After the overflow of yearly wrap-ups, Decembers wrap-up always seems to get lost in the bunch somewhere. I hesitated to even post one, but decided to go with a shorter version of my usual one. I haven’t gotten to writing reviews for any of the book I read this month, and only plan on reviewing 2 (possibly 3 of them). For the rest of them: I’ll give you some quick thoughts, and keep it at that. Without further ado, let’s get into my quick thoughts the 8 novels I read during the final month of 2019.
This polar fantasy novel takes place on a snowy island, where the sky glows with certain colours to demonstrate the Goddesses feelings. Through years of watching the lights, the people of the island have come to learn that the red lights offer warning for an inevitable plague that will sweep through their population, killing many. But there’s another threat to the island, lurking beyond the horizon. Although the premise and the atmospheric setting are interesting, the characters and story made this an enjoyable but very forgettable novel to me. I’d recommend it as a fun winter-read, but don’t expect this to blow your socks off. Rating: 3/5 stars
I had almost made it through 2019, with only 4 major disappointments, until I picked up this book. This was a confident 5-star prediction and ended up letting me down deeply. In short: I liked the ideas and especially the world in which this takes place, but virtually nothing else. I didn’t jive with the writing style, disliked the main characters and was confused about what audience this book was catering towards. I have many thoughts that I want to get on paper, so a review is coming, as soon as I have the time. Rating: 2/5 stars
This novel needs little to no introduction, as it might just be the most hyped book of 2019, for me but also many other readers. The blurb starts with the following: “From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world--a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.”. This was as mysterious and magical as the blurb hints at. I personally gave it 5-stars, but I think it’s that kind of novel that won’t appeal to everybody. The novel is (for lack of a better word) quite elusive; some might even say vague. It’s more about the writing, the atmosphere and the feeling it evokes, that about the plot or even characters. I know that’s something that annoys many people, and if this is the case for you: you’re going to hate this book. If you go into it with the right expectations and mindset, this might be a magical journey for you, for what it is. Rating: 5/5 stars
The only novel of this month that I did manage to review right away. If you want to read my spoilerfree thoughts, click here to read the review. Rating: 3/5 stars
I’m not too sure what happened at this point in the month, but I went on a horror-/thriller binge out of nowhere. I think my brain wanted it’s holiday break too, because I was craving something to get lost in, that didn’t require me to think so much. No metaphors, hidden meanings… just some pageturning thrills. Cold Storage was just what the doctor ordered. The following is my Goodreads-review, and honestly: I have nothing to add. Quality literature? probably not... Wholely original? not really... Scientifically accurate? nope... Funny, edge-of-you-seat-thrilling, unapologetic fun? Hell yes!! Rating: 4/5 stars
The Moor is another horror/thriller novel, this time with a supernatural aspect, instead of a sci-fi one. I enjoyed this one less than Cold Storage, but that was frankly in line with my expectations, as sci-fi horror tends to be my favourite. Nonetheless, I was drawn in by the premise of a mystery taking place years ago with a group of teenagers on a moor. Once I started, I had to know where the story would end. Rating: 3/5 stars
The last book I picked up in 2019 was The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling, a sci-fi-horror novel that made the final rounds in the Goodreads Choice Awards Horror Category. I have a lot of thoughts on this one as well, and will be writing a dedicated review at a later point. As I finished this book on the 2nd of January, I’m going to carry that over to my January wrap-up. Rating: 2.5/5 stars
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk Finally, I continued my read of The Body Keeps the Score, a non-fiction book by famous Dutch psychiatrist Bessel van de Kolk on the topic of trauma and PTSD. I’ve been wanting to read this for months, ever since the resident on my psychiatry rotation brought it to my attention. Although it’s very interesting, it’s a massive, quite dense on information book. I’ve been reading it since the end of November and I’m not even halfway, so consider this a long term project.
I’m sorry these descriptions were a bit shorter than you’re used to from me, but December was a bit of a hectic month for me, and I didn’t want to burn myself out before the new year has even started. I hope to see you all back soon, hopefully with new energy, for more reviews and booktalk in January.