The time of year where we all come together to spread joy, love and happiness!
Tree decorating, gift giving, romance, friendship, smiles and laughs.
What a blessing.
~* December 2019 Book Wrap-Up *~
1. The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, Book 3) by Holly Black
One of the most highly anticipated releases of 2019, and the ending to a series that almost literally incinerated our hearts into ashes.
But with all the hype for this release, and with the EPIC and BEYOND BRUTAL ending to book two – The Wicked King – the stakes for this book were high AF.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the conclusion I was looking for.
Everyone just seemed too nice. Cardan was no longer the cruel prince OR the wicked king. Jude was still a firecracker, but her blood-lust wasn’t up to par and WAY too many characters who should have been gutted remained alive. Sure, we all love a happy ending. But in true Holly Black fashion, I just wanted my hopes and desires to be ripped out from under me, and I wanted to land in a deep hole of depression.
It was good, but it was just missing the brutality I was expecting.
(See my review here)
2. A Violet Fire (Vampires in Avignon, Book 1) by Kelsey Quick
I think most of us can agree that the Paranormal Vampire genre got a little tired after it was shoved down our throats over and over. But with A Violet Fire comes a YA Paranormal/Fantasy about ruthless vamps that I just had NO idea I needed!
It is set in a world called Cain, where Vampires have been ruling for centuries and humans are bred to serve as blood supply units, servants, or breeders. Wavorly is one of the few humans born and raised outside of vampire rule before her inevitable capture, and she has a fiery hatred for their kind. After countless escape attempts, her day of judgment comes where her blood is tested by her master to see if she qualifies a position as a live-in servant and supply unit.
Somehow, despite her complete lack of bowing to “the man” and simply not giving a shit, she is accepted. What’s weirder is she is requested regularly by her master, and suddenly…things begin to shift.
It’s a romance yes, but it is also an epic web of lies and deception and I JUST NEED BOOK TWO RIGHT NOW, OKAY?!
(See my full review here)
3. The Lies They Tell by Gillian French
December also turned out to be a Gillian French month, go figure.
And to start it off, I began the YA Thriller all about rich kids, manipulation, murder and confusing flirtations!
The Lies They Tell centers on the sudden and haunting death of a prominent family, with only the eldest son surviving. After they were killed in their beds and their home was set on fire, the story begins the following summer.
It documents Pearl’s time working at the Tenney’s Harbor Country Club as a server to the rich and dismissive families of the elite. As a lower-class working townie, Pearl is well–aware of the divide between the summer crowd and those who reside year-round. The summer boys come from extreme wealth, and they have reputations for starting flings with townie girls and discarding them by the end of summer.
This book is a classic tale of influence, privilege and murder. I was hooked from the first page and was blown away by how perfectly the author was able to capture the awkward encounters and social expectations that come with being a teen.
This book kicks ass.
(See my review here)
4. The Door to January by Gillian French
My second Gillian French book on the month, and another great and imaginative tale.
It is about a girl who has been having nightmares where voices call her to a house of frost and a door that leads to – where? To find out, Natalie goes back to Bernier, Maine – the place she and her family moved away from after a traumatic event in the woods two years prior.
The Door to January was surprisingly dark. I knew I was going to get a story of secrets and mystery, but the themes were actually painfully realistic and gritty. It’s a really nice blend of real-life and slight paranormal fantasy, and I could totally see it being a fantastic film…well…
Maybe an independent film, so Hollywood doesn’t ruin it.
(See my review here)
5. Vanished: When Lightning Strikes/Code Name Cassandra (1-800-Where-R-You, Books 1 and 2) by Meg Cabot
December ALSO turned out to be the month where I re-read a most beloved and favorite series of mine – 1-800-Where-R-You.
I usually read this series once a year, so I had to get it before 2019 was up!
The entire series is about a teenage girl named Jess Mastriani who is struck by lightning and suddenly able to find missing people. By looking at a photo of a missing person, after going to sleep, she wakes up and knows the exact location of where they are.
Vanished is books one and two of the series. The reader is introduced to the badass, spunky, tomboy spitfire Jess as she begins locating missing kids. The FBI learns about her abilities, recruits her to find some bad guys, and basically the shit just hits the fan.
Oh, and her love interest is a guy named Rob that totally wants her but is into that whole “I ride a motorcycle so I’m super cool and aloof” vibe.
He’s pretty dreamy.
6. Vanished: Safe House/Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You, Books 3 and 4) by Meg Cabot
I just realized this edition of books three and four is also called Vanished?
But what isn’t stupid, is these two books! This is about the time where the series gets a little darker and touches on some more…gritty themes.
In book three a girl at Jess’s school is found dead, and everyone blames Jess for not saving her. In Jess’s defense though, she told everyone she lost her ability because the FBI was so on her ass AND she was out of town.
Like, what’s a girl to do?
In book four, the son of a new family in Jess’s neighborhood is found dead in a corn field, which leads to a dangerous and despicable militia group. She is still trying to keep a low- profile with the FBI, and of course, nothing works out exactly how she plans.
And don’t worry, Rob is still there being all mysterious and alluring.
7. Missing You (1-800-Where-R-You, Book 5) by Meg Cabot
Missing you is the FINAL book in the 1-800-Where-R-You series, and….*sigh* I’m just so sad about it.
In this installment, Jess is a little older and has done some maturing. After agreeing to work with the FBI again, Jess was sent oversees to help capture terrorists alongside the US military. But the sudden loss of her abilities leads her to pursue a new life in New York at Juliard.
This book is obviously bittersweet because it is the end to a story I love and characters I absolutely adore. Jess has lost herself in the war, and she isn’t the spunky and ferocious girl we know from previous stories. But, as one would expect, everything turns out wonderful and SO good in the end.
And oh yeah, Rob is there.
8. Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison
My final book for December was Good Girls Lie, and it was sinfully good.
It’s a Mystery/Thriller that reminds me of the Private series by Kate Brian, where a girl finds herself in a private boarding school for daughters of the rich and influential.
After the unexpected deaths of her scion father and mother, Ash Carr arrives at Goode – a private college preparatory school for teenage daughters of the elite. As she struggles to adapt to the rigorous and high-level academics, she finds herself surrounded by even more death after her roommate suddenly dies.
This book is a TRIP. There are twists within twists that make up a web of lies so tangled, you’re going to wonder who you even are.
I just love a boarding school thriller.
(See my review here)
Stay Witchy ❤