December 2013: Month in Review

December Reviews by Rating:

This month I posted a whole lot of positive reviews. Look what DNFing has done to my ratings! Anyway, I apparently didn’t emotionally connect with too much this month, but there were still a bunch of great reads.

5 Stars:
Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) – Rachel Bach
House of Sand and Secrets (Hobverse #2) – Cat Hellisen
A Mad, Wicked Folly – Sharon Biggs Waller

4.5 Stars:
The Impossible Knife of Memory – Laurie Halse Anderson
Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) – Marissa Meyer
What Goes Around: Cracked Up to Be / Some Girls Are – Courtney Summers

4 Stars:
How I Lost You – Janet Gurtler
Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) – Ransom Riggs

3.5 Stars:
Avalon (Avalon #1) – Mindee Arnett
Al Capone Does My Shirts (Al Capone at Alcatraz #1) – Gennifer Choldenko
Al Capone Shines My Shoes (Al Capone at Alcatraz #2) – Gennifer Choldenko

3 Stars:
Al Capone Does My Homework (Al Capone at Alcatraz #3) – Gennifer Choldenko
Just One Year (Just One Day #2) – Gayle Forman
Anything to Have You – Paige Harbison
Be My Downfall (Whitman University #3) – Lyla Payne
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin – Liesl Shurtliff
The Geek’s Guide to Dating – Eric Smith
The Unseen Guest (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #3) – Maryrose Wood

2.5 Stars
These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

2 Stars:
The Descendants – Kaui Hart Hemmings
In Falling Snow – Mary-Rose MacColl

1.5 Stars:
Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1) – Jeaniene Frost

1 Star:
Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) – Becca Fitzpatrick

December DNFs:

I didn’t DNF anything this month. That’s okay, though, because there wasn’t anything I pushed through and super regretted.

What I’ve Been Watching:

Big: Well, this is the worst kdrama I’ve watched to date. Gong Yoo’s brilliant acting is wasted on a horrifically terrible plot that’s like Tom Hanks’ Big meets Todd Strasser meets While You Were Sleeping meets My Sister’s Keeper. So much no. The canon ship is so gross they don’t even show you the guy’s face when they get together at the end, because it was a body swap thing, so the person she fell in love with is actually a barely legal kid and he’s not cute. Blerrrrrghhhhh.
The Newsroom: Finished season 2. I wasn’t quite as emotionally connected, but this show is still brilliant. As Debby (Snuggly Oranges) pointed out, I think season 2 will be stronger on a rewatch, because I’ll be better able to appreciate the way the plot threads tie together. There’s just SO much happening in a relatively short span of time.
Hart of Dixie: Still watching this as I snark covers. I’m into season 2 and still enjoying it. George still needs to die in a fire.
I Need Romance: Ahhhh, I loved this drama. For once, it wasn’t even because of my ships, even though I had many. Three ships and only one of them was definitively in a good place at the end. Why did I love it anyway? There were two main factors: 1) The friendship between the three heroines. They’re all so different, but love each other so much. More than men, they are the constant love in life. They’re family. 2) This is by far the most sex positive and open-minded kdrama I’ve watched. There’s a lot of sex and, by kdrama standards at least, it gets fairly graphic. (Note: that’s still not all that graphic, but hey.) The heroines openly discuss their philosophies on sex, and deal with issues like virginity, casual sex and infidelity. I especially love the character of Park Seo Yeon, who sleeps around and doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship. She’s a really non-traditional character.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: I watched both the original animated movie and the Jim Carrey live action. The cartoon’s so much better. Sorry, Debby, but it’s true.
Smiling Pasta: Debby insisted I watch this Taiwanese drama, my first thereof. She was right that the ship is a lot of fun. The drama itself felt a bit dated and overly melodramatic at times, but it was still a fun watch. 🙂 Oh, also, the soundtrack is awesome, minus the super intense BUM BUM music for dramatic scenes.
The Desolation of Smaug: While it was entertaining, I definitely have some issues with the changes they made. Plot holes abound, like the number of barrels and how certain things wouldn’t have been in the main narrative. Also, is that REALLY how Smaug is pronounced? Me no likey.
Devil Beside You: I wanted to watch this because it’s an adaptation of the manga The Devil Does Exist, and I like to watch adaptations when I finish a manga. After Smiling Pasta got me used to Taiwanese drama, I thought I could do it, but the acting is HORRENDIBAD in this. I don’t think I’ve ever seen worse acting. Just wow.

Currently airing shows I’m watching: Modern Family, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Parks and Recreation, The Vampire Diaries (quit), The Originals (quit), Reign

I’m actually thinking about not watching any shows that aren’t completed once I finish my current ones, because binge-watching is so much better. Not sure if I’ll follow through on that, but it’s something I’m considering.

Ship or Sink:

After I had so much fun discussing the ships I would love to send the way of the Titanic on Twitter, Gaby (Queen Ella Bee Reads) got me thinking about adding this to my monthly wrap up. Each month, I’ll share any ships that I would go down with and any that just plain need to go down. I’ll try not to repeat ships unless there are status changes, because otherwise some would happen EVERY month.


I Need Romance:
In Young-Syung Hyun
face stroking
Seo Yeon-Tae Woo
Seo Yeon-Tae Woo
Hyun Joo-Duk Soo
Hyun Joo-Duk Soo

Smiling Pasta:
Ziao Shi-He Qun
Smiling Pasta


I Need Romance:

Okay, so they’re all from one show except for one. WHATEVER. I had a lot of feels, okay. Also, the internet has almost no gifs for either of these shows. WHAT. THE. HELL. INTERNET. I am betrayed.

Comment Giveaway Winners:

As an inducement to get you wonderful people to not be shy about commenting when you have something to say, I’m rewarding the only people I KNOW are reading my blog with a monthly comment giveaway. Leave a meaningful comment and you are entered. 🙂 Winners get their pick of the books I’ve reviewed during the month in question.

The winners for December are:

*insert drum roll*

Shelly (Readiculous Reads)


Heather (Flyleaf Review)

9 responses to “December 2013: Month in Review”

  1. lawlsssss Christina. You might want to update your headings 😉 ‘Tis not November. Also Smiling Pasta’s characters have oddly Korean names.


    That’s it for me being a prat. ANYWAY. SMILING PASTA. YAY. THE NEWSROOM YAY. Yes, rewatch will be better. I will still agree to disagree with you re: the Grinch, but oh well. I am all over this post lolololol.

    ALSO YOU ARE NOW WATCHING NODAME CANTABILE AND I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THAT IN YOUR JANUARY WRAP UP. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I love that show so so so much. Seriously, just you mentioning watching it made me want to rewatch. WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS TO ME?!
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2013My Profile

  2. Lili says:

    A small note…when it says DNF you still have it say Novermber instead of December

    HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS cartoon IS so much better. The fact that anyone will argue that with you is absolute blasphemy!

    I really have to read Miss Peregrine’s and The Impossible Knife of Memory! But I’m SUPER curious about A Mad, Wicked Folly since you gave it 5 stars! Gillian got me a copy for Christmas and I’ll definitely be reading it asap now!!!

  3. I try to do the same with most TV shows! I hate waiting, so I give them a head start and then watch everything at once. I’m getting very tired of Vampire Diaries, but there is something about it that makes me want to continue. Very annoying.. New girl is fun though and I want to get started in Reign. It looks like The Tudors and I love that show 🙂 Smiling pasta, such a funny name.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 225. Brodi Ashton – Evertrue.My Profile

  4. Anya says:

    And now I need to go rewatch Newsroom again >.> This is what you do to me!!!! It’s true though, season 2 is great to rewatch and know what is actually going on, haha.

    Oo, I like your meaningful comment giveaway… mind if I borrow one of these months?
    Anya recently posted…Way of Kings Read-Along {Week 1}My Profile

  5. One day, you, Gillian, and I will all be in the same place, and you will introduce me to kdrama. Someday…

  6. Bonnie says:

    Fortune’s Pawn! YAYYY
    So naturally I’m checking out both other books that deign to be in the same category as FP. I have been interested in that Cat Hellisen book, I really enjoyed When the Sea is Rising Red.
    Bonnie recently posted…Book Review – Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel BachMy Profile

  7. Elizabeth says:

    You know I don’t think I ended up watching past episode 3 or 4 of big. I’m torn because I absolutely ADORE Gong Yoo…but…I already know I’m not going to like how it ends. Yergh :-/
    Elizabeth recently posted…The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movieMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Oh my goodness, save yourself! Do not finish it. The show doesn’t get better. Gong Yoo’s adorable, but he’s not actually in the ship. At the end, they don’t even show the kid’s face, because NOBODY CAN SHIP THE WEIRD PEDO SHIP.

  8. Shelly says:

    OOooo you had a pretty good month! No DNFs yay! I’m a little disappointed to see that you rated These Broken Stars only 2.5 stars so I definitely need to read that review soon and reconsider if I want to read it! And TV-wise, there is nothing wrong with having a bunch of ships from one show, that is clearly why TV was made. Also, yes to Parks & Rec and Modern Family! I’m a sucker for American comedies! And WOOOOOO I can’t believe I won! This year is turning out pretty well I must say. Anyway, thanks for sharing and I seriously need to start watching all of these shows!

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