Your Next Favorite Book [December Reads]

Happy January friends! And welcome to the first book reviews of 2017 (even though I technically read all these in 2016!)

I am so glad that I found the Show Us Your Books link up in 2016.  It has introduced me to so many great hello bloggers and book worms and I am so excited to keep up with the link up in 2017.

This year I have upped my reading goal by 25 books.  Last year I set a goal to read 50 books and I did it!  I’m excited for my challenge this year and have already jumped in.  I haven’t finished a book yet but I’m almost there.  I made the mistake of starting Parenthood on Netflix and now I’m sucked in, so that might throw me off for the rest of January.  But I’ve got 11 more months to power through!

Ok so lets get to my December Reads.  I was a reading machine in December because I had 5 books I had to get through in order to make my December goal.  And I can honestly say that I really enjoyed all five of the books I read in December.

Here they are:

Goodreads Synopsis: Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My thoughts:  THIS BOOK!!!! I loved this book so much that it made my best of 2016 post.  I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I just really identified with Cath.  I remember having some of her exact feelings my first of college (minus the twin sister thing, because I don’t have one of those).  But everything else she went through I kept nodding along with and thinking,” OH MY GOD ME TOO!!”  I didn’t really care for the Simon Snow stuff throw in-between chapters but I didn’t mind the actual fan fiction stuff when it was brought up because I may or may not have read fan fiction in high school.  Harry Potter fan fiction to be exact (#meganerdalert).  I can’t believe I did not know about this book before 2016 though and I am excited to read her other books this year! 

Goodreads Synopsis: It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

My thoughts:  This was the second book that I mentioned in my best books of 2016 post, because that’s how much I loved it.  It’s the second book in a trilogy, the first being A Different Shade of Magic.  I liked the first book just fine, but I absolutely loved the second one.  So much that it made my best of list.  I felt this book gave me so much more than the first one did, and I loved some of the twists.  There were a few things that happened that I totally did not see coming and I love it when a book does that to me! I cannot wait to read book 3, which thankfully comes out this year! 
Goodreads Synopsis: Dr. Iris Ballard’s glory days are behind her, so when Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and onetime lover, asks for help constructing a psychological profile of an elusive serial killer who murders single mothers and dumps their bodies in the woods, Iris turns him away. She just wants to be left alone with her infomercials, her German Shepherd, and her vodka. That is, until she gets a peek at the case files.

The media has dubbed him “the Woodsman.” But after Iris learns the sickening details held back from the press, and as she sets foot onto the scene of his latest crime, she assembles a portrait of a more complicated, enigmatic, meticulous man. Control is his motivation. He thrives on it. Soon he even tries to manipulate the investigation by contacting Iris, hoping to rattle the woman he considers an intellectual equal.

The game is on. Iris thinks she has a read on her target, enough to push his buttons, to make him lose control. But when the Woodsman gains the upper hand, Iris faces the most painful reckoning of all—with her own violent past.

My thoughts:  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but I have a thing for thrillers.  I started reading them in high school, and every few months I get the urge to read one again.  This one did not disappoint.  I really enjoyed it.  I wouldn’t say I loved it, but it definitely passed the time just fine and is worth a read if you’re into books like this.  But it did leave me wanting more from Iris and Luke.  They’re did not wrap up to my satisfaction so at some point I will be reading the next book in her story! 
Goodreads Synopsis: Everyone has days, weeks, even months they wish they could do over—but what about an entire year? After living through the worst twelve months of her life, intensive care nurse Olive Watson is given a second chance to relive her past and attempt to discover where she went wrong…

After a year of hardships, including a messy breakup with her longtime boyfriend Phil, the prospect of her mother’s remarriage, and heartbreaking patient losses at the hospital, Olive is ready to start fresh. But when she wakes up in her ex-boyfriend’s bed on New Year’s Day 2011a day she has already livedOlive’s world is turned upside down. Shouldering a year of memories that no one else can recall, even Olive begins to question herself—until she discovers that she is not alone. Upon crossing paths with Sherry Witan, an experienced “repeater,” Olive learns that she has the chance to rewrite her future. Given the opportunity of a lifetime, Olive has to decide what she really wants. Should she make different choices, or accept her life as she knows it, flaws and all?

My thoughts:  I actually listened to and read this book.  Ashley from The Wandering Weekenders was a huge angel and sent me this as an audio book on Audible for my long trip across Texas at the beginning of Christmas break.  She knew I would like it because she and I have very similar taste in books!  I liked the book so much that I couldn’t wait to finish listening to it and thankfully Ashley told me she had it on her Nook in case I wanted to keep reading it once I reached home.  Literally as soon as I got home I downloaded it from her library and jumped in right where I had left off.  This was such an interesting book.  I loved the storyline and I really liked the way the book ended.  I will say that Olive did irritate me at a few points in the book but that didn’t stop me from really enjoying it.  It was actually refreshing to not love the main character and still really enjoy the book over all.  
So read it.  It’s good! 
Goodreads Synopsis: Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

My thoughts: This was my very last book of 2016.  One New Years Eve I had another 10 hour drive ahead of me.  And I knew I needed to listen to something for the drive.  Audiobooks help keep me focused and it would help me knock out my reading goal for the year.  I saw this book pop up on Ashley’s reading list and it immediately caught my attention because of the cover.  My Dad just downloaded Audible so I just logged into his account and he let me us one of his free credits for the drive.  The book was about 9 hours long via audio and so it was perfect.  
I honestly wasn’t sure how much I was liking the book.  It was told from three different perspectives but the same readers voice.  I found myself enjoying certain storylines more than others.  The storylines for each of the sisters was so different and I really enjoyed that.  This was yet another book where the ending (at least one part of it anyway) totally took me by surprise and thus I will be reading the sequel because I have to know what happens to one specific character!! Plus I wanna know which sister will be queen! Because nope, they do not tell you in book one!  
And that’s a wrap for 2016.  I have to give a huge shout out to Ashley one more time because three of these books came from her!  Thank you for letting me read them! 🙂  You’re the best! 
So to wrap things up here, currently I’m reading a silly little romance fluff book.  It’s just what I need right now.  The next book is probably gonna be same, only of the historical variety.  I have plans to read The Woman in Cabin 10 in February because it’s the book for one of the book clubs I’m in.  And I have a ton of books sitting on bookshelves and coffee table that need to be read.  So I have a pretty good line up to get my next reading challenge started!
BUT…..I’m excited to jump into all the posts today and get some other recommendations for 2017!  
Have a great Tuesday!
Linking up for…..
Life According to Steph

18 thoughts on “Your Next Favorite Book [December Reads]

  1. I can't wait to read the Shades of Magic series later this year. I also loved Fangirl when I read it. I've only read some Harry Potter fanfiction, but maybe I should check it out again someday. I, too, get the itching for a good thriller about once a month or so 🙂


  2. LOVED Fangirl! That is definitely one I'll be reading again at some point. I bought A Gathering of Shadows for my kindle even though I don't have the first one lol it was on sale for $.99 so I couldn't pass it up. I've heard nothing but good things about that series and I can't wait to read it!


  3. I'm reading FanGirl this month for Erin's 6.0 Reading Challenge and I've heard so many great things. Last year I read E&P and loved it too. The Shades of Magic trilogy is on my list but I'm going to wait to start until right before book 3 comes out so I don't have to wait! LOL!


  4. I'm so glad that you loved Repeat Year, and like I told you, I don't know why this author hasn't written more stories because it was such a good book! And Fangirl! I'm so glad that we both discovered it last year, and I can't wait to read more Rainbow Rowell books! I need to read A Gathering of Shadows and A Different Shade of Magic! You and Kristen both raved about it so much and I have a feeling that I'll love both of them. Alexandra actually told me about Three Dark Crowns, and now that you've loved it too I can't wait to start reading it! I can't wait for our dinner date soon!


  5. After hearing your and Ashley's reviews on Fangirl I immediately put it on hold at the library, but then I failed to pick it up and they canceled it. Well I did it again and am definitely gonna pick it up this time! I have grown to really love audio books because not only is it convenient, I can better understand the book for some reason. I need to join a book club, it'll force me to step out of my comfort zone and read things I maybe wouldn't have read. Is there a such thing as a virtual book club?! I'm such a reading noob!


  6. the repeat year sounds good! adding it to my list.i tried to watch parenthood last year but got distracted i think, it's probably good for my reading that i don't get sucked back in haha.i had three dark crowns from the library but didn't read it in time. i might wait, i didn't know there would be another one (i hate waiting!).i cannot wait for the 3rd shadows book!! hurry up next month!


  7. I still need to read A Darker Shade of Magic and the sequel. I'm pretty sure I'll love them though. FANGIRL! Seriously one of my favorite books. I'm totally someone who read HP fan fiction, and I even wrote some too, so your nerdom is all good in my book. ;)I also want to read Three Dark Crowns, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. I feel like I've heard different things but I'm so curious.-Lauren


  8. Seems like a lot of people had a good reading month in December! I know I did! I LOVED A Gathering of Shadows. I loved the first one, but the second book, was so much more. Easily one of my favourite books of the year, probably number one. I can't wait to read the third book, I just hope it is released on Kindle as well as in physical copy. Don't you just love Delilah, Kel and all the other characters?! I'm looking forward to reading Three Dark Crowns sometime this year.


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