december 2020 mini reviews (and a birthday gift)

Now that I’m home for the holidays, I’m flying through books again and have so many good ones to review.  Christmas is my favorite time of year to read because December always feels so cozy and nostalgic.  It’s a season to slow down and appreciate the little things in life.

Also, my birthday is this week!  I turn 22 on Wednesday.  Having my birthday 9 days before Christmas definitely adds to why this is my favorite time of year.  To celebrate, I’m picking a few friends over on Instagram and treating them to a Starbucks coffee on me.  Head over to my Instagram and make sure you follow along for a chance to win one.

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Here are some of the books I’ve been reading recently and my honest thoughts on them.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
I love a good retelling and found this one fun and enjoyable!  I loved the amount of diversity in this book, but think the story missed a lot of opportunities for nuance and character development.  Sophia fell flat for me, and the proposed revolution didn’t feel realistic; it seemed like a revolution because that’s what the book thought it had to be about.  I did enjoy Constance’s character and liked the ornate descriptions.  3 stars.

I received a copy of Cinderella is Dead from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  This has not impacted my opinions.  My review, like always, is entirely honest.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
It took me over 4 months to listen to this book on Libro.fm, but it was worth the long haul!  Gabaldon crafted a timeless love story between an unwilling time traveler and a handsome Scottish outlaw; I completely get the hype.  The story is unbelievably detailed; it was half-narrative and half-description of the Scottish ways of life circa 1743.  This isn’t the book if you want a quick romance because it’s dense with description, but I thought the sheer amount of description was a nice change of pace from my usual YA stories.  4 stars.

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Meet Cute by various authors
I’m a sucker for cute romances and really enjoyed this collection!  Each story features a future couple’s adorable first interaction.  Meet Cute was an uplifting read because I ended each story knowing that the couple in question would go on to be an actual couple.  I got to use my imagination a bit and envision what they would be like in the future.  The stories are the perfect length, too; I would read one just before going to bed as a way to wind down for the night.  This is a great pick if you want to read more short story collections; it’s very approachable.  4 stars.

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The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
I’d heard that The Proposal, which is a spin-off book to The Wedding Date, was even more adorable and romantic than its predecessor.  Y’all that’s so accurate!  Carlos and Nik are even more likable and authentic than Drew and Alexa in the first book, which is no easy task.  I listened to the audiobook on Libro.fm and thought the narration was pretty enjoyable.  I’m planning on continuing the series with The Wedding Party on audio and hope that this series of spin-offs just keeps getting better.  4 stars.

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Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
I picked up Perfected mostly because it was free on my Kindle; I’ve had this dystopian YA story on my TBR for a couple years.  The premise of this book is that, in the future, genetically-engineered humans can be kept as pets.  It’s a super weird concept and one that I still don’t feel entirely comfy with.  The book had so much potential to talk about enslavement and human rights, but only scratched the surface, focusing more on the budding romance and aesthetic of the world instead.  Perfected is a quick read that’s an engaging story if you’re willing to deactivate the analytical side of your brain for a while.  3 stars.

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Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
The Goodreads description for Little Weirds says that Jenny Slate’s writing will bonk you on the head, which is so accurate.  This collection of whimsical essays reflects Jenny Slate’s comedic, authentic, and delightfully peculiar lens on life.  Rather than just talking about what’s going on in the everyday world, Jenny Slate crafts these awkward and wonderful narratives about how the apparent ordinary can be extraordinary with the right frame of mind.  5 stars.

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Admission by Julie Buxbaum
I was pleasantly surprised by this book!  I went on my Instagram story to give a short review after I finished reading and I’ll just reiterate what I said there.  This book took a lot of time and space to explore the implications of privilege, specifically racial and socio-economic privilege, which I thought was really fitting.  This book wasn’t admission scandal fanfiction (even though there were some similarities).  I really recommend picking this book up and giving it a good read!  4 stars.

I received a copy of Admission from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  This has not impacted my opinions.  My review, like always, is entirely honest.

What have you been reading lately?  Have you picked up anything on this list?  How did my opinions compare to yours?

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