Hi, everyone, and happy new year!
If you saw my December TBR, you know I had grand plans to read more than 10 books before the end of the year. That didn’t happen, and it led me to realize that I’m a mood reader and TBRs don’t really work for me.
For that reason, I ended up reading only one of the books on my TBR and a total of only three books in the entire month.
The first book I read in December was More Than Fashion by Elizabeth Briggs. It’s the third book in the Chasing the Dream series, but each book can be read as a standalone. I don’t generally enjoy romance novels, but I decided to give this one a try in an attempt to get over my reading slump. It follows Julie as she competes in Behind the Seams, a reality show in which aspiring fashion designers compete for a cash prize to start their own business.
The fashion design aspect of the book was the most interesting part and was the reason I read most of the book in one day. The competition elements were at the forefront of the book and didn’t get pushed to the sidelines when the romance was introduced. The romance and the competition were more or less equally important to the story. My main critique of More Than Fashion is that the love interest, Gavin, treated the main character poorly several times every time she offered to help him with something, which was really frustrating. I couldn’t like him after the second time he treated her like garbage. Additionally, the ending was predictable. I knew how it would end from the very beginning. I gave More Than Fashion 3 out of 5 stars.
The next book I read undid all of the progress More Than Fashion made in regards to my reading slump. That book is none other than The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. This series was really popular in 2015, which is when I bought it and actually wanted to read it, though it seems to be less talked about now. Back when I first bought this book, I thought I would like it because the romance was supposed to be angsty and the main character was supposedly very smart.
I just couldn’t get past the slavery aspect of the story. The main character, Kestrel, is the daughter of a general who played a crucial role in the colonization of a country. All of the Herrani people who survived the war were enslaved. One day Kestrel buys a slave and takes him home, and for some reason they fall in love…? I have no idea how Arin could fall in love with his slaver, who happens to be the daughter of one of the people responsible for the colonization of his country. The story itself was so boring, and I had problems with many things that I won’t mention because they’re spoilers.
I gave The Winner’s Curse 2 out of 5 stars.
The final book I read in December (and consequently 2017!) was When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. It follows Dimple, an aspiring web developer who goes to a summer camp to develop an app, and Rishi, who is an artist as well as the boy Dimple’s parents want her to marry. The story started out okay for me: it was entertaining, I didn’t dislike any of the main characters, and the plot sounded promising. But that’s how things remained for all of the book: just okay.
You would expect a book that takes place during a competition to focus a fair amount on the competition, right? This one didn’t. Even though things related to developing an app were constantly happening, they all happened off the page. There was no conflict or plot that was actually centered around the competition. The entire book revolved around Dimple and Rishi’s romantic and social lives. It was like that was the reason they were at a summer camp, and developing an app was something they did in their spare time. Near the end of the summer camp, there was a talent show in which the prize was money to help the winners develop their app even further. The talent show got a lot more attention than the actual app.
Ultimately yes, this was a fun read, but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be, and there came a point in which everything was way too cheesy for my liking. I gave When Dimple Met Rishi 3 out of 5 stars.
That it’s for my December wrap up! December was a bad reading month, but January has been so much better already. Spoiler for my January wrap up: I’ve already read three books and one of them got 5 stars. ☺