Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2017 and January 2018

December 2017 and January 2018It’s hard to believe another year has come and nearly gone. We had some big changes around here– most notably, the amazing addition of Gabrielle as reviewer and contributor. She’s been amazing. If you haven’t stopped by her own blog, you should check it out.

We read and reviewed some great books this year. Gabrielle posted a list of some of our top favorites here, which you won’t want to miss, if you haven’t already browsed through it. If you’re still looking for books to spend a Christmas Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card on and need some suggestions on what books to fill the rest of your holiday break with, I recommend taking a look through our list!

You probably also noticed yesterday’s Top Ten list featuring some of our most anticipated reads coming out this year. Check them out if you haven’t already, and see if any of your favorite authors are on the list!

What We Read in December 2017 and January 2018

 

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Gabrielle calls retelling of Swan Lake perfect for fans of high fantasy in the vein of Tolkein and gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Gabrielle says: ” This book is chock-full of great characters, and will especially entice those who enjoyed The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill.”

Recipe for Hate by Warren Kinsella

Recipe for Hate by Warren Kinsella

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Boys at the center of the local punk scene are murdered, and evidence suggests a hate crime. The victim’s band members investigate to stop the killers before they strike again. The attitude and descriptions in this book totally reminded me of the movie SLC Punk.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Gabrielle highly recommends this blend of magical realism, alternate reality, and steampunk.

Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

A whole summer camp of the smartest kids compete for a college scholarship in this story inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest. Fans of Anderson’s debut will love the appearances of characters from The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You.

The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle

The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

A girl obsessed with Emily Dickinson and diagnosed with epilepsy goes to public school for the first time. Of course, the hottest boy notices her and seems genuine. Loved this gentle romance and representation of a character with epilepsy.

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Gabrielle says: “The plot was engrossing. I was continually mystified as it progressed, and was only able to say ‘Aha! So that’s explains it,’ at the very end.”

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

At its heart, Little & Lion is about a brother and sister looking to reconnect after his diagnosis with bipolar disorder. It’s also about her journey to accept him and herself as they are. Lots of heart, and a very diverse cast of characters.

History's Mysteries by Kitson Jazynka

History’s Mysteries by Kitson Jazynka

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Ever wondered why the Easter Island heads were erected? Explore this and lots of other unsolved mysteries with pictures and notes on new research. A pretty quick, fun read.

Life Just Got Real by Sadie Robertson with Cindy Coloma

Life Just Got Real by Sadie Robertson with Cindy Coloma

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Readers looking for a clean reality show novel will want to put this one on their lists. If you liked Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos or liked the concept but wanted a clean alternative, Life Just Got Real should be on your reading list.

 

A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue by J. A. Myhre

A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue by J. A. Myhre

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

A young girl leaves her family and her African valley home to go to a boarding school. When rebels attack the school and take some of the girls hostage, Kiisa and her companions track the rebels to rescue them.

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

One of my childhood favorites, and pretty much the standard by which I judge all reimagined fairytales. The writing style is a little distant, but the rich characters make it work. If you’re a fan of fairytales retold, check out this book, along with Spindle’s End, McKinley’s reimagining of Sleeping Beauty.

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Twin sisters face the results of a genetic test to determine if they’ll have Huntington’s disease. One relies on her faith to get her through, the other seeks comfort in a forbidden relationship. Great characters, lots of emotion.

Ember Falls by S. D. Smith

Ember Falls (Green Ember #2) by S. D. Smith

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

I think my problem with this book is that I wanted it to be Watership Down, and it isn’t at all the same kind of book. I struggled with the descriptions (or lack of them) but it might be a good pick for fans of The Ruby Moon by Trish Priebe and Jerry Jenkins.

In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen Lawhead

In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen Lawhead

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

An old favorite. This might be the first high fantasy novel I ever read as a teenager. It’s a bit dated– mostly in the way it’s written– but I still found myself enjoying the way the characters form an unexpected team to stop an evil necromancer.

The Phantom of the Fortress by Aaron M. Zook, Jr.

The Phantom of the Fortress by Aaron M. Zook, Jr.

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Kids assist police to solve a murder mystery in Austria. This one wasn’t my cup of tea, but younger readers (maybe 4th or 5th grade?) might enjoy it.

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

A girl returns to her small Alaskan hometown after her best friend’s death, and finds the town mired in secrets and its people treating her like an outsider. Fast-paced, highly emotional.

Storm (Stone Braide Chronicles #3) by Bonnie Calhoun

Storm (Stone Braide Chronicles #3) by Bonnie Calhoun

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

The third book in Bonnie Calhoun’s broad-scale series is about a girl racing the clock to solve the mystery of a gift she possesses before it kills her.

Blue Moon Rising by Simon R. Green

Blue Moon Rising by Simon R. Green

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

This is one of those stories I’ve read almost a dozen times. The writing is not perfect, but the dialogue makes me laugh and the characters make me want to cheer for every victory. If you like fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you need to check this one out.

What’s on your reading list for the new year?

Do you have a list of books you want to read this year? Are you setting a goal to read a certain number of books? Leave a comment and let us know what you most want to read next or what your reading goals are for this year.
We’ve already started our To Be Read list for next year! See what Gabrielle and I plan to review by visiting our 2018 Reading List. Have a recommendation for a book we don’t have on our list? Leave a comment! We are always looking for great books to add to our list.

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.
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