December Reads and Reviews
December was a huge reading month for me! I was on a really good roll with some great books, and I ended up reading 7 (which might be a record for me). Here's what I read and my thoughts on each book-
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can't imagine working anywhere else. But lately it's been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who's fresh off a journalism master's program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it's this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it's not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.
I loved this book!! I've been reading a lot of duds lately but this one was so enjoyable. I really connected with both of the main characters, and the side characters were developed enough to know who everyone was (except for about half of the coworkers..couldn't keep them straight) without taking too much of the main plot. I also thought it was really clever having this set in public radio, which is not an area I'm familiar with even though I LOVE NPR and podcasting. The mix of transcript and reviews with regular story was also well done. The chemistry was fantastic and was just steamy enough for me. Love, love, love!!
My Rating - 5/5
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Raced through this book because it was so captivating and suspenseful! I always love a book within a book and this was unlike any I’ve read before. Very dark and twisted but I didn’t find it overly gruesome (I’m very squeamish) but will definitely put a bad taste in your mouth at times. The ending was kind of unexpected (I knew something like that was coming but still surprised me). Wish we got a better resolution!!
My Rating - 4.5/5
Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber
I randomly picked this up from the library because I wanted a cozy book to read over the holidays, and the premise sounded great. It was definitely an easy, festive book, but I didn't really enjoy the actual writing. Felt too cheesy and not enough depth to really connect with the characters. Bit too traditional for my taste.
My Rating - 2/5
Shipped by Angie Hockman
My Rating - 3/5
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens
Cute story and concept but I didn’t really connect with the characters or particularly like them. There was a lot that happened and a lot of jumping around in the timeline so it just felt very chaotic. I was also hoping it would be more festive since a lot of people recommended it for a Christmas read, but most of it happened in other times of the year. Overall it was unfortunately a miss.
My Rating - 2/5
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
This was my first book by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it! There were so many different plot lines that wove together so beautifully with no loose ends or pieces that didn’t make sense (minus a minor cliff-hanging ending but it was needed for the story to make sense). Some parts were predictable but getting there was still fun. Plus- all the imagery and descriptions of Nantucket were amazing and I can see why people love these books!
My Rating - 4/5
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I feel like this is an unpopular opinion -at least in my circle of readers-but I LOVED this book! Probably my favorite TJR book that I've read so far. I loved how the two parts of the book were completely different- the first one covering the past of how Mick and June got together and about the kids growing up, while also covering current day set up for the party; the second one jumping from guest to guest as the party quickly gets out of hand. I couldn't put it down and loved all of the Rivas (except for Mick, obviously) and their relationship with each other. I want a followup book of Nina and whatever happens to her next.
My Rating - 5/5
What did you read in December?
What was your favorite book from 2021