I did more reading during the month of December than I expected to. You’d think that most of it happened after I stepped away from work, but nope! I actually wasn’t in the mood to read as much during my break at all, which was strange but I just rolled with it.
WHAT I READ IN DECEMBER
HEAD OVER HEELS by Hannah Orenstein
I loved this book. Rom coms aren’t typically a genre I love, but this was such a cute read. It had depth and great characters, which doesn’t always happen in a rom com, in addition to an interesting plot line. A retired gymnast moves back to her hometown after a breakup and she gets a coaching job to train an Olympic hopeful. I loved the romance, it felt very realistic. I loved the gymnastics, filled the void of not having the Olympics this past summer. And I loved that it covered real issues (like mental health), keeping the book from being just purely fluff.
GROUP by Christie Tate
Oy…. this book. Ultimately, I think any book that helps to promote mental health and destigmatizes therapy is good. I did have MANY issues with this memoir though; I couldn’t believe more people weren’t talking about how it could be problematic. The relationship the author had with her therapist was beyond inappropriate, in my opinion, and there were many red flags throughout the book. It’s also incredibly triggering for eating disorders, self harm, and suicide. If you want to read a great book about therapy, I’d skip this one and go for You Should Talk to Someone instead.
DELICIOUS! by Ruth Reichl
This book was cute but also terribly cheesy. I kept waiting for it to get better and it didn’t happen. It’s still kind of a nice, although super unrealistic, quick novel to read. The main character moves to NYC to escape a painful family memory and gets a job working at a food magazine. She befriends a slew of quirky characters and discovers a library of letters written during WWII that sends her on a treasure hunt to find more clues. (This hunt is where the book really lost me because the clues were outrageously niche and esoteric and felt absolutely preposterous.)
THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig
A few friends texted me asking me if I had read The Midnight Library yet and what I thought. Having multiple people inquire piqued my interest and so I bought it. It’s a little bit of a fantasy novel, but don’t let that deter you. (When I heard that I pictured witchcraft or something– but it’s so far from that.) This deals with deep topics– suicide, regrets, mental health– in a meaningful and impactful way. The main character decides to die and she ends up in this “limbo” scenario, known to her as “the midnight library.” There she has the opportunity to test out various versions of her life to see how her life would have turned out had she made different decisions over time.
If you’ve ever lived with regret over doing something or not doing something…. or wondered “what if” you had chosen a different partner, a different career, a different place to call home, highly recommend reading. It was a little slow through the middle but I loved the ending. It’s a great book to read in January actually, because it will make you think about how you live your own life. (Would also be a good book club pick because I think it could lead to some interesting conversations!)
PEOPLE LIKE HER by Ellery Lloyd
I felt super mixed about this “thriller.” (I don’t know if I would categorize it as a thriller after reading it though.) On one hand, it was a quick, easy read. On the other hand, there was a lot of build up and then the ending was rushed and quick. Think Gone Girl mixed with mommy blogging. It’s about a well-known mom influencer and a stalker with a bone to pick. As an influencer (lol) myself, I did find some of the plot funny to read but ultimately kind of gimmicky.