Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's Review Time!

Hello you. I have a lot to talk about today and I'm trying to keep it as short as possible. But as I've mentioned in my April Wrap-Up, I've already read four books in May and I want to talk about all of them. But I guess it's save to say that I'm reading faster than I can blog. So I'm just gonna talk about all of them in this post.

Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira
Sometimes the best letters go unanswered
It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand what Laurel is going throug.
Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse... It's like she can't stop. She writes about her new high school, her new friends, her first love - and her shattered life.
But the ghosts of Laurel's past can't pe contained between the lines of a page forever. She must face up to them - before they consume her.

I started May with an amazing book. I bought this because it's all told in letter form, which I love, and because I thought the cover was pretty. And of course because I heard it was good. It did not let me down. At all. Laurel's story really really touched me. Not only did she watch her sister and best friend die, she also had to deal with her family falling apart and starting high school all at the same time. And somehow she handles it all. Maybe not always in the best way but she does manage to build a new life for herself with new friends and a new boy and somehow manages to slowly put the past behind her. It was just incredibly impressive to read about how she gets through it all. And I have nothing but respect for her. I was crying all the time reading this book even when nothing particularly sad was happening; thinking about how terrible it must be to lose your sister was enough.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theatre, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Etienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken - and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's been waiting for?

Anna and the French Kiss turned out to be exactly the book I expected it to be. I really really enjoyed reading about how Anna manages Paris and all the new people she meets. And it was the perfect read, girly and romantic, exactly what I needed. Even though there's a happy ending in the end, not everything went perfectly right throughout the story. And we saw Anna happy and then frustrated and then happy and then frustrated again. I really liked that not everything fell into place right away.  It didn't hurt that I got to learn some stuff about Paris along the way, either. This was just a really refreshing book and I gave this a four star rating on goodreads but now I feel like it would deserve at least 4.5 stars. Because I really liked it and I found myself rereading some parts again afterwards which is always a good sign.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

At the beginning, I really really disliked this book. Maybe not the story but the writing was absolutely annoying. I hated the "Mommy" and "Daddy" thing. Maybe I was somewhat prejudiced because I read The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han and did not like it at all. That didn't keep me from giving this one a try, though, because the description sounded like a fun story and everyone deserves a second chance, right? So at the beginning I thought "Well, you're an idiot, Karin, of course you weren't going to like it". But then I got into the story more and got more and more used to the writing style (by the end it didn't bother me anymore at all) and I actually started to enjoy it. I really liked Peter's character and how his relationship with Lara Jean developped. And then at the end I was just like What??? There were so many unanswered questions and I was so disappointed. And for a second I was back at I'm never going to like Jenny Han's books. But turns out there's going to be a second book. So, sorry Jenny Han for getting angry there for a second. And now I'm really looking forward to the second book.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

I wanted more Anna and St. Clair, so of course I had to read this book. And by reading the description, I didn't expect to actually get more Anna and St. Clair and I was kind of disappointed. Turns out I'm wrong again. I loved seeing them happily together. And of course I also liked reading about Lola's path to love. I will say, though, that I didn't like it as much as Anna and the French Kiss. And I also felt like it was kind of the same story just told from St. Clair's view and then turn him into a girl and tadaah. And maybe the story was kind of like that but the characters were definitely totally different. And I love that about Stephanie Perkin's book. Her characters feel so original and in this book more than ever. Usually I prefer stories with protagonists that I can identify myself with, but this one was just fine as it is. Even though I probably have absolutely nothing in common with Lola, I still liked getting to know her and reading about all the troubles she has to face.

Soo, that's it. For now. Thank you so much for reading and let me know your thoughts on any of the books.

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