In December I read 11 books:
- 7 new novels, of which 2 were ARCs
- 2 rereads
- a short story
- an ARC of a short story collection.
I’ve read more than I expected, and I found some new favorites, but I was also disappointed by many of the new books I read.
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, by F.C. Yee – ★★
I just don’t like comedy, and that’s what this book was. If you like intentionally over-the-top, unrealistic writing that always tries to be funny, this may be for you.
The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith – ★★¼
This is an ARC, so I will post the full review closer to release date, but this was a disappointment. The premise was interesting – an ownvoices paranormal book from the point of view of an adopted main character – but the writing was so juvenile it ruined everything.
Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta – ★★¼
I’ve never read a mystery book that was as bland as this one. The only character that had some depth was the predator, and that’s not a good thing. It could be for you if you really love theater and don’t mind reading about a man abusing all the people around him for most of the novel. It’s f/f, but the romance was as bland and boring as the rest of the book.
Could Have Been Better
The New Voices of Fantasy (edited by) Peter S. Beagle & Jacob Weisman – ★★★
For an anthology, this wasn’t that great – some of the stories didn’t even fit the theme – but there are some really good ones too. My favorites were Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong and Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon.
The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh – ★★★
The Wrath and the Dawn didn’t need a sequel, but for a totally unnecessary book, this wasn’t that bad. I liked the characters, even if there wasn’t that much development, and the writing was good.
Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight by Aliette de Bodard – ★★★¾
Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight is the short story I choose as an introduction to Aliette de Bodard’s Xuya sci-fi universe. It follows three different characters who were tied to a woman who recently died – her son, one of her coworkers, her daughter who is a spaceship (yes, people can be spaceships in this universe) – and it shows their grief and their reaction to the death of Duy Uyen. I liked it and I want to read more from this universe.
Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett – ★★★★¼
This was a surprise. I hadn’t seen many good reviews of it, but it’s such an unique novel, and I loved its worldbuilding – it’s set in a kingdom inspired by the Himalayas – and the wintry atmosphere. Also, dragons and magical creatures everywhere! And so much magic. I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle, but by the end I didn’t mind it too much, and I loved Kamzin. The ending was great.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – ★★★★¾
This was a reread for me, because I wanted to see if this book was really as good as I remembered – I didn’t want to put it in my list of favorites and then discover a few months later that I had been too generous with my rating. I shouldn’t have doubted myself, because this was even better – and as magical – on reread.
Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift – ★★★★¾
This was my first netgalley ARC, and it was better than I thought it would be – I didn’t think it would be so weird. And in a good way! It’s split into nine parts, and every part feels different from the one before, and you never know which direction the book is going to take next. Also, time travel in Paris = the best atmosphere.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera – ★★★★¾
Another surprise. I didn’t think I would like it, since it’s a sad story, but it was hopeful, not manipulative and I didn’t cry (which is a good sign). It takes place in a near-future setting with some sci-fi aspects, but it reads like a contemporary. I loved the characters and I believed in the romance (which is m/m), even if it developed in only one day.
Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente – ★★★★★
I like to end the year rereading favorites. In 2016 I chose Shadow and Bone, this time I chose Deathless, a mythpunk retelling of The Death of Koschei the Deathless. I liked it as much as the first time, but for slightly different reasons – this time, I understood what was going on, and what the book was trying to do. Deathless is a book that shows you Russia’s history through its folklore, and looking at it this way, the ending made sense.
This year, I read more than 159 books.
Why more than? I don’t count every short story I read; some of them aren’t even on goodreads. So: 159, but probably at least ten more.
I had never read so much in one year; I probably never will again. I’m fine with that.
Of the 159 books I counted this year:
- 110 were YA. Of them, only 50 I rated at least 4 stars (less than half)
- 49 were adult. Of them, 34 I rated at least 4 stars (more than half)
I want to read more adult books this year for a reason.
What were your favorite books you read in December? Have you read any of these?