How is it possible the first month of the year is almost over? I can’t believe it’s been a full month since the holidays, especially since I’ve made very minimal progress in my January TBR. Slowly, but surely, I did make my way through a couple of books worth mentioning. So this week’s post is all about what I read this month.
(I try to keep everything as spoiler free as possible, but still read at your own risk! Also just a disclaimer that any link to the books discussed below is an affiliate link!)
We Met in December by Rosie Curtis
We Met in December tells the year long story of Jess, as she follows her dream to move to London, and Alex, as he changes the course of his life in a new career path. In their journey to change their lives, the two become roommates and a connection is instant. However, things grow complicated when Alex strikes up a romance with their fellow roommate, Emma, while Jess is away on holiday. Jess spends the year trying to stifle her feelings, as Alex struggles to sort his. Though a connection between the two becomes more and more evident, things similarly grow more and more complicated. Can the two sift through the mess to make it to each other?
I picked up We Met in December to be my first holiday read. However, the season got the best of me and I didn’t end up finishing before the holidays (or even the year) ended. So this book was a little bit of December TBR spilling into the New Year. However, I found myself lagging a bit in the month of January as well and this one book took me about 3 full weeks to finish. The novel was well-written, but after reading it, I think I’ve realized I am not a fan of slow-burn. Particularly not when the slow-burn is as extreme as it is in We Met in December. I loved the conflict that arose and the will-they-won’t-they? vibe, but I believe it was dragged on for too long for my taste.
Overall, this novel is an easy read. I truly enjoyed the characters in this story, including the supporting characters. There’s nothing I love more than a good group dynamic, and the roommates, as well as Jess’s friends, had amazing chemistry together. I also genuinely did love the concept behind the story with complications and miscommunications driving Alex and Jess apart for a full year. There’s nothing I love more than pining and angst! But I do also feel that I need true moments of satisfaction along with said pining and angst, which I did not feel I got.
I give this book a 3 out of 5 rating. If anyone is a fan of slow-burn romances, I definitely would recommend this book. But if not, maybe steer clear.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Does this book really need an introduction?
The Great Gatsby has always been one of my favorite books that I read in high school. I’m not sure what it was about the book, but something about it captivated me, even at that young age. It is truly one of my favorite stories of all time. And I figured what better time than to break out my favorite story for a reread than the start of the 20’s? Something I’ve always loved about this novel is that it is still so relevant and relatable to current times. When looking back on my grandparents and great-grandparents living in this era, I always imagine them more sophisticated than my generation. Throughout the difficulties of the early 1900’s, it seemed the people of that era grew up faster and were therefore more mature at an earlier age. But it’s fun to note similarities between my generation and characters in this story. Gatsby’s flustered manner upon seeing Daisy again, for example, seems like something out of a modern day rom-com. I love the subtle reminder that human emotions remain the same, no matter the decade.
Something else that really struck me on this reread was just how artfully the foreshadowing is in this novel. There are moments on the first read, where I wasn’t exactly sure why so much emphasis was being put on certain events, but upon another read, it’s so obvious that Fitzgerald was pointing directly to key events that occur later in the novel. It’s handled incredibly subtly, but also so intentionally at the same time. Another thing that was interesting to me was the racial and gender issues that I noted that were completely glossed over when we studied this book in high school. Obviously, this book was written and set in a completely different era but I think it’s worth discussing in an educational setting just how different things were back then, as well as pointing out similarities to current times.
Overall, this book is also a quick and easy read. It’s short but impactful. Even if someone is not a fan of classics, I still think this particular one would be enjoyable. Like I mentioned before, it remains one of my favorites of all time. I even enjoy the many movie adaptations of it!
I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating.
Beard With Me by Penny Reid
I am still in the process of devouring this book, but just like all other Penny Reid books, I know it will be a favorite. Her stories are some of the best, in my opinion, and I was itching to find out about Billy and Scarlett. There are still a few days left of January, so I’ll definitely have this finished before the end of the month. Check for the review of this in my February recap (or possibly a special series review of the Winston Brothers! I can’t get enough of them so I’m definitely considering a Winston Brothers week on my blog. Let me know what you think!)
Also I’m giving this book a preemptive 5 out of 5 rating. I already know!
And that’s the recap. February, I’ll have to step it up and read more than 2 ½ books a month. I’ll never get through my TBR at this rate! Leave me a comment below and let me know how your reading for 2020 has been going so far!
CURRENTLY READING: Beard With Me by Penny Reid