It’s December! The month of my favourite holiday, hurrah! And that means it’s time for a Christmas-themed book tag. This festive, Christmas music-themed tag comes from our Top Ten Tuesday guru Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Jana actually does this tag annually and so limits her answers to those books she’s read in the past several months to keep things fresh and interesting. Just in case I also end up wanting to redo it, I thought I might do the same and stick with answering using books I’ve read in 2021 (easier said than done for some prompts, though). Here we go…
“All I Want for Christmas Is You”: Favorite Bookish Couple
I’ve had quite a few great couples in books this year, which is wonderful, so picking one favourite is a big challenge. To avoid repeating myself in posts a bunch this month (always a problem with December wrap ups), I’m using Emilia & Wrath from the Kingdom of the Wicked series. It’s probably a super problematic pairing but eh, they’re hot together. That sexual tension just sizzles on the page. This romance is why I enjoyed Kingdom of the Cursed as much as I did because the rest of the plot is kind of a mess. I loved the conversations, the flirting, the fights…so good. Plus, the whole witch and demon prince dynamic is right up my alley.
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: A Book Where a Character is Away From Home (School, Vacation, Etc.)
As you can probably tell from the title, the characters in You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry spend most of the book on a variety of different summer holidays. I know this is set in the northern hemisphere but had it been set in the southern where I live, they’d be the Christmas holidays! The book is about two best friends, Poppy & Alex, who take a trip together every year but fell out following the events of their Croatia holiday 2 years ago. After Poppy reaches out, the two agree to head to Palm Springs together, with Poppy determined to get their friendship back on track. But what if they’re meant to be more than friends?
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”: Your Favorite “Little” Book (Children’s Book, Short Story, Novella, Etc.)
Unfortunately, I haven’t read any novellas, comics, or short stories this year but there are a few I really want to read. I’ve had This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone on my physical TBR pile for a few months now but I keep putting it off. Both volumes 2 & 3 of the Fence comic series by C S Pacat are on my shelf as well, but again, procrastination is my middle name. Also, with the next book in the Skyward series by Brandon Sanderson finally out, I have three novellas to read in connection with it – Sunreach, ReDawn & Evershore. No idea when I’ll get to all of these things but hopefully sooner rather than later.
“Santa Claus is Coming to Town“: What Book(s) Do You Hope Santa Brings You This Year?
As this question is the subject of a whole separate post for me, I’ll just list one of the books on my Christmas wish list and that’s A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir. I’ve been trying to work my way through re-reading the first three books in the Ember quartet before finally reading the last book. My progress has been pretty slow so far (as usual) but I’m hoping to finish my re-read this month, so it seemed like a good idea to ask Santa for this one. I’m really excited to see how it all ends. Hopefully it’s not too painful but considering Sabaa’s track record, I’m pretty sure I’m being set up for heartbreak.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: Which Book Turned Your Nose Red (Made You Cry)?
As I’m always pointing out, I’m not a big book crier. However, there are plenty of books that have made me feel…things. Sad, gut-wrenching things. One of the books that hit hard in the feelings this year was Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy. I can’t explain too much about why without giving away major parts of the book but the story deals with themes like sexual assault, abuse, trauma, and humans’ relationship with the environment, which weigh heavily at times. In other words, it’s beautifully written but prepare to hurt.
“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Your Favorite Book/Kind of Book to Read During the Holidays
This is a tough one for me because I don’t really have a specific book that I tend to read around the holidays, nor do I stick to just one genre or type of read either. If I had to say anything, it’d probably be that I read a couple of romances and thrillers in the lead-up to the New Year. They’re good summer picks and perfect for binge-reading to beef up my reading stats for the year, especially if I’m behind on my goal. Even though I’m not behind this year, I know I’ll be reading some over the next few weeks.
“We Three Kings”: Your Favorite Trilogy
As usual, it’s impossible for me to choose a singular favourite but if we’re talking trilogies, The Poppy War series by R F Kuang is easily one of my faves. Every entry has featured on my top 10 of the year posts and received either 5 or 4.5 stars. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what else is. I don’t normally read military fantasy but I should if they’re as good as these. The characters are fantastic, the world-building and magic are amazing, the pacing is spot-on, and lord, the emotions. THE EMOTIONS. This series crushed my poor heart repeatedly (especially The Burning God which I read back in January). I should probably mention it less because you guys are eventually going to get sick of hearing about it but we’ll just ignore that for now.
“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”: A Character You Would Love to be Snowed in With
Weirdly enough, I’m picking a character from my current read for this – Dr Ryland Grace from Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I’m only roughly halfway through at the moment but I’m still pretty confident about my choice. Since Ryland spends most of the book on his own, trapped on a spaceship far from Earth, I already know that he’s funny, resourceful, and makes the best of a really crappy situation (basically perfect for being snowed-in with). Plus, he’d probably teach me a bunch of fun science-related facts while we were waiting for the snow to melt. Ooo, we could do experiments! Fun!
“Last Christmas”: A Book that Seriously Let You Down
I had a couple of options for this prompt, but The Final Girls by Riley Sager it is. I was on a sort of high after enjoying The Last Time I Lied so when I saw the blurb for this and that it involved final girls getting murdered, I was like: sign me up. However, it wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping for. For a thriller, this was just so darn slow, I legit forgot what type of book I was reading. It was almost like the main plot was left to sit in the background until near the end when things finally became interesting only to let me down with the big reveal. *sigh* The characters were also somewhat of a mixed bag, although I did like the whole past & present timelines approach. Good premise, lacking execution.
“White Christmas”: An Upcoming Release You’re Dreaming About
To avoid having my queen, R F Kuang, dominate this post by using Babel (which I’m so damn excited for), I’m going with Husband Material by Alexis Hall. This is a sequel to Boyfriend Material, which I read back in 2020 and loved. I only recently discovered the existence of this book and now I’m sitting here going: I have to wait until August, like really? WHYYYYY. The first book was so much fun and I laughed a lot, plus I shipped Oliver and Luc hard, so the fact that this follow-up could include them getting married….just gimme already.
Only a few more weeks until Christmas. Is anyone else frantically trying to get as many books read as possible before the end of the year? Or is it just me? I’m always like this in December. The logical part of my brain knows it’s silly but I do it anyway in the hopes of having a few extra books to add to my various wrap-up posts. *Sigh* I’m also currently in struggle town thinking about what presents to get people. I love this time of the year but it can also be a lot. I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying your current reads!