Grab a cup of cocoa and throw on your favorite Christmas jammies for my December 2017 Book Review.
And then, I will name my 2017 Book of the Year.
Good gravy, I love Christmas. I absolutely adore Christmas movies. Give me all the Hallmark movies and Love Actually on repeat. I decided to dedicate December to Christmas novels to see if they gave me the same warm and fuzzies as the movies do. Spoiler alert: they do!
And discovering that I can combine my love for Christmas with my love of Nantucket made me even more excited to dive in to some of these. I squeezed in five books this month because they were all quick, easy reads.
A Nantucket Christmas
The only thing that can make a Christmas novel better is a Christmas story set in Nantucket. Enter Nancy Thayer. This was a easy read that I breezed through in just a few hours. Classic Thayer with some family dynamic issues between stepmother and stepdaughter and a picturesque setting. Was not crazy about the storyline of Snix and Maddox just because I did not think it added much to the overall story other than add in a different perspective/voice. A delightful read nonetheless!
I can’t believe I was able to resist reading this book for two months, especially after meeting Elin Hilderbrand at the book signing for Winter Solstice. This is the fourth and final installment in the Winter series, comprised of Winter Street, Winter Stroll, Winter Storm, and Winter Solstice. The books are meant to read in sequence and I highly encourage you to binge read them during the holiday season. I had a lot of anticipation for this book and it did not disappoint! I loved how the final installment combined characters from The Rumor as well. It was just a sweet, warm story with lots of lovable characters, and of course set in idyllic Nantucket during the holidays. Would definitely recommend this book/series. If you are going to pick one of my holiday books to add to your list, choose these!
See my October book review for details on the night I met Elin Hilderbrand.
Merry and Bright
Totally reminiscent of the movie You’ve Got Mail, which I am a sucker for. A sweet little story about a employee and her hot-headed, work-a-holic boss who begin having an online dating relationship, unaware of who the other truly is. Things get tricky as one of them uncovers the truth and struggles with whether or not to reveal their identity to the other. Love the characters and another easy, two day read. Plug in those Christmas tree lights as you enjoy a Hallmark movie style book that will leave you in the holiday spirit.
I wanted to finish off my illustrated Harry Potter series this month so I could read it by the fire like I used to when I was young and the books first came out. This is actually my least favorite of the series just because I feel like not much happens and there is not a great climax. It provides some important and needed information to the series for sure but, the actual adventure and suspense just isn’t there for me. I have absolutely no clue when Illustrated #4 comes out (which is my favorite!) and so now, I wait.
Mary Kay Andrews
This was definitely a miss for me. I did not connect with the characters or feel like there was much of a story here at all. I kept hoping for something to happen but it was very one note. I understand it is a Christmas novel and may not be designed for scandal or mishap but I didn’t even get the holiday warm and fuzzies. Skip this one and turn on Christmas Vacation instead.
and now…. my favorite books of 2017!!
#3: The Nightingale
I would really recommend that everyone read this book at some point. I know I am late reading it (and well I am actually late to the party on most books due to my newly rediscovered love of reading) but, it is such.a.good.novel. A WWII story set in France about two sisters and their heroic and resilient spirits throughout such a tragic time period. Definitely has a serious tone but the author has a gift of bringing you along with the characters through the years. I was never one to enjoy historical fiction but this book opened my eyes to a genre I have been missing in my GoodReads repertoire. I would love to read another WWII novel or something with a similar feel. Suggestions appreciated!
#2: One True Loves
This book stayed with me after finishing it more than any other book I read this year. One True Loves is about a woman whose husband is presumed dead after a plane accident but then returns years later to find his wife is newly engaged. I could not stop thinking about the ending and wondering if the main character had made the right decision or what I would have done in this situation. It pulled at my heart in so many ways. Even though I wrote in my review about having a love/hate relationship with this book, it’s effect on me earned it the number 2 spot this year. I could not put it down.
2017 Book of the Year: The Rumor
YES! YES! YES! The Rumor won for me for best novel of 2017. If you have not read a Hilderbrand book and are wondering where to start, pick up The Rumor. So far, my favorite Hilderbrand, although I have many more on my list for summertime. This novel is based off of real characters in Nantucket, including a real estate agent running a prostitute ring! (Actual Elin Hilderbrand info from her book signing). This is the perfect read for a kid-free beach day or for travel. A perfect chic-lit read with gossip, food, drama, and lovable characters.