Recent Reads | December 2020
Well, the slump that I was fighting through in November definitely installed itself for the biggest part of December. So while I tried to make my way through some Holiday books, I eventually got back in the reading game with a new favourite series. Here's everything I read this month.
1) In a Holidaze, Christina Lauren
Earlier this year I read another Christina Lauren book, Love and Other Words, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so when I saw that they had come out with a holiday book I immediately wanted to pick it up. In a Holidaze is an adult romance with a twist. Maelyn Jones has spent every Christmas at the same cabin, and after making a poorly romantic choice, she's going back home keenly aware of everything falling apart in her life. That's when she makes a wish to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy. She's then thrust into a time loop, forced to relive the holidays over and over until she finds the happiness she's looking for. This is a very fun romance, with childhood friends becoming lovers (one of my favourite tropes), and amazing characters, that left me feeling very cosy. Like my only other Christina Lauren book, I listened to this on audio and I absolutely loved the narrator. The writing sucks you right into the story and the romance was pretty cute. The only thing I didn't really like is that the time loop does feel a bit repetitive and there was no real explanation about it. There was also the beginnings of a love triangle that was never developed, so I would've preferred if it hadn't existed at all or if it had been an actual part of the story, but overall I really enjoyed this. 3.25/5 ⭐️
2) Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
This is a book that I've wanted to read for YEARS (was finally motivated to pick it up due to the Netflix series coming out) but was really put off by how annoying the characters were, making me eventually DNF it. I got about a third of the way through but Dash's pretension combined with Lily's child-like behaviour was too much. Might revisit it one day and might give the series a go, but I couldn't read it this time around.
3) The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #1)
After years of seeing this around (with the fourth book coming out late January), and reading Samantha's The Priory of the Orange Tree earlier this year and LOVING it (I have a full review right here if you want more of my thoughts), I finally picked this one up. This is a dystopian/fantasy set in Scion, where clairvoyants are deemed unnatural and are hunted down by the government, and we follow Paige Mahoney, a rarer type of clairvoyant working in the criminal underworld of the Scion Citadel of London. I ended up really loving this and wanted to read the sequel as soon as I finished. The writing itself isn't as good as in Priory, which is obvious considering there's almost a decade between the two. There's quite a lot of info-dumping but it wasn't enough to put me off, it just meant that the story didn't flow as naturally as it could've. I loved the characters and the world, and I am super excited about where this series is going as I have absolutely no clue. 4/5 ⭐️
4) The Mime Order, Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #2)
After a few days of trying to finish some books I'd started earlier in the year, and failing miserably to think about anything else but The Bone Season, I jumped straight into book two. This was the sequel I was dying for, more action-packed and with even higher stakes than the first one. It hooked me into this world for good and Samantha continues to amaze me with where she's taking this story. I can't say much without giving spoilers, but I loved the direction that this went in and now these characters are deeply etched into my heart. 4.75/5 ⭐️
5) The Pale Dreamer, Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #0.5)
I obviously then jumped into the prequel novella to this series and, like most novellas, it was interesting but nothing groundbreaking. I really enjoyed seeing how Paige became "The Pale Dreamer" but the most interesting part was comparing her in this to her on the end of book two. Her character development is outstanding. I personally like reading things in publication order most of the times, but this gives a great base to The Bone Season. I liked being a little lost at the beginning of book one and figuring things out along the way, but if you'd like to know things from the get-go, I definitely recommend you start the series by reading this first. However, if you'd prefer to start with the actual first book, I think this would be better after The Bone Season and not The Mime Order. 3/5 ⭐️
I'm not as happy with how many books I read this month but I found a series I'm absolutely in love with, so that makes up for everything. I hope you had a great month and that 2021 will be a kind year to us all. If you want to know every book I read this year, as well as my favourites, those blog posts will be coming in the next couple of days. Thank you for sticking with me this year, and here's to making new (better) memories in 2021.