Ok, I saw, Melting Pages do this on her blog not that long ago, and thought it was such a good idea and that I would love it do it myself. So, near to the end of last year, I wrote a post listing the 20 books I wanted to prioritize and read in the new year. I want to reflect back on that list and see if I managed to read all 20 books. SPOILER: I did not!
If you would like to read the original list beforehand you can find it here >>>
If you would like to read my list for 2021, you can find it here >>>
I am going to categorise this post into 3 parts.
- Books I have read
- Books I haven’t read but still want to
- Books I haven’t read and no longer want to
Books I Have Read
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: I did not enjoy this book at all! I didn’t really have many strong opinions other than it just bored me. I didn’t care for the characters or the specific part of the world the book was set it. It was really underwhelming and disappointing
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: I LOVED this book so much. I was really nervous going into as I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did, the first book, but I ended up loving it and finishing it in such a small amount of time for a book that big. The plot was super intense and I was on the edge of my seat the entire way through it! As this comes out I will be starting the final book of this trilogy!
The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
Rating: 4 stars
Thoughts: No major thoughts for this book. It wasn’t one of my favourites but it was still a solid addition to the series.
Predator’s Gold by Phillip Reeve
Rating: 3 stars
Thoughts: This book was pretty hit and miss. The plot was good and the world was interesting but I just couldn’t connect to any of the new characters and I wasn’t a fan of the treatment of the female characters especially.
The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: I LOVED this book. I don’t think I have ever been disappointed in anything that Bancroft has put out. He is such a good writer. I loved the ensemble cast, further exploration of the tower and that ending!!! OMG!
The Toll by Neal Shusterman
Rating: 4 stars
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and was so sad to see the ending of the trilogy. While not my fave of the 3 books, I still loved loads of aspects of it just the ending went in a direction I wasn’t super fond of but that’s just personal taste. Neal Shusterman knows how to build a world let me tell you!
The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: Another great addition to this series which is slowly becoming my favourite. I loved exploring more about the magic system, learning more about the main prophecy of the series and following it unfold. There were a couple of scenes in here that slowed the pace down but Jordan always writes an amazing ending!
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Ratings: 5 stars
Thoughts: This came as such a great surprise to me. I had sort of written off YA fantasy. As most of the books last year had disappointed me or were quite repetitive. But I decided to give this one a go and just loved it. The atmosphere and tension created in this book was so good and I wasn’t expecting to be as obsessed about it as I was.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Ratings: 3 stars
Thoughts: This was one of those books that I thought was 5 stars after I read it and then after thinking on it decided once the hype of the ending died down it wasn’t as good as I initially thought. Too me, it started off with such potential but got really dragged out by the end so I lost focus. She does know how to create atmosphere really well!
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Rating: 3 stars
Thoughts: I definitely think I was not smart enough for this book. I kept on feeling that the author was alluding to some bigger message and I just didn’t get the book at all. I felt like I was truly missing something that was key to understand the point of the book. I prefer books that a more plot focused so this more character driven novel just didn’t capture my attention.
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: Another favourite here! I fell in love with this book. The characters were the biggest positive of this novel. They were so complex and detailed. I think this book was the perfect modern Shakespearian tragedy!
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: This was not enjoyable for me at all. I found it be quite sexist with nearly every female character over sexualised and then there were just sweeping generalisations and stereotypes of specific races/communities which left me feeling really uncomfortable.
Books I Haven’t Read but Still Want To!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Plot: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
I currently own this book. I hadn’t managed to grab a copy this year as I was so pre-occupied with other books and series. I saw a copy at a charity shop for 50p and grabbed it. I really enjoyed her book The Starless Sea so I am looking forward to reading it later next year.
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos
Plot: Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides. Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.
I don’t know if I will get to this book next year as I am pretty swamped with books I plan to read but this is definitely a series I want to read in the future!
Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell
Plot: English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory. But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England’s magical past and regained some of the powers of England’s magicians. He goes to London and raises a beautiful young woman from the dead. Soon he is lending his help to the government in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, creating ghostly fleets of rain-ships to confuse and alarm the French. All goes well until a rival magician appears. Jonathan Strange is handsome, charming, and talkative-the very opposite of Mr Norrell. Strange thinks nothing of enduring the rigors of campaigning with Wellington’s army and doing magic on battlefields. Astonished to find another practicing magician, Mr Norrell accepts Strange as a pupil. But it soon becomes clear that their ideas of what English magic ought to be are very different. For Mr Norrell, their power is something to be cautiously controlled, while Jonathan Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic. He becomes fascinated by the ancient, shadowy figure of the Raven King, a child taken by fairies who became king of both England and Faerie, and the most legendary magician of all. Eventually Strange’s heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens to destroy not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything that he holds dear.
I own this book. I bought it at the end of 2019 and had no idea if I was going to read it this year. Since it’s 1,000 pages I was worried it was going to put me into a slump but I have found a way to read it without getting bored halfway through. So I do plan on reading this starting Jan 1st!
The Child Thief by Brom
Plot: Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland. Fourteen-year-old Nick would have been murdered by the drug dealers preying on his family had Peter not saved him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive and you never grow old. Even though he is wary of Peter’s crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, New York City is no longer safe for him, and what more could he possibly lose? There is always more to lose. Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries—one where he must learn to fight or die among the “Devils,” Peter’s savage tribe of lost and stolen children. There, Peter’s dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised and hunted, Peter moves restlessly between the worlds of faerie and man. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to stop the “Flesh-eaters” and save the last, wild magic in this dying land.
I own this book. I just never got round to buying it after all these years of it being on my TBR but now I finally own it so I want to read. Especially, since its been on my TBR longer than any of the other books I own.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Plot: Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic, created to be the wife of a man who dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free. Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection.
I genuinely thought I was going to read it this year but I never got round to it. I currently own the book on my Kindle after seeing it on sale so I want to make sure it gets read next year!
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Plot: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Now, I knew putting that book on the list that I wasn’t going to get round to reading it. I am super interested in the premise of the book but I don’t own and with the amount of books piling up that I want to read I don’t think I will get round to it at all!
Books I Haven’t Read and No Want Longer To
Looking Glass by Christina Henry
So, I read another book by Christina Henry earlier this year, The Girl in Red, and I was disappointed by it. The year before I read another book of hers, The Mermaid, and I didn’t like that one as well. So, by the time I got around to thinking about reading Looking Glass I just didn’t think I was going to like it anymore. I had moved on as a reader.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
This is mainly due to the fact that I heard her first book is great but the series goes downhill after that. I heard that statement from a lot of people so I just don’t want to start something with the knowledge that I may not enjoy it. Especially, since I don’t own the books.