Skipping Regular New-Year Blog Posts

I went over to Goodreads to capture my 2018 book summary, and I was in the process of cropping it up, when I realized I didn’t want to do Leng’s Book Awards this year. I had half a mind to retire the entire thing, but I figure I take a less drastic action and just skip it for now. I don’t exactly know why I don’t feel like doing it. Maybe because I’m still so hung up on the last series I read that I feel like most of the awards might just go to Lockwood and co. I also looked at the awards I’ve been giving out, and I just feel very ‘meh’ about them. Maybe in the future if I decide to revive this annual thing, I will come up with better fake awards.

In general, I’ve also been rethinking book blogging and reviews lately. I think when I started embarking on my own writing project, my view on books reviews changed. I used to be very open about my opinions on books, especially the ones that didn’t live up to my expectations (my old LJ used to be filled with book rants), but now I just don’t feel comfortable doing that anymore. It doesn’t feel like very good writer’s etiquette to talk about another book that way, and now that I’m undergoing the stress and difficulties of writing my own novel, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the efforts other authors put in their own works, even if I didn’t like them as a reader. I don’t know if any of you noticed, but I’ve gone back to my old posts and significantly pared down previous reviews. I don’t give star ratings anymore, and I try to keep my recent reviews short and sweet.

There’s also something weird about this upcoming new year. In that I don’t feel like it’s a new year. I feel like it’s just a continuation, and I don’t feel compelled to do anything drastic. 2018 was a tepidly good year for me, in that good things happened and some challenging things happened, but none of the highs are that high and none of the lows are that low. Which, I mean overall, is still a good thing, but it doesn’t prompt me to make resolutions or anything. When I’m feeling a bit more upbeat, I might make another post about what to expect from this blog in 2019.

Okie dokie, guess I’ll leave it at that. Happy New Year, everyone!

November 2018 Books

Okay, first up! The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. I picked up this book not knowing much about it, other than that someone I follow on Goodreads liked it, so I decided to give it a try.

Asha is a dragon slayer. She kills the creatures as revenge for the havoc and destruction they caused her kingdom many years ago. With her wedding to the ruthless commander coming in a week, her father makes her a deal: if Asha kills Kozu, the oldest dragon, then they can call off the wedding. However, when Asha sets out to kill Kozu, she discovers secrets about the dragons, as well as her kingdom, that challenge everything she believes in.

I really enjoyed this book. Especially after the midpoint, when a massive plot twist was revealed, things really fall into place, and it sets you in the right frame of mind to really appreciate everything that came before. 

This month, I finished off the Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud. Let me tell you, ooh boy, it was a wild ride, and this series is definitely in my top favourites now.

I just enjoyed these books sooo much, that they knocked me out of my reading slump after I finished The Last Namsara. There’s just something about Lucy Carlyle’s narration that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. The slow revelation of the bigger mysteries of their world slowly unfold while the back-to-back action-packed individual missions make sure that things don’t get bogged down for too long.

And just like in all books I love, what really grabs me in this series is the characters and their dynamics with each other. I love all the friendships they form, the challenges they face in their relationships, and how they overcome that. The protagonists are still teenagers, and they act very much like so, without me feeling like they’re making terrible decisions. (I kid you not, sometimes I read books in which protagonists clearly make horrible decisions and the story justifies it as them being teens, and it just… doesn’t justify it enough for me).

I especially fell in love with Lucy Carlyle. Oh my dear, salty girl. It’s strange because Lucy actually fulfils the character archetype that I don’t usually like. She’s abrasive, insecure, jealous, looks down on other girls. But I really commend Stroud for writing her flaws in a very understandable way. I wasn’t repulsed by her, like I usually am with characters who have the same personality; instead, I felt for her, and I saw my younger 14-year-old self in her. And I rooted for her and wished she’d grow and overcome her insecurities. And she did. That’s the lovely part of it. She did.

I also really love the way the romance is handled here. There’s not much of it. Perfect, just the way I like it. Hehe.