book review

Everything Everything

Nicola Yoon has been on my list of authors that I was looking forward to reading. I wasn’t quite sure whether to start with The Sun is Also A Star but once I saw the film trailer for Everything Everything, I knew that would be the first book of hers that I would have to read.

Yoon is an exceptionally talented writer and demonstrates her skills in character development, plot and descriptions in this novel. She is patient with the descriptions and really makes the main character, Madeline’s youthful and child-like fascination with the world believable. In the Q&A portion of the book, Yoon even says that the innocence of Madeline was largely inspired by her own infant daughter’s reactions to the world around her.

In all honesty, I hadn’t anticipated enjoying Everything Everything as much as I had. It was a new and fresh story that has never been told before. I think that there are themes like love and protection that are carried on throughout that really grip at the readers heartstrings and get them invested in the turn of events. I also respect Yoon for making the main female character multiracial. It’s not her identity but it is something that is made clear about her. I think that it’s incredible to have more culturally diverse characters in books, television and film because it really helps to inspire diverse readers and encourage diversity in the world. It helps remind audiences that fundamentally being different is nothing to be ashamed of.

****

I would recommend this book to YA readers, fans of John Green, fans of film to book comparisons, or anyone looking for an entertaining but light read.

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Books

Happy World Book Day!

I never knew that this was a holiday until today but shout out to my fellow bibliophiles. Today is basically another excuse for us to exit reality and get lost in another book, don’t mind if I do!

I hope you all get to celebrate today in the most ideal way: cuddled up somewhere with coffee/tea and a much anticipated book from your TBR (to be read) pile. Or maybe pick out an old favorite that always makes you feel better. Just remember that it’s only through books that we can live the thousands of lives that our hearts desire. No matter how old I am, I will always love books for the lessons they’ve taught me and the worlds they’ve shown me without leaving my bed. 

Today, in celebration of WBD I’ll be alternating between reading Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair and a query submission from my internship. 

Enjoy!

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Books

Talking As Fast As I Can

I don’t think there is any better book that I could have followed Born a Crime with than an equally as stunning and refreshing memoir by Lauren Graham– actress, writer, producer and all around effortless talent. Talking as Fast as I Can was witty, quirky and full of laughs. I often find it difficult separating the person: Lauren Graham from her roles as Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman, two of my favorite television characters. I had to stop myself, at times, and remember she is not the roles she has played, they have impacted her to some extent but she continues where their stories end.

It was truly interesting to learn more about Lauren Graham. I never knew about her struggle to stardom. Apart from learning that she was in a relationship with her former cast brother, Peter Krause (Adam Braverman), I didn’t know much about her. I think my favorite part of the story was the firsthand details that Graham recounted from previous seasons of Gilmore Girl. She also included her personal journal entries during Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I think knowing how close of a relationship she built with her co-stars and crewmembers, returning for the final season was extremely emotional. It was incredible hearing about old memories and everyone being taken back into the nostalgia of the show the same way that audience members felt when they sat down to watch the long anticipated, A Year in the Life.

I remember growing up with Gilmore Girls and watching it constantly. At one point, when I realized that the last episode had aired, I refused to finish out the last season. I decided to wait until the inevitable tv movie aired to finally watch it all…only to learn that those months would turn to years. I binge-watched all the seasons on Netflix before the new season came on and had absolutely no regrets about it. The show honestly changed my life and made me aspire to have the Lorelai-Rory relationship with my future daughter. Their bond was unbreakable no matter what hiccups came along the way. I also agree 1000% with Lauren Graham about the final four words of the show being a cliffhanger! Is there going to be a Gilmore Girls Reloaded?! Or was this just a reminder that even if the show ends the Gilmore Girls live on in Stars Hollow!? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Books

#MemoirMonday


Happy Memoir Monday! In honor of finishing up The Valley of the Dolls, I dove back into my TBR pile and decided to pull out these long overdue memoirs. I’m kicking things off first with Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime to be followed by Lauren Graham’s Talking As Fast As I Can. Be sure to check back for my reviews! 

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Books

~ The Valley of the Dolls ~

First, let’s start out with an R.I.P to Jacqueline Susann whom I had never heard of before a couple of months ago. I can confidently say that she is the author to one of my *new* favorite books, The Valley of the Dolls. This novel, originally published in 1966 was the biggest selling novel that year with over 31 million copies. Despite the novel being about 51 years old, the characters and storylines are still exceptionally relevant to modern day.

The novel follows three young women, Anne Welles, Jennifer North and Neely O’Hara who eventually become friends while pursuing their dreams of love, money and fame. Anne is a New England socialite desperate to leave behind her small town and find that all-consuming love and when she finally does, it threatens to crush her to pieces. She’s forced to make some life-altering decisions that beg her to question whether or not this is what she has truly wanted all along. Jennifer has only ever wanted to be loved for who she is, not her body. Finally, when happiness is within her grasp, she receives some devastating news that threatens to destroy everything she has. Lastly, Neely, young and eager for the chance at fame and fortune becomes an incredible talent and finds herself slipping down the rabbit hole of fame and forcing her to become someone she swore she wouldn’t. What I truly admire about Susann’s debut novel is that instead of each character’s life coming together and concluding in a perfect bow, things are still left open and unresolved. Not to give too much away but each character seems to ascertain what they spent their whole lives waiting for but not without a fair share of sacrifices and negative consequences.

The Valley of the Dolls is a timeless classic that I would definitely recommend to women’s fiction readers. I also think that readers in their mid-20s who were also fans of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and those stories will find interest in this 1960s tale of New York City fame. It’s glamorous and real and Susann really hit the mark on an lasting novel that I will proudly display on my shelf.

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Books

Bel Canto

I have just finished reading Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto. It was a beautiful read. It was unlike anything I have read before – from the plot to the narrative. I can’t say that I’m completely satisfied with how the book concludes but maybe after speaking with other people who have read it, my opinion will change.

I sincerely was blown away from the storyline. We are introduced to the multitude of characters: Mr. Hosokawa, Gen, Roxane Coss, Simon Thibault, Father Arguedas, Ruben Iglesias and etc. You jump around through their thoughts and how exactly they view the situation around them. The plot truly begins at the international party for Mr. Hosokawa’s birthday where  the famous opera singer, Roxane Coss, has been hired to perform as his gift. It is at this party that a terrorist group comes and holds the party hostage. The guests are held captive for months and much like any social experiment, learn to adapt to their current living situation. You see the initial terror of the hostage situation slowly decrease. Unintentionally, the guests of the party gone terribly wrong begin to surrender to their present circumstance. Rather than count the days until they are returned to their lives, they begin to accept their present situation as their lives. They all, whether they realized it or not, began to stop thinking of their past and discontinue thinking of their future. Even as the reader, despite logically knowing that a hostage situation has to end in either one way or the other, you hope against hope that things turn out in a way that everyone gets what they want. You hope that the romances built and developed in this terrible circumstances out of pure serendipity manage to last the test of time and the series of obstacles presented to them.

The major theme of the novel was opera. Even from the name meaning “beautiful song or beautiful singing,” you know that music will be the theme. Amongst all of the chaos and tragedy, opera proves to be the only shining beacon of hope throughout the book. Roxane’s voice manages to wash over the hostages and allow them to surrender their fears and worries. Through her voice and opera itself, they are all transported to a place of peace.

This book was a recommendation from a friend and it was a delightful read. Words cannot accurately describe the skill with which Patchett is able to provide insight from every character’s perspective without any awkward transitions and while showing all angles to a situation. I would recommend this book to all young readers, lovers of opera or music, or pretty much anyone.

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