Hello bookworms!

It's Christmas time! One of the traditions in this season is to put up a Christmas tree. As a book-lover, I put up our Christmas tree using some of the books I owned which are also made from trees for trees is used to produce papers and papers is used to produce books. 

It's also a time to do a recap of all the books I've read this year.

I've only read 6 books. 

It's very few for someone who claims to be a book-lover but I have my reason. I feel guilty that I can read a fiction book in one sitting but my Bible reading doesn't even last for 5 minutes. I want to spend more time with the Word of God and if I can't do that, I don't deserve a time to read a fiction book but if I can do that, I reward myself a time to read a fiction book. 

So here's the fiction books I've rewarded myself this year: 

1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I've seen 'Shadowhunter' in Netflix and I have this habit to google the film or tv show first before I watch it. And I've found out that the tv show is based on the book series 'The Mortal Instruments' written by Cassandra Clare. And there's also a film with the same name of the book starring L-I-L-Y C-O-L-L-I-N-S! OMG. I am a big fan of her! And my bookworm heart is so happy to find the book with her lovely face in the cover during the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale last February 2020! So please don't ask me which is better, the tv show or the film because I have a bias. But you must know what I love most, it's the book.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is an action packed adventure that will take you around New York City and will surprise you with the turn of events. This book will also introduce you to a lot of creatures that some of them I've never known or heard before such as mundane - that's what they call for the ordinary human. Shadowhunters a half-human and half-angel demon hunter sometimes called the nephilim. There are also creatures that I've met in other books and shows such as warlocks, vampires, werewolves, fair folk and demon. 

I admire Cassandra Clare for her creative imagination and I'm looking forward to complete reading The Mortal Instruments series.

2. Vampires of Manhanttan: The New Blue Bloods Coven by Melissa De La Cruz 

I bought it for two reasons: 

1 - Vampire is my favorite character from  modern fantasy fiction since 2017. 

2 - Her pseudonym 'De La Cruz' attracted my attention, it's a common surname in the Philippines which is also my maternal grandmother surname. So, I made a research about the author and found out that she's indeed a Filipino, born and raised in Manila and immigrated to the United States when she was 13. Amazing. I always feel a pang of pride to know fellow Filipinos making a significant contributions in other countries. 

I bought it last year in National Bookstore and just keep it. It's really one of my hobbies, to buy books even if I won't read it yet, it just makes me so happy seeing them in my own bookshelf. Hehe. 

When I finally read it, I got hook from the very first page and can't stop myself from turning the pages. I won't stop until I figured out who's the person behind the appearing of the pentagrams all over New York City, the killing of the two mortal girls, and the breaching of the Coven code. Even when I'm in the shower my mind is still on it. So, I rushed taking shower and eating to get back reading. 

Kudos to the writer for her brilliant imagination and writing skills. I had a hard time predicting until page 205 -which is good. 

I like how she write it from the perspective of the six main characters instead of choosing one - in that case I get to understand each one of them. 

The characters were part of the Blue Blood series. As for me, it didn't seem to be a problem not reading the books prior because it's a whole new story, it's about their life ten years after they vanquished lucifer and the writer shares a glimpse of their past when needed. 

And I enjoyed it's contradiction to other stories like Shadowhunter which I also read this year. In this book, the vampire is the protagonist and here, nephilim are half-demon, half human abominations whereas in Shadowhunter, nephilim is the protagonist, they are half-angel, half human demon hunter. 

The only thing common in these two books is the setting. They will both take you to New York City. Well, for a vampire, they really belong to the city that never sleeps, right?

3. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

It was given to me by someone close to my heart some time in September. By looking at it, I feel nostalgic. It reminds me of my high school years. I used to watch the Twilight film in our old dvd player and I vividly remember how careful I was with the disc so that it won't have scratch and blemish. 

The main setting of the story is in a small town of Forks in the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington State where it rains more than any other place in the United States. And I love it. It's a mood to curl up and read book. 

But Bella doesn't like the rain, and snow. That's the first conflict I've recorded. Bella doesn't like cold. Edward's body is ice-cold. And followed by, Bella loves the sun and the blistering heat. Edward or the Cullens don't show up with human if the weather is good. Bella likes to go to the beach. Edward or the Cullens don't come to the beach.

What more? Bella is human. Edward is vampire. 

There are too many conflicts between the two of them that's makes it interesting but honestly this book doesn't interest me :( specifically when Edward told Bella to stay away from him when actually he is the one chasing her in the first place. It's like I've fallen out of love for young adult, romance genre or the high school set-up. I never thought, my book preference will change over time. 

But I am thinking to buy the Midnight Sun that was published just this year, it retells the events of Twilight in Edward's POV maybe then I will have a better understanding of his actions.

4. A Million Scars and a Broken Heart by Joena San Diego

It's always been my dream to buy her books but the only thing that's holding me is the shipping fee. Good thing! They had their first 9/9 campaign - free shipping for orders 500 pesos and above. This book is worth 230 pesos. Free shipping. Thanks to my friend who also bought a book entitled "Through It All" worth 280 pesos.

I've read this on October which is a very challenging month for me, and I am in need of inspirational book that will help me face reality with a strong spirit instead of fantasy book that will just let me hide in my own world. 

And this book is a perfect choice! 

A Million Scars and a Broken Heart will let you revisit the scar of the past, the scar of forgiveness, the scar of waiting, the scar of words, the scar of expectations, the scar of emotions and the broken heart. A visit to acknowledge, accept, heal and put a closure to the pain that wounded your heart that caused the scar. 

5. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Stephanie Meyer included Pride and Prejudice in her book Twilight and I got curious of it. So, when Ive found Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in the bookstore, I pick it up it mindlessly. It was when I started reading it that I realized, it's the expanded edition.

Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel of manners written by Jane Austen and published in 1813. A masterpiece of English Literature. While Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a mashup combining Austen’s novel and Seth’s all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem and published in 2009.

At first, I don’t understand the story but as it progresses I find myself hooked starting from chapter 8 or page 30 where Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist has been the subject of prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry. I finished it in one sitting because I was so excited to see how she rises above prejudices. And the ending didn’t disappoint me. This novel has the right amount of romance that is well-suited for teens.

It was love that let them overcome the pride and prejudice. And zombies? It made the novel more thrilling. But I am looking forward to read the original novel.

6. Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

When I came back home, I got to reunite with this book I bought years ago. I can't remember anymore why I bought this. It's a Juvenile Fiction / Religious / Christian / Fantasy. Reading this did not brought me in my own fantasy world. This book reminded me of the real world that demons are nearby, waiting a chance to corrupt us but there are also angels that guards us.

I have a big respect for this kind of story and for the writer, Shannon Dittemore. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another.

That's the books I've read in 2020. 

What's yours? or How many? Comment down below. Have a Merry Christmas!

So much love,