We’re halfway through the year already and I just finished reading my sixth book for 2020 which also marks the halfway point to my 2020 GoodReads Reading Challenge. Quite the timing too! 

So I want to share what I thought of my two most recent reads: Sophie Kinsella’s Christmas Shopaholic and Colleen Hoover’s Without Merit. 

Book 1: Christmas Shopaholic

Shopaholic makes it to my 2020 GoodReads Reading Challenge
Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series with Becky Brandon nee Bloomwood is one of my favorite book series so when Christmas Shopaholic was released, I was thrilled! It has been a while since I read the last Shopaholic book. so I’m glad to have added this book under books I’ve read as part of my 2020 GoodReads Reading Challenge.   

The plot 

‘Tis the season for change, and Becky Brandon (nèBloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness – even if that only means listening to a meditation while hunting down online bargains. 
        But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors coming around for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch – unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados – and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong? 
        Becky’s sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists he just wants aftershave (again), and little Minnie needs a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend – turned – rock star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her bighearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky wonders if chaos will ensure or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all. 

What I Thought of the Book

It wouldn’t be Becky if she’s not shopping for stuff and justifying those purchases! And hosting a Christmas get together is definitely a great excuse to go shopping! Even after all this time, she’s still funny and likable. Actually, the whole story is amusing read. I enjoyed the part about her encounters with her ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend and the part where Becky goes shopping for Luke’s Christmas gift! The Shopaholic series is a feel good story and this book made me smile and it made me laugh. 
As a fan of Sophie Kinsella and the Shopaholic series, this was definitely a must read for me and I would say that I would keep collecting and reading every Shopaholic book that Kinsella will write. 

Book 2: Without Merit 

2020 GoodReads Reading Challenge Without Merit
Colleen Hoover is also a favorite author of mine ever since I read Ugly Love.  I had requested Without Merit as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago but the book wasn’t available in the bookstore when my secret santa went to buy. Finally, I was able to read it thanks to Scribd’s free trial. 


The Plot

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes
the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.
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 isnt allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then there’s Merit. 

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves. 

What I Thought of the Book

First let me just start by saying that this is not a romance novel. Yes, it’s part of the story and Colleen Hoover will take us through how Sagan and Merit’s romance develops but it’s not the core of the story.  Sagan sounds adorable. Boyfriend material I would say. 
But like I said, this is not a love story. Without Merit’s story lines have more to do with Merit’s family and her mental health issues. Merit’s got a very dysfunctional family and I highly enjoyed reading how their different conflicts with each other would be resolved. The book has some surprising turn of events to it that had me swiping to the next page to find out what happens next. 
Without Merit is worth reading for its beautiful story and at this point, I think Colleen Hoover can do no wrong in my opinion. I just love her books – well almost all of what I’ve read anyway. 
So the books I’ve added on to my read shelf this 2020 are from two of my favorite authors and both books did not disappoint at all. Did you set a reading goal for 2020 GoodReads Reading Challenge too? How are you doing with yours? Let’s talk about it on the comments below!