Manhattan Beach

Welcome, or welcome back, folks!

This book. I honestly don’t know how to feel about this book. The plot was so great in theory: a girl whose dad disappears out of nowhere and set during World War II. Both of these mentioned in the summary had me so excited for the book. The first, oh, 150 were pretty solid, and then, out of nowhere, the book slowly becomes just okay. Once again, I was very sad because of the promising plot.

I never really felt any certain way about the main character, Anna. She was likable, but I didn’t think she was lovable.

I’ll be honest; I have very high standards of two things: 1. Characterization (which is definitely from being an ex-English teacher) and 2. Ending.

Characterization was there, but not on a personal level.

Ending. Well ending is a different story. If you ask anyone remotely close to me how particular I am about endings, you’d get an eye roll and an irritated tone. (It took me a literal week to figure out how I felt about the ending of the newest Great Gatsby movie). So the ending: were things resolved? Yes. Were they to my satisfaction? Not really. And I honestly don’t know why because it’s not a “happy ever after” (zero spoiler!) which is what I like. But it was also a happy ever after. Basically, everything gets somewhat resolved. I just wasn’t a huge fan.

If you can’t tell, It’s been over a week since I’ve finished it, and I’m still going back and forth!

Honestly, I can’t recommend it or not recommend it. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads (if we aren’t friends on Goodreads, let’s be friends!) and I’m sticking to staying right in the middle. This is a novel that you will have to read yourself to decide.

The Princess Saves Herself in This One

If you have noticed, I read a lot of different stories, and, I’m sure as we have all experienced, we get stuck in that novel’s world and can’t move on. Aka a book hangover.

So I devised a plan that not only transitioned my reading, but also allows me to read poetry and graphic novels! Things that I normally wouldn’t, basically. So in between each novel, I read a poetry collection (a graphic novel review is coming up as well).

The Princess Saves Herself in This One is beautiful. Like Kaur’s work, it is extremely relatable and raw. Lovelace has a slightly different style of writing, but goodness gracious. Is it beautiful! It’s meant for the heartbroken, the dreamers, and the lovers of tales. She integrates many Harry Potter things into her poetry, which, hello! Is right up my alley 😍, but I won’t share any of those because you need to read them yourself! πŸ™‚

Oh my goodness. I can’t stress this enough: you need to get your nose into this collection!

Murder on The Orient Express

I know most (and by most I mean all) of the books I talk about are fairly new releases, but I haven’t really experienced a lot of modern literature; there weren’t many classes for that at my university.

So I recently read my first Agatha Christie novel: Murder on The Orient Express. I know what I’m saying isn’t really new news, but goodness what an amazing writer!

I love the way she sets up this novel. And if you haven’t seen the new movie, it’s okay, but, as always, the book was better.

This year one of my goals as a reader is to experience way more genres than I’m use to. There’s many worlds out there, and if I’m picky, I might miss the best ones!

Milk and Honey

This is Kaur’s first well known poem collection, but the second that I read. Now, it may be like the old movie vs. book debate where whichever version you experience first, you like that version best. I enjoyed this collection, don’t get me wrong, but I think The Sun and Her Flowers was just so great and that it absolutely blew me away that I don’t think anything could top it! (Even though the next collection, if she publishes another one, will become my favorite!)

Once again, her raw emotion blows me away each time I read any of her work. She is just so intimate within her poetry that you just have more empathy for her works than any other. Notice I said empathy not sympathy. She rights in ways that the reader will say to self, “wow. That’s me.”

This especially relates to writes and lovers. So many of these poems hit me hard.

To those who haven’t yet experienced Rupi Kaur’s work: you need to read one of her collections.

I Only Wanted the New Year to Start My Resolution

I wouldn’t say that this post has the longest title ever, because it’s not. But I wanted to convey my excitement for some of the books that will be released this year! Lately, while looking at publishing companies’ social media, they’ll post about a new book and I’d get all excited, only to find out I had to wait! This year, I decided I’m going to attempt to read 50 books! I know, it’s pretty lame that I haven’t ever hit it, but this is my year!

So the first book is Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills. It’s from December’s UpperCase Box, so that means it was signed and came with a whole bunch of goodies!

This book took me awhile to read because of the holidays, but I’m so glad I finished! This is a YA novel. Mills does a FANTASTIC job creating characters – seriously, I want them as my best friends. My two favorite characters are supporting ones, but the narrator is okay as well. I definitely chuckled once or twice while reading.

The story was set around a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mills does an excellent job paralleling the play to the storyline with out it being overly obvious, and it benefitted the main character because of her knowledge, she’s able to help out and almost force herself (in a good way!) into everyone’s life.

I don’t know if it’s just because I, personally, am awkward, but some of the social aspects were awkward! Not like Michael Scott awkward, but slightly cringeworthy.

Take some time to look into the novel! It was great!

What was your first book of 2018? What’s your reading goals?!

One of Us is Lying

As the holidays get closer and closer, my free time is dedicated to driving seven hours back home to visit family. I had to go this weekend and I have to go next weekend! Oh yes. Lots of driving. Because this book has went through travel, this poor book has been lost and coffee got spilled on it!

Anyway!

One of Us is Lying is a YA novel about an allergic reaction that actually turns out to be… a murder?!

It is told in four different perspectives; each of the four characters narrating are the suspects. Karen McManus sticks to the high school stereotypes: the jock, the prom queen, the “nerd”, and the burnout. The kid who dies is the kid that runs the school gossip site. It turns out that he knows all of their secrets, and as far as the cops know, that’s their motive!

The story has a lot of twists and turns and you end up trusting no one! With the constant change in narration, there’s always a cliff hanger and the end of each character’s turn.

Recommendation: If you like YA, read it. It’s pretty good! It’s a fun concept (maybe I shouldn’t use the word fun about a murder…); no, enjoyable, yeah, let’s say enjoyable.

The Noel Diary

Disclaimer: this post is going to get a little personal.

So even though I haven’t posted a million reviews on here, you can kind of pick up on the fact that my reading preferences were thrown to the wind when I bought this novel. Which, it kind of was.

You see, my mother and I aren’t talking, and she struggles with emotions. So obviously Christmas this year is going to be pretty hard. The first part of the synopsis on the novel says “Bestselling romance author Jacob Churcher hasn’t been home for almost twenty years – not since his mentally ill mother kicked him out of the house when he was sixteen.” When I read that, I picked up the novel and expected great things. Expected a quality novel? Eh. I expected this novel to give me insight and mend my relationship with my mother. But it didn’t. The only thing that is going to do that is my mother swallowing her pride.

Okay, back to the actual novel. I liked the novel on a pretty shallow level, and there were parts that I really liked. But the romance in this story was a little unnecessary. It was almost shoved into the novel like an afterthought.

The main character, Jacob, comes home to his mother’s house, basically to confront his past. While doing this he meets an old neighbor who becomes the voice of reason/wise and mysterious old lady who says some things that really throws you off and creates the curiosity within Jacob. Then this girl, Rachel, shows up at the front door and then boom. The romance starts. See? Super sudden. The novel is focused on Jacob and discovering his past, but then the Rachel comes in and she leads him to a discovery that he wouldn’t have gotten to without her.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m always super indecisive when it comes to romance novels. I’m not anti-romance; I’m almost anti-happily ever after.

I finished this novel two days ago and I’m still this wishy-washy. My apologies!

Go get lost in some pages.