What Light

What LightGoodreads Synopsis:

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

I picked up this book because I love Christmas – seriously, I DVR all of the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies every year. However, it fell a little short in areas.

I LOVED that the setting was California, but it was unclear where in California – as a California girl, I want to know where they’re at!  Main character, Sierra, reminds me of myself. She’s naive, full of puppy love, but cares about people 110%. Caleb is mysterious and romantic, but sometimes cares too much. I didn’t really care for Sierra’s friend, Heather, I felt like she was a user and didn’t really have Sierra’s best interest all the time. Devon, Heather’s boyfriend, was a completely useless character. I feel like Asher added him, because he need a subplot. Finally, Andrew, a worker on the tree lot, former friend, and in love with Sierra, is part of a useless subplot and is used to just cause drama between Sierra and her parents.

I love a Christmas time love story, but this story was definitely insta-love, which I feel is super overrated. It works for Hallmark, but didn’t work for this book because it bounced all over the place.

The book is short – I read it in a day. It’s cute, but predictable. It’s a fluffy contemporary holiday book. Besides it being centered around Christmas, I picked it up because of the author. I read Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why in middle school and again recently, but I have discovered I am not really a fan of this author – you’ll see in my review of Thirteen Reasons Why. I don’t see myself buying any of his work in the future, maybe just check them out from the library.

Next up is my Me Before You by JoJo Moyes Book vs. Movie review. Happy reading!

 

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Divergent: Book vs. Movie

8306857Goodreads Synopsis:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I’ve been trying to switch up my reading recently. I felt like I needed something new, but I didn’t know what exactly. I decided it was finally time to read the Divergent Series as it has been sitting on my bookshelf since March of last year. Plus, I felt like it was a very hyped up book, and I didn’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t live up to the hype like others I have read recently.

I was thoroughly surprised when I started reading. This dystopian novel was refreshing. Personally, I didn’t align myself with Tris, but I was extremely attracted to Four, or I prefer to call him, Tobias. He was everything you wanted from a book boyfriend, and the best part was that there was no ever-popular, messy love triangle!

Tobias’s character made me feel very…

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as well as…

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this…

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and finally…

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Even movie Tobias/Four was dreamy – Theo James was an excellent casting. If you don’t know who he is, feel free to observe below.

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I went into this book and series not really knowing what to expect. I hadn’t read any reviews. I hadn’t seen the movies. All I knew was that it was within the dystopian genre and everyone within the bookstagram community was in love with it.

I enjoyed following Tris from her home in Abnegation – a faction that believes selflessness is the way the world should be – to her new home in Dauntless – a faction that believes bravery is the most important thing in the world. She has spent her whole life being conditioned to think selflessly and be selfless. In Dauntless, she can think freely, ask freely, and become her own person. It just goes to show that a change in environment, can drastically change a person and their outlook on the world.

For those who are new to the blog, I am a firm believer in the idea that the book is always better. In the case of Divergent by Veronica Roth, I can say that the book was 10,000x better than the movie. Go figure.

The movie wasn’t bad. There were things added that weren’t in the book while some things in the book weren’t in the movie. I thought the casting was good [see Theo James casting above]. One thing I did not like was Kate Winslet. I am a huge Kate Winslet fan and I absolutely hated seeing her play the worst [as in evil and demented] character in the entire series. It broke my Kate-Winslet-loving heart.

To end my first post on this series, I thought it might be interesting to see which faction I belong in. Here are my results from the Official Divergent Aptitude Test found HERE .

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Next up on the Review To-Do List is Insurgent: Book vs. Movie. Until next time bookworms. Happy reading!

 

Attachments

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“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ” From the award-winning author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, andLandline comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel about love in the workplace.

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

I was skeptical to pick up another Rainbow Rowell book after reading the over-hyped Eleanor & Park (See that review here). However, I am glad I picked up Attachments, because it was quite enjoyable and I definitely enjoyed it more than Eleanor & Park. 

The main reason I liked this book is because of Beth and Jennifer’s email exchanges. This was how readers interacted with Beth and Jennifer through the entire book. But their emails weren’t the exact reason. The exact reason is that Beth and Jennifer are the epitome of me and my best friend. Beth is scarily just like my bestie, Kendall, and I am exactly like Jennifer. I think what makes it more relatable is that besides us being like the characters, their exchanges through email sound exactly like Kendall and I in our texts, Facebook messages, and in person conversations. Beth and Jennifer made me feel like I was back in my sorority house, chatting it up with Kendall while stuffing our faces with Baskin Robbins ice cream.

Lincoln, the other main character, took a couple of chapters to warm up to. At first I thought it was weird that someone took a job as an “internet security officer” to check all flagged emails, and then I realized the book was set in 1999 and they didn’t have the security software like they do now. However, I did think it was a teeny creepy that he fell in love with Beth by simply her email exchanges with Jennifer, but at the same time we’re bibliophiles who fall in love with fictional characters, so I give Lincoln a break on that one. I also enjoyed how Lincoln changed from the beginning to end. He went from a living-at-home-with-mom, hermit-like person who just kept going to school out of boredom (and heartbreak from his first love) to a person who moved out on his own and made actual friends at work. He grows up right in front of our eyes, and it is wonderful to see a character make that dynamic change.

I do like how Rowell broke up the chapters – Lincoln’s POV then email exchange between Beth and Jennifer the Lincoln’s POV, etc. It was a nice break from reading “normal” chapters. Although the book started off slow, the pace increased and it was easier to indulge in the book. However, the love story part happens much later in the book as opposed to throughout the entire novel like I had originally thought.

Even with the minor things in the book that I didn’t like, I still LOVED the book altogether. It was well-written and gave me that warm-fuzzy feeling I am always searching for with books. I also really want to read Landline, Carry On, and Fangirl to see how they compare to Attachments and Eleanor & Park.  If you haven’t checked it out already, check it out and let me know what you think in the comments! As for my next post, I will be talking about a book I picked up on a whim – Alice in Tumblr-land by Tim Manley. Happy reading lovelies!

Never Always Sometimes

24338298Goodreads synopsis:

Never date your best friend.

Always be original.

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

I had really high hopes for this book. Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost was one of my first reviews for my blog. The writing was at the same level, but the plot and story were not. I actually put the book down several times because I had a hard time getting into the book.

The characters, Dave and Julia, spend the entire book doing every cliché high school thing their last semester of high school because they spent their entire high school career flying under the radar. I didn’t create any connections with the characters – this could be because I a “cliché” in high school. But even reading the book as someone who participated in the clichés in high school, the point of view from Dave and Julia is bland. The characters lack realism and depth. They were boring and uninteresting people.

Like the characters, the romance in the plot was below sub-par. The promposal was the only extravagant and romantic thing in the entire book and even I was still confused about the step by step description. I honestly felt like Alsaid had never experienced any sort of romance in his life, because the teen, puppy love romance he wrote was boring and not romantic in any way. As someone who has experienced the romantic, teen puppy love, this was boring and unrealistic.

I felt like this whole book was for nothing. There was no big ending, there was no cliffhanger, Alsaid did not create a story that made me yearn for more.

As for my next review l will be posting about Cress by Marissa Meyer. Happy reading lovelies!

Never Never (Part 3)

25454883Goodreads synopsis:

New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated final installment in the Never Never novella series.
Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

I’m dressed for Easter, my boyfriend’s niece and nephew have received their Easter baskets from the “Easter Bunny”, and now I’m ready to sit down and quickly type out my review before everyone starts to show up to my boyfriend’s sister’s house. But before I go any further let me just say Happy Easter! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

Now as for Part 3 in this novella series, I just want to say, holy mother of disappointments.  I’m not going to tell you to not read the book, because if you read the first two parts, you really need closure to the story, even if it is not what I had imagined. The writing is great, but the mystery stops. I actually have more questions than answers (see my spoiler section below). I had hoped for a tremendous paranormal explanation, but the authors opted for the easy cop-out. It’s their book, their way, but I’m just a little disappointed that they took the easy way.

Just read the book. I’m going to post spoilers in the next paragraph, so if you want to, go ahead and read it. If not, spare the spoilers and read Part 3 yourself, it is an easy ending, but you should still read it.

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Soulmates? They stopped remembering things because they chose to break up because they were unhappy??? Where’s the Voodoo? Where’s the curse from The Shrimp??? That’s not an answer it’s a cop out. It’s the easy way out and it makes me so sad/mad! Granted, like I said above, it’s Hoover and Fisher’s books, so they can do what they want, but honestly I was expecting so much more. I also have tons of questions:

  1. What actually happened between Silas and Charlie’s fathers? It was never confirmed about what actually happened between the families.
  2. If Charlie’s father had a love child with The Shrimp’s mom (hence producing The Shrimp) why did it stay a secret for so long? What’s the point of bringing up The Shrimp if you’re not going to develop that story further? A dead-end with no answers…
  3. Also, why did The Shrimp and her mom keep Charlie hostage for a whole day in her old childhood home (their new home after Charlie’s family  was forced out) and “drug her”? Even though Charlie’s father claims they were keeping her safe because she was trespassing and acting like a crazy person?
  4. How the heck did Silas’s parents go from “Charlie may never step foot in our house” to “Will you be here for dinner Charlie?” in the blink of an eye?
  5. What happened to Charlie’s mother? Did she remain an alcoholic? Did she seek help? Did she finally realize her husband was a crock and find love elsewhere?
  6. Depending on the answer to #5, how did Charlie and Janette live and survive with a parent in prison and a parent who didn’t even notice when they went missing?
  7. What the heck happened between that twenty year span from when they finally remembered everything to the epilogue? Also they must have had kids young if the daughter is 18 in the epilogue…

So many questions and no answers. So Colleen and Tarryn, please give us a tell-all, I’d (as well as my sanity) would gladly appreciate it!

As for the rest of you lovely bookworms, I hope you enjoy your Easter holiday! Happy reading lovelies!

Never Never (Part 2)

24422492Goodreads synopsis:

“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last.
And never stop loving me between all of them.
Never stop, Charlie.
Never forget.”

Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can’t imagine, beckons to be found.

“Where are you, Charlie?”

This book was torture. I flipped through this book so quickly, because I yearned for more secrets. The book picks up from where part 1 left off.

Again, like the first so many questions arise over the course of the book, but we’re still not given all the answers! I want nothing more to help Silas and Charlie find their way through this crazy mess.

I’m kinda okay with not knowing all the answers, but at the same time it’s driving me crazy to not know why Silas and Charlie can’t remember anything.

I do have to agree with other bloggers and reviewers – this ending cliffhanger was much better than part 1’s cliffhanger. In part 1, we saw the recent angry-side of Silas and Charlie’s relationship, while in this book we see the actual love side. While reading the love letters between the two, I wanted nothing more to have Silas love me like he loved Charlie.

Other characters have made more appearances. We see more of Charlie’s sister, Janette, and Silas’s brother, Landon. However, minor characters from school and the community make me wry. I don’t trust them. With so many twists and turns in the story, I can’t help but not trust anyone outside of Charlie and Silas – and now Landon.

I haven’t finished Never Never part 3, so look for my post about it soon! I can’t wait to see how this series ends. I can’t help but see all the pieces fall together. Happy reading lovelies!

My Most Excellent Year

1189878Goodreads synopsis:

Dear Anthony:

I appreciate your recent interest, but I’m not accepting applications at this time. Your letter will be kept in our files and someone will get back to you if there is an opening. Thank you for thinking of me.

Respectfully,
Alejandra Perez

P.S. It’s not Allie. It’s Ale.

Meet T.C., who is valiantly attempting to get Alejandra to fall in love with him; Alejandra, who is playing hard to get and is busy trying to sashay out from under the responsibilities of being a diplomat’s daughter; and T.C.’s brother Augie, who is gay and in love and everyone knows it but him.

When my best friend, Kendall, moved into her new house in November, I was there to help her organize and unpack. While unpacking one of her many middle/high school boxes, I picked up this book. My initial reaction was “Kendall you read?” She laughed and told me that she used to read all the time, but this book made her fall in love and she couldn’t find a book that could beat the awesomeness of this book. So here I am a few months later writing this review with my own copy sitting on my desk next to me, and all I have to say is I LOVED this book!

It was a great contemporary book that wasn’t just a “fluff” book for me. I was sucked in from the very first chapter and thrown into a story about realistic, lovable characters who are trying to find themselves in this crazy world. The story was presented through journal entries, letters, instant messages, e-mails, quotes, etc. The originality and multiple presentations throughout the story made it a much more realistic book and much easier to get into.

Some may think that the characters didn’t have any real flaws, but they were realistic. It was refreshing to have “normal” characters that were just trying to find themselves and love in this quirky story.

The story itself focuses heavily on family, friendship, love, and baseball. It’s hard to describe it, but this book gave me a warm fuzzy feeling that everything works out for a reason and to never doubt that it will all work out.  I also have a very strong urge to go visit Boston now, but that must wait for a few years.

Bragging about this  book does not do it justice! I simply must say that you just need to read it.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Up next I’ll be reading Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. Happy reading lovelies!