First Reading Wrap Up of 2019

GUYS!! I finished nine books this month! I swapped an anthology I planned for another graphic novel, but I can’t even believe I actually got everything read. I’m so excited! πŸ˜€

1: Wild Embers
Author: Nikita Gill
Genre: Poetry
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed: Yes
This just wasn’t my kind of poetry. It was mostly poems about space, feminism, and healing from trauma, and I could have honestly done without the space and feminism poems. The funny thing is, I’m a closeted feminist, so I didn’t disagree with her, I was just put off by the way she was talking about it. And anytime someone is messing with fairytales and mythology, I’m going to judge them super hard. But the biggest problem I had was that most of it was written like “to the reader.” It was the equivalent of giving me unsolicited advice that didn’t even apply to me in the first place, so like, no thank you. But some people like that, so you know…subjective.

2: Music Boxes
Author: Tonja Drecker
Genre: Middle Grade/Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: Yes
I got to beta read this almost a year ago now, and I couldn’t wait to read it again and revisit the creepy ballet school. This is about a girl who moves to NYC because her sister is a violin prodigy. This leaves the MC taking ballet lessons at the underwhelming community center. When she’s offered the chance to study at an amazing school under the talented and super sketch Madame Destinee, she jumps at the opportunity and things get dangerous from there. This was lots of fun, and I adored the characters! I took dance lessons when I was younger and like to pretend I can still do a pirouette, and I have no one to tell me otherwise. Lol! So, this was extra fun for me, plus there are hints of fairy tale in this, and we all know I love that.

3: Giant Days, Vol. 8
Author: John Allison, Illustrated by Max Sarin
Genre: Contemporary/Graphic Novel
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: No
I’ve been having a lot of fun with this series! It’s about a group of college friends in Britain, living their lives, making mistakes, and finding themselves. I didn’t love this issue quite as much as previous ones, but I can’t wait for the next installment.

4: Elevation
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Contemporary/Novella
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: No
Contrary to expectations, this was not horror, despite being listed as such. That said, this was very interesting. It’s about this guy who starts losing weight really rapidly, but his body doesn’t change. It was a little unsettling, but it was clear about halfway through that it wasn’t going to get any creepier than that. My only real complaint is the fact that the MC’s mysterious affliction isn’t really explained. Like the story ended, and I really liked it, but like, what the heck was going on?! It was a little unsatisfying that I didn’t get to find out what was causing him to get lighter at an alarming rate like that, but I read this almost nonstop from start to finish.

5: Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror/Supernatural
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: No
Finally read this book!! In case you don’t know, it’s about this girl with telekinesis who kills a mess of people on Prom Night. This book has no chapter titles. It’s scenes from multiple point of views broken up with articles and book excerpts. Really fascinating. We get a deep dive on how Carrie’s powers work and why, and they grow in a quite believable way. Carrie’s mother is a hot mess. The only thing I would have liked to see more of is her interacting, or rather not interacting, with people at school. But it was pretty quick reading, and I loved the description of the telekinesis (flex). I had no idea the final body count was going to be so high! It’s insane.

6: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Middle Grade/Horror/Paranormal
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: No
Also finally read this! I’ve been wanting to for a couple of years, hence why I’m experimenting with TBRs. It’s about this middle-school aged girl, and one day she goes through an odd door in her new house that leads to a world that’s almost identical to her own, except everyone has buttons for eyes. There’s an extra character in the movie, who I really like, but I surprisingly didn’t miss him in the book. It’s fascinating to me how the entire story can follow this girl and a random cat and still be so interesting. I could nitpick on the writing. It was…I don’t know…a little jerky sometimes, but obviously it didn’t slow me down much, I finished it pretty quickly and really liked it. It was super creepy and lots of fun.

7: Twilight: The Graphic Novel – Volume One
Author: Stephenie Meyer, Art & Adaptation by Young Kim
Genre: Graphic Novel/Romance/Paranormal
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: No
Overall thoughts below, but in case you don’t know what it’s about, it’s about this girl who moves to rainy, gloomy Washington, where she meets this sparkly vampire guy who struggles not to drink her blood on the daily.

8: Twilight: The Graphic Novel – Volume Two
Author: Stephenie Meyer, Art & Adaptation by Young Kim
Genre: Graphic Novel/Romance/Paranormal
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: No
Yep, your eyes are not deceiving you, I gave both of these books five stars. You can judge me. ^_^ I don’t know if it’s my love of graphic novels, or if I just went in with low expectations, but I really liked these, and it was an interesting comparison to the movie. Of course, now I’m interested to see how this is different from the novel. I could nitpick over these, sure, and I did find some of the dialogue a little silly, but it didn’t bother me. Those of you who know the drama I’ve had with this in the past are probably shocked, but you know, I saw these and couldn’t help myself. If you’re curious about the drama and didn’t see the original post I wrote about it, I’ll link it here.

9: The Architect of Elysia (The Deian Chronicles 0.5)
Author: Vivien Reis
Genre: Fantasy/Novella
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: Yes
This is a prequel novella about this guy who finds himself thrown into a war between a hidden world and some people who had been cast out of the hidden world, it sounded like. I felt a tad lost a couple of times and not as much was explained as I would like, but it was a lot of fun, I read most of it aloud in my mostly atrocious Irish accent. There was a lot of action, it moved quickly, and I thought it was really interesting.


In case you’re wondering, I have 9 books on the TBR for this month, as well, so it’s pretty heavy again. Two of them are picture books: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Then I have 2 poetry books: Gmorning, Gnight by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell. An audiobook: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (and OMG this narrator is on fire!) And 4 YA novels: Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace, The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, Unlocked by Margo Kelly, and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I’m going to try and read everything by Stephenie Meyer except the Twilight Reimagined book. You can ask why, if you’re curious. πŸ™‚

All righty. Lol! Happy Reading! ^_^

11 Responses to First Reading Wrap Up of 2019

  1. You were a busy, reading beaver! Thanks so much for your kind words on Music Boxes, but then, you were an awesome beta πŸ™‚ I might have to pick up one of those graphic novels of Twilight out of pure curiosity. And yeah, Coraline is SO creepy. Can’t wait to see your next round of reviews!

    • Curiosity! ^_^ It’s an easy read. πŸ™‚ I love Music Boxes! I’m so excited about all the school visits and events.

  2. January was an awesome reading month! I managed to get a lot read too. Love seeing the Stephen King and Gaiman books here. I read the ARC for Music Boxes as well and loved it.

  3. I love these quick book reviews Krystal! I’ve been over Twilight for a good decade now, but I’ve gotta admit…you have me tempted to pick up the graphic novels. They look so moody and gorgeous. Do you buy hard copies of the books on your reading list, or are you reading them digitally?

    • Those books ARE gorgeous! They used this really nice glossy stock, and there are pops of color throughout the book. It’s spoiling me from my other graphic novels. Lol! I read both, but I’m mostly on physical books right now because they’re actively staring at me.

  4. I love your reviews! I want to reread Carrie now and finally give Coraline a read – it’s been on my TBR list for a long, long while. I also love the variety of your book lists. I read all over the shelves, too. I am looking forward to your reviews next month!

Hi! ^_^