And just like that 2019 has gone and we are in the first few days of 2020. 

I didn’t know what 2019 was going to bring, but I’m ecstatic with how things ended up. If you had come to me all the way back In January I would’ve never believed you if you told me that I would have a short story published. Or that I would be working on some major projects – mostly involved in the literature world. There were a lot of life lessons this year. I learned so much about myself, what I want in my life, and the people around me. It truly was a year of growth. 2020 is going to be even more amazing and I cannot wait to share what I’ve been working on. 

Anyway, I’m happy to say that I accomplished my 2019 reading goal of 80 books! Actually I went over my goal, clocking in at a total of 84 books. Which was a feat in itself because I didn’t think I was going to finish my goal. 

Check out my Goodreads year in books:

This is a neat feature that goodreads puts together at the end of every year. I think it’s fun to look back over the year at all of the books you’ve read and see how things stack up. (haha) 

On to my last reviews of the year!

I mentioned in my last post about re-reading the Folk of the Air series in anticipation of the last book being released. Holly Black once agains reigns supreme in her storytelling abilities. There was no ‘second book slump’ with The Wicked King. If anything it was just as captivating as the first book. As a reader, you get to see more behind Jude and Cardan’s relationship which of course leaves your heart utterly aching. Especially with that epic cliffhanger of an ending. Jude also spirals a little in regards to keeping all of the secrets and court maneuvering in control. Tarayn is still a pain in this book and actually decides to go through with the marriage to Locke. Vivi is doing her best with taking care of Oak in the human world, so props to her in that regard.

After all of my re-reading of the Folk of the Air series, I was FINALLY able to pick up The Queen of Nothing. Y’ALL. I WASN’T READY FOR IT. I don’t want to give too much away because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t been able to read the book yet. But can I just say that this really is a fitting end for the series, and it might possibly be my favorite book. There are so many things that happen but nothing feels rushed or overlooked. Holly Black ended things in a way that left me wanting just a little more, but that was just my personal opinion. There are so many questions I have now and I hope that she decides to continue the story. It doesn’t necessarily have to be with Cardan and Jude BUT I wouldn’t be opposed to it! Oh, I did get the special edition from Barnes and Noble which included letters from Cardan to Jude in the back which are a part of the main storyline. It was a lot of fun to read the letters that he mentioned in the book to Jude because it showed his side of the exile. I would definitely recommend this one!

The Prince and the Dressmaker was a super cute book! I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book and a few of my co-workers highly suggested it. Initially when I picked it up I thought this was going to be a different version of the Emperor’s New Clothes, which I guess in a way it was? The book follows the story of a young prince who is lives a secret life where he wears women’s dresses. He finds an up and coming dressmaker who makes the most unique pieces. Together the two of them go on many adventures and learn a lot about themselves and the people around them.

Earlier this year I read The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman. It was a very different take on the Sleeping Beauty that everyone is familiar with and it had a dark twist to it. I really enjoyed reading it so when I stumbled upon Snow, Glass, Apples, I was curious to see his take on the story of Snow White. This is a short book but there is a lot that happens. Again the graphics were stunning and some of them made this book more mature. (Keep that in mind before suggesting it to younger audiences.) This version is dark and creepy and all around fun to read.

Book Love is a collection of comics by the artist about being, well, a book lover. I read this one while out sick and it lightened my spirits just a bit. This graphic novel is perfect for anyone who loves books in all aspects. There were times when reading it that I highly identified with the characters in the comics. I would say this is a quick read because there is no plot that you would need to follow.

I’d been wanting to read this novel for a while now. It is a novel in verse and is a reworking of Romeo and Juliet set in Israel. If you don’t know much about Israel then you should know that there is a divide between Jews and Muslims. There is an author note to describe some of the issues at the beginning of the book. Listen y’all, it’s not often that I give a less than stellar review. But this book did not do it for me. Throughout the novel the point of view switches from Ronit and Jamil, which is normally fine for me. Except this time I couldn’t tell who was who until I listened to the audiobook. And then throughout the different verse poems, the two characters would repeat what the other one said. It just left me wanting more from the whole book in general.

I’m not usually a fan of mystery books. I don’t really have a reason, I just haven’t read a whole lot of them in the past. I picked this one because I’m a fan of Sherlock (BBC version because duh.) and I’ve seen good reviews about it. Now I don’t know if it was the cover that threw me off or what but I wasn’t really expecting all of the mature things that happened in the book. I mean I should have because I knew that the original Sherlock was a drug addict but I don’t know. Either way it added to the story and helped make this more of true homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I like how the author reworked things to make it plausible that Sherlock and Holmes were real people all along.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been trying to read more graphic novels this year. Pumpkinheads was my last graphic novel of the year and it was probably one of the best! This graphic novel is about two friends that only see each other when they annually work at the local pumpkin patch. This is their last Halloween before they go off to college and rather than work, they decide to enjoy the pumpkin patch instead. The book follows them on their adventures throughout the night, including going after certain romantic crushes

With the holidays so close, I wanted to read a holiday-themed book. I found The Afterlife of Holly Chase. This plays off of the Charles Dickens’ book, A Christmas Carol. In Afterlife, Holly Chase was chosen as a Scrooge, someone that needed to have their life turned around before they met their untimely death. Well unfortunately Holly didn’t listen to the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future and died shortly after Christmas. Instead of ascending to her afterlife, she started working for the company that orchestrates Operation Christmas Carol every year. This was such a fun twist on a classic tale that everyone has come to know. This would be fun to read every year around Christmas.

I can’t explain it but I find fantasy books where the houses come alive fascinating. I first discovered it when I read A Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson earlier this year. Laura Weymouth did an amazing job of weaving a story that centered on a magical house. Which can be hard to do because of a lot of fantasy books have grand adventures and this one required the characters to stay stationary as far as the setting went. Readers follow the character Violet as she returns to her beloved Burley House and starts to untangle to mystery behind the house, her father’s death, and her dear childhood friend.

I’ve been reading so much of the young adult fiction by Holly Black that I decided to take a dive into her middle grade books. The Spiderwick Chronicles have always peaked my interest, mainly because the authors of the series insist that there were children that approached them about the fae being real. I mean who doesn’t want to believe that fairies are real? I was able to get through the first four books rather quickly, and when I mean quick I mean I can usually read one in about an hour. They are great books for early readers as they are short and provide images to go along with the text. I found the images to really help the story because you can describe what a mythical creature looks like all day long, but it’s another thing to see what it looks like. The plot isn’t overly complicated either which would make it easier for an early ready to follow along with the Grace Siblings.

This was another book I read because of the holiday season, granted I did read it after Christmas. This was truly a cute book and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Tolkien took the time to write special letters to his children from Father Christmas, even going as far as to draw pictures that went with the letter. There is also a magical polar bear that lives with Father Christmas and helps him out. It was so much fun to read the letters and feel like, if briefly, I had an insight to what it was like growing up as a Tolkien child. I can only imagine that their home was full of wonder and stories. I might just have to read this one on an annual basis.

Whew! This was probably one of my longest posts of 2019. This year was truly a great one and I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store. Cheers to all of you and here’s best wishes for your new year. 

Best,