This story was a fun and quick escape. If you can't hop a plane to Jolly England, consider it a consolation prize.
I was seeking some comfort-foodesqueThis story was a fun and quick escape. If you can't hop a plane to Jolly England, consider it a consolation prize.
I was seeking some comfort-foodesque chick-lit, what I found was a much deeper story than I first realized. Hadley is on the way to her father's wedding. As she misses her scheduled flight, it's clear that the first time she will meet her to-be stepmother will be the day of the wedding. Talk about awkward.
Being of the Lindsey Lohan "Parent Trap" generation, I imagined that something would go wrong with the wedding, or the father would suddenly realize that the to-be stepmother is a horrible person, or she'd just skip the whole wedding to hang with the sweet guy on the plane.
Refreshingly, the story took a braver approach. Through the next twenty-four hours, Hadley, aided by Oliver, the boy on the plane who is easy to talk to, realizes the importance of facing the family awkwardness, having unconditional love for one's family, and supporting the happiness of others. Wonderfully mature. And although the true statistical probability of love at first sight might be slim, the story handles meeting an amazing someone new like a pro.
I hope to read more from Jennifer E. Smith in the future!...more
If you liked "Perks of Being A Wallflower," this book could definitely be labeled as "what-to-read-next" on the bookstore shelf. So much so, that I woIf you liked "Perks of Being A Wallflower," this book could definitely be labeled as "what-to-read-next" on the bookstore shelf. So much so, that I would be very shocked to learn that the author wasn't a personal fan of "Perks of Being A Wallflower," both novels share so many of the same elements. Whereas, "Perks" is a retro coming-of-age story, "Love Letters to the Dead" follows a teen girl as she writes to dead celebrities to work out her issues with her boyfriend and her sister's suicide.
I was initially drawn to the book because I thought writing to Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, etc., was a unique concept. I'm an average Nirvana fan, but I know several obsessed fans. I thought, perhaps, the character would be a huge fan, have OCD, or Asperger's Syndrome. However, the people she writes to were mainly her sister's favorites. Throughout the book it's as though the character is trying to take on her sister's personality. While writing to these dead celebrities, in a way, she's indirectly writing to her sister. She gets mad at them because she's mad at her sister. It's one of the ways she works through her grief.
Because of the subject matter, it was difficult read at times. It's heartbreaking enough to be taken into the mind of someone who misses their sister and hero. Yet, there was added pain with a back-and-forth immature teen relationship, friends with problems, family trouble, and abuse (emotional and physical). Not for the faint-of-heart or impatient. Probably would be helpful to teens in similar situations....more
Hilarious and sweet read! Probably, the best Harlequin manga I've read...and Harlequin manga has been one of my guilty pleasures for years.
A lot of tiHilarious and sweet read! Probably, the best Harlequin manga I've read...and Harlequin manga has been one of my guilty pleasures for years.
A lot of times Harlequin manga can come off as overly dramatic soap opera-y. Other times, they seem to suffer in translation. Yet, To Marry a Stranger is very well done. Although the initial meeting of the heroine and hero is a little far fetched, it's not more so than most romantic comedies...and certainly not more so than most shojo comics. It's sorta Beauty and the Beast-esque. Fun....more
Overall, more unique, quirky goodness can be found in Rainbow Rowell's newest work. Having also read Fangirl this year, I'm really getting a sense ofOverall, more unique, quirky goodness can be found in Rainbow Rowell's newest work. Having also read Fangirl this year, I'm really getting a sense of Rowell's style. I like and can identify with her nerdy, somewhat nonconventional main female characters.
At first, Landline reads like a slice-of-life of a marriage with young children that is on the rocks. There's a real sense of struggle and sadness in the story. Of wanting to do what's right for family but also wanting to advance career goals. Later, magic phone calls add an element of fantasy. For me, the magic calls were really downplayed. I assumed the story would center on the awesomeness of this power, but I really have to stress that the focus of this story is maintaining and strengthening marriage. I was expecting a little more of a romantic comedy, so I also have to stress that the story is fairly serious. It has funny moments, but also has lots of stress and family disfunction.
Most of all, I enjoyed the sweet holiday ending. It was classic Christmas movie worthy....more
Picked up because I previously enjoyed another Kristin Hannah novel. At first I was worried I wouldn't identify with the characters, because they're oPicked up because I previously enjoyed another Kristin Hannah novel. At first I was worried I wouldn't identify with the characters, because they're older than what I normally read and in more complex life situations. However, Hannah has yet to fail to draw me into her stories. Her characters and their relationships are full of interesting layers.
Sibling relationships can be complicated, especially half-sisters with a large age gap. Throw in a undependable mother and hardship, and you've got a life-time of therapy. Meghann Dontess happens to be in therapy. As a divorce attorney, she hates the fact that her, somewhat-estranged, younger sister is rushing into marriage with a man she barely knows. But Meghann is forced to deal with the situation and some of the skeletons in her closet as she plans her sister's dream wedding....more
Prior to this book, most of the new adult I've read has been light on story and heavy on steamy scenes (good or bad depending on what you're looking fPrior to this book, most of the new adult I've read has been light on story and heavy on steamy scenes (good or bad depending on what you're looking for, I guess). If you're looking for a deep and emotional new adult, with family drama, Left Drowning is a good choice.
It successfully captures some of the loneliness of college, overcoming personal challenges, and learning the meaning of unconditional love. In a nutshell, Blythe has a complicated history and family life. As she struggles through finding people to identify with, she randomly meets an outgoing drama major, and later the rest of his family (four siblings, if I remember correctly, all in college). She falls for the drama major's brother, but both of their pasts and families are complex. Perhaps too complex to make it work, or could it?
Personally, I didn't care for the love interest, Chris, much. His moodiness got old. I was rooting for Blythe and the drama major from the start. But the drama, complications, and side plots kept me reading....more
Amazingly refreshing! Fangirl is truly a contemporary novel for the young book nerd at heart.
The main character/fangirl, Cather, writes online male slAmazingly refreshing! Fangirl is truly a contemporary novel for the young book nerd at heart.
The main character/fangirl, Cather, writes online male slash fanfiction for a Harry Potter-esque series called Simon Snow. Although I’m not personally a fan of slash fanfiction, because I’m too much of a canon nerd, I can appreciate Cather’s obsession through the eyes of friends who do enjoy it and many random people I’ve encountered online. I think it’s safe to say there’s some slash fanfiction in nearly every fandom.
The novel takes place as Cather starts and struggles with college. Her long-distance relationship isn’t going well, her twin sister wants to ditch her to meet “cool” people, her roommate seems to hate her, her roommate’s boyfriend is annoying, and for the first time she’s balancing writing fanfiction and an actual fiction writing class.
Four stars, cause I felt that the story ended too quickly! For me, things were left wide open…almost begging for a sequel. Does Cather succeed in writing something other than fanfiction? Does she move on from her fandom? (*Trying to word this without spoilers*) Does she find a guy whom she has more in common with as college goes on? (I wasn't a big fan of her love interest.) So many questions, I felt like there needed to be one more chapter or an epilogue at least. ...more
Princess Ever After is a fun, light read. The main character, Regina, is a Tallahassee girl with a hick side, who just recently left her job as a CPAPrincess Ever After is a fun, light read. The main character, Regina, is a Tallahassee girl with a hick side, who just recently left her job as a CPA to restore cars. I enjoyed that her character traits and background were both strong and original. I don't see too many female mechanics in any romance genre.
Little does Regina know, her Gram was actually a princess who had to flee her country, making Regina the rightful heir to the throne. Although the idea has been done before and is a little far-fetched, Rachel Hauck successfully makes the plot as realistic as possible. Regina has doubts, identity issues, and not everyone in the country is ready to welcome her as the monarch with open arms.
The romance in the novel was very sweet, especially if you like love-at-first-sight. Regina and her love interest, Tanner, seemed to be drawn to one another from the beginning.
Personally, I recommend reading the first book in the Royal Wedding Series, "Once Upon A Prince," before picking this one up. I think the politics and history of the imaginary countries of Hessenberg and Brighton are best explained in "Once Upon A Prince," helping the reader to understand why the stakes are so high for Regina and the other characters in this novel.
I hope this isn't the last book in the series. Maybe Hauck will write about the younger sister of Susanna from "Once Upon A Prince" or the twin girls from this story, aging them up, with cameos from other characters....more
Debbie Macomber's work is like comfort food. Sweet, enjoyable, know-what-you're-getting goodness. However, I was really disappointed in this story's hDebbie Macomber's work is like comfort food. Sweet, enjoyable, know-what-you're-getting goodness. However, I was really disappointed in this story's hero. The hero and heroine had a love-hate relationship, but the hero was too ornery and ignorant for my taste. That said, I ADORED the heroine. I was cheering for her and her "city slicker" boyfriend so badly, lol. One of the rare cases where I liked the second love interest better than the first....more
For me, Austenland started great, veered off on a boring course for a while, and finally got back on track in the end.
So, in a nutshell, a single, DarFor me, Austenland started great, veered off on a boring course for a while, and finally got back on track in the end.
So, in a nutshell, a single, Darcy-obsessed chick is given the trip of a lifetime to Austenland, a regency themed vacation, similar to winning on role on PBS’ Regency House Party (for those of you awesome enough to have watched that :) ). I personally would LOVE if such a place existed. I am not ashamed to admit that I have googled “regency fair” to see if renaissance-fair style Austen festivals exist (none near me).
But the Darcy-obsessed chick gets to Austenland…and it’s all very anti-climatic. She’s bored. Instead of being happy, taking in all the details, checking out the costume-clad Darcy wannabes, she wants to go back to her normal life. Because the character was bored, I was bored. A less dedicated reader might have sat the book aside.
However, if you stick with it, it DOES get better. Plot twist I didn’t see coming. And a happy ending that saved the whole book.
Sadly, the movie isn't showing near me. So I guess I'll be waiting on DVD....more
I know that an ordinary girl meeting a prince and falling in love with him is far-fetched. However, Rachel Hauck actually took the fairy-tale stereotyI know that an ordinary girl meeting a prince and falling in love with him is far-fetched. However, Rachel Hauck actually took the fairy-tale stereotype and made it believable and refreshing. She was inspired by Will and Kate’s romance and marriage. The result is a great, clean romance about a recently dumped young woman, Susanna, and the kind stranger who comes to her rescue. Their romance progresses slowly but realistically, from kind stranger to friend to heart’s desire.
I was really impressed that the novel begins before Susanna is dumped and doesn’t skip over the emotional scene. Hauck doesn’t shy away from material a lot writers would consider difficult to get right.
I also enjoyed that the book is set on St. Simon’s Island, a real island on the Georgia coast. I wasn’t able to take a vacation this summer, but this was the next best thing. I was surprised to learn that Hauck doesn’t live on St. Simon’s, she really captured it.
Definitely a Rachel Hauck fan now. I'm planning to pre-order the next book in this series: "Princess Ever After." ...more
All the elements I loved about "My Life Next Door" were there (beach, summer, interesting family), but for me this novel dragged. Gwen and Cass (and GAll the elements I loved about "My Life Next Door" were there (beach, summer, interesting family), but for me this novel dragged. Gwen and Cass (and Gwen and other guys in the book) have a history, but that history was slow to be revealed. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if it had been New Adult instead of YA. (edit: to clarify: from my perspective, the characters had a lot of adult responsibility to be high school students. For me, it would have worked better if this had been a summer between college instead of high school. I could have better believed the maturity and bitterness)....more
I wrote some fanfiction as a teenager, so I was curious about the “it-started-as-a-Twilight-fanfic” buzz behind this book. I was disappointed. I thinkI wrote some fanfiction as a teenager, so I was curious about the “it-started-as-a-Twilight-fanfic” buzz behind this book. I was disappointed. I think fanfiction is a great starting point as practice for aspiring authors, however, this story was not far enough removed from its fanfiction days to be enjoyable for me.
First off, unless you enjoyed Twilight, don't even bother with this book. Minus the sex scenes, it reads like a bad cliché teenage romance. I'm talking a thousand times below the quality of Twilight. Ana is a senior in college, but it would be really easy to confuse her with a senior in high school (or even middle school in the 16 and pregnant world we live in) because she's never been kissed, never had a boyfriend, never even been attracted to the opposite sex at all. Boys are just friends to her. That is until she meets Christian, and he can't take his eyes off her, and oh my gosh, she might be attracted to a guy for the first time! The story goes from one extreme, no interest in guys at all, to doing everything under the sun with a guy she just met.
Secondly, I think Stephanie Meyer would have a really good case to sue the author of this book. The main characters of “Fifty Shades of Grey” (again, minus the sex scenes) still have too similar personalities, characteristics, and backstories to the main Twilight characters. Ana bites her lip a lot, she drives a junk car, she likes classic literature, she works at a hardware store...not far removed from Bella's sporting good store (both unusual places for your average, inexperienced chick to work), a relative of the store owner really wanted to date her...just like Bella's Mike?, she has a best guy friend named Jose...Jacob, anyone?, she has an unusual family situation cause she lived with her step-dad...huh, guess the author didn't think we'd catch on if she made it more complicated than Bella living with her dad, and she obviously doesn't have a typical daughter mom relationship because her mom doesn't come to her graduation. And Christian plays piano, loves classical music, is a stalker, warns her that he's dangerous, is overprotective, is adopted, has adopted siblings, and his mom is a doctor...wow Edward's dad is a doctor, too.
So, in conclusion, I feel like the story might have been okay if the author had went through a few more drafts and created original material. But I guess they just wanted to be lazy and ride the “Twilight-fanfiction buzz wave” until it gives out. If your interested in erotic romance, please go buy something original by an author who has worked hard with her own ideas, instead of this. I forced myself to finish “Fifty Shades of Grey”, got rid of my copy, and I do not plan to read the next books in the series. I'm going to pretend it ended with Ana leaving Christian forever and living happily without him....more