December Book Review.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Happy Tuesday!! 

I hope all of y'all had a great Christmas!! We sure did!!

Today, Abby and I are linking up to share our December book review!! Our book club picks for December were Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle and Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn!! You can find the link-up here!! 

1. Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

This book is a trio of holiday romances that all end up intersecting. It takes us to the mountains of North Carolina where the biggest snowstorm of 50 years hits on Christmas Eve. Plans are canceled and friendships are made.

I liked this book a lot, but I just had one problem with it...It started strong but got progressively weaker. The first story was great, but I seemed to find the other ones less interesting. 

One thing that I did really like about this book was the snowy theme. For living in Alabama, and getting ZERO snow, I loved how this book took me to a chilly place that just made me want to bundle up in blankets. 

One thing that I did not love so much about this book was the characters. I liked the characters in Maureen Johnson's story, Jubilee and Stuart. I kinda liked the characters in John Green's story, Duke, JP, and Tobin. I did not like the characters at all in Lauren Myracle's story, Addie and Jeb. 

Overall, I did find a lot of pleasure in this book. It was sweet and cute, it just wasn't exactly the ending I had hoped for.

2. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn

This is set in New York City during Christmas (how fun?!) The main characters are two teenagers named Dash and Lily. And you want to know the best part? They're book nerds. They pass a notebook between each other and it's full of dares. Christmas, books, dares, New York...What's not to love?

I thought this book was super sweet!! Everything that I want in a holiday book!! I loved the setting of New York and the characters!! Overall, this was an easy, light, holiday read. It had the full package!! It was a very cute read, and it was perfect to kick off the holiday season!!

3. The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn

Since the first book was so good, I decided to move on to the next one!!

In the second book, Dash & Lily have been a couple for a year, but they're having some trouble with telling each other how they feel. It's still set in Christmas, but it's not very festive because Lily's grandfather has had a heart attack. 

I feel like there are some mixed emotions surrounding this sequel, but in my opinion, it wasn't bad, but I liked the first one better. 

Personally, I think that the first book should've stayed a stand-alone. Although I did still like it, the original was better!!

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it was just missing some of the Christmasy, book-nerd, New York fun that the first one had!!

4. Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn

Even though the second book wasn't my favorite, I was hooked, so I continued on to the 3rd Dash and Lily book!! 

In this book, Dash gets accepted into Oxford University, and Lily stays back in New York to continue her dog-walking business. The couple turns to long-distance, and Lily goes to surprise Dash in London at Christmastime. 

This book also wasn't my favorite. I loved the London setting, but it really lacked the Christmas feel that I was looking for. 

Overall, this series was very fun and enjoyable to read!! While the second and third books I didn't love, I did still enjoy this story!! 

5. Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi

If you missed my November book review, then you wouldn't know that I read Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and loved it!! Since I loved it so much, I wanted to venture into more books by Ibi Zoboi, and I started with Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America!! 

This book is a collection of stories of black teenagers who live in America. From immigrants, wealthy and poor, mixed-race, and more, this book had the full spectrum. 

I loved this anthology!! I loved how everyone was represented, so we were able to get the full view of what it's like for many people to live in America. Many of these stories are face-paced and engaging which was something that I really liked. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and its diversity!!

6. The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

This book is about Katie Turner. She's in her thirties, single, and living alone in an English village in Kent.  An online dating agency is hosting the 'Twelve Dates of Christmas,' and Katie's friend convinces her to join. Katie lives in hope that the perfect man will come along!!

I did not really like this book. I liked the idea of it, but I think that, personally, it was not executed well. I won't say that it's a horrible book, because it's not, but I just didn't love it. 

The biggest problem this book had with me, is that you could tell who Katie was going to end up with from the very beginning. I won't spoil, but you can definitely tell who Katie really has eyes for from the start of the book.

The premise and atmosphere of this book were what I loved, the dating for nothing, and the dates in general, I did not love.

Overall, this book wasn't my style, but it's not horrible. 

7. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevado

This book is about Camino Rios. Her father and mother separated when she was little, and her mom passed away later on. Camino lives for summer when she gets to see her dad who lives in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day her dad's plane was supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of upset and crying people. In New York, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that has died in a plane crash. Camino and Yahaira are sisters who, for sixteen years, didn't know that.

Last month, I discovered books in verse, so I wanted to dive more into that style this month. I discovered Clap When You Land, and I knew that I needed to read this. 

This book is heart-wrenching yet so powerful. It touches on many different and difficult topic, but it does it in such a great way. 

This book is definitely worth a read. It is so powerful, and the way the potential relationship between the sisters grows is very inspiring. There is so much potential in this relationship, and it is so great to read how that blossoms. It is also very powerful to read about how these girls deal with grief. 

Overall, I really loved this book. I loved the verse, the way it was written, how inspiring it was. All of it. 

8. Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz

This book is a gender-bent, retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Darcy is a woman who fled from her hometown (Pemberly, Ohio) and made a fortune in New York's financial district. After 8 years, Darcy returns home to visit her family for Christmas. At her family's annual Christmas party, Darcy runs into her old enemy, Luke Bennet. 

This book was, um...interesting.

I didn't absolutely hate this book, but I did have a lot of issues with it. 

1. This book was enemies to lovers, and it was also insta-love. It just felt so weird!! Darcy and Luke are enemies, but then they (spoiler) fall in love!! 

2. I know that this a retelling, but I didn't get any Pride and Prejudice vibes from this. Nothing about this book reminded me of Pride and Prejudice!! And that's why I wanted to read it!!

3. This story is just all over the place and that just really bothered me.

So, yeah. This book had some sweet moments, but I really just had lots of problems with it. 

9. One Day in December by Josie Silver

This book is about Laurie. She doesn't believe in true love. She sees this boy through the bus window. She changes her mind. She searches for this boy every now and then. She is sure that he is the one for her. Then she finds him. In the wrong place.

There were things that I didn't like about this book. There were things that I did. I just don't know how to feel!! 

I didn't like the insta-love. That is something that just bothered me for some reason. I didn't like how Laurie thinks that this boy is the only one who is right for her. She eventually branches out, but for the whole book, no matter what the situation is she always had this boy in her mind.

So for the most part, this book did keep my attention which I liked but also didn't. Does that make sense? This book had a lot of issues, so I feel like the whole reason this book kept my attention was to see how the issues played out. 

So I really don't want to spoil this book for y'all, but if you are interested in a spoiler review, let me know because I definitely have a lot of thoughts about this book!!!

10. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

So like some short story collections, there were some stories that I liked and some that I didn't. Unfortunately, the stories that I did like were less than those that I didn't. 

I'm not going to review each story, because then we'd be here all day, but I will tell you that I did not really love this book. Honestly, most of the stories bored me. I wish that I liked it more, but I just don't.

11. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

In June, I read Dear Martin, and I loved it!! Since I loved it so much I decided to read the sequel, Dear Justyce!!

This book is about Quan. Quan is an incarcerated teen who writes letters to Justyce about his experience in prison and also asks for advice.

I did really like this book, but personally, I thought that Dear Martin was better. I thought that this book was less engaging and less interesting. 

To be completely honest, the story-line of Dear Justyce just didn't keep my attention. I found myself getting lost and honestly, bored. I prefer the plot and characters of Dear Martin over the characters of Dear Justyce. They just weren't as enjoyable to read about!!

So, overall, I didn't love this book. I thought that Dear Martin was better. I feel like this book wasn't necessary and just wasn't as enjoyable. 

12. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.

I'm sure you've heard of Christmas With The Kranks. It's one of my favorite Christmas movies!! Well, little did I know that it's based on the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham!!

This book is about a couple who decide to skip Christmas. Their daughter is away, and they are super sad to be spending Christmas alone, so they decide to go on a cruise!!

I loved it!! The movie and book were very similar, which made me very happy!! This story was so fun and so enjoyable to read!! To be completely honest, I love the idea of a Christmas cruise!! How fun would that be!! 😂

Overall, this was a super cute Christmas book perfect for the holiday season!! 

13. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

This book is about Ryn who is dealing with a lot of grief. Her best friend, Lottie died in a car crash due to a drunk driver. Ryn has held on to a lot of things since Lottie died including one last unread message. In the present day, Ryn is stuck at the airport a year after Lottie's death. 

This book was meh. I understand that she's dealing with a lot of grief, but Ryn just seemed very bland. She was just a hard character to follow. 

There's also a relationship that forms, and I personally, thought that this relationship had ZERO chemistry. 

Personally, I did enjoy this book. There were parts that I liked and parts that I didn't, but overall, it was pretty good. I liked the airport, winter setting, and the topics this book explores. 

14. Booked For Christmas: A Short Story by Lily Menon

Umm, this book I didn't love. 

This book is a short story about an author and a critic. Sophie Hart hates her critic Eric Wolfe, but she changes her mind once they run into each other at a Christmas party.

This book felt very strange to me. It was enemies to lovers, which I am finding that I don't really like. 

I mean, it was fine but it wasn't my favorite.

15. In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Maelyn is spending Christmas with some family friends at a cabin in Utah. As she's leaving the cabin she gets in a car accident. She wakes up thinking to find blood and bruises, but then she realizes that her week is restarting. 

I really liked this book. It wasn't as romantic as most holiday books, so that was something I really enjoyed. I loved the idea of her week restarting!! That's something that I haven't really read about much, but loved!!

Overall, I thought this book was great. I loved the time loop. I loved the family relationship. I loved the cabin setting. Loved this book!! 

16. For Every One by Jason Reynolds 

This book is a poem/letter for dreamers in the world. It's a super quick read, and very inspiring. Jason Reynolds is one of my favorite authors, so I've been trying to read a lot of his books recently!!

I'm not normally into poetry, but I really enjoyed this!! It was a very simple and great book that was light and motivational!!

17. Me and My White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

This book was great. 

I am always trying to educate myself and this book did the best job with that. 

This book focuses on all the ways that you can better yourself and become a better ally for BIPOC. Each day has journaling prompts that really provoke and allow you to think about your actions and day-to-day thoughts toward BIPOC. 

This book was so great. If you are looking for books to educate yourself, this book I 100% recommend. 

Well, those are the books that I read in December!! Our book club picks for January are Becoming by Michelle Obama and This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens!! 

Once again, you can find the link-up here!!

That wraps up today's post!! I hope that y'all have a great day and a great new year's!! I'll see you back here on January 4th!! Peace out, 2020!! 


  1. I loved reading your book review, Ella!! Had the best time picking out these books with you! Can’t wait for January!

  2. One Day in December was one of my favorite books last year!

  3. Nice reading month! I'm reading In a Holidaze right now, and it's a cute one!


  4. The Dash and Lily series looks so sweet! Happy New Year :)

  5. I really didn't like One Day in December either! I read it last year and found myself rolling my eyes.

  6. I very much enjoyed Elizabeth Acevedo's The Fire on High and definitely want to read Clap When You Land. I also adore Jason Reynolds and need to check out For Everyone too.

  7. My daughter is in the middle of Dear Justyce (after reading Dear Martin earlier this year) and she said almost the exact same thing you did.

  8. I just love reading book review posts because it gives me new ideas for ones I want to read. I did read One Day in December. You make some good points about it.

  9. Sounds like a decent mix of holiday books :) I still haven't read a Christina Lauren book, although there is one in my TBR pile. Thanks for sharing and happy new year!

  10. Great work with your blog! What day of each month is your book linkup? I have read Becoming by Michelle Obama, but I haven't read This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens yet

    1. Thank you!! This link-up is on the last Tuesday of each month!!