December Wrap-Up! || 2016

Ah, what a year. 2016 has taken its curtain call and now we’re rocking our way into the beginning of 2017. As most of you know, this is a pretty big adventure for me and the start of a new chapter as I’m moving to Florida in the next few weeks for a bit!

So welcome, welcome. Upside-Down Books has rocketed head-first into the wonder that is 2017 and I look forward to all the adventures that are to come. December was a very busy month for me as it turned out so I didn’t read anywhere near as much as I thought I would but I did read some great things. And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

I don’t think I’ve done too well in just about any of my reading challenges this year aside from the Goodreads one. So, if you’d like to see how badly I failed, please click the following links – or, as always, if you’re too lazy for that I’ll summarise at the end of the wrap-up as well. Let’s go!

Progress for RMTBR challenge

Progress for Fairy-Tale Retelling challenge

Progress for the 2016 Pop Sugar Challenge


 by Maria Dahvana Headley


book two in the Magonia series

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Published: October 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 320 {paperback}

Will I read more by Headley? YES

This was a really weird book. I mean, the first one is strange and a lot of people were put off by it which I totally get but I LOVED it. I don’t think I clicked so well with the sequel though and think a re-read might do the world of good if I can be brave enough to dive into this crazy world again!

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

Review to come


Tarzan of the Apes

by Edgar Rice Burroughs


book one in the Tarzan of the Apes series

Genre: Classics, General Fiction
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Published: October 1912
Publisher: Signet {edition pictured}
Pages: 320 {paperback edition pictured}

Will I continue the series? YES

I finally finished reading this! I do have the other two books at hand to read but I wanted to move on and tackle some other things first. This was a wonderful classics and filled with surprises. I thoroughly enjoyed becoming acquainted with the true Tarzan story and can’t wait to continue on.

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 1
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

My review


 Tiger’s Curse

by Colleen Houck


book one in the Tiger’s Saga

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology [Indian]
Author: Colleen Houck
Published: January 2011
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 498 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do forever: re-read my favourite series. So in December whilst I was slumping after having finished Tarzan I decided to boost myself back up with Tiger’s Curse. It was wonderful re-reading it but it didn’t spur on a huge amount of reading, unfortunately. I can’t wait to familiarise myself with the rest of the series at some point too!

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

My review


Salt & Stone

by Victoria Scott


book two in the Fire & Flood series

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Author: Victoria Scott
Published: April 2015
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Pages: 407 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

I absolutely adored this book and was thoroughly pleased with where it took the story. I’ve heard rumours that there’s issues for Scott with getting the third (and final?) book published which breaks my heart. I desperately want to know where the story will go so let’s cross our fingers that that gets sorted soon because WOW. This book was amazing.

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

Review to come


It Ends With Us

 by Colleen Hoover


Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: August 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 376 {paperback}

Will I read more by Hoover? YES

all time favourite award

This book was amazing. I’m scarred by it but it was absolutely fabulous – and it was my last read of 2016! A friend leant me her copy and I’m so glad she did. I can’t wait to let it all out in a review once I grab a moment to write my thoughts down. Unbelievably amazing!

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

Review to come


 What else did I blog about this month?

The Statistics

Genres Read:


Pages Read:


Total: 1,921

Progress Towards Goodreads’ Challenge:

121%, or, 85/70 books

I’m really proud of my reading progress this year. 85 books is the most I’ve ever read in a year so go me! I’m sure I won’t read as much next year because I’m going to be so busy but wooo! The reading speed increases!

Overall progress of RMTBR challenge:

Points accrued in December: 1
Number of books read in February that counted: 1
Total points: 40
Mini challenges completed: 2/10


So I failed that. I’m slightly disappointed in myself for not reading more of the challenge books, but what can you do. If you want to see what rules I made for myself regarding this then head over to the page (linked up up up above) and take a peek. But basically that means I’ve read at least 40 books that had been on my shelf for over a year!

The Fairy-Tale Retelling Challenge:

Retellings Read in December: 0
Level Achieved: Goose Girl

I was really surprised at my lack of progress for this one. I thought I was going to kill it – I thought I read heaps of retellings. But apparently not, *sigh*.

Overall progress for Pop Sugar Reading Challenge:


I ticked off most of the challenges for this which was great! The ones I didn’t I missed simply because I didn’t have books that fitted the bill and didn’t fancy reading that type of book.

What about me?

December was incredibly busy this year for me – which did surprise me. I wanted to get a bunch of writing done on my book that I start for NaNoWriMo in November but I just didn’t have the time. There were so many people to see and things to get organised for both Christmas and this year that the month whooshed by.

I read no where near as much as I wanted to read, either. I had great plans for December and they all fell through. I fell into a half-slump and the book I read for The Dragon’s Hoard read-a-long, and I still haven’t finished the book. Once Christmas came around and I received books I decided not to push myself through something I’d lost interest in and pick up something I really wanted to read. So I did.

On top of that, it was also my last month at work. I finished up working at a place I’ve been for a few years whilst I’ve been studying and that was quite sad. It’s very nice to have some complete time off now, however. So I’ve been enjoying at bit of me time.

I haven’t done too many interesting things this month other than preparing for various things and reading/blogging. So I’m afraid this will be a short section this month – but rest assured, it will be so much more interesting next month! Keep an eye out for my end of year wrap-up and of course my December book haul which will hopefully be going up in the coming week!

Movies I watched:

The Polar Express, 2004: 8/10 stars
We watch this every Christmas Eve in my household. I absolutely love it and think it’s such a beautiful story!

White Christmas, 1954: 10/10 stars
This has become another Christmas tradition over the last couple of years. White Christmas is a beautiful Christmas classic and I definitely recommend giving it a watch when you have some spare time!

A Christmas Carol, 2009: 9/10 stars
We always watch this at Christmas as well. I absolutely love it and it’s a gorgeous story, of course. I’m pretty sure I live for this movie each year and am already getting excited to watch it again before Christmas 2017.

The Snowman, 1982: 8/10 stars
This is a short, 20 minutes hand drawn animation movie and it’s beautiful. If you haven’t seen it then I recommend it (it’s also another movie I watch before Christmas). It’s about a boy who builds a snowman that comes to life. Do yourself a favour and watch it because omg the music is to die for.

Rogue One, 2016: 10/10 stars
I have no words. Amazing.

Sing, 2016: 8/10 stars
I really enjoyed this one as well. I went to see it in cinemas and it’s everything you hoped it to be and more!

Kronk’s New Groove, 2005: 3/10 stars
And three stars was perhaps even then too generous.

Home Alone 2, 1992: 7/10 stars
I haven’t watched this one for quite some time but it’s just a fantastic classic. I laughed the whole way through – it’s a great Christmas movie!

Bridge of Spies, 2015: 9/10
This was brilliant. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it but I highly, highly recommend watching it! Fantastic!


TV series I watched:

Call the Midwife, series 5
I received series 5 for Christmas so I started watching it and AH! All the feels, as usual.

Arrow, series 1
My brother received this one for Christmas so we’ve been watching it together. So far we’re making good progress through series one and it’s really enjoyable so far!

Tick! December done! 

What was your favourite book that you read in December? 

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

13 thoughts on “December Wrap-Up! || 2016

  1. Kirstie, you’re moving to Florida?? THAT’S SUCH A BIG MOVE! You’re moving from Australia right? I hope to hear about your moving experiences – good luck with everything!
    I actually just watched the first Home Alone movie just then – it’s hilarious! It will always have a special place in my heart…and I think I need to rewatch the second movie now!
    Here’s to an awesome 2017~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish you the best on your big move! Moving is still a scary concept to me, so I hope your move is easy and you settle down happy and smoothly!

    I read Aerie in December too, and wasn’t fond of it at all. I LOVED Magonia; I loved how weird and imaginative and strange it was, but Aerie really lost that sort of magic. I feel like the story of Aerie was trying to squeeze every ounce of what Magonia was.

    Wasn’t Rogue One amazing? I watched it two times and I’ll probably watch it a million times more when I get my hands on the DVD!

    I hope you have a fabulous 2017. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❤ it’s definitely nerve wracking but hopefully I’ll be fine!

      And damn, Aerie had a chance to be super great so I was really sad when I didn’t enjoy it 😟 Aerie definitely lost the magic which was a shame.

      Yeah omg Rogue One was just to die for (was that almost a pun? 😂🙊) You too! 🎊✨

      Liked by 1 person

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