December wrap up | what I read in the last month of 2018

It’s that time, everyone. The moment in which I discuss the books I read in December, the ones I closed 2018 with. I made that sound really dramatic, when in reality it’s nowhere near that exciting. I purposefully picked a quite low (for me) Goodreads Reading Challenge so I wouldn’t feel stressed at the end of the year. Enough babbling, let’s just talk about the books.

As always, the title will take you to Goodreads. 

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn – 3/5
I’ve wanted to get back into reading thrillers and mysteries for a while, and this one happened to be a Goodreads Choice Awards nominee for 2018. Since I had seen so many raving reviews on it, I decided to give it a go. To be honest, I’m glad I got it from the library. Reading this felt similar to reading The Girl on the Train to me. I think this was just fine, but nothing special. I wasn’t intrigued or captivated by the mystery at all. Mostly, I was just annoyed that we were reading from the perspective of an alcoholic middle-aged woman once again. Are there no other ways to create tension and the absence of memories? No other ways to make a female narrator unreliable?

Illuminae (Illuminae Files #1) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman – 5/5
I have to admit that I was surprised by how much I loved this book. For some reason, I felt like this wasn’t going to be for me and that I wouldn’t like it as much as everyone else seemed to. I started listening to the audiobook when I had a 7-hour train and bus ride ahead of me, and fell in love with it. I couldn’t stop listening! If you are one of the few people who haven’t read this (like I was), I’d urge you to listen to the audiobook. It’s full-cast, and simply fantastic.

The Woods Vol. 1: The Arrow by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas – 3/5
I saw the first volume of The Woods on Scribd and wanted to give it a try since I’d seen some people on BookTube talk about it. It’s about this high school that suddenly gets transported to a different planet. People are obviously trying to figure out how they got there, why it happened, and how they’ll survive from now on. I like the concept and think that the story itself is fascinating, but there were some things that bugged me while reading too. Everyone seems to know random things they shouldn’t actually know, and there’s absolutely no explanation for it. They also used way too much emphasis in there sentences, like this.

The Fifth Season (Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin – 5/5
I don’t really know how to explain the story-line of this book, or why I loved it so much. All you have to know is that this is a fantastic SFF novel with a very unique setting and magic system. The author also switches to second perspective at times, which is jarring yet incredibly fascinating at the same time. Go read it!

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson – 5/5
I DID IT! I read this giant 1200-page long book and it is no longer staring at me from my unread shelf! I’m so proud of myself. I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I absolutely loved this book. I haven’t read a single Brandon Sanderson book I didn’t fall in love with. This one is no exception. I know I’ll be continuing the series soon – as soon as I buy the sequel.

Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1) by Brian McClellan – 4.5/5
A few posts ago, I talked about the books that had been on my shelves for yearsPromise of Blood was one of those. That’s why I was so adamant on finally reading it. I ended up really liking it! I find it different than a lot of the other fantasy books I’ve read because you follow a 60-year-old field marshal as he overthrows the monarchy and kills the Royal Cabal (mages). The shift to a male narrator, and one that isn’t a teenager or in his early 20s, was intriguing. The magic system was fascinating too. There are different types of mages. The Privileged (mages who can manipulate the world through the Else), Magebreakers (who cut off the Privileged’s access to the Else) and Powder Mages (who can manipulate gunpowder). Would highly recommend!

I read this for the Magical Readathon: Christmas at Hogwarts readathon.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee – 3/5
I was so disappointed in this book. The first book in the duology, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, was one of my favorite books of 2017. I loved Monty’s voice, his humor, his relationship with Percy, and the adventures they went on. I was hoping to love Felicity’s story just as much, but unfortunately I didn’t. I think Felicity is extremely judgmental, the kind of “feminist” who judges other women for making choices she thinks are beneath her. That judgment never really went away, even though she was confronted by the other girl who pointed out how hypocritical she was being. I also don’t like how she talked about her brother and his relationship with Percy…

Night by Elie Wiesel – 5/5
Night is one of the books I read in 2018 that had a big impact on me. It’s an autobiography (translated by his wife) describing Elie Wiesel’s deportation to and survival in Auschwitz-Birkenau. It’s heartbreaking and difficult to read at times, but it’s such an important book. I think this is a book everyone should have to read in school as well, since it’s only like 120 pages. We can’t forget what happened in WWII, especially now the number of concentration camp survivors is decreasing.

ouran high school host club vol 1

Ouran High School Host Club Volume 1 by Bisco Hatori – 3.5/5
Ouran High School Host Club is one of the first anime series I’ve watched and finished. I say that as if I’ve watched a lot of anime. I haven’t. It’s something I’m looking to change in 2019. Anyway, I quite enjoyed the anime and wanted to give the manga a go as well. I really liked it! The only downside was that the panels are sometimes so busy and full that it becomes hard to tell what’s going on. I’ll probably continue the series, but it’s not that high on my priority list – especially since I already know what happens.


That’s it, my last few reads of the year! As I’m writing this on December 31st, I’m reading Attack on Titan Vol. 1 by Hajime Isayama but I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it before the end of 2018. I don’t really have much time to myself today. I hope you had a wonderful December, and I wish you a happy 2019!

14 thoughts on “December wrap up | what I read in the last month of 2018

  1. Ouran! Sad to hear about the Lady’s Guide. I’ve been hearing similar sentiments from various places and I think it is what has been making me put it off for a while now.

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  2. Reading your take on The Woman in the Window has made me wonder if I was a bit too harsh on The Girl on the Train. I felt that every possible stupid decision one could make was made by the central character, but now I remind myself that she had problems and likely wasn’t thinking rationally. And WOW! You read all those books in one month??

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  3. I’m so glad you loved Illuminae! I will be going to a friend’s house abroad during the summer and their library (unlike mine) has a physical copy of the whole series! I am so so so pumped to read — just six more months of waiting! Have a great January!

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  4. I found that I myself read a lot of similar psychological thrillers or mysteries such as Girl on the Train, but in the end they were never very memorable or touched me in any way. I will definitely keep your thoughts in mind in regards to The Woman in the Window 🙂

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