I’ve got a lot of problems with you people…
Just kidding. Happy Festivus, Bookworms. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. This is the first year we’ll be spending by ourselves as a family of three. I’m excited to see Sam get excited over Santa’s visit as this year is the first year he truly “gets” it, but I’m still kind of bummed. We’re not going to be seeing any family this year, which sucks. My husband had to go to work in person a few times in the past week and we just didn’t want to inadvertently spread any potential illness. It sucks, but me and Judy Garland had a good cry over “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” I keep trying to remind myself that we’re oodles better off than most, and this is temporary because vaccines are here, but feelings are dumb. Anyway, I’ve been reading to keep my mind off things, so let’s talk about my recent reads!
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir- If you thought The Hunger Games was the blood-thirstiest YA series in the land, you were sorely mistaken. An Ember in the Ashes easily takes the crown. Holy macaroni. Child death matches have nothing on an unthinkably brutal military force that recruits children at the tender age of 6. Then, you know, the Martial crew goes and torments the formerly dominant Scholar clan. The Martials are clearly based on ancient Rome, what with all the Latin names and whatnot. I am no scholar of Rome, so I can’t speak to its brutality, but I think this fictionalized version is worse. I mean, there are supernatural forces at play and extremely creepy immortal clergy, soooo… The world building was fantastic and I was sucked into the story immediately. I just don’t know if I can bring myself to read another installment. The depictions of slavery and cruelty were just so… Vivid. My nerves are too raw right now. If I come back to the series, it’ll be when the world is less of a dumpster fire. You know. If that ever happens.
Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert- Did I need a palate cleanser after that intense book? YES I DID. Thank heaven for Talia Hibbert, hot tattoo artists, Christmas, family, and the resolution of tortured pasts. Bailey is a barista at a fancy coffee shop who has a bit of a crush on the heavily tattooed guy who’s been coming in requesting that she surprise him with new concoctions. As luck, terrible bosses, and kind gestures toward the homeless would have it, Bailey soon finds herself in Cash’s employ. Cash is smitten, but is afraid that he can’t be trusted with a real relationship. Bailey falls hard for her new boss, but his hot-and-cold spells have her more than a little confused. When Cash finds out Bailey is going to be alone for Christmas, he invites her home with him. To meet his family. You know. Like people who aren’t secretly in love with each other do. And when they arrive? ONLY ONE BED. OK, to be fair, I think there IS more than one bed, but they certainly don’t use them both. This was the perfect holiday romance. (It’s only 99 cents right now- HURRY!)
In the time since I started this post, a friend of mine dropped a tray of Christmas cookies on my front porch because she knew I was down in the dumps. Much like the Grinch, my heart has grown three sizes and I’m feeling infinitely more cheerful. I hope you all have the happiest holidays possible under the circumstances. May unexpected porch cookies, in whatever form they take, lift your spirits. And while I’m at it, here is the picture of Sam I used for this year’s Christmas cards. LOOK AT THAT HANDSOME KIDDO!
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