Quick recap for you Boyfriend List newbies : Ruby Oliver wrote a list. Of ever boy she'd ever kissed (orHow wonderful it is to love a book like this.
Quick recap for you Boyfriend List newbies : Ruby Oliver wrote a list. Of ever boy she'd ever kissed (or had a relationship with). Then her bestfriend stole her boy. Now she's left with no more joy. Now Ruby sees a therapist. About panic attacks that come forthwith. Ruby's life is now a mess. You have to read to know the rest.
*congratulates self for impromptu rhyming*
The thing I think most everyone is going to comment on is Ruby Oliver's freakish realisticness -- except I think that it's realistic only because it's written by a real person who is skilled at coming across the right. Coupled with heaping doses of painful awkwardness. Which make readers cringe at first and then feel so happy later, because they are not the only ones who readily consume painful awkwardness.
But that's something anyone could say. So I'm going to go into the metatext. This is a people-centric book, and even though I love talking about the deliciousness at Ruby's bake sale, people are much more interesting, which is even more true when the people are more people-like.
Good thing this is a realistic book, then.
Going on. If Ruby Oliver were a play, then I have loved and hated all of the lead parts. And when she was talking about her Great Dane, and something about how when the good outweighs the bad, you stick by people even though they can be a huge pain in the butt sometimes (Yes, I'm too lazy to dig back for the direct quote. Sue me.), my reaction was something along the lines of:
yes all the things how are you so wise when the majority of your vocabulary consists of things like Poncho! and Mocha Latte? why are you so awesomely flawed and why so I think this chick lit has so much value on learning about life it's like not fluff at all must read on!
And it got me thinking about how all the conflict is really a product of constantly shifting perspectives. Like, I hated Nora when she was stupid enough to be like, you have to stop liking him even though you can't help it because it's all your fault and besides, I got dibs but then I was thinking about how if I was Nora, then I'd be angry and say stupid things to get what I want. The metatext is that nobody's going to get what they want but they'll try anyway. That's how I've loved and hated the characters -- they do all these terrible things and you think for a minute and then it feels justified and you see how they're "flawed people worth loving" a la John Green the Quote Machine.
So yeah. Lots of flawed people and conflicting emotions about everyone and middle school feelings like But does he like like her? that make you feel stupid except you don't care because this book is awesome. Not that everyone will feel the same. But that's how I feel.
Side note: I'll admit that I had a fangirl moment when I saw the likes of John Green/Libba Bray/Maureen Johnson in the acknowledgements. And I'll also admit that I read the acknowledgements. My favorite is Libba Bray's in Going Bovine ("If I don't mention them, they might not invite me back for dinner. And I like dinner"). Sue me....more
One thing I did realize, though, as I smirked at yet another romance in yet another summer with yet another sad tint (see TheUnashamedly predictable.
One thing I did realize, though, as I smirked at yet another romance in yet another summer with yet another sad tint (see The Summer I Turned Pretty), was that corniness and bad puns was not an excuse to brush something off. Surprisingly, I learned a thing or two from Second Chance Summer.
1) Don't run away from things when it gets hard. Life is about making bad things better, not about letting things go from bad to worse.
2) As if you couldn't piece it together from the title, give people second chances. It makes the world less sucky.
3) Raspberry sorbet and coconut ice cream. Must try sometime.
Those are my thoughts.
EDIT: There is this quote in the book. "You want to know something about gymnastics? . . . The things is that people only get hurt -- really hurt -- when they're trying to play it safe. That's when people get injured, when they pull back at the last second because they're scared. They hurt themselves and other people." Corny but deep....more
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is really about this Green Teen named Jenna who is an environmentalist extraordinaire. Jenna goes to live with her godmother for the summer and is all ready to paint the town with solar panels and recycling campaign when she meets real nature people. It sounded like a pretty hilarious plotline to me.
Then we meet the characters. This is the part that really bugged me. They just weren't very likable. Jenna was, ahem, very persistent, which got a bit annoying. Then she hangs out with some outdoorsy guys and all's well until she just starts crushing on one of them completely out of the blue. I'd really just have liked her to lay off on the insta-love.
So I picked up Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots for some good chick lit. BOY, WAS I SORELY MISTAKEN. You know how people gush about how awesome it is when writers really figure out good writing? Yeah, that doesn't generally happen in the first novel. I liked learning how much Abby McDonald developed as a writer, but I really felt like I was backtracking on this one :/...more
GLORY HALLELUJAH. SOME GOOD CHICK LIT. FINALLY. No whining girls. No pathetic pining. And absolutely no inane hysterical rants. YESSSSSS
Okay, so the bGLORY HALLELUJAH. SOME GOOD CHICK LIT. FINALLY. No whining girls. No pathetic pining. And absolutely no inane hysterical rants. YESSSSSS
Okay, so the blurb of this book left me kind of skeptical at first. A girl who decides to use self-help books to get her to stop hopelessly pining for a guy? It sounds sketchy, and cheesy, and overly . . . peppy. But the characters are surprisingly real. There's no set stereotype or generalization. Again, this is some hands-down good chick lit to add to my list (which already includes My Most Excellent Year, The Boys Next Door, Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys, etc.)
The surprising thing is that this book is less about falling in love. It's actually more about falling out of it. That doesn't mean that its any less charming, though. Getting Over Garrett Delaney is still the perfect book to kick off my summer. If anyone's itching for a more lighthearted fix, go read this book :D...more
This book was perfect. Too perfect. Creepy perfect.
I don't care. I love it anyway.
Before anyone goes off on a rant about the stupidity of "perfectionThis book was perfect. Too perfect. Creepy perfect.
I don't care. I love it anyway.
Before anyone goes off on a rant about the stupidity of "perfection," let me assure you that I am right with you on that one, buddy. I'm only talking about perfection in this genre. The young-adult-romance-realistic-fiction-chick-lit-novel genre. Clear?
Glad we got that straight.
I should be reading Great Expectations right now for school, but Anna and the French Kiss has a face that just says, "I'm super cute and you will love me!" It was all of the above. And it was superb.
One thing I've been thinking about is how Anna is a neat freak. I know it's not really an important detail, character-wise, but the story is like that. Clean and neat and flawlessly adorable. The feeling I get is watching one of those movies where nobody ever breaks character. Not a hair is out of place, every development locks in with everything that happened before - no confusion, few messes, sealed with lots and lots of that-four-letter-word.
Perkins turns the Cliché-O-Meter up to full power in this book - I mean, how perfect is Paris? - and as tired as I am of cliché, even I am not immune to its charm. The overload, I think, is why I like this book so much.
Aargh, I just want to smother my face in this book and be happy. That would be lovely....more