And just like that, it’s the end of 2020. I’ve had a quiet December, since I had three weeks off from grad school and have been really back to being home the majority of time with the pandemic, aside from running some errands and going on long walks. I didn’t necessarily mind being home because I deep dived into reading and TV. I’m hoping to squeeze in at least one more book before the New Year. I am super bummed that I won’t be getting together with friends this NYE, but I might spend my NYE reading until midnight.
I felt like I read a lot of this month, but I didn’t realize I read a total of 15 books (so far)! I haven’t been able to read this much since the summer, given my full grad course schedule, clinical practice, and work. Obviously being off from school and spending time at home helped my reading life, but I read at least 3 of the following books during the last two weeks of the semester and definitely procrastinated on some final work, oops. I do have mini reviews for the majority of the books below coming in January, so I decided to change up my wrap up style (I either give some brief thoughts about each book or say nothing at all) with some highlights.
Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo | 4/5 Stars
The Cousins by Karen McManus | 4/5
The Roommate by Rosie Danan | 4/5
A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday | 5/5
Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli | 4.5/5
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver | 5/5
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson | 4/5
Grown Up Pose by Sonya Lalli | 4/5
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays & Stories by Marina Keegan | 4/5
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | 5/5
Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin | 5/5
You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman
The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss | 4/5
Normal People by Sally Rooney | 2.5/5
Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Solomon | 4/5
DNF: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss and A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday were both really cute, fluffy holiday books I’d recommend anyone during the holidays or even now if you have a case of the Christmas blues. I do prefer The Twelve Dates of Christmas out of the two because the twelve date storyline was really fun and I loved the holiday atmosphere.
Two books that completely took me by surprise were In Five Years by Rebecca Serle and Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin because I didn’t expect to love them as much as I did. I really don’t have one singular fave this book, but Happy & You Know It is definitely one of my favorite reads – I should really go back and add it to my favorite adult fiction books of 2020 list.
I took a mini deep dive into YA with The Cousins, Allegedly, Break the Fall, You Asked for Perfect, and Our Year of Maybe. I’ve officially read all of Rachel Lynn Solomon’s published books – so, SO excited for The Ex Talk and We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This in 2021-, and Laura Silverman is becoming one of my go-to YA authors (I still need to read her anthology collection, It’s a Whole Spiel. You Asked For Perfect and Our Year of Maybe were both contemporaries I loved, and liked that they delved into more mature topics. I’d love to see more readers pick up Break the Fall because it deserves so much more hype, and Allegedly was a dark, but really fascinating read with a ton of commentary and glimpses at social issues. The Cousins was a light & interesting mystery- it didn’t necessarily meet the hype for me.
The only book I really didn’t like this month was Sally Rooney’s Normal People. I’ve never been super interested in this book, but I totally admit that the hype and love for its Hulu adaptation got to me – plus I’m always here for a book set in Ireland. This book was absolutely not the one for me. I struggled with the writing style – I knew going in that the author didn’t use quotation marks, but I struggled with it way more than expected – and while it delves into emotional & heavy topics, I just could not connect with the two main characters and their story whatsoever.
Bridgerton (Netflix) – Since it’s based on Julia Quinn’s historical romance series, the hype & love for Netflix’s Bridgerton in the book community caused me to turn on it on the night of Christmas…and then I preceded to finish all 8 hour long episodes by Sunday night. I normally don’t like historical romance shows, but Bridgerton totally entrapped me. I think it partly had to do with its Gossip Girl-like story and narration. As a The Princess Diaries fan, I absolutely loved how the narrator is none other than Julie Andrews.
Virgin River S2 (Netflix) – There’s just something about Virgin River that always pulls me in. I think I like it so much because there’s a nice balance between fluff & romance with some mystery – really excited for the third season!
Little Women – On our first snow day of the winter, my sisters and I finally got around to watching the 2019 adaptation of Little Women. This was the perfect movie to watch on a snow day during the holiday season. I liked the film’s approach, flipping between the past and present, and it honestly might be my new favorite Little Women adaptation.
The Mandalorian S2 (Disney+) – I mentioned in my favorite TV shows of 2020 post that I had been enjoying the second season of The Mandalorian so much more than the first, which was 110% solidified when I binge-watched the last 5 episodes of season 2 and proceeded to sob during the final scene of the last episode.
On Pointe (Disney+) – Another unexpected weekend binge watch was On Pointe, a docuseries following students at the School of American Ballet & the child dancers in the 2019 production of The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. It really explored a world I was totally unfamiliar with, aka ballet. I thought it was a nice and sort’ve fluffy watch (unlike some dance reality shows, there’s no drama whatsoever). I would love to see Disney+ continue to come out with more docuseries.
Selena:The Series (Netflix) – You can probably tell by now that I like to binge-watch series when I have the time to do so. Selena was another unexpected watch for me, but I thought it was really fun and I look forward to seeing what the next season brings.
Continued Watching: Below Deck S7, The Bachelorette S16
2020 Wrap Ups
What did you read and watch in December? Any books you’re hoping to finish by tomorrow night? Have you read any of the books or watched anything that I mentioned? Share in the comments!