing slightly hard to follow and the narrative too vague. But, I warmed to the story, and there were some passages that were truly stunning. Overall, I am glad that I read it!
Thank you to everyone who has stuck around to hear about my December reading – I would love to hear about your own thoughts on any of these books, or anything particularly great you read last month. Happy 2018!