Book Review

Book Review: We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo

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Summary

In a sealed-off city, it begins with a hunt. A young woman, Lena, running for her life, convicted of being a mage and sentenced to death. Her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.

On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. She knows only too well how the people of Duke’s Forest loathe magic. Years ago she escaped before her powers were discovered. But now she won’t hide who she is any longer.

A powerful and terrifying storm cloud unites them. It descends over the dukedom and devastates much in its wake. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine…Only Lena and Constance hold the key to destroying the spell. Though neither of them realise it, they need each other. They are the blood and they have the thunder within.

A stunning and original YA fantasy from a fantastic new talent. Perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Melinda Salisbury. (– via Goodreads)

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Non Spoiler Review 

First of all, I would like to say thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for allowing me to read the e-arc of this novel! Also, I had intended to have this posted earlier but due to me being unwell for nearly two weeks I was unable to post.

We Are Blood and Thunder is a new YA fantasy that follows the perspective of both Lena and Constance. The dual perspective in this book was done very well. The main characters are very different from each other and do not overshadow each other in the narratives. Lena and Constance are both strong female characters that go through very different journeys in the novel which I found fascinating. Lupo did a fantastic job of creating strong female characters whilst highlighting the key differences between them.

The initial pull for me to want to read this book was the premise. The idea was original, creepy and filled with magic. I loved the idea of two girls being the key to unlocking the storm that is plaguing their city. Thankfully, the novel did not disappoint! The world building was simple but endearing. The world building was embedded wonderfully into the story and it wasn’t thrown at us on the first page. I loved how magic and the relationship to the Gods had a colour system!

The plot is fast paced but it’s easy to keep with what is going on and it doesn’t feel too rushed. We Are Blood and Thunder is filled with minor twists and turns and one major twist at the end that will leave your mind blown! I loved the twist.

Kesia Lupo’s fantasy novel We Are Blood and Thunder is wonderfully written and easy to read. I highly recommend this book to this who are just getting into the fantasy genre, and of course, those who love fantasy because it’s an easy compelling read.

Thanks for reading!

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Book Review

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Summary

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. – (via Goodreads)

My  Rating 4/5

Non-Spoiler Review 

If you read my My Spring TBR post then you’ll know that The Cruel Prince was high priority for me to read over the next few months. I was excited to read the novel because I have heard so many great things about it. However, when reading, I noticed that this book has many mixed reviews.

For me, personally, I loved this book.

The Cruel Prince follows a human girl, Jude, who had been whisked away into the Faerie Lands. I’ve not read many Fae novels or stories but I really felt this novel was unique because it portrayed the Fae as cruel, violent and flawed. Even Jude and her twin sister, Taryn, who are human, have become a darker versions of themselves to survive in this world.

Holly Black was amazing at writing flawed characters! Every single character had several flaws, all of them being in the grey area between the good versus evil that we often see in Fantasy. These flawed and unreadable characters that were power hungry made The Cruel Prince such an interesting and intriguing read.

Black also did a wonderful job of creating this world. I didn’t find the information hard to follow nor was I confused at any stage by what was happening. I really enjoyed the pacing of the novel as well.

There were so many twist and turns throughout the novel that I didn’t see coming, especially towards the end of the novel.

I can’t wait to read The Wicked King, the second novel in the series to see what happens next.

The Cruel Prince is a fast paced, dark tale about betrayal and power in Faerie Lands. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for something that isn’t traditional fantasy, in terms of good and evil.

Have you read The Cruel Prince? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

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TBR

My Spring TBR

Hey everyone!

I am finally back with a new post after being away last week for my brother’s birthday.

Recently, on Twitter, I posted a poll and asked if you would be interested in seeing seasonal TBRs because I’m not doing monthly TBRs this year and everyone said yes!

Last month, I posted Top 5 Books I Want to Read by Spring and unfortunately, I’ve not read any of these books because I’ve been swamped with NetGalley e-arcs. So, check out that post because that list of books are also part of my Spring TBR.

Here are another 5 books I hope to read by the end of Spring:

1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I won this book in a giveaway last year and I still haven’t read it. I definitely feel that this is a book I would love. It’s fantasy and there’s fae! I need to read it ASAP.

2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab

Again, this is another book that has been sitting on my shelf since last summer. I’ve read Vicious and City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab and I adore her writing. I have such high expectations for this book, so I really hope I can read the first book in this trilogy. Fingers crossed that I can read the trilogy but we’ll see.

3. Odd One Out by Nic Stone

I fell in love with Nic Stone’s writing after I read Dear Martin. Immediately after reading that novel, I pre-ordered this one: Odd One Out. This is a quite a short contemporary read so I can definitely see me getting to this one before the end of spring.

4. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I am so excited to read this book! I pre-ordered but I want to catch up on my TBR before I fully commit to reading this. It’s such a huge book that I want to be able to enjoy reading it without worrying about other books that I need to read.

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This is a bonus addition to my Spring TBR. If you looked at the other post, I linked at the beginning of the post. I said I had originally wanted to read The Grisha Trilogy by the end of the Spring or at least start it. Obviously that didn’t happen because I didn’t realise how close Spring was when I posted. So, I’m hoping to get to that trilogy and Six of Crows by the end of Spring.

These along with Top 5 Books I Want to Read by Spring are my official Spring TBR. I really hope I can get to all these books by the end of Spring.

Have you read any of these books? Should I prioritise any?

Do you have any books you want to read?

Thanks for reading!

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Book Review: Enchantee by Gita Trelease

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Book Description 

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns… – ( via Goodreads)

 

My Rating: 4/5

Book Review (Non-Spoiler)

Enchantee is a historical fiction and fantasy novel set in Paris. This novel takes place during 1789, the French revolution, where people are rioting, starving, etc. However, in this magical alternative history some people can wield magic that allows them to survive. The use of magic in this completely mundane world was written excellently. The rules and the magic systems were not overly complex but simply, enchanting! Yes, enchanting! Gita Trelease creates such a wonderful magic system that is truly compelling.

The setting of Paris is sensational. Gita Trelease’s captivating writing completely emerges you into Paris, France during this time. Her use of French terms and names throughout the novel, really brings the setting and this alternative world to life. When reading it only made me more desperate to travel to Paris. With the use of the French terms, it doesn’t make the novel confusing or distract from the plot in anyway. Gita Trelease manages to create a wonderful balance between the French language and the English language as to not to confuse the reader. Also, I loved seeing the French language in the novel, like I said it brought the setting to life but I also found myself learning the words when reading.

There are many characters in the novel that evoked emotions from me. They were written so well! Even minor characters, I found myself having an opinion on them. There wasn’t a character that I was indifferent to within this novel. They were all written brilliantly, full of depth and interesting description that instantly made them feel real.

Our main character, Camille, was my favourite throughout the novel. She’s hardworking, intelligent, magical and willing to do anything to keep her and her sister safe from the ruins of Paris. Yet, she can also be quiet naïve about her situation and is quickly swept up in the politics of the French Court. I found myself rooting for Camille’s happiness from the very beginning. I adored her strength and determination.

Enchantee is a fantastic novel that is written with so much precision and care that it is hard not to love this novel. It deals with identity, magic, family and love. It’s truly sensational and will transport you back in time with Gita Trelease’s writing.

I highly recommend this book.

It will officially be released in the UK on the 21st February 2019.

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Publishers for allowing me to have an e-arc for this novel.

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Book Review: The Binding by Bridget Collins

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Book Description

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten. – Goodreads

My Rating: 4/5

Book Review (Non-Spoiler) 

The Binding is a blend of historical fiction, literary fiction and fantasy. It’s the perfect concoction for an intriguing yet mystifying novel. I will admit that the beginning of the novel started off a bit slow but that could have been due to my headspace when I first started reading. However, the intrigue and the compulsion to want to know the truth is set up from the very first pace. There’s something off about Emmett’s character, the way his family are around him, that sparks curiosity in the reader. I had to find out what happened in the summer that he had become seriously ill.

Bridget Collins writing is excellent. Her writing is one of the main reasons why I was so hooked when reading this novel. She delivered mystery and her words were completely captivating. The writing was completely immersive, pulling you into the book and losing yourself in it. It really mirrors the binding process and reading in the novel. You completely lose yourself in it.

The main core of this story was it’s forbidden love story between two characters. I’m not going to say who because I think it’s best to go into the novel without knowing too much information. I went in not knowing much and it took me completely by surprise, that’s why I adored the story so much. I will say that the love story completely had my heart and I was rooting for them the whole way through!

The characters are well written and deeply flawed which I love reading in books because no one is perfect. Also, reading flawed characters makes reading that far more exciting and interesting.

The world is very complex but easy to follow. I really enjoyed this book. However, there are some TRIGGER WARNINGS for this book; rape, sexual assault, abusive parents. So, please bare that in mind when reading this novel.

Thanks for reading!

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Book Review, books, TBR, Books,, Uncategorized

Top 5 Books I Want to Read by Spring

Hey, everyone!

Originally in January, I was going to post a Top 19 Books I Want to Read in 2019. However, the post was really long and I felt like I had dragged it out. So, I’ve decided instead to post a Top 5 Books I want to read every season.

These books are not new releases but books I have on my shelf that I want to read.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I would love to read this entire series by Spring. Also, the Six of Crows series and possibly get around to King of Scars. I’ve heard so many great things about this series, this world, and I know that I will love it. So, hopefully, I will get to it soon.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

This is another fantasy series that I really want to get to. I’ve heard so many great things about this as well. I will definitely get around to the first book by Spring.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

After reading Heartstopper earlier this month and I found myself quickly purchasing this book. I loved Heartstopper and I’m so excited to see how Alice Oseman’s writing adapts to the novel. Also, I’m very intrigued by the premise of her stories.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This one has been sat on my shelf for so long and I have no idea why. However, after realising that this is being adapted into a movie, it’s giving me the motivation to finally pick up the book. This will be one of the first ones I read from this list.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

I’ve read Becky Albertalli’s other books; Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat and I loved them. I finally managed to get my hands on this book and I can not wait to read it.

What about you? Do you have any books on your list that you want to read as soon as possible?

Thanks for reading!

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Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Book Description

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin
. – Goodreads

My Rating: 5/5

Review ( non-spoiler)

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is a spellbinding retelling of beauty and the beast. It’s the first book that I’ve read in 2019 that managed to take me out of my frustrating reading slump and back into the wonderful world of reading. I was enthralled from start to finish.

Instantly, I was intrigued by the characters in the novel. The main characters being Harper and Rhen. The novel is told through their perspectives and this shift happens through different chapters. The multi-perspective is handled with much care and consideration by Kemmerer. It allows the reader to see what is happen through the outsider, Harper, and through the cursed prince of the land, Rhen. It allows the reader to become more involved with the characters and to gain a deeper understand of the characters and the enchanting land of Emberfall. The writing is excellent! It doesn’t dwell or give too much description, it’s balanced in such a way that fully allows you to immerse yourself into the novel.

Kemmerer’s characters are written with depth and emotion that it makes it hard not to fall in love with them. Harper, a young girl from Washington and suffers from cerebral palsy, is a strong female character that everyone should get behind. She’s fearless! She is not defined by her illness and her strength is truly inspiring. She’s has quickly become one of my most favoured heroines. Rhen, the cursed prince, who has made poor choices in his past and can be considered to be quite withdrawn from others. However, throughout the novel, we go on a journey with this character and understand why he made his choices. Also, Grey, the prince’s royal commander is a fiercely loyal and completely opposite to the Prince. The characters interactions with each other leads to fun, witty comments whilst also delving deeper into the core of the relationships they have with one another. I adore this trio so much!

The magic system in this world is so captivating and darker than I expected. It sets the tone for this novel beautifully. I loved the setting of Emberfall, it had all the qualities I love of a fantasy kingdom. It had the dangers, the people and the vivid landscapes.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is an engaging, magical novel that left me completely in love. The writing is completely sensational and I can not wait to read more of Brigid Kemmerer’s work. She writes humanity with so much truth that it’s impossible not to relate to her characters, even if it’s just parts of them. I love this novel! I highly recommend it.

I’m so excited to read the second book in the series; A Heart So Fierce and Broken especially, after the plot twist at the end of A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

Thanks for reading! I hope you pick up this enchanting novel!

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January Wrap Up

Hello!

Here’s my January Wrap Up Post! January has been a very hard month for me. It consisted of me going through a lot personally and having two assessments due mid January. All of this led me to be uninspired to write or read anything like I usually would. I only ended up getting more frustrated with myself because I wasn’t in the mindset to read like I wanted to.

However, I did manage to read 5 books and start a 6th this month so I’m really happy with it. I didn’t realise j had read that many.

The first book I read was Batgirl Vol 4: Wanted.

This is the last volume in this particular Batgirl story arc and I loved it. It had the first appearance of The Ventriloquist which I enjoyed reading. This was much darker than I expected but I loved it! I gave it 4/5 stars.

The second book I read was Night Film by Marisha Pessl.

This was another disturbing psychological thriller that left my mind blown. I found the concept intriguing and I loved how it played with the reader’s mind. However, the pacing, for me, was quite slow at times and I didn’t particularly like the main character. So, I gave this book 3/5 stars.

The next book I read, thanks to NetGalley, was Leife Shallcros‘ The Beast’s Heart.

This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling told Through Beast’s perspective. I enjoyed reading from the Beast’s perspective and being told this classic story in alternative way. I rated this 3/5 stars.

Fourthly, I read You Can’t Hide by Sarah Mussi.


Again, this was thanks to NetGalley. You Can’t Hide is a new thriller that follows Lexi and her mother as they try to and escape from the domestic violence back home. It also deals with the importance of memory and trauma. I really enjoyed this fast pace novel. However, I disagreed with Lexi’s choices most of the time. I rated it 3/5 stars.

You Can’t Hide will be released on February 7th.

Lastly, I read one of my most anticipated reads for 2019; Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus.

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Two Can Keep A Secret is YA thriller set in small town Echo Ridge where the homecoming queens end up dead. I really loved the mystery in this novel. It had everything I loved from One of Us is Lying. However, at certain points, I felt the plot was rushed or too slow. Yet, I still loved it! It had all the intrigue I look for in a YA mystery.  I gave it a 3.5/5 stars.

I’ve also started reading the new release by Brigid Kemmerer, A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I am currently 100 pages into this book and I love it so far. It’s definitely getting me out of my reading slump. I doubt I’ll finish it today but I thought I would include it in this Wrap Up.

How many books have you read this month? Did you have a favourite?

Thanks for reading!

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January Book Haul!

Hi, everyone! It’s been awhile since my latest update but I am finally in place where I am able to write and get back into my routine.

One goal for 2019 was not to buy too many books and focus on my expanding TBR. However, this went through the window quite quickly! I found a lot of bargain books that people were selling on Instagram, AbeBooks and there were a few new releases that I wanted to get my hands on. However, this will be the biggest haul of the year. Well, I hope it will.

Here’s the list of the fourteen books I bought in January:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Puffins Classic)

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Furyborn by Claire LeGrand

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The Binding by Bridget Collins

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Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

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Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ( Waterstones Collector’s edition)

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

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These two books were on sale on kindle and I managed to get them for a very cheap price!

School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

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Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly

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Lastly, I was given an advanced copy The Blood Prince by Josie Jaffrey in exchange for an honest review. If you follow me you know that I have been eagerly awaiting the third and final book in the Sovereign series. I can not wait to start reading. The Blood Prince will be released on February 20th.

I will be participating in the blog tour for this book and you can check out my review March 1st. For more information, follow me on Twitter. Links below.

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My Bookish Goals for 2019

Happy New Year!

I hope 2019 brings you everything you wish, happiness and health.

I never make New Year’s Resolutions for many reasons but the main one being; I find it hard to stick to them. However, I found that I wish to have goals for 2019. This is because there are many things I wish to achieve this year and now, that I have my yearly planner, I feel like I can do it.

So, here’s a list of bookish goals I wish to achieve in 2019.

  1. No TBR’s – for the most part of the year I want to read what I want without sticking to a schedule. I found myself getting into such a reading routine that it felt like a chore rather than it being for pleasure.
  2. Write more / Write my novel – I have had this idea for my novel inside my head since I was 13, that’s eight years! Yet, I have only ever written snippets and the first four chapters. However, after planning most of it this year, I am going to use 2019 to write my novel.
  3. Be more active on Blog / Instagram.
  4. Read at least three classics.
  5. Get my overall TBR down – I have at least 70 plus books that I haven’t read yet sitting on my shelves and I really want to get that down this year.
  6. Limit on how many books I buy – only sequels and 5 new releases.
  7. Read 80 books for my reading challenge.

This is all the bookish goals, targets or hopes that I have for 2019. I have other non-related goals such as lose weight, gain confidence, healthier eating. Yes, all of the traditional New Year Resolutions. However, I really do hope I will stick to them and will be tracking my progress monthly to make sure I am up to date.

Do you have any bookish goals for 2019?

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