December 2022 Wrap Up

What a year 2022 was! All of my wrap up posts are now officially up so if you want to see my year as a whole, check it out! December was an alright month reading-wise. I did move into my very first home so I was very pre-occupied with other things!

  • I read 10 books this month
  • Genre: 6 fantasy and 4 mysteries
  • Gender of authors: 4 women, 4 men and 1 various
  • Race of authors: 5 white authors, 3 asian authors and 1 various
  • Age range: 6 adult, 3 YA and 1 children’s
  • Format: 5 paperback, 3 hardback and 2 ebook

Portrait of a Murderer – Anne Meredith (DNF)

This was such a shame as I bought this book back in Dec 2021 and waited a whole year to read it! To be honest, I don’t have any criticism of the book itself, it just took a direction I didn’t expect nor did I care for. While I expect it to be a traditional murder mystery it was more of a character study of the murderer itself. Which for me, it was not what I was looking for.

Babel – R.F. Kuang (DNF)

This one actually broke my heart. I had been following the process of this book and its publication from the minute Kuang announced it. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it. I have a more detailed account of my reasons for DNFing on my wrap up posts.

The Christmas Murder Game – Alexandra Benedict (2.5 stars)

This book was about a woman who goes back to her childhood home to play the “titular” game and learn about her mothers mysterious death. This book was fine. It filled the Christmas themed gap I had which was great and I really enjoyed the main character but the story was predictable.

Marple – Various Authors (3.5 stars)

This was a really enjoyable short story collection all involving the incredible amateur detective Miss Marple created by Agatha Christie. Here are my individual ratings. My favourite story was A Deadly Wedding Day by Dreda Say Mitchell.

  • Evil in Small Places – 3
  • The Second Murder at the Vicarage – 2.5
  • Miss Marple Takes Manhattan – 3.5
  • The Unravelling – 4
  • Miss Marple’s Christmas – 4
  • The Open Mind – 4
  • The Jade Empress – 5
  • A Deadly Wedding Day – 5
  • Murder at the Villa Rosa – 2
  • The Murdering Sort – 3
  • The Mystery of the Acid Soil – 4
  • The Disappearance – 3.5

Blue Exorcist Vol. 1 – Kazue Kato (3.5 stars)

This story follows Run who finds out that his dad is Satan himself and he goes on a mission to become a Exorcist and defeat his father. I watched the anime years and years ago and was always disappointed that I never watched the second season but now I can just read the entire series!!! I felt this was a solid first volume setting up the characters and all the important plot points.

Kai and the Monkey King – Joe Todd-Stanton (4 stars)

This was a great story with beautiful art design, plot and characters. I want to own everything Joe Todd-Stanton creates!

Murder at the Theatre Royale – Ada Moncrieff (4 stars)

This is a Christmas historical murder mystery set at a theatre. I requested this on Netgalley on a whim as I really wanted to read some Christmas themed mysteries and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. The writing was really easy-reading, the main character was really engaging and the mystery worked so well for me. I ended up finishing this on a bus journey home and nearly missed my stop as I was so engrossed by it.

The Lost Metal – Brandon Sanderson (4 stars)

The final book in the Wax and Wayne quartet. This was also my first proper foray into understanding the Cosmere etc. I enjoyed this story, I felt everything was wrapped up nicely and I enjoyed learning about the Cosmere. That being said it did not pack a punch the way The Hero of Ages did and I knew how things would go for a lot of the characters we meet. So while I enjoyed it, it was not my favourite in the series.

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Vol. 3&4 – Kanehito Yamada (4.5/4 stars)

What a perfect way to end the year. Volume 3 was my favourite so far. I love the characters, I love the world, I love exploring Frieren’s backstory. I need to read every single one of these volumes.

My 2023 Reading Plan!!

And we must officially say our final goodbye to 2022! Onwards and upwards to 2023! A very different year 2023 will be. Last year was more about picking what I wanted when I wanted but now I have a nearly 200-book physical TBR and it’s time to start whittling it down. This year will be focused more on tackling the number of books that I own!

My 2022 Wrap Up!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I cannot believe AGAIN, we enter a new year and reflect on the past one! 2022 was by far the best reading year of my life. I am not sure I will be able to match it in 2023. This is my 5th time doing a reading wrap up and this is by far my favourite post to write! For this wrap up, I will be using stats taken from both the Goodreads Wrap Up and some reading spreadsheets I have collated from Ali from Hardback Hoarder.

October 2022 Wrap Up

This was probably my best reading month to date! Super happy with myself but also super happy with the books I read.

  • I read 15 books this month
  • Genre: 6 fantasy, 4 mystery, 2 sci-fi, 1 romance, 1 thriller and 1 non-fiction.
  • Gender of authors: 8 women, 4 men and 1 duo
  • Race of authors: 6 white authors, 3 black authors, 2 Latinx author, 1 Middle Eastern author and 1 asian author.
  • Age range: 9 adult, 3 middle grade, 2 YA and 1 new adult
  • Format: 8 paperback, 5 ebook, 1 hardback and 1 audiobook

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau – Silvia Moreno-Garcia (DNF)

A re-telling of the Island of Doctor Moreau. This was super disappointing as I have loved all the other work that Moreno-Garcia has written. I was really hoping to love this but I got about 25% of the way through and I was just bored with no connection to the characters whatsoever!

Wivenhoe – Samuel Fisher (3 stars)

Following a 24hr period after a murder is committed. I will be completely honest. I was not expecting to enjoy this book. At all. It didn’t seem like it was something I would go for but oh my goodness was it good. It was intense but so raw. A true character study which I normally shy away from. I literally read this in an hour.

A Dead Djinn in Cairo – P. Djèlí Clark (3 stars)

A mystery based in an alternate Cairo where Djinn and Human live side by side. Based on what everyone said about this short story I was expecting to enjoy it more than I did. I loved the characters and the world but the plot was a bit too rushed and I felt the format was too small too tackle something so monumental.

The Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name – Reece Carter (3 stars)

An adventure about a ghost who goes to search for her lost name and memories. This was super fun mystery. It didn’t leave a super long lasting impression on me but I did have a fun time reading it.

The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games – Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (4 stars)

An incredibly information look at how race is portrayed in some of the most popular YA mediums. My favourite chapter was that on Rue in the Hunger Games. This was one of my first foray’s into literary criticism and looking at race and identity in literature. As a bookseller, this is a topic I want to learn more of for when I approach recommendations and how I think when I am reading.

The Twig Man – Sana Rasoul (4 stars)

A story about a boy who tries to find his sister after she went missing a year ago. I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Rasoul manages to pack in intensity, horror elements and the power of sibling love into a small package. I also adored Ari.

The Angel of Khan el-Khalili – P. Djèlí Clark (4 stars)

A story about a young girl who tries to save her dying sister. This was, in my opinion, the better of the two Dead Djinn Universe short stories mainly because I preferred the storyline more.

The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 1 – Nagabe (4 stars)

This follows a human and a monster who live together in a little cottage. This was perfect for halloween, spooky with loads of mystery. I felt it set up a lot of good points and established our two main characters very well. I am looking forward to the sequel.

Beautiful Darkness – Kersacoet (4 stars)

If you’re looking for a more creepier graphic novel for Halloween. This story follows a group of fairies who try to live amongst nature but it doesn’t go super well. This book is deceiving. On the outside the art is beautiful and you thinks its going to be a cute story until you slowly go through the pages and see the horror for what it is. I loved the juxtaposition of the story to the art and really enjoyed this graphic novel.

Belladonna – Adalyn Grace (4 stars)

This story follows 19 year old Signs who tries to solve the murder of her family member. I really enjoyed this story. For those who see it as promoted as YA it is more adult. I would say it’s new adult as there are some more mature themes in here that might not be appropriate for certain YA audiences. This was engaging, mysterious and beautifully gothic. I loved Signa’s dynamic with Death and the mystery itself was fun to solve. I personally didn’t guess the ending at all which I normally do.

The Lost Storyteller – Donna Barba Higuera (4 stars)

This was an amazing story filled with beautiful folklore tales, a strong female protagonist and a plot that had me on the edge of my seat. I loved the blend of Spanish and English in this story.

Thieves – Lucie Bryon (4.5 stars)

A super fun and beautifully illustrated graphic novel about romance and being true to oneself. I had a great time reading this, I loved the art-style, the characters and the plot.

House of Hunger – Alexis Henderson (4.5 stars)

I probably enjoyed this book more than her first one, The Year of the Witching. This follows a young woman who becomes a blood maid for a mysterious Countess but soon starts to unravel the mystery of the castle and the Countess herself. Beautifully gothic atmosphere, super intense, and while I sort of gathered how the story was going to play out, I just couldn’t draw my eyes away from the story. Lisavet was an amazing and alluring character that scared me but I was so intrigued by her and her backstory. That ending had me on the edge of my seat.

The ABC Murders – Agatha Christie (5 stars)

Now the last book of Miss Christie’s that I read ended up being a 1 star and was one of the worst books I have read this year and beyond. I did not enjoy it whatsoever so I was super nervous in reading this book. I was worried that my love for Christie was finally over. But then she wrote this masterpiece. One my biggest criticisms of Christie’s work is while I enjoy her characterisation of her staple characters, like Poirot and Hastings, I never really care for many of her side characters. But with this book, not only did she write a stellar plot, she also wrote some beautifully written, nuanced side characters that really brought the whole novel together in a way that her previous book didn’t.

A Master of Djinn – P. Djèlí Clark (5 stars)

Another great murder mystery novel but this time with a fantasy steampunk twist. This book is up there with the likes of Sanderson for me. The world building was immaculate, I loved the championing of female characters and also the diversity in the women and the plot was super fun to solve.