This year has flown by. Quite literally, actually. I'm not sure when it became December, or when Autumn faded into Winter so seamlessly, but it did. And now everything is moving so fast that I've completely forgotten my Blogmas plans, finishing my Goodreads challenge and rushing to buy gifts...

If you had told me we'd be two days from Christmas Day this morning, I'm pretty sure I would have laughed a very panic-ridden omg what even is this kind of laugh. Now we're so close to the New Year (and full of immense things to look forward to) I thought it was about time that I look (briefly) back on the year and everything that I'm proud of, thankful for, and everything that's happened on PLM that needs recapping!

Books that I've read (so far) in 2018...
  • Shadow of The Fox by Julie Kagawa
  • The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
  • The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
  • Vicious Rumer by Joshua Winning
  • Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
  • A Storm of Ice and Stars by Lisa Lueddecke
  • That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
  • The Adults by Caroline Hulse
  • These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
  • What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli
  • Show Stealer by Hayley Barker
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson
  • The Woolgrower’s Companion by Joy Rhoades
  • Jiddy Vardy by Ruth Estevez
  • One Small Thing by Erin Watt
  • The Scent of You by Maggie Alderson
  • Arrowheart by Rebecca Sky
  • Puddin' by Julie   Murphy
  • The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse
  • I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
  • The Girl in the Broken Mirror by Savita Kalhan
  • The Leavers by Lisa Ko
  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
  • The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
  • In Search Of Us by Ava Dellaira
  • The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen
  • Force of Nature by Jane Harper
  • The Guilty Wife by Elle Croft
  • The Fandom by Anna  Day
  • Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider
  • A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael  Allen
  • Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Shell by Paula Rawsthorne
  • A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael  Allen
  • Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
  • Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
  • Cordially Invited by Zoe Sugg
  • What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli

If I had to pick my TOP THREE favourite books I've read this year, they would be:
1. What If It's Us
2. Puddin'
3. Whiskey In A Teacup 

I know what you're thinking, a non-fiction book made the top three?! Well, if you had read Reese's book, you'd know just how gorgeous it is. I fell head over heels for the pictures of growing up in the south, the recipes, the everything. For What If It's Us, being number one, it's very rightly so. I can't believe how beautiful the story was. Just thinking about it gets me RIGHT IN THE FEELS. And then there's Puddin' and I'm saddled up ready to slip back into the Dumplin' universe and root for my girls. 

This year, me and Sophie from 23 Review Street (also my IRL Sister) went to London! It's our third trip (we went with Scholastic and on a vacation a year ago) and saw so many incredible things. We managed to snag a picture with the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sign and also went to TONS of book stores. Did you know the Foyles there has SIX FLOORS?! Yes. It was so incredible. I think I got lost like five times and bought my weight in books but it was the BEST. We go to London every year, so in 2019 I'm definitely looking forward to going again. 

This year I also launched beccajayne.com - a site for HTML Coding tips, freebies and tutorials! It's my first step in a creative outlet and it launched in September of this year. It's been so incredible getting to share so many tips with other bloggers and a little wisdom. In 2019, I'll be making it even better and BRIGHTER. Everything can only get better! 

When LCC came into my life, it only changed for the better. And I am so thankful for everything that it's brought! LCC has gathered such a huge amount of love and I'm so excited for what 2019 will bring for this little candle shop!

Pretty Little Memoirs means the world to me. I started this book blog in 2012 and it's carried me through illness, success, failure, friendships, connections and getting to take part in things I thought were only in dreams. I want to say a HUGE thank you to the Publishers, Authors, PR, Bloggers and Readers that have made my 2018 so memorable and I am forever thankful for your love and support in making PLM the best I can. I know that lately it's been hard finding the time to post, keep a schedule and more, but my love for this blog and you all, will never, ever change.

What are your plans for 2019?

What was your favourite read of the year?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter @LittleMemoirs! 

happy reading! (and Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!)

post signature

Title: Shadow Of The Fox
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: November 1st, 2018 
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★★
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: I was sent this ARC by the publisher, reviewing it as an impartial review. This does not sway my opinion of the book. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.
A single wish will spark a new dawn. Every millennium, one age ends and another age dawns...and whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers holds the power to call the great Kami Dragon from the sea and ask for any one wish. The time is near and the missing pieces of the scroll will be sought throughout the land of Iwagoto. The holder of the first piece is a humble, unknown peasant girl with a dangerous secret. Demons have burned the temple Yumeko was raised in to the ground, killing everyone within, including the master who trained her to both use and hide her kitsune powers. Yumeko escapes with the temple's greatest treasure - one part of the ancient scroll. Fate thrusts her into the path of a mysterious samurai, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan. Yumeko knows he seeks what she has and is under orders to kill anything and anyone who stands between him and the scroll.

First Thoughts...

I have always been a fan of Julie's books, right from the Iron Fey days. I've always kept my little Kagawa collection of books close to my heart, because I always know I'm in for one heck of a story-telling ride whenever I pick up one of Julie's books. So when I got the chance to be a part of Shadow of The Fox's Blog Tour, I had to do it. It's Julie Kagawa, YA masterpiece writer! For me, this is definitely a highlight.

My Review...

I've always been in love with Fantasy books. Actually, when I started out with my blog, it was the main genre that I focused on. There's something about one of Julie's books that totally transforms the atmosphere where I'm reading into the story's landscape, this time into the world where a single wish has sparked a new dawn. 
The story is split into a few perspectives from different characters.  There's Yumeko, who is a half-kitsune (anyone remember Kira from Teen Wolf? That's the kind of way I was basing a Kitsune from, because that's what she was). There's Kage Tatsumi, who is a samurai. Only every time he uses his sword (that's violently possessed by a demon) it hurts him whenever he uses it. On the other hand, Suki, another character, is entirely different from Yumeko and Kage. But giving away too much about the way Suki's character plays a part in the novel might give away too many spoilers. Yumeko has lived in a temple her whole life, until now. Now she's willed to protect a precious scroll. The way that Yumeko and Kage interact and their paths cross is unlike any other kind of character clash, but together, this kind of magic happens. They, along with some friends, get deep into a world of things that go bump in the night. There's demonic danger, thrills and an underlying mystery that I'll be careful not to tell too much about, because it's one of those kinds of ones where it's better unsaid (and you need to read it for yourselves ASAP because it's a favourite of mine this year!).
Overall, I can't fault Shadow of The Fox in any way. It was a flawless plot, sometimes uneven pacing, but that really wasn't a concern of mine because the story itself made up for the pace of the tale. This was just so unbelievably enthralling and mythic-ally magical that I ate it up page by page. I'm really excited to see what comes next from Julie because she never, ever disappoints. Five stars!

 Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.
Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.
Julie is the author of the bestselling Iron Fey series. The Iron Knight the fourth title in The Iron Fey series publishes in Jan 2012. The Immortal Rules, the first title in a brand new series publishes in May 2012.
Visit Julie's website at http://www.juliekagawa.comVisit the Iron Fey website http://www.theironfey.com/Follow Julie on Twitter @jkagawa

Shadow of the Fox
From Chapter 13: Song of the Kodama

There was a shimmer in the darkness, and the hairs on the back of my neck rose. Looking up, I saw a tiny, pale green figure, no larger than my thumb, watching me from atop a root a few feet away. It wore a round mushroom cap on its head, and its eyes were like black pits under the brim.
Tatsumi saw what I was looking at, and his hand went to his sword. “Tatsumi, no,” I warned, holding out a hand. “It’s a kodama, a tree kami. It won’t hurt us.” He relaxed, dropping his hand from the hilt, and I offered the kodama a smile.
“Hello,” I greeted softly, as the tiny kami tilted its head, watching me. “Please excuse us, we’re just passing through. We’re not disturbing your tree, I hope?”
The kodama didn’t blink. It watched me a moment more, then padded forward and hopped onto a stone, staring at me with pupilless black eyes. A faint sound rose into the air, like the rustle of leaves stirred by the wind. I nodded.
“I understand. We will stay to the path, and we’ll be careful not to tread on any new plants or trees. You have my promise.”
“You can speak to the kami.” Tatsumi’s tone didn’t question, though it sounded faintly surprised. “How?”
“The monks taught me,” I replied. Not the whole truth of course; I’d been able to see the spirit world—kami, yokai, yurei and the rest of the unnatural—for as long I could remember. One of the perks—or curses—of being half kitsune. Though the monks did teach me the differences between the myriad spirits in Iwagoto. There were the nine greater Kami, the named deities who were worshipped throughout Iwagoto; Jinkei, god of Mercy, Doroshin, god of Roads, and so on. The lesser kami were minor gods, spirits of nature and the elements; they existed everywhere, in the earth, the sky and all places in between. No one knew how many kami existed in the world; when people spoke of them as a whole, it was common to say “the eight million gods,” and leave it at that.
But besides the kami, many other strange, magical creatures roamed the land. Yokai were creatures of the supernatural; sometimes called monsters or bakemono, they could change their forms or had some amount of magic power, tanuki, kamaitachi and, of course, kitsune being prime examples. Yurei described the many restless ghosts that wandered the mortal realm, zashiki warashi, onryo, ubume and more. There were even some monstrous plants that preyed on humans and a handful of creatures that didn’t fit into any category, so the list of gods, ghosts and monsters was endless. But, even though some yokai were dangerous and some yurei had malicious intent, all were residents of Ningen-do, the mortal realm, and were to be respected.
Unlike the demons—the amanjaku, and terrible oni like Yaburama. They hailed from Jigoku, the realm of evil and corruption, and did not belong in the mortal world at all.
“Master Isao and the others revered the kami,” I went on. “They strove to exist in harmony with all forms of life. The most spiritual among them could see and even speak to the kami on occasion. I sort of had the talent for it, I suppose.”
“Is that why the kamaitachi listened to you?”
“Well…not really. I listened to them.

From Julie –

I love this passage because it feels very much like a scene from an anime, reminiscent of Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, two of my favorites.  It's strange, surreal, and just the tiniest bit creepy, and it also marks the beginning of Tatsumi and Yumeko's friendship.  

You can buy SHADOW OF THE FOX here:

Have you read Shadow of The Fox? If you have, who was your favourite character?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter @LittleMemoirs!

happy reading!

post signature
Copyright © Pretty Little Memoirs - a Young Adult Book BlogCREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH ThemeShine