In December, I mainly wanted to read seasonal books, and I participated in 12 Days of Queermas. I made a TBR for it and also wrote a wrap-up post for the readathon. After Christmas, I participated in the End of Yearathon.
I ended up reading 51 books in total this month, which is considerably more than I’ve read in any other month of the year. The reason for that is mostly that I read a lot of novellas, so they were all quick reads. I did reach my Goodreads goal in December, and even slightly exceeded it, so I’m pleased with my reading year. You can view my Year in Books on Goodreads if you’re interested.
In this post, I’ll share my Goodreads reviews of my 4 and 5 star reads of December. Want to keep track of my reading in more detail? Feel free to add me on Goodreads!
Seanan McGuire – Come Tumbling Down
I didn’t review this book, but I absolutely adore this series, and I’ve already preordered the next installment.
Daniel Haack & Stevie Lewis – Prince & Knight
If you’re looking for LGBTQ+ picture books, I’d highly recommend this one!
Kit Rosewater – The Derby Daredevils. Shelby Struggles to Shine
This is such a cute series!!
Kara McDowell – One Way or Another
Pick this up if you’re looking for Christmassy YA reads! It’s a super charming story that reminded me a lot of those 90s romcom movies. I loved the dual timeline and the anxiety rep was great!
Victoria Lee – The Traitor’s Crown & The Stars and Everything in Between
These are the novellas you’d receive as the preorder incentive for The Electric Heir. I absolutely love the Feverwake duology, so it was great to read these.
Matt Haig – Reasons to Stay Alive
Having dealt with depression, I found this a very relatable and very helpful memoir.
Talia Hibbert – Wrapped Up in You
Yesss this was a great Christmas read! I love Talia Hibbert’s writing voice, I love the way she writes her heroines (they’re often grumpy and sarcastic and their biggest secret is how big their heart actually is), and this one had a particularly great love interest. I downloaded the Kobo app specifically to read this and it was so worth it!
Lily Menon – Booked For Christmas
Yeah this was delightful! I had high hopes for this and they were all met! My sole issue is that I wish it had been a little bit longer. But it was fluffy, it was funny, I really enjoyed it!
Christina Lauren – In a Holidaze
This was a delightful Christmas romcom, inspired by Groundhog Day. I love stories like this, so I had so much fun with this.
David E. Talbert & Lyn Sisson-Talbert – Jingle Jangle: The Invention of Jeronicus Jangle
Listened to this quick, movie to book adaptation, and it was so cute and really fun, but if you have the chance, I’d recommend watching the movie because that does convey the atmosphere better and there are so many amazing visual elements.
I received an Audio Listening Copy from Libro.fm!
Vitor Martins – Here the Whole Time
I received my Rainbow Crate yesterday, so I finally had my copy of this book I’ve been so highly anticipating, and I dove in right away. I heard such good things about it, but I was not prepared for how incredibly relatable this book would be. It starts off super awkward and ends up being extremely sweet and wholesome, and I loved the entire experience.
But the main reason for that is the fat masculine representation. This was probably my first time reading about a fat queer boy in YA, and I was not prepared for all the thoughts it would invoke about how fatness relates to gender. This book helped me sort through so many feelings relating to my gender and made me feel so seen.
I also really loved the fat rep specifically because it doesn’t shy away from the feelings of self hate fat people tend to internalize. Because we see so many messages of body positivity, but it’s not always that simple, and it’s a lifelong journey. It felt so validating to see the negative sides of being fat portrayed as well, especially because there was such a good balance to the book: it didn’t shy away from negativity and heavier themes, but at the same time it was never a heavy book.
CWs: (internalized) fatphobia, bullying, homophobia
Firoozeh Dumas – It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel
Historical middlegrade is not something I’ve come across a lot, and I loved this one! It’s a character-driven slice of life story set during the Iranian revolution and showing the response to that in the US. I imagine that if you don’t really know anything about this topic yet, it’s such an accessible way to introduce you to it, because there were a lot of clear explanations. But it’s not a non-fiction, of course, and what really stood out for me was the main character’s voice.
Eli Wray – Secret Santa
This was my first read for the 12 Days of Queermas readathon, and it was such a good start! I’m really loving this author’s work, and I can’t wait for more. This gave me so many fluffy feelings!
Emily Engberts – Second Chance at Christmas
I had such a good time reading this book! It felt so comforting, and I loved the romance a lot. I will say this book could have done with more extensive editing, but good writing to me is about if you can make your reader feel what the characters are going through and that was definitely the case for me.
Emy Koopman – Het boek van alle angsten
Veel dank aan Prometheus voor het recensie-exemplaar!
Om te beginnen bij het begin: de eerste zin van dit boek hoort vanaf nu in mijn rijtje van favoriete beginzinnen: “Je vroeg me hoe het eindigt; zo dus: met stilte.” Het boek begint met een soort proloog die ik, echt waar, meteen drie keer heb gelezen. Ik vond hem zo prachtig geschreven, en hij maakte meteen zo’n diepe indruk. En dat kan ik ook zeker zeggen voor de rest van het boek.
Ik ga heel eerlijk zijn: ik heb een studie Nederlands gevolgd, maar ik ben inmiddels iemand die vooral leest voor plezier en comfort, omdat ik daar de meeste behoefte aan heb. Ik zoek vooral escapism. Dit boek is echt een uitzondering op die regel voor mij, vooral omdat het zo pijnlijk actueel is en alles aanstipt waar ik het bangst voor ben in deze wereld. Het was soms moeilijk om te lezen, en af en toe moest ik het boek echt even wegleggen, maar het heeft ook iets hoopgevends om te zien dat je niet de enige bent die zich zorgen maakt.
Ik zou dit boek aanraden voor fans van Hanna Bervoets en The Handmaid’s Tale, en ik denk dat het zeker ook een enorm goede toevoeging zou zijn aan de leeslijst van middelbare scholieren!
Mason Deaver – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Just reflecting on the journey I’ve had with this book, from first reading it without knowing I’m non-binary yet, to being able to revisit it when I’ve gained so much understanding of my own identity. It feels so special.
I also still love Ben with all my heart and I want them to have all the happiness in the world.
Nathan Burgoine – Handmade Holidays
In this book, we follow Nick and his queer chosen family on their Christmases over 15 years. There’s a chapter for every year, then we skip to the next one. I thought it was done really well – lives change, people have trouble staying in touch but also sometimes gravitate back to each other, and I thought the characters and their relationships were well developed especially if you consider there’s not much room in a format like this for a lot of development.
Chloe Gong – These Violent Delights
Initially, when I picked up this book, I ended up DNF-ing it, because it didn’t quite pull me in. I think I just had the wrong expectations though, because I expected this book to be way more fantasy-heavy. After a while, I felt like I was really missing out, and I decided to revisit it, with the right expectations this time. And I’m so glad I did, because this was such a good read!
The reason why I really did want to read this book, even after a rocky start, was its amazing premisse; Romeo and Juliet in 1920s Shanghai with a monster. And it’s exactly as cool as this sounds. The writing style is really fantastic: a little on the dense side, but in a really good way, which just makes you want to read the book out loud. The plot was a little on the slow side as well, and I tend to really enjoy that in a book if I’m in the right mood for it, which I really was this time. I really need the sequel now!
S.A. Chakraborty – The Empire of Gold
This was a formidable finale to a formidable series. Probably one of my favourite adult fantasy series ever, if not my very favourite. I will say this had its slow moments, but towards the end I was on the edge of my seat and it’s just such a strong series.
EE Ottoman – The Longest Night
I’ve been wanting to branch out within the romance genre, because I’ve mainly been reading contemporary romance. So this was my first time picking up a historical romance. And it certainly won’t be the last. I loved reading about a relationship between two people who are BOTH trans, as I don’t feel like we get that very often and it feels so special. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.
Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett – Master of One
I normally can’t really focus on SFF audiobooks, but this one was a clear exception. It was such a long book, but I almost couldn’t stop listening to it, I had so much fun! It was very fast-paced from the start and just so much happened.
Brittney Morris – Slay
I didn’t review this, but it was a really good read.
Kris Ripper – The Love Study
I loved this book so much! It was funny and comforting, which was exactly what I needed right now, but it also resonated with me a lot. I loved the genderqueer representation. But what I loved most, and what I could really relate to, being aromantic, is that a (romantic) relationship shouldn’t have to look the same for everyone. It’s something that can be molded to what the people in the relationship need from it. It’s something you get to define for yourself.
CWs: anxiety, panic attacks, mentions of gender dysphoria
Simon James Green – Heartbreak Boys
I didn’t review this book either, but I did have a great time reading it; it was really funny.
Renée Watson – Love Is a Revolution
Full review to come soon!
Becky Chambers – Record of a Spaceborn Few
I didn’t review this book, but I absolutely love this series.