Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Lola and the Boy Next Door Review

Lola and the Boy Next Door
By: Stephanie Perkins
Synopsis: Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

After reading another novel by Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss (See review here), I was ecstatic to read another one of her books.  It's just something about her writing that makes me want to read and then re-read.  I love the romance, comedy, and witty statements she gives her characters. 

Diving straight into the novel I met Lola, a riveting, unique, state-of-the-art fashion designer.  She literally does not give a rip of what people think of her and that's what initially likened her character to me.  Then insert Cricket.  Her neighbor that she despises and does everything in her power to get away from.  Hah, well obviously it doesn't work and he weasels his way back to her life, for better or for worse.

For the fans of Anna and St. Clair, never fear because they are in this story! Not as main characters of course, but they appear here and there.  You can't imagine how huge my smile was when they were first introduced, oh man I missed them. 

Overall, Lola and the Boy Next Door was a great read, as good as Anna? Not in my opinion, but still entertaining, funny, and cheesy as romance gets. 


Monday, May 23, 2016

Anna and The French Kiss Review

Anna and the French Kiss 
By: Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

I feel almost like Anna right now, writing reviews on my blog.  Except instead of movies its books.  I had heard good reviews on this book but was still skeptical to reading it mainly because of the name.  Anna and the French Kiss.  It sounds almost like a Disney Channel Original Movie, the cheesy and stupid 2015 ones not the 2000 good movies.  But once I dove into it, I was hooked.  
It begins with Anna being forced to move to Paris for the school year, which I could relate to having moved to different states in the course of two years.  Nobody wants to have to start all over, let alone in a new country where they don't speak English.  

I love stories where the characters meet and it's instant chemistry, whether it be friendships, love, or even a hate chemistry.  And Anna and St. Clair is one of my favorites out of them all.  
I'm a sucker for Brits, so put in a cute guy with an accent who calls his mom, "mum," and Anna, "Ah-nah," and I'm in deep.  

This story was so riveting and chalked up with romance, I was constantly smiling through every page.  My heart beat  faster when Anna's did and whenever she laughed I found myself doing the same.  

The only think I didn't enjoy was the petty fights between everyone.  It's not really the story itself, just mostly how I hate how girls "Call" guys, not allowing the guy to even make the decision if he likes one of them, or none.  It gets annoying; stop turning against each other, just chill out, and be nice.  

When it comes down to it all though, I give this book a 4/5.  The diction was beautiful, scenery made me feel like I was in Paris, and the chemistry was divine.  If this book is the closest I'll get to Paris, I am quite content with that. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Me Before You Review

Me Before You
By: Jojo Moyes

Now where to even begin with this books review.  Let's start out with the rating of 5/5 stars which almost NEVER happens.  I fell in love with the trailer and felt compelled to buy the book instantly and read it.  My love of Sam Claflin may have some bias to this book and movie as well.

I jumped into this book and finished it in about two days.  The diction was beautiful, the descriptions other worldly, it put me in the book instead of me reading it as someone telling me a story around a campfire.

Synopsis: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Will Trainor is one of the most complicated and sad characters I have read.  I want to hug him and hit him with a frying pan at the same time.  But it's his smirky remarks and tangible good looks that made me fall in love. 

Lou Clark is undoubtedly a european version of myself.  Like her I love to read, be around family, and help others.  I as well love to wear what is considered outside the social norms of style.  Her lack of adventurous attitude is the icing on the cake in comparison to me.  
Reading this book put a perspective on my life and how I should live it.  It's okay to want to stay inside, be boring and solemn for a day, but I realized taking risks is apart of life, and we only live for a short time, we should take advantage.  So today I actually ventured out to the neighboring city and went to a random coffee shop I've never been to or heard of, walked around and looked at all the street art, and drove on streets with all the road raged cars (Arizona has the worst drivers next to California).  May not seem bucket-list worthy but it's a huge step for me who could really just cross the street from the house to Starbucks.  

Me Before you contains such hilarious and witty comments that will make you laugh out loud, and meaningful conversations that will bring tears to your eyes.  My favorite was the intimate scene where Lou shaved Will and cut his hair.  You could literally feel the sexual tension from the book.  

"It was impossible to be this close to someone, to feel their skin tauten under your fingertips, to breathe in the air that they breathed out, to have their face only inches from yours, without feeling a little unbalanced.  By the time I reached his other ear I had begun to feel awkward, as if I overstepped an invisible mark" (Moyes 127).

Another favorite scene was at the wedding, when Lou sat on Will's lap and danced together.  She wore her infamous red dress and Will in a suit, twirling around in his chair, while his ex-girlfriend and best friend stared (along with the other guests).  I wanted to go to his ex and be like "Hah! Look what you missed out on!"   The tranquility and intense love in that scene was so die for.  DIE. 


Okay now if you've read the book you know what happens. 
And it made me cry. 
But the ending was peaceful in the same way because Lou learned how to live and love.  Will taught her something she had never knew in her whole twenty-seven years of living.  When she traveled to Paris, whipped out that card, and read what Will wrote I got very teary eyed.  Will was dead and yet he still managed to live on through the story and through Lou's heart.  

Normally I'm not content with endings like these but I was surprisingly happy with this book.  It made you think about life and what does it really mean, "to live."  

Forever going to keep this book and recommend it to everyone I know. 

Bravo Jojo Moyes, Bravo.  

Now I just have to wait till the movie comes out....

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls Review

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls
By: Lynn Weingarten

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

If somebody ask me to compare this book to another, I would say Gone Girl.  The first half of this story is what it seems, an interesting thriller-mystery and you think you may have figured out what happened. 

Then you get to the second half.  And you get to add psychological in front of thriller.  I hardly knew or understood what was going on.  The story took a complete turn and I still don't know if it was for the better or worse.

It was a little inconsistent to me in the story plot and the direction it took.  It left questions instead of answers and by the end of the book I was thoroughly confused.  I even took to the internet to try to figure out what the heck I just read and was relieved to find others had the same thoughts.

It is a cool ending in the way it makes you think and sort of formulate what you think happened.  Though I really hate those stories at the same time because I like it laid out in front of me.

I would highly suggest the author write a sequel mainly just so I can know what happens.  The love story, the suicide note, everything.  I'm an overly curious person and if you don't tell me something I will find out somehow and won't stop until I do.  So please, for the love of everything, Lynn Weingarten, please write another part to this story. 

Rating: 3/5

“I realize yes, this is done. After all this time, after so much thinking and worrying, clinging so tightly. Just like that, there is nothing to hold on to.”
Lynn Weingarten, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Every Last Word Review

Every Last Word 
By: Tamara Ireland Stone

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. 

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

This book holds a very dear place in my heart.  When I heard one of my favorite authors was writing a book that surrounds OCD instantly in my mind I already bought it.  The pages, the words, the raw emotion of the main character Sam is what I went through middle school and up to freshman year.  Even now I experience a few episodes here and there.  Every Last Word though brilliantly displayed what a person with anxiety and OCD goes through and the power within ones self to overcome the illness. 

The very first sentence of the synopsis hooked me in.  "If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling."  That's such a powerful statement.  And it accurately describes people and how we always judge from the outside.  The saying goes and will always be true, "You never know what someone is going through." 

“Everyone’s got something. Some people are just better actors than others.” 
― Tamara Ireland StoneEvery Last Word

And the story isn't all just tears and emotion and serious, it has the classic love story twist into it; with a very cute boy that I wish would come straight out of the pages and into my own little poets corner. 
Funny lines litter each page and makes you laugh and smile while reading.  My mom poked her head in my room and saw me laughing while reading and asked me what was so funny. 

“Crappy mall food cures everything.” 
― Tamara Ireland StoneEvery Last Word

I bought this book and finished it the day I got it.  I am and was absolutely enthralled in it and always recommend it whenever I get asked for suggestions at work or at home.  Forever a 5/5 for me.  Thank you Tamara for writing such a beautiful piece of artwork. 

In the words of Sam, I leave you with these three:  Love. This. Book.