Monthly recap | December & 2013.

I always enjoy watching recaps from other bloggers, so that’s why I’ll be posting my own recaps. This wrap up is also my new ‘Showcase Sunday’ since I don’t have the time to do weekly hauls. Instead, I hope to capture it in vlogs every now and then.

Did
I went to the cinema, decorated the house (love Christmas, makes everything look so cozy), made plans for Secret Santa with the book club, did a lot of Christmas shopping, had a second break down with my laptop and celebrated 3 perfect Christmas days.

2013 was an amazing year! I had some downs, but mostly ups. I'm very content when I look back at all the memories I've made. Some I want to share with you are: I started a book club with some awesome people, had a fantastic vacation in Italy, I made contact with publishers, I passed another school year, I started to put myself more out there by being active on Twitter (working on my confidence) and I spent much time with the people I love. I hope 2014 is going to bring me and you many wonderful new memories, health, happiness and good book moments! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Read
1. Richelle Mead – Vampire academy.
2. Kendare Blake – Anna dressed in blood.
3. Brodi Ashton – Evertrue.
4. Megan Shepherd – Her dark curiosity.
5. Michelle Hodkin – The unbecoming of Mara Dyer. (My epic rec)
6. Malinda Lo – Ash.
7. Dr. Seuss – How the Grinch stole Christmas.
8. Louise Rennison – Angus, Thongs & full-frontal snogging (re-read because of Ellis tweets)
9. Adam Gidwitz - The Grimm conclusion.
10. Diana Wynne Jones - Howl's moving castle.
Watched
Only the highlights, because I saw 22 movies and 1 complete TV show.

1. The hunger games: Catching fire (OH MY GOD, how good is this movie? Casting is awesome and I loved the arena. I even warmed up for Peeta.)
2. Thor: the dark world (Hello Loki!)
4. Les Misérables (not as bad as I expected after reading several reviews. I actually really liked Russel Crowe.)
7. Justin and the knights of Valour (awesome! Such a shame that animation movies without a big name don’t get so much attention.)
9. The hobbit: desolation of Smaug (ANOTHER PERFECT MOVIE. I want to live with the elves. How pretty is their home?)
12. Percy Jackson and the sea of monsters (bhahahaha, seriously? I skimmed through the movie and I was still bored.)

Books



1. I won a personal signed copy from Janet Edwards – Earth girl.
2. I received an unexpected ARC from Strange Chemistry: Danielle L. Jensen – Stolen songbird. I requested it, but I didn’t hear back from them and thought I wouldn’t get it. I must admit that I did a happy dance when I opened my package.
3. I couldn’t resist and downloaded a bunch of books from Edelweiss.
-Merrie Haskell – The castle behind thorns.
-Lindsay Cummings – The murder complex.
-Amy Plum – After the end.
-Dianne K. Salerni – The eighth day.
-Anthology – The cabinet of curiosities.
-Kate Karyus Quinn – Don’t you forget about me.

Christmas presents:
I got dvd's (sister: The hunger games, Paranorman & Rango, parents: The Lorax), jewellery, a cozy pyjama, money, a snowman vest and some other little things. I feel ridiculous spoilt and happy :D Here are the books I got:


Parents:
-Box set from Shannon Hale with Goose girl, Enna Burning & River secrets.
-Melanie Dickerson - Captive maiden.
-Juliet Marillier - Vlam van Zeven Wateren (Dutch version from Flame of Seven Waters) I collect these in Dutch, because I love the covers, haha.

Boyfriend:
-Box set with signed poster from Julie Kagawa with The iron king, The iron daughter, The iron queen & The iron knight. LOVE IT :D

Watching back at 2013 and looking forward:
I only DNF-ed 5 books.
-Michelle Vail - Undeadly.
-Teresa Orts - The year of the great seventh.
-Patrick W. Carr - The hero's lot.
-Daisy Whitney - When you were here.
-Kerstin Hamilton -  The mesmer menace.

The top 15 best books of 2013. Which is always hard, because I read many good books.

1. Brodi Ashton – the complete Everneath series. (Everneath, Everbound & Evertrue)
2. Robin LaFevers – Grave mercy.
3. Robin LaFevers – Dark triumph.
4. Courtney Summers – This is not a test.
5. Marissa Meyer – Scarlet.
6. Marissa Meyer – Cress.
7. Leigh Bardugo – Shadow and bone.
8. Leigh Bardugo – Siege and storm.
9. John Green – The fault in our stars.
10. Rae Carson – The crown of Embers.
11. Bridget Zinn – Poison.
12. Liz Coley – Pretty grl thirteen.
13. Emily Murdoch – If you find me.
14. Sarah J. Maas – Crown of midnight.
15. Anna Ursu – Breadcrumbs.

(and I know, I cheated with number 1!)


I completed all the reading challenges:
-Dystopian: Leader, 24/19.
-Paranormal: read at least 1 book from all the 12 categories.
-Fairy tales: Great and terrible beast, 39/16.
-Bingo: wanted to complete at least the TBR-pile.

-Tudor: Henry VII with the 5 needed books.
-Zombie: one chomp with the 6 needed books.
-Goodreads: I wanted to read 110 books, I read a total of  146 books. My goal for 2014 is at least 100, because I'll get busier.

My challenges for 2014 are:
-TBR pile.
-Review pile.
-Dystopia.
-Series.
-Fairy tales.
-Bingo challenged with a new, changed scorecard.


Remember my 'Mission impossible: tackling series'? I'm going to continue this mission by participating in the Series challenge. This is what I achieved in 2013 and I'm actually quite proud:

Finished this year: 13.
Amy Plum – Revenants (3)
Kiersten White – Paranormalcy (3)
Cassandra Rose Clarke - Assassin’s curse (2)
Anna Carey - Eve (3)
Alex Flinn – Kendra Chronicles (2)
Lauren Oliver - Delirium (3)
Cameron Dokey, Nancy Holder, Tracy Lynn, Suzanne Weyn & Debbie Viguié - OUAT series (19)
Jessica Day George – Princess (3)
Cynthia Hand – Unearthly (3)
Michelle Diener – Susanna & Parker (3)
Tia Nevitt – Accidental Enchantments (2)
Adam Gidwitz - A tale dark and Grimm (3)
Brodi Ashton - Everneath (3)
 
So, I believe this is all I needed to recap! Let me know about your favorite books of 2013 and if you completed all your reading challenges. Are you going to participate in challenges in 2014? What are your favourite moments from 2013 and what are you looking forward to?

62 comments

  1. Started a book club!! That is great. I have always wanted a real life book club!! It is great that you finished all the challenges you signed up for also. I might sign up for a couple this year!

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    1. Me too, so I'm very happy that it's finally happening :D

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  2. Wow, you're participating in a TON of challenges for 2014! I wanted to do a bunch of them, but decided to only do two, because I worried that doing too many would stress me out. But that's awesome that you decided to do all of those! The bingo one does look really cool.

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    1. Haha, I know, I'm addicted to them.. Since I managed to complete them all this year, I went crazy with joining. I'm just going to see how far I can come and if I don't complete them, that is fine :)

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  3. I'm so glad you loved Mara Dyer! Crown of Embers and Poison were two of my favorite reads from 2013, too. You have one awesome boyfriend- that box set is a fantastic present!!

    Happy New Year!

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  4. What an amazing month and year!!! I'm looking forward to seeing what you feature and read this next year! :) I'll be posting some fun end of year things in the next few days.

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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    1. Me too, I hope many awesome books :D I can't wait to see your end of year things!

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  5. woow that sounds amazing Mel!! A lot of great christmas presents too!! What a great month it has been! Thanks for sharing!
    - Farah

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  6. You got so many great books, I can't wait to read The Murder Complex and Stolen Songbird! I'll be also participating in lots of challenges, and now I also need to check out that bingo challenge ;) I especially need to continue and finish a lot of series in 2014. I'll have my top 10 books of 2013 up on Tuesday, but Cinder & Scarlet were definitely my favorites, too. Have a great week, and happy New Year!

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    1. Ahh, another reading challenges addict :D I'm going to see which ones you are going to do! I look forward to your top 10 of books.

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  7. Yes Catching Fire was amazing! I'm so so happy with the casting, they were all perfect in my opinion. I'm glad you had a great month AND a great year. I have been meaning to join some challenges next year, but I didn't know which ones OR where I could find them. So now thanks to this post I have found some challenges that I want to join in, so YAY. From your list I think I am going to join the Dystopia, TBR and the series challenge. Happy new year!

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    1. The casting couldn't have been better! Yeay, you're welcome and happy you've joined the club in those challenges :D We can support each other!

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  8. Very impressive! I have neglected my challenges a little :( I think I have completed them I just need to verify since I have not in a WHILE! Awesome Christmas gifts too!

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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  9. Oh, are the Juliet Marillier books good? I've had her on my wishlist forever!

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    1. YES! She is one of my favorites and I'm reading the Flame of Seven Waters now and it's good :)

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  10. This wrap-up post was the best!

    Catching Fire was probably the most perfect movie I have seen all year. I hope you enjoy all of your new books. I can't wait to hear what you think of them.

    Next year I am going to be participating in my first reading challenges. I think so far I have only signed up for the standalone reading challenge, but I know I will probably be signing up for more.

    My favorite moment from 2013 would just be starting my book blog. It was many years in the making, but I finally did it and am so glad I did.

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    1. Thanks! I was afraid it was too much in one post, but it felt a bit silly to divide it over several posts. Catching fire was definitely one of the most impressive movies I've seen this year.

      Ahhh, how exciting! I can't wait to see in which challenges you are going to participate.

      I'm very happy that you started your book blog :)

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  11. Oooh, the Shannon Hale boxed set looks beautiful, and After the End sounds awesome!
    Hmm...I think my favorite 2013 books have been Scarlet/Cinder and Across a Star-Swept Sea.
    I hope you have a fabulous 2014! :)

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    1. Yes, it's so pretty in real life <3 Thanks Alice!

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  12. Wow you had a truly fantastic year! Way to go on starting a book-club, that's awesome :D I loved your picks for top reads of 2013 - we share Cinder, Scarlet and Crown of Midnight as far as favorites go!! Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph and that Rae Carson series are all high-priority reads for 2014 LOL You're right, Catching Fire was amazing!! Oh and I'll be seeing The Desolation of Smaug in the next week :D Still need to see Thor and omg I agree Sea of Monsters was lame, I wish it would have been more like the book :(

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    1. OHHH, 2014 is going to be SO good for you book wise :D I definitely recommend reading those soon, you won't regret it *pushes books towards Micheline* Have fun watching The desolation of Smaug :D

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  13. Excellent work finishing all your challenges. I didn't even come close!

    And wasn't Catching Fire a great movie! I haven't seen the new Hobbit movie yet, but maybe tomorrow!

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  14. Wow! That is amazing! I am so obsessed with Loki ..sigh..also love the shannon hale fairy tale retellings!

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  15. Excellent job! Sounds like you had a great month, and awesome year. I didn't get any of the reread squares finished this year. But trying again next year since the board is changed.
    How did u like Her Dark Curiousity? Gonna read that soon. I got Castle behind thorns too, excited for that. I haven't seen Catching Fire yet but I loved Thor 2 lol

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    1. I love the board SO MUCH now :D It's good they listened to the feedback. I hated it :') The love-triangle *ugh*

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  16. Ooh, that's such a wonderful achievement, Mel! You've done so much challenge too 0.0
    Anyway, Happy Early New Year to you! Stay amazing for 2014 too! :D

    And ooh, I really need to touch my DVD of Hobbit soon. Everyone keep telling me how amazing it is :)

    Neysa @ [B.O.O.K.L.I.F.E]

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  17. Amazing post Mel :D You got a lot done this December. <3 sounds like you had an awesome month as well :) Ah, how I loved The Hobbit 2! Such a good movie. <3 Just wish nr 3 was out soon :) Hope you will have an amazing 2014. <3

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    1. It will be a long wait, but I know it's worth it :D

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  18. Have you already posted your review of the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer? I can't wait to see what you think of that :) I have been really enjoying the books. I only read 4 books in December. That reading slump had me very unenthusiastic to read. Great post!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  19. Sounds like you had an amazing 2013, Mel! CATCHING FIRE WAS AWESOME! The casting was definitely perfect for this movie. Congrats on completing all of your reading challenges! I hope 2014 is even better than 2013 for you! :D

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    1. I hope 2014 is going to be awesome for you too :)

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  20. I'm so glad you had a great year, Mel! We share a lot of favourite books, from the Everneath series to Leigh Bardugo's work. I also really liked If You Find Me and This is Not a Test. And Crown of Midnight!! I'm SO looking forward to reading the third book in the series next year. Hopefully 2014 will be another great year for books. :) Have a lovely new year, Mel!

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    1. TOG 3 is one of my most anticipated books. So excited :D

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  21. Mel, happy ALMOST 2014! Can you believe it's here already?! I cannot wait to see what the new year brings your blog (and your rabid readers!) xo

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  22. Wow did you accomplish a lot this year! and what a great batch of new books you got! I can't wait to get my copy of Stolen Songbird!! I'm jealous your copy arrived mine hasn't yet - I'm aching to read it!

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  23. Wow you have been very busy! All the challenges! I only participated in one: my own XD But I totally nailed that one :D
    Love your fave books, I enjoyed Meyer and Maas immensely! I look forward to LaFevers and Bardugo in 2014. :)
    Wish ym fam would get me books! They never get it even though I talk about book ALL THE TIME! :X
    Great gifts, great year. I hope you have an amazing 2014!

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    1. My family already knows I don't want anything else than books & dvd's (or things that have to do with books) It's a shame they don't get them for you! But other presents can be great too :D

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  24. Congratz on your progress this year! That's awesome! I love that you exceeded your Goodreads goal - I squeaked by mine, JUST finishing a book TODAY that accomplished my goal of 70 books. So I cut it really close! I'm not sure if I should increase the goal for next year or keep it the same.. I'll probably up it a tad bit, since 70 was the most books I've read in an entire year ever since I've been keeping records - for several years! :D

    I hope you love the books you got for the holidays and the ones you bought yourself! :D

    I'm making a Top Ten Best list for 2013 (to be posted soon) and yeah, it's so hard to pick!!

    Happy New Year! <33

    April @ My Shelf Confessions

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    1. You could always make it just a little higher :D but 70 is great too!

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  25. You had an awesome 2013 - and I loved some of the same books you did! As far as the ones I haven't read yet, I'll be adding a few to my priority reading list :) And congrats on completing the challenges! Hope you're just as successful in 2014.

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  26. WOW! Awesome month... YEAR Mel!! :D I know the FEELS for The Hobbit!! xD I could just run away with Legolas! If I was Tauriel, forget Kili (even though I love him a lot too), but LEGOLAS. DOOD. But anyway xD I see you have The Books Of Bayern Series :) That was actually my gateway novel to YA, and I really adore it... I hope to reread it soon! :D I hope you will enjoy it, it is a really beautiful series :)
    Thanks for making my year great by being a great friend, Mel :) Happy 2014!! <33

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    1. Awh, that is sweet Emily :D I can't wait to read The books of Bayern!

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  27. I really want to start the georgie nicholsan novels! I LOVE the british movie SO MUCH (recently rewatched it actually) but I need to find the first book and buy it.

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. Haha, the movie is hilarious, the books are even better :D

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  28. I've started to do monthly wrap ups as well. It's easier for me than doing weekly ones:) ...can u believe I haven't been able to watch The Hobbit yet! Everyone around me seem to have and my studies had been keeping me all aloof:p but I will now :D But seriously, I have no idea why they are making Percy Jackson movies anymore; the first film was not that bad if u ask me, but this one was a HUGE letdown(and yes, I saw it WITHOUT any skimming o.O)
    You DNFd Undeadly? I was planning to read it soon, I think I'll give it a try still..let's see
    Hope u have the awesomest year ahead...Happy New Year Mel! :D :D

    Munira @ In Vogue with Books

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    1. I hope you get to see The hobbit soon! Much better than the Percy movies ;) And yes, I couldn't connect with the MC. She was so frustration, but perhaps you can!

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  29. It took me about a year to get finally get active on Twitter by talking to people. I love it now! =D

    I just finished the VA series and wow, overwhelmed with all the feels.

    Gaaah, I've yet to watch Catching Fire and I'm dying to. Soon, my heart, soon. I have to catch up on so many movies that I just get lazy thinking about them. Ha ha.

    I also downloaded The Murder Complex (SO excited), Don't You Forget About Me (come at me, creepy book) and After the End (sounds interesting). Stolen Songbird sounds like it'll be a good read, too.

    I love your list of best of 2013! The Fault in Our Stars, Everneath and Cinder are awesome and Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight are the BEST. I'm currently reading Shadow and Bone and enjoying it a lot.

    I'm impressed with all the series you finished! I plan to finish at least 5 series this year and well, it's hard to choose which. =D Probably why I'm participating in 2014 Series Challenge.

    Happy 2014, Mel!

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    1. Catching fire is ahhhhwesome *sing* I'm happy that you are reading Shadow and bone now :D

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  30. I freakin loved Thor: The Dark World. I'm practically drooling for the DVD to come out so I can watch it again!

    Catching Fire was also fantastic and literally the only part I didn't like was the dance scene with Katniss and Plutarch, because the camera circling round and round made me feel sick. I thought it was interesting that they made the entire movie about the games, and I wonder if Mockingjay Part 1 will include the last what, 30% of Catching Fire that wasn't included in the movie?

    I just saw The Hobbit part 2 and it was good, but I really don't think that they needed to stretch it out to three movies. There was so much they made up, so much filler, and the hobbits got captured three separate times. I didn't HATE it and I'm certainly not a Tolkien purist, but it was just too drawn out for me.

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    1. The only thing was: I needed more Loki :D Haha. I have no idea what they are going to do with the Mockingjay movie, but I hope it's just as good as Catching fire :) I know many people find The hobbit too stretched, but I just love the whole world and all the details <3 Can't get enough of it.

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  31. Eep -- about to read this so I am glad you liked it :)
    Happy New Year, Mel!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  32. I've always thought about doing a monthly recap, but have never gotten around to it. Maybe in 2014? Oh wait... it is 2014. Well... maybe!!!

    Looks like you've had an amazing month. I have to admit I giggled when you said you only DNFed 5 books though. Haha. That's just outrageous to someone like me who refuses to DNF, but to each their own!

    And go you for being more social on Twitter! I always feel like I should do better at that, but am afraid I'll get sucked into it and never escape and get even less done than I already do!! haha.

    And um daaang, so many challenges! I started my blog in March last year so I didn't really join many challenges, and those I did I failed miserably. But I'm sort of thinking I want to join some this year. I guess I better get moving on that as well!

    Geesh, I come here just to comment and be friends and instead I leave your blog feeling like a failure who needs to get her act together. :P Happy 2014 <3

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