This year is all a bit different, and we’ve done part of our celebrating before Christmas, some yesterday and some today on Christmas Eve, when we did some socially distanced present opening with my parents. They stood in my front garden singing Christmas carols while my son opened a few presents. I think the builder working on the house next door was a bit confused. Let’s get started.
“‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,”
A book that kept you up so late, everyone else was asleep
Erm, most books? I tend to read late into the night as a natural night owl, but one of the books that recently had me reading late at night was The Cousins. I gave it a rave review, which you can read here, and there were a couple of 2am moments involved. I still can’t rave about this one enough, and it’s been one of my favourite books this year.
“And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,”
A book that made you fall asleep
I’m going to agree with Fiona’s answer here, and say Kingdom of the Wicked. I had such high hopes for this book and it just didn’t deliver, at any point, on… anything. It was a real let down. I kept going in the hopes it was going to get better and it simply didn’t. When I reached the last page I honestly felt like I’d wasted my time. If you want to read my – rather critical – review, the link is here.
“When out on the roof there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter,”
A book, or a book scene that made your heart race
There have been several thrillers this year that I could answer this with, but one that really had my heart pounding with fear was Good Girls Die First. Every single page of this book got scarier and scarier, and it really had me on the edge of my seat at all times.
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,”
An object in a book that was utterly magical/ Or a magical book
It was towards the beginning of this year, but These Witches Don’t Burn was completely magical. The sequel, This Coven Won’t Break, was just as good, really building on the first book to create an equally magical second book. I loved the way the magic system was used in the book, and it was all made so plausible, which I love when it comes to magic.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick,”
A twinkle-eyed book character that made you happy.
There is a very obvious answer to this, and anyone who knows me knows what’s coming: Rhysand. Every time he’s on the pages he warms my heart and just really is wonderful. I love him because he’s not perfect, and that he has been seen as ‘bad’ for so long he almost forgot he was good. I’ve raved about this series all year and that won’t be changing any time soon.
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too,”
A book that made you fly to another land.
My first real introduction to reading fantasy as an adult was at the beginning of this year when I read Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood. It was my first real fantasy read since Harry Potter if I’m honest, and I knew nothing about Sarah J Maas or her other writing before I picked it up. I absolutely fell in love with the characters, but especially with the world creation. I can’t wait for book two. You can read my review here.
“And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little hoof,”
A book creature you love.
Sticking with my answer above, Bryce has a pet chimera called Syrinx who I became really fond of during the book for being as sassy as his owner. Just flicking back through the pages makes me smile.
“He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot,”
A character that proves to more than his /her first impression
Ooh this is a tough one. I’m going to say, after finally deciding, Bryce from Crescent City. That girl is WILD. I’m very aware of possible spoilers, but let’s just say at one point on the shooting range she tells the ‘alphaholes’ to kiss her ass, and proves why.
“He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly,”
A book or book character that made you laugh
This one I found a bit more tricky as I’ve mainly read thrillers and mysteries this year, but I’ve settled on Death from Daisy Cooper’s Rules For Living. He really grows throughout the book, but his dry wit and sarcastic nature appeals to me greatly.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread,”
A book that makes you feel safe.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January was one of my early reads this year, and it is a very special book indeed. Although the storyline has needed twists and turns in it, it is a book that will wrap you up in a hug. You can find my review here.
“He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk,”
A book that put you to work (a book that you felt you really needed to concentrate on)
I think the best answer I can give to this one is The Starless Sea. It wasn’t one of my favourite reads of the year, but there was a lot happening in it, as well as a lot of descriptive work going on throughout the pages, meaning you really had to focus or things happened without you noticing. Here’s my review.
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
A book with a magnificent ending
This is going to have to be A Court of Mist and Fury. The last chapters had my mouth wide open, and the last line made me Scream. Out. Loud. It’s my favourite book in the series, and you can find my love for it over here where I reviewed it when I read it for the first of multiple times this year.
Now, a very Merry Christmas to you all, and to all a good night x