Book & Fangirl Christmas Haul 2019

The holiday season has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I absolutely love getting into the festive spirit and listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas album. Although I couldn’t be more than excited for the new year ahead, I admit that I still have a little bit of the holiday spirit in me- how could I not when Arthur Christmas was just added on Netflix?? I have a few bookish and fangirl gifts that were generously given to me by Santa (aka my family) this Christmas that I have to look forward to using and reading in 2020.

Books

Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu

Rebel is the much anticipated follow-up fourth novel to Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy. The Legend trilogy were the first Marie Lu books that I had ever read. They still remain as my favorite Marie Lu series. I had intended to reread Legend, Prodigy, and Champion in 2019, but I’ll be 100% honest and admit that I ended up not in the mood to reread them this past fall. Rebel can apparently be read as a standalone, but I really want to re-familiarize myself with this world. One of my reading goals for January and February is reread all three books and then dive into Rebel.

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The Risk and The Play (Briar U #2 and Briar U #3) by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy is one of favorite new adult authors, having loved her Off-Campus series and really enjoying the first book in the Briar U series, The Chase. Briar U is the spin-off series to Off-Campus. Both books are set at the fictional Briar University and follow relationships between a wide cast of female characters and male Briar U hockey players. I absolutely love sports romance, so I knew I needed to continue on with the Briar U series with The Risk and The Play. Each of these books can be read as a standalone, as they follow different couples in the Briar U world. However, I personally like reading each book in publication order because Elle Kennedy often  features previous main characters. I decided to ask for these books for Christmas because my library unfortunately does not have the Briar U series and I already own The Chase.

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HOLIDAY READING RECS: Holiday Books I’ve Read

Although I am a firm believer that the Christmas spirit can be found anytime of year, I especially love bringing some holiday cheer to my TBR in December. I love reading holiday or Christmas-inspired books during this season to fully embrace the holidays, a cup of hot chocolate and a cozy blanket included. I have two holiday books on my TBR for this year, Cynthia Hand’s The Afterlife of Holly Chase and Josie Silver’s One Day in December—which also means give me all of your holiday book recommendations in the comments!

Since I’m always on the hunt for a holiday book, I will be discussing all of the holiday-inspired books that I’ve read over the past few years, along with a few favorite books of mine that feature holiday scenes for your own holiday TBR hunting purposes. 

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Let It Snow by Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson & John Green- Let It Snow is hot on everyone’s holiday book radar this year, thanks to its recent Netflix adaptation. Let It Snow is always the first holiday book that comes to my mind, being that it was one of my first ever YA books back in elementary school. I’ve read it at least two times, and I have some more reread motivation thanks to Netflix.

 My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins- Another YA holiday book classic, My True Love Gave to Me is made up of twelve holiday short stories from twelve YA authors. Each story is so cute and has its own little quirks. Last Christmas, I went back and reread a few of my favorite stories. I would love for Jenny Han’s story, “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Be,” to be turned into a full book, and Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights” is now also featured in her two story collection, Almost Midnight. 

Christmas at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan- Although technically the sequel to Jenny Colgan’s Meet Me at the Cupcake Café, Christmas at the Cupcake Café can be read as a standalone. I have much love for the first book, so this Christmas fangirl was more than excited to reunite with this world following a woman’s adventure opening a cupcake bakery. As expected, there was so many Christmas-y desserts, and Jenny Colgan included recipes to some of them! This book is also partially set in New York City, allowing readers to get a taste of the city winter wonderland.

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Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm- Considering that I consider myself to be a holiday book conssieur, I was pleasantly surprised last year when I picked up Stephanie Kate Strohm’s Prince in Disguise last December, only to find it out that it takes place during Christmas! If you love books about weddings, royalty, or Christmas (or like me, all three put together), look no further than Prince in Disguise. The book follows Dylan, who is whisked away to Scotland for the holidays to serve as maid of honor in her reality TV star sister’s wedding to a Scottish laird-to-be.

My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff- If there’s one book that deserves ALL the stars for its festive spirit, it’s Shani Petroff’s My New Crush Gave to Me! The book follows Charlie’s mission to find the perfect Secret Santa gifts for her crush. Charlie spends the season experining new and old Christmas traditions, as well as celebrating Hanukah with her best friend.

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston-  This 2019 holiday-inspired release has deservedly been on the top of everyone’s holiday TBRs as well. 10 Blind Dates is another book that deserves all the stars for its holiday mood, as Sophie spends Christmas with her entire extended family while also, as the title suggests, being set-up on ten holiday-inspired dates.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak- Seven Days of Us follows one very dysfunctional family’s Christmas, having to stay inside quarantined. Although I loved its family focus, I wish there had been a touch more of the holiday spirit.

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Graynor & Heather Webb- Last Christmas in Paris is the perfect blend for holiday and historical fiction fans. The book takes place during World War I and is told over a series of letters and other exchanges between a couple separated by war.

 What Light by Jay Asher- I admit that I don’t remember much about Jay Asher’s What Light, but why wouldn’t I enjoy a book that takes place on a Christmas tree farm??

Books with Christmas Scenes

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- If you’re not the biggest fan of holiday books but still want some festivity in your reading life, the season makes for one of the best times of the year to read or reread Harry Potter. Each book involves chapter(s) set during Christmas.

Rainbow Rowell: Landline, Carry On, Fangirl, and Eleanor & Park It’s probably no coincidence that my favorite author happens to have so many books that feature scenes during the holidays. Whether you’re looking to read the entire book or just reread the holiday scenes, I’ve broken down where and how each book interweaves Christmas

  • Landline– Set during Christmas time
  • Carry On– Christmas-y chapters, about half way through the book
  • Fangirl – Chapter 20
  • Eleanor and Park– Chapters 32-33

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 What holiday books have you read? Any of the above? Share in the comments!

HOLIDAY MOOD: 10 Blind Dates Review & Most Anticipated Christmas Movies 2019

Summary (from the publisher): Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.10

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it? 

 

 My Rating: 4/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

 Ashley Elston’s 10 Blind Dates made my TBR radar earlier in 2019 thanks to its holidays-inspired premise. As many as you know, I love when books incorporate one of my non-bookish faves. And Christmas is definitely a favorite interest of mine. I am proud to admit though that I have been fully embracing fall and Halloween this year by decorating my dorm room and purposely buying a Halloween costume. But never fear, my Christmas decorations are at the ready. Anyway, I also wanted to read 10 Blind Dates because I wanted to read more of Ashley Elston’s work. Although I enjoyed it, I wasn’t a super fan of her This Is Our Story as much as I hoped to be given the hype. However, I was really excited to embrace her first true contemporary story.

10 Blind Dates follows Sophie’s holiday break at her grandparents’ house in the next town over, after deciding to stay home while her parents visit her very pregnant sister three hours away in South Louisiana. Sophie couldn’t wait to get some alone time with her long-time boyfriend, Griffin- until she’s overhears him talking at a party about breaking up with her. With a big family who wants nothing but happiness for Sophie, her cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles set Sophie set her up on ten blind dates.

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One of my favorite parts of 10 Blind Dates was of course Sophie’s crazy extended family. There are a lot of family members, but Ashley Elston does a really nice job of reminding readers who is who and focusing on the ones who are most central to the plot. Sophie’s Nonna was my favorite family member, creating the blind date idea and having homemade cannolis ready at the go. Living with her grandparents also allows Sophie to reconnect with her childhood best friends and cousins Charlie and Olivia (not to mention their best friend and neighbor, Wes).

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FANGIRL CHRISTMAS: Book & Fandom Haul December 2018

While the new year is such a refreshing time, this fangirl is still getting over her Christmas spirit. Christmas time is always a good time for this reader and fangirl. While I wasn’t expecting too many fangirlish presents from Santa (my family) this year, I was so surprised, excited and fortunate enough to receive the following bookish and fangirl items.

Books

I didn’t go all out asking for books on Christmas list this year, mostly because I’m running out of bookshelf space and your girl loves supporting her local library.

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ALL THE AMAZING CHRISTMAS THINGS: Christmas at the Cupcake Café Review

Summary: In the standalone sequel to Jenny Colgan’s Meet Me at the Cupcake Café, Issy Randall couldn’t be happier and more in love. Business at the Cupcake Café is thriving, close friends surround her, and her relationship with Austin is in the perfect place–except that he’s in New York City for work right before Christmas. When Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to consider a long-distance romance and the fate of her bakery.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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UNEXPECTED CUTE CHRISTMAS READ: Prince in Disguise

Summary: As the younger sister of the former Miss Mississippi and reality TV show star of Prince in Disguise, life feels real enough for Dylan. But since Dusty’s wedding to Scottish laird-to-be, Ronan, is going to be aired on the show, maid of honor and camera-shy Dylan finds herself in front of the camera as well. As she is whisked off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the big day, Dylan begins to discover that the show’s producers has even more surprises in store, including family secrets, long-lost relatives, and Dusty’s future-mother-in-law who decidedly doesn’t think Dylan’s sister is good enough for her son. At least Dylan has Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsmen, to relieve some of her stress… unless the show plans on making Dylan her own reality TV sensation.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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Holiday Review: Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Summary: For the first time in years, the entire Birch family will be under roof for Christmas. And it’s only slightly because they have to. Andrew and Emily’s daughter, Olivia, who is often off saving the world, is forced to stay in quarantine for a week after treating an epidemic abroad… and her family should stay in quarantine too. For the next seven days, the Birches will be cut off from humanity- including decent Wi-Fi, in their aging country estate. While younger daughter Phoebe focuses on her upcoming wedding, Olivia struggles to accumulate herself into her family’s life, especially as Andrew and Emily hide their own secrets.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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GIVE ME ALL THE TV & CHRISTMAS: November 2018 Wrap Up

November, you were filled with school, books, film, AND all the holiday season prep. I am a firm believer that the earlier you start celebrating Christmas, the happier you’ll be (and hopefully that happiness will translate to reading motivation!)

I read 6 books in November, which I’m really happy about because I mostly LOVED everything that I read. I also hit 100 books for the year- live love Goodreads for telling me this (I’m currently at 105). I think one of my New Year “resolutions” is going to be keeping better track of what I read on my own—I tried and failed to do so in 2018, despite some pretty amazing Excel sheets.
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Christmas Book & Fandom Haul 2017

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Although January has already begun, I think that there’s always room for some Christmas spirit. Christmas hauls are among my favorite Youtube videos and blog posts to read and watch, so I wanted to feature some of my Christmas gifts here on Fangirl Fury. Santa and my parents did a fantastic job as always fulfilling this fangirl’s bookish and fandom desires with the following gifts.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith- I ASKED FOR A CLASSIC BOOK FOR CHRISTMAS, WHAT???? I saw I Capture the Castle float around bookstagram in 2017, and I became even more intrigued by the book when I saw that the latest edition had a foreword by Jenny Han and a blurb from J.K. Rowling. Between two of my all-time favorite authors’ contributions and its stunning cover, I’m so happy to have this book on my shelf, soon to be read!

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer- Renegades was a bit of an unexpected Christmas gift, but Santa knows how much I love Marissa Meyer. I’m really excited to have my own copy of Renegades because I never realized how gorgeous the cover was in person. Although I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews, I am excited to give Renegades a go, but I think I won’t be reading it until closer to the release date of the next book in the duology.

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The Midnight Star by Marie Lu- One of my reading goals for 2018 is to reread The Young Elites and continue on the series with The Rose Society and The Midnight Star. Like Renegades and my Marissa Meyer collection, this means that I now have all of Marie Lu’s books!

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Alex and Ani Hogwarts Two Tone Charm Bracelet- My Alex and Ani bracelets are among my most worn and favorite jewelery, so I was beyond excited when they came out with their Harry Potter collection. I’m in love with this bracelet featuring the Hogwarts crest because although it obviously symbolizes Harry Potter, I feel that it’s a bit understated and will blend in well with the rest of my Alex and Ani bracelets. Plus who doesn’t want to walk around with Hogwarts pride??

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Parks and Recreation Funko Pops—Leslie Knope, April Ludgate, & Andy Dwyer—Funko Pops are among my favorite gifts to give and receive, so I was super excited to receive more Funko Pops from my favorite TV show. I now have 5 out of the 6 Parks & Rec Funko Pops that have been released so far, and I admit that I probably won’t be getting Lil’ Sebastian anytime soon—me and Ben Wyatt are on the same page about that one.

Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley Nano Metalfigs- I received these mini versions of Hermione and Ron in my stocking. I’ve actually never seen these type of figures before, but I think they’re pretty cute and unique gifts for any Potter fan.

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Book Con tickets- YES I WILL BE ATTENDING THE BEST BOOKISH WEEKEND OF THE YEAR  AGAIN IN 2018! I’ve been going back and forth about applying to Book Expo this year, so I’m excited to at least have Book Con already in the works!

What bookish or fandom gifts did you give or receive this year? Share in the comments!

A Festive Review: My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

Summary: Charlie plans everything possible in her life, from scheduling her free time to co-editing the school newspaper with her best friend. What else does Charlie plan? Finding the perfect Secret Santa gifts in hopes of winning over Teo Ortiz, the perfect guy for her—star athlete, National Honor Society member—but the only problem? He doesn’t know Charlie exists. Enter J.D. Ortiz, Teo’s cousin, who is the complete opposite of Teo and Charlie—late to everything, disorganized, and the most annoying person Charlie’s ever met. But J.D. knows Teo better than Charlie, and with his help, Charlie’s plan for a Christmas romance may actually work.

My Star Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

My festive reading continues this month with Shani Petroff’s My New Crush Gave to Me! Before getting into the holiday aspects of the novel, I want to talk about the book itself. The story is a bit fast-paced, as Charlie is in crunch-time mode to find the perfect Secret Santa gifts for Teo in time to ask him to Noelle’s birthday party. The speed of the plot by no means negatively affected my opinion of the novel, as we have the perfect amount of time to see Charlie and J.D.’s friendship develop. I also loved Charlie and Morgan’s friendship (yay positive female friendships!), and I liked seeing Charlie’s relationship with her mom. As a character, I liked Charlie—she was a bit typical YA protagonist (perfectionist, good student, etc.) –, but I think J.D. stole the show for me, between his humor and his care for Charlie. The book is a tad predictable in the romance department, but I did enjoy seeing Charlie and J.D. warm up to each other more and more. I thought Morgan really balanced out Charlie, and reading about their baking business was one of my favorite parts of the novel!

So how festive is My New Crush Gave to Me?

On a scale from 1 to 10, I have to give the book a 10 for its festive, Christmas vibes! Throughout the novel, Charlie is hoping for some sort of perfect Christmas, as her Christmas at home is different this year with her mom taking on a more-time consuming job at the hospital. With receiving J.D.’s help for her Secret Santa gifts, Charlie gets to celebrate old and new Christmas traditions, from decorating the Christmas tree and gingerbread house to going caroling for the first time. We also get to experience Hanukah, as Morgan and her boyfriend, Ira, celebrate the holiday. I think Charlie and friends decorating the tree with J.D.’s family was my favorite scene in the novel.

Overall, My New Crush Gave to Me was a fun, Christmas-themed read that’s perfect for the holiday season. If you enjoy Christmas movies and books with rom-com vibes, this one is for you!

I was sent My New Crush Gave to Me by Swoon Reads. By no means does this affect my rating or opinion of the novel.

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Have you read any festive reads this holiday season? Have you read My New Crush Gave to Me? Share in the comments!