I Was Here made me cry. And I'm one of those readers who tends to rate a book that made me cry higher than I would rate it had I not cried. So, when II Was Here made me cry. And I'm one of those readers who tends to rate a book that made me cry higher than I would rate it had I not cried. So, when I finished I Was Here and realized that I was still bawling my eyes out, I was thinking of rating this book four stars. But upon further reflection, I realized that there were some things in here that bothered me. I decided to stick with the rating I would have given I Was Here had it not made me cry, so it gets three stars.
The Good: Again, this book made me cry. So, that means I felt something for the situation that's going on and that's a good thing. I loved the angsty relationship between Cody and her mom. I also loved Cody's relationship with the Garcia's, particularly Meg's little brother. However, my absolute favorite part of I Was Here were Meg's college roommates. I had the biggest soft spot for sweet, bubbly Alice, really loved Richard, loved Harry, and was endlessly intrigued by Tree. In fact, I wanted to know more about all of them and would have liked to have them featured more.
The Eh: I Was Here sort of exemplified the feeling I have for Forman's books (the ones that I've read which is really just If I Stay and a short story included in My True Love Gave to Me) and that is that they tend to have pacing issues. I felt it while reading If I Stay. I felt it even more while reading I Was Here. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the overabundance of details that don't really add much to the overall plot. Maybe it's just that it feels as though Forman loses steam in the middle. Either way, there always comes one moment where I contemplate putting the book down because it just starts getting boring. And this happened with I Was Here.
The Bad: The romance in I Was Here killed this book for me. I'm of the opinion that you don't mess with your BFF's boyfriend (ex or otherwise) and you also don't mess with a BFF's crush, especially when that BFF slept with that crush and that guy was a huge dick to her afterwards. There's a code. You don't break that code. But Cody didn't break the code, she freaking demolished it. Plus, Ben reminded me of Jess in Gilmore Girls...I hated that douchebag with every fiber of my being. Ben was an asshole. And that whole good girl reforms bad boy thing is so overdone...and is annoying in every situation it pops up in. I've never seen it done in a way that doesn't infuriate me. I Was Here was no exception.
Overall, I thought that I Was Here was just okay. After a bit of a slog, it did end up being a page-turner and it was a massive tearjerker. However, there were still definite pacing issues, and the romance was just so aggravating and cliche. Despite my issues with this book, I still think I'll check out more of Forman's books, mainly because I still have Where She Went on my shelf and because I really did love that short story she wrote in My True Love Gave To Me....more
I'm a total sucker for a good friendship, summer read. So, I was very excited to read Proof of Forever...especially when you add in that this book isI'm a total sucker for a good friendship, summer read. So, I was very excited to read Proof of Forever...especially when you add in that this book is being sort of compared to The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants (and I LOVE that book/series) just with a time-travel aspect to it. And then I opened the first page, and saw that the author had a Sarah Dessen quote in it and so my expectations kind of sky-rocketed after that because just like I love The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, I tend to love Dessen's books. However, upon finishing Proof of Forever, I found myself slightly disappointed in it. It was okay, but nothing much more than that.
The Good: I absolutely loved Joy. She definitely seemed like the sweetest of the bunch and I found her to be such an enigmatic character. In fact, I probably would have liked Proof of Forever slightly more if it had focused mostly on her. I also really loved Zoe and I identified with her feeling of being slightly stuck and feeling as though you're not moving forward. The romance aspect with these two characters was also really sweet, for the most part. Proof of Forever was also really engaging and I didn't have any desire to put it down.
The Not-So-Good: I really couldn't stand Luce or Tali at all. They were such insufferable characters and so prone to the dramatics. Tali was completely self-involved and remained that way through 80 percent of this novel. Luce was entirely way too wishy-washy for my liking. She was up, she was down, she was all-around. Towards the end, I felt bad for her boyfriend, Andrew because this chick had no idea which way was up or what the hell she wanted, but had no problem stringing him along for the ride.
However, the biggest problem I had was that despite the fact that Proof of Forever was touted as a "friendship" book, it focused very little on the friendship between Tali, Luce, Zoe, and Joy. And I'm not all that into comparing two novels, but seeing as how this book does the comparison first, I'll get over it. One of the things that I really loved about The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants was that despite those four girls spending the summer apart and spending so much of the book not being together, I was also highly invested in their friendship and I always felt it. There was also a theme of self-discovery in Sisterhood that happened that summer with the girls through different circumstances. My main issue with Proof of Forever was that while it also had a theme of self-discovery, each of these girls discovered who they were by having a romantic encounter. In TSOTP, while two main characters discovered themselves through romance, only one of those was actually about the romance while the second was about a bigger issue. But with Proof of Forever, the author focused more on the romances that these girls were having as opposed to the connections they were supposed to be making towards each other. So much that when they actually did reconnect, it didn't really ring true to me. After 2 years of not speaking, I'm supposed to believe that these four girls are now going to be the best of friends because they went back in time for five days and didn't really spend all that much time together? Nope, sorry, not really buying it.
So, overall, I thought that the Proof of Forever was just okay. I really would have loved it if it had focused more on the friendship with a bit of romance thrown in as opposed to a romance novel with a bit of friendship within it. I still think it deserves a read and I liked it enough to check out the author's future novels....more
Trouble is a Friend of Mine is one highly unrealistic, more than slightly improbable book. Ninety-nine percent of what happens in this book would neveTrouble is a Friend of Mine is one highly unrealistic, more than slightly improbable book. Ninety-nine percent of what happens in this book would never happen in real life. I'm sure that if go into "nitpick" mode, I'll be able to come up with tons of things that don't work and plenty of complains when it comes to the crime aspect of this book. But I'm not going to get into that. Why? Because Trouble is a Friend of Mine was one hell of an entertaining read.
I'm a sucker for a genuinely funny book and Trouble is a Friend of Mine is genuinely funny. Plus, the characters are snarky, cynical, and tend to have tons of snappy dialogue, so yes, I kinda, sort of loved most of this book. I really loved Zoe and while I didn't get why she would go to crazy lengths to help out Digby, I loved her not-taking-shit-from-mostly-anybody attitude. I keep reading reviews that compare Digby to BBC's Sherlock with some saying that it's merely a comparison while others say it's a blatant rip-off. Well, I've never seen Sherlock, so I came into Digby with fresh eyes and due to this I really enjoyed his character and most of the laugh-out-loud moments I had with this book were courtesy of him. The other supporting characters were all equally great. Even Sloane who could come off as a cartoon-type of mean girl and become completely overbearing was still somewhat of a delight and she was extremely hilarious.
The reason Trouble is a Friend of Mine gets four stars instead of five is because it did run on a little long. Some of it was slightly repetitive and it did get a little bogged down towards the end. I also would have liked a more concrete ending as I'm not sure if there's going to be another installment after this. Those teeny, tiny flaws didn't dampen my enjoyment of Trouble is a Friend of Mine too much.
Overall, I really liked and highly recommend Trouble is a Friend of Mine. It was so entertaining and it had a sort of 80s teen movie feel to it that I totally loved. This book was also extremely hilarious, with characters that you just have to love and root for, in circumstances that are entirely realistic, but by no means boring. Again, highly recommended....more
My thoughts on Bewitching are all over the place. A part of me is like "Eh, it could've been better", yet anotheHere there be some (minor) spoilers...
My thoughts on Bewitching are all over the place. A part of me is like "Eh, it could've been better", yet another part of me is like "Dude, you got through this book in a few hours. When was the last time THAT happened?" And the second part could not be more true. See, I've been going through a massive reading slump for the past week, which doesn't seem like a big deal. But it is. I've picked up about a dozen books this past week, read a few pages of them, then put them down in a huff and proceeded to read massive amounts of fanfic, learn how to do the Cups song, watched Defiance over and over again, and basically do anything and everything that was not actually read. And then I was actually worried about picking up a book I've been anticipating for a while because what if this reading slump made me not like it? However, I decided to just pick up this book and keep reading. And it worked. I got through it, my interest in it never waned, and I'm actually excited about reading again...despite the fact that this book was highly infuriating.
The Good: Kendra is awesome. I've known this since reading Beastly years ago. And she was equally as awesome in Bewitching as she was in Beastly. Most of the chuckles I got from this book came from her. I just love her and would love to read more about her. This book was also a massive page-turner. I had absolutely no desire to put it down and when I had to take my requisite eating break, all I could think about was picking it back up. I'm a sucker for angsty sister relationships, so while the relationship between Emma and Lisette was the farthest thing from sweet, I did like the angst factor in it.
The Not-So-Good: With exception of Kendra, every single character in Bewitching was an asshole. I couldn't stand any of them. Lisette, I get. We're supposed to hate her. Emma, however, was the one that shocked me, especially since I really liked her at the beginning. She was a dorky bookworm outsider and was massively sympathetic. However, as the book went on, she got more and more pathetic. Now, I'm not talking about how pathetic she was when it came to Lisette (seeing as how that was somewhat understandable), but rather how pathetic she was when it came to Warner and excusing his shitty behavior. This is a guy who claims to love her and then cheats on her with her stepsister. But no. It's Lisette's fault that he strayed. And what killed me was that she was talking about how rom-coms are degrading to women because the woman is always so weak in it and meanwhile, she's trying to do everything humanly possible to get her cheater boyfriend back because she loves him so much and hopes that he can forgive her for not mentioning something that wasn't that important. Seriously?! All I could think while reading that was "Sit down, you odious creature!" (I've also been watching way too much of Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows during my reading slump). So after all that, I was so over her and her issues.
Another thing that I found slightly off-putting in Bewitching was the breaks it took from the main narrative. I understand that the purpose of the intermissions was to get to know more about Kendra, but I didn't really get to know that much about Kendra and was subjected to deviations of fairytales that I had absolutely no interest in. If I wasn't going to learn more about Kendra, than I would've preferred the author stuck to Lisette and Emma's story. Although I do think it rather odd that Bewitching is subtitled The Kendra Chronicles, yet we get very little Kendra. Not cool...
Overall, I thought that Bewitching was just okay. However, I owe it massive amounts of kudos because it got me out of my reading slump. So, I still somewhat recommend it, but I still think that Beastly was so much better....more
I've read tons and tons of YA books. There have been some that stood out, there have been more that were merely okay, and there have been so many onesI've read tons and tons of YA books. There have been some that stood out, there have been more that were merely okay, and there have been so many ones that were disappointing. This is why I'm always apprehensive when I start reading a YA book. Important questions pop up, like "Am I going to like the protagonist?" "Is the romance going to be eye-roll worthy?" "Is there going to be a freaking love triangle?!" But every once in a while, I read a novel that makes reading tons of bad YA worth it because once you do find that golden book, you appreciate it all the more. And that was me while reading The Start of Me and You.
A lot of those tons of YA novels that I have read have been fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi. But, guys, contemporary YA novels is where it's at! And The Start of Me and You just reminded me of that. I just loved so much of The Start of Me and You. Paige (besides having some annoying moments that I'm giving her a pass on) was such a great character. For the most part, she was sympathetic, always a great friend, flawed, and had this sort of goofy side (mostly shown with her thoughts on Ryan) that were just extremely chuckle-worthy and that endeared me to her. I also loved Paige's friendship with Kayleigh, Morgan, and Tessa and wanted to know so much more about them. Ryan and Max were also great characters. Max was so cute and dorky and Ryan turned the mean-popular-guy trope on its head. He was so goofy and funny. Also, despite the adoration one of the male characters felt for Paige, he never once veered into whiny territory (which annoys me to no end). And Ms. Pepper. Sigh. She was my absolute favorite character in The Start of Me and You. She was just so funny and great and just....sigh.
The romance in The Start of Me and You was sweet. I'm someone who's generally annoyed by fictional romances, but this one didn't bother me one bit. While it was slightly cliche and predictable, it still felt very real and was very cute. And trust me when I say that that's high freaking praise coming from cynical me.
The reason that The Start of Me and You gets four stars instead of five was that I felt that there was a lot crammed in here. You had Kayleigh's issues with her boyfriend. Tessa had issues with her parents. Morgan's issues with Kayleigh, Paige's grandmother, Paige's romance, Paige's parents had problems to work through, Paige also had tension with her sister...It was a little much. While the book was adequately long enough to deal with all of these issues, it sort of stalled for me in the last third of the book.
Overall, I really liked The Start of Me and You. It was sweet and cute, but still had tons of serious and real issues involved that took it from typical summer fluff book into a summer fluff book with a lot of depth (and AWESOME Ms. Pepper). The Start of Me and You is definitely a keeper for me and one that I plan to reread in the future....more