Monthly Recaps

NOVEMBER RECAP // I turned 20, listened to red tv, watched 2 new fave movies & read 4 books

Manifesting that Ruby makes time for posts other than recaps and miscellaneous reviews. Honestly slapping myself across the face for it.

It’s terrible. I have time but I don’t have it in me to do any of the 100 end of year posts I am usually doing this time of the year,,, Praying that a productivity wave hits me at some point in the near future.

Big yikes.

I’ll stop talking now though so we can get on with what happened in November.

Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz {★★★★☆}: Welp it’s been a second since I read this one as I finished it on the very first day of last month. But it’d been on my tbr for a while and I’m so glad I finally got around to it. As expected, this book was an absolute delight and brilliant YA contemporary romance. I AM OVERWHELMED WITH CUTENESS THIS BOOK IS ADORABLE *INSERT KEYBOARD SMASH* Can you tell I thought this was cute? Because I really did. This book deals heavily with chronic illness and teens dealing with chronic illness. Our main character has rheumatoid arthritis and love interest has Gaucher disease. And they meet and fall in love. It’s the most wonderful thing ever and I loved them so much. I loved how layered these characters are, how imperfect they are and how these teenagers make mistakes. I loved their chemistry and their banter. I loved the conversations around ableism and mental health and young relationships and this book’s use of casual diversity. IT WAS ALL JUST SO GOOD I WON’T SHUT UP GO READ IT NOW. More ramblings aka my GR review here <3<3

Ever After Always by Chloe Liese {★★★½☆}: It’s taken me a hot second to get on with continuing this series but I’m here now. If you didn’t know, I absolutely adore Always Only You, which is book two and it’s a favourite of the year. Don’t be scared by my rating of this one, I might have actually given book one the same tbh, but yeah. I really liked this one, it had some really great conversations about body positivity and especially anxiety, which I loved. I loved seeing all the characters and the setting. However my biggest complaint is that I didn’t vibe with the writing style all that much, which is weird and I have more to say in my below review. It just felt… really cheesy? I don’t know how to describe it. I also, and this is a personal preference, don’t love when the character’s chemistry starts off page in romances. I don’t mean their relationship, because I actually love when there’s some sort of history that has happened prior to the book, and since this is supposed to be a standalone series, the characters have actually had a relationship in the previous books. Not sure if I’m making any sense?? Maybe it could have been longer to develop their relationship so that it felt like their romance had more time and didn’t rely on us believing they’d get back together because of their past. But if you’re looking for an easy to fly through second-chance / marriage in crisis romance, I definitely recommend not only this one, but this author in general. Click here for more thoughts xoxo

The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese {★★★★☆}: ♫ Let’s hear those sleigh bells jingling for this lovely novella on a sleigh ride together with Chloe Liese ♫ This book was an absolute joy and I love Christmas. I could leave that review right there to be honest. As you can tell by the rating, I enjoyed this one a tad more and one of my favourite things was the writing style so idk what happened before. I participated in some release day promo over on Instagram, so I’ll link that photo here if you’d like to check it out. Anyways, this is actually a Christmas novella so it’s only like 200 pages or something. I’ve talked your ear off on IG already, so lemme just give you a smol list of what’s in this one: workplace rivalry, bookstore setting, slow-burn forced proximity, grumpy/sunshine enemies to lovers AND own-voices autistic (and demisexual) heroine. Have I convinced you yet? Big thanks to Kobo Books for an eARC via Netgalley, this book was out December 1st!. Longer review on GR here <3<3<3

Believe Me by Tahereh Mafi {★★★★☆}: I,,, okay wow I have quite the few opinions on this book, so I might do a review in the future? Haven’t decided yet as this book is technically also a novella. They mostly consist of me being confused about the release of this one, which I find pretty funny. At first, I thought it was a joke that the series had indeed not ended as Ms Tahereh Mafi had told us. Then it hit me. Can you guess? We can thank (or not, up to you) the beloved app that is called… TIKTOK. At least, that’s my explanation. The series is huge over there and I think the publishers pushed for this to get written because of that. Regardless, I was still going to read it because I do love this world and characters. I gave it a high rating purely because I love the characters and their interactions. However, in terms of being an extension of Imagine Me and answering questions we might have had about that ending, this book did not answer them. Unfortunately. It had a great discussion on what I think was anxiety and you should definitely read if you’re a fan of the series, it’s always a great time. Click here for a longer GR review!!

Big thanks to Penguin Random House SA for the PR package to celebrate:

  • Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

Bought these for myself, mostly second hand as usual:

  • Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer
  • How The King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black
  • As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson
  • You Have A Match by Emma Lord
  • Unite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Click to go to post

Can we get a round of applause because wow do I have a lot to talk about!!

As you saw in the title, and if you haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve also all been listening to Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift aka the album blowing streaming charts. Love to see it. Before I get into my favourite songs, I do just want to chat about my history with this album, idk in case you find it interesting. I was not all that familiar with Red to begin with as I would have been like 11 when it came out. I do remember I Knew You Were Trouble and the goat video haha, as well as hearing We Are Never Getting Back Together and 22 in passing, but not all that much. I was waiting for this new version so that I could fully listen to it and I LOVE. These are my faves:

  • Treacherous
  • We Are Never Getting Back Together
  • Holy Ground
  • Sad Beautiful Tragic
  • The Lucky One
  • The Moment I Knew
  • Girl At Home
  • Ronan
  • Nothing New ft Phoebe Bridgers
  • Forever Winter
  • The Very First Night

I do like All Too Well, and the lyrics on the 10 minute version are spectacular, but I haven’t really connected to it much. The short film was absolutely amazing though and I’m obsessed with the cinematography and colours.

Speaking of films, I did rewatch quite a few from big franchises last month, such as all three of the first Pirates of the Caribbean films, a great time. I also did my basically annual at this point, watch of The Amazing Spider-Man and the first The Hunger Games (which is on Netflix now and I did indeed scream). Oh and Just My Luck was added to SA Netflix, which I’d seen ages ago back when we rented DVDs lmao. It was a fun time and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

I went to the cinemas with a friend and we decided to go see The French Dispatch. However, I was not too familiar with Wes Anderson (apart from my recent rewatch of Fantastic Mr. Fox) so we decided to watch a couple the week prior. I had actually seen Moonrise Kingdom, but hardly remembered anything so did a rewatch of that. Enjoyed it but it’s not my favourite. Decided on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou next, one of Anderson’s lesser known films, which I hadn’t seen before but a submarine movie sounded cool. I,,, to be honest don’t get his stuff. I love the cinematography but am just not a fan of how the important issues are skimmed over. I much prefer films that discuss them in a way that gives the audience an understanding, if that makes sense. I also find that I can never connect to the characters, and I’m a character-driven person so that aspect just doesn’t work. HOWEVER, I really enjoyed The French Dispatch yay!! I liked the formatting, how it was split into parts and incorporated black/white cinema, as well as animation. I felt that it didn’t try to bring up complex humanitarian issues, only giving a sliver and then moving on, but rather just short segments of a character’s life. Loved how it was about journalism and writing too. If you have any recommendations of his you think I might like, please let me know because I do want to like more of him.

Before I get into my two new favourites, I gave Love Hard a go, which was fine, nothing special but some interesting Love Actually references. I also watched The White Crow, on my grandmother’s recommendation, who said it was about a bisexual ballet dancer. Not actually sure what his identity is because it’s never said, plus it was mostly in Russian. Not that I mind, but I didn’t expect to need to concentrate as much as I did at the time. I still haven’t fully digested it, but there is a lot to unpack.

Finally, and we’ll go in watch order, I loved Interstellar. I’ve been wanting to watch this for AGES, as well as get into Christopher Nolan because he’s a director I think I’d like. So yeah, I gave this film 5 stars. My brain still hurts and I would do anything for Hans Zimmer to create a score to my life. Everything about this film blew my mind, but I was especially enamored by its complex discussion at the end about time travel and life choices that weren’t even on screen, but they were layered throughout the film. Could literally write an essay on that because there’s so much to talk about. The acting performances were phenomenal, as were the graphics and effects. Highly recommend if you haven’t seen it yet, just buckle up because it’s long. But as a person who doesn’t watch a lot of sci-fi and is very particular, I didn’t struggle all that much.

Lastly, I wanted to scream about how wonderful The Broken Hearts Gallery is and how you all need to drop everything and watch this. Romantic comedies made in the last decade can be… polarising. Most of the time, I find them contrived with millennial jokes that are just packed into every line of dialogue, as well as the acting being fake. However, of course, this film does not fall into this trap and it’s brilliantly done. It stars Geraldine Viswanathan and Dacre Montgomery and it’s this mixture of commenting on break-ups whilst also being a romance between the two main characters. That was a bad description but I hope I can sell you anyways. First of all, we have to love how our main female protagonist is a woman of colour and is not skinny, and it’s done effortlessly. Secondly, it’s just so wonderful and quirky and you all need to watch it. It’s got a great soundtrack, always essential when we’re talking rom-coms, the colours are wonderful, the dialogue is quite witty (though some of it I didn’t find funny), but it does everything else right. My only dislike is that I wasn’t 100% sold on the love confession at the end, it had this weird audience thing going on, but otherwise it would’ve been 5 stars. Watch for all the strangers to friends to lovers feels <3<3<3

I TURNED 20 FRIENDS!!! It feels very much the same but I do also like that I can say I’m 20 now. So there’s that. I had a really nice, chilled out day (and week technically). I met up with my amazing and long-time friend Amy for dinner, which was so nice. You all sent me such nice messages, big thanks and I love you all dearly.

I also did mention in the last recap that I was technically still writing essays in November, not that I remember them welp. Whilst I’m still waiting on my average grades (too lazy to work them out myself), I got a really great grade on an essay I was nervous about which I’m super happy with.

I’ve finished with the year now, so other than waiting on grades I’ve literally been doing nothing apart from some admin things here and there. Trying to pluck up some productivity to work on some other content but haven’t yet. Scream at me in the comments to do so *wink wink*




  • Sophie @ Me & Ink

    Ahh.. You turned 20 🥰🎊🎈🎉❤️ sorry I missed but I hope you had a great day and I wish you all the best for your 20th year!!
    I’m so glad you enjoyed Sick Kids in Love, it is a book I really hope to get to!! I’m all adorableness, representation, layered characters and banter 😍
    Chloe Liese is a romance author I want to check out ASAP, glad you enjoyed the Christmas novella.
    Pirates of the Caribbean, The Amazing Spider Man and The Hunger Games– what an impressive line up!!
    I hope you are well Ruby and are having a great December so far (good luck with your content making) ❤️❤️

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Hey again lovely friend, so lovely to have you and thank you for the kind words!!! Huge thanks for the birthday wishes xoxoxo

      Ugh yes Sick Kids is so so wonderful and you so need to read it if you haven’t yet!!! And Chloe Liese omg, I LOVE HER SM!!! Hope you’re doing well and lots of love <3<3

  • Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    I hope you had a nice birthday & congrats on your essay grade, that’s amazing 🎉 November wasn’t that great for me, but I’m excited that it’s December now! I hope you have a good month ❤

    So happy to see that you liked Sick Kids in Love, I have been meaning to read it for ages! Also excited to spot Daughter of the Deep and As Good As Dead in your Book Haul 🥰 I would love to see some end of the year content from you, it’s always my favorite kind of post to read 😊

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Caro, ahhh hello again. Love to have you here!!!! And thank you for the kindest words <3<3<3

      If you haven’t yet, I so highly recommend Sick Kids, it’s so wonderful. Hope you’re doing well, sending hugs xoxo

  • Marie

    Ahh Sick Kids In Love has been on my TBR since forever, it sounds really really good, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it. AND YES the lyrics are spectacular on the 10 min all too well version, I am obsessed ahah.
    Happy belated birthday! I’m glad to hear you had a lovely time and hope that December has been kind to you so far <3

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Eeeeppp big thanks for stopping by and for the kind message Marie, sorry it took so long to get back to you!!!

      If you haven’t yet, you need to read Sick Kids omg, YOU’D LOVE IT <3<3<3 hope you’re well and lots of love

  • Lais @ The Bookish Skies

    ruby!!!! i feel like it’s been forever since we last talked, and i am so happy to hear from you again! i hope you had an amazing birthday and that your year of being 20 is a phenomenal one!

    i am glad you enjoyed sick kids in love so much. i also really liked this one, it was such a refreshing book. i think the variations of the fault in our stars was kinda like a popular thing in YA for a while, with titles like everything everything, and five feet apart that are all about how these kids’ disabilities keep them apart and therefore are treated as “villains”. but sick kids in love was so refreshing putting disability as an integral part of these characters’ personalities and if anything, the thing that brings them closer. they were indeed the Cutest Characters!!!

    NOTHING NEW FT. PHOEBE BRIDGERS IS SUCH A GOOD SONG I LITERALLY HAVENT LISTENED TO ANYTHING ELSE. Lol. red taylor’s version was a Moment. i am still blown away by how successful taylor has been with these re-recordings. i have to admit that even i was skeptical when she released the first one, but red really proved that she can do anything she puts her mind to!

    i really love just my luck! chris pine was the most adorable person! and i do agree with you that millennial romcoms are… just not good or simply don’t hit like the 2000s ones do. but you made me very hopeful that i will enjoy the broken hearts gallery, so i will have to give it a shot!

    hope you have a great december and a lovely holiday season!

    • Ruby Rae Reads


      I 1000% agree and could not have said it better myself regarding Sick Kids In Love and we need to get more people to read it omg!!!! NOTHING NEW SUPREMACY OMG!!!! I also adore Forever Winter. I’ve been obsessed with almost all of her albums these days and I have no regrets *sighs*

      You? Liking Chris Pine? I did not know this *wink wink* Had to check your Letterboxd review as soon as I finished it. Omg you MUST watch Broken Hearts Gallery and then let me know what you think. I think it would be something you’d enjoy. All the love to you friend xoxoxoxo

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