I finished 2019 out with 8 books read. I will say that I used the last two days of the year to read 2 middle grade novels that have been on my shelf for awhile and that I wanted to read. I knew that I couldn't start and finish one of my library books so I decided the most efficient use of my shelf clearing/adding more books to the years total was finishing up those middle grade books. And, they both were amazing! Win, win, win!
The theme of December was middle grade/YA. And they were the best books I read all month to boot!
Merci Suarez Changes Gears is about a young girl who attends a private school in Florida on scholarship. She is a middle schooler and has all the kinds of issues that you would assume a poor girl on scholarship at a middle school would. I liked how it touched on her grandpa's dementia problems and how that affected the family.
The Optimist Guide to Letting Go is by an author I found earlier this year. Her books are set in Wisconsin and it's nice to have a 'normal' Midwestern setting. The main character has lived with a lot of loss in her life and when her mother is hospitalized she learns a family secret. My favorite part of this book is that she owns her own grilled cheese food truck and the recipes shared made my mouth water. I had a strong desire to eat a grilled cheese the whole time I read this!
A spark of light was our book club pick of the month. I feel like I read Picoult's book looking for the twist and this one was easy for me to spot. That did not diminish it for me. However, my sleep deprivation did not really like how the book was written in a backwards fashion. The storyline was about a shooting at an abortion clinic in Mississippi and the characters and plot were fantastic and share people who have different viewpoints about abortion. But the backwards set up just made it aggravating. (This was a book club consensus.)
Quiver by Julia Watt is a YA book set in rural Tennessee. It changes narrator between a teen girl whose family is in the quiverful movement and a transgender teenage girl. IT WAS FANTASTIC. Highly recommend.
The Little Teashop on Main was probably my least liked book and it was a book that I would have rather watched as a Hallmark movie. It was a sweet story of lifelong friends who gather for teas in the important moments of their lives and the narrator voice changes.
Ayesha at Last is a modern day romance of a Canadian Muslim immigrant. It cracked me up, had me turning the pages and reminded me in a way of Crazy Rich Asians. I would think of it as a 'smart' romance.
A Long Walk to Water is a middle grade book based on a true story. It switches between 1985 Sudan and 2005 Sudan. A lot of it focuses on how far people walk for water and how dirty it is. As well as the political conflicts that forced many people into refugee camps for almost 20 years. Highly recommend. It's a super fast read!
One Crazy Summer is also a middle grade novel about three sisters who go out to visit their mother in Oakland in the heyday of the Black Panthers. Their mother walked out on them 7 years earlier and she did not want them to visit. It's very interesting how they come out to visit her and how they become immersed in the Black Panther movement and learn more about why their mother left.I
I finished the year at 88 books read, bypassing my goal of 52 books for third year in a row. Next year I will be moving the goal up to 60. Here's to reading in 2020!
What was your favorite read in December?