December 2019 Reading

As we reach the end of the year, I’m happy to say I read over 100 books! 108 in total, though I may be able to scrape in another one or two before January.

This month I did read a few books I haven’t reviewed; two Irene Hannon’s (Christian fiction, not Amish) and a Jan Karon (another light Christian fiction, again not Amish).

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

There was a lot of hype around this book in the ‘booktube’ community as the author is a well-known booktuber, so I thought I’d give it a go.

While I liked the premise of this novel – young American woman (her name is Shane) hates her medical degree and travels to England to pursue a writing course – I couldn’t connect to any of the characters. They were all two-dimensional and had the same way of speaking. On top of this, their behaviour is immature for people in their twenties.

My main problem with this novel is the romance. For starters, it moved incredibly quickly and the protagonist was obsessive. As well as this, there is cheating in this book which doesn’t sit right with me.

In my opinion there is never a circumstance where cheating becomes okay, but in this novel one of the excuses used is “time travel”. I don’t care if you travelled back to 2011, you are engaged! If you don’t like him, why did you say yes? Why did your relationship get to the point where he thought you would want to get married?

(Before I go on, I need to mention that the love interest’s name is Pilot. Pilot Penn. Trust me, there is no way you can take a love interest seriously when their name is something you can buy at the stationery store.)

The other problem I have with the romance is that Pilot fails to tell Shane he has a girlfriend. While he doesn’t physically cheat, they do go on dates and there is a lot of emotional attachment. Basically, I think it’s inappropriate that he didn’t tell Shane he was dating someone; Shane gets obsessive, really likes him, and thinks they’re an item.

What makes this worse is Pilot’s real girlfriend, who’s still in America, is portrayed as a villain! This girlfriend travels all the way to England to see him, which is an incredibly nice thing to do, but when she’s there she’s written as the meanie who stops Shane and Pilot from pursing each other.

Plots like this annoy me because:

1/ If you don’t like someone, why are you dating them? It’s better for everyone if you break it off.

2/ Why do none of the characters talk to each other? Why is there so much miscommunication and misunderstanding when you can literally open your mouth and take two seconds to ask a question or explain what’s going on?

3/ If he cheated on his girlfriend to be with you, what makes you think he won’t do that to you one day? Oh, right, sorry, you changed him. You’re meant to be together. Riiiiight.

While I do love seeing book-lovers write their own, I just couldn’t get on board with this.

My rating: 2/5 stars

Even Now (Lost Love #1) and Even After (Lost Love #2) by Karen Kingsbury

I hadn’t read Karen Kingsbury before, so I looked forward to these two books.

I did enjoy reading these, but at times the emotion or circumstances felt forced and unnatural. As in, the stories were lovely, but I think they tried too hard to be mushy and impactful at times.

I was engaged with the stories and read them quickly to know what was going to happen, so even though they were a bit romanticised I gave them 4 of 5 stars.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock

This story was quite tragic and ugly, but it was so engaging I couldn’t put it down. The narration was captivating, told from the protagonist looking back on her life and telling her family what happened to her.

I found the ending rushed and sudden compared to the rest of the book, but this didn’t detract from the experience. The storytelling was simple yet effective, as was the overall Christian message.

My rating: 4/5 stars

It’s hard to believe it’s Christmas Eve, and I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow as we remember and celebrate the birth of our saviour.

Sarah xx

3 thoughts on “December 2019 Reading

  1. Jan Karon is a great writer! Have you read any of Fredrik Backman’s books? I’m hooked–right now I’m reading his, “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry”. He has a unique and delightful style–and blends hilarity with break your heart sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

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