I got a LOT of reading done in December, and it’s what encouraged me to make it a goal in 2020 to read more consistently. Especially with books that I really love – they just stick with me for a long time after I read them, and it’s just like listening to a really great song. They get under my skin in a way that TV shows and movies usually don’t!
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
This is an incredible book, and one that’s so important to read. Chanel Miller was the victim in the sexual assault trial against Brock Turner, the Stanford student. She was Jane Doe through the years of the trial, but now she’s ready to speak out and ready for people to “know her name.” It’s tough to read, but not because it’s graphic – it’s just a really good look at the frustrations that she went through during the long trial process.
Once Upon A River: A Novel by Diane Setterfield
I started this one and then had a long pause before I finished it, and it took me some time to get back into the story. I love books with intertwining stories, and this one definitely had that, but I think that it could have moved a tiny bit faster. It had a bit of magical realism, which is one of my favorite genres, so I loved that aspect of it.
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
This was such a fun read for over the holidays. It follows the mom of a stylist who gets invited to go to England over the holidays to style the Duchess of Sussex. Of course, romance ensues, and we get a fun look at British royal holiday traditions, too.
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
After I read Royal Holiday, I wanted another light, fun read by the same author. This book starts out with a massively botched public proposal (don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler), and then the relationships that follow.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern
This book is my other favorite of this bunch, along with Say My Name. It’s magical realism, and at its core, it’s a story about stories. It’s so beautifully written, and I can’t wait to read it again. It’s by the same author of The Night Circus, and I was afraid this wouldn’t live up to how much I loved that book, but I think it may have exceeded it! It’s an incredibly intricate story and I highly recommend it.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This story follows the life of Evelyn Hugo, a fictional Hollywood star, as she grants an interview after decades of silence. It sounds like a light read, but the ending is kind of dark… I didn’t see it coming! I still enjoyed it, though.
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger
I picked this up after I saw that Carly read it, and it was a good read. It follows a few different families in Colorado who are all vying to get their children in to a new school being built in the area. It has lots of characters and plot lines to keep track of, so make sure to pay attention as you read.
For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
This is a thriller about a couple and their relationship – I don’t want to say more about the plot so that I don’t spoil it. It wasn’t my favorite of the bunch – it dealt with some heavy topics (child abuse) and I thought that the thriller wasn’t as thriller-y as I was hoping for.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Another thriller! I read this one after a friend recommended it to me, and I think that I enjoyed it, but I’m still wrapping my head around it a bit. It was confusing in that you’re constantly trying to figure out what’s true and what’s not… it’s also a very ambiguous ending, which I did not love. But my friend is right in that it’s a book you want to discuss with someone as soon as you’re finished reading it!
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
This book was kind of slow at the start, but then it picked up. It follows two neighboring families throughout their lives, which are irrevocably intertwined. It wasn’t a light or happy read, but it was good.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
This was another magical realism book, and while I liked it a lot, I thought that it was kind of thin and ended abruptly. I thought that we were just getting to the good part, but it was actually just done. I wanted more story, and also more explanation of the story that had already happened.