December TBR 

  
*THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!*

Clockwork Angel – Cassandra Clare 

Synopsis – 

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

Heir of Fire – Sarah J Maas

Synopsis – 

She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.
Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.
The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight. 
Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma 

Synopsis – 

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending. 
Emerald Green – Kerstin Gier 

Synopsis – 

Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along. Emerald Green is the stunning conclusion to Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red Trilogy, picking up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate. 

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir 

Synopsis – 

Laia is a slave. 

Elias is a soldier. 
Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. 
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None of the Above – I.W.Gregorio 

  
Synopsis – 

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self? 
Goodreads rating – 3,94/5 

My Review – 

This is a brilliant book, and in my opinion an absolute must read for everyone. Not only is the story line great, but it also highly informative, as it shows us the reality that many people have to go through if born intersex. It is also much deeper than that as it has the hint of a classic saying, that love and understanding is much more than skin colour, sexual orientation or chromosomes.

If any of you have ever taken a  multiple choice exam and there’s a ‘none of the above option’, you’d find it odd, or sometimes simply ignore it because you are certain of your answer. It may be a simple question for you, such as are you male or female, but in truth it’s actually one of the most difficult questions for intersex, transgender and many other people nowadays. This is what happened in Kristin’s life at the age of 18, where she discovered that her biological sexual category is technically “none of the above.” 

Kristin, mostly known as Krissy in the novel is a pretty and popular young woman. After an extremely painful first time with her boyfriend, Sam after their homecoming party, she decided to go visit the OB. That’s when she was diagnosed to have an Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome-Disorder of Sex Development also called intersex. More commonly known as a case of hermaphrodite. 

Word spread fast, as it tends to in our modern day world with all of the technology. The cruelty she had to endure from people at school made me cringe, cry and feel so protective of Krissi. This really goes to show that people are scared of what they do not understand. That’s why I think it is vital that people are knowledgable about something before they condemn it. Everyone goes through difficult life experiences and we all know that they determine which people are genuinely concerned and care for you and which do not. 

Everyone should read this book! It is truly inspiring and touching! 

My rating – 5/5 stars 

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Independent Study – Joelle Charbonneau 

  
Synopsis – 

In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her. 

Goodreads rating – 3,96/5 stars 

My Review – 

This series is just fun and entertaining, but doesn’t really stand out from any other dystopian series. The main character, Cia, is a perfectionist and her character is simply annoying. She never does anything wrong and doesn’t have any flaws, which makes her seem unrelialistic and makes me indifferent to her.

Additionally the author creates many questions for the readers by using cliffhangers and excluding certain information, however Cia asks all of the questions in her narration, so therefore, the reader doesn’t get to really think about anything. It seems like the author was overly cautious in making sure that the readers know what is going on and which questions should b highlighted. It is aggravating and makes the book seem like it was intended for younger viewers. 

The first half was disappointing. It was almost a recap of the first book but in less words and with the addition of some new characters. The new characters development wasn’t very good and I didn’t really feel an attachment to any of the characters. Things only started to get interesting in the last 100 pages. I am looking forward to reading the last book, hopefully it will be better than this one and rounds of the series nicely. 

Overall, it was a decent book. This series is good if you love fast paced Dystopian novels. There is not much else to it. 

Rating – 3/5 stars 

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