In December I Read | 2017

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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.

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2017 -> 2018

Happy New Year everyone – it’s time to look back on 2017! Now, I am completely aware that I am a little late for this, but it took me a while to decide what format I wanted to do it in. I eventually decided just to combine all the things I need for a 2017 wrap up; I kind of want to briefly touch upon everything, so that is what I’ve done! Below, in order you have: 2017 resolutions, favourites, highlights (both bookish and not) and my 2018 resolutions. Enjoy!

2017 resolutions: a review

  1. Go to YALC 2017 – I did this! It was fantastic and I had the most amazing time! You can read about the amazing time I had here!
  2. Complete some Reading Challenges – last year, I took part in the Beat the Backlist Challenge, and I set myself fifteen books to read that were released before 2017. It took me until early December, but I did finish this! I also set my own personal reading goal on Goodreads as 100 books, which I met on the December 31st at about 4pm, so very last minute!
  3. Diversify my reading – ‘diversify’ meaning I wanted to expand the genres I read to more than YA, and I definitely completed this challenge, reading way more classics and contemporary fiction than I ever have before! This has also been super helpful in terms of English A Level, which I started in September.
  4. Do NaNoWriMo – this did not happen. At all. I did not even attempt NaNoWriMo at any point last year. I really did not have the time or motivation for this in 2017, and I think this is a goal I will have to put aside for the time being.
  5. Continue building my Blogging Empire! – (and yes, I find this phrasing cringey. I was being sarcastic/overdramatic, but still. ugh) I did manage to blog every week throughout 2017, including through my GCSEs, which I am very proud of! I am hoping to do the same in 2018!

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Review – The Truth and Lies of Ella Black

35608668Title: The Truth and Lies of Ella Black
Author: Emily Barr
Published by: Penguin
Publication date:  11th January 2018
Pages: 288, paperback
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary

Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.

And realises her life has been a lie.

Her mother and father aren’t hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they’ll never think to look – the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret – the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .

Goodreads | A Great Read*

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This is another 2018 release I have been anticipating for months! I really wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book: maybe the story of Ella’s struggle with her darker, alternate personality (‘Bella’), or a thriller novel. In reality, The Truth and Lies of Ella Black struck me as a coming-of-age story, which was completely unexpected and very welcome!

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December Book Haul!

Happy 2018 everyone! This is my first blog post of the year, and I thought I would begin by sharing my December book haul. I bought and received seven books this month, including a few from Christmas!

At the beginning of the month I bought Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and We by Yevgeny Zamyatin off of Ebay. After reading The Handmaid’s Tale early in the year I really wanted to read more from Margaret Atwood, and so I decided to try Alias Grace. I actually started reading this book at the beginning of December, but it is quite long, and I was trying to make it to 100 books by the end of the year, so I will be coming back to it this month! We is another book I’ve been really wanting to read – I think it’s supposed to be similar to 1984 in that it is a dark dystopian, so I will see where that goes! I wasalso delighted to receive a finished copy of Shell by Paula Rawsthorne from Scholastic, which I have now read and really enjoyed – this book comes out tomorrow, so definitely buy yourselves a copy! I will be taking part in the blog tour later this month, so watch out for that.

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Five 2018 Releases I Cannot Wait For!

 

I have been obsessively watching videos and reading blog posts about 2018 releases for the past few weeks, and I think it’s safe to say that next year will be a wonderful year, book-wise. I honestly think there are dozens of books coming out in 2018 that I cannot wait for, but these are the five that have been on my mind for a while!

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr – out of the five books on this list, this is the only one I have an ARC of, so I am definitely going to read this soon (possibly even before it is released in January if I have time)! This story is about a girl who finds out her parents have been lying to her and her whole life is a lie – Emily Barr is a really talented writer, and I have high expectations of this book, so I can’t wait to get started on it (the Goodreads for this book is here)!

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Review – When Dimple Met Rishi

28458598Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Published by: Simon Pulse
Publication date:  2nd January 2018
Pages:  320, ebook
Genre:
 young adult, contemporary, romance

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

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When Dimple Met Rishi was one of my most anticipated YA releases of this year, and I have seen a huge number of reviews, some glowing with praise, others full of criticism. I had high expectations when I started this book, and unfortunately I was a little disappointed, although there were definitely parts of the book that I loved.

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Bex’s Top Ten Books of 2017

The time has finally come for me to talk about my favourite books of 2017 – I have been looking forward to doing this for months, as these are some of my favourite blog posts to write, and to read.

In this blog post, I will begin by sharing my favourite YA, and then mention a couple of older novels I really loved reading this year. A lot of them I have also written reviews for, and so I have linked to them in case you want to know my thoughts in more detail!

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Naughty or Nice Tag (bookish edition!)

I wrote my answers to this tag a few days ago, however only just realised now that I have not posted it – and as this is a Christmas-related tag, I figured this would be my last chance to do so before next year. Thank you so much to Emily, blogger at Always Opinionated Girl, for tagging me to do this – you can read her own post here! In this tag, I will be confessing whether I have committed any of these ‘bookish sins’ to determine whether I have been naughty or nice this year!

Received an ARC and not reviewed it ✓

I have a couple of ARCs that I was sent and have yet to read, but once I have read them, I will definitely review them. Additionally, I have my wonderful ARC haul from YALC that I will take me a while to get through, but I do intend to review all of them eventually as well!

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley ✓

I made my Netgalley account over the summer, and I haven’t used it at all –  I requested a number of books when I joined, but none of them were accepted, and I have plenty of physical books to read, so unfortunately by Netgalley account has been quite neglected. However, I was approved to read and review Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls, which I have not read yet, and so I suspect my feedback rating is very low!

Rated a book on GoodReads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did) ✗

When filling out the ‘review’ section for a book I have read on GoodReads, I usually do one of three things: I give my actual rating, and mini review highlighting what I did and didn’t like, which generally means I won’t be reviewing it on my blog; I give my rating out of five, and leave it at that, or I give my rating and simply put ‘review to come’. If I have done the last one, an full review on my blog follows after, and I then paste a preview of that review into GoodReads. Whichever option I choose much depends on the genre of the book, when it was published, and how strong my feelings about it were.

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Blogmas Wrap Up!

As of this December, I have been blogging for a little over a year, and this was the first time I have attempted Blogmas! I have been so pleased with how well it has gone, and the support and feedback I’ve gotten has been amazing. I was really unsure if a ‘Blogmas Calendar’ would work as a concept, but it made me so happy to hear that others were enjoying it, and that I was helping people to discover new blogs! Of course, there were so many other blog posts I loved this year, and I was really sad that I could not include all of them, but I think I will be doing this again next year, and then I will have the chance to share even more of the blogs I love!

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I’m sure people are tired of seeing this banner on my blog, so here it is just one last time, without any text over the cover! I was quite pleased with myself when I first took this photo, and it has been very useful over the last 24 days.

So one last time, here are twenty-four of my favourite blog posts of the year – I tried to choose a range of different discussions and bookish content, as well as a few things that were a little different!

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