Jan 172024

Why does it seem like December was so long ago already? I legit can’t even remember the books I read now, without consulting Goodreads. December did a number on me. No five stars but some solid 4s. (You know what’s hilar is that I think somewhere along the line, I stopped putting my star ratings for each book, oh well, lol.)

  1. The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner

4 stars. Not my FAVE Weiner (hahahaha) but I enjoyed this and the alternating POVs. Her books aren’t necessarily literary masterpieces, but they do entertain me and have just the right amount of drama and conflict without being too heavy-handed. I don’t want to say these are light and fluffy – this one has a teen pregnancy storyline – but I would still put these in the “beach read” category. Plus, a Jennifer Weiner book was one of the first ones I took out of the library in January 2020 when I pledged to read more, so there’s some FOND ASSOCIATION there.

What I enjoyed the most about this was that most of it takes place on the road as a group of bikers ride from NYC to Buffalo. Still being nostalgic and sentimental from our coaster trip, it had some relatable feels for me, being in a group and befriending people simply because you’re together, doing the same thing. Love that. Leave me alone.

2. Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh by Rachael Lippincott

4 stars. This was a cute time travel, sapphic twist on Pride & Prejudice. I wish there had been more Pgh parts but most of the book takes place in the past, in England. A quick, cute read.

3. To Sir, with Love by Lauren Layne

4 stars – maybe more like 3.5. Predictable romance but I genuinely liked the couple and that made it fun. Another cute, quick read.

4. His Black Tongue by Mitchell Lüthi

3 stars for the audiobook production. *shrugs* Nothing about this scared me. I’m glad I opted for the audiobook though because the production was excellent and included some creepy Gregorian (or similar?) chants. Very atmospheric. But the stories themselves didn’t really enthrall me. (Disclaimer: I was also listening to this the day before Chingumas and I was extremely stressed out so factor that in.)

5. Becoming the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar

4 stars. Creepy, engaging, entertaining. Shout out to Megan for clueing me into this series. Chasing the Boogeyman was better, but this was a solid follow-up IMO.

6. The Block Party by Jamie Day

3 stars. Basically a season of Desperate Housewives with less compelling characters.

7. The Book of the Most Precious Substance by Sara Gran

4.5 stars. YES. Yes yes yes. A book dealer goes on a whirlwind, worldwide quest to procure this ancient witchy sex book for a mystery buyer. Loved it. Interesting, exciting, engaging, memorable. Kind of…OK hear me out…Dan Brown vibes but so much better and smarter.

8. Good Bad Girl by Alice Feeney

3 stars. Alice Feeney is so hit-or-miss. This one had too many women to follow and none of them were interesting. The twist was mid. The whole time, I kept thinking, “How is this the same author who wrote Daisy Darker?” One upside to this is that all of the chapters were relatively short and I do love me a book with short chapters.

9. Margarettown by Gabrielle Zevin

4 stars. I almost DNFd this after the first chapter or two and I’m really glad I stuck it out. I was weeping by the end. This line of the synopsis speaks volumes: “What he doesn’t know is that loving Maggie means loving many women at once.” This book read like a beautiful love letter to women. I felt seen. Maybe Henry should read this.

10. The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey

3 stars. A retelling-ish of Pinnochio from Geppetto’s POV. Not for me but I can see where this would appeal to others. Most of the book takes place inside the whale and it just felt a bit, you know, well, claustrophobic. I wish there had been more “outside of the stomach” flashbacks.

11. Nestlings by Nat Cassidy

4.5 stars. OK NAT CASSIDY CALM DOWN. You are already my new favorite horror writer, stop showing off.  I didn’t love this quite as much as Mary, but this was damn near flawless in my eyes. A modern take on Rosemary’s Baby and done beautifully. Ana is a fucking bad-ass main character and I rooted for her the whole way through. One thing to note with Cassidy’s books – ya gotta read the foreword and author’s notes. Ya just gotta. I am such a fan girl. I love him lots. His writing is chef’s kiss, his characters are so vivid, and his scene-setting is glorious.

I always say that when/if we ever buy a house and actually have room for a book shelf, I want to go back and buy physical copies of my faves and both of Nat Cassidy’s book will be on those supposed shelves, you can bet.

12. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

4 stars. I needed this. A little magical realism, a little romance, a funeral home in a small town as a setting….this was precious. I cried, BUT I ALSO LAUGHED.

13. Nineteen Claws and a Black Bird by Agustina Bazterrica

3 stars. Short stories. Some are better than others. None were particularly scary/creepy/thrilling.  There was one I loved about a woman who wants her body to be a circle, though. Most of them made me extremely uncomfortable and that’s what I want horror to do, so this wasn’t a total bust.

14. Look Closer by David Ellis

3 stars. Long for no reason. The main character Simon was so milquetoast and whiny, I couldn’t stand him. What’s a synonym for “mid”?


OK, that wraps up my December reads. Read ’em and weep (I dunno why I said that, please don’t cry).

Say it don't spray it.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.