October 1, 2018 – In the last book of the Lara Jean Covey series, we see Lara Jean deal with the issue that every Senior in High School has to deal with…hopes and dreams of their future and then when those hopes and dreams being dashed. Then coming to terms with what she really wants and how that affects all those around her, including Peter Kavinsky.
Lara Jean has her heart set on going to a certain University, but when she does not get in she ends up spiraling. Why, well…she had this vision of going to the same school as her love, Peter. Peter also had his hopes pinned on spending the next four years of his life in close proximity of Lara Jean.
When Lara Jean gets into her long shot school, Peter spirals and ultimately they break up. That is not the only thing she has to contend with, her bff is going to go off to find ad entire in Central America and her Dad is marrying their neighbor.
Ultimately, everything falls into place and in a moment that John Hughes would have been proud of, LJ and PK make up.
The story ends with hope.
This book reminded me of what I went through when I went to college and what my daughter went through. Senior year is a tough year and that is clearly depicted. Their are highs and lows.
It was not the best of the three, but a perfect way to end the series.
September 16, 2018 – In P.S. I Still Love You, the second book in the To All the Boys I Have Loved series by Jenny Han, we see how Lara Jean Covey handles being in a relationship when there are other parties vying for their attention.
Being in love for the first time, you want it to be all perfect with a devoted and attentive beau at your side. However, that is not the case. This is what kind of throws LJ for a loop.
Things are done…things are said…tears are shed…hearts are broken…and LJ has to figure out life as she picks up the pieces.
Does that mean all hope is lost?
So, my 16 year old niece asked me if I liked this book. I said that I loved all the conflict. I will tell you why and it is basically because there is a lot of growing up in this book. When everyone is moving on to the next phase of life, it can be a hard adjustment, especially when there are unresolved issues. So, It was nice to be in LJ’s head as she dealt with issues she could not control and with situations she could control.
Also, I loved the character of John Ambrose McClarren. The boy from the Model UN. His relationship with Lara Jean, the friendship they had when they were children and the rekindled relationship that the letter brought on was very sweet. It could even be a book in itself. At one point I started to root for him and forgot about Peter. I know, I know…a travesty.
I also love the side story dealing with the future for Kitty and the Dad. Very sweet.
I actually think that this book is better than the first. On to the third!
Wait! I now see why it would be a little difficult to make a sequel to the movie. In the movie they touch upon key scenes from the book. However, if there is a will there is a way.
Read this book!
August 27, 2018 – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
I first have to admit that I want to give it to the screenwriter for the movie adaptation that is on Netflix. This is a 300+ page book and to get to the core story that is in the movie is impressive.I tip my hat to you.
As you can tell, what forced me to read the book is the movie, which I reviewed when the movie first came out.
The Book revolves around the introverted Lara Jean Song Covey. She is the middle child of Dr. Covey and the deceased Mrs. Covey. Her older sister is Margot, who goes to St. Andrew’s for college. Her younger sister is Katherine, a.k.a. Kitty to those near and dear to her heart. Kitty is the emboldened and feisty one that sends LJ’s letters out, out of spite, when she is ridiculed about her crush.
There is a lot going on in LJ’s life. She is trying to forge her own path as she takes over as the mother figure to her younger sister, she is trying to navigate the expectations, trials, and tribulations of junior year, and then there is the strife that is brought on from these letters.
These letters do the following:
- Give her a new friend to rely on.
- Force her to cross paths with a long lost love.
- Force her to lie to her sister and everyone else…
- …because she is embroiled in a John Hughes-esque plot to help someone get the love of his life back and also keep a certain someone at bay.
What she did not expect was to grow up so much over the four to five months. She confronts a lot of her issues around the life that she has created for herself. This allows her to make a huge revelation that forces her to be courageous and to follow her heart.
The changes in the adaptation from book to screen really revolve around the characters of Margot, Josh, Christine, and we meet a family member that we did not see in the movie.
Are they insane changes? Not really. Actually, the characters seem to be much more authentic in the book. Even Peter has these moments that reminds me of the guys I knew back in the day, especially when there is an agenda in play. Ultimately, we do have the LJ and PK that you fell in love with in the movie. And there are some great scenes between these two characters that are not in movie. One last thing, the parents are much more parental in the book. There is one scene in particular between LJ and PK’s Mom, in the second book, that as a Mom…I kind of did.
There is just something so endearing about YA books that revolve around love. For those that are young, it gives you an idea of what’s to come, but for those of us who are young at heart, it ignites these memories from the past. If you are like me, these types of books always manage to put a smile on my face.
So, if you are a parent to a teen, why not pick this book up for you and your kid and have a mini-book club event. You will both enjoy it.
July 8, 2018 – You may need a map to follow all the plots, characters, and genres that are in Jane, Unlimited.
We start by following a college drop out who is suffering the loss of her beloved Aunt Magnolia. Her name is called Jane and we read as she is whisked from her sad little life of making umbrellas and working at the local college to a whole new world.
Who whisks her away is an old friend to both her and her aunt.
Once she is ensconced in her old friend’s world…this story goes from a mystery to a spy thriller novel to a Fantasia-like modern Victorian horror story to a sci-fi alternate realities story with a hint of romance.
That’s a lot to wrap your head around.
I have to admit that there was a point where I got lost, but that is only because you go over scenes again and you start to question what you read.
Ultimately, it is Jane’s journey that we are following and by the end of it, you are happy that she does find what she truly wants in life.
Honestly, if you are into Terry Gilliam or Stanley Kubrick movies, than this is the book for you!
May 16, 2018 – Well done, Parzival!
Wade Owen Watts is a pop culture obsessed marginalized teen that is on the hunt for a treasure that was left posthumously by a game designer, by the name of James Donovan Halliday, who helped create a mmog that the world uses to escape its dire existence.
Children are taught in there, people work in there, and almost everyone lives the life that they can’t in real life. The world is called Oasis and it is the most valuable thing in the real world.
As you can surmise, the treasure is…the Oasis.
Wade, aka Parzival, is part of a small group of egg-hunters, aka gunters, that dedicate all of their free time to learning everything about the creator of the Oasis and about the life he led. That includes every game he played, every TV show, movie, or song he loved, and every important moment of Halliday’s life.
However, the gunters are not the only one looking for the silver egg. There is a corporation, IOI, who wants to control the Oasis.
Nolan Sorrento, leader of the IOI, will do anything to get the Oasis, but he does not know who he is dealing with.
With his fellow “gunters”, Aech, Daito, Shoto, and Artemis, Wade takes on IOI and pushes forward to complete every single puzzle that Halliday left and ultimately… Well, I will not totally give it away.
Major difference with the movie is that Artemis and Wade do not meet until the very end of the book and it makes their relationship all the more sweet.
Now, like the movie, there are a lot of pop culture references and let me tell you…if you were born in the 70’s and grew up in the 80’s…this is the book for you. But, if you are not into that, but love tales of adventure where the plucky and determined underdog overcomes the big bad with engaging characters and wonderful storytelling, get this book.
The best line to me was: “As terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness, because reality is real. Do you understand?” Yes.
P.S. As always, the book is so much more better than the movie. However, I had fun watching these characters come to live on the silver screen.
March 20, 2018 – Take one part Pride and Prejudice, one part The Bachelor and add some modern twists and toss it into the blender and you end up with Eligible, this is a modern retelling of the widely loved Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Like the original, we follow Liz as she manages her families ups and downs and tried to lead them down a path that gives them the happiness she wants them to have.
Unlike, the original…and reminding me a lot of my family, we deal with everything from prejudices due to LGBTQ issues, healthcare, debt, interracial relationships, pregnancy, fame, and fear of what fame brings.
Ultimately, this is a fun love story and it does have a happily ever after. I suggest you pick it up, but if you want my copy…DM and I will send it you!
February 28, 2018 – I openly wept for Will and Louisa, as I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes & watched the movie. Yet, as I wiped away my tears, I still had questions about what would have happened to Louisa after her trip to Paris.
Would she stay in Paris and live the life that Will would have loved?
Would she go back to her parent’s home & lick her wounds and try to figure out her next steps.
Well, in After You we find out.
Louisa gets a flat in London & a job as a waitress and that pretty much sums up her life. It is a shadow of a life. Not something anyone, especially Will, would have wanted for her.
But a fortuitous, albeit painful, accident happens & it puts Louisa on the right path.
This accident leads her to happiness, new prospects for work and love, and happiness for those that she holds near and dear.
I have to admit, that at first, I was worried that I would be crying all over the place. Well, that was not the case. We actually end up going on this journey of finally letting go of Will and finding a new life. Surprisingly, I saw a lot of my friends & family in the friends & family of Louisa. Those still looking for their reason to exist, those that are trying to figure out love, those who are just stuck in a rut. But, when Louisa realizes that the life she has is worth living and embracing…I did a “Hooray” for her.
And it keeps getting interesting for Louisa.
In Still Me, Louisa goes on her next adventure. She moves to my hometown for work. In the last book, Nathan offers an opportunity to Louisa and she takes it, after Sam tells her to take it. Sam is her man. An EMT that is still mourning the loss of his Sister, but has opened up a lot since meeting Louisa.
Even though they are initially optimistic, having a long distance relationship proves to be very hard for this couple. It takes a toll on them, but Louisa’s new job is equally as challenging.
She is working for a wealthy family, but as it is with any job…nothing is as perfect as it seems.
Toss in a handful of interesting characters that leave their mark on Louisa & you will finally see Louisa realize her place in this world and see if she gets her HEA. Both great reads!
February 24, 2018 – The Wedding Date, by Jasmine Guillory is a rom-com-esque tale of two people who meet on an elevator, make a deal and fall in love over the course of two months, but they fight it tooth and nail because one does not want to get hurt and the other does not want to hurt anyone.
What I liked about this story is that it has a successful black female and an equally successful white male as the couple we follow. However, even though race is addressed, it is never really a factor for the two characters. What is a factor is overthinking everything and being presumptuous about others feelings.
Even though there are some sexy moments, there were more moments where I was telling Alexa, the female protagonist, to get a grip. I guess that ultimately made me not sympathetic towards her. Especially in the present climate. I am woman, hear me roar was not something that was top of mind.
The storytelling reminds me of when your friends tell you how they met their spouses and their trials and tribulations of trying to make things work.
I can admit that I do that to my friends, especially when they bring something up that triggers a memory. I want to apologize for that.
However, with that said, there is a reason I picked this book up. It is an easy, quick read. But, it was also a little predictable…like a roller-coaster. There are ups and downs and you know how it will end, but you still enjoy the ride.
I suggest you do not buy this book, borrow it from a friend or go to your local library and check it out.