December 2019 Novel Ideas: 30 Quick Book Reviews
I truly can not believe how many of the books we read this month ended up being huge hits. The majority of what we read was 4 stars and up, 4 of the books made our Best Books of 2019 list AND we are confident that we found the best book of 2020 already. You read that correctly. Jackie and I got a chance to preview one of the books on our first quarter upcoming releases list and we both think it is going to be the next Where the Crawdads Sing. Which book are we talking about? You’ll just have to read December 2019 Novel Ideas to find out! As a bonus, scroll to the bottom to see which presents we got that we just adored.
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The Night Country by Melissa Albert
Once you start a series via audiobook do you have to continue listening? I totally do and that’s why I JUMPED at the chance to listen to it early on Libro.fm . When I say jumped, there may have been some cheering as well. I listened to it in one day. My kids and husband weren’t happy that I ignored them but it was so worth it.
The Hazel Wood was on my TBR forever. I loved it so much that I couldn’t believe that I let it sit there for so long. I liked The Night Country even more than the first one. The story is well-written, complex and unlike anything else out there!!! It’s so good Fantasy fiction at its best for sure! This book comes out on January 7th. Pre-order it and then give yourself some uninterrupted time to indulge! 5 stars
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
I thought that this YA book that takes place over 10 blocks with 10 stories was well written and fun to read. I will admit that I wish that the stories came together a little bit more than they did. While the stories come full circle, I wish that they are a little more connecting them than geography. 3.5 stars
The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey
Thank you so much to Netgalley for my copy of this book. All opinions are my own. This is such a wonderful story about Missy Carmichael. She has lived her life in a constant state of worry and regret. Now that she is alone with her thoughts, she has the time to wonder if she would have done things differently. Missy is estranged from her daughter, her son lives in Australia and the love of her life, is gone. She spends her days drinking and cleaning overcome by her loneliness, secrets, and regrets. With the help of a wonderful dog and some beautiful friendships, Missy begins to learn the power of forgiving. This is perfect for anyone who loved “A Man Called Ove.”
My family and I have taken a few overnight trips during the holiday season and this book was the perfect book to listen to during the car ride there and back. They are short and fun reads. Kate Wise is a retired FBI agent who finds herself involved in a case that is close to home. Kate is bored with retirement and this might be the case that gives her something to help with. a fun and quick psychological thriller. 3 stars
The second book in the Kate Wise Series, If She Saw is another quick and easy psychological Thriller. Kate Wise is a brilliant retired FBI agent who is renowned for her ability to solve cases. Now, when she is called once again to help with a case, she must decide if she can balance life with her family and granddaughter and life in the Bureau as well. 3 stars.
The Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin
Thank you so Netgalley for my copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I was so excited to receive a copy of this book. What could be better than a book about a bookstore, Paris, and Christmas- especially at Christmas time? When Sarah Smith, a bookshop owner is offered a chance to do a bookshop exchange with her Parisian friend, she jumps at the chance. Her book shop has been struggling, her boyfriend is consistently away on assignment and she feels stagnant. She hopes Paris will be just what she needs. I wish the relationship between Sarah and her boyfriend was more believable. I feel like I came in without a background of why these two are together for reasons other than their chemistry. This book was a cute and easy read. 3 stars
The wives is definitely high on my list of thrillers for 2019. It will lead you around and around, back and forth, so that you never really have an idea of which direction you are going. This is a fun and quick read- Perfect for a quiet night in, a relaxing afternoon or a post celebratory cooldown. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending but the fact that I am still thinking about it says something. I hope 2020 has as many good thrillers as the past few years. 3.5 stars
The Honeymooner by Melanie Summers
Thanks to Melanie Summers for my free review copy. All opinions are my own. I first reviewed Melanie’s The Crown Jewels trilogy a few years and I loved it. It literally had me cackling and swooning all at once, so I had to jump at the chance to review her newest series – Paradise Bay. The first book did give me a few chuckles as it set up both the new series locale (Paradise Bay Resort) and it’s owner’s love story. Here’s where the problem was for me. The owner’s name is Harrison and the female lead calls him Handsome Harrison and talks about his abs and his… well…. My brother’s name is Harrison! It’s really hard to feel gooey for a book when the only other person you know with that name is someone you NEVER want to think about like that. I had to constantly read it as Harold or something which just didn’t work well in my mind.
I did love the story, the new location, and the funny characters. I can’t wait to start the next book in the series – but I just couldn’t swoon over this particular lead. Don’t worry though, I think most of you will find Handsome Harrison quite charming. I immediately gave this book to my Harrison’s wife and I’m confident she will enjoy it. 3.5 Stars.
Whisked Away by Melanie Summers
Thanks to Melanie Summers for my free review copy. All opinions are my own. The next in the Paradise Bay series had me smiling the whole time. When Pierce the hunky writer of the Clash of Crowns series (clearly GOT) needs to escape to write the rest of his book, he travels to Paradise Bay where Emma, the new personal chef is looking to make a name for herself. Hilarity ensues with a series of giggle-inducing scenes. I thought their love story was very sweet with each person wanting the best for each other even if they couldn’t be together while it happened. 4 stars.
Do You Mind if I Cancel by Gary Janetti
This very short memoir by Gary Janetti was more a collection of short stories than anything else. I read it at the car dealership in one sitting and had to stop myself from being that crazy person a few times while reading it. I knew nothing of Janetti before I got this book, but I felt like I instantly knew him as a friend. His humor is self-deprecating with a side of diva and I was utterly charmed. 4 stars.