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Monthly #TBR | December 2021

Posted December 2, 2021 by Kait in TBR / 3 Comments

Happy Thursday! It’s been a long time since I did a monthly #tbr post, but I’m bringing it back today!

Hi there! The last time I did a Monthly #TBR post was way back in July… of 2020. oops! I’ve done some seasonal #tbrs with Top Ten Tuesday, and I’ve even kind of stuck to them!

This month I’m planning on reading a few ARCs that haven’t published yet, a couple that have already published, and a few audiobooks I’ll be listening to on scribd!

And now without any further ado, let’s see what I’m planning to read this month!

Monthly #TBR | December 2021One for All by Lillie Lainoff
Published on March 8, 2022 by Farrar Straus and Giroux
Genres: Historical Fiction, Queer, Retellings, YA
Pages: 400
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An OwnVoices, gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, in which a girl with a chronic illness trains as a Musketeer and uncovers secrets, sisterhood, and self-love.
Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone in town thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl”; even her mother is desperate to marry her off for security. But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion.
Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for a new kind of Musketeer: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a swordfight.
With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels for the first time like she has a purpose, like she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming, and breathlessly attractive—and he might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to lean on her friends, listen to her own body, and decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.
This debut novel is a fierce, whirlwind adventure about the depth of found family, the strength that goes beyond the body, and the determination it takes to fight for what you love.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Series: This Poison Heart #1
Published on June 29, 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Mythology, Queer, Retellings, YA
Pages: 384
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Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron's new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.
Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.
When Briseis's aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined--it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri's unique family lineage.
When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri's sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.
From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes another inspiring and deeply compelling story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron
Series: This Poison Heart #2
Published on June 21, 2022 by Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Mythology, Queer, Retellings, YA
Pages: 400
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How much would you risk to save the ones you love? Would you tempt even the most dangerous fate? Bestselling author Kalynn Bayron continues the story of Briseis and her family's deadly magic in the sequel to This Poison Heart.
View Spoiler »

Monthly #TBR | December 2021All I Want for Christmas by Wendy Loggia
Published on November 3, 2020 by Underlined
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 240
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This sweet and magical romance about a girl who has just one wish--someone to kiss under the mistletoe--is the perfect holiday escape!
Bailey Briggs is counting down the days to Christmas: she lives for holiday music, baking cookies, going on snowy sleigh rides, and wearing her light-up reindeer ears to work at Winslow's bookstore. But all she really wants this year is the one thing she doesn't have: someone special to kiss under the mistletoe. And she's 100 percent certain that that someone isn't Jacob Marley--athlete, player, and of questionable taste in girlfriends--and that Charlie, the mysterious stranger with the British accent, is the romantic lead of her dreams. Is she right? This will be a December to remember, filled with real-life Christmas magic . . . and, if she stays on Santa's nice list, a wish that just might come true.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021Forward March by Skye Quinlan
Published on February 1, 2022 by Page Street Kids
Genres: Contemporary, Queer, Aspec, YA
Pages: 288
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, TikTok

What’s worse? Someone using your face for catfishing or realizing you actually do have a crush on the catfished girl?
Harper “Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band—and her Republican father’s presidential campaign. That was a tall order to start, but everything was going well enough until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile for three very important reasons:
1. Her mom is the school dean and dating profiles for students are strictly forbidden.2. Harper doesn't even know if she likes anyone like that—let alone if she likes other girls.3. If this secret gets out, her father could lose the election, one she's not sure she even wants him to win.
But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her.
With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg
Published on March 1, 2022 by Flatiron Books
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, YA
Pages: 400
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Marit Weisenberg’s This Golden State follows a family on the run, a restless teenage daughter hungry for the truth, and the simple DNA test that threatens their carefully crafted world
The Winslow family lives by five principles:
1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.
Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.
When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.
Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?

Monthly #TBR | December 2021Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
Published on April 5, 2022 by Tiny Reparations Books
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Thriller
Pages: 384
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Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums, about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now.
Will Chen plans to steal them back.
A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son that has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a shadowy Chinese corporation reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago.
His crew is every heist archetype one can imagine—or at least, the closest he can get. A conman: Irene Chen, Will’s sister and a public policy major at Duke, who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering student who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down.
Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted attempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.
With poetic language, a fun, commercial hook, and a plot that spans the Western world, Portrait of a Thief is both a cultural heist and an examination of the Chinese American identity, as well as a necessary critique of the lingering effects of colonialism that readers won’t want to miss.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston
Published on October 20, 2020 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, YA
Pages: 352
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Cerys is safe in the kingdom of Aloriya.
Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.
As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao
Series: The Mirror #1
Also in this series: Broken Wish, Shattered Midnight, Fractured Path
Published on October 6, 2020 by Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Alternate History, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retellings, YA
Pages: 320
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest

Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide. She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She's heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow.
But when Elva accidentally witnesses a devastating vision of the future, she decides she has to do everything she can to prevent it. Tapping into her powers for the first time, Elva discovers a magical mirror and its owner-none other than the Witch of the North Woods herself. As Elva learns more about her burgeoning magic, and the lines between hero and villain start to blur, she must find a way to right past wrongs before it's too late.
The Mirror: Broken Wish marks the first book in an innovative four-book fairy-tale series written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, Jennifer Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021Shattered Midnight by Dhonielle Clayton
Series: The Mirror #2
Also in this series: Broken Wish, Shattered Midnight, Fractured Path
Published on January 18, 2022 by Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Alternate History, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retellings, YA
Pages: 304
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram

The Mirror: Shattered Midnight is the second novel in the innovative four-book fairy-tale series written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, J.C. Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.
Zora Broussard has arrived in New Orleans with not much more than a bag of clothes, a beautiful voice, and a pair of enchanted red shoes. Running from a tragic accident caused by her magic, Zora wants nothing more than to blend in, as well as to avoid her overbearing aunt and mean-spirited cousins. Music becomes Zora’s only means of escape, yet she wonders if she should give it all up to remove the powers that make her a target, especially as a Black woman in the South.
But when Zora gets the chance to perform in a prominent jazz club, she meets a sweet white pianist named Phillip with magic of his own, including a strange mirror that foretells their future together. Falling into a forbidden love, Zora and Phillip must keep their relationship a secret. And soon the two discover the complicated connection between their respective families, a connection that could lead to catastrophe for them both. In the era of segregation and speakeasies, Zora must change her destiny and fight for the one she loves . . . or risk losing everything.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen
Published on July 31, 2018 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 352
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What would you do if the sun became your enemy?
That's exactly what happens to Viola Li after she returns from a trip abroad and develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity -- an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn't just have to wear layers of clothes and a hat the size of a spaceship. She has to stay away from all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat when its screen burns her.
Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He's a funny, talented Thor look-alike who carries his own mysterious grief. But the intensity of their romance makes her take more and more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life -- and love -- as deep and lovely as her dreams.

Monthly #TBR | December 2021My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Series: Mary #1
Published on June 22, 2021 by HarperTeen
Genres: Alternate History, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retellings, YA
Pages: 512
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Welcome to Renaissance France, a place of poison and plots, of beauties and beasts, of mice and... queens?
Mary is the queen of Scotland and the jewel of the French court. Except when she's a mouse. Yes, reader, Mary is an Eðian (shapeshifter) in a kingdom where Verities rule. It's a secret that could cost her a head—or a tail.
Luckily, Mary has a confidant in her betrothed, Francis. But after the king meets a suspicious end, things at the gilded court take a treacherous turn. Thrust onto the throne, Mary and Francis are forced to navigate a viper's nest of conspiracies, traps, and treason. And if Mary's secret is revealed, heads are bound to roll.

What books are you planning on reading this month? Let me know in the comments below and have a splendiferous day!

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3 responses to “Monthly #TBR | December 2021

  1. Looks like it will be a good reading month. I really loved This Poison Heart. I’m so jealous you have the sequel!! Hope it’s just as good. 🙂 I’m doing a readathon on TikTok this week, focusing on books with red and/or green covers so I’m hoping to get a bit of reading done for that. Afterwards, I’m going to try and check off some Netgalley books this month.

    -Lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…{Book Gift Guide} Adult Fiction and NonfictionMy Profile

  2. I’m excited about One for All. I can’t wait to read it!

    I think I’ll be reading a lot of holiday-themed books. The only book I know that I will be reading this month is Hercule Poirot’s Christmas as part of my Agatha Christie reading challenge.

  3. Great post! I actually just reviewed All I Want for Christmas on my blog and really enjoyed it <3 This month, I'm planning on reading mostly wintery/holiday books (I'm Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas, So This is Christmas, My New Crush Gave To Me, etc.) and also Being Mary Bennet, a 2022 book that I just got approved for! 😍

    Happy reading!
    Julie @ Struck by Stories recently posted…Book Review: “All I Want for Christmas” by Wendy LoggiaMy Profile

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