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my favorite reads of December

well, January is almost finished (one more fucking week, can you believe it??) but better late than never, right? I read some DAMN GOOD BOOKS last month so I really wanted to talk about them :D December was my biggest reading month, with 19 total books and novellas. I was ON A ROLL. It was a mix of contemporary and speculative fiction, with a nonfiction book about plagues (Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them) and a memoir (Brave Face) thrown in.

This was SO fucking cute and adorable and relevant and I just LOVED IT. I loved Jack and Pepper (Pepperjack!) and their family's restaurants and the war between them. I loved the infusion of memes and social media and how hungry it made me. LOL definitely pick up a copy of it if you can!

What's weird is that when I found this on my kindle, it said read, but I didn't remember reading it? And even when I started to read it, I didn't remember anything, so I was like ??? WEIRD. But omg I'm so glad I picked this up! It was so damn good! It was an alternate history that was full-to-brimming with culture and stories. I was hooked, and I would gladly read more adventures with Creeper (Jacqueline), Ann-Marie and her whole crew, and the two nuns who've got more secrets than spies.

This book was COMPULSIVELY readable, and I adored the three kids at the center of it. They were very brave even in the face of their fears and all the creepy, scary events. (I, too, don't care for scarecrows, especially after reading this).

I think this might have been my fave Holly Black book? Ugh, she's such a good writer, and I LOVED this!! I mean, I figured I'd enjoy it because fae! specifically Holly Black's fae! and I'd always liked the characters when they appeared in other books. But holy shit, I adored this. I devoured it. I can't believe I waited so long to read it. Never! Again!

This is another case of I can't fucking believe I waited so long to read it!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. I picked this up during a previous BEA (I think) so it sat on my shelf for years. And omg it's one of my favorite reads ever now. It's quiet and lovely and sad and angsty and so full of the kind of feels that only authors like Emery Lord and Melina Marchetta can give me. It was so real to me, and I cried. A lot. *Ross Geller voice* I'M FINE

I'm going to preface this one by saying that the mystery is problematic (Simon commits suicide as a revenge fantasy to get back at the four main characters and ruin their lives). I'd heard about it beforehand, so I went into this with that knowledge, and I wasn't sure how I'd feel about anything or whether I wouldn't enjoy it as much. But I think it actually gave me a unique perspective on the story because then I could just solely focus on the four main characters. They're all messy, complicated individuals, and they do bad things and make mistakes. But I was rooting for them the whole time, and I adored the relationship between Bronwyn and Nate in particular. I loved all the kids of the Murder Club, though, and so many of the secondary characters. Maeve, Ashton, Eli, Kris, Luis, TJ. They made the story shine even more than it did. I will say, however, that I wish mental illness had been handled better. It was not painted in a good light, at all. More care should've been taken with it. But on the whole, I was so hooked on this book, and I can't wait for the sequel!

It felt like EVERYONE had been talking about this novella last year! It made me hunger for it, so when I got a gift card at Christmas, I was like I MUST GET IT. And I'm so happy I did! I just wanted to drown in the pretty words, and I never wanted to stop reading about these two time-traveling secret assassin agents and their love for each other. I do think this is one that would be better on a reread too, so I'll definitely do that at some point!

So yeah, that was my December! It had been so long since I had a streak like that, and I'm just extremely happy that I seem like I'm back to my I-must-devour-all-the-books-at-once mood. I've missed it *cries*

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