Top Ten Must Reads …. Y/N?

August 19:  Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Your That You Must Read, today’s Top Ten Tuesday’s topic brought to you by The Broke & the Bookish (weekly bookish topic)

 

Most of these books are books on my TBR list already and a few aren’t because I don’t have much interest in them but they’re still rec’d to me or others:

–          Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas …recently heard some mixed reviews but almost everyone gives this a go! YES

–          The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer …I’m selective with retellings of original story lines, even with the added material that’s hers. NO

–          Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi …same as ToG [see above] but I’m willing to give this a shot too! YES

–          Anything by Jojo Moyes …someone who can take my heart out and rip it to shreds, love to hate/hate to love #bringit YES

–          The Girl with All the Gifts …curious about this but good recs already so, yes please! YES

Books that I’ve recently read that were rec’d to me that I didn’t live up to the Hype:

–          Since You’ve Been Gone …just wasn’t impressed. Cover is gorgeous, love the concept, MC did not do it for me. PASS

–          We Were Liars …the “twist” was good…but not completely original. Good for book, hyped for me so not so shocking. PASS

–          Where the Stars Still Shine …heard this was a pretty decent book and it was just, meh. Not a thrilling read. PASS

Books I have that I’m nervous unsure of:

–          The Winner’s Curse …plenty of mixed reviews but I own this so it’ll get crossed off my TBR list someday. MAYBE

–          Jellicoe Road …epic book apparently, BUT i started it and got lost. I’m supposed push forward to get to the guts. PROBABLY
 
                

 

Did you read any of these and have similar/different thoughts? Come gush and let me know! Should I keep some on my list? Take some off?

 

Linz aka The Kid xx

 

*images received from Google images…DO NOT OWN IMAGES

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

Virgin
Author: Radhika Sanghani
Publisher: Berkley Trade, Penguin Group Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DA
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Pages: 304 pages, Kindle version
Received Copy: Electronic NetGalley Advanced Copy
Available for Purchase via Amazon

Let’s face it, living in 2014 comes with a whole set of rules than years or decades before it. That being said, Radhika Sanghani wrote an honest novel of how virginity shouldn’t be such a big deal anymore. The story focuses on Ellie Kolstakis who’s 21, finishing up her college years in England where she feels like she’s the last in the crowd of teens/twenty-somethings to have sex…for the first time. Ellie does seem a little selfish and immature but who isn’t, really, at 21 and goes on a journey to get herself deflowered. Ideally she is looking for someone she’s compatible with but fearing to strike out time and again, she almost wants to settle for any guy–not the best idea but she can’t get out of that mindset.

Synopsis: (via Goodreads)

Okay, I admit it…I didn’t do it.

Yet.

This is normal, right?  I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?

It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.

The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?

Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?

I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.

Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious.

.

.

.

Overall I enjoyed this. I definitely found parts humorous and I liked how real the writing was. At first I think a reader is a little bit shocked at the technical terms for body parts & sexual things but following along it wears off and it seems like a story that could happen in real life. I applaud the author for writing like that because girls go through a spectrum of so many emotions and happenings that it can get very overwhelming when you think about it losing your virginity, doing anything sexually, and feeling the need to fit in.

One thing I would have loved to have seen more of was the reaction to the vlog. It would’ve been nice to see how their posts coming across to readers. If the readers were benefiting from their advice/stories of woe and experience that they were willing to share in the online community. Also, I know this was an ARC but I hope the vlog posts were italicized because even though a title for the post was shown it would be nice to see the distinction and not confuse future readers.

On a personal note I definitely could relate to Ellie’s character. We’re a culture that’s getting sexualized more and more “dress sexy, explore sexy, make guys want to find you sexy” and it sells which puts a terrible notion inside impressionable female heads. The part of also feeling excepted and like you’re not missing out–I’ve been known to struggle over that as well. The cookie cutter look of being skinny, having a fit body, a certain hair color, a certain eye color…what’s the most desirable is continuously stacked against those who are just trying to be themselves while needing to feel accepted.

If you’re looking for something with a little sex and humor, I’d definitely try to check this out.

 

Linz aka The Kid xx

Isla & Me Get Our Happily Ever After *throws confetti*

It all started late night on Friday August 1st where it appeared my friend had received her pre-order of Isla and I was in Delaware on a mini vacation. *cue the sulking and freaking out* As I stared at the picture I was an emotional roller coaster…this was it! FINALLY! I had pre-ordered from the same book shop, showing my indie bookstore love, as my friend did and was looking at the possibility of going home to my very own copy of Isla and the Happily Ever After, my happily ever after!!

HA! I know it’s cheesy but I’ve been waiting. If you’re reading this and you’re a Stephanie Perkins fan, you’ve probably been waiting too. It’s been a little over two years or maybe it’s three years, that I’ve been excited for the last installment of the series to be published. Not going to lie, I fangirled when I opened my copy–I won’t deny it. It was so pretty. So complete. And I had to wait again to start it.

Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton, a Penguin group
Release Date: August 14, 2014
Pages: 339 pages, hardcover
Received Copy: Pre-order copy …thank you Malaprops for sending me a copy early!

While participating in the #IslaIsComing blog tour, I started Anna’s reread and as then I read faster and was now in the middle of my Lola reread when I decided NOPE. And because I’m crazy, I continued on racing through Lola to get to Isla….so here goes:

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

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I did enjoy the novel overall! In reading about Isla getting her happily ever after I did have a few concerns with the storyline. In this book we got to learn a lot more about Josh who was a main character in Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie’s first novel in the companion series, and we discover tons of insight to the girl with the red hair who was caught drawing Josh’s tattoo…Isla. Back for their senior year, Isla and Josh embark on journey of love and loss and in the process finding themselves.

Things I Liked:

Paris
I was so ready to go back to Paris, where it all began, and Isla and Josh took us to more wonderful places that hadn’t been explored in the first book. Secret spaces with secret doors, world traveling, and historic favorites.

Josh
…was a total hottie! I still have a number one spot in my heart for Etienne St. Clair but Josh is most definitely up there. He’s got the bad boy routine down but also shows his sweet side and he pays attention to more than he leads on.

the EASTER EGG
I guess that’s what it’s referred to as but some of the past comes back for this book but shhh! don’t say anything more *personal favorite part*

the heat
there was WAY more *ahem* heat in this book that I was sort of anticipating and it was HAPPILY delivered

Things I didn’t like:

the pace
The relationship of Isla and Josh starts off at a nice and normal progression and then blossoms into something that feels rushed and all-consuming and I just wasn’t very sold. This is definitely a departure from her first and second where there was a lot of build-up for the two to get together which was good and bad. Semi believable but you were dying for it to happen!

Isla
I did like her character after a good portion of the book but in the beginning there’s a bit consumption of Josh. I guess because I’ve had obsessions with guys it never was taken to that level so maybe it missed me in getting to relate to her. Although it has been like 10 years since I’ve been in that teenaged mindset so I might be looking into this too much.

Other than these few issues the book is a fantastic edition and a must buy! I’m also going to reread it again. Mainly because I want to read it at a steady pace. I’ve had this book on a pedestal for a while so now that I know what to expect it’ll be nice to go back and read for enjoyment not because an OMG-I-HAVE-THIS-BOOK-FINALLY-IN-MY-POSSESSION attitude, lol!

Linz aka The Kid xx


 

Anna, Me, & Films

Hi All!! Hope everyone is enjoying the readalong so far! You all still excited that #IslaIsComing?! To help close things out with the first novel by Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss, I’m here to bestow upon you my great film knowledge….or rather, my love for film.

via tumblr

One of the many things I related to, while reading the novel, was Anna’s love for movies! Movies are pretty much my thing. I can quote them. I can tell you who that obscure looking fellow was behind the desk in that one cop movie or tv show. Basically a walking IMDb and I’m more than okay with that. Anna’s dream and passion is film and after she finishes her senior year at SOAP in that beautiful, gay Paree, she hopes to become the next Roger Ebert…in female form.

I absolutely geek out at the part where she discussed her love for the classics! Hoping to become a Robert Osborne from Turner Classic Movies–not gonna lie, totally a dream of mine too– she is able to view some classics back on the big screen all thanks to her first stroll in Paris with the SWOONIEST Étienne St. Clair, BFF and love interest, who informed her that Paris has a strong appreciation for films. No matter the genre, year, country origin–France will show it in their thousands of movie theaters across cities! Anna while extremely excited by this revelation decides she’ll practice her review skills and ventures out into the city to watch what she can. Accompanied by others or alone, Anna gets a new movie-watching experience like no other!

Some of the awesome films mentioned throughout the novel are:

Rushmore
It Happened One Night
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Danny Boyle film fest
A Hard Day's Night
Lost in Translation
Roman Holiday

 

I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing a handful of these ALL the way through but I can tell you, from this list alone Anna was on the right track. Diverse films should make for a well-rounded critic for sure 🙂

On the subject of film and being that the story takes place in Paris, I wanted to share with you my top three favorite French films!

 

Un film:

I have a soft spot for Audrey Tatou and this film is so whimsical and breathtaking, Amélie will whisk you away on her journey to help those in need and to find love in the silly process! It’s definitely my number one favorite foreign film. It’s a tad on the longer side but worth it. Audrey’s performance is fantastic and the cast of characters are always fun to watch. Definitely check it out!
IMDb: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain



Deux film
:

Another film Audrey performed beautifully in. A tragically, beautiful love story set during World War I that shows the path of two friends who become lovers and soulmates during a difficult time. Audrey’s character searches for her missing fiance while looking back at their lovely memories together. The film is so gorgeously shot as well as there being some delectable eye candy, you’ll definitely want to watch this.
IMDb: A Very Long Engagement

Trés film:

This movie is so hilarious! I was so disappointed in Hollywood when they APPALLINGLY remade this classic film…dumbed it down and made it unbearable to even enjoy. The Dinner Game has a kind of terrible storyline where a group of male friends host a dinner party with one another but there is a catch. The catch is each friend attending must bring a guest with them…the guest has to be…well, stupid. Foolish. Someone the men can have camaraderie over insulting the guest after they leave. One of the friends has been having back pain and has to miss a dinner but fortunately, or unfortunately–however you’d like to look at it, he had already picked up his idiot for the dinner game so he’s stuck alone with a night full of complete mishap and hilarity! I actually randomly found this movie on IFC or was it Sundance(?) but regardless, I thought it was the funniest and even got my mom to watch a bit of it. (She’s not a foreign film fan)
IMDb: Le dîner de cons

Honorable Mentions….these two films are great as well and they have Americans you’ll notice make appearances in the films! Check them out as well!
Le Divorce via IMDb ….sisters face cultural differences and customs while dealing with love, romance, sex, and family drama
Paris, je t’aime via IMDb ….a series of short films expressing the different ways to fall in love with Paris

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On a side note fellow readers…the most beautiful thing came in the mail the other day and I finally opened it!

Hope you guys have enjoyed the readalong so far and are looking forward to reading Lola and the Boy Next Door! SOON….#IslaIsComing…SOON! Don’t forget to hashtag on twitter and join the party!

xx Linz