Hello everyone, and happy day 4 of Nanowrimo! As I write this on day 3, I’m currently getting wrecked by the flu and more than a whole day’s word count behind, in case you were wondering. (I still have a couple of hours in the day, but at this point I’m just hoping I can catch up this weekend.) And yeah, I’m feeling a little stressed about the prospect of trying to finish a novel by the time this month is over. I’ve only written 50,000+ words on one project about four previous times in my life. Two of those times were in high school, and two of them were fanfiction. And only one of those projects was actually finished when I was done with it. So it’s just a little bit daunting!
(In case you’re wondering how this is true but also I’m a “writer,” or whatever: I did poetry through most of my degrees. Less pages, less words. But lots of editing. If you want to have an amazing eye for detail, edit poetry on the regular for eight years.)
Anyway, to take a break from all of that, I thought I’d do a TBR (to be read) for the first time—but for December, of course. Because it’s nice to think about what I’m looking forward to after all of this is finally over (and I can take the keyboard off my iPad and use it for reading again instead of having it look like a netbook circa 2008). So here’s a list of the books I’ve already picked up for my last reading month of the year, and why I’m into reading them!
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I’m making an effort to try to read the YA books that will be made into films—that and the ridiculous amount of hype surrounding this book made me choose it as a read. I know basically nothing about it other than that it is one of those sad romances and it gets compared to The Fault in Our Stars a lot. Sad/tragic romance is a trend in YA right now, so I was hesitant about picking this up at first. In theory, I have no problem with the theme—I just worry that some books are riding trends as opposed to just being great in their own right. Hopefully, this book can stand on its own.
More Than This by Patrick Ness
With all the hype around A Monster Calls becoming a film, I didn’t realize Patrick Ness had more recent novels until LifeWithEmilyFox (a BookTuber I discovered through her makeup channel, actually) was talking about this one in a TBR. I decided to pick it up since the premise sounded mysterious and it was reviewing well. (Unsurprisingly, as a book reviewer, I also like to read book reviews!) Also, okay, it’s a pretty good cover design. I won’t deny that this influences me a bit. (What’s inside a book is what counts, of course. But I feel like people underestimate how big a deal a cover can be when someone’s looking for a new book to read. When the cover is eye-catching, people are so much more likely to read the blurb and get interested! Or maybe I’m biased; I spent some time working in the same office as this fab designer.)
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
I bought this basically because fake dating. As you may know, I love fanfiction (is it obvious yet?), so obviously I also love a lot of the corny romance tropes that go hand-in-hand with fanfic. Fake dating is one of my favourites. So when I saw a recent YA book that had good reviews and someone mentioned that it included fake dating, it shot straight to the top of my wishlist. I want to read this and it is November AGH.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
It is possibly time to admit that there’s a lot of cover porn in this whole post and that certain other purchases may have had this in mind. But otherwise—lately I’ve been browsing books that are recommended to me on Goodreads, and if they have an average review of 4 stars and generally a) sound interesting from the premise, b) review well in various places, then I make a note to pick them up. This is no guarantee that I’ll think they’re great—I still don’t get why so few people are disturbed by the dubious consent in The Wrath & The Dawn, wtf—but I think it’s worth knowing what’s popular and loved so that I can…feel sad when I can’t board the hype train, I guess. But who knows. It’s always brilliant when I find an exception, so here’s hoping.
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, edited by Hope Nicholson
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to be excited about this book (and plenty of writers/artists I’m excited about), but to be totally real with you, I bought it because I’ve been a fan of Katie West for time immemorial, and she previewed her story from this collection on her Patreon, and I felt it so hard. (Be warned: other than lovely, vulnerable writing she does lovely, vulnerable photography that’s usually NSFW.) So now I own this book and probably I should read the rest of it, yeah? Anyway, Katie West is really freaking cool so you should check her out.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
So I’ll own the fact that I started a book blog in basically a vacuum of not knowing what other book blogs are generally like. I did start looking for people to follow on YouTube (BookTube), and one of the people I followed was the PeruseProject. I don’t always agree with Regan on every book, but she’s personable and we seem to have some similar favourites, so I’m willing to check out stuff she really likes. When I saw this book that she’d mentioned reviewed well elsewhere and was $6.20 on the Book Depository, it was time to give it a spin. (I also love this indigo colour on the cover. I LIKE PRETTY BOOKS, OKAY.)
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
I’ve been meaning to pick this one up for a while, since I remember some rave reviews from when it came out, but I sort of forgot about it because I tend not to pick up books in hardcover. (I do not have my shit together enough yet to figure out how to receive ARCs and I’m not loaded enough to always buy new hardcovers, but I’ll work on it.) Anyway, recently I read a really great article about writing the author had written and was extra-motivated to see if it was out in paperback.
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
I had completely forgotten that Mercedes Lackey wrote a YA book until I was in an Indigo and saw it on the shelf. I want to give her another shot and YA is pretty new for her, so far as I know, so I was interested enough to pick it up. I know nothing about it, but she generally writes fantasy and strong female heroines and there’s a dragon on the front, so yay?
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Another I-found-it-in-the-Goodreads-book-recs book; in this case, the description of a princess running away from her arranged marriage intrigued me, and this book reviewed really well, so I thought I’d give it a try! Yeah, so I read some books lately knowing very little and for shallow reasons—when you’re running through over 100 in a year, researching them as well becomes a job of work!
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
As promised, I’m giving Sarah J. Maas another shot. I’m not ready to try to continue with her Throne of Glass series, but this is a fairy tale retelling (which is totally oversaturating the market right now, but IDGAF, I like them) and it reviews really well, so I want to check it out!
I also really want to pick up My True Love Gave to Me (a holiday short story compilation) and More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera, since I tuned in to the Nanowrimo webinar he was interviewed in and he seemed like a cool guy. (It was also already on my list.) And I’ll probably try to re-read the Kushiel’s Dart trilogy, because that’s a thing I tend to do around the holidays. (The Midwinter Masque descriptions in the first book just fill me with holiday wonder.) But we’ll see what I accomplish! I’ll probably be stoked to be reading again instead of writing in every spare moment, but also holidays are full of things to do.
So that’s what I have to look forward to in December—and you can look forward to the reviews, if that’s something you’re into! (I’m guessing it might be if you stuck with me through this post.) Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you next week for more Top Ten Tuesday!