Everything I Read In December 2020

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December was an ok reading month for me. I didn’t read anything I just loved, most of it was three stars. Most of what I read was novellas.

I got the Forward Collection for Kindle this summer and finally read it. Overall it was ok (you see that a lot in this post, just ok) but I’m glad I read it or I knew it would be eating at me until I did.

I DNF’d my second book of the year. I just couldn’t do it even though I almost finished it. I’m impressed I only DNF’d two though. Usually there are a couple more.

I didn’t have much motivation to read so it was mostly all just before bed. I still feel like I’m a bit in a slump, only reading before bed, but I know it’ll pass soon enough.

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The Shiver in the Arctic

Author: Christoffer Petersen

Genre: Nordic noir

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Constable Petra Jensen picks up the pieces of an old case to investigate while the temperatures plummet and residents of a remote village hunker down during a particularly vicious winter storm.

Final thoughts: This was my favorite of the Petra novellas. It’s a fun little whodunnit and I would have liked this if it was longer, too. The others are perfect short.

The Fever in the Water

Author: Christoffer Petersen

Genre: Nordic noir

Rating: 3/5

About the book: The water supply has been poisoned in a remote settlement and all the evidence points to the culprit being a man who disappeared several years ago and now it’s up to Petra Jensen to find him.

Final thoughts: This was a good one but it wasn’t, like, SO GOOD or anything. I enjoyed it enough while I was reading it though.

Ark

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 3/5

About the book: It’s the day of Earth’s demise when a young scientist discovers something too precious to loose.

Samantha’s job is to catalog plant samples for the survivors’ journey ahead. She plans to stay behind and watch the world end, but she makes one last human connection as doom hurtles nearer.

Final thoughts: I won’t lie, I got this series for the covers. They’re really cool but the series was just ok. This was the first I read in the Forward Collection and it was just ok.

It was actually pretty boring for an end of the world book and I barely remember most of it, but I liked it enough while I was reading it.

Summer Frost

Author: Blake Crouch

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Maxine was made to die. Instead, the minor character in the world Riley built made her own decision to explore the boundaries of the map.

A relationship between them develops when Riley extracts Maxine’s code to see what’s going on. Soon she has plans to bring Max into the real world but Max has plans of her own.

Final thoughts: I think this was my favorite from the collection. It’s also the one I remember the most. I liked the premise of it a lot and I haven’t read anything like it before (not that it doesn’t exist, I just haven’t read it.)

You Have Arrived at Your Destination

Author: Amor Towles

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 3/5

About the book: At first Sam thinks Vitek, a fancy fertility lab, is the next step to help their future child succeed, but the more he thinks about it, the more he questions his own life, decisions, and relationships

Final thoughts: I liked the idea of this one but the execution of it was just ok for me. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it.

The Program

Author: Suzanne Young

Genre: YA dystopian

Rating: 3/5

About the book: TW: suicide, self harm, and depression

Now that suicide is an international epidemic, Sloane knows not to cry in front of anyone, that one outburst could get her sent to The Program. She knows her parents would send her there since they already lost one child. She also knows everyone who leaves the program comes home a blank slate.

The only person she can be herself with is James, who promised to keep them both safe and out of The Program but it’s hard to hide the truth: they’re both getting weaker and depression is setting in.

Final thoughts: I’m torn on this one. The idea of suicide being contagious like a plague is strange and doesn’t really make sense. I know suspending disbelief is a thing, but I don’t think it works that well for this.

Part of me was considering continuing the series, but I decided not to. I think this review sums it up pretty well for me, too.

Emergency Skin

Author: N.K. Jemisin

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 2/5

About the book: An explorer has returned to a climate-ravaged Earth to gather information but the mission comes with a warning: a graveyard world awaits. But so do those left behind who should have died out eons ago.

Final thoughts: I honestly don’t remember any of this, at all. Usually if I don’t remember, the description brings some of it back, but this one I’m blank on, sooo for final thoughts I’d say not great.

Randomize

Author: Andy Weir

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 2/5

About the book: The Babylon Casino has their IT whiz ramp up the security on the Keno game. It’s foolproof with it’s new quantum computer system. Or so they think.

Final thoughts: I liked the beginning of this, most of it, really, but the ending was just.. weird? SPOILERS AFTER THIS: It was like, big casino heist gone bad, but then she just comes up with some plan to destroy every casino in Vegas and the casino owner is like, yeah, lets do that? Like? How would that not be suspicious? The ONLY CASINO NOT IN RUIN? No.

The Last Conversation

Author: Paul Tremblay

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 4/5

About the book: You woke up in a strange room with no idea who you are, how you got there, or where you were before, but Dr. Kuhn is there to help in every way. She’ll help you reclaim your identity and remember everything you forgot, but are you sure you want to?

Final thoughts: I really liked this one and would read a full-length version of this (anyone have suggestions?). The whole premise of this is really interesting. It’s sci-fi but also has a strange sense of hope in it. I wanted things to work out but it’s also like, really terrible at the same time.

The Toll

Author: Cherie Priest

Genre: Paranormal horror

Rating: 1/5

About the book: Titus and Melanie are on their (apparent) second honeymoon in the Okefenokee Swamp. On their way to thee cabin the cross six bridges before pulling up to another with rickety stone pilings and room for one car.

Way later a tow truck arrives to find Titus laying in thee middle of the road and Melanie is nowhere to be found.

Final thoughts: I won’t lie, I got this for the cover. I also just love swamps so I thought this would be interesting but I was wrong.

First off, these two are going to the swamp for their honeymoon. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it sounds like these two have never spent a day in the swamp, or outside, really, so how they decided on this is baffling.

(I just saw in the description that they’re going here for a second honeymoon? But they make it seem like this is the one the whole time. Why are they on a second honeymoon? Ugh. I like it even less now.)

They argue about it the whole way there and I still don’t understand how they agreed on the swamp for this. Like, sure go to the swamp, but maybe save it for a fun weekend getaway, not your HONEYMOON!

Then, they’ve been on and off in their relationship for four years and just decided to get married for a fresh start? What? Like, things aren’t going great, lets get married and see if that helps? Sure. Whatever.

Then there’s the kid who is in love with the woman that works at the bar but he doesn’t realize she’s like, 30 even though he’s basically grown up in this tiny town forever, just like her? Ugh.

From Good Reads: DNF at 77%. I just don’t care about any of this book AT ALL. it’s very boring, the characters aren’t very interesting. Titus is the worst. Even if I finished this it would maybe be only 2 stars. 1/10, would not recommend.

Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America

Author: George Mahood

Genre: Travel memoir

Rating: 4/5

About the book: George and Mark, two brits, set off on a road trip across the backroads of America from NYC.

It’s a funny book with plenty of police encounters, stunning sights, and Josephine, the worst car in the world.

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. I still prefer travel books written by females (relatable, you know?) but this one was fun. I’ll probably call bikes bike-ulls now because I love that.

If you’re looking for a fun book about travel in America, this is a good one. There are plenty of funny moments and even some where I laughed out loud a little (like bike-ulls.)

What did you read in December? Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you think of them?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a Wisconsin native currently working my way around the US. You can probably find me reading on the beach, wandering through the desert, or hanging out in a cute little coffee shop.

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