Posted in 2016, Review

Review: I Was A Bitch by Emily Ruben


I Was A BitchI Was A Bitch by Emily Ruben

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book from the author and I am very glad that I was selected to review! I love the idea of any amnesia story because there is this excitement around being able to start over and meet people again for the very first time. Also, you may be a changed person which is what “kind of” happened with this book.

I enjoyed the POV of Lacey and really liked how the book had started off in the hospital. I also enjoyed piecing everything back together. It was like a unique puzzle just waiting to be finished! And every time you thought that you had all the pieces, another piece was hidden and was thrown out at you and you had to start all over again.

Finn was some seriously hot stuff! I really enjoyed him and loved the times that he and Lacey shared. He really seemed to have his act together and I liked that Lacey could really be herself around him.

I have to say that there were a few times that I was internally screaming and wandering what the heck she was doing??? She had two guys and it seemed like her mind had already been made up but she tended to always string the other one along!

The pacing seemed a bit slow but that totally could just have been me since I just wanted to get to the happy ending of the book:) Thanks to Ms. Ruben for the copy! I adored every minute of it!

View all my reviews

heather

Posted in Review

Review: Visions by Kelley Armstrong


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My rating : 5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts:  

Visions is the sequel to Kelley Armstrong’s Omens which I have already reviewed so if you want to check that out you can click here. So because this is a sequel, I’m going to keep it short and vague to avoid spoilers, and because the points I’ve made on the first book, still apply to this one. (Also I didn’t include a summary to avoid spoilers, as well.) 

First thing I want to talk about is the supernatural aspect. In the first book I expected it to be more prevalent and it wasn’t. It was here and there, and there was some clues but it wasn’t really explored or explained. So people didn’t like that, but personally I really enjoyed it. In Visions the paranormal aspect is explored and it’s really interesting the way Armstrong weaved it in. It’s not fully explored, you are left with a lot of questions but there are some clues in there that you can look up and things start to make more sense.

Next, there is romance in this book and by that I mean sex. A lot of it. Usually I get really annoyed when in just about every chapter there is a sex scene, but in this case I really didn’t mind. Also there might not be that many sex scenes but, just about every time they’re together it leads to sex. I think the reason I didn’t mind as much was because I’m a huge fan of Armstrong, I really like Olivia character, and I’m pretty damn smitten with the love interest. I love him, he’s pretty darn amazing, and I love the way he treats Olivia. He’s understanding, he’s not guarded, he adds a lot of warmth to the novel and the situations that Olivia is put in, and he’s super protective, but not in an overbearing way. Also I find it super adorable how smitten they are with each other.

Finally, I will talk about Gabriel Walsh. Gabriel is my baby, I love him to death. He is such a puppy and If I could just hug him and tell everything will be okay I would. One of the things I love about theses books is even though most of the story is from Olivia POV some chapters are from the point of view of other residents of Cainsville or the “villain” of the book, and sometimes Gabriel, and those chapters are my absolute favorite. I look forward to the different POV’s, they are always interesting and give a different perspective. Being able to read in Gabriel’s POV is the best, they give you a better understanding of his character and why he does things, the way he acts. they’re amazing and sometimes they make me cry.

I recommend this series to everyone, especially if you like paranormal and mystery!

sam-signature

Posted in 2015, April, Review

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han


to all the boys I've loved beforeTitle: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Published: April, 2014 by Simon & Schuster

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Synopsis

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

My Thoughts

Where, oh where do I begin with this book? I bought it as a sort of bubble gum-fluffy-cutesy-quick breeze through read, and I wasn’t disappointed on that front. But my problem with this book is, was it really about all the boys she loved before?

I picked up this book hoping to nostalgically reconnect with the sort of crushes my younger self used to have. Instead, I got a heaping of sisterhood. Sisterhood is great and all, and I’ve always enjoyed books on that topic, but I was not expecting that in this book. Han packaged this book to be about cute young crushes when it was really about the protagonist, Lara Jean’s relationship with her older sister and said sister’s unattainable perfection.

Margot, Lara Jean’s big sister, is one of those characters who are supposed to be perfect and meticulous and fastidious and do everything correctly. I only ever got to see her through Lara Jean’s eyes, and Lara Jean basically worshiped the ground she walked for most of the book, which got really boring really fast. Lara Jean obviously idolized Margot and measured herself up against her big sister’s perfection.

I didn’t particularly like Lara Jean or Margot, but I loved their little sister, Kitty. Kitty had an acerbic tongue, which I really enjoyed. She was sharp witted, a little sassy, and a breath of fresh air in a book filled with such stuffy characters.

The actual romance aspect of the book was pretty predictable. However, I did enjoy some really cute parts between Lara Jean and two of the boys she’d loved before. Those gave me what I’d been looking for: adorable, sweet, young teenage crushes. I also liked the way Han developed the relationship between Lara Jean and Peter. I noticed how she basically recycled the camaraderie between Belly and her summer boys from her Summer Trilogy but basically switched the genders to end up with Josh and his Song girls. Somehow, it worked.

Even though the romance was predictable, it was endearing and lovely. I had a good time reading Lara Jean’s winsome letters to her crushes. I really liked her ‘fake’ relationship, and how it transformed into actual ‘love’. It was engaging.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I’ll just tell you that if you’re looking for a fluffy bunny romance alone, you’ll be looking for a diamond in the rough. It may or may not be worth it.

Honorable mention to the cover – It was so adorable and picturesque! I loved to gaze upon it during reading breaks. It looked delicious, in a cupcake-y sort of way. A+ for the cover design!

I feel the need to mention that I really appreciated the threading of Han’s Korean heritage into Lara Jean’s story, because I felt that the inclusion of her Korean culture really enriched the book.

What was up with all the food though? I strongly believe this whole book actually revolved around food. It was certainly a major theme in the story! Han never ceased to mention the food Lara Jean was making, or eating, or just thinking about. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything with that much cuisine in it (apart from a cookbook).

To sum this review up, I thought the book was delightful and charming with its romance but didn’t care much for the in-depth dwelling on Lara Jean’s sister, Margot, and was taken off guard by all the mentions of food and eating in the book.

3/5

3 stars

Posted in August, Review

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare


coHF

City of Heavenly Fire

Cassandra Clare

725 Pages

Published May 27th, 2014 by Simon and Schuster

Read June – July 2014

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WARNING: This review is not a spoiler-free zone.

Synopsis

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

My Thoughts

Wow. I can’t believe I’ve finished the entire Mortal Instruments series. I had a every emotional ride with all the characters, and this book is the best conclusion to a series I have ever read. It was a befitting finale of an epic story.

First of all, I loved reading about how Emma Carstair’s story began. Her character warmed my heart from the very beginning, and I can’t wait to see how her own story unfolds. Meeting her and the Blackthorn kids was very interesting in that they are so different from anything we’ve seen from Cassandra Clare before. Their story line was very refreshing and like a breath of fresh air. Emma’s relationship with Julian Blackthorn took center stage in her story, and their closeness was a joy to read.

Ms. Clare took her sweet time getting to the actual war part of the story, but the set-up was exquisite. The journey to the Dark War was thoroughly well-written, through various points of views, so that I could see different characters roles in the upcoming war, making the story very well-rounded.

The romances were delicious. We finally get to see how everyone stands, from Clary and Jace, to Magnus and Alec, to Simon and Izzy, to Maia and Jordan (and then Bat). It took the whole entire book to finally get to see what becomes of Magnus and Alec, but it’s well worth it. Clary and Jace finally got very intimate, in what was a very beautifully-written scene that makes me swoon just thinking about it. Simon and Izzy actually become a couple at long last. Maia’s romance is met with tragedy, but she unveils a budding new one after.

I really liked the new characters introduced, as well as old characters becoming more in-depth in the story. I thought Lily was really cool, and I enjoyed getting to know more about Raphael.

Sebastian Morgenstern is hands down the best villain ever written to me. He was downright terrifying. There was no doubt that he was a completely evil being, and he was pretty easy to hate and despise.  He was also extremely clever and actually really brilliant, so that he was a formidable foe that wouldn’t be easy at all to defeat.

I liked how Clary got to really tap into her shadowhunterness, at long last, equipping herself and taking up her family sword. She became stronger, not only in fighting, but also in her special power: rune-making. It was impressive to read how she saved herself and her friends by simply producing runes out of thin air.

The twist that led to the final defeat of Sebastian was amazing. Jace’s heavenly fire took center stage, and Clary figured out how to use her gift for runes to trick Sebastian and save the day. It was all really clever of Ms. Clare.

One thing that was really tragic, however, was how Clary lost the brother she never got to have. We only got a glimpse of what Jonathan would have been like without the demon blood, and it was heartbreaking to lose him immediately after.

The ending was loaded. There was a shocking twist, that a solution was eventually found for, which would completely change everything, but not in totally a bad way. The premise for the next series (The Dark Artifices) was set up, which I really cannot wait for. What would become of Mark Blackthorn? How would the Fey retaliate against the injustice against them by the Clave? What will Emma find out about her parents’ demise? How will Emma and Julian’s lives be like in the Los Angeles institute (as Parabatai)? How will Helen Blackthorn and Aline Penhallow fare?

My favorite part of this book is how the past, present, and future collided. We got to see Jem again!!!! He and Tessa reunite!!!! Emma meets Clary, and they develop a mutual like  and admiration for eachother!!!! Emma gets to meet her ancestor Jem!!!! Clary gets to meet Tessa and have an actual conversation with her (which included their shared experience with Herondale boys)!!!!

It was basically the perfect ending.

An easy 5 stars for me.

5/5

End Note: It’s funny how Cassandra Clare kept on stressing how lives will be lost and keeping us all tense, when the deaths weren’t even as heavy as she was hinting at. She said six people we know by name would die, instantly driving all her readers crazy with trepidation, yet those six people were as follows: someone who’s near sole purpose was to be the love interest of someone who actually didn’t really love him and got a new love interest, a psychotic villain, another clear villain, someone who’s death was a tragedy to make his character more interesting/likeable, the actual bad guy who needed to be defeated, and someone who I can’t even remember.

5-stars

kele

Posted in 2014, July, Review

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


we were liars

Title: We Were Liars

Author: Emily Lockhart

Published: May 13th 2014

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I know that Heather has already reviewed this book not too long ago, but hey, this is just a testament to how wonderful of a book it is!

Synopsis

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

My Thoughts

The Marketing

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, just intrigued by the insistence that readers must lie about the ending. So, first off, I must say what a persuasive promotional campaign that was! I simply had to know what happened that was so unexpected that I couldn’t talk about without giving away too much information, as reviews had been constantly assuring me. And you know what? Everything I’d heard about this book was completely accurate.

The End

The twist at the end hit me like a ton of bricks. My heart stopped, dropped, and rolled in anguish in my chest. To me, atleast, it had been utterly unseeable. I had no idea, absolutely no clue what the truth was, and I think that really is what made We Were Liars such a magnificent book to me. Then when I was hit with the truth, all the pieces came together and everything that I’d read all made sense.

The Romance

Apart from the shocking twist, We Were Liars contained such a sweet romance. I adored Cadence Sinclair’s love interest, Gat Patil. He’s right up there as one of my fave YA boyfriends, right with Augustus from The Fault in our Stars and Levi from Fangirl. He represented everything a summer courtship should be: sugar sweet and ocean deep. I found myself “awwwing” way too much reading him with Cadence.

The Family

I really enjoyed reading about the dysfunction that was the Sinclairs. It’s always fun to read about rich people who couldn’t even be happy with all their wealth. I was really happy that Cadence kept on seeing more and more through the veneer that was her seemingly ‘perfect’ family. We Were Liars also touched on really touchy subjects like racism and social class, in an excellent way.

The Writing

Overall, I really enjoy books that make me think and ponder about the world and life in general, and We Were Liars did just that. In a way, the Liars’ escapades were really inspiring. E. Lockhart’s lyrical prose is an added bonus. It kind of reminds me of Tahereh Mafi’s in theShatter Me trilogy, which, by the way, I adore.

The Spoiler Effect

It’s fun that I can’t really discuss this book without spoiling it, but it still leaves an insatiable urge inside of me to spill. There’s so much I want to talk about! Now to get my friends to read it . . .

5-stars

kele

Posted in June, Review

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


fangirl

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published: September 10th, 2013

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Synopsis

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts

Fangirl has been all the rage for the past year now, so I read it to see what all the fuss was about.

What I found really appealing about it was that the protagonist was very relatable to myself, because she, like me, is a fangirl.

Cath is off to college as a new freshman, and she likes to hole up in her dorm room and write fanfiction. The crazy thing about reading this story is that I felt like I was reading about myself in the future, fast forward a year and a half. I felt myself nodding along with her antisocial personality. Cath was actually living my dream: taking a creative writing class and being favored by the professor as being possibly the best writer there. She was also a serious inspiration for me to take up writing fanfiction again. This book just reminded me of the wonder of producing an entirely new storyline out of characters you love and have already enjoyed reading about.

Now, on to Levi, Cath’s love interest. I think that Levi has actually beat out Augustus Waters for me in being my favorite boy ever in a YA novel. He is everything I enjoy being around: outgoing, nice to everyone, charming, charismatic, and, to top it all off, a smiler. I was totally disagreeing with Cath when she was faulting him for being so nice at first. I loved it!

I feel like Cath and Levi’s relationship was the most real relationship I have actually read in a YA novel. It happened slowly, and not right off the bat. Levi just kind of grew on Cath, and their first kiss was literally the cutest thing I have ever read. I squealed out loud multiple times during the buildup to the kiss. The way Cath got to explore being in love with such a wonderful guy as Levi was heartwarming, and they had their very realistic ups and downs before they even got together.

If you’re looking for a relatable YA book with a very realistic romance, look no further: grab a copy of Fangirl right away!

4-stars

Kele
Kele
Posted in 2014, March, Review

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


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Anna and the French Kiss

Stephanie Perkins

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Synopsis

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 Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne 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?

My Thoughts

This is literally the most DELICIOUS book I have ever read.

I am bursting with love for this book.

This book is for anyone who has ever had a crush.

This book paints the most realistic love story I have ever read.

I fell completely, head over heels in love with the love brewing between Anna and Etienne St. Clair. I am so glad that they started out as friends. How they got to know eachother on so many levels. I learned that that is the best basis for love ever. I love how they secretly loved eachother from the beginning. I love the glimpses we got when Etienne let slip that he loves Anna. I love how Anna had to secretly pine over him because he had a girlfriend. I love how easily they could talk to eachother. I love how in sync they were. I love how I learned what love wasn’t – and that’s Anna’s projected ‘love’ of Toph. I adored the Parisien setting.

This book is hands-down the best romance novel I have ever read in my entire life.

Favorite Quotes

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”

“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?”

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”

“I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I’m not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.”

“Madame Guillotine gets mad at me. Not because I told them to shove it, but because I didn’t say it in French. What is wrong with this school?”- (Literally made me laugh out loud so hard!)

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Posted in 2013, 2014, January, Review

Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Latest Book Cover
Latest Book Cover
2013 Movie Poster
2013 Movie Poster

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

First Published 1925

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Synopsis:

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

My Thoughts:

Admittedly, I read this classic for my English class, American Literature, this semester. Yet, I felt the pressing need to talk about this riveting book as it completely captured my imagination. This holiday, I watched the modern remake of the movie based on the Great Gatsby, and it seems necessary to compare and contrast the two: The Book, and The Movie starring the striking Leonardo diCaprio.

THE BOOK

The narrator is an impressionable, analytical, judgmental young man who recently moved to the East to find glamor and adventure. He represents the young souls in all of us, eager for romance and excitement, yet judgmental of the people caught up in that lifestyle. He is the outsider, watching the lives of other people unfurl around him in New York City. Our narrator, Nick Carraway, is the voice of the readers themselves.

The main character of the story is actually the enigmatic Jay Gatsby, one of the nouveau-riche of West Egg, thrower of lavish parties and owner of a vast amount of wealth. No one could figure out where exactly the wealth came from, which intensified the mystery encompassing Gatsby. Nick Carraway is the next door neighbor who watches the parties from afar until he is invited by Gatsby himself. He is thrown into the prodigality of the Jazz Age: 1920’s America, where the only concern is having fun dancing and drinking.

On the other end is West Egg of the wealthy people of old money, inherited wealth. Here we are introduced by Nick to Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Tom is your typical Alpha male douchebag who peaked in high school/college, while Daisy can best be described as a delicate flower, ditzy and romantic.

The epic romance unfurls as Nick discovers that Daisy and Gatsby used to be lovers until they were tragically separated when Gatsby went off to war. Daisy, as a rich young and beautiful socialite, was pressured into marrying a wealthy man (Tom) by her mother. What really got me was how Gatsby had purposely gotten a mansion right opposite Daisy’s in order to be secretly near her. He threw all those parties just to get her attention, hoping that she would stop by sometime, but she never did. That was literally the cutest thing I had ever read.

So Gatsby gets Nick to invite Daisy over to HIS house for tea, so he, Gatsby, could kind of just ‘drop in’ and run into Daisy again. Gatsby was so nervous about it and wanted everything to be perfect for their run-in. On the day, Gatsby is a nervous wreck, and I just found it so adorable, how much he cared about Daisy and what she thought. When Daisy arrives, at first its awkward, but then they start talking to each other like old times, and my heart is literally bursting with joy for them and their young love renewed.

The really sad thing, however, is how Gatsby wants to repeat the past, before he went to war, and fix it by having Daisy tell him she never loved Tom, only him, and by marrying Daisy. It’s also romantic but so tragic because you can’t repeat the past, and it’s heart breaking to see Gatsby get his hopes up. Nick, like us, knows Gatsby can’t fix the past, and tells him so, but Gatsby stubbornly wants to believe that he can.

Gatsby and Daisy become clandestine lovers and Daisy so much as comes to one of Gatsby’s parties with Tom, and sneak off with Gatsby.

It all comes to a head when Gatsby goes over for tea or whatever at the Buchanans’ house, and Tom has already suspected him and Daisy of hating something. The air is steely and tense. Daisy can’t stand it (she can’t cope with difficult situations) and asks if they can go into the city. They go, and Gatsby and Tom start arguing, for goodness sake! Gatsby ends up telling Tom that Daisy never loved him, and only loved him, Gatsby. Daisy echoes Gatsby’s statement, but half-heartedly, which already rang warning bells in my mind. As the fight goes on, Daisy finally admits that she had loved Tom, once, but she loved Gatsby too, and tells Gatsby that he’s asking for too much from her. By this time, I was sick of snivelly, oh-I’m-too-fragile-for-this-I-can’t-handle-it Daisy.

The fight between Tom and Gatsby thickens as Tom reveals what he’s discovered about Gatsby. He’s a bootlegger! That was where he got all his money from! The moment Daisy realizes Gatsby’s not of her social standing, she shrinks away from him, even as he pleads with her and denies everything (lying). Daisy, so typically, practically runs back to Tom to take her away from this HORRIFYING experience and Tom revels in his victory.

To cut the long story short, Gatsby dies for Daisy, it’s all very tragically romantic, and when I was reading it I was literally so surprised because I wasn’t even sure if he was dead or not, but then he was, and it was SO sad. Daisy doesn’t so much as come to the phone when Nick tries to call her, and she doesn’t come for Gatsby’s funeral either.

So I guess the moral of this story is rich girls don’t marry poor guys, which is funny, because that is exactly what happened to the author, Scotty here. Or the moral is that Daisy was a heartbreaking bitch, Tom was an asshole, and Gatsby was a hopeless fool in love.

Great Quotes:

“I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” – Daisy, about her daughter

“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.” – Nick, about Gatsby

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” – Jordan Baker

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” – Nick

“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” – Meyer Wolfsheim, Gatsby’s bootlegger associate, about Gatsby

THE MOVIE

I know a lot of people who read the book hated the 2013 adaptation of the movie, but I LOVED it. It blew me away and I was completely enchanted from start to finish.

Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Magure
Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Magure

Tobey Maguire is Nick Carraway, and he was so brilliant at being the wallflower kind of guy, who saw everything but didn’t really do anything. He said direct quotes from the book, poignant observations from Nick in the book and their apt time in the movie. I was so thrilled!

A Great Gatsby Party
A Great Gatsby Party
The Buchanan's mansion
The Buchanan’s mansion

The effects made everything look larger than life, which is exactly how it was meant to be. It was incredible seeing the Buchanan’s house visually represented because I could see now just how wealthy they were, how huge and magnificent a house they had.The parties were over the top, so amazing, really reinforcing how brilliant they were in the book. They did a GREAT job at that.

Tom Buchanan, played by Joel Edgerton
Tom Buchanan, played by Joel Edgerton

Tom, played by Joel Edgerton, was perfect. He looked like an asshole, he talked like an asshole, he oozed hateability through every pore.

Daisy Buchanan, played by Carey Mulligan
Daisy Buchanan, played by Carey Mulligan

Daisy, played by Carey Mulligan, was flawless. She was just as I imagined her, all delicate and elegant, pale and doe-eyed, with a cute nub for a nose and classy, classic beauty. She looked like a pixie. She was just the right amount of ditzy and shrewd. Gatsby took the cake.

Jay Gatsby, played by Leonardo diCaprio
Jay Gatsby, played by Leonardo diCaprio

Leonardo diCaprio was Gatsby, and my fangirl heart melted. He was dapper, he was charming, he was arrestingly cute, and just pure Gatsby. Plus the fact that he was incredibly handsome, and dashing in suits, didn’t hurt either.

I was really happy how they basically followed the book, but with little variations here and there that didn’t take away from the surprise. Sure, it wasn’t always word-for-word like the older adaptation, but really, what did you expect in this modern day? The only thing that I didn’t like was how they didn’t show Daisy’s daughter. Apart from that, the movie was perfect.

Main Cast of the 2013 Movie
Main Cast of the 2013 Movie

4-stars

Kele

Posted in 2013, July, Review

Review of “Proxy” by: Alex London


Proxy (Proxy, #1) Find on Goodreads. Purchase on Amazon.

Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.

Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.

Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.


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Review:

 

Oh, man. This one blew my mind.

With complex characters and surprises around corners you didn't see in front of you, this book really is a must-read!

The characters: layer upon layer, I loved them all. They grew so much, and while I didn't think I'd like Knox, he really did grow on me.

The world building was off-the-chain. I didn't question a thing. London came up with all these new things, and it really just shows how creative he is. Not only does he know how to write, he gave us thrills, awesome characters, and even came up with things like being able to get a text in your palm!

The dual POVs were great.

What would I change? Honestly? I would change something. There is something here that's just killing me. What is it, you ask? This is his debut novel. Seriously. What will I read while I'm waiting for Proxy #2?!

I'd recommend this to any living, breathing human out there. You're blind? I. Don't. Care. LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK and thank me later.

It was addictive, it was thrilling, it was complex, and I really.. I just can't waste anymore of your time. Seriously. Just go read it.

I'm obsessed. That is all.

5.5


The creator of this masterpiece A.K.A. the author:

 


Alex LondonAlex London writes books for adults, children and teens. At
one time a journalist who traveled the world reporting from conflict zones and
refugee camps, he now is a full time novelist living in Brooklyn. You can visit
Alex London at www.calexanderlondon.com
 
 
 
 
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NOTE: This was up for about two minutes on Tuesday *sigh*, so if you already saw it I’m sorry!

Posted in 2013, Giveaways!, July, Review

Review of “Dirty Little Secret” by: Jennifer Echols


Dirty Little SecretFind on Goodreads. Purchase on Amazon. Purchase from B&N.

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.
Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.


Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

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Review:

Thank you Edelweiss for the e-arc! :)
Let me start by saying that I love Country music, and I really loved that this book focuses a lot on it.

I've heard soo much about Jennifer Echols, and I had rather high expectations because of that. She didn't disappoint!

Everything & everyone felt really real.

Sam though.. let's just say he could be quite the jerk. He did have some swoon-worthy moments though! Also, I loved his honesty.

It was really great to watch Bailey grow throughout the story. Her parents were pretty horrible to her, and she really was just shoved under the rug. She was flawed, she was bitter, she was.. like I would have been. And I really appreciated that.

Sam & Bailey together: I had a really love/hate relationship with these moments. Sometimes I felt so attached.., but other times I wanted to shoot someone (Sam in particular).

Basically, this book gave me lots of feels. Seriously. I'd recommend it to fans of her writing (obviously?!), fans of Country music, and anyone looking for a complex, wonderfully-written contemporary romance.

I definitely plan to read her other books now! :)

 4.5
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About the Author

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

www.jennifer-echols.com

 
This review is part of a blog tour, see the full schedule here.

This review is also my way of participating in Jennifer Echols week!

Jennifer Echols Week

Giveaway can be found here! Good luck! :)

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