Hi everyone! This post is a bit late, but my anxiety has been kicking my ass for the last few weeks and I needed some time off. This is my last wrap up of 2020, so it’s the last one where I’ll be ranking all the books I read in the month, I had a lot of fun doing my wrap ups like this in 2020, but I think it’s time to shake things up again.
Before getting into this post, here are my lists of favorite books of 2020 in case you missed them:
Without further ado, here are the books I read in december 2020:
My Least Favorite Book of the Month
My least favorite books this month were a really disappointing romance book:
19. Fans Only by B. Love (2.5 stars): I didn’t like the writing in this at all and that was my main problem, it was SO CHEESY and there were parts that sounded like a bad self-help book. Also, there’s a part where the hero tells the heroine what he likes about her and his answer sounded like someone looked up a badly written birth chart or horoscope and copied it. Also, I didn’t particularly like the characters. This book has an interesting premise, but beyond that, the only thing it has going for it is that it was really steamy.
The “Just Ok” Books
These can be books that 1) I had issues with, but I don’t have a strong negative opinion about them 2) had good elements but bored me or didn’t really impact me in any way, the meh books.
18. Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass by Lana del Rey (3 stars): This poetry collection was ok. Nothing that moved me or that it’s going to stay with me, but I listened to the audiobook and it was a pleasant enough experience.
17. Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras (3 stars): This was ok. I think my main issue is that the dialogue felt stilted and that made it really hard to see the chemistry between the main characters.
16. Steele by Sawyer Bennett (3 stars): The characters in this were ok, but nothing special. They had a lot of chemistry, so that was good. My main issue with this, beyond the writing, is the message. This idea that you are supposed to be extremely happy 100% of the time in a marriage, which it’s unrealistic. Recently, I have read a few very good second chance romances where people are trying to save their marriages and they put in the work and it’s hard but worth it, and I think this book doesn’t execute that trope that well.
The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books
These are books that I had significant issues with, but they had redeeming qualities that made me mostly enjoy them:
15. Cocaince Blues by Kerry Greenwood (3,5 stars): I started reading this series because I love the tv show based on these books. While so far they are not as good as the adaptation, I still really love the characters in the books, which is why I’ll continue reading the series.
14. Murder in the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood (3,5 stars): This was quick and entertaining. The case was interesting enough, but I have an issue with the writing. I feel like these books need a bit more description, sometimes it’s hard to understand what happened because places and actions are not always described.
13. Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood (3,5 stars): Like all the books in this series, this was quick and entertaining. I love all the characters and that’s what keeps me reading. The two cases in this book were my favorite in the series so far.
12. A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean (3,5 stars): This book and particularly the main characters are very forgettable. But I didn’t dislike either of them, I even really liked Penny and some of the things she did. Penny and Michael spent way too much time apart and when they are together they had some cute scenes and some steamy scenes that were good, but I feel like I needed a little bit more. I guess I needed a little more from the romance. The concept of The Fallen Angel Club is really cool, I really enjoyed getting to see that world in this book and I did like the side characters a lot.
11. The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss (3,5 stars): The premise of this is interesting, the 12 dates aspect was entertaining and a lot of funny things happened. But the author focuses solely on those dates and not on the actual romance, which left me wanting more romance. Also, the love interest is not that great. (full review)
The Ones I Liked
The ones I liked are books that I had really small issues with, but after I finished them I had mainly positive feelings towards them:
10. The Gilded Wolves by Roshana Chokshi (3,7 stars): The characters are precious, I love the relationship between them and the found family element. The romances in this are so subtle and angsty, I LOVED THEM. The writing is beautiful and the way it addresses colonialism, colorism, and slavery, without it taking over the story is amazing. My main issues with this is that the magic system isn’t really explained, not even the abilities of some of the main characters that are used often to get them out of trouble.
9. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean (3,7 stars): I liked the main characters and the premise was very unique. The tension and chemistry between the characters were to die for. The romance was angsty and steamy. I also really liked the kids in this book and I think they were an interesting addition to the book, especially because Mara was so committed to ensuring their safety. I think it made her more likable. The one problem I had with Mara was how long it took her to talk to Temple and tell him the truth, I don’t think that would have solved everything but I think it would have made things easier and quicker.
8. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (3,7 stars): I really liked the main characters in this book, Pippa especially was a very unique, interesting, and lovable main character. Their relationship was great, they had a lot of entertaining and funny conversations and banter because of the way Pippa thinks and the way Cross responds to her. The romance took a while to get going because Cross refused to help Pippa for a long time, but I didn’t feel like the book dragged because Pippa was such an entertaining character
7. If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar (4 stars): This is a very powerful poetry collection about . The author manages to say a lot, say it beautifully, and say it clearly.
The Ones I Really Liked
I consider books I really liked the ones that stay with me and that I recommend all the time:
6. An Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman (4 stars): This was an emotional and moving novella. I cried from beginning to end, which it’s very uncommon.
5. Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade (4 stars): I loved both of the main characters and they were so adorable together. Also, The sex scenes in this book were STEAMY. The complicated relationships that the two main characters had with their families added a lot of depth to the story and it was amazing getting to see them stand up for themselves and set up boundaries. I think this book handles very well the conversation about how we don’t owe anyone a place in our lives, not even our parents, if all they do is hurt us.
4. Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (4 stars): This book includes the fake dating and opposite attract tropes and I loved that about it. The main characters are both so different and each of them is great in their own way. They have so much chemistry and they are so sweet together. (full review)
3. Ever After Alwasy by Chloe Liese (4 stars): This is the first 2021 release that I have read and I’m so glad I loved it! This is a wonderful and emotional second chance romance between two amazing characters. The anxiety representation in this book is incredible. (Full review)
My Favorite Books of the Month
In december, my favorite books of the month were a sequel from a series I love and a book that made me sob:
2. European Travel for the Monstruos Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss (4 stars): I really enjoyed this sequel. I still love the main characters, the concept is still fantastic, unique, and entertaining, and the author added so many cool elements to the story (like vampires!) that made it even better. My only little issue with this is that it was a bit longer than it needed to be.
1. Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder (5 stars): This made me sob. As someone whose mom has been very, very ill a few times in my lifetime, this was so scary and sad. I think Tyler Feder did an amazing job of portraining the different feelings and thoughts that she went through in a very honest, relatable and heartbreaking way.