BOOK CLUB: December

Hello! And welcome back to my blog. It's been a while since I've been on this page.

I've decided to return here because I wanted my blog and my portfolio to all be in one place. My old blog is still up, so you can check that out here and on my portfolio page.

Finally, I'm writing December's Book Club. Strangely, it feels like years ago now. It was a weird month for me, reading-wise. I started off feeling addicted to reading, I couldn't put my book down, especially when it came to reading Dying for Christmas. However, in the last half of the month, I hit a reading slump. Nothing I would do would get me out of that slump. I lost count on the amount of books I started and then put down again.

However, I managed to read three amazing books that I'm going to share with you today. Let's get started.

Lost in a dream: Dream a Little Dream

Do you ever escape to a place in your mind that is completely made up but feels better and safer than the real world? Do you ever make up scenarios in your head that you wish would happen in real life? And do your dreams ever reveal a secret crush? I know I have experienced all three of these. But what happens when these dreams come to life? Giovanna Fletcher explores this in Dream a Little Dream.

The concept of this book is exactly why I picked it up, and it did not disappoint. Dream a Little Dream left me with a warm, comforting feeling, and it felt nice to escape. It made me giggle in places, and I was so excited when the man of her dreams turns up in real life.

That's not to say that it doesn't get incredibly sad, though. My heart breaks at times. I feel the characters' emotions with them, whether it's their anger, their happiness, their pain or their lust. It's full of beautiful friendships that I long for.

Fletcher builds up suspense beautifully. Although I hate that the protagonist keeps turning her love interest down, it just makes me want it more. Speaking of the protagonist - she deserved better. I was so happy when she finally quits her job and moves onto something more fulfilling.

Overall, it's a wonderful, heart-warming book that is full of loveable characters. I would have liked to see more of the couple, Sarah and Brett, together, but on the other hand, the ending feels perfect.

4/5 stars.

A Sickening Read: Dying for Christmas

Wow... just wow. This book, what can I say?

Straight away, you're gripped. We start off with a strange, creepy man who sends red flags flying. I have no idea why the protagonist went with him to his house, I'm not sure what could possibly possess a person to do such a thing. This brought up a lot of thoughts around victim blaming. The protagonist reckons it's all her fault she's ended up in her situation. And, yes, maybe she shouldn't have followed a stranger into his home but who's to say he wouldn't have tried to kidnap her some other way? He had this all planned out. And he shouldn't keep her there against her will, no matter what.

All I kept thinking throughout part one of this book was: this is so messed up. I lost count of the amount of times my eyes would widen in absolute horror. I was thankful for the side story of the detective, it gave me a break from the heaviness of the situation.

And then part two comes along and everything changes.

Without giving too much away because if you decide to read this book, I want you to feel the level of shock that I did, I was very confused at first. Suddenly, I realised how unreliable the narrator was, it was hard to know what to believe.

By a long shot, it wasn't what I was expecting. Although, it kind of made the first half of the novel feel like a moot point, it was no longer as shocking. Only part one felt like a thriller, part two was just... well, I don't know what it was. I'm not sure if I loved it, or if I felt cheated as a reader.

Dying for Christmas definitely leaves you feeling both shocked and misplaced. I would highly recommend this book, even though Christmas has passed, so you can figure out how you feel about it yourself. If you're a thriller fan, then I especially recommend this.

4/5 stars.

An Old Favourite: Fangirl

When my reading slump hit, I didn't know where to turn to. A part of me really wanted to go back and reread Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Being perfectly honest with you, I didn't make it through the whole book. The reading slump hit me hard. However, I fell in love when I first read this book. It's up there in my top five Young Adult fiction novels. I'm pretty sure I got through this in about three days. Current me could never.

Going back to this book was familiar, which felt comforting. I remember being Cath, the protagonist, when I was an undergraduate in university. The awkward one who struggled to make friends. Admittedly, I'm not quite as nerdy as her, but I do resonate with her a lot. Her twin sister, Wren, was the girl I wanted to be. The social one who had no problems making friends and going to parties. Oh, how I envy her.

Cath's story was what captured me the most. It wasn't the romance or the fan fiction, it was the way she grows as a person and becomes more confident. I think it's a really beautiful story that's full of hope and strong relationships.

5/5 stars.

We've come to the end of December's Book Club. Hopefully, I can get out of my reading slump real soon. I just want to read some good books! But the January blues hit hard which can make it difficult to engage in reading. But I promise that next month, there will be some new books for you.

Until the next time,