December Reads

         I don’t know about you guys, but I finished 2020 with a bang. I read five books in December, exceeded my goal of reading fifty books for the year, and checked off the last few books on my reading list. Pair that with filling in my list for this year and diving right into my books, I feel pretty great overall.

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

         This book gave me so many feelings. As an older sister myself, I related to a lot of the relationship tension between Hattie and Penny. The love/hate and the desire to push someone away and yet keep them close and protect them at all costs; it gripped me from page one.

         The girls lived through so many hardships, and any time there seemed to be a glimmer of hope, it would be snuffed out. They couldn’t catch a break. Even when new love appears, one of them has to sacrifice for the other to be happy. So much give and take that left them both a little (or a lot) bitter, hateful, and downright unhappy.

         I just wanted Penny to have something good, and I wanted to shake Hattie by the shoulders and make her see sense. And yet, even after all Hattie had put her through, Penny stood in the way of danger for her again so she could save her little sister.

         Couldn’t put it down. It was so well written with its dark and gloomy atmosphere. Even with the occasional sunny days, there were always the undertones of terrible events to come. The arcs of each character rose and fell with great skill, and I will definitely look for more books by Petrou in the future.

Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff

         This book blew my mind. It took weird science to an entirely new level, and I loved it. The entire premise of three parents to one child is amazing and would realistically help if it could be done. (Can it be done? I didn’t look it up, haha).

         However, I had a few things that made me go “meh” throughout the book. While Claire, Robert, and Jillian were dominant characters and very individual, I wasn’t a huge fan of Abigail. She wasn’t always a believable ten-year-old. And I don’t see why she had so little faith in her mother. Her attitude would have fit more with a hormonal fourteen-year-old, in my opinion.

         The other issue I had was the amount of real science included. Yes, I’m glad the research was done, but I don’t feel like it was all necessary to put it in the book. A little too much info dump.

         And even though I’m nit-picking here, I loved the book. Jillian was a psychopath, and I loved her (hated, loved to hate, you know what I mean). And the story was phenomenal. The last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

         Another Brave New World/scary look at a potential future. I zipped through this book and really enjoyed it.

         Clarisse was my favorite character, even though she was barely present. She reminded me of Luna Lovegood in her somewhat floaty manner. And she was the force to bring Montag out of his brainwashed state. She flashed into his life, morphed his outlook, and disappeared to leave him questioning everything.

         And then all things changed and went crazy in Montag’s life. He rebelled, sought help, and made some form of a plan to change things. Which, of course, promptly blew up in his face because he had too many emotions to be patient.

         Another excellent read marked off my list.

To Be Your Only by Rae Kennedy

         Wow. This one was spicy.

         I would read more romance if it was always by Rae Kennedy. She just pulls me right in and doesn’t let me go. She’s hilarious on twitter and in her books. Love it. Love them. Love her.

         So, Kyla is awesome. (She might also be me when I was twenty, but we’re not gonna go there). She’s so blissfully unaware of the great guy right in front of her, it’s almost painful. And Eric is so great that he wants to help her be happy, even though he’s so in love with her. Because at the end of the day he just wants her to smile and that just rips your heart out.

         I also enjoyed Gracie coming back into the storyline and getting to witness how she took the breakup from the previous book. Even knowing how that one would end already, I still felt sad for her all over again.

         I’m looking forward to all of her future books.

Blueprint Your Bestseller by Stuart Horwitz

         My craft book for the month, and the final one on my reading list, had so many useful tips. I read it alongside editing my next novel, and I’m definitely going to use this method again in the future. I feel like I took my decent draft to the next level and I’m even more excited about getting it done.

         It really made me ask the hard questions about my storyline and the importance of each and every scene. I recommend it to anyone who feels like they need help to analyze their work in their editing process.

         And that’s wrapped up my year in reading. I’ve set my book goal for 55 this year. Since that’s what I reached in 2020, I’m going to aim for it again. I’m already reading three different books right now to work towards that goal. I received so many great books for Christmas (or bought them with Christmas money) and I’m so ready to work through the stack. Did you meet your reading goals for 2020? What are you reading now?