December 2023 Book Bracket – Semis and Finals


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire - vs - The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard

So wow, this feels so unfair because these were my two favorite books reviewed this month! BOTH made me emotional. BOTH made me want to immediately re-read them. Middlegame made me cry and almost cry multiple times while at work. The Hunting Moon had me miss out on sleep as I binge read this when it came out because I couldn’t handle being distracted by folks at work (both were audiobooks.) Middlegame was a strong 4.5 stars only due to a small thing I disliked about the ending. The Hunting Moon was a full 5 stars because I absolutely loved everything about it. This is a really hard decision to make. The relationship between Roger and Dodger kills me and I love them so much. The relationship between Winnie and Jay is so sweet and angsty, I live for it. Middlegame had a much more fleshed out world and was twice as long as The Hunting Moon. The Hunting Moon is still in the process of building the world and story. Middlegame seemed to be complete in and of itself when it comes to Roger and Dodger. The Hunting Moon is still in the beginning of the relationships. Ugh, this is just so hard to choose! I think the only way I can choose a winner to advance is by thinking of which scene from either book remains lingering in my mind, rotting my brain and it’s The Hunting Moon. Middlegame is a great all around book but The Hunting Moon just really has those bits that make you want to dive back in. For that reason alone, The Hunting Moon moves into the finals!

King of Wrath - vs - Twisted Love
by Ana Huang

Ana Huang goes up against herself with books from two different series! This choice is a lot easier than the left bracket. Both were really well written and had strong main characters, even if I found the h in Twisted Love to be weaker than the h in King of Wrath. The difference between what I’m choosing as the winner between the two comes down to the lengths of grovelling for a second chance. Dante is willing to do whatever he can to get Vivian back, and it isn’t that much. Alex is willing to do whatever he can to get Ava back and literally BIG SPOILERS FOR ENDING View Spoiler » Twisted Love moves to the finals!


The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard - vs - Twisted Love by Ana Huang

After the hard choice in the semifinals, this feels anticlimactic. Twisted Love was a really good dark billionaire romance. I can’t wait to continue with this series (though, like mentioned previously I’ll probably skip book 2 and go straight to book 3). The Hunting Moon, however, was just such an unexpectedly good paranormal young adult book. Multiple layers of plot and longing of different flavors really enhanced the story. Twisted Love I read in one sitting because it was easy and good. The Hunting Moon I read in one sitting because I was desperate to see what would happen. Where book one in the Luminaries series just missed out on first place last month, book two comes in with a vengeance to take top spot in December.


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