Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Books I Read in December

During the month of November, I had one of my worst reading months and that continued in to December. I'm a bit disappointed with how I closed out the year as I read six books and three short stories. But at least I surpassed by reading goal! So here are the books that I read in December and some of my thoughts and opinions on them:

Persuasion by Jane Austen - This book centers around Anne, who eight years previously rejected Captain Wentworth because her family didn't approve of his financial status. When Captain Wentworth comes back from war, he's now in her circle of friends and he starts to pursue one of Anne's friends. This book was quite a bit of a journey to get through, I started it back in February and made my way through 100 pages before I set it aside, I didn't pick it up until December and I then managed to fly through the book. I ended up really enjoying the story and I loved Anne as a character. This is the first Jane Austen book I've read and I'm hoping to read the rest of her books soon.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - This is another book that I slowly made my way through, as I started rereading it before The Cursed Child came out and didn't finish it until December. I'm actually really pleased that I didn't end up finishing this until now because all the Grindelwald plot points were so much more interesting to read after seeing Fantastic Beasts. 

Pottermore Presents Short Stories by J.K. Rowling - These are a collection of new and mostly old writings available on Pottermore. I had already read most of these stories before but it was a lot of fun to reread them as a refresher. I think these short stories are a must for any hardcore Harry Potter fan, but since like 95% of the writing is available for free on Pottermore, some fans might not be able to justify the $2.99 on each of the three short stories.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - This book revolves around a boy, whose mom has a severe cancer diagnosis, and is being visited at night by a monster in his backyard. This book was so incredibly moving and beautifully written. I flew through this book in two sittings and absolutely loved it. I had previously read Ness' The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which I liked but this book blew that one out of the water.

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes - This is the fifth book in the Falling Kingdoms series. The previous book left off on some huge cliffhangers and I couldn't wait to dive into this book and see how things would unfold. This book was so entertaining and I absolutely love how the world continues to grow and the characters continue to develop. This book ended in the general fashion that the previous books have left off on and I'm highly anticipating the last book's release.

Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz - This book follows Jasmine, a Filipino immigrant, as she is applying for colleges, when she discovers that her family has been staying in the States illegally. I was so excited to read this book when I found out what it was about, because my father and my maternal grandmother are immigrants from the Philippines and I knew that I would relate to some of Jasmine's experiences. I've also never read a YA book with a Filipino character, let alone a protagonist, so I was also excited to see a character like me in a book (a huge reason why representation in literature matters). I ended up loving this book, especially Jasmine's character and I related to her so much with how she viewed her racial identity. I did have a few problems with the romance aspect of this book, but all else aside I loved it, and I hope to find more YA books with Filipino characters.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling - I look forward to the release of the illustrated editions every year because Jim Kay's illustrations are beautiful. I love how he interprets Rowling's writing and how these books open the story of Harry Potter to a new generation. My only complaint is I wish there were more illustrations because they're just so beautiful.

So those are all the books I read in December, even though I didn't read a lot, I truly loved everything I finished during the month (finish is the keyword because I read most of Naomi Novik's Uprooted during the month and did not enjoy it at all, but more on than in my January wrap up). I'm hoping that rereading books from my all time favorite series (obviously Harry Potter) will end the reading slump I've been in and I'll be able to read a ton of books in the new year. - Jessica

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