December 2022 Wrap up: a 5 star romance and some 2022 releases

Happy new year!!! 2022 is over and I’m taking the first week of 2023 to wrap up all my content about the books I read in 2022, so that includes this monthly wrap-up, as well as posts about my most disappointing books and my favorite books of 2022, which will be coming in the next few days.

December was a weird reading month, I had plans to read 1 book a day and that didn’t happen and, while I started the month with a book I loved, things went kind of downhill after that in terms of my enjoyment. So overall, not the greatest reading month. Still, here are my thoughts on the books I managed to read.

Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese (5 stars): Liese’s main characters are always so endearing, I loved Bea and Jamie and their romance, which was cute and heartwarming. I loved how understanding they both were with each other. I appreciated that there was autism and anxiety rep and while that didn’t become the focus of the book, it did impact different aspects of their lives, including their relationship, and that was addressed. There’s a mix between a “you’ve got mail” setup and the fake dating trope in this book, and I liked that neither trope was overly extended, the characters found out about the identity of the other early on, and similarly, they realized that their feelings were real pretty quickly. My one issue with this is that the ending felt a little rushed, but that didn’t affect my overall enjoyment too much.

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake (4 stars): I had heard mixed things about this book so I was hesitant to pick it up after really enjoying the first book in the series. But I ended up being surprised, I really liked it. Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t have a problem with either Astrid or Jordan, I liked that they had complicated backstories and were kind of damaged and on a journey of learning to let go of things. I really appreciated that Astrid was a woman in her thirties exploring her sexuality for the first time because it’s not something that it’s represented often in books. I loved that this is a dislike-to-like story, and getting to see Astrid and Jordan slowly get to know each other and connect was great, and they had so much chemistry! There was something about the drama and conflict that didn’t totally work for me but still found this book to be really enjoyable.

An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow (4 stars): I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did. This really worked for me because while the characters started not liking each other, the book takes the time to show why their perspectives change and how their connection grew through their actions and their interactions with each other. I appreciated the way this covered complicated family relationships, and also, I always find books set in Alaska very interesting and the way this book talked about the people who work as part of search and rescue teams was incredible, and there were even some action scenes involving rescues, which I enjoyed.

Touch & Go by Mira Lyn Kelly (3.5 stars): I love friends-to-lovers stories and this one was good. I think the first half of the book was stronger, the tension and chemistry between the characters were great, it was easy to see their long and deep-rooted connection, and there was some good steam. Nonetheless, in the second half, the conflict was a bit frustrating, and there was a lack of communication and lack of honesty that didn’t work for me. Nonetheless, I overall enjoyed the reading experience.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas (4 stars): While I didn’t find this scary, instead it was an atmospheric haunted house story with the unique twist of being set in Mexico and including some of the culture and history of the country. It had characters that it was easy to root for and that had very realistic responses to what was happening around them, there wasn’t a ton of character depth but the characters worked for the type of story the book was telling. The plot was well executed and the reveals made sense. The book very lightly addressed colorism, and some of the tension between native costumes and catholicism, but there wasn’t too much thematic depth

Into the Riverlands by Nghi Vo (4 stars): This is not my favorite of the Singing Hills Cycle novellas, but it’s still really good. I loved seeing cleric Chih and Almost Brilliant again and I love how this series continues to address the power of stories, how a story varies depending on who tells it, and how even within communities, some stories may be considered worth remembering and others don’t. I think I liked this novella a little less than the others because it wasn’t one story but pieces of a bunch of different tales

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn (4 stars): You have to suspend your disbelief going into this book because almost everything that happens is so far-fetched and ridiculous, but it’s fun to read. I liked the characters, the plot was interesting, I liked the glimpses that we get from their years as paid killers, and I really enjoyed the interactions between the four main characters, it definitely felt like these were relationships between women that knew each other for a long time. My one issue with this is that, while I liked all the individual aspects of this, I never felt fully invested in it.

Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz (3.5 stars): I have a similar problem with this book and with the first book in the series, I think the device that Horowitz uses of a book within a book doesn’t work for me. In this book, I had a hard time getting into the story, and then when I’m finally enjoying it, it switches to the book within a book, and I felt that change so strongly and I struggled to get into that story as well. Nonetheless, I think Horowitz writes good mysteries, his writing is great, and by the end, I really enjoyed both the real-life mystery and the book within a book, even if I suspected the answer to the real-life mystery and I was right

The Office BFFs by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey (4 stars): I watched The Office for the first time during lockdown and loved it, which I think plays a big part in enjoying this book. I loved hearing all the behind-the-scenes stories and since I don’t listen to their podcast they were all new stories to me. I think the love they have for the show comes through this book and makes it an enjoyable reading experience for fans.

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman (4 stars): This was a beautiful poetry collection that heavily deals with the pandemic. I really appreciated that the writing was lyrical and complex but it was easy to understand what Gorman was trying to convey with each of her poems. As someone who doesn’t read that much poetry, I discovered that I like shorter collections because this did feel a little overlong at times.

What are the best and worst books you read in December?

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3 thoughts on “December 2022 Wrap up: a 5 star romance and some 2022 releases

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