November to December Reading Wrap-Up and 2020 Yearly Reading Stats (+ 2021 Goals)
1. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown (466 pages) (5 stars)
A refugee (Malik) must slay a princess (Karina) to save his little sister from an evil spirit in this West African inspired YA fantasy. This novel is so well written and overflowing with representation. It may have just become my favorite YA fantasy of 2020.
2. Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett (404 pages) (4.5 stars)
Five years after moving away, photographer Josie Saint-Martin has returned to her New England hometown of Beauty in this YA contemporary. There she reunites with her childhood best friend Lucky. Like her other contemporaries, this novel features a sweet romance and summer feel.
Book Review: Coming Soon
3. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (372 pages) (4.5 stars)
This YA mystery is about a young woman (Avery) who inherits a massive fortune from a stranger. The only caveat is that she must live in his mansion for a year. While there she searches for clues to discover why she was chosen. This novel is ideal for Truly Devious fans.
Book Review: Coming Soon
4. Shine by Jessica Jung (342 pages (4 stars)
This YA contemporary is all about a Korean American (Rachel) who aspires to be a K-pop star. The novel follows her journey as a K-pop trainee. This novel was written by a real life K-pop star and while there's a little too much drama for my taste, it was a solid read.
Book Review: Coming Soon
5. This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens (352 pages) (1 star)
This adult romance is about two people (Minnie and Quinn) who share a birthday and whose paths' have crossed over the years. I gave this novel a singe star as I found the writing of a character with an anxiety disorder (which I have) to be offensive.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3647945834
6. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (446 pages) (5 stars)
This YA novel is told via the dual perspectives of Laia (a girl from the conquered Scholars who is part of the resistance against the Martials) and Elias (a Martial soldier desperate to escape). This was a reread for me as the final novel in the quartet has just recently been released (this is the first in the series.)
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3232054451
7. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (501 pages) (5 stars)
This YA historical fiction is about three friends (Monty, Percy and Felicity) getting into trouble as they tour Europe. This was a reread for me after I initially read it in February of this year (I needed an easy, more lighthearted read while battling COVID-19).
8. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (452 pages) (5 stars)
This is the second book in the Ember in the Ashes quartet and immediately follows the events of its predecessor. In addition to Elias and Laia there is a third POV character added in Helene, Elias' former best friend. This was, again, a reread in preparation of reading the series' final installment.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3232054535
9. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (308 pages - Collector's Edition) (5 stars)
I first read this YA fantasy about a powerful young woman who must use her sun summoning powers to destroy a monster filled darkness almost two years ago. As I just received the beautiful collector's edition I decided to give this a reread. I enjoyed this even more upon my reread. I plan to reread the remainder of the trilogy soon.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2646119150
10. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (491 pages - Collector's Edition) (5 stars)
This YA fantasy taking place in the same universe as Shadow and Bone is about a group of six morally grey characters who take part in a dangerous heist. Like with Shadow and Bone I first read this about two years ago and decided it was about time for a reread.
Book Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2688306566
11. Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller (326 pages) (4.5 stars)
This is a YA standalone fantasy about a girl (Rasmira) who is banished from her village after she fails her trial. Cast out into the wild she must kill a god in order to return home. This was a reread for me after first having read it early last year. I've mentioned this before, but Levenseller is the perfect author for some fun fantasy books.
Total Pages Read: 4,460
YEAR END STATS:
Total Books Read: 106
Total Pages Read: 39,032
Books by Age:
Adult: 20 (18.8% of total books read)
Children’s Chapter: 8 (7.6% of total books read)
Middle Grade: 6 (5.6% of total books read)
YA: 70 (66% of total books read)
Books by Genre:
Contemporary/Romance: 38 (35.8% of total books read)
Fantasy/Paranormal: 35 (33% of total books read)
Graphic Novel: 1 (0.94% of total books read)
Historical Fiction: 10 (9.4% of total books read)
Mystery: 12 (11.3% of total books read)
Sci-fi/Dystopian: 8 (7.6% of total books read)
Books by Format:
Audiobook: 16 (15% of total books read)
Physical: 89 (85% of total books read)
2021 READING/BLOG GOALS
1. Read at least 60 books
2. Have at least one book a month be a reread
3. Read at least 1-2 adult books a month
4. Read at least 10 nonfiction and/or poetry books
5. Post a blog every weekend unless ill and/or recovering from surgery
HOW I CHOSE MY GOALS
Due to being in quarantine and unemployed (because of COVID) for most of the year I had ample time to read this past year. Going into 2020 I have a still relatively new job, was recently diagnosed with cancer for which I'll need at least one additional surgery, and plan to adopt a dog. All this leaves me with less time to devote to reading, which is why my goals may seem unimpressive given the scope of what I accomplished last year. Obviously I'll be thrilled if I can exceed these goals, but I didn't want to set such lofty goals that I would feel stressed attempting to reach them. I very much enjoy rereading, but can tend to prioritize new reads because there are so many stories I want to explore. So, in order to ensure I make time for rereads I wanted to add them to my goals. Last year was a big year for me in terms of expanding upon my reading of adult books. Before I rarely read adult but this past year I began to scratch the surface of what it has to offer and found some new favorites. Therefore, I want to continue incorporating adult into my reading this year. Finally, while I love writing poetry I don't read nearly enough of it. Additionally, I hardly touch nonfiction as I've always thought of it as being boring (sorry Dad! - for those unaware my dad Terry Thomas is an author of nonfiction budgeting books). I want to push myself to read things I wouldn't necessarily feel drawn to this year because I think there are likely some real hidden gems out there that I haven't explored.