Monday, January 4, 2021

Book Review - December 2020


Sweater: Amazon

Hey y'all! Happy 2021! I find it fitting that my first post of the year is a book review because I definitely want to focus more on reading this year. I read so many books in December because I had a little too much fun putting books on hold in November and they all got released in December. Despite all my efforts, I still fell one books short of hitting my reading goals for 2020. Even so I'm still excited to work towards my goal of reading 36 books this year and can't wait to see what books I end up reading. 

Two fun things I want to cover really quick before I get into my December books. First, if you didn't see on Instagram, I created a book journal to keep track of my 2021 books and book club selections this year along with dates read and ratings for them. If you want to check it out, its saved onto a highlight on my Instagram profile here

Second, if you are also wanting to read more this year or also participate in a reading challenge, be sure to download Goodreads. I started using this app last year and I'm obsessed with it. I keep track of dates and ratings through there and you can also add friends that also use Goodreads to see what they're reading that you may also be interested in and could add to your want to read list. 

Now to the fun part, the reviews! This month I read six books! I can hardly believe it, but I was also trying to read all the books before they were due back to the library, which is really hard to do when three books would come off hold at once. 

Sweet Tea and Sympathy - Molly Harper 

This book has been on my want to read list on my phone for years. One trick I do is whenever I go to Barnes & Nobles or Target and there's a book that catches my eye, I will take a picture of the cover and keep in in my images until I've read the book. I'm so happy that I finally read it, especially now, because it felt relatable to my current situation. Margot was living her best life in Chicago with her dream job and up for a promotion, when one bad event changes her whole entire plan. When someone from her dad's side of the family reaches out and wants her to join the family business in a small town in Georgia, she has no other option but to accept it. Trying to keep a distance with everyone and working towards getting out of there and back in a big city, she starts to learn more about herself and even finds herself being drawn to one of the few single guys in the town. 

Now while I didn't have an embarrassing disaster railroad my career path, the coronavirus had me decide to come back down to Louisiana and wait it out. During that time, I decided to quit my job in NYC and find another job that I could be more passionate about. This book was such a cute novel and I did enjoy getting to know the family in the book. I was excited to learn that there are currently two more books in this series and I hope to read them this year. 


Cobble Hill - Cecily von Ziegesar 

I was really excited to read this book because of two parts - one it's written by the author who created Gossip Girl and two, it's set in Brooklyn which is where I lived and currently still have my apartment in NYC. This is a book that follows four different families in the Brooklyn neighborhood Cobble Hill and talks about how their lives interact with each other in the course of just a few months. This has everything from a struggling author, a woman who fakes an illness, rebellious teenagers and a woman who feels like she's not on the right career path. 

I wanted to like this book so much, but the plot line was moving too slowly for me and it ended rather quickly. You finally reach the turning point of the book in the last few chapters and then the epilogue doesn't go into much detail about how everyone has been fixing the issues they had and you're left wondering what happened. 


This book was Reese's November YA book of the month and I don't care if anyone judges, but I think you're never too old to read a young adult novel. It's just a fun and easy read in between reading books like Pride & Prejudice or War & Peace. But for real y'all, this book was incredible. For Lila Reyes, bad things come in threes hit her hard after the passing of her grandmother, her boyfriend ending their relationship and her best friend leaving without notice to Africa. Falling into a depressed state and worrying her family, they send her from Miami to England to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle. At first resistant to this, Lila wants to just let the summer go by and get back to Miami so she can take over her grandmothers bakery with her sister. But what happens when she starts to hang out with a group of friends and sees that there's still more to learn about baking outside of her Cuban pastries. 

This book not only has a cute romance built up throughout the book, but Namey describes all the Cuban pastries with such details that I definitely wanted to go find a place near me that has all these delicious foods. She was also very detailed in described Miami and England, which was very helpful in the year of no travel that was 2020. 


One Day in December - Josie Silver 

This book was the December 2020 pick for the Ashley Brooke Book Club and it was Reese's book club pick for December 2018. If it was picked for both book club's I follow, I knew I needed to read it ASAP. This book follows Laurie as she's struggling to get out of her job at a hotel into a job into the field she studied in college. One day, right before Christmas, she sees a stranger sitting at a bus bench as she's sitting on the bus and feels an instant connection to him. After a year of trying to find him, they are reunited, but not in a way that either of them can admit their feelings to each other. Two people with ten chances, we follow these two across years of their lives as they keep bumping into each other and even leaning on each other during difficult times in their lives. 

This was such a cute book to read and I enjoyed it so much. I actually want them to make this into a movie because I feel like it has the classic plot line of a rom com film, but also set in one of my favorites counties I want to visit, England. I know some people will only read winter books during the winter season, or holiday books during that particular holiday, but I'm not like this and I would watch a movie based of this book over and over again, similar to Serendipity. 


Y'all this book. This was my favorite book of 2020 that I read and I'm trying to get everyone I know to read this. This book has everything from historical fiction to romance to mystery to magic and even getting into the gothic genre. Addie LaRue was living the life that was expected of her in 1700 France until she decides she will do anything to escape that life, including accidentally making a deal with the dark spirits. The deal made: live forever but have no one remember her. For 300 years this deal works until 2014 in a small bookstore in NYC, someone remembers her. What's so special about this guy that allows him to remember her and how does it affect Addie. 

I loved the flip flop of time in this book where you follow Addie through all the major historical times throughout the 300 years, such as the French Revolution and World War I and then it follows her on a more day to day basis in 2014. I was hooked into this story from the start and honestly only put this book down to go to work, but even then I couldn't stop talking about the book to all my coworkers and couldn't wait to get home to continue reading. I need this book to be made into an HBO miniseries with my whole body and if it isn't ever made as a film or series, it's really an opportunity missed. The ending of the book even had me tearing up and I needed to know how the story decides to end. 

(I would give it more stars if I could) 

The Chicken Sisters - KJ Dell'antonia

This was Reese's December book of the month and the plot line had me hooked. In a small town of Kansas there are two rival fried chicken restaurants, Mimi's and Frannie's. Amanda and Mae are two sisters and Mimi's granddaughters, who are living two completely different lives. Amanda was married to one of the sons of the Frankie's family until his untimely death and is helping her mother-in-law run the restaurant, while Mae is a best selling book writer on organization trying to become a regular on a talk show on the home network. When Amanda submits her story to Food Wars, a popular food competition show, to try and help the business, Mae decides to come home to help her mom out to win the competition against Amanda. 

While the book finally picked up towards the end of the novel, it was very slow moving at first and the layout of the novel was a little slow to read. The flip flop of point of view from Amanda to Mae helped move the book a little but not enough to grab me from the beginning. The ending also ended suddenly and I was left questioning what happens after the end of the completion and where their lives ended up even just a few months after the end of the story. 



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