December Wrap-Up

This is my last Wrap-Up of 2016 and wow. This year went by so fast and this is the year that I really got into reading again and I am just so thankful for it. Anyway, I Finished 7 books this month and here are my thoughts about them.

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Jay was a sweet, bright high school student who cared about his grades and his friends. He had ambitions. He was happy. And he thought he could handle anything.

He was wrong.

When Jay falls in with a crowd that’s dabbling in drugs and the occult, he finds himself in over his head and doing things he never thought possible. Fascinated by the dark arts and in love with a dangerous girl, Jay falls deeper and deeper into a life he no longer recognizes…and sees no way out.

This book, where do I begin. I can not express how disappointed I was in this book. I figured that this book would kind of be like Go Ask Alice which is a book I loved. I hated this book. I thought it was so boring and with only about 100 pages left I was fighting with myself not to DNF it. I didn’t care about it at all, the blurb on the back spoiled me for the ending which I was pretty pissed about, and I feel like this book was very outdated. The back of the book tells you that Jay struggles with satanism and I feel like it took forever for true satanism to really show itself. Most of it was like dealing with Ouija boards and witchcraft and minor things like that. And those things are not satanic at all. All in all, this book was so short and I still feel like I wasted my time.

*2/5*

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Sometimes, love comes with a price…

The past is always gonna try and bring you down, but you gotta fight. Fight hard for what you love. Fight to win is what twenty-two-year-old Dominick Anderson believes, but his life is a struggle. Growing up with an abusive father has made Dominick slow to love and trust, and he relies on his brother Kevin to keep him on a straight path. Dominick fights his demons every day, every night. Now a sophomore at the University of Washington and working a steady job at a mechanic’s shop, Dominick wants to create a better life and find the future his father never wanted him to have.

Dominick suppresses his identity and feelings until he meets Denise Ramsey. Smart, stunningly gorgeous, and sharing his love for motorcycles, Denise is everything Dominick longs for in a girl but knows he can never have. When a past love threatens her life and brings out Dominick’s suppressed dark side, he must decide if she’s worth the risk.

I got this book for free as an ebook because it was on sale and I went into it with no expectations. It was pretty ok. The plot was a bit enjoyable but we didn’t get as deep into the characters as I would have liked. My biggest problem with this book is how they talk about females in it. Dominic’s roommate is a manwhore and he talks about females basically like they are his personal pleasure playgrounds. All he does is talk about their bodies and he actually asks for a females measurements to see if he is worth their time. I honestly find this kind of thing so revolting and he does get better when he actually meets a girl who he chooses to pursue a relationship with. So I guess you do get to see his character evolve in a way but still.

*3/5*

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“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

I saw this book somewhere on booktube and decided to pick it up because I thought it would be a nice fun and fluffy kind of read and it was a bit more than that. This book dealt with grief in such a reasonable way and that was an element that I wasn’t expecting so that was pretty cool. I don’t really have anything negative to say about it. It was pretty nice. I didn’t wow me but i still enjoyed it.

*4/5*

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Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

I’m not sure what genre this book falls into. I think it’s a horror/thriller kind of thing which I don’t really read so I went into this not really thinking I would like it. And I absolutely loved it. I was on the edge of my seat and I just wanted to know all of trauma that these girls had to go through and how the fuck they were able to escape in the first place. Ever since I read this book, I’ve been recommending it like crazy so please go check it out. It’s actually the first book in a trilogy and I really want to know where the rest of these books could possibly be going.

*5/5*

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Always Something There to Remind Me comes a delicious new novel about the search for true love and all the ingredients that go into it.

As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full.

There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an überwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to.

For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and—oh yes—butter.

I picked this one up on audiobook from my elibrary. I figured it would be another chick-lit/adult fiction book (I don’t know what genre it falls into) centered around food in some way. And again, I really liked it. I liked the plot, I liked the characters, I loved the food. It was just a great story for me to relax and enjoy during the end of the year.

*5/5*

eleanor & park

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

So this is going to be pretty controversial but whatever. Overall, I did not like this book. I had so many problems with it. I found the romance between Elenor and Park to be pretty lacking. Compared to her other books, I expected so much more from this. I didn’t like the parental figures in this book, especially on Eleanor’s side. I mean you’re supposed to hate her step-dad so that isn’t a problem but I hated her mom so much. She was a shitty mother and I just don’t understand. To me, it just seemed like she didn’t care about her kids at all. It was like she’d rather pretend that she wasn’t in a shitty and abusive relationship/marriage and just act like it was normal. As someone who was in an abusive relationship, I can say that my every thought while I was in it was focused on trying to leave and it became pretty apparent that Eleanor’s mom didn’t want to do that. I hate the ending. I mean I don’t have too much of a problem with open-ended endings in books but that one left too much unresolved and unsaid. I had no idea what was the point in me reading this book. This book is so overhyped and I’m pretty sure you can skip this one.

*3/5*

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The blacksmith would marry her.
The woodcutter would run away with her.
The werewolf would turn her into one of its own.

Valerie’s sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.

After her sister’s violent death, Valerie’s world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But now no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them–it could be anyone in town.

It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of the creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moon wanes…or everyone she loves will die.

Based on a screenplay written by David Leslie Johnson

So, I went into this book having already wanted and loving the movie. While I was reading this book, I had the mindset of viewing it not as its own novel but as background information to the movie and I think that’s the best way to ensure the best reading experience. Honestly, I really enjoyed this book and I don’t have too much to complain about. It was slow at times and did take awhile before the wolf actually showed up probably because you are getting all that background information to kind of set up the story. I also didn’t like the ending because the book ends without the identity of the wolf being revealed and it’s a completely different ending from the movie which is an ending that I really enjoy. Other than that, it was pretty good in my opinion. I’d recommend reading it AFTER watching the movie.

*4/5*

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