December 2021 Monthly Wrap-Up

December wasn’t at all my month when it comes to books. I DNF’d more than in the rest of the year combined, for all sorts of reasons, but most of all, because I had more than bad luck picking books to read. Even among the books I finished (not counting the rereads, since I only reread books I like), there wasn’t as much I liked as I’d hoped. Still, this month aside, I’m finishing the year on a good note, having dug myself out of the slump that plagued me for most of 2020, both achieved my 69 books goodreads stretch goal and finished the Bingo in November, the earliest of all years. Hopefully 2022 will be even better!

Opinions on all the DNFs of this month are collected in this mini review post.

In addition, I also got completely addicted to Arcane, my gushy feelings on which I described here. If you like fantasy, do yourself a favour and please, please go watch this series (look: I do not care about the game and I absolutely loved it).

Read:

  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss (DNF 13%): The meta commentary annoyed me too much. Couldn’t even make it to my usual 20% spot where I usually make a decision whether to DNF.
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers: Loved the slice of life vibes, not sure what I think some of the philosophy. Will definitely read more in the series though.
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore (reread): Haven’t reread this one in ages. Somehow, a comfort read, despite so many people being utterly awful to the MC.
  • The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley (DNF 27%): Nope. I was really looking forward to that one, but I hate fake dating and I hate reading about women being extremely constrained by society and forced to find a man to marry.
  • The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni (DNF 29%): Hoped for hurt/comfort, got the worst of YA tropeyness. Just not well written, at all.
  • Thornfruit by Felicia Davin (DNF 37%): Pretty mediocre and the characters sound weirdly young even later on when they’re supposed to be adults.
  • A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson: Loved, loved, loved it. Dark and experimental and beautiful queer poly reimagining of Dracula’s brides – the prose alone is something special.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab: Readable, but the protagonist being an unironic “not like other girls” stereotype and zero research done on the 18th century parts earned it some eyerolls.
  • His Secret Illuminations by Scarlett Gale (DNF 78%): Initially promising, ultimately not what I wanted. The main draw for me, an unconventional and not traditionally masculine male MC, was undermined by the whole fight training arc.
  • The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley (DNF 45%): Interesting time travel, but I couldn’t get past the extremely questionable premise of an alternate history where England is the oppressed victim and the goal of making it great again. Ew.
  • Mindline by M.C.A. Hogarth (reread): Went for my #1 comfort read of this year to try to settle my nerves a bif after three less than ideal books in a row. It helped.
  • Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat: Hated it for obvious reasons, but I promised to read at least until book 2 (which is allegedly much better), so I will continue.
  • Penric’s Travels by Lois McMaster Bujold: Forgot how much I loved these. Excellent. Also more crossdressing than I expected but that’s not at all a bad thing.
  • Heaven Official’s Blessing by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu: Very fun story, subpar translation. Decited to continue it in webcomic form.

Books read in 2021: 69 (+ 9? rereads)
r/Fantasy Bingo Challenge progress: 25/25 (100%) 🥳🥳

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