Bookshelf - December 2019

Happy New Year's Eve book buddies! I hope you have some wonderful plans to celebrate tonight as we say goodbye to this decade. I'm sure I don't have to tell you, but boy did this year fly by fast!

To finish off 2019 I'm sharing the books I read during December, and there's some great titles in this month's line up. Here's my thoughts on each of them.

Under Currents - Nora Roberts

This is Nora's latest book and I'm so glad I started reading her books - she's my favorite new find of 2019. Under Currents deals with domestic violence and after the first 100ish pages I was a little nervous of where this book was heading - how much more could Zane and Emily take?

Nora's strength is characterization and I love how she weaves relationships and builds romances (I think she was previously a romance writer and it shows). Zane and Darby will be another of my favorite book couples from this year. Love!

This book was emotional, well written and well structured, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat at times. It carries strong messages regarding domestic violence so be warned of triggers.

I loved it! Five stars!

The Hypnotist's Love Story - Liane Moriarty

This was another good book from Lianne. It's not my favorite, but I did enjoy it.  Lianne writes characters who feel like friends, and this book is told in two perspectives - the ex-girlfriend who becomes a stalker and the new girlfriend who is a hypnotherapist and intrigued by the stalkers compulsive behaviour.

A stalker conjures images that are scary, invasive and disturbing, but Liane eloquently gives her a voice, expressing her feelings and her loss when her relationship with Patrick and his young son abruptly comes to an end. She'd been the boy's mother for three years, and when that was taken from her, her need to continue to be a part of their lives overtook perspective.

A compassionate way to look at failed relationships, and how difficult it is for some people to move on when they're just not ready to leave. A good read - four stars!

A Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

I read this book years ago and when I picked up a copy of her sequel, The Testaments I decided to reread the original again as a bit of a refresher.

I remember being quite shocked by the cruelty and facism the first time I read this book, and I also found it a little hard to relate to the characters. The TV series gives you a clearer picture and gives the characters more depth, and they can fit more into the story.

I'm curious to read her second book and I believe its set fifteen years after the original and told by Aunt Lydia. Can't wait to start it :)

I rate this a three star read. I'm not a fan of Margaret's writing style and she really needs to use punctuation.

The Things We Cannot Say - Kelly Rimmer

This was my favorite read of the month, and at times it was a real tearjerker. It's told in two timelines and it's a story of war, love, family, loss, sacrifice and the goodness of others. It's also a story based on the authors family and I loved her notes and photos at the end where she talks about her trip to Poland and her grandmother and the family farm.

It's a beautifully written book but its also an unforgettable love story - a book I'll hold dear. It highlights the words we kept to ourselves and the emotions we hide, but it also shows that no matter the circumstances, love never dies and vows cannot be broken.

If you like historical fiction, then you must add this to your list. A solid five stars for an incredible story. Loved it!

And that's what I read during December.  I did exceed my goal of 50 books for 2019 by reading 54 and I'm pretty chuffed. I'll be setting a smaller goal for 2020 as I plan on rereading a few of my favorite series (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings etc), and I plan to savour every page.

Thanks so much for following my Reading Challenge this year. I know reading is not for everyone, but I appreciate you hanging in there. If you'd like to see what I read during 2020 then you can follow my progress on Goodreads (search Rose Johnston)

Have the greatest of nights tonight lovelies, and I hope you celebrate with family and friends. We have our traditional family game night planned and then we're off to see the fireworks.

Thank you so much for your support during 2019. It's been a wonderful year and I'm looking forward to everything the New Year offers.

Cya in 2020 lovelies!
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