What I Read In November & December
This is awkward.
I’ve been meaning to write and publish this post for so long that it’s become somewhat daunting to me. Like, I realise it’s the 17th of JANUARY and that I’m only just writing about the books I read in NOVEMBER… but December was kind of a crazy month for me. With blogmas and travelling and all of the festivities [of course], my reading just fell by the wayside for a little while. But you know what? THAT’S OKAY.
That’s the nature of reading – well, at least for me.
Some days I’m in there 110% – finishing entire books before midday, and others I don’t really have the desire to read. Does this happen to anyone else?
Anyway, today I’m going to be writing about the books I read in November AND December. I’d recommend grabbing a snack and maybe a cuppa… I can already tell it’s gonna be a long one.
WHAT I READ IN NOVEMBER…
November, among other things, was my 25th birthday month, so aside from all of the birthday shenanigans and Christmas prep, I didn’t really find much time for reading. I did, however, read three bloody fab books. Here they are.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
by Jenny Han
This book was such a breezy read, which was kinda surprising considering this was a re-read for me [fun fact: I almost never re-read books].
It’s a YA fiction based around the life of Lara Song; a sixteen year old girl who gets over her crushes by writing them love letters. She never actually sends these letters though… Well, that is until all five of the letters somehow make their way into the hands of the boys she’s loved before and basically, from there, all hell breaks loose.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is an awkward, cringe-y, but sweet story about love and high-school and being a teenager. I whizzed through this book in a matter of hours. I’m not sure exactly what it is about Lara Song and her crazy life: whether that’s the relationship she has with her sisters, her personality, or her serious love of cake… but I find tiny aspects of myself in her character, and I also find tiny aspects of the person I would like to be in there as well. I dunno. It’s such a fabulous book and I just wish there had been something like this around when I was a young teenager. I think Lara is an amazing role model and someone I would have looked up to a lot.
by Jo Nesbø
This book is insane. Absolutely insane.
I remember being about thirty pages in and feeling my heart race. The Snowman is definitely the most shocking, gruesome and horrific crime fiction I’ve ever read.
The story goes like this: women have been going missing in Oslo for a number of years and it isn’t until Harry Hole is put on the case that the pattern is identified. It always happens on the day of the first snowfall. Always. It’s not long after that the letters start to arrive. All of them addressed to Harry. All of them from ‘The Snowman’.
Hole, along with his new partner Katerine Bratt, are put on the case. But there’s more than one rabbit hole to go down before they can figure out who The Snowman is. This Nordic Noir story is anything but easy to read. It’s full of twists and turns and shocks and horrors. There’s one scene involving a particularly giant snowman that gives me the absolute creeps to this day, but I recommend this book to all crime fiction lovers nonetheless. It’s shocking and brilliant and I’ve already added the rest of Nesbø’s Harry Hole series to my TBR on Goodreads.
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
For some reason I was scared to pick this book up. It has so so so many rave reviews and I somehow worried I wouldn’t like it? Well obviously I was extremely wrong.
The Hate U Give is one of those books that everyone needs to read. It doesn’t matter if you like fiction or non-fiction, romance or sci-fi – this is the book that needs to be on your TBR.
The Hate U Give’s protagonist is Starr, a sixteen year old girl living in two worlds. She’s got her family, friends and home in the poor neighborhood she’s lived in since she was born, but then she also has her friends, peers, and teachers at the expensive school she attends five days a week.
Starr’s clean separation of these two worlds comes under serious pressure, however, when her childhood best friend Khalil is shot three times and killed. Right in front of her. By a police officer.
Did I mention that Khalil was unarmed?
What happens next can only be described as a roller-coaster of death threats and protests and racism and pleads for justice, and the only person that can stop the violence is Starr. Her voice is her weapon, and she must decide if she is willing to risk her life to tell the truth.
The Hate U Give is not only a page turner, but it’s also a necessary story that represents current society. This one is a must read.
…& What I Read In December
December was obviously a busy month for everyone, with Christmas baking, decorating, crafting and travelling – not to mention all of the Christmas films that are essential to watch and let’s not forget aaaallllll of the napping. It was a bit of a mixed bag in December when it came to books: one was a festive, murder mystery anthology, and the other was a contemporary fiction by one of the best writers in the biz. I also read a couple of other festive books to really get myself in the Christmas spirit, and I really, really enjoyed curling up in bed each night and reading about Christmas murders, romance, mistletoe and lotsa snow.
Let It Snow
by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
This three part anthology is set on Christmas Eve, when a rather major snow storm brings three separate groups of people together. It’s a charming and quirky set of stories that make you smile and bring a feeling of warmth to your soul, and that’s why I love this book so much.
I’ve actually read Let It Snow the past two Decembers as well, and it’s become somewhat of a Christmas tradition for me.
Did I mention that a lot of the stories are set in the local Starbucks and Waffle House? It just makes the story more real and charming, but magical at the same time. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you’re into YA fiction and cute plot lines.
It Ends With Us
by Colleen Hoover
I wrote about how heartbreakingly good this book is on my instagram a while back, but I didn’t want to let on too much about the plot of the story because I thought it was more suited to a blog post. Here goes.
The protagonist of this story, Lily Bloom, had a really tough childhood. So tough, in fact, that when asked to say five great things about her father at his funeral, Lily stood there in silence until someone removed her from the podium. Let’s not even talk about her relationship with her mother.
Enter Ryle: the beautiful man that Lily can’t stop thinking about. They meet one evening on a rooftop, and as fate would have it, they run into each other almost a year later. Their chemistry is insane, and of course the natural progression would be for the two of them to start dating. The only problem? Ryle doesn’t do relationships, but he’s willing to try for Lily.
Ryle is a neurosurgeon whose past might be even darker than Lily’s, and it’s not long before the two fall madly in love. Everything is going perfectly: Lily’s new business is booming and Ryle is excelling in his career… until the boy Lily lost her virginity to shows up. Atlas is successful, and knows a different side to Lily – one that’s never been exposed to Ryle.
How much longer can Lily and Ryle keep their perfect relationship going before something… or someone… snaps?
I don’t even know if that little snippet of the story does it justice… Let me just say that the breaking point within this story is so shocking that I literally gasped out loud and held my hand over my mouth for minutes upon reading it… and this was my second time around reading this book. It’s good. It’s so dark, but it’s so good. Colleen has a way of writing that you can actually feel the tension build as you read. It’s amazing. Another must read, in my opinion.
My True Love Gave To Me
by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor and Kiersten White
You might have already guessed it, but this one is another anthology – this time with twelve short stories all festive in theme.
While I wouldn’t say I prefer this one over Let It Snow, I do appreciate how different each story is and how it caters to all audiences and tastes. I did have my favourites though, if I’m being totally honest. I recommend starting with It’s A Yule Tide Miracle Charlie Brown, Midnights and What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?
While not my favourite festive read, I can definitely see myself re-reading this one every time Christmas rolls around just for the pure fun of it.
The Mistletoe Murder And Other Stories
by P.D. James
Oh my god. Okay first let me say that I went into this book with super low expectations. Like – I did not expect to enjoy this at all.
But maybe that’s the key to actually loving a book – not expecting anything from it, and then you actually love it and are surprised at how good it is? Am I making sense? I’ve been writing this dang post for way too long.
Anyway, this book surprised me in the best way possible. It’s such a cosy, classic, festive read about murder and mystery and lies and I absolutely adored it. I tore through the stories so fast and I was left with a huge smile on my face wanting more! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a whodunnit type of crime fiction. You’ll be trying to figure it out until the very last page!
The Mistletoe Murder And Other Stories was the first book by P.D. James that I have ever read, but since finishing this one I am totally inspired to read the rest of her work. What a brilliant storyteller.
Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you read in November and December.