December 2013 Wrap Up

By | 11:00 AM 5 comments
December was a pretty good reading month for me, and an excellent month for seeing films. Here's what I thought about all of the books and films I experienced this month!

A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard 
4/5 stars
Good sequel to the first book in the trilogy, Something Strange and Deadly. I only awarded the first book 3 stars, so this was certainly an improvement. I fell in love with Daniel Sheridan in this installment more than I was before. If you haven't picked these books up, they're quite quick reads - good for fans of The Infernal Devices trilogy (although I'd argue the romance in these books is superior). Excited for the final installment which will be released this coming summer!

The First Three Throne of Glass Novellas by Sarah J. Maas 
3/5 Stars for the first novella
4/5 stars for the second novella
3/5 stars for the third novella
There are more than three of these prequel novellas, but I stopped after the third. Possibly because I know what's going to happen and boy oh boy, it's sad. The third novella left off at a happy note, so I'm allowing myself to remain delusional for a little while. While these were enjoyable, going back and reading these novellas after having reading Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight was probably unfavorable because the character development Celaena goes through is reversed. And for the record, she kind of annoyed me when I first read Throne of Glass. Nonetheless, they quenched my thirst for more of this series after I was feeling a little desperate for more. If you've read Crown of Midnight, you can probably empathize.

Giants Beware! by Jorge Aquirre 
4/5 stars
Precious graphic novel that I may or may not have stolen from my 8-year-old brother because it looked cool. Verdict: it is cool. Our protagonist is a kickass little girl with two "sidekicks," a friend who wants to be a princess and a younger brother who wants to be a baker. All three children learn valuable lessons throughout the story but it doesn't take away from the fun and action of the tale. I should really read more children's books. Don't judge me.

Fractured by Sarah Fine 
4/5 stars
A sequel to one of my favorite YA books, Sanctum, which I expected to suffer from second-book-syndrome. It delivered on that expectation, sadly. There is still a lot of action and emotional angst (two things I really loved in the first installment) but it gets a little muddied with the troublesome romance between two characters - which began in the first book and is now in that shaky, uncertain stage. Still an incredibly enjoyable book, but wasn't as good as the first. Here's hoping that the next book will be fantastic!

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
4/5 stars
I'm starting to feel a sense of urgency with classics. I need to read more classics, but for the most part, I'm not quite sure what to read yet. This was an easy choice, as it belongs to a genre I'm attached to and is short. I liked this a lot, although I found myself skimming through some sections because Wells can be excessive with description... and I was reading this during the Christmas Booktube-A-Thon, so my patience was thin. The ending was so abrupt. Contemplating looking into some film adaptations of the book, since I haven't seen any.

Sabriel by Garth Nix
4/5 stars
I was inspired to read this because Edward from TurtleSympathy talks about it all the time. Loved the book, although I did feel significantly more invested in the story in the first half than in the second, which is why I gave it four stars rather than five. I will hopefully be reading the next two books in the trilogy next month. Apparently the second book is really cliffhangery, so I'll be marathoning those whenever I decide to pick up the second book. I think I'm beginning to see a trend in Nix's way of ending books, after having read two by him. Always left feeling a tad bit hopeless.

Amelie [2001] This has been recommended to me numerous times in the past. I finally got around to watching it one evening when I realized I could watch it for free on Amazon. Yay for being a Prime member! Adorable movie that left me in tears.

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug [2013] Saw this in the theater with my mom a few weeks after its release. We caught an extremely late showing (we got out of the theater at 12:30 am) which may have contributed to my complaints about its length. But seriously, it's nearly 3 hours. Loved it, but something about it feels very distant from the original story. Not so much in that the plot is different (which is an obvious change, but not-so-concerning) but that the tone/voice feels foreign. My interest in The Hobbit films seems much more shallow than my interest in the Lord of the Rings films. (Kili, why you so cute. Tauriel, let me bask in your greatness. Thranduil, you so sassy. Lol @ Thorin & Bilbo playing "good cop/bad cop" with Smaug. etc.)

Frozen [2013] Another movie I saw in the theater with my mom. We wanted to see Thor when we were stuck at the mall on a cold day, but there weren't any convenient showings. Frozen was an amiable option. I shed a slightly shameful amount of tears while watching, and loved the importance of the relationships between the two sisters - Anna and Elsa. Also related significantly to Elsa's struggles. There were some problematic parts throughout the film but ultimately I did enjoy it.

Thor: The Dark World [2013] Really fun action movie with lots of laughs. Had its flaws but I still really enjoyed it... especially the amount of Loki sass we got throughout. While I am a Tom Hiddleston fangirl, I'm never able to see him in Loki. Suppose that's a good thing.

What books/films did you enjoy this past month?
xx Paige
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  1. hi! awesome post! I'm hoping to pick up the Darkness Strange and Lovely series soon. The Throne of Glass novellas I'm waiting for the paperback bind up of them all to be released next year. Love Loki, love the 'Let it go' scene' from Frozen, and love the Hobbit. Loooooved the Hobbit. I read some awesome things this month too! My favorite is hard to pick, but I got out of a reading slump so that's a favorite for me haha :)
    You can see my Wrap Up on my blog

    1. Hiya! Thank you! I want to ask for the Throne of Glass novella bind-up for my birthday, but I think it comes out a day after my actual birthday. -_- Has a gorgeous cover though. I'll probably read the last two novellas when I get my hands on it.

      *jumping over to your blog now* ;)

    2. aw thanks! and timing *le sigh* I know I'm just loving those covers. Must pick up crown of midnight soon!

    3. You haven't read Crown of Midnight yet? GIRL, GET ON THAT. One of my favorite books. Ever.

  2. Ah, the monthly wrap -up. I am adding Giants Beware to my TBR as well as maybe most of the others. I haven't really tried these genres,,,I need to try more types of YA. I only just learned what dystopians were last year. I read 1984, Anthem, half of Brave New World, and Divergent. I need to watch more sweet that you went to the movies with your mom. I was getting all emotional because one of my friends went to the movies with his sister...Anyways back to Giants Beware...I'm still so amazed that you read this. Some of the most amazing books I've snagged from my now 11 year old sister then I give them back. I also like reading with my siblings and that has allowed me to read things I normally wouldn't. For classics I suggest the Phantom of The Opera, Wuthering Heights (a 4/5 for me because it was might like it), and Anthem (novella) although the author was a bit preachy about at the end egoism and that ruined it. I read a lot of classics. I also suggest Heidi or Cornelli, and a Nesbit book...