December has come to an end already, and again another month has flown by! My December 2022 in books has been vast. Not just in terms of amount, but also genre.
I managed to get around to my most anticipated books of the year, and they have been 100% worth it. This month has the highest ratings of books, and I’m proud to say I have overachieved my 2022 reading challenge on good reads!
This month I have read: 6 books amounting to 2115 pages. If you want to stay updated on my progress, add me on Goodreads!
I’m Glad My Mom Died
Length: 320 pages
First Published: 2022
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
Probably not the best book to be reading in a waiting room to find out if you do have cancer or not, but here we are. I finished it in a day. You can tell that Jenette is a natural writer and this is what she was meant to do, she even mentions this in the book. The self-awareness of it all and how real it is when it comes to her eating disorders – are just great. If you are to read a biography in 2023 make it this one right here.
It feels weird rating an autobiography. This is someone’s life written out and it’s being rated? It is a very strange concept to me, so giving this a rating was difficult. The story is emotional – it has ups and downs, highs and lows and so many real experiences it feels wrong to give it a mark out of 5…
The Summer We’ve Had
Length: 277 pages
First Published: 2023
After a nightmare couple of years following the death of her celebrity singer mother, Cass Mulligan is moving down to the sun, sea, and shingle of Cornwall for a fresh start. But she soon realizes that she’s not the only one in need of some TLC…
Felicia Wilson’s life is one long series of spinning plates. She has Dissociative Identity Disorder, a system of five alternate personalities living in her body, and they all have different hopes, fears, and desires.
I’ve been waiting on reading this book since Katherine first mentioned she had another book coming out after The Silent Chapter. Big thank you to Katherine for thinking of me when looking for reviewers for this charming book. Let me share with you my honest thoughts on The Summer We’ve Had.
Wow. Ok, I don’t really know how to start my review on this one, apart from it was really good.
When you have books writing about mental health and mental illness you often get one of three things. The romanticized mental illness, where depression or bipolar is a cool personality trait; the second where it is demonized and made out to be something so very wrong and shunned; and the latter is just being super depressing. The Summer We’ve Had doesn’t fit into any of these stereotypes and that makes me super happy. When I first read the blurb I was expecting a “Girl in Pieces” -Esque novel of flat contemporary commentary on depression and so pleasantly pleased it is nothing like that. (No offense to anyone who is a fan of that book of course).
Cass is a real character that can be related. She is struggling. Everything is a lot. Moving, unpacking, and working out the new life by the sea is exciting but exhausting. But at the start, there are these magic little moments that I have also caught myself doing. Standing out in the sunshine, feeling the light’s warmth on your skin and thinking, you know what this may not be all this bad. Those tiny moments throughout the 277 pages are glorious. Other details about Cass’s inner workings are great too. The overthinking, the panic over small things – all things that I have personally been dealing with and feeling outnumbered with.
Now personally, I do not know much about DiD, but I like how Felicia and her system are written about. In the sections where it is delving into her inner workings, I like how they are all their own, but also have shared interests in Felecia. It’s complicated but not in a forced way. I like how Heather is the bold one and protective over everyone, but also a listener to the others Coral, Daniella, and to some extent Kylie and Autumn.
There is romance, and it works well in the context of the book. there are some very cute moments between Heather and Cass, as well as seeing the warming of Daniella and Coral to Cass. It is ultimately a self-learning journey for both Cass and Felecia, a romance that had a chance and took it, but ultimately being grown up enough to know what works and what really doesn’t.
The ending is happy, don’t worry but it is not the way you would expect it to be happy.
The Book Eaters
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Length: 298 pages
First Published: 2022
Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries. Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon—like all other book-eater women—is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories. But real life doesn’t always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger—not for books, but for human minds. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
I love the idea of this book. The premise that words are real sustenance for a group of people is fantastic. The book itself follows this theme but does not have the whole wow fantasy shimmer that was hyped for me. It is highly enjoyable and I did devour this book, not literally, and I do recommend it.
Length: 307 pages
First Published: 2019
Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England’s Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort–a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other “Bunny,” and seem to move and speak as one. But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies’ fabled “Smut Salon,” and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door–ditching her only friend, Ava, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the Bunnies’ sinister yet saccharine world, beginning to take part in the ritualistic off-campus “Workshop” where they conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur. Soon, her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies will be brought into deadly collision.
One of the weirdest books I have read in a while and I loved it. I don’t know where to begin. It’s going to be a cult read for sure.
Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution
R. F. Kuang
Genre: Dark Academia, Fantasy
Length: 545 pages
First Published: 2022
1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.
Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters. Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge.
But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?
Wow. The best book of 2022. The best book I have read in years! I love the themes. The attention to detail in linguistics and languages really scratched my language brain. It has such a nice balance of history, politics, fantasy, and academia that doesn’t make you feel stupid.
The characters are so in-depth and intriguing. Robin has such an interesting development and arc, I could scream and cry at some points but also sympathize with others. The story is chaotic, but so is the situation that it covers.
The Dead Romantics
Genre: Romance, Paranormal
Length: 368 pages
First Published: 2022
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead. When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. Then she receives a phonecall, calling her back to her hometown to bury her father…
This book arrived in my life at the right time. This is the kind of book you want to reread when you feel sad, hopeless, overwhelmed, looking for a sign to promise you things will get better!
The smart, sarcastic tone of the author, the development of the most adorable and awkward lovable family members, as well as an execution of a paranormal love story! Everything was amazing!