Hey, hey, hey, it’s my favorite blog post of the month…my NOVEMBER BOOK REVIEW!
You guys, it’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that it’s almost time for me to pick my TOP THREE books of the year! This year in reading has just flown by 🙂 .
Now, per usual, November is a fun month here in blog world as I just spent the month reading holiday books in case you need a festive read heading into December. In full disclosure, I FLEW through my four holiday books this month. When I read the last page of the fourth one (on Thanksgiving day!), I was sad to see them end.
If you are really looking for something sweet, happy, uplifting, cheerful and oh so Christmas-y, you’re about to find it below. If you are looking for the exact opposite of that…you are also going to find that below because y’all, I read…
The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Okay, I did it. I read it.
When I completed my marathons, I had this exact same feeling I did when I finished this book. Exhausted, my head hurt, I wasn’t exactly sure what I just put myself through, I was tired and felt a little dirty. I also had that same feeling of “oh, I will never do that again” but then as days and weeks went by, I forgot about how much I disliked it as I was reflecting on the experience and signed myself up for marathon #2. Again, that’s how I felt after reading this book.
SO MANY OF YOU sweet blog readers suggested this book (it’s the first in a newish series) and even my own personal friends were texting me over and over again to read it. So, I did.
I will tell you that red flag #1 appeared when I opened my Kindle after downloading said book and my Kindle told me it would take me about 13 hours to finish this one (typically, my books range from 6 to 8 hours). Red flag #2 appeared when I realized it was in the fantasy genre. Red flag #3 appeared when I saw the word “dragon”. I tried to quit three different times, but all three times, my friends encouraged me to continue reading with the same line of “you liked Game of Thrones, you will like this!”. I persevered.
Now that I’m about 4 weeks post-book, here are my thoughts: This fictional (very fictional!) story is quite the epic journey and very similar to Game of Thrones (good vs evil, life vs death, dragons vs me hating dragons in any story). It’s NOT a terrible book. In fact, once I hit the 50% mark, I was invested enough that I read it faster. It’s just that this isn’t my genre. I love the Hallmark channel and this leaned very much into HBO. It’s very Rated R, pretty violent but yet totally full of adventure, and yes, you’ll probably do some cheering from your bed as you read certain parts (I was invested enough to cheer), it just wasn’t really a “me” book. When it as all said and done, I wrote in my notes that I thought it was “good not great” but didn’t love it enough to read the sequel which just was released this month.
If you like darker, meatier, adventurous, fantasy novels (maybe like The Hunger Games-another series I did not read), you will probably really love this one. If you like to watch the Hallmark channel and stick your head in the sand about anything not light, happy and positive, let me introduce you to books 2 through 5 below…
A Winter in New York by Josie Silver
My first Christmas book of the season checked all my boxes! I love me some Josie Silver (all of her books are adorable!), so I wasn’t surprised at all that I loved this one too.
This is the story of a British woman who lives in New York City. Her life gets intertwined with the lives of an Italian family who own a gelato shop in Little Italy. This was such a sweet and festive read (especially if you love novels with yummy food references!). I wrote in my notes that it was a like a great Hallmark Christmas movie…that was rated R. Cheesy, predictable, lovable and festive. What more could you ask for in a holiday chick lit?!
I highly recommend you read this one this season followed by…
A December to Remember by Jenny Bayliss
Awwww! This one was ADORABLE!!! If you’ve read Bayliss’ other books, then you already know she writes really sweet books. This is the story of three sisters in England who come together after the death of their dad during the holiday season to complete a last mission of sorts for him around his old antique store. This book just oozes holiday charm. The setting reminded me of the village in The Holiday, the characters are all likable and easy to love, there is romance, there is a little suspense…I just loved this one SO MUCH! I especially loved the message that’s woven throughout this novel. At one point, the dad character is quoted as saying “Make the time to take the time” which I really thought was lovely and oh so important (and something I need to work on myself).
Super cute, super holiday, about family, love…all the things. Two thumbs up!
The 3rd holiday book of the season was…
Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
I mean, when does Mary Kay Andrews not deliver?! This chick lit was all holiday charm and could be a Hallmark movie itself. It’s about a North Carolina Christmas tree farmer and her brother who head to NYC to sell their trees in a cute neighborhood filled with eclectic characters and a single dad and his son?! I mean, COULD THAT BE ANY MORE HALLMARK?! No, no it could not.
Was it cheesy? You bet. Did I love every page? YES!
This one was, yes, a little unrealistic (I mean, does one fall in love that quickly with a smelly tree farmer who lives in a very old trailer?), but I couldn’t put it down. It was just HAPPY, and I’m here for all the happy books.
My fourth holiday book (and fifth book of the month) was…
Faking Christmas by Kerry Winfrey
You guys, I was sad when this one was over. I knew this would be my last festive read of the season, and I did not want it to end. This novel was perhaps the most PG and Hallmark-y of the four, but boy, I loved it. Twin sisters (with holiday names!) born on December 25th and are obsessed with Christmas are snowed in with a cranky nemesis? SIGN. ME. UP. I just had all the happy feels reading this one and flew through it in about three days. Light, uber festive and sweet. The perfect combination in a novel.
And that wraps up my NOVEMBER BOOK REVIEW!
Next month, I’ll share any books I read in December plus name my TOP THREE BOOKS OF 2023! I *think* I know what they are right now, but you never know? I might read something amazing this next month that changes my mind (like last year!), so if you have any last minute books you think I should consider before the year is out, please leave them in the comment section below.
Also don’t forget, if you need other adorable holiday reads…
…above you’ll find a few of my absolute faves!
One more thing, 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.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2022 (all 60 of them), click here.
That wraps up Book Day! I just LOVE Book Day!
Thank you in advance for the comments and book recs below. Have the BEST Tuesday, friends! I’ll see you tomorrow! xx