December 2018 Reading List + Reviews

Happy Thursday, friends! I hope you all had a great Christmas! Today I am sharing my last reading list of the year with y’all! I’m in the midst of reading three other books right now, but wanted to get this blog post up before I headed on vacation with my family! There are quite a few books in the mix that I loved and found very heartwarming… I always find myself reading those type of books around the holidays! Perhaps my favorite from the month (so far!) was Matchmaking for Beginners! It’s definitely worth picking up and reading! If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free! As always, you can see what I’m reading on my Amazon Shop Page! I try to always keep that page live with my latest reads 🙂

MATCHMAKING FOR BEGINNERS BY MADDIE DAWSON | Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a home in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would. Marnie’s life abruptly changes and she’s left to pick up to the pieces and try to find the “big life” she wants. review: I thought this was such a cute, charming read! If you’re looking for a book that will pull you in from the beginning, then grab this one! I was so immersed with the characters and found myself SO tuned into the story. The characters are relatable and likable for the most part! This was one of those books that I couldn’t put down! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️

NOVEMBER 9 BY COLLEEN HOOVER | Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. review: Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors because she has a way of drawing you in from the very first paragraph. She tackles some really tough subjects in such a delicate way and I always applaud her for that! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I loved the premise of Fallon and Ben meeting once a year on a day that Fallon once dreaded. I really enjoyed how the story unfolded and how the reader continued to learn more about November 9th from different point of views! Totally didn’t see the story unfolding how it did – but loved it! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️

THE GIRL THEY LEFT BEHIND BY ROXANNE VELETZOS | In Bucharest, Romania, in 1941, a three-year-old girl is found alone on the steps of an apartment building. She is Jewish, and Romania has recently aligned with the Nazis, so all the Jews are risking peril if they cannot escape. She is taken in at an orphanage and eventually adopted by a couple, Anton and Despina, who name her Natalia. Romania then falls into the hands of the Soviets and life changes for everyone all over again. review: The way this story unfolds is so powerful and captivating. It’s one that will stay with you for a while. I really liked the alternating point of view as it gave a totally different perspective between Anton & Despina and Natalia. I also felt very moved knowing that this story was based on true events of the author’s mother! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️

WINTER STORMS BY ELIN HILDERBRAND | For the Quinn family, Christmas is a time to come together at Winter Street Inn and celebrate together. The past year has brought struggles, lies, and hurt among the family, but they are ready to go full steam ahead into another Christmas season together. What will this year hold for the Quinn family? review: If you haven’t read Winter Street and Winter Stroll – read those and then continue with this since it’s the third book of the Winter Street series! Every winter I look forward to diving into the Winter Street series. Elin Hilderbrand brings the perfect amount of Christmas charm and tradition to Nantucket each holiday and I look forward to catching up with the Quinns. Originally this was supposed to be the last book in the series, but she added a new one so I got to live vicariously through the Quinns one last time! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

WINTER SOLSTICE BY ELIN HILDERBRAND | The entire Quinn family is back under one roof together this holiday season and it’s time to celebrate, although this year is bittersweet! This is the last book in the Winter Street series and it’s sure to make you smile and tear up in one fell swoop. So get the tissues ready as we say goodbye to the Quinn family once and for all. review: If you’re looking for a heartwarming read for the holidays season, grab the Winter series ASAP! I loved this last book and thought it wrapped up our time with the Quinns so well! This book is like a Hallmark movie -a bit predictable, but you always want more! One takeaway that I enjoyed from this book is that the only constant in life is change. And it’s up to us how we deal with change… rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

OUR LITTLE LIES BY SUE WATSON | Marianne seems to live the perfect charmed life. She has a beautiful custom home, a Dr. husband, and a charming family. Who wouldn’t want that? But behind the curtains of her perfect life is a world of dark secrets, manipulation and paranoia that no one knows. And she will do whatever it takes to protect her perfect life. review: Whoa. That’s the first word that comes to mind with this roller-coaster ride of a book. This psychological suspense book is one that will have you turning the page as fast as you can while trying to put the pieces together. I listened to this book on audio and I found myself audibly gasping at certain parts of this! It’s got plenty of twists and as the story unfolds you won’t believe what’s happening. The ending left me reeling. It’s one I wasn’t expecting and it surprised me! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️

WITHOUT MERIT BY COLLEEN HOOVER | The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit. She’s the odd ball out, she knows secrets about everyone in her family and she’s tired of holding it all in. review: I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this book, seeing as I always enjoy Colleen Hoover’s books. I had a hard time getting into it at first since it is a bit of a departure from her other books. I found that I had a hard time relating to the characters on any level – and many of the story lines were far-fetched. Don’t let this book dissuade you from reading other CoHo novels though! rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️


Leave a Reply


  1. Sarah Shaneyfelt wrote:

    The Winter Street series is one of my favorites!

    Posted 12.27.18 Reply
  2. Mollie wrote:

    Matchmaking for Beginners sounds soooo good!! Adding to my January reading list, thank you for sharing!

    xx Mollie

    Posted 12.27.18 Reply
  3. legalleeblondeblog wrote:

    Ahh thanks so much for this, this was such great timing for me- I am literally on the Chapters website placing a books order right now. Definitely adding matchmaking and winter storms to my cart!

    Posted 12.27.18 Reply
  4. Liz wrote:

    Ooo I need to pick up a good book! Thanks for sharing – they all sounds amazing!

    Posted 12.27.18 Reply
  5. I have been trying to read more this year! These sound great!!

    Posted 12.27.18 Reply
  6. Candace wrote:

    I love a good book, specially while traveling. Thanks for these! I’ll definitely look into them.


    Posted 12.27.18 Reply
  7. Oh the winter street series sounds like a great set of books! I have a few more books to add to my wishlist!

    Posted 12.28.18 Reply
  8. Marlene wrote:

    I’m always looking for new books to read, thanks for the recommendations!

    Posted 12.28.18 Reply
  9. Kim wrote:

    I LOVE Colleen Hoover books so I will have to add that one to my list!


    Posted 12.28.18 Reply
  10. Morgan wrote:

    Sounds like the match-making book is right up my alley! I love cheeky reads like this one!

    How 2 Wear It []

    Posted 12.31.18 Reply
  11. Annie wrote:

    Your reading lists are always so great and well done – thanks for the recommendations!

    Posted 1.1.19 Reply
  12. steph wrote:

    I love getting lost in a good book and was just thinking how I need to find a new one to start the new year. Thank you for sharing!


    Posted 1.3.19 Reply

follow along @emilynwilkinson