Books

The Good & Bad of Fandom

the princess and the fangirl

The Princess and the Fangirl

By: Ashley Poston

Today I just want to talk about something happy and not the ringing of the bells- though it does involve fandom.

The Princess and the Fangirl is Ashley Poston’s second novel about what happens at ComicCon  Excelisor Con and to my surprise I actually enjoyed this one more than Geekerella which I did not expect to in the first few chapters.

Continue reading “The Good & Bad of Fandom”

Books

Romantic Books for the Anti-Romantic Reader

rochester and jane

Maybe anti-romantic is a little harsh. Not romantically inclined? Like a little bit of darkness in your love story (or a lot) such as it were? With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I thought I’d offer some ideas for books that have just the right amount to appeal to the person who likes a certain kind of love story.

Continue reading “Romantic Books for the Anti-Romantic Reader”

Books

The Witch that Could Have Been…

the witch of willow hall

The Witch of Willow Hall

By: Hester Fox

Grade: C

Available: October 2nd

After thinking about this book for a while it’s most like an origin story for a witch when said witch is the least interesting character. Also a love story. Also not that interesting.

*Netgalley kindly provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for a review.

Continue reading “The Witch that Could Have Been…”

Books

Love, Hope & Letters

the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

By: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Grade: B+

As the rebuilding from World War II commences author Juliet Ashton begins a correspondence with the people of Guernsey (several of them anyway) who while under German occupation formed a literary club and discovered books, friendship and a way to go on during the impossible. Told in letters I admit I found this book a lot more moving than I thought.

Continue reading “Love, Hope & Letters”

Books

Dash and Lily Really Bummed Me Out

26258306

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

Authors: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Grade: C

I really enjoyed Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. It was a great little Christmas story. Very sweet. Very fun. So I was looking forward to this one because I could use some Christmas spirit. Unfortunately, this book really didn’t do that.

I get into spoilers below. Not so much story spoilers as one of the characters moods. Just a warning!

Continue reading “Dash and Lily Really Bummed Me Out”

Books

Dreamology

51bKozmsXgL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

Dreamology

Author: Lucy Keating

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Grade: B

I knew I had to read this one from the moment I saw the Amazon blurb comparing it to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Alice has been dreaming about Max since she was a little girl. Even now the dreams are fun, fantastical versions of reality, where she can float on a Cheerio or slide down her stairs because the walls and anything that can harm her is a cushion. You kind of get the gist with the dreams pretty quickly.

All that changes when she walks into a new school and realizes Max is a living breathing boy and the dreams are now blurring into both their realities and Alice has to find out what’s really happening before potentially losing her sanity.

I liked most of this book. It’s a good story. A good idea and I thought Alice and Max were pretty relatable characters. The why this is happening part of the story is pretty interesting as well. And I really did like the dream element. So much YA feels like other worlds or fake past Kingdoms but the dreaming world was a nice change.

Yet it lacked the edge of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and (for me at least) only skirted the depth. (Seriously, I originally tried to get this from my local Barnes and Noble in the YA section and when I couldn’t find it they told me they had stocked it in Children’s for some reason.)

The resolution felt a little bit… anti-climatic. As to Alice and Max I think a big problem for me was if this was a movie I would have said, “little to no chemistry between the two leads.” Seriously, I liked her better with other characters. I definitely needed a reason to feel like they should be together in real life other than the dream fact.

So all in all a good story, relatable characters and an interesting idea but overall left me feeling a little disappointed.

 Recommend: Yes. It didn’t quite meet my expectations for reason’s stated above but it was still an enjoyable read.

 

Books

Wallbanger

15858248

Wallbanger

Author: Alice Clayton

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Grade: B

Caroline is loving her brand new apartment in the city. That is until one night the nocturnal activities of her neighbor Simon Parker just about bring down her walls. And it’s not just one night. The real story kicks off when Caroline finally decides she’s had enough and confronts him.

This of course leads to your usual tango of anger, friendship, lust and the all too perfect scenario where it turns out everyone important in their lives actually know each other or start dating each other.

Not to be cynical because overall I actually enjoyed the read. It was quick, easy and something a little different for me. But at one point when Caroline is hanging out with her friends the 9o’s sitcom/ Sex and the City vibes started and they stayed with me strong throughout the rest of the book. Which didn’t really bother me but did in some strange way affect my reading. I couldn’t really see it as original.

And everyone is of course perfect. Caroline’s biggest problem as we find out straight off is that she’s missing her “O.” Which sucks of course but then again she’s attractive, she’s living in a rent controlled apartment in San Fran., her boss is perfect and they can gossip over lunch together, her friends are great and her cat is like a precocious child. Hell, she’s even a great cook. Kind of hard to feel sorry for her about the whole missing O. 🙂

There is one little hiccup near the end that I appreciated but it didn’t last long and I don’t want to get into spoilers.

Recommend: Yes. Despite my issues with the book it worked for what I wanted something quick and easy and different to break a slump. It’s totally worth checking out but for me, honestly, I probably won’t be continuing with this particular series.

Books

Passenger

20983362

Passenger

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Grade: B

Genre: YA/Romance/Fantasy

 Etta and Nicholas are the main characters in this time-traveling, treasure hunt fantasy that came very well reviewed amongst some of my favorite reviewers. I am always a sucker for hype and this was no different.

 While overall I liked the book, it was an interesting idea and a lot of places (and times periods) I don’t usually see in novels I read… it just felt like such a chore in places. This is one of those books that I didn’t hate at all but I was happy to be finished just to say I’d finished.

 One big thing for me was that even though the action starts fairly quickly it still didn’t feel like the story was moving until halfway through the book and probably it’s most interesting development (and character) doesn’t come up until the end to set up the sequel.

 Also- and this is personal I admit- I liked the characters, I liked them together but at a certain point I just wanted them to shut up about it. If these two were destroyed or shredded or torn apart all the times they said they were by each other’s looks it would have saved me and the bad guys a whole lot of trouble.

 It is kind of odd because usually I appreciate characters who are honest about their feelings and about the hardships in their potential relationships. I liked that they sized things up and had each others back. But I just wanted to be like, “Can we concentrate on the task at hand here?” Which actually lead to my other nitpick but Etta is a modern girl whose thrown back into jungles and foreign lands (and times) and I kept wondering about inoculations and whether she was immunized against everything she could possibly catch.

 Despite everything I can certainly see why some people would love this book. I liked the smart characters and the premise. I will probably read the sequel eventually but otherwise I think this one just wasn’t for me this time.

 Recommend: Lean toward yes. If this is your kind of thing. It’s a two-book series and honestly, I see no problems with waiting until the other is out to pick it up.

Books, Movies

Random Reviews: True Tales of Lust and Love & Far From the Madding Crowd

18114504

True Tales of Lust & Love

Author: Multi (Edited by Anna David)

Grade: B

A little potential romance for the upcoming weekend?

Not so much. The essays in this book are actually taken from a show that’s been put on and it’s a couple of years old so you’ve probably heard of it. They are mostly funny although some are a little down on your luck (sadly the ones I related to). It’s otherwise pretty basic but a quick read.

Not very romantic at all though.

The one that will always stick out for me…

Well, let’s just say my cats would have been furious!

Recommend: If you are looking for a laugh. If you are looking for high romance this definitely isn’t it. This would be a good gift if you have someone in your life whose a little down on their luck in love lately.

far from the maddening crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd

Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts and Tom Sturridge

Grade: C-

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. I was so in the mood and the previews just made it look so romantic and like I was going to love Bathsheba. Needless to say I haven’t read the book. But I wasn’t about to let that stop me!

I was even prepared for the stuff in the beginning with the sheep. Though not what came after the sheep…   Tears. Not good.

But my real problem with the movie can be summed up like this:

Handsome, hard-working attractive farmer wants to marry you…

Bathsheba: Nope! I want to be an independent woman and I don’t think you can tame me!

Handsome, rich, kindly man that you inadvertently lead on a little bit wants to marry you…

Bathsheba: Nope! I don’t think so buddy!

Not so handsome soldier that you stumble over when he’s drunk and loitering on your property and you have no idea who he is or what his past is…

Bathsheba: Ding! Ding! Ding!

The movie was gorgeous, the actors were all really good and I loved the music. But I just couldn’t with any of the “romances.” I may read the book though and see how it is as an actual adaptation.

Recommend: Not so much. I can see why people may love it but I just mentally checked out after the third suitor point came up and it never pulled me back.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!