Book Reviews

December Book Review and Favorite Book of 2020!

I’m always a huge fan of looking back on the year that was. What events happened (where do we begin?!), celebrations, deaths, life milestones. I had that same nostalgic feeling as I revisited all the books I read through 2020 and narrowed down to my very favorite 3 books of the year. Whew! There were some really great books I read this year, along with some meh! ones, followed by some I wish I never picked up.

This year, I read 32 books, completed 5 Bible studies, and read countless devotionals. Apparently, I just kept picking more devotionals up as the year went on and life just got…well, 2020’d.

So to kick things off, I wanted to review the 2 books I read this month so far.

First up, The 12 Dates of Christmas.

I really don’t think there is a better word to describe this book than CHARMING! I really loved this read! It was the perfect cozy up and read a cute little love story about a single girl outside of London. She signs herself up with a dating company where she does 12 nights of dates with 12 different men she is matched up with. Everything about this book was enjoyable. The main character, her family, her friends, her café she drinks tea at, everything. This book is adorable, very Christmas-y, and if you have a chance to read this book before Christmas, DO IT! It will give you all the happy, warm, Christmas feels you need over the next few days. Turn off the news and pick up this cute book!

One Day in December

I actually thought this was a Christmas book, and was pleasantly surprised to realize it truly just centers on ONE DAY…you guessed it…in DECEMBER! Ha! Great news about this book is that you could read this one any time of the year. Nothing Christmas-y about this one.

The book starts out with the main character seeing a man at a bus stop and having an instant, love at first sight moment with him. They lock eyes, they both feel it. And then then the bus pulls away. Almost a year goes by before she ever sees him again, but not in a way she ever thought she would. It follows the two characters over a course of 10 years time and how their lives unfold.

I really liked this one! It was funny, it was witty, it was sad in some parts, but really happy in others. I was truly rooting for every single character through the book. I had some questions at the end of this one, but maybe the interpretation made it even better.

I get why this was a NYT Bestseller and Reese’s book pick. It was a cute book, a fast read, and it just made me smile to close out this crazy year!

Now for a 2020 Review!!

Below is a list of all the books I read in 2020 by month. Just click on the month to go straight to the review.

January

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

February

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Finding Chika by Mitch Albom

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

March

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Becoming by Michelle Obama

April

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

If You Tell by Gregg Olsen

Open Book by Jessica Simpson

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

May

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

June

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

July

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

September

Open by Andre Agassi

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

October

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

November

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

So 31 books later and I loved some, hated others, and was just flat out disappointed with a few (that’s you, Little Fires!). But when it’s time to call my very favorite book of 2020, the one that has stuck with me months after I read it, I have to say it’s a TIE!

I loved two books equally this year. Loved them so much, they may be in my top 3 books of all time. Ones that I could read all over again just to enjoy them a second go around.

First up, DEAR EDWARD!

I love Dear Edward because it was one of the most beautiful stories about human interactions and how we are forever connected through even the smallest moments together. Although this story was written about the sole survivor of a plane crash, this book had so much hope and love and warmth in it. It was a heavy topic, yet it ended so light and meaningful. And I think that was even more why I loved this book so much. It’s message was powerful and beautiful, and I think I reread the last chapter four times over because I thought it was just perfectly written.

And maybe reading something like Dear Edward in the year 2020 and beyond is so valuable to all of us. In a life where we fight over so much, look at others as enemies or we keep our distance, it’s a welcome reprieve to read about how we are so gloriously connected to one another, and sometimes strangers will forever change our lives. Dear Edward, you were perfect! You can read my full review HERE.

Coming in at a tie for number one this year is AMERICAN DIRT!

I could actually feel my heart racing and my jaw clenched with nerves through parts of this book. It was so vividly and powerfully written about a mother and son escaping sanctuary in the United States from the Mexican drug cartel. Although it was fiction, I was IN. IT. I even gave Jerod full daily summaries each morning because he was so interested in how it all was happening for the characters. This book was eye-opening, it was scary, it was a story of a mother’s love, it was a book about sacrifice, and it was a book that taught me that things in our world are not so black and white.

I don’t know if there is a single person that could read the first chapter of this book and not want to read all hours of the night to keep going. This one stuck with me still to this day. It’s my go-to recommendation to friends in search of a book and I hope you get a chance in 2021 to read this one. Such a fantastic read! You can read my full review of American Dirt here.

So that’s it for 2020!! I really loved sharing my books with you this year and I’m eager to get started reading books the rest of this month and into January. And from the bottom of my heart, thanks for reading along with me! You make this community so much fun!

xx Rachel

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