I completed my 2021 GoodReads Reading Challenge! At the start of the year, I challenged myself to read and finish 20 books this year. Now just a few days shy of a new year, I met my goal! And so now, just as I have done in the past, I’d like to share with you guys my December reads. The two books that complete my GoodReads Reading Challenge are from different genres: a murder mystery and a romance novel. The books that I read this December are from two of my usual authors – Agatha Christie and my all-time favorite author, Sophie Kinsella.

Love Your Life

So the first book on my December reads is Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella. It’s about Ava who goes on to a remote writers retreat in Italy in a mission to finish her novel. At the retreat, she’s not allowed to use her real name or reveal anything personal. Here she becomes “Aria” who meets “Dutch” and they start a baggage-free whirlwind romance. Then they return to the real world and they discover just how different their worlds are. And while they love each other, they just can’t seem to love each other’s lives.

December reads Sophie Kinsella's Love Your Life

My Thoughts on the Book

I highly enjoyed reading this book. There are some Sophie Kinsella stand-alone novels that are just okay but this is one of those that stand out for me. Some parts of the book are funny and amusing to read. Kinsella’s stories usually make readers chuckle in delight as they read the book. What makes this book a really good read for me is how real and relatable the characters are and their love story.

It romanticized love just as romcom novels usually do but it also showed that in the real world, love and a relationship take work. Aria and Dutch turned out to be very different people from how they imagined the other person would be. But I like how these two characters came together to work out their differences. I like how both of them were able to call out each other’s excuses and life flaws. It was like they became each other’s mirrors so they could both see what it was they couldn’t see in themselves – that their lives weren’t working the way they thought it was. Dutch with his unhappiness at work and Aria with her career and life flakiness.

I also appreciated their friends and their tight-knit relationships especially Aria aka Ava’s friends. It reminds me of my own close circle of friends. Plus Aria’s relationship with her dog, Harold, was just so adorable and heart-melting how much she loves him. While I was reading it, I thought of our own dog. The way Aria adored her dog is exactly the way I feel about our dog. I think readers who are also fur parents would be able to relate too!

I rated this book 5 stars on GoodReads.

Death on the Nile

The second book I picked as part of my December reads is another Agatha Christie novel, specifically a Hercule Poirot novel. I am such a fan of murder mysteries because of Agatha Christie that I once threw a murder mystery themed party for my birthday. Death on the Nile is one of her popular murder mystery novels. In fact, Death on the Nile has been adapted into a film and will be shown in cinemas soon. Now I know why!

The story is about Linnet Ridgeway, a young, beautiful and stylish socialite who’s been found murdered, shot in the head while she was on a cruise along the Nile. Hercule Poirot recalled hearing a fellow passenger remark about putting a dear little pistol against her head and just pulling the trigger. But nothing is really at it seems under the heat of the Egyptian sun.

My Thoughts on the Book

Such an exciting read Death on the Nile is! I think it’s even more intriguing than Murder on the Orient. The story was gripping! Just as the book described it, nothing is as it seems. I thought I knew who had done it. But as I read along, my suspicion and theory on who it could be were debunked and I had to keep on reading so I could find out the truth. I even brought the book along with me on one of my hangouts with friends. While they streamed a series on Netflix at my best friend’s condo, I read my book.

I thought it was so cleverly written! If Hercule Poirot was real, I’d want to meet him and I’d be an admirer of his detective work too. The way he analyzed all the evidence and testimonies of the people on board the cruise to find out who the real killer was, was so amazing! Great deduction skills. Even up to the ending of the book, Agatha Christie didn’t fail to shock me with the twist!

If you like whodunnit stories, turn to Agatha Christie’s books. It’s so worth the read! I can’t wait to see the film adaptation of Death on the Nile too.

So those are the two books that made my December reads and completed my 2021 GoodReads Reading Challenge of 20 books for 2021. I’d say I picked great books to end my reading challenge this year.