December Book Roundup.

2015

Well guys, 2015 has come to a close, and with it my reading challenge for the year! I hope you’ve all had a great year, full of books, laughter, and love.

Now, let’s get to my last roundup post of the year!

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Read:

Guarding Sophie – Julie Brannagh. Easy. ★★★★☆

An e-book novella.

The lastest addition to the ‘Love and Football‘ series sees Seattle Sharks wide reciever Kyle Larson moving to Noel, and reuniting with old school crush, Sophie Hayes. It was a pretty short and sweet story, with depth and character development. I really liked it, and it really continued the series well.

“Kyle longed for privacy like other people wanted drugs or alcohol. He hadn’t always been so anti-social. The past seven years of dealing with scores of family members, ‘friends’ and others who thought he was their personal ATM machine since he was drafted into the NFL had finally taken its toll.”

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Seth Grahame-Smith. Easy. ★★★☆☆

A hilarious read.

Oh. My. Goodness. What did I just read?

This book was one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. Man, the characters, the premise, the language. If you’re an Austen purest (/obsessive) then I really don’t think you’ll like it at all. But if you like the story of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and are open to re-imaginings of it, then you’ll love this. While the writing itself isn’t the best, the whole zombie apocalypse thing is done really well.

What I love best is how the Bennet sisters are taught by their father how to fight and survive; how each of the sisters has different specialities in that regard, and different approaches to life with zombies. I still loved Lizzie, who is even more whip smart and sarcastic than in the original. Obviously, some things are modernised for easy reading, such as the language, but I think it works.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

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Hawkeye: Vol 1 – Matt Fraction, et al. Easy. ★★★★★

A graphic novel.

I would just like to set the story straight. Hawkeye is my spirit animal. And I love him.

This compilation includes Hawkeye #1 to #11, and the bonus Young Avengers Presents #6. The stories were awesome, and I just loved it so so much. The art and the witty dialogue, and the dog. Oh Hawkeye’s dog. There’s a chapter that’s completely from the dog’s point of view, and it’s done so well.

Also I love how the action of Hawkeye’s life outside of the Avengers is captured so beautifully in images, without diluting the pain and the craziness that comes with it all. It’s also a really great way of seeing the most human Avenger during his day-to-day life. He’s awesome. Live with it.

“Okay, this looks bad.”

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Reluctantly Charmed – Ellie O’Neill. Easy. ★★★★☆

A book with fairies.

I picked this book up while shopping in Target, read the back, shrugged to myself and thought, ‘Why not? Sound interesting’. And boy, I was not disappointed. I actually started reading it in the car on the way home, kept reading it all afternoon, and finished it later that night.

Basically, I got hooked. And with good reason.

The entire premise was not what I was expecting, and it was just so realistic while keeping the feeling of mysticism and wonder. I loved Kate McDaid as a main character. She felt so real and relatable. And her character development throughout the book is written so well that she really comes into herself.

I also really loved being immersed in Irish culture and folklore. Most books I read are either set in the USA, or England. Or the characters are American or English in another part of the world. So it was really cool to see more of a country I love, told by a real Irish woman, with details of Dublin and the vernacular and the stories that were passed down through generations.

“What? Have I died and nobody told me?”

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Hogfather – Terry Pratchett. Medium. ★★★★☆

A festive story (sort of).

This month’s read for ‘The Book Corner‘ was chosen for it’s festive spirit! The 20th book in the Discworld series, Hogfather follows a number of Discworld residents, including Death and his niece, Susan, in their quest to find the Hogfather before he ceases to exist forever.

The book was so funny and quirky. I loved how completely original and unpredictable it was. I’m definitely considering reading some more Discworld novels; perhaps starting with the other Death novels.

“Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”

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The Mark of Athena – Rick Riordan. Easy. ★★★★★

A fusion of sorts.

A great addition to the ‘Heroes of Olympus‘ series! I love the cast of characters, particularly now that they’re all together on the Argo II. Their chemistry is just wonderful, even when they don’t all get along. Their relationships grow and fluctuate as the adventure continues. And again the mythology is dealt with superbly.

“’Hercules, huh?’ Percy frowned. ‘That guy was like the Starbucks of Ancient Greece. Everywhere you turn–there he is.’”

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The House of Hades – Rick Riordan. Easy. ★★★★★

One hell of a ride.

Tartarus sounds horrible. All I’m saying.

“Wow. When he started looking back on the war with Kronos as the good old days–that was sad.”

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The Blood of Olympus – Rick Riordan. Easy. ★★★★★

New favourite OTP.

The conclusion to the ‘Heroes of Olympus‘ series was epic and mostly satisfying. I don’t want to go into too many details, but it was incredible. The only thing I didn’t like was how it just ended without more details on Leo, or on the future. I really want to know what happens afterwards to all the characters. But that doesn’t have a lot to do with the actual story. Maybe those things get hinted at in the next series. I hope so.

“‘Greeks!’ Percy yelled. ‘Let’s, um, fight stuff!’ They yelled like banshees and charged. Jason grinned. He loved the Greeks. They had no organization whatsoever, but they made up for it with enthusiasm.”

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Currently Reading:

The Red Pyramid – Rick Riordan.

I bought this a couple days ago when book shopping in Sydney, because I really wanted to continue on reading Riordan’s books. I’m really enjoying the story so far, and I love how Riordan has moved on to Egyptian mythology. The style of writing is already visibly unique to this series and these characters. I can’t wait to see what happens!

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So my final tally for 2015 is 81! I’m so happy with what I’ve accomplished and can’t wait to get reading in the new year!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

– Gabi

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