Tag: Young Adult

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Posted July 20, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny HanP.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2
Also in this series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 26, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 337
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

P.S. I Still Love You is the second book in Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series and it really keeps the party going. I started this book immediately after my re-read of the first book for my buddy review with Ames. I couldn’t help myself. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters yet. Mostly, I wasn’t ready to let go of Peter Kavinsky and Kitty Song Covey. Lara Jean really grows on me in this book and I just love the way that she’s growing up.

In this book, Lara Jean and Peter become a real couple and things are looking up for them. Lara Jean is just as into Peter as Peter is into her. When a video of Peter and Lara Jean making out surfaces online, Lara Jean is thrown into the spotlight, a spotlight she never wanted and wasn’t prepared for. Lara Jean was used to spending her nights in, baking whatever caught her fancy and taking care of her Dad and little sister while her older sister was away at college. She loved to read and lose herself in books but then Peter came along and brought her out of her bubble and seeing her try to navigate this new normal with Peter made for a sweet read.

There is much to like about this book. I adored Peter’s efforts to try to protect Lara Jean from the video stuff. I adored seeing him build his own bond with Lara Jean’s younger sister Kitty and I really, really just adored him. His birthday gift for Kitty was the cutest thing ever! His declaration to Lara Jean at the end? Gah, so cute!

There’s a lot going on in this book. There’s Peter’s continued friendship with that little shit Genevieve and then there’s Lara Jean’s budding friendship with John Ambrose McClaren. Her intern job at Bellevue Retirement Home and her friendship with Stormy. There’s also the video and then Lara Jean getting the middle school gang back together again and their game that Lara Jean is determined to win. This wasn’t the easiest book to read but the ending was a lot better than the first book’s ending and we got to finally read the letter that Lara Jean started to Peter in the first book. That was an awesome letter. Lara Jean is a really gifted letter writer. I love her inquisitive personality.

Peter Kavinsky is my book boyfriend of the week. I adored him in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and even though there were plenty of times that I wanted to junk punch him in this book, in the end, his love for Lara Jean was too sweet and I just loved him to pieces.

“I say, “In the contract we said we wouldn’t break each other’s hearts. What if we do it again?”

Fiercely he says, “What if we do? If we’re so guarded, it’s not going to be anything. Let’s do it fucking for real, Lara Jean. Let’s go all in. No more contract. No more safety net. You can break my heart. Do whatever you want with it.”

This was such a sweet scene because it was the night that Lara Jean and Peter became real and gah, first love in all of its glory was written in the pages of this book and I was here for it all.

I’ve mentioned this quite a few times since I’m super excited about this but the movie adaptation of this book comes out next month on Netflix. I have been a huge fan of the Netflix original tv shows and movies that I have watched before so I’m hopeful that this movie will be fantastic.

Here’s the boy that is playing Peter Kavinsky. He is such a great Peter and Brenna is a huge fan of his on Fosters so I’m hopeful that he’ll bring Peter to life wonderfully.

This book packed a huge punch and had me all in my feels through it all. John Ambrose was a great addition to this story and even though I loved him, my heart was truly and completely Peter’s. I really like how different Peter and Lara Jean are and I really like that that works for them. Peter’s personality is so in your face and Lara Jean is more reserved but together, together they were magic and I loved them. What a great book, I thoroughly recommend.

Final Grade

4.75 out of 5

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || KOBO || GOOGLE BOOKS

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series

four-half-stars


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Movie Review: Everything, Everything

Posted April 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Everything, Everything (2017)
Starring: Nick Robinson, Amandla Stenberg, Anika Noni Rose
Director: Stella Meghie
Release Date: 19 May 2017
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1:36
Movie Type: Drama, Romance

A 17 year old girl named Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air. Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla (her nurse). One day, a moving truck pulls in next door. There she sees Olly. Olly Bright is Maddy’s new neighbor. They get to know each other through emails. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn’t really living. This starts the adventures of Maddy’s new life.

Brenna wanted to watch this movie so in one of our weekends where we had nothing going on, we watched it. Now, I should preface this review by saying that I didn’t read the book so I won’t be comparing the book to the movie or anything like that. This is strictly my thoughts on the movie. I should also preface this review by saying that I wasn’t all that interested in watching it but I did because Brenna wanted to.

So this is another a book that was turned into a movie and the book version of this story was written by Nicola Yoon. The book has gotten some great reviews from bloggers all over so I went into this movie thinking that I would love it and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it.

The movie is about a young girl named Maddy who has a disease that keeps her inside her home at all hours of the day. Leaving the sanctuary of her home and its filtered air is dangerous to her life so she stays inside with her nurse and her mother, the only two people she interacts with all day. Maddy wishes that things were different but she deals with it because what else could she do? When Olly moves into the house next door to her, Maddy is intrigued.

Olly is a cute boy and when they become friends, Maddy’s life is forever changed. Her desire to live outside o her home are increased and as I mentioned a little bit ago, that’s dangerous to her life. But seeing Maddy fall deeper and deeper in love with Olly was sweet and seeing how much Olly cared for Maddy was equally sweet but I don’t know, there were things in here, things that Maddy and Olly did together that the Mom in me rolled my eyes over.

While there were a few things that had my Mom meter beeping, the biggest one was their trip to Hawaii. The way that they pulled that off without a hitch made me laugh out loud and because of that, my enjoyment of the movie suffered. So while there were things I didn’t care for, I still enjoyed both Maddy and Olly’s character and I thought their acting skills were great. Brenna says that if I weren’t thinking so hard about stuff that are no big deal to younger people, I would have enjoyed the movie more.

This movie was good and I’m interested in reading the book still so that’s saying something. Brenna loved this movie so I think it’ll go over better with the younger audiences.

Movie Trailer

My Rating

3 out of 5


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Book Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales

Posted April 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Book Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila SalesIf You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales
Published by Macmillan, Farrar Straus and Giroux on May 1, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Goodreads
one-star

Before we go any further, I want you to understand this: I am not a good person.

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. But what happens when we’re seen and heard saying or doing the wrong things? What then?

When Winter Halperin—former spelling bee champion, aspiring writer, and daughter of a parenting expert—gets caught saying the wrong thing online, her life explodes. All across the world, people knows what she’s done, and none of them will forgive her.

With her friends gone, her future plans cut short, and her identity in shambles, Winter is just trying to pick up the pieces without hurting anyone else. She knows she messed up, but does that mean it’s okay for people to send her hate mail and death threats? Does she deserve to lose all that she’s lost? And is “I’m sorry” ever good enough?

First and foremost a novel about public shaming in the internet age, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is also an exploration of the power of words, the cumulative destructiveness of microaggressions, and the pressing need for empathy.

I’ve been reading Leila Sales for a few years now and I’ve really enjoyed some of her books and didn’t enjoy one of the books that I’ve read by her. After reading this one, I have not enjoyed another one of her books. This was almost a DNF but I needed to know that things turned around for the main character, needed to know that she learned her lesson and I was really interested in seeing how it all ended.

I feel I should warn you guys that there will be hella spoilers in this review because I’ve got shit to say and I’m going to say it all here…so this is your warning.

***BEWARE: MARJOR SPOILERS AHEAD***

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So this book follows Winter Halperin, a former spelling bee champion who made a racist remark online and pays the price for that remark. Her past is blasted and made fun of online and needless to say, she’s devastated. She didn’t mean the remark the way that everyone took it but it was still a shitty thing to say and she is remorseful but in my opinion, she wasn’t remorseful for the right reasons. As I was explaining to my daughter while talking about this book with her, Winter didn’t deserve a lot of the shitty comments that were thrown her way (you know all of the, you should go ahead and kill yourself now because you’re stupid cow and the you should be raped for what you said – those comments) but she 100% deserved to be educated on just how privileged her way of thinking was.

I’m sorry but if your apology includes the word “but” in it, you ain’t sorry for shit and Jason, Winter’s black best friend wasn’t here for that kind of apology. He was hurt by her words and he had every right to be pissed at her. They were close friends and she said a shitty thing online that hurt his feelings but she didn’t get why her comment was so bad. Jason explains why he was so mad at her and she was adamant that she’s not like that. Her defense was, “I have black friends, I can’t be racist!” She really didn’t get why Jason was so mad at her. This part of the book had so much promise and it could have gone down in a way that taught Winter a really good lesson but what actually happens had me all…

Because no she didn’t make the white girl say a racist thing and then make the white girl the victim and then make her black best friend the bad guy by doing some shady shit. Jason deserved better than that and I almost stopped reading the book because I was getting mad but I needed to know that Winter turned her ass around and that she learned some important life lessons from all of this. I needed to see this happen with my own eyes and you guys…that didn’t happen. Or actually, it happens but it came with a whole lot of shit on shit on shit that kept knocking me on my ass.

So Winter went to a sort of rehab clinic and it was a safe space for her to finally take a long look at her way of thinking, to learn and grow from her past mistakes. That was probably the best thing for her because by the end of the book, Winter learns her lesson. She does eventually get where Jason was coming from, she learns to be genuinely remorseful for her actions and she does learn just how different her life is from Jason’s, how different her life is from the black girl in rehab but holy cow, the delivery sucked huge donkey balls for me.

Winter really comes into her own over the course of the story and when she finally gets it, I breathed a sigh of relief because, freaking finally, right? I was satisfied that the main character finally saw the light but one of the last things to happen in the book left me speechless, left a really bad taste in my mouth because I honestly didn’t think it was necessary. It took a huge shit on the message of the book.

So Winter learns her lesson, she’s back at home and she’s not googling herself twenty times an hour, she’s evolved as a person and genuinely wants to be a better, more enlightened person. She’s at peace. One of the things that she hasn’t given up is googling others that are going through what she went through. The latest victim? A happily married white man in his thirties who set up a dating profile on a gay dating app for the sole purpose of outing the men he met on there who work in politics in D.C. He’s a reporter and was doing all of this for the story. Needless to say, the online social media justice department went in on this guy and our newly enlightened and evolved protagonist wrote this asshat a letter that basically said, “I feel for you man. Just know that you’ll get through this and I’ll see you on the other side.”

I can’t imagine why that needed to be included in this book. What lesson was being pushed here? It doesn’t matter what your actions are, nobody deserves death threats? People don’t deserve to lose their livelihood after doing shitty things that hurt others? That lesson could have been taught without victimizing the asshole who violated so many people, willingly.

I closed this book and was so very angry that I don’t think I can ever come back from it. There aren’t too many books that have angered me as much as this book did and I honestly don’t think I’ll be reading anything by Leila Sales again. I would be too scared that I’d get another one of these and no. Just hell fucking no.

Grade: 1 out of 5

one-star


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