Hello my gorgeous readers!
Yesterday I started my Mega End of Year Wrap Up which turned out to be a two-part post with part one focusing on my year as a blogger. I say ‘turned out to be’ as I had a lot more content to come and realised that I needed to split it over two posts. Mainly for your sanity. And mine.
This part is focusing on the ‘book’ side of my year. And yes, thanks to Goodreads there are Sexy Stats.
Thoughts: This wasn’t exactly ‘target met’ as I originally set my goal at 52 books and hoped I could average 1 book per week.
Unfortunately I am 7 books short of my goal and I think in part that was due to getting married this year (wedding planning became a priority over reading), having an almost month long honeymoon where I didn’t read as much as expected and no less than two reading slumps.
I am currently in one of those said slumps which means I probably won’t read book 46 by the end of the year. But you know what? 45 books? Yay!
Thoughts: I am picky. Or safe. Don’t get me wrong, a 3 star rating in my eyes means ‘a good book.’ Though I have read some great, amazing, fantastic books this year I have also read some ‘not great’ ones and this has probably pulled my average down.
I hope 2019 will bring me better books. Or that I get less picky.
Shall we have a peek into what I read?
Uprooted, A Monster Calls and The Hate U Give all got 5 stars from me.
You will discover this about me, if you haven’t already – I am rubbish at posting reviews. Even if I love the book. Don’t let a lack of written review put you off.
I have chosen Caraval, The Hazel Wood and The Sisters of the Winter Wood (1 star, 2 stars and 2 stars, respectively) for this strange honour. I have rated these lower than the Goodreads average and some book bloggers may very well disagree with my ratings as these are quite popular books.
Reviews for all can be found on my blog and are linked to the titles above.
Now onto something completely frivolous…
It’s not about getting a Pulitzer, oh no. Sod the Man Booker. Who cares for the Hugo? If you haven’t made The BookNook UK ‘End of Year’ Awards then you just haven’t made it.
I am, of course, joking.
Or am I?
No, I am.
Or am I?!
Here are my ten absolutely fantastic awards!
Out of the top three highest rated books of 2018 I have to give my Favourite Book of 2018 Award to Uprooted. Why? Because it’s everything I want from a book.
I adore fairy tales and magic and Uprooted is an original fairy tale involving a wizard, a young witch with powers, female friendship, romance and a dark forest. Nothing is straight forward and things are not as clear cut as they appear to be. In a story of good vs. evil it may come as a surprise as what constitutes as ‘evil.’
This was an adult fairy tale that I wish I had written. It’s unfair to say that I hated Caraval but if you’ve read my review then you will know the truth – I hated Caraval. I’d say sorry but this is my blog so… shan’t.
Caraval has the dodgy honour of ‘winning’ The Un-Favourite Book of 2018 Award mainly on account of how high my expectations were for this book and how quickly they were dashed with awful writing, weak characterisation and poor plotting.
I’ll leave it at that otherwise I’ll only get myself riled up again. As I read this back in January 2018 time clearly has not eased that experience. The award for Family I Want or Please Adopt Me goes to the Carter family from THUG. If you’ve read my review (and if you haven’t, why not?!) you’ll know that a) I love this book and b) I truly believe that it is a book about family more than anything.
Despite the difficulties and obstacles Starr Carter faces and all the uncertainties that life will bring her there is one thing we (and she) can be assured – her family love her and will always support her. If you want Ugly Crying then this is it. I finished reading A Monster Calls in my living room (I was on my evening commute reading this) and boy I’m glad I did because I’m pretty sure I solidly sobbed for the last fifteen or so pages.
Don’t get me wrong – I am aware that there is some emotional manipulation going on here but I think this book reached into my chest and did a thing to my heart. I also think it hit a sensitive nerve on a personal level but I won’t go into that here.
You know what? I also ugly cried through The Travelling Cat Chronicles but I’m giving this book and Nana the Pet of the Year Award.
Is it because I am a sucker for emotional stories? Yes.
Is it also because I am a sucker for cat stories? Hells yes.
But honestly this book is sentimental and hilarious and told through the perspective of a cat. I was grinning because of Nana’s voice as I genuinely could believe that’s how cats think. Cath from Fangirl wasn’t just me at university but I think she’s me now. I love book nerd friends, both in real life and fiction and so Cath gets the Book Nerd Friend Award. I love love. I wanted an award called I Love Your Love. So I made one up. I enjoyed The Winner’s Trilogy and though it is a fantasy it is also very much a romance.
Whatever my thoughts are on Kestrel and Arin as characters (flawed and not always likable) I really enjoyed watching their complicated romance blossom and as it starts as a slave/ master relationship this needed to be handled with caution. I love creepy houses (but I’d never want to live in one) which is what the main characters of The Silent Companions were thinking, quite quickly into their time at The Bridge.
The Silent Companions is an awesome book filled with atmosphere and tension and so it wins the We Never Should Have Moved Here Award. The penultimate award of Which Witch? goes to my favourite ever subject of books – witches. I had a whole bunch of them to choose from this year and it was difficult but I decided on Vasya from The Bear and the Nightingale. Fantastic book, great characters and Vasya’s story is far from done.The final award is the Where Have You Been All My Life? which goes to an author that I’ve read for the first time this year.
I picked up The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo because the cover looked pretty and I liked the title. Not only is The Language of Thorns a very attractive book in terms of design and artwork but I adored the stories.
This means that I need to get my wiggle on and read more Leigh Bardugo in 2019 because I have FOMO.
This is my summary of books that I have read this year plus some cheeky BookNook ‘winners.’
Let me know your thoughts, feelings and opinions. Any here you agree with? Any here you disagree with and are now reconsidering following me? Well, I hope not! 😉
See you soon for 2019 and the Mega 2019 TBR and Things to Come post.