We’re already a week into the new year, but I still need to give you my mini reviews for the books I read in December! This is going to be the last mini reviews post in this format because I want to try something new in 2021 (after writing 76 of them…). I had a lot of fun writing these posts every month, and I’m very happy that I kept at it for an entire year, but I did notice that my enjoyment in writing these waned a little towards the end of 2020. So, in 2021, I’m going to do things a little bit differently. I haven’t figured out how exactly, but I guess you will find out at the end of the month (or the beginning of February, if we’re being realistic).
For now, let’s focus on December! The last month of the year was all about my ’10 books I want to read in 2020′-list, because there were two books on there that I still had to read and they were both quite big books as well. So, my priority was to finish those two. Somehow, I did end up reading four other books during December, although one of them was a short novella and the other one was a book I’d read the majority of in November. Although it was a good reading month, both in terms of quality and quantity, I’ve decided that in 2021 I’m going to try to finish my list of ten books before December, or at the very least before Christmas, so that the last few days of the year can be a bit more relaxed in terms of reading. You live, you learn!
Anyway, onto the final mini reviews of 2020!
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery ★★★⭑☆ (3.5)
Anne of Green Gables is a children’s classic, but I never read it as a child (probably because back then I mostly read Dutch children’s novels). It’d been on my TBR for a couple of years already but in November I finally picked it up, and I thought it was very delightful. The thing I loved most about the book was Green Gables, which is Anne’s home. The descriptions of the house and the nature surrounding it are absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to see them on the small screen when I finally watch the Netflix adaptation. I thought Anne was sweet and funny, but I didn’t love her as much as other people seem to do. There are still six more books in this series, which I don’t think I’ll be reading. Although I definitely enjoyed it, one story about Anne was enough for me.
Booked for Christmas by Sandhya Menon ★★★☆☆ (3)
This is a Christmas novella (or perhaps even a short story) that I buddy-read with Jaz from Travels in Fiction. It’s an enemies-to-lovers romance story about Sophie (a romance author) and Wolfe (a book reviewer), who get stuck in the same house during a blizzard. Basically, it was like a Netflix Christmas film in book form: two bickering main characters who find each other very attractive, lots of snow and a very, very corny ending. It was a little ridiculous at times, but I definitely had fun reading it. I love a good Christmas romance!
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren ★★★★☆ (4)
Which brings us to Christmas romance number two! In this novel, main character Maelyn gets stuck in a Groundhog Day situation – but during Christmas. After a terrible Christmas, she gets into a car accident with her family, but instead of waking up at the hospital, she wakes up on the plane to the Christmas cabin, about to start the holidays all over again. I always really enjoy Christina Lauren’s books and this was no exception. Maelyn was a great main character and I enjoyed her love interest as well. I do think the Groundhog Day element could have been executed a little bit better, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this and it definitely got me in the Christmas spirit.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez ★★★★☆ (4)
This was probably the most intimidating book on my 2020 list of books I wanted to read, which is also why I left it until the end of the year to actually read it. One Hundred Years of Solitude had been on my TBR for several years and I’d always been curious about it, but I’d also gotten a little apprehensive about reading it after hearing that the consent in this novel is rather iffy. I was afraid it was going to be another one of those highly respected novels that I was not going to like because of it being misogynist and outdated. Luckily, I ended up really liking this one! I loved the magic, the town of Macondo and the fact that none of the characters were really likeable. It definitely is a bit outdated in its descriptions of women and there are clear consent issues, but it didn’t faze me as much because I was expecting it. Also, the writing is some of the best writing I’ve ever read: it’s absolutely exquisite.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo ★★★★★ (5)
The last book on my list and also my favourite! I’m not sure why I waited so long to read Girl, Woman, Other because it is magnificent. This story is told through the perspective of twelve different people (mostly women, mostly black), all living in Britain. It touches on some very important topics such a racism, sexism and homophobia and makes some very astute observations in that regard. Besides that, though, it’s also just a very, very good novel. The characters jump off the page – they’re so well-developed and well-written. Most of them were not very likeable, but that made me love the story even more, since it made it feel more real and raw. The writing is also amazing, although the format (no quotation marks or periods, just enters and commas) did take a little getting used to. In the end, though, I hardly even noticed it, since the words just flowed so beautifully. I definitely want to read more by Bernardine Evaristo in the future!
Upside Down by N.R. Walker ★★★★☆ (4)
This was such a wonderful, heartwarming novel to end the year with! It tells the story of Jordan and Hennessy, two men in their twenties who ride the same bus every day but only start talking after they bump into each other at a support meeting for asexual people. They have an instant connection and what follows is a warm, sweet story about these characters getting to know each other better – both on the bus and on a few perfect dates. The novel also explores asexuality in a very open and wonderful way. I loved Jordan and Hennessy, as well as both of their friends, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story.
And that’s it for my mini reviews of 2020! What did you read in December? Did you come across some new favourites? Let’s chat in the comments!