December Reads

book lot on table

Smashed through eleven books in December. Most of them on audio, but I’m not stressed about it since it was the holiday season. I picked a list of books to read to prepare for my next writing project and I tore through most of them in the last two weeks. It was really nice and I think I found a great genre to sit in.
Now, let’s get into the books.

The Glare by Margot Harrison
I liked this book so much, I barely even noticed it was YA. The story moves quickly and gets right into the drama. The little twists along the way were a nice touch, and even though I put it together than Hedda did, I had to know how the story ended.
Only complaints would have to be the whiny tendencies of Hedda and the lack of backbone in her stepmom. No way is a 16 year old going to just run off and I not have anything to say about it. Haha. But a good book.

Nightmare Fuel by Nina Nasseth
The subtitle of this one says it all. “The science of horror films.” A fascinating deep dive into what happens in our bodies during horror films and what makes something scary to our brains. It went into atmosphere and lighting and music. The music and sound effects are truly what make the movie. I already knew this, but it’s interesting to see it backed up by science.
I really enjoyed this read and it gave me some great insight into my favorite genre.

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
A dark and twisty book about the end of the world as we know it. Nothing is ever quite explained since it is told from a distance perspective to the actual crisis, but you can put the pieces together for yourself.
I loved the detached storytelling of a family on vacation – and the catastrophe is apart from them and yet happening to them all the same.
A very ominous tone throughout which left you never doubting the outcome of everything. Beautifully written. Going to watch the movie now.

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes
Wow. A gut wrenching book that dives right into the dark. The descriptions were immaculate and I almost felt like I was right there with them through this crazy journey. The characters were beautifully written and I could really see them in my mind when they spoke. And the backstabbing and deception were a nice touch.
The ending fell a little flat for me, but I knew it was just to wrap everything up. Would have maybe been better with a more ambiguous ending instead of a ‘happily ever after’ feeling.
A wonderful read. Gotta get more from this author for sure.

Danse Macabre by Stephen King
This absolute brick of information was a delight to read through. I’ve added several books to my TBR and a few movies to my watch list.
King’s insight into the horror genre is priceless and i enjoyed his takes on books I’ve read. I had to skim over the ones I haven’t read yet for fear of spoilers. But I’m sure I’ll double back to check in with his thoughts after I’ve read them.
Anyone who loves horror should give this book a read.

Dead Eleven by Jimmy Juliano
A great read. Very thorough world building for the island. It was creepy even before we found out what was happening.
Also enjoyed the back and forth timeline with the letters slowly revealing clues to the truth.
Great characters. I was on the edge of my seat so often waiting to find out if they were okay. And the end reveal was perfectly done. I’m going to have to read this one again soon.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
Very quick. Almost to the point where there wasn’t any emotional attachment to the characters. But the ending still had me shocked.
Had a great explanation for how he became invisible that wasn’t too science-y and I was able to get the gist. And his tale of running through the snow was nail-biting. Even though he was the ‘villain.’
Everyone should definitely read this at least once.

Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell
Very creepy and atmospheric. The world building around the creature was well-done. The characters were great for the most part. I didn’t really buy how fast Felix latched onto the native men who were helping him. I guess only because he was going through emotional turmoil, but I just didn’t believe it as much.
And the were plenty of creepy pieces and frightening details. But then the reveal kind of lost momentum. Seemed like a lot of build up to a meh ending.
Enjoyed it overall.

Tell me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt
Not sure how I felt about this one. It was dark and creepy and had interesting character situations. But… I don’t know. It didn’t really flow together in a cohesive way for me. It had a lot of potential but mostly left me feeling meh.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
A fantastic book. The story flow was great with the way it was paired with the book written by Maggie’s father. The details were revealed like bread crumbs, the whole time leaving you questioning which ones were true. And with every little reveal you’re still left wondering “so is it ghosts????”
And when we think we finally know the truth – wham! No you didn’t.
Fantastic book.

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten
A beautiful and atmospheric book. Had a fascinating press is and there was a great backstory. All in all, had the makings to be a great book.
But… the character relationships were a little stilted at times. There was a great back story, it just didn’t seem to always translate to the present day. And I feel like there was an attempt at some supernatural thing that didn’t pan out. no the big reveal left me with more questions than answers.
A good read though.

That totals me out to 118 books for the year. I’m sticking my goal to 100 books in 2024 because you never know what might happen. Anything extra is just a bonus.
What’s on your TBR this year?