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DECEMBER RECAP // new year and new fave book, reaching 50 books & work-life update - Ruby Rae Reads
Whoops sorry for disappearing off the planet for like a week, I swear there’s a reason. I’m not abandoning you again. I’m sure I’m not the only person who had a rough December. Like seriously wth?? I don’t even know. How did we SURVIVE?!?! Anyways, I’ve been crazy busy lately, working non-stop. Which we shall get to in a second BUT I don’t want to fall back into old habits and post this recap relatively on time. So here goes. Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman {★★★★½}: It had taken me wayyyy too long to read this second volume but I finally bought it. And this story never ceases to make me smile. It gets ALL THE HEART EYES. Truly. I just really love these characters. And I love the art style. I love Alice as a writer, I think she’s really good at what she does and is truly inspiring. And obviously, by my rating, I LOVED THIS BOOK. But my rating of the first volume, I felt, was half a star too high (I’d rate it the same as volume 2), as my only vice with this graphic novel series is that I sometimes can’t behind some of the ‘cuteness’. Okay, I’m not explaining this right. What I struggle with is some of the ‘cutesy’ illustrations. If you’ve read them then you know what I mean. Like the actions that appear as words, if that makes sense. Seriously, you’ll know if you’ve read them. Plus these books are WAY too short haha. The romance itself is WONDERFUL. But I think I prefer her novels over the illustrations. Don’t come @ me, I STILL LOVED THIS BOOK. ♥ Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman {★★★★☆}: which brings me to my next book. I have been wanting to read this short story for ages but never got around to it, until the day when I just didn’t want my dose of this adorable romance to be over just yet. So I read them both. And I died inside. Actually reading about the two of them is a completely different experience and because this story was set up before Heartstopper was even a thing, there are some inconsistencies between the two stories. But I don’t even care. It’s still great. I do LOVE them as a couple and loved reading the words and the emotions instead of seeing them as illustrations. You understand me now? The reason I knocked off the star with this one is purely because I ALWAYS get frustrated whenever there’s miscommunication between characters. I want to rip my hair out. It’s fine. My heart is still aching. ♥ Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend {★★★★½}: I FINALLY READ THIS BOOK WHATTTTT??!?!?!? This had been sitting on my shelf for far too long and I just decided that it WAS TIME. And I thought it was great for the wintery feels (it’s summer where I live but we’re going to sidestep that small detail). And wow what a delight. I really loved the writing and THE CHARACTERS WOW SO GOOD. I felt like a bit more world-building was needed, I was not connected during the middle part of the book. But apart from that, I CAN’T wait to continue the series. BOOK TWO HERE WE COME. Also, I actually have a REVIEW up for once, that I posted in the same month I read it?? What??? Anyways click here for that miracle spoiler-free review. This was gifted to me by Pan Macmillan SA so thanks to them!! The Cruel Prince by Holly Black {★★★★½}: I’ve finally read this frickin seriesssss!! It’d taken me WAY too long omg. But I did. And wow what A TIME. I… get it, people. I get the hype. I was thoroughly loving this book, I liked the characters and the writing and the world. But I was confused. Like a lot. But eh I wasn’t too bothered. I’m easily pleased. And also a trash person. I was fine just vibing with the rest of the story ya know? And the twists WE LOVED. And omg DELICIOUS ROMANCE DUDE I AM FREAKING OUT!! ♥ The Wicked King by Holly Black {★★★★☆}: speaking of twists, you’re probably wondering why this rating is low. And huh that’s sort of a complicated funny story. So um I actually probably like this book MORE than the first. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t help that I knew like most major plot twists and COULD NOT experience the genius of them all. Which um sorta made this book? I have an entire blog post review coming with all the thoughts. And yeah, that might not have made any sense. I did really love this book, but because I couldn’t be shocked nor did I think the world-building had improved. Also, I didn’t really have this issue that much before but I found myself wondering what the real motivations behind the characters were?? Which was also confusing. Anyways, just read the blog post when it’s published. It was still a great read. And the romance man. Somebody punch me in the face. Literally. Nicely, please. ♥ The Girl Who Steals Christmas by C.G. Drews {★★★★★}: I will never cease to be a mess whenever I return to these characters will I? We were blessed with more content but I’m still crying. It’s fine. I’m fine. Thank god this was a prequel and we know the story isn’t always sad? Does it though?? I had no choice but to read this on Christmas Eve so my binge was slightly broken, but there’s ONLY ONE time of the year for these books. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black {★★★★★}: oh my HOLY HECK THIS BOOK!! DESTROYED ME!! Somehow snuck its way up into my top 5 favourites of the year??? There’s a real plot twist for ya. I still am in shock. And sorta a reading slump. And I,,, don’t know what to do with myself anymore. This book was just EVERYTHING. I didn’t know ANY of the twists so I enjoyed it probably the way I would’ve book two. Anyways, what I’m really here to say is that Jude and Cardan destroyed me. And #sorrynotsorry to admit that I am official trash. It’s just who I am and there’s no use apologising. Goodreads review here and blog post coming soon. I SWEAR!! A big thanks to Jonathan Ball for sending it to me!! ♥ Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan {★★★★☆}: here is the part where I tell you I was desperately trying to hit 50 books last year even though I’d already reached my goal ages ago. We’ll get into that later. But yeah I had like two books left so I decided to finally read this. Which EVERYBODY raves about. And I now know why. It was really cool, very graphic and adult, but I knew that going in. I really enjoyed this one though, I thought the world was super interesting. And I liked the concept and the narrator of the story. Definitely going to continue the series. ♥ Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell {★★★★★}: I was going to reread this last year but I never got around to it. And my New Years’s this year was super chill, and you know 50 BOOKS. So I read it obviously. Although technically, to be honest, I only read the first story in 2019 and then finished second in 2020. Whoops. But I’m counting it. My favourite of the two stories is by far Midnights (which is a New Years Eve story), which is apparently not on Goodreads to mark as read?? Which sucks. Since it’s my favourite of the two. I mean I liked the Star Wars one but eh?? But I ADORE Midnights, it’s so lovely and I require more than just a short story thanks very much. This month is quite busy and I’m sort of in a slump?? Just a small one, it’s about to run its course. But I doubt I shall read that much. Welp. I do have some books I’d like to get to though. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin Wundersmith: The Call of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare and others The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern So um I have quite a lot of books to share with you that I hauled last month. I have birthday books, a Warehouse Sale book haul and books I received from publishers. I’m not going to talk about them too much, I’ll just insert some pictures because I’m lazy. Did you expect anything more? I share all my book mail over on Instagram stories so if you’re not already following me on there, you know what to do. birthday books yay!! I finally found the Puffin In Bloom collection on sale and I HAD to ask for them. THEY’RE SO PRETTY!! ♥ book mail from jonathan ball publishers!! SO SO SO excited to have these ones omg!! I’ve of course already read and profusely loved QoN. Plus some unsolicited mail from them which sound really cool : ) Verify by Joelle Charbonneau The Untouchables by Gordon Korman ♥ Big thanks to Penguin Random House South Africa for the Find Me by Tahereh Mafi novella bindup. And then to my SA Book Swap partner for gifting Stardust by Neil Gaiman to me (one of my favourite movies and I’ve been DYING to read it for AGES)!! You guys are the absolute best. ♥ The Bargain Books Warehouse Sale happened last month so Imma just list the books here. They’re all in my stories highlight though < 3 Film Studies: An Introduction – Oxford Brookes University The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (Puffin Classics V&A edition) Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (Puffin Classics V&A edition) Railway Children by E. Nesbit (Puffin Classics edition) Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (International Women’s Day Classics edition) Forest of A Thousand Lanterns & Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao The Girl In The Tower & The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden After The Fire by Will Hill The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotic by David Arnold How To Make Friends With The Dark by Katherine Glasgow Nyxia by Scott Reintgen Caraval & Legendary by Stephanie Garber When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary Vengeful by V.E. Schwab (UK hardcover) Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (UK paperback) Huge thanks to Bargain Books for inviting me to spend the day at the sale! Yes, you certainly did miss out on a ton. AHH, I POSTED WAY TOO MUCH. Wow, I’ve finally brought this section back to my recaps. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? First off, work is tiring. So what do I do that ISN’T reading?? I freakin watch Grey’s Anatomy. Just like the trash person I am. I’ve seen seasons one through six twice. So I decided to finally get over my fear and move on pass season six (skipped seven, if you know YOU KNOW) and am currently on season nine. Yup. I’ve already called myself out on multiple occasions, no need to do it again. I’ll probably get bored with it and it’ll become too much, but for now, I’m having a GREAT time. And I saw two movies!! I went to see Frozen 2 with Amy!! Which was just OMG SO BRILLIANT. I’m in love. And we went to see Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker on Boxing Day with my family which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Twas a great film. Not perfect but SO FREAKING FUN! I still need to put together the favourite movies of 2019 list. Which will apparently always be late whoops. But I hardly watched any movies last year so it’s not very long. It’ll come eventually. As well as an anticipated list. But that’s even harder because there aren’t many on my list. Um also COLDPLAY RELEASED...