Books – November 2023

Book reviews coming in hot! I have a few Christmas and a few not Christmas books for you today. I hit 70 books for the year with these, I had a goal set of 60. I am hoping to get a few more in this year! I didn’t keep up with my bookstagram account from the beginning of the year, so I am going to make it a goal in 2024 to start with my first read and really use it a lot more this year! I will probably still share the books I read in my stories on my main account, as I still have the most conversation and engagement there, and I truly love talking books with you all!

Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey

I am not sure what I want to say about this one. First and foremost, it is a Christmas book, but besides the super cute cover and the fact that it takes place two weeks before Christmas….it isn’t very Christmas-y. That is disappointing for me, those that don’t really care to read seasonal books would probably be happy about that. Next, I would like to say how cringe these characters names are. I can handle Melody, and it would go along with the Christmas theme if this was a Christmas-y book, but Beat???? Seriously? Just no. Now, I liked the characters, and I found the two moms very interesting!!! I wish we would have gotten a little more of them even. They were hilarious. The characters were an instalove that didn’t quite work for me. Basically they met 14 years ago and have been pining for each other after a few exchanged words? No. And another thing that bothered me, Beat whines about his “privileges'” the entire novel. All the self loathing was really annoying. Oh poor Beat, who got everything he wanted growing up and feels bad about it so now he has issues as an adult. Please. It was a theme throughout the entire book and it just really got on my last nerve.

I did enjoy the reality show aspect of the plot, the characters were great minus that major flaw in Beat, and the storyline was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading to see what happens. I liked the producer of the show, and there was a little side love story in it. Tessa Bailey knows how to spice up a book, and we get some of that here as well. Overall, this was just ok. Not her best, and certainly not the Christmas story I wanted it to be.

Bottom Line: If you enjoy Tessa Bailey, I would read this…but don’t expect to get all the warm Christmas feels from this one. It is basically just one of her usual reads that happens in December before Christmas.

**I received a copy of Wreck the Halls from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

A Holly Jolly Ever After by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

I really enjoyed the first half of this book once I got into it. It was cute, fun, cheesy, spicy, all the things. But then there is a twist and I just didn’t love the second half of the book. It’s like the characters backslide and I start to not like them as much anymore. They’re both immature and say and do things that make me cringe. Overall, the plot was fun. I am not saying don’t read this…but I am also saying, you might be disappointed. Also, the book takes place in Christmas Notch and they are filming a Christmas movie, but I still didn’t get the cozy Christmas vibes from this book. Many are letting me down this year in that aspect.

There were some things I really liked about this book that worked well, like Kallum’s dad bod, some great side characters, and the pace at which the book moves.

Bottom Line: I am rating it 3 stars, as the first half would be 5 and the second half is more like 2.

**I received a copy of Holly Jolly Ever After from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

I love a Sally Hepworth book! They are always interesting and twisty, with unique plots and this was no different. The history of the cliff and house was interesting, and I enjoyed learning about all the different characters. I didn’t quite connect as deeply with the main character as I wanted to? I can’t put my finger on as to why. Perhaps I am tired of books using mental illness as an excuse for unacceptable behavior. And there was a lot in this book. I know it can be genetic, but it seems nearly everyone had a mental illness, it was a bit draining in that sense. And while I didn’t see certain twists coming, the ending was a little anticlimactic. But I was satisfied how it ended for Pippa. Overall this one kept me engaged the entire time, I just didn’t love it as much as her others.

Bottom Line: Read it.

**I received a copy of The Soulmate from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

I just could not get into this book. The characters are truly horrendous. I don’t have to love or root for characters, but I need to find the storyline interesting. I got about 30% or so into this book and I was so bored, and it took me almost a month to get that far in. I couldn’t make myself care, and life is too short to read something you are vibing with. I cannot recommend this one.

Bottom Line: Pass

**I received a copy of Dirty Laundry from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review, all opinions are of my own.**

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  • Reply Rebecca Jo December 1, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I Loved The Soulmate – I’ve really fallen for Sally Hepworth over the past 2 years.

    WHYYYY do they make “christmas books” that aren’t Christmas books – that’s the worst!

  • Reply Kristin December 12, 2023 at 6:45 am

    I really liked the way The Soulmate had the environment (the cliffs, oceans) as kind of a “character” in the story. Hepworth is really good at that!

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