monthly wrap-up // december 2021

i did not get to read much during december as the first half of the month was swamped with deadlines and research to get done before the holidays and i decided to spend the second half taking a break from everything. here is the monthly wrap-up of the books i read in december (spoiler alert: it is short):

her perfect family by teresa driscoll was a perfectly good mystery novel with the plot revolving around finding out who shot gemma, a college student during her graduation ceremony. the story also explores the dynamic of a strained mother/daughter relationship and how this experience causes for new reflections and positive changes in the family as a whole. i really enjoyed the book but it did not stand out too much for me – maybe i do need a break from mystery novels lol. the next book i read was not a happy family by shari lapena in which the parents of three children in a very wealthy family are mudered after a very strained easter dinner. the father is pretty harsh on the children and there was so much drama between all of them, it was really interesting to try to guess which one of them might have actually murdered their parents. however towards the end, the book lost its heat and the ending was quite underwhelming. but i really did enjoy the drama and the author’s ability to keep me guessing with the reveal of every lie and dark, twisted secrets the characters hid!
the 7 1/2 deaths of evelyn hardcastle by stuart turton was actually possibly the most interesting book i read in december! the protagonist is trapped in a sort of purgatory universe where he wakes up in the bodies of eight hosts during different timelines and has to use the information he learns through them to solve the murder of evelyn hardcastle, a rich heiress in order to “escape”. i enjoyed the concept immensely with the author adding more thrilling details like a mysterious person who keeps trying to kill the hosts which makes it harder to solve the mystery. it is very slow paced and took me a while to finish but i loved it! the final book i read was the birthday party by wendy dranfield which is an arc i received from netgalley. i will post my full review of the book soon but the book is about the disappearance of charlie, an eight year old girl in broad daylight when she was at a birthday party. during the course of the detective trying to solve the case and hopefully find her alive, a lot of convoluted secrets about the family are revealed which made the book quite interesting to read. i really appreciate the author’s ability to device so many twists in the story while still managing to keep things coherent till the end!
i am currently listening to a good girl’s guide to murder by holly jackson which is super riveting so far! i am also reading we know you remember by tove alsterdal which is also quite family drama centered and seems to be an interesting mystery as well.

i have never been one to share too much about things other than books on this blog but this was very special to me this month and i wanted to share this part of it as well! 2021 has been especially hard with every day teaching new, difficult lessons that enable us to learn to adapt to unique situations. one of the major things i learned to do this year was to cut out all toxic people in my life even if it meant i would be alone. upon reflecting, a lot of the friendships i had were not the best for my mental health and i realised that i was not doing to justice to myself by continuing to put myself through situations that i would rather not be in. this year, i made the difficult decision to distance myself from everyone who did not inspire me to be better and take some time out for myself to figure out what i really want out of friendships/relationships. i am determined to only keep those people in my life who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and i can trust to correct me when i am being judgemental and overall inspire me to grow as a person even if this might only be a small number. i believe that understanding what you look for in friendships sets your expectations on what you can give and what you expect which makes room for healthier friendships and good memories. spending more time with myself gave me time for some well-needed self care which involved reading more; even though i love reading so much, i have always used work or my constant obsession towards trying to be there for my friends all the time even when it meant compromising my needs as excuses for not being able to read. i feel proud for taking this small step towards being kinder towards myself. this december, i organized two solo trips to new orleans and the woodlands which i wanted to use to spend some time with myself to learn about and cherish myself for the person i am. i took them pretty chill by just wandering around the city, finding cool coffee shops to hang out and observe people, relaxing beside rivers/lakes and finding amazing vegan restaurants! y’all college station has a long way to go with respect to good vegan food haha. here are some pictures from my trip from cool places i had the privilege of experiencing and some amazing eats!

i would also like to be appreciative and grateful for life being kind enough to me to be able to afford and to be able to take this time out for myself. i also wish to let everyone to whom this year has been particularly hard towards that y’all are so strong and inspiring to continue moving forward through it all! hope every one of you had a wonderful year in your own ways as well! here’s to hoping 2022 is a bit kinder! ♥

have you read any of these books? link to your december 2021 wrap up below!


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