December Wrap-Up || 2018

2018 is done! Which means you have the delightful chance to see what I got up to in the final month of that year and I’ll soon be coming out with my wrap-up for the whole year itself. I can’t wait!


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and got everything you wished for! And now I hope you’re ready and raring to go with the new year and all the promises it holds. I had an interesting reading month in December. I started out so slow but then I spontaneously read like three books in the final week. I’m hoping to continue this sudden spurt of reading but ach, who cares?! So now, let’s have a look at the books I got to last month.


What I Read

Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi

5 Star Rating System 5 stars


Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Published: March 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 531 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

This was a slow-burner for me – but more as in, I was reading slowly, the book is action-packed and very exciting. I loved the West African influence and the depth to which Adeyemi goes with the magic system. This is seriously an awesome book and I can’t wait for the sequel because CLIFF HANGERS, guys!

My review

The Drums of Autumn
by Diana Gabaldon

5 Star Rating System 5 stars


Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Published: December 1996
Publisher: Delta
Pages: 880 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

After what was a slow read in book three for this series, The Drums of Autumn certainly shook things up. So many dang things happened in this book and it was such an interesting read. I’m 10/10 anxious to see how things unfold in the fifth instalment!

My review

The Christmas Lights
by Karen Swan

5 Star Rating System 4 and a half stars


Genre: General Fiction
Author: Karen Swan
Published: October 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 467 {paperback}

This was sent to me for review by Pan Macmillan and I told myself I’d read it in time to review it for Christmas: AND I DID. Who’s proud?! Me! This was actually such a good book, too. I loved the look into the very non-private lives of our main characters who have such an enormous Instagram following. This is 100% worth reading (and it’s not actually heavily Christmas themed so read it whenever, kids). I’m totally buying Karen Swan’s 2019 Christmas book, just watch me.

My review

The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland
by Nicolai Houm

5 Star Rating System 1 star


Genre: General Fiction
Author: Nicolai Houm
Published: April 2018
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Pages: 192 {paperback}

LORD HAVE MERCY, I did not like this book. I have zero emotions that pertain to the side of positivity for this. EURGH. I feel bad because Allen & Unwin sent me this for review but sheesh. This book has the most confusing and pointless plot I’ve ever read accompanied by a sugar-free pancake of a character whom I’d happily throw in the trash. So that’s right, ladles and jellyspoons, Kirstie is dishing out a 1-star review, *gasps from the crowd*.

My review

by Katherine Rundell

5 Star Rating System 5 stars


Genre: Children’s Fiction
Author: Katherine Rundell
Published: March 2013
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Pages: 288 {paperback}

I received this for Christmas and was so happy that I did because oh my golly goodness I love Katherine Rundell. This woman has a WAY with writing, I tell ya. You need to read one of her books. The innocent joy and fun of this book as our MC teams up with a gang of children who live on the rooftops of Paris was simply to die for.

Review to come

The Gilded Cage
by Lucinda Gray

5 Star Rating System 4 stars


Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult
Author: Lucinda Gray
Published: August 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 245 {hardback}

I was so glad I loved this book. I also received it for Christmas but it has a low average rating on Goodreads. It’s a quick read filled with thrill and I HIGHLY recommend it. When the MCs come into a lot of money after an estranged grandfather dies, they take over a very wealthy estate in England, moving from America where they grew up, but soon after the brother is killed. Our MC is told it’s an accident but she’s convinced it’s not. And dang, everything just goes crazy from there. It’s exhaustingly entertaining.

Review to come

On the Blog

On Booktube

The Statistics

Genres Read:

graph (1)

Pages Read:


Total: 2,603

Progress Towards Goodreads Challenge:

102%, or, 72/70 books

What About Me_

O the month of Christmas! How I love it. December was a very exciting month, with so many things in the pipeline. The big one of which is my big one-month long holiday that is now right around the corner. I’m off to Europe with the family and I’m very excited! What that means for blogging, I don’t know. I’ve been relatively bad at blogging lately – it’s proving hard to fit into a busy schedule. But I’m not pre-writing anything so I may go on hiatus for the month or perhaps I’ll fancy blogging there and you’ll get updates whilst I’m away.


The other thing I’ve been working hard on is my very own book. I am chapters away from finishing it and plan to have it done by the time I leave for my trip. WHICH IS VERY EXCITING. If you’ve been around here for a long time, you’ll know this is the very same book I’ve been working on for the last five years (yikes). But it’s finally there, and I’m so excited to have it done.


I had a lovely Christmas filled with a spectacular amount of books (seriously). Nothing makes me happier than a Christmas when everyone wants to give you books and you end up with a ridiculous haul. The other terribly exciting gift this year was from my amazing boyfriend, Jayden. Perhaps you remember last year he made me a globe? Well, this year he made me my own chess set. He is awesome, I know.


Movies I Watched:

Arthur Christmas (2011)Arthur Christmas, 2011: 7/10 stars

Man, this was so good. I’d somehow not seen this until we sat down to watch it on my brother’s recommendation and it’s a real laugh. I will definitely be adding this to the list of movies I watch every December because I loved it so much.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)Rise of the Guardians, 2012: 8/10

This is a classic favourite of mine. I love Jack Frost, so much. It’s just such a nice, innocent children’s film and something a little different to your usual Christmas films. Especially because Jude Law voices the bad guy and I LOVE Jude Law *heart eyes*.

Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, William Nadylam, Alison Sudol, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz, Ezra Miller, and Callum Turner in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

The Crimes of Grindelwald, 2018: 6/10 stars

Hm. This was a messy film. I’m not hating on it as much as the rest of the universe appears to be but it was certainly crazy, over-filled with characters and could maybe have done with a lot of simplification. I’m still very excited about where the story is going but yeah . . . yikes. This was a hard film to follow and then that plot twist? Not gunna lie, I was totally mad until I watched some theories that helped it make sense.

The Christmas Chronicles, 2018: 6/10 starsKurt Russell in The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

This was a Netflix original that I probably could’ve gone quite happily without seeing. It was fun and weird and a very different take on Santa, but not at all what I was expecting of it. It was one of those films to watch on a quiet night to kill some time.

Rowan Atkinson, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, and Nina Sosanya in Love Actually (2003)Love Actually, 2003: 10/10 stars

Is it even Christmas if you don’t watch Love Actually? Let us all drop our jaws to the floor for a moment because I introduced Jayden to this movie for the first time this Christmas. The poor thing had never seen it – I know, a tragedy.

The Snowman (1982)The Snowman, 1982: 8/10

This is such a cute 30 min film I have always, and will always, watch at Christmas time. If you haven’t seen it, then hook your TV up to YouTube and have a watch (it’s virtually impossible to get the DVD unless you live in America). It’s so cute!

The Bear (1998)The Bear, 1998: 7/10 stars

This is another done by the same people as The Snowman but about a girl who has a polar bear from the zoo in her house. All set around Christmas time again. It’s another fun watch with some great music to go with it.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, 2016: 6/10 starsSam Neill and Julian Dennison in Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

This was the next movie on the list that I’m watching with Jayden and some mates. My pick this time! I love this film. I was 100% expecting it to be rubbish but I watched it on a whim one day and IT IS SO FUNNY. Nothing like a good little laugh from some kiwi humour.

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas (2004)Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas, 2004: 6/10 stars

I haven’t watched this one for a few Christmases but I do love it. I’m a real sucker for Disney, as we know. It was just a great film to put on one night when you can’t be bothered doing anything but watching a harmless film.

Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson in Miracle on 34th Street (1994)Miracle on 34th Street, 1994: 8/10 stars

We discovered this film last Christmas. I don’t know how we hadn’t got around to watching it because this film is a must-see. It has some great actors in it and a fabulous story. Cannot recommend that you go and watch this, this coming Christmas because it’s beautiful. But there are also two versions and I’ve only seen this one, I cannae speak for the ’47 version.

Hugo (2011)Hugo, 2011: 7/10 stars

This is a really cool film, but it’s slow. I actually lowered my rating when I rewatched it this time (from 8-stars) because I found it really hard to push through to the end. As mystical and magical as it is, the film dragged this time around. But I still dearly love it. How conflicting!

The Polar Express, 2004: 8/10 starsThe Polar Express (2004)

This is a film that never gets old, no matter how many times I watch it. We watch this every Christmas Eve and I love it so much. It’s got the greatest music, a plot that just sucks you in and keeps the story going and hot chocolate. What more could a girl ask for?

A Christmas Carol (2009)A Christmas Carol, 2009: 9/10 stars

Another classic Christmas watch for my family. Between this and The Polar Express, we could do Christmas without them. I love this film SO much. It’s got great animation and how could you go wrong with a Charles Dickens book?

TV Series I Watched:

Doctor Who, series 11Bradley Walsh, Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill in Doctor Who (2005)

This series did not take off how I was hoping it would. I still really enjoyed it but there were more average episodes than mind-blowing ones. The NYE’s special was a bit so-so for me too. I only hope it gets better going forward.

Dirk Blocker, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Joel McKinnon Miller, Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, and Stephanie Beatriz in Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)Brooklyn Nine-Nine, series 1

THAT’S RIGHT PEOPLE. Kirstie has started a new series. You thought the day would never come, but here we are! Honestly, I’m loving this a thousand times more than I had anticipated. It’s so funny and amazing and I want to stop blogging now and go watch 817 episodes.

Tick! December done! 

What was your favourite book that you read in December? 

Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~


7 thoughts on “December Wrap-Up || 2018

  1. Congrats on almost (maybe you are done by now?) with your book!!! I know you’ve talked about it before, and it is so exciting that after so many years you are done! At least with the first draft lol Happy editing!

    Have a fabulous holiday! A month long holiday?!?! Obviously I live in the wrong country. A typical vacation here in the states is a week, maybe two. I know you said on youtube you are going to Europe! Which countries are you visiting?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amanda! Still haven’t quite written ‘the end’ but it’s exciting to be so close!

      I know! A month is such a wonderful length of time. I’m actually going skiing in France and also visiting family in Ireland – super exciting!

      Liked by 1 person

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