Review: An Unconventional Holiday Rom-Com with The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

 

The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Page Count: 400 pages
Publication Date: Oct 24, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

 

I forced myself to read a Charles Dickens book before reading this (vom dot com). Was it worth it? Eh…

I really only like reading cheeseball romantic comedies in the summer when I’m lounging at the beach (which is like maybe once a year, sadly) or in the two week period right before Christmas.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is honestly the perfect book to read right before the winter holidays. It’s very festive and heartwarming and just a really fun book.

Cynthia Hand wrote a retelling of Dickens’s A Christmas CarolΒ which is a paranormal story disguised as a contemporary. It follows Holly Chase as she works for a company called Project Scrooge which employs staff to reenact A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve every year, trying to guarantee a change of heart for a different “Scrooge” every year. Holly has a lot of a experience with this because she was a failed Scrooge; instead of seeing the errors of her selfishness she ends up dying, just as she is warned. Continue reading “Review: An Unconventional Holiday Rom-Com with The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand”

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December Wrap-Up: Wrapping up the year with some powerful and enjoyable reads

Books Bought:

  • Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister
  • A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay
  • Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Six of Crows collector’s edition by Leigh Bardugo

Books Read:

  • Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  • Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister
  • Love Works by Janice Mirikitani
  • I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Horimiya vol. 8 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
  • George by Alex Gino
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Out of the 11 books I received this month I read THREE of them which is a record for me! Usually I don’t read the books I buy until many months later πŸ˜…

I wasn’t planning on buying this many books this month after my colossal book haul in November, but it kind of just happened. Every month after making my TBR I decide which books I’m going to buy and which books I’m going to borrow, but I had a few books I had been putting off buying so I just went out and bought all of the books I still wanted to so I would have a clean slate for the new year.Β  Continue reading “December Wrap-Up: Wrapping up the year with some powerful and enjoyable reads”

December in Review: 15 Books

HAPPY NEW YEARΒ πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰Β New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays, but before I get into my 2018 favorites, reviews, and wrap-ups, I can’t ignore December as a whole month!

I had some fantastic reads this month, and also a few disappointments. The large majority of my books this month were 4 and 5 star reads!

Different from my monthly wrap-ups, which focus more of patterns in my reading habits and is just me rambling on forever (because that’s my brand), monthly reviews are more like lists: easy to scroll through to get the whole picture of my reading month. Listed is the title, author, publication date, and cover along with the genre and age range (if applicable). I also have my rating and a three-word description of my reading experience! The links will either go to a longer review I wrote on this blog or a shorter review I wrote on Goodreads. All the cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page.

TOTAL BOOKS: 15

🌟: 0
🌟🌟: 2
🌟🌟🌟: 1
🌟🌟🌟🌟: 8
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟: 4

 

Fake BloodFake Blood by Whitney Gardner
Published: Sept 4, 2018
MG Paranormal
hilarious, satirical, realistic
🌟🌟🌟🌟

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of OrΓ―sha, #1)Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Published: Mar 6, 2018
YA Fantasy
bingeable, dynamic, intense
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Published: May 2, 2017
History
repetitive, feminist, digestable
🌟🌟🌟

 

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published: May 2, 2017
Mystery
confusing, underwhelming, blah
🌟🌟

 

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's AngerGood and Mad by Rebecca Traister
Published: Oct 2, 2018
Feminist Theory
powerful, fierce, phenomenal
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Love WorksLove Works by Janice Mirikitani
Published: Jan 1, 2003
Poetry
stunning, emotional, historical
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for WhitenessI’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
Published: May 15, 2018
Memoir
transforming, digestable, personal
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Exit WestExit West by Mohsin Hamid
Published: Mar 7, 2017
Magical Realism
condense, evocative, timeless
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

CirceCirce by Madeline Miller
Published: Apr 10, 2018
Fantasy
lyrical, complex, engaging
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The CorrectionsThe Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Published: Sep 24, 2001
Contemporary
lengthy, overwhelming, extra
🌟🌟

 

Horimiya, Vol. 8Horimiya vol. 8 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
Published: Jul 18, 2017
YA Romance
cute, fluffy, charming
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

GeorgeGeorge by Alex Gino
Published: Aug 25, 2015
MG Contemporary
simple, accessible, relevant
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Published: Dec 19, 1843
Holiday Classic
uplifting, atmospheric, descriptive
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Sister Outsider by Audre LordeSister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Published: Jun 1, 1984
Essays
academic, intersectional, critical
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Published: Jan 2, 2018
YA Fantasy
disturbing, surprising, addictive
🌟🌟🌟🌟

I read some surprisingly great books this month and thoroughly enjoyed most of them. Let me know if you’ve read any of these because I’d love to talk about them? Which books were your favorites for December?

December TBR: 5 Books

“I can’t believe it’s already the end of the year!!!!” said everybody on the Internet.

I have been counting down the days until my vacation week and practically holding onto my sanity by my fingernails. I have some BIG reading plans for my vacation but have yet to decide if I’m going to be home or visiting my boyfriend in Michigan (which I should probably figure out soon before plane tickets become they become even more expensive).

Out of the 7 books I listed in my November TBR, I finished two books BUT I’m in the middle of reading three!! I’m planning on finishing one today even, so I might be editing this post before it goes up 😐

I’ve been struggling how to structure my TBR this month. Last month I focused on books I didn’t read from previous TBRs (which worked okay) but I was having a hard time deciding whether or not I wanted to include a different set of books from previous TBRs, or structure it how I’ve been doing with book club picks and different categories.

Ultimately I decided I might have better chances of crossing books off my list if I structured it like previous TBRs. I took a lot at the books I didn’t read from previous months, and most of them are pretty long.

I’ve set this post up with the book, a simplified summary from Goodreads, and a short note about the book. Cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page!

Diversity in All Forms Goodreads bookclub:Β 

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (library)

The Valley of Amazement

Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II.

I have literally no idea what this book is about but I really enjoy going into a book without any knowledge or expectations so I’m excited. It’s a little chunky so I’m planning on starting it soon and taking my time reading it throughout the month. This will also be the first book I’m reading by Amy Tan! Continue reading “December TBR: 5 Books”