December Book Reviews (thrillers abound!)

December book reviews

Happy New Year! I hope 2019 is treating you well so far. I’m here to share what I read in December. Despite the holiday madness, I did manage to finish 4 books.

While reading before bed does cut into my precious sleep, it sure helps me get a whole lot more books read.

Related: 20 Ways to Find Time to Read (when you’re just too busy)

On to the books!

December Book Reviews

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Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson

Christmas by the Sea book review

Plot: When Wendy inherits her family’s Maine waterfront cottage, she’s happy to use the sale of it to pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband’s death. But first she and her 12 year old son must travel to Maine to fix it up in order to hopefully sell it before Christmas.

Review: It was definitely the beautiful cover, and the lure of a waterfront cottage, that made me want to read this one. I know Christmas books are usually sappy and formulaic, so I adjusted my standards accordingly.

Christmas by the Sea was a quick, sweet read. The resolution always comes conveniently fast and easy at the end in these types of books, but overall I did enjoy it.

If you like stories about beach towns, or Christmas books, this one is pretty decent.

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Jane Doe book review

Plot: Jane just seems like an ordinary girl, working a low-level job at a Midwest insurance company. She’s exactly the type that middle manager Stephen likes – meek and cooperative. But no one really knows who Jane is, and Stephen has no idea what’s coming.

Review: Absolutely loved it! Jane certainly was pleasantly calculating and crazy, and revenge is always an interesting topic. I enjoyed reading the story from a sociopath’s POV, whatever that may say about me.

Jane Doe definitely fell into the ‘couldn’t put it down’ category for me. It was a little unsettling to believe that a character like Stephen could actually exist in human form. Hopefully this book opens some women’s eyes to behaviors they too easily forgive.

I wholly recommend this book to those who like thrillers or revenge stories. I’m really hoping it becomes a movie.

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

The Mother in Law book review

Received an advance reading copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Plot: Lucy has wanted nothing more than to please her mother in law, Diana. But no matter how hard she tries, Diana always keeps her at arm’s length. Then Diana is found dead, with a suicide note nearby, claiming she didn’t want to endure her battle with cancer. However the autopsy doesn’t find any trace of cancer, but it does uncover signs of poison and suffocation.

Review: Quite good! This book really kept me guessing the whole way through. The story is told both in present day and flashbacks, from both Lucy’s and Diana’s points of view.

My opinions and whodunit guessing kept changing as more information was doled out. It was a nice escape from typical domestic thrillers that involve a man and a woman.

I’ve never read anything else by Sally Hepworth, but I’m certainly going to in the future. If you like mysteries, fiction, or thrillers, I’d definitely recommend The Mother-in-Law.

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie book review

Plot: Amber is in a coma, and she has no idea how or why. She can hear everyone and everything around her, but she can’t move or open her eyes. Nor can she remember the last week of her ‘normal’ life, though she’s suspicious that her husband had something to do with why she’s in the hospital.

Review: Definitely an intriguing plot, I liked how Sometimes I Lie was told in 3 ways – present day, in the week leading up to present day, and in Amber’s childhood. The reader has no idea who to trust, and endures a lot of twists, in the most enjoyable way.

Not wanting to give anything away, I’ll just say this: read it! And then please come back and let me know what you thought of the ending.

Wrapping it up

My absolute favorite read in December was Jane Doe, but really liked all 4 books. If you enjoy thrillers, you can’t go wrong with The Mother-in-Law or Sometimes I Lie either.

I read 53 books in 2018, which I’m happy with. But because my INFJ personality keeps me forever competing with myself, maybe I’ll try to beat that this year. : )

I’d love to hear your latest favorite reads. And if you know of any particularly good winter books, please leave them in the comments!

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  1. I definitely enjoyed Sometimes I Lie, definitely kept me guessing. Also, I’m glad you enjoyed the Sally Hepworth book, I have been thinking of reading that one but haven’t heard anyones review of it yet.

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