Wrap Up: December 2021

December, as most months past, went by all too quickly. I got my COVID booster shot in early December, which I’m grateful for now, since things are pretty intense here in NYC. It’s really so scary. I’ve been going out to Broadway shows still, but plan to limit myself in January. I feel ok going to shows because proof of vaccination is required and masks worn at all times!

Christmas was a quiet affair for me, which I’m glad for. New Years was also quiet at home – I’m not much of a partier anyway.

I wrote a December TBR post – how did I do? I read 2 books on my TBR – LOL ok I had high hopes for myself and I totally went off course, as usual.

In December, I read 9 books total and DNF-ed 1 book. This was a better month than I expected tbh! I’m also currently 60% into If We Were Villains which I’ve wanted to read 4EVER so I’m happy I’m enjoying it so far! Didn’t quite finish it this year, but thats ok.

The Grimrose Girls – Audiobook – 2.5/5 ★★☆☆☆

This story has four POVs, all in third person, and I think that’s too many. I never really felt like I knew any of these characters all that well because the POV kept changing. It was difficult to keep track of who lived where and did what and their family was rich (or not) and so on. None of the characters really stood out to me as particularly interesting.

The beginning of this story was incredibly slow. I considered DNF-ing early on, but around the 40% mark things finally started happening and the plot became more interesting – and the book was short enough so I decided to finish it but I could have stopped at any time and been okay with my decision.

I did appreciate that all of the girls were queer in some way, but this didn’t have a heavy focus on romance and that felt very much like a subplot.

Empire of the Vampire – Audiobook – 2/5 ★★☆☆☆

This book is LONG. This is Gabriel’s story, and he’s telling it directly to a vampire who will chronicle Gabe’s life as he sits in prison awaiting execution.

Because Gabriel is telling his story, and in turn we are reading it, none of this is chronological. He jumps around to how he sees fit to tell it and we go from his childhood, then we jump to him being a teenager learning to fight and use his powers for good. In another section we jump to his adult life after he has been shunned from his order of vampire do-gooders for choosing to take a wife and have a child – something strictly forbidden by their God in the holy vampire order. It continues jumping around without reason and there were sections I enjoyed more than others.

Sadly, this book did not live up to expectations. I pushed through to the very last page hoping it would get better, but it did not. It wasn’t awful, but I could have stopped at any time and been ok with my decision. I don’t know why I though this would be anything like a satisfactory ending when I know this is going to be a trilogy – so that was bad on me.

The Girl from the Sea – Graphic Novel – 5/5 ★★★★★

This is a heartwarming tale about a teenage girl, Morgan, who knows she likes girls, but isn’t ready to be out yet. She has a plan and it involves getting off the island she lives on, going away to college, and then she can finally be her true self. But life doesn’t always fit into neat little boxes or go according to plan.

Nearly drowning, shes saved by a selkie and gives the girl a kiss as a thank you, returning home and thinking it all a dream….until the selkie shows up the next day in human form on her doorstep.

The artwork in this is gorgeous and colorful, I loved it so much!

I highly recommend this one, its quick and sweet and also deals with environmental issues, which was unexpected but important to discuss.

The Ex Hex – Audiobook – 2.5/5 ★★☆☆☆

Unfortunately, this one just lacked that spark of magic for me. Overall it was fine, theres nothing wrong with it, I just never felt connected to Vivi or Rhys. I didn’t feel much chemistry between them or care what happened to either of them. I know they had a past romance, but that wasn’t detailed very much so this felt very insta-love to me.

The plot was mildly entertaining which is why I finished this and didn’t DNF. I cared more for Gwyn and her cat (who learned to talk during the story) than I did for Vivi. I knew going in that this story was short, but I still felt it lacked development. I never grew attached to these characters or the story.

So, This Is Christmas – Audiobook – 4/5 ★★★★☆

This is your typical Hallmark-esque holiday YA rom-com and I loved every second of it! This is the perfect story to put you in the Christmas mood.

I loved seeing them grow as friends (and then more) as the story progressed – it all felt very natural. There were bumps along the way but I loved seeing these two get to know each other better. Grandma Jo and Arthur’s Aunt Esha were also wonderful characters and I loved seeing their take on the kids adventures.

Within These Wicked Walls – Audiobook – DNF @ 65%

This book hasn’t been holding my attention for a while now and its finally time to call it quits. It feels way too insta-love with Andi and Magnus for me to even care. I don’t feel like I know anyone as a character. The plot is confusing me, I’m not following along easily enough and I don’t care to bother to go back and reread.

I’ve been listening to the audiobook and the narrator is all right, not my favorite but not bad, but I’m just not following along and keep zoning out, so its time to move on. Sad because I’ve heard good things about this one and really wanted to like it!

Love on the Lifts – Audiobook – 2.5/5 ★★☆☆☆

If you’re looking for a cheesy holiday romance (thats a high PG rating at most, because the MC is in high school), then this is the story for you! This is cheese on top of cheese on top of cheese. It’s also VERY dated. It feels very 2005 and it does not age well at all.

I love YA. This is almost before YA was really a thing (Twilight was published in 2005 as well, for reference.) and it just feels too childish with some romance thrown in. The MC is crushing after a guy named BRAD. B-R-A-D. NO. JUST NO. Stop right there! It hurts!!!

Its predictable and awful, but I’m still giving it two stars because I finished it and it was entertaining for what it was. But would I recommend it? No, not at all.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music – Audiobook – 5/5 ★★★★★

I love that so many musicians have released memoirs in the past few years. These are living legends and we get to hear about their life through their own words. I find that super fascinating.

I think this is a fantastic story for any music fan. While I don’t play music myself, I’ve always enjoyed attending concerts. Learning more about Dave Grohl has really increased my respect for him and I look forward to the day I can see the Foo Fighters on stage myself.

Dreams Lie Beneath – Audiobook – 4.5/5 ★★★★★

I didn’t know quite what to expect when I started and I love the journey this book took me on. Clementine is partnered with her father to rid their small town, Hereswith, of nightmares every full moon. They record the towns peoples nightmares down in a book so they know what to possibly expect to fight on every new moon.

I absolutely loved the rivals to lovers aspect of this book – Clem and Phelan naturally became closer working together and it was such a gradual shift, I barely felt it until it was right in your face.

I truly love Rebecca’s writing and the way she puts a story together. The characters all feel fleshed out, even the side characters, the world feels fully developed (including a map!), and the rules of the world are clearly establish – and we learn them along the way.

The Lost Girls – Audiobook – 3.5/5 ★★★☆☆

I would like to thank The Lost Girls for being the funniest vampire book I’ve read all year (I’ve read 3, for the record) and for being the last book I finished in 2021 – this ended the year on a high note because it was so much FUN!

If you’re looking for a serious vampire book, look the other way. This is fun but still deals with some deeper issues such as being tied to your creator and never aging past the point when you were turned – and it can be rough when you’ve been 16 years old for thirty years, and you can’t get a job besides overnight at Taco Bell. This is the sapphic vampire book you never knew you needed, but you do need it! The slow burn romance had me eager for more the entire time and I loved it.


Movies: I was about to say this was a bit of a slower movie month for me, but I still saw 3 movies in theaters, so I guess it was pretty busy!

On December 2nd I saw Encanto – it was absolutely adorable! I loved it! I could easily hear the Lin-Manuel Miranda sound in the music and lyrics. Highly recommend this movie to anyone of all ages!

On December 4th I saw Eternals on the big screen for a second time, because why not! It felt like it went faster this time and I’m glad I saw it again, catching things I didn’t the first time.

And on December 16th, opening night, I saw Spider-Man: No Way Home. I wasn’t about to wait a second longer than necessary to see this monumental movie! It did not disappoint. I screamed, I laughed, I cried. It was a stunning movie and I’m hoping to see it again in theaters.

Broadway: I’ve been averaging about 1 Broadway show a week and December was no different!

On December 7th I went to the opening night of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There is something special in the air about opening nights – I dressed up to feel fancy, and we received free tote bags for attending! Exciting! Side note, a friend recently spoke with the venue staff and they told her JKR does not receive residuals for the production, so I feel better still supporting this play and the cast/crew, many of whom are LGBTQ+ themselves, without supporting JKR.

On December 14th, I finally saw Freestyle Love Supreme again after 2 cancelled performances! I won the lottery for the 11th, cancelled. I won the lottery for the 13th – cancelled again out of caution for COVID. A friend was able to do rush in the morning to get us tickets to see the performance on the 14th which featured Lin-Manuel Miranda himself! I’m SOOOO happy I was finally able to see him perform in this improv show! He is incredible – and the entire cast is incredible. Freestyle Love Supreme is actually going on a nationwide tour in 2022 – check it out if they’re coming to a city near you!

You can see December 14th ending performance below:

On December 18th, a friend won Freestyle Love Supreme lottery tickets and I was able to see the show again for my 10th time. I can’t help it, I love this show!

You can see December 18th ending performance below:

And on December 19th, I saw the final performance of Diana the Musical on Broadway when I once again won lottery tickets. It was a busy weekend for me and I’m glad I was able to see the final performance of this show. It was, as the name implies, about Princess Diana – in musical format. Honestly I went in with no expectations and I enjoyed it a lot! I thought the music was fantastic and it’s sad to see this show close prematurely.

And thennnn I went a little wild with Freestyle Love Supreme the last week of December due to lottery wins and it being the last week of the show on Broadway.

December 26th, December 27th, and December 29th I saw FLS. ….don’t look at me like that, 2 of those were lottery wins and 1 my friend was able to do rush for us! (Incase you thought I was rich, I’m not. Lottery is $29 and rush is $40, for reference.) I think you’re all tired of me talking about this show by now so I’ll make this section brief, and say you can find all these performances on my YouTube linked above!

Concerts: I thought I wasn’t going to attend any concerts this year but surprise! I did! On December 30th, last concert of 2021 was John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask performing ~The Origin of Love~, songs & stories from Hedwig and the Angry Inch! 💖 It was a fun show and a great last concert of 2021. Hedwig was the first show I saw on Broadway so this music will forever hold a special place in my heart.

How was your month? Do anything fun?
Read or watch anything you highly recommend?

Let me know!

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