December & January Wrap-up

Hey guys! I am back! I am hoping to stay back. I have a lot of posts to catch up on. I took a much needed break in January. It just wasn’t my month and needed some time off. I honestly can’t believe we are already in February. Time flies when you can’t really do much. Anyway, I decided I would combine December and January’s wrap-up. I haven’t read too much so I figured I could just combine the two. I feel like I read a couple of good books. I haven’t found anything I really loved. I do hope that changes this month. I’m in need of a good thriller. I haven’t read one of those in a while. Thankfully I have some on my February TBR. I will be sharing that soon. Anyway, let’s dive in to my wrap-up!


Horrid By Katrina Leno

Genre: Horror, Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 336 pages
Publication Date: September 15th 2020
Publisher: Brown Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid? 

My Thoughts: Wow I hate to say this but I am blanking so hard on this book. I remember details here and there. I do know I didn’t love it as much as everyone else. I did just look at my reading time line of this book and I started in November and finished in December. So this did take me some time to read. I think part of this had to do with what the story was about. I have talked about this a lot but whenever something bad happens to a Dad in a book, I get emotional. My Dad means so much to me so that always messes me up. Man I am bummed because I really wish I remembered more about this book. I do have to say the cover is absolutely beautiful though. Unfortunately this one didn’t do it for me like it did for so many other people.

Archenemis By Marissa Meyer

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Fiction, Adventure
Pages: 474 pages
Publication Date: November 6th 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Time is running out. Together, they can save the world. But are they each other’s worst nightmare?

Nova’s double life is about to get a lot more complicated:

As Insomnia, she is a full-fledged member of the Renegades, a syndicate of powerful and beloved superheroes. She works with Adrian’s patrol unit to protect the weak and maintain order in Gatlon City.

As Nightmare, she is an Anarchist—a group of villains who are determined to destroy the Renegades. Nova wants vengeance against the so-called heroes who once failed her when she needed them the most.

But as Nova, her feelings for Adrian are deepening, despite the fact that he is the son of her sworn enemies and, unbeknownst to Nova, he has some dangerous secrets of his own.

In this second installment of the Renegades trilogy, Nova, Adrian, and the rest of their crew—Ruby, Oscar, and Danna—are faced with escalating crime in Gatlon City, while covert weapons and conflicting missions have Nova and Adrian questioning not only their beliefs about justice but also the feelings they have for each other.

The line between good and evil has been blurred, but what’s clear to them both is that too much power could mean the end of their City—and the world—as they know it.

My Thoughts: Man I really ended up enjoying this. I enjoyed it a lot more than the first one. I don’t want to say too much because this is the second book in the Renegades series. I was entertained the whole way through this book. I love that I didn’t know what to except. I kept wondering what Nova was going to do. I made my guesses but would always second guess them because anything was game. If you’re into superheroes, I would highly recommend you check out this series.

The Toll By Neal Shusterman

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, LGBT
Pages: 625 pages
Publication Date: November 5th 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Plot: It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

My Thoughts: That moment when you’ve been looking forward to the conclusion of one of your favorite series and then it just completely lets you down. I was so excited for this. I remember reading Thunderhead and then being so upset that I had no idea when The Toll was going to be coming out. I did end up picking it up when it finally came out. However I just wasn’t ready for the series to be over. I finally picked it up and was disappointed. I really didn’t like how the characters we grew to know and love throughout the first two books were barely in this one. We get introduced to new people and I just didn’t care for them. I didn’t want to read about these people. I wanted more of Rowan and Citra. Since this is the case, I honestly don’t really remember majority of what happened. I felt myself feeling bored and not focused on the story. I just kept going anyway because I wanted to be done with it.


You Should See Me in a Crown By Leah Johnson

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 336 pages
Publication Date: June 2nd 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Press
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

My Thoughts: After the way December ended with reading and just life in general, I needed a fluffy contemporary read. This ended up being just what I needed. It was so fun seeing Liz’s journey from being put in the running for prom queen until the end. There were just so many fun moments. Sure there were some bumps in the road but I loved seeing how she overcame them. Plus her romance with Mack was adorable. This ended up being such a fun read. I definitely will be checking out whatever Leah Johnson comes out with next.

Cemetery Boys By Aiden Thomas

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT, Romance, Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 352 pages
Publication Date: September 1st 2020
Publisher: Swoon Reads
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas’s paranormal YA debut Cemetery Boys, described by Entertainment Weekly as “groundbreaking.”

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

My Thoughts: This ended up being a traveling buddy read with Luna and Jenna. Basically Luna started with this book and wrote her thoughts as she read. Then she ended up passing it on to me. I wrote in it. Then I passed it on to Jenna. This was such a fun experience. It really ended up making the story so much more enjoyable. I have to admit I wasn’t really interested in this story originally. I do like pushing myself out of my comfort zone so was happy to try it. I ended up enjoying it a lot. It did end up giving some major Mediator series vibes which I was loving. That was a series I grew up reading. So it ending up giving me some nostalgic vibes because of that. I did really enjoy the story and how Yadriel is really trying to prove himself while also having his family accept him. It was a very touching story. Plus a lot of things I wasn’t familiar with about brujos. I put Aiden’s next book on my TBR. I can’t wait to read more from him.

Supernova By Marissa Meyer

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Fiction, Adventure
Pages: 552 pages
Publication Date: November 5th 2019
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: All’s fair in love and anarchy…

The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian fighting to keep their identities secret. While the battle rages on between their alter egos and their allies, there is a darker threat shrouding Gatlon City.

The Renegades’ worst enemy is back among them, threatening to reclaim Gatlon City. Nova and Adrian must brave lies and betrayal to protect those they love. Their greatest fears are about to come to life, and unless they can bridge the divide between heroes and villains, they stand to lose everything. Including each other.

Intrigue and action will leave readers on edge until the final, shocking secrets are revealed.

My Thoughts: Man on man, what a conclusion that was. I couldn’t wait to see how things were going to end. It felt so action packed. There was just so much that ended up happening in this one. I feel it overall ended the story really well. I do have to say the epilogue did bother me. We end up learning out some information that I wish we had found out either earlier in this book or maybe in the second book. I feel it left me wanting to know more. I do hope it ends up giving Marissa Meyer a reason to come back to this universe. I would love that. I’m going to be on the lookout for that.

Rent a Boyfriend By Gloria Chao

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, Fiction, New Adult
Pages: 400 pages
Publication Date: November 10th 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets The Farewell in this incisive romantic comedy about a college student who hires a fake boyfriend to appease her traditional Taiwanese parents, to disastrous results, from the acclaimed author of American Panda.

Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.

Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.

When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.

But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?

My Thoughts: I ended up randomly trying this for Try A Chapter I was doing in December. I ended up loving the first chapter so much. I did end up listening to the audiobook of it and found it so enjoyable. This was the one read this month I didn’t want to put down. I was rooting for Chloe’s plan of passing off Drew as her real boyfriend the entire time. Her parents were so tough to listen to at times. It hurt the things they said to her. It made me so frustrated at times. I also couldn’t stand Hongbo either. I mean obviously he’s supposed to be unlikeable. He really was just the worst. I did like to see the moments where Chloe shined and stood up for herself. It was just crazy some of things that was said to this girl. I felt at times I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I don’t want to spoil the end but it was definitely a good one. I’ve never read anything from Gloria before and now I really want to. I’m happy this random Try A Chapter ended up being such an enjoyable read.

Tweet Cute By Emma Lord

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 368 pages
Publication Date: January 21st 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

My Thoughts: This is a book I had been putting off reading. I was planning to read it last year. However other books got in the way. I finally decided to pick it up because I’ve been in a YA romance mood as of late. I have to say this is cute modern love story that deals with two different restaurants. I would love to eat all the food that was mentioned in this book. The story is about two kids in high school. Pepper’s parents own a massive food chain. Jack’s parents own a little mom and pop shop. One day Jack notices that this massive food chain has an identical recipe to his parent’s little shop. He tweets about it and it ends up blowing up on Twitter. Little does Jack know that massive food chain is owned by his classmate, Pepper’s parents. There ends up being this huge Twitter war over the fact. It was overall a fluffy contemporary. I think the one thing I wasn’t too keen on was the writing. I thought it was a bit cheesy at times. You can tell this is the author’s debut book. Even though that’s the case I enjoyed it. It ended up being fun.

Well there are all the books I ended up reading in December and January. I am glad that there were some enjoyable books in these two months. I am so happy I finally finished the Renegades series. Those were really enjoyable books. I also picked up some books that weren’t on my radar like Cemetery Boys and Rent a Boyfriend. I can’t wait to see what February ends up bringing me. That TBR will be up next week. 

What are some amazing books that you read in the last two months? I’m always looking for some new recommendations. 



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