December 2017 Wrap-Up

Starting this month, I’ll be typing up (very long) monthly wrap-ups about my reading, news happening in the YA world, and more! You can skim through the whole thing & read what you want! This is both a resource for you & wrap up for me.

Beware, there are a lot of books here and far too many links to Goodreads than is healthy. I’d recommend practicing restraint with the “Want to Read” button 🙂

Books Read

  1. Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer | 2 stars – I wasn’t much of a fan as the present tense made the story choppy and the pacing was very slow. Full review here.
  2. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody (not shown) | 3.5 stars – Cute, 24-hr contemporary story which deals a lot with grief.  Full review here.
  3. My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows | 5 stars – Amazing! This is definitely a new favorite as it defies genre boundaries and mixes humor with historical fiction, fantasy, and awesome narration! Full review here.
  4. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (not shown) | 4 stars – This was great! The pacing was a little slow to me & some of the info was a tad confusing, but I think fantasy lovers will really enjoy this title! Full review here.
  5. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy | 4 stars – Great contemporary about body positivity and being comfortable with who you are. Definitely recommend if this sounds interesting to you.
  6. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart | 2 stars – Not really a fan because I was just confused at the lack of plot? It’s not that thrilling and there’s no real plot happening as it’s told backwards. Full review here.
  7. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | 3 stars – Great OCD representation & interesting main character, but disjointed plot and toxic friendship that wasn’t really addressed turned me off this novel. Full review here.
  8. Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill | 2 stars – Not for me as it’s a very average fantasy with kingdoms and whitewashed characters and chosen one FMCs. Full review here.
  9. Want by Cindy Pon | 4.5 stars – This is a great sci-fi novel that deserves so much more love! Totally enjoyed reading it and this definitely deserves a full review on my part (maybe when I reread it when it arrives).
  10. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy | 5 stars – Very cohesive, paced well, and deals with lots of lovely LGBTQ+ themes, all combined with being very well written. Full review here.
  11. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw | 4.5 stars – Awesome, haunting, atmospheric novel about witches that prey on the coastal town of Sparrow and drown boys. Would definitely recommend for a spooky, chilling read! Full review here.
  12. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst | 2.5 stars – I really wanted to enjoy this because this had all sorts of awesome LGBTQ+ themes, but it ended up being a really boring read.
  13. A Million Junes by Emily Henry | 4.5 stars – A lot like The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, but better executed and without the extraneous portions. Lovely themes of grief and subtle romance to give it a very magical theme. Full review here.
  14. The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana | 4 stars – I liked it, but I didn’t love it. The setting and plot were great, but I didn’t get as invested in the story as I wanted to.
  15. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson | 5 stars – Another awesome work by Hutchinson dealing with a girl’s discovery she has magical powers that must be used to save the world. Very good in making you think about decisions and has awesome LGBTQ+ themes. Full review here.
  16. Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss | 3 stars – Interesting historical fiction based on true events about a plane hijacking in 1970 Jordan. The narration and execution could have been done a little better.
  17. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo | 4 stars – Cute, sweet, romcom contemporary that I would definitely recommend to lovers of romcoms. Has an awesome Korean FMC too.
  18. Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston |  4 stars – Very fun space adventure with lots of layers of plots and subplots that was paced very well and had an interesting plot. Didn’t feel as cohesive as I wanted it to be, but was a very great read & would definitely recommend. Full review here.
  19. Paper Princess, Broken Prince, and Twisted Palace by Erin Watt | 1, 1.5, 1.5 stars – Very typical trashy Wattpad romance novel with alpha male and unnecessary drama. If this is your thing, then I would say check it out. First novel has concerning scene after a near-rape (also lots of sexual content).
  20. You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon | 5 stars – Awesome debut with lovely themes about sisterhood, life, and death. Would definitely recommend to lovers of darker contemporary. Full review to come with blog tour.
  21. The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine | 2.5 stars – Interesting premise & cool dragons but fell flat like Ever the Hunted (#8) because of whitewashed, unrelatable, lost-princess “chosen one” characters.
  22. Expelled by James Patterson & Emily Raymond | 2 stars – Disappointing first try at Patterson’s work (if he actually wrote it). Lackluster plot & mystery, unrelatable & forgettable MMC, and dry romance. Full review here.
  23. Solo by Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess | 4 stars – Interesting story, although at times I wasn’t a fan of how it was told in verse. It was a good read, though, and I’d recommend to lovers of poetry. Full review here.
  24. City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson | 3 stars – Unique historical fiction debut with lots of action-y elements as it details the late 1900s political conflict in the Congo. If this seems like something you’d like, I say go for it. Full review here.
  25. Frostblood by Elly Blake | 2 stars – Not a fan as there was way too much dichotomy between fire & ice, over-done romance, and, like Ever the Hunted (#8), whitewashed characters that could have used more diversity. If this is your type of fantasy, go for it, but I’m not a fan. Full review here.
  26. Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster | 3 stars – First 18% were so slow and the rest was good, but could have been executed a lot better to turn this debut into something stunning and amazing. Did not reach its full potential. Full review here.
  27. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | 4.5 stars – Very important debut that everyone should read. I do think there was a little more to be desired in terms of execution & writing, but this is an awesome book that I definitely recommend. Full review here.
  28. The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson | 5 stars – Awesome dystopian debut that hooks you in and gives you both chills and thrill. Would definitely recommend to SFF lovers as this is a fantastic read. Full review here.
  29. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti | 4 stars – Great read with awesome, truly quirky female main character. Didn’t connect very well with the characters, but I think this novel was very cohesive. and was executed nicely. Full review here.
  30. A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck | 2 stars – Not what I expected; deals a lot with grief and unrequited love. The plot structure and balance was very weird and it didn’t read very smoothly. Full review here.
  31. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | 2 stars – I feel like this story romanticized mental illness and also didn’t really lead to any character growth. It felt unfinished and didn’t really have much of a plot.
  32. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | 5 stars – Awesome magical story that will stun readers with the dark themes and growing antihero FMC. Definitely recommend you check out this novel by the Queen of Faeries! Full review here.
  33. This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp | 3 stars – The multiple POVs ended up being really confusing (Autumn vs. Sylv) and I feel like it could have been executed a little better.
  34. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao ? Not sure if I’ll finish this today, but it’s a very good read so far and I’m enjoying Xifeng’s internal conflict.
  35. The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan ? Not sure if I’ll finish this today, but it’s another humorous, MG Riordan continuation of the series that I hope will prove entertaining.

I need to read less books.

Books that Came Out

Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill | I wasn’t too much of a fan of the first novel, but I think I’ll give the second one a chance sometime next year! Still keeping my eyes out for a library copy 👀

Life, Love, and the List by Kasie West | Who knew Kasie West could write books so quickly? I’ve never read any of her work, but I’m very excited to try one out if I get a chance!

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle | This book + me = love! I really enjoyed reading the DRC of this novel and am so glad it’s finally out and I can buy myself a final copy! Definitely recommend you all check this out, you can read my review here!

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills | This was the Owlcrate & Uppercase book of the month for December and I’m so excited to dive into this cute novel with my book club!

There are more great releases in December, but these were my most anticipated!

 

Posts this Month

In case you missed any of them, you can check out all my posts this month in this handy-dandy summary! I definitely suggest you look at those 5 star reviews 😉

Reviews: 

A Conspiracy of Stars by Oliva A. Cole | 5 stars
The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody | 3.5 stars
#famous by Jilly Gagnon | 2 Stars
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli | 5 stars
Spotlight: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (DRC) | 4.5 stars
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | 3 stars
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza | 5 stars
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston | 4 stars
Chelsea Sedoti at the 2017 Debut Author’s Bash
Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre | 5 stars
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | 5 stars

Cover Geeks & Design: 

Cover Geek #14: Delightful Motifs
Interview with Illustrator Lisa Perrin
Best 2018 Debut Covers

Reading Challenges:

Challenging Myself in December
Winter 2017 Bookish Bingo

Book Recommendations:

Geek Chic Book Recommendations
18 Most Anticipated Sequels of 2018

Discussion & Tags:

Why I Prefer Edelweiss to Netgalley
Tags, Awards, and Catch-Ups 2017
The Bookish Naughty List

News in the Bookish World

YA Twitter Drama

The announcement of Sanctuary Highway (fall 2019), a YA novel by Ellen Hopkins described as “the Underground Railroad with a contemporary YA spin, taking place in a near future in which things continue to go along the current trajectory politically, and the America of the story is an even darker version of the one we know now,” has spurred outrage throughout YA Twitter.

The release of a New York Times Article on sensitivity readers has heightened the debate over the positive and negative effects of sensitivity readers to the making of a novel. Likewise, outrage has also spread from Joyce Carol Oates’ inflammatory tweets on sensitivity readers, race in the publishing industry, and other topics, but support has been rallied behind prominent WOC, queer author, and founder of Cake Literary Dhonielle Clayton.

Milo Yiannopoulos’ book deal fell through after appearing to endorse sexual relationships with teenagers & he has sued Simon & Schuster. The editor’s commentary on his manuscript has spurred both laughter and outrage due to the editor’s (unintentionally humorous) attempts to make the manuscript appeal to readers.

Author Taryn Bashford has threatened to sue reviewer after a negative review of The Harper Effect. The comment has now been removed.

Note: I’ve tried to be as objective about these situations to allow you to form your own opinions. Just remember to think before you type 🙂

Cover Reveals

The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee (info here)
The Plastic Magician by Charlie M. Homberg (info here)
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (info here)
Furyborn by Claire Legrand (info here)
The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood (info here)
The Wicked Deep (UK edition) by Shea Ernshaw (info here)
Fresh Ink (anthology) by We Need Diverse Books (info here)
The Soul Keepers by Devon Taylor (info here)
Vicious (cover update) by V.E. Schwab (info here)
The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark #2) by Veronica Roth (info here)
Access Restricted by Greg Katsoulis (info here)
The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco (info here)

Awards

Goodreads Choice Awards Results (info here)
Morris Award Finalists (info here)
NPR’s Picks of 2017 (info here)
Paste’s Picks of 2017 (info here)
Kirkus’ Picks of 2017
(info here)

Upcoming Novels I’m Excited for

New Book Announcement: Again, But Better by Christine Riccio (spring/summer 2019) “A romantic comedy about second chances and being brave enough to try again–even after you’ve majorly screwed up.” (info here)

Release Date & Title Update: The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark #2) by Veronica Roth (April 10th, 2018) (info here)

Release Date Update: A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (pushed back to May 22nd, 2018) (info here)

New Books Announcement: 2 Untitled YA Novels by Nic Stone, one about Justyce from Dear Martin (October 2019 & October 2020) (info here)

New Book Announcement: All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell (summer 2019) “YA thriller explores what happens after 17-year-old Ava finds a woman’s corpse in he woods and wants to protect and care for her, while in the world beyond, the killer is still free.” (info here)

New Book & Partnership Announcement: Historical Fiction about Loki by Mackenzie Lee in partnership with Marvel (spring 2019) “A [three book] series of historical fiction novels focusing on popular anti-heroes of the Marvel Universe.” (info here)

New Book Announcement: It’s Not Funny by Lance Rubin (summer 2019) “Winnie Freedman, a fifteen-year-old who’s been waiting for the world to catch onto what she already knows: she’s hilarious. As she joins the school improve troupe and comes into her own as a comedian, she must face some very un-funny situations when she sees her comedy-hero father fall–in more ways than one.” (info here)

New Book Announcement: Stalking Jack the Ripper #4 by Kerri Maniscalco as the fourth and final installment to the series (info here)

Title Update: Escaping from Houndini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco (info here)

New Book Announcement: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (spring 2019) “A modern-day Roman Holiday set in Hong Kong, the book follows one fateful day between a K-Pop star who’d like to be anyone else and the charming con-boy she meets, who’s looking for a big break to impress his paparazzo father. When sparks ignite, the two must decide if they can risk it all for each other.” (info here)

Series Announcement: The Shadow Games (initially just Ace of Shades) by Amanda Foody will be a Trilogy (info here)

New Debut Announcement: The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah (fall 2019) “In a future where the Earth is underwater, the book follows 16-year-old Leyla McQueen, a British Muslim submersible racer, who must navigate the treacherous abyss to find her missing father.” (info here)

New Book Announcement: A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Saulsberry (fall 2019) “In a North African-inspired fantasy world, two sisters–one with magick of light and persuasion and one with magick of blood and bone–must compete in a duel to the death for the right to inherit the queendom.” (info here)

New Book Announcement: The Darkest Legacy (part of The Darkest Minds series) by Alexandra Bracken (7 August 2018) “TDL is a standalone novel set five years after IN THE AFTERLIGHT and narrated by none other than Zu!!” (info here)

New Book Title Announcement: Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Forest of a Thousand Lanterns #2) by Julie Dao (October 2018) (info here)

New Book Title Announcement: Firestarter (Timekeeper #3) by Tara Sim (info here)

New Book Announcement: Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern (winter 2019) “Sixteen-year-old science geek Astrid has terminal cancer and is exploring cryopreservation as a way of taking control of her destiny. A road trip with her best friend and her boyfriend, and reaction to a vlog they create to help raise funds for her, help Astrid make a difficult decision.” (info here)

New Book Announcement: If You Should Ever Leave Me by Phoebe North (winter 2020) “When a teen boy vanishes, his sister suspects he’s fled into the make-believe fantasy world they invented as children. But when he reappears, she’s forced to confront the dark worlds she’s created, both real and fantastical, to save what’s left of her family.” (info here)

New Book Announcement: Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz (winter 2020) “A novel recounting a 17-year-old girl’s seven months in captivity and her struggle to fit back into her life.” (info here)

Note: Big thanks to PW’s weekly Rights Reports for helping find all this delicious news!

Other

Turtles All the Way Down Movie in the works with John Green and Fox (info here).

Artemis Fowl Movie has some of the cast revealed (info here)

much love, vicky

What do you think of my first wrap-up? Should I do one next month?

 

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