Happy Tuesday, friends!! You girls, it’s my NOVEMBER BOOK REVIEW!!!!
You know what that means…in just a few weeks, it’s my final book review of the entire year!
That went by quickly.
So…last month, I lamented about how this year has not been super great for me in the reading department. For whatever reason, I keep reading books I don’t love, and based on your comments last month, so do you too. I guess that means, we have a lot of really amazing books to look forward to in 2023, right? #fingerscrossed
I say all of that to say, every year in November, I read holiday books so that I can read and review them prior to December just in time for you to enjoy them too. And so it’s with little fanfare and a lot of irony that I am here today to let you know, this month I read three Christmas books and didn’t really lovvvve any of them, so I quit and read a “normal” book because I was in a bad mood. Agh! If a Christmas novel can’t make me happy, we really do have a problem. Hahahaha!
For the LOVE, let’s just do this and get it over with…
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss
So, this is my third Jenny Bayliss holiday book to read over the last three years. All of her novels are light, cute and based in Britain. This novel here was okay. I didn’t not like it, but I didn’t love it either. The main reason? It’s not very Christmasy.
This is about a London-based second hand bookshop owner who goes out to the country to a big manor house/event venue in her hometown for a wedding week of two high school friends and meets back up with a man who also went to school with her but is now the gardener. (Are you with me so far?) It’s cute and light and let’s be real, predictable (which I don’t hate), but since it wasn’t super Christmas-y (at the end, there is like one paragraph that felt festive), it left me wanting more. It was just okay. I didn’t love several of the characters (and there are a lot of characters in this novel), but the setting was very cute. If you haven’t read the other two books I’ve previously read by this author, I suggest starting there first with either The Twelve Dates of Christmas or A Season for Second Chances .
Speaking of authors whose books I’ve read in the past…
Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes
Hughes authors so many books based on the holiday season and different destinations. In the past, I’ve read her novels Christmas in Paris (which I stated in my book review that month that it was one of ‘the best books I’ve read all year’) and Christmas in London (which I also loved!), so needless to say, I was excited about this novel too.
Eh, it was okay.
This one is about a woman who has a hard time committing to men and breaks up with them right at their one year anniversary. She goes to a pawn shop one holiday season and sees an old watch there that she had given to her college boyfriend, so she swaps something for it and then her best friend tracks this guy down on Facebook and sees that he’s in Vermont on vacation, so the main character goes to stay at his same inn to “bump into” him. Yeah. Not creepy at all. Ha! I mean, listen, out of the three holiday books I read, this one was my favorite, and I read it quickly because it was so light and cute, but it’s predictable and some events were super glossed over…but it was entertaining enough. If you’re looking for a more solid recommendation from me though, I suggest the other two novels I’ve read from the author. Those are both solid choices.
My Knight Before Christmas by Amanda P. Jones
I guess this one is my fault. I should have read more details before diving into this novel because it was in fact a novella. This book was super short, had no real plot and when it was over, I was so annoyed by my decision to read it that I quit Christmas books altogether.
Here’s my review of this one: don’t bother.
Now, I was in a very bad mood at this point and since I was ditching holiday books, I decided to read the #1 recommended book from you ladies last month instead even though one of the main characters is an octopus and well, that sounds dumb, buuuuuut whatever, so I read…
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
…and it was one of the BEST BOOKS I’VE READ ALL YEAR!
Oh my gosh, all of you read this novel. Now. It’s sweet. It’s uplifting. It’s highly original. It’s the book I will now be recommending to everyone. This book gets two big thumbs up and five stars. If you want to read something really GOOD this month, here you go.
This is a story about an aquarium in Washington and follows the lives of two of the employees and yes, an octopus. It’s almost hard to explain how the octopus plays a staring role but at the same time, this isn’t cheesy/SciFi. It’s the story of family, and finding your life’s purpose and moving on and opening your heart. It’s just lovely.
This booked saved my month 🙂 .
Now, if you really want to find that perfect holiday novel, no worries, I have other recs for you since this month’s lineup was weak. Make sure you check out…
Also, don’t forget…
To see the complete list of books I read in 2015 (all 63 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2016 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2017 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2018 (all 61 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2019 (all 54 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2020 (all 54 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2021 (all 59 of them), click here.
That wraps up Book Day!
Sending you all so much love on this Tuesday!
I’ll see all of you back here tomorrow! xx