Princess Geek Reads: Everything I Read In December

Hey guys! It’s my LAST What I Read… of 2022! And I have great news guys… I REACHED MY READING GOAL!! I actually can’t believe I did it! It took a 24 hour readathon, but I pulled through and reach 100 books. I’m definitely only doing 60 books next year, but it’s nice to know I can do 100 if I want to. Also, the fact that I only reached 65 last year means that I’ve been reading a lot faster than I used to, and I’m obviously reading more often. These are good things! Anyways, let’s get to this list! There are quite a few books this time, so a lot of them are combined if they are in a series. Check it out!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Hostile Hospital | The Carnivorous Carnival | The Grim Grotto | The Slippery Slope | The Penultimate Peril | The End by Lemony Snicket

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: The Hostile Hospital: There is nothing to be found in the pages of these books but misery and despair. You still have time to choose something else to read. But if you must know what unpleasantries befall the charming and clever Baudelaire children read on…The Hostile Hospital – There are many pleasant things to read about, but this book contains none of them. Within its pages are such burdensome details as a suspicious shopkeeper, unnecessary surgery, heartshaped balloons, and some very starling news about a fire. Clearly you do not want to read about such things.

The Carnivorous Carnival: The word “carnivorous,” which appears in the title of this book, means “meat-eating,” and once you have read such a bloodthirsty word, there is no reason to read any further. This carnivorous volume contains such a distressing story that consuming any of its contents would be far more stomach-turning than even the most imbalanced meal. To avoid causing discomfort, it would be best if I didn’t mention any of the unnerving ingredients of this story, particularly a confusing map, an ambidextrous person, an unruly crowd, a wooden plank, and Chabo the Wolf Baby. Sadly for me, my time is filled with researching and recording the displeasing and disenchanting lives of the Baudelaire orphans. But your time might be better filled with something more palatable, such as eating your vegetables, or feeding them to someone else.

The Grim Grotto: Unless you are a slug, a sea anemone, or mildew, you probably prefer not to be damp. You might also prefer not to read this book, in which the Baudelaire siblings encounter an unpleasant amount of dampness as they descend into the depths of despair, underwater. In fact, the horrors they encounter are too numerous to list, and you wouldn’t want me even to mention the worst of it, which includes mushrooms, a desperate search for something lost, a mechanical monster, a distressing message from a lost friend, and tap dancing. As a dedicated author who has pledged to keep recording the depressing story of the Baudelaires, I must continue to delve deep into the cavernous depths of the orphans’ lives. You, on the other hand, may delve into some happier book in order to keep your eyes and your spirits from being dampened.

The Slippery Slope: Like handshakes, house pets, or raw carrots, many things are preferable when not slippery. Unfortunately, in this miserable volume, I am afraid that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire run into more than their fair share of slipperiness during their harrowing journey up–and down–a range of strange and distressing mountains. In order to spare you any further repulsion, it would be best not to mention any of the unpleasant details of this story, particularly a secret message, a toboggan, a deceitful map, a swarm of snow gnats, a scheming villain, a troupe of organized youngsters, a covered casserole dish, and a surprising survivor of a terrible fire. Unfortunately, I have dedicated my life to researching and recording the sad tale of the Baudelaire orphans. There is no reason for you to dedicate your-self to such things, and you might instead dedicate yourself to letting this slippery book slip from your hands into a nearby trash receptacle, or deep pit.

The Penultimate Peril: If this is the first book you found while searching for a book to read next, then the first thing you should know is that this next-to-last book is what you should put down first. Sadly, this book presents the next-to-last chronicle of the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, and it is next-to-first in its supply of misery, despair, and unpleasantness. Probably the next-to-last thing you would like to read about are a harpoon gun, a rooftop sunbathing salon, two mysterious initials, three unidentified triplets, a notorious villain, and an unsavory curry. Next-to-last things are the first thing to be avoided, and so allow me to recommend that you put this next-to-last book down first, and find something else to read next at last, such as the next-to-last book in another chronicle, or a chronicle containing other next-to-last things, so that this next-to-last book does not become the last book you will read.

The End: The last volume of the fabulously popular A Series of Unfortunate Events series, in which the history of the Baudelaire orphans is brought to its end. You are presumably looking at the back of this book, or the end of the end. The end of the end is the best place to begin the end, because if you read the end from the beginning of the beginning of the end to the end of the end of the end, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope. This book is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can’t stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents. It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this book at once, so the end does not finish you.

~ ~ ~

I finished this series near the beginning of the month, and that feels like an eternity ago already… I honestly don’t know how to feel about this series. I didn’t think I liked it that much, but I was a little sad when I finished it. I’ve been reading it since October, anyway. I will say that these last six were the best in the series, with the last two tied for my favorite in the series. I feel like the plot became much deeper in these, so it made me more intrigued in them.

And funny story time… You might remember in a What I Read… in the past, I mentioned getting spoiled about this series. Turns out, I was sort of spoiled, but mostly I wasn’t. In the first episode of TV adaptation of this series, it shows parents who supposedly survived a fire. I was convinced it was the Baudelaire parents. Upon reading the last book, however, I found I was dreadfully wrong. And I wasn’t sure how to feel about that. Yes, I’m entirely used to unhappy endings, but I just didn’t expect this series to end badly, which is ironic considering the amount of times the author said that it would end badly. But like, this is a kid’s series, right? I just couldn’t get it through my head that Snicket was right. That being said, I was shocked that the parents were for real dead, and the kids were left stranded on an island after seeing so much death. It was just weird, I guess, but it’s not really an ending you would expect from a children’s story. But I’m not mad at it! I think the ending was perfect, honestly, even though it left some loose ends. It doesn’t say if the kids survive. You just have to come up with the rest of the story on your own, which is actually kind of nice considering the fact that Snicket was constantly telling the reader to do just that at the end of more than a few of the books.

All that being said, I did really like this series. I don’t know if I’ll get back to the TV show, just because I’m not that fond of it. But I most likely will be returning to Daniel Handler’s (Lemony Snicket) books.

Rating: The Hostile Hospital: 3.75/5 Stars

The Carnivorous Carnival: 3.25/5 Stars

The Grim Grotto: 3.75/5 Stars

The Slippery Slope: 3.75/5 Stars

The Penultimate Peril: 4.5/5 Stars

The End by Lemony Snicket: 4.5/5 Stars

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Synopsis: Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish: to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in eighteenth-century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

As Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

~ ~ ~

I started reading this at the beginning of 2021, but put it down for a while because it really started to creep me out, haha! Whatever I thought this would be when I first picked it up, it wasn’t what it turned out to be in the slightest. This reads like a sort of horror story, and I just wasn’t prepared for that! Still, I was impressed with how Marie Lu took a piece from history and turned it into such a beautiful story; fiction, with many truths woven into it.

I loved the characters a lot, and I found myself relating to Nannerl more than I thought I would. Of course, things have changed majorly since then, and it is perfectly acceptable for a woman such as myself to play piano and that sort of stuff, but I know what it’s like to feel like to wish to be seen. To wish that you could be remembered forever. I think that’s what made this book so frightening to me, because so many of Nannerl’s thoughts were my own, and her thoughts led to such dark things. It was funny, because after picking it back up this month, it was like I never left. I still loved the characters, and the end still made me emotional (then again, what doesn’t make me emotional, I guess?)e.

Aside from the characters, I also loved the worldbuilding! Marie Lu created a true fairy tale in this book, and anyone who is a fan of history and the Grimm fairy tales would love this! I highly recommend this!

Rating: 4.75/5 Stars

Legend & Prodigy by Marie Lu

Genre: Science Fiction

Synopsis: Legend: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Prodigy: Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

~ ~ ~

Here’s more Marie Lu books! I read there back in October-November of 2021, and reading it again this year…I feared I made a mistake. When I read this last year, I was in a really good place. A lot of new things were happening for me, and it was just an exciting time in my life. These books remind me of that time, and it was a part of what made that time so exciting. But sometimes you shouldn’t read a book you liked a while back, because you might find you don’t like them so much anymore, and I HATE it when that happens. Unfortunately, this is somewhat one of those times for me.

That isn’t to say I really don’t like this book. I’ll always have fond memories of it, but I had a lot more problems with it this time around. Reading it after knowing everything that happens actually made it a lot sadder (this is like, a soul-crushing series), but that didn’t change the fact that I could see a lot of faults with it. Reading it again, I feel that the romance was way to sudden and somewhat cringey. Disclaimer, this is coming from someone who madly wants June and Day to be together, so don’t come at me! Like I said, I still like this book, and I love the characters! I just had a few problems with it that I didn’t have last time. Funny enough, though, I realized that I have changed a lot in only one year, and I think that if I had read these books for the first time now, I probably would have wanted her to be with Anden instead of Day…maybe…

ANYway, I am planning on rereading the third one as well in the new year. I think I’ll still love the third one, even though it is the most soul-crushing of all of them…

Rating: Legend: 3.75/5 Stars

Prodigy: 4/5 Stars

Voltron: Legendary Defender Vol. 1 & 2 by Tim Hedrick

Genre: Science Fiction/Comics

Synopsis: Vol. 1: This trade collects the first comic book chapter of the epic series airing on Netflix. From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe comes VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER! When Team Voltron takes on a dangerous training mission in deep space, Coran, Princess Allura’s majordomo, is captured by an ancient enemy. It will take teamwork, smarts, and, of course, Voltron, to save their friend’s life.

Vol. 2: The DavDabHau are an alien race far from home and facing an uncertain future. For their survival they need to reach their sacred hunting grounds and establish a new life there. But the journey is dangerous, and they’ll need help… from Voltron!

~ ~ ~

Um… Okay, I read these last year, and I think I kind of felt the same then as I do now, reading them a second time. They’re super boring, and I don’t like them. I love the TV show, but these comics just…I don’t know. They rub me in all the wrong ways, especially Vol. 2. And I honestly can’t even tell you why, haha!

They do shed light on events that took place in between episodes in the TV show, and that’s nice. That might be the only plus, alongside getting to see more of the characters. I do love the characters. I guess there just could have been more action going on, and it is incredibly rushed. I know they’re comic books, but I’ve seen comics that aren’t rushed before. These just aren’t for me…

Rating: Vol. 1: 3/5 Stars

Vol. 2: 2.75/5 Stars

The Last Padawan Vol. 1 & 2 by Greg Weisman

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Comics

Synopsis: Vol. 1: In Star Wars: Rebels, Kanan Jarrus is a cocky, sarcastic renegade fighting the Galactic Empire alongside the ragtag crew of the Ghost. But years before, during the Clone Wars, he was known as Caleb Dume, a Jedi Padawan training under Master Depa Billaba. Neither master nor apprentice ever suspected that their “loyal” Clone Troopers would turn on them upon the issuing of Order 66 — the Emperor’s directive to execute all Jedi. How did Caleb Dume escape the Jedi purge? How did he learn to survive on his own after his master fell? And how did he become the man we know as Kanan Jarrus? What can a Padawan do when being a Jedi makes him a target?

Vol. 2: Continue to explore the early days of Kanan Jarrus, the sensational star of STAR WARS REBELS! You’ve seen Kanan’s last adventure as a Padawan, now witness his first! The boy who was Caleb Dune must find his feet as the Clone Wars rage all around him. When the Jedi Temple comes under attack, what can a mere Padawan do to make a difference? Caleb and his new master, Bilaba, will take command of their own clone troop, and lead them into the furious Battle of Mygeeto. But lying in wait for them there are a pair of Separatist Generals, one of whom is one of the most deadly threats in the entire galaxy! Can Caleb and Bilaba survive Grievous?

~ ~ ~

Again with more comics that I’m not entirely fond of. At least I am fond of these, at least a little, unlike the Voltron ones. I read these YEARS ago when they first came out, and I will say they’re good. If you’re a fan of Star Wars: Rebels, you’ll like them. I watched the show when it was first coming out, and I still have a soft spot for it. Which means, while these aren’t the best, I still enjoy them. I’ll say that I like the second one better, though.

It’s been so long, and I’ve lost a lot of interest in any new Star Wars content (it’s just not that good any more), so I don’t know if any more of these comics ever came out. If they have, I’m sorry to say that while I like these, I probably don’t like them enough to keep buying them…oh well.

Rating: Vol. 1: 3.5/5 Stars

Vol. 2: 3.75/5 Stars

Star Wars: Thrawn Vol. 1 & 2 by Jody Houser

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Comics

~ ~ ~

These are more rereads from years ago, and I found I still like them. These are actually comic adaptations of the novels written by Timothy Zahn (which I also really loved growing up), so even if this had been my first time reading them, I would still know what was going to happen. But I didn’t find myself getting bored in any way, just because the events are quite entertaining. Thrawn is my favorite Star Wars character, and watching him rise through the ranks of the Empire just amuses me so much.

Still, I think I’m just not one for comics, I guess. I like how fast I can get through them no matter how long they are, but even if they’re good, they still don’t entertain me as much as a novel would, or manga, really.

Final Fantasy: Lost Stranger Vol. 1-7 by Hazuki Minase

Genre: Fantasy/Manga

~ ~ ~

I didn’t intend on reading this again this year, but I decided on doing it at the last minute. My dad and I had gone to a comic book store to get a Christmas present for my brother, and I found Vol. 6 and 7, which I had yet to read. It’s been a long time since I last read anything in this series, so I decided to start over before moving on to the new ones. To be honest, I actually found I liked them better the second time around.

Except for Vol. 3-4, those are just boring and somewhat of a disappointment. But besides those, the series is great! In fact, the last two new ones I read blew me away with the art and the story, because they took it up to a new level! I was loving the references to Final Fantasy 7 in those last two! 6 and 7 are definitely my favorites in the series so far, and I can’t wait to see what happens next after that awful cliffhanger…

Rating: Vol. 1: 4/5 Stars

Vol. 2: 4/5 Stars

Vol. 3: 3/5 Stars

Vol. 4: 3/5 Stars

Vol. 5: 4/5 Stars

Vol. 6: 4.5/5 Stars

Vol. 7: 4.5/5 Stars

Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie

Genre: Crime/Mystery

Synopsis: Mr. Shaitana was famous, as were his parties. He was also a man of whom everybody was a little afraid. So, when he boasted to Poirot that he considered murder an art form, the detective had some reservations about accepting a party invitation of cards and viewing Shaitana’s private art collection. Indeed, what began as an absorbing evening of bridge was to turn into a more dangerous game altogether…

~ ~ ~

So…I didn’t like this one all that much. It started out okay, but towards the end, it became incredibly clear who had done it. Actually, I knew who’d done it all along pretty much. There were plenty of red herrings to keep things interesting, but it eventually revealed what I thought it would. Somehow, though, that still made it shocking. I guess I kept figuring that this certain person was too obvious? I feel like it had the same vibes as the ending in Towards Zero (another Christie book, which I thoroughly enjoyed). It did the same thing with making you think a certain person was the culprit, then drawing attention away from them, only to have it actually be that person in the end. It’s not really my favorite sort of twists, but I feel it was done better in Towards Zero.

I also felt like Poirot wasn’t in this one as much, which was a bummer. Not to say I didn’t like the other characters, but Poirot is what makes these mysteries! I felt like if he had been there more, the book would have been a lot shorter, because…well, it was that obvious who had committed the murder.

This one may not be my favorite, but being an Agatha Christie fan, I still recommend her books…maybe just don’t read this one first?

Rating: 3/5 Stars

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Genre: Fiction/Classic

~ ~ ~

I read this one every year, and I still have the same feelings for it as always. This is a true masterpiece, one I never get tired of reading, or watching. If you haven’t read this one, I highly recommend doing so! There’s a lesson in it for all of us!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Tommy and Tuppence Beresford are restless for adventure, so when they are asked to take over Blunt’s International Detective Agency, they leap at the chance.

Their first case is a success—the triumphant recovery of a pink pearl. Other cases soon follow—a stabbing on Sunningdale golf course; cryptic messages in the personal columns of newspapers; and even a box of poisoned chocolates. But can they live up to their slogan of “Any case solved in 24 hours”?

~ ~ ~

Um, where has this book been all of my life? I got through this pretty quickly, because it turns out that I love married couples who are undercover detectives, who are also snarky. I kid you not, I started this one with no clue what it was about, and I was CONVINCED I was going to hate it. I have no clue why that was, but I guess I had a seriously wrong impression of what this book is. Also, I started with the second one, so I was a little confused at the beginning (classic Princess Geek move). I learned pretty fast though, and I ate this one up.

I mean, can Agatha Christie come back to life so I can tell her to write MORE of these? I know there’s a whole series, and there’s even a TV show (that I will be getting into ASAP), but I know I’ll run out of content soon enough. But I NEED this witty couple in my life forever. They are brilliant, and they made me laugh throughout the entire book.

As the synopsis says, each chapter was a different mystery (unless they were bigger mysteries), and this was perfect for my attention span. I found their attempts at trying to solve mysteries in 24 hours hilarious, and you need them in your life, too. So go, right now, and get this book! Read it!

Okay, just kidding, you don’t have to do it right now. But I’m telling you, this is worth reading!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

~ ~ ~

Y’all…I don’t have the words to describe my feelings towards this book. I went in with high expectations, which I should know better about doing, and found that this book is hilariously awful. Like, it’s probably the only book I’ve ever read that is so bad that it makes me laugh. In fact, I considered writing a Goodreads review, which I only ever do if I’m seriously moved by a book, whether it’s bad or good. Maybe I will when I’m not recovering from a 24 hour readathon trying to fit in 100 books in 2022…

Anyway, the characters were just gosh-awful and CRINGE. I thought I was going to like the prince, and if I had to pick a favorite character it would be him, but he was such a moron sometimes. Literally the only thing I liked about this book was the banter between him and his friends, and that was IT. I didn’t like any of the other characters, and I especially didn’t like Lira. In fact, I hate Lira, quite passionately. She’s rude, thinks she’s hot stuff, and is an even bigger moron than Elian. Like, she seriously just needs to get over herself and realize SHE’S the villain here, not Elian.

And DON’T get me started on the plot itself. It was completely off the rails, and I could never be sure what was going on. It was one of the most boring things I’ve ever read, and there was even a point where I wanted to stop reading and forget about it (and perhaps wash my eyes out with soap). I would have if I didn’t have a reading goal to reach. Oh, right, there’s another thing I liked about this book: it was over quickly.

The book had multiple plot holes, too. Like, riddle me this Christo: HOW COME the queen told Lira that she had to kill Elian in three days, but then days pass without her killing him, and she doesn’t get turned into a human for the rest of her life??? Like, those were the terms! But literally nothing happened!!! And that horrendous romance had me gagging. Literally, in the romance scene, Elian asks, “do you remember when we first met?” Ummmmm you mean like LAST WEEK? Could it have been any less unromantic??? And TELL ME WHY when Elian realizes Lira is a Siren, he suddenly wants to kill her even though he just confessed his live to her, and then literally five minutes later, in a freaking life or death battle, he’s suddenly in love with her again and they have a nice make-out session in the middle of the fight. Like, did everyone literally stop fighting just to give them a moment? Like, “TIME OUT, TIME OUT, these people are having a romantic moment!” Seriously, it drove me up the walls!

I just wanted to be put out of my misery reading this, but I SO wish I could have liked it. It has a ton of potential- it just couldn’t live up to it.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Genre: Classic/Gothic/Romance

~ ~ ~

Having the disaster that was To Kill A Kingdom, one of my favorite novels was exactly what I needed. I first read this back in 2020, but I really wanted to read it again this year, because I was seriously missing this story. As tragic as it is, and as toxic as it might be, it’s one of my all-time favorite romances. It’s such a creepy book, but a beautiful one, too.

The dialogue in this book is my favorite thing about it, because Bronte held nothing back. It is raw, powerful, and just smashes your heart to pieces (at least, it did that to me, haha!). It was my favorite book for a long time before I read The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, but to this day, I sometimes tell people that this is actually my favorite. Reading it again, I realize that it might be tied with The Final Empire. It’s just. So. Good!

So if you haven’t read it yet, please do yourself a favor and pick it up!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her.

But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.

Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.

~ ~ ~

I don’t even know where to start with this. I finished this last night during my readathon, so I haven’t had much of a chance to gather my thoughts on it. I just went through a bunch of Goodreads reviews for it, and from what I can tell, people are very, VERY angry with this book. I was pretty okay with it, but after thinking over it with what time I could, I am a little disappointed- and not just because my side of the love triangle didn’t when.

Here’s the thing: the author wrote this after spending a lot of time thinking she wouldn’t get the chance to publish a third Inheritance Games book. I think that had an affect on this book, but I can’t say how much. Also, I feel like it was incredibly unnecessary, because this series could have easily been a duology. Just cut away everything that didn’t matter, and it would have been fine. Literally, the mystery didn’t interest me in the slightest after the first book. It wasn’t even about the mystery at that point, and everyone knew it. Because the number 1 thing people wanted to know was who Avery was going to end up with: Grayson, or Jameson? Personally, I was rooting for Grayson, but let’s get into that later. I have a feeling the love triangle was this series’ biggest selling point, because really, it was kind of boring.

Before we get into the love triangle, I want to talk about the ending of this book, and therefore the ending of this series. Of course, there’s another book coming out that’s about the brothers, but that’s going to be a different story entirely. This ending was rushed and entirely too anticlimactic. I saw it coming a mile away, in fact. I’m pretty sure I predicted every bit of it; except for the parts the things that just literally didn’t even make sense. It also heavily contradicted itself at every turn. You’re telling me that this Big Bad has no mercy and fights dirty, will actually HONOR a win and not bother the protagonist anymore? Like, those things don’t fit together. the villain either fights dirty, or he fights with honor. I had no clue what was going on, so I just stopped trying to figure it out, haha!

The characters were as lovely as usual, and really the only thing I like about this book. However, there was an important point a review on Goodreads brought up. I agree with this person when they saw that many of the characters just went backwards in their character development, especially Grayson. He felt like a COMPLETELY different character, which leads to an even bigger point this review made; their argument was that the author did this on purpose when she realized people were rushing to ship Grayson with Avery. They wondered if the author made Grayson out to be a bad person with too many flaws and tried to make Jameson a wonderful person just to get people to change sides. I don’t know, but the more I think about it, the more plausible it sounds. There’s just nothing else that makes more sense than that does.

While I wanted her to be with Grayson, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I knew it for sure after the end of the second one. I came to terms with it, and it wasn’t so bad since I like Jameson anyway (but still…). The more I think about it though, the more I feel a little disappointed…but oh well! Really, I just wanted Grayson to be happy, and I don’t feel like he was given good enough closure. Inf act, it felt like the author threw him off to the side for most of the book. It was entirely almost too annoying for me to keep reading, but, alas, I had no time to waste with 2023 furiously approaching.

While this book certainly didn’t make it into my top ten favorites of the year, it still was pretty okay. I guess. Read at your own discretion…

Rating: 3.25/5 Stars

Saint by Adrienne Young

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales.

Nine years after his lack of superstition got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows.

Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for.

He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for―Saint.

~ ~ ~

I literally just finished this a couple hours ago as my 100th book of 2022! And good news: I actually really enjoyed it! I had no idea what to expect from it since I wasn’t that fond of the other two in the series (though I did like Fable a little), but I was pretty attached soon after starting it. It had the same vibe as the other ones, and was kind of boring, but somehow, I liked it. I loved seeing young Saint more than I thought I would, because I didn’t particularly care for him in Fable and Namesake (I’m probably going to get attacked for saying that, haha!). However, this made me reconsider. I loved his point-of-view, and I actually ended up liking the Isolde chapters too, which surprised me. It’s hard to get myself to enjoy female povs sometimes, but Young wrote a strong female character that wasn’t annoying, which not many people can do, it seems.

I loved the characters, except Zola, because who would love Zola? I also don’t like Holland, but I already knew that from Namesake. But Clove, Saint, and Isolde are the dream team here, and now I need another book of them doing their thing (preferably without the account of Isolde’s death, because I legit though the epilogue would be about that and I was about to stop reading). With this being a prequel to Fable, I knew a lot of what was going to happen, but that kind of made it fun.

I’ll say that this book definitely isn’t for everyone, but I’d say to give it a try even if you didn’t like Fable or Namesake. You might liking it, like I did!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

That’s all for 2022 (even though this is coming out in 2023…). I think I went a little bit harder on the ratings this time around, and I could have written more for the reviews, but I guess I’m just lazy after constantly reading and spending the last three hours on this. Anyway, if you want to see more about a book, let me know and I can write an entire review for it!

Let me know what you read this month in the comments below! And as always, God bless y’all, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Synopses taken from Goodreads.

3 thoughts on “Princess Geek Reads: Everything I Read In December

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