It's New Year's resolutions time, and here at The Honest Bookclub we are nothing if not resolute. We make bold, lofty promises. We aspire to greatness and world domination. We pledge to read our way through the Library of Alexandria on days off, and to write the Great American European Novel.

And then we throw it all to the wind and do whatever we want, because who ever heard of organized readers?

But this year! This year it all changes! We are turning over a new leaf. We are fresh of mind and sprite of spirit (and idealistic of heart), and this year, we are meeting our goals! We are conquering the world one subliminal message at a time, and we are reading our way to enlightenment (and ultimate fangirling) one page at a time.

(We are also racing the Goodreads challenge tracker. It's out to get us, that one.)

May the odds be ever in our favor.

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'Tis the season... to attempt to stick twelve Christmas trees in your living room and decorate them with a levitating charm. 'Tis also the season for owl post. Much as we hold out hope for Christmas letters with our initial(s) and a certain wax-sealed letter of admission into a certain magic school, once again it all seems for naught. (Or this is all an elaborate lie and we're in the Great Hall as we speak type.)

Do not despair for us yet, friends! Because this particular season we've gotten an OwlCrate box each from a certain someone whose name rhymes with menace, and whose gifts are irreparably on the extravagant side. And it's almost as good as the twelve Christmas trees.


* That's okay, though. We suspect the OwlCrate staff agrees with us. Nothing really beats Christmas at Hogwarts. Except full-time attendance of Hogwarts. Which we are definitely not attending. Definitely. Scout's honor.

Given that our boxes were a generous holiday gift from a friend, this review/overview/fangirly session is in no way sponsored by OwlCrate, nor any Owl Association of the world. Though we are partial to Hedwig and the plight of all owls who brave this harsh climate to deliver our presents to us at this time of the year.

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Happy first-night-of-winter, fellow snowflakes (because, let's face it, the day is short here in the northern hemisphere on this date in particular)! Your choices are twofold: you can bemoan the cold and the gloom and the lack of proper daylight, or you can grab a good book and fail to notice the cold and the gloom and the lack of proper daylight.

You can also move to the southern hemisphere.

Or you can, plain and simply, enjoy the winter.

(I guess your choices are fourfold.)

To kick the season off on a good note (it's D#, we think), we have compiled a list of the ten of our most anticipated book releases in the upcoming months. Who needs swimsuits and beach when we have dragons, spaceships, pirates and murder?

Nobody, that's who.

This is for you, everybody.

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An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family

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Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Ironically enough, the review below is entirely devoid of spoilers.

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*another obligatory flail about WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE*

We don't always eat books. When we do, however, we make sure to devour them whole in a span of few hours, then proceed to flail about their deliciousness for at least a year. Normally, Nutella and pizza are the sort of food groups we recognize and resort to in times of need for emotional comfort and support. But every now and then, a book goes a long way in demonstrating that a story is all you need.

Heads up, escapist enthusiasts. This one's for you.

This week we're featuring our favorite books of the past year. Not, perhaps, the ones released in 2015. We aren't that good about new releases. We're a disorganized bunch. (Sympathize with us and send us Nutella.) These are the books, however, which we have devoured in 2015 and which have made the less-than-intelligent choices worth it in the end. Not that we ever make less-than-intelligent choices. We're basically geniuses.

And these are the stories which tickled our genius minds.

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I am exactly 3497 decades too late putting this up. I did the math. (And you thought you were a procrastinator!) 3497 is also, serendipitously, how old I am in draconic years. It's how old my soul is... when I'm not writing dirty limericks or watching Courage The Cowardly Dog over and over again.

But I digress.

In human years, my birthday was at the end of October. I'm a Halloween baby, which really goes such a long way in explaining my tastes and predilections. Go ask Tumblr what a Scorpio is like. When they go MURDER, GORE, FANTASY, DEATH, BLOODY RITUALS IN THE MOONLIGHT, DRAGONS, SASS - nod and slowly back away. I don't really set much store by the Zodiac, but... my bookshelf says that that's pretty accurate.

My wonderful, lovely friends, however, don't seem to mind my ritualistic homicidal tastes, so for my birthday they SHOWERED ME WITH BOOKS. One might think they were trying to purify and cleanse my soul, but... the books they chose suggest otherwise.

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Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Spoilers ahead.

I got this ARC from the publisher St. Martin's Press on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can't stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won't just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen...

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*obligatory flail about WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE*

Now that that's behind us, let's begin. 2015 has been good to us in terms of new releases. We've been... a bit less good about actually staying on top of them all. Our bad. But now that the end of the year draws near, we apparently rhyme have are actively working on catching up with all that we've missed, and we are already pining for the 2016 releases to come.

The blogging community at large made this list the first week of December. We are once again fashionably late to the party. It's a running theme and we look cool when we show up late. Right? Right?

So this week, our top 10 picks are all about the MUST HAVE NOW books of 2016. Get in our way as we race to beg for an ARC and we will jump over you and keep running. We're only ever that sprightly when these books are at stake.

Disclaimer: The release dates indicated are tentative and will 1000% be pushed back by about a year and break your collective hearts. You have been warned.

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You know those mysterious, mysterious creatures who are active online and post plenty, but never about themselves? For all you know, they were trained at the Ninja Academy (which may or may not be a real thing) - they pop in and out, never for long enough to get a hold of them and shake some solid personal facts out of them?

We are those Ninjas. (Or not. Depending on whether the Ninja Academy is a real thing.)

It has recently come to our attention, however, that in order to see our current mission through, it is imperative that we prove our non-robotic nature and reveal some non-compromising facts about ourselves and our bookish existence. It is therefore that this Tuesday we have sat down and come up with some. 

Marvel in our weirdness! And then tell us your own, because quid pro quo, and because we need to be reassured despite our potential ninja-status that we are not alone in this.

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