MOVIE: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Cast

I’m sure most of you are already aware, but a couple of days ago some casting decisions regarding the movie adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han were released. Here are my thoughts:

John Corbett as Lara Jean’s dad

John Corbett

I LOVE THIS CASTING DECISION. Seriously. I haven’t seen John Corbett in a ton of things, but he’s the perfect guy to play the well-meaning but a little lost dad of three half-Korean girls. I LOVE THIS.

Janel Parrish as Margot, Lana Condor as Lara Jean, Anna Cathcart as Kitty

Covey Sisters

I really like Janel as Margot. She seems the appropriate age and definitely has that older sister vibe.

Lana was the first casting decision I saw and at the time I thought, “Alright, she looks like she’d fit”. Now that I see her with the other two sisters, though, she looks way more Asian than they do. Like…she doesn’t look like she’s half-white while the other two do (and I would know, since I’m only half-Asian and have half-Asian siblings). I just feel like that’s going to bug me the whole movie, but we’ll see.

Anna looks like a suitable Kitty, which is a big relief. Kitty is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTER and if they get her wrong, HEADS WILL ROLL.

Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky

Noah Centineo

Sure *shrugs*. This isn’t how I pictured Peter looking (for some reason I thought he had reddish hair?) but I can buy it.

Israel Broussard as Josh Sanderson

Israel Broussard

Pretty much the same reaction that I had for Peter. I guess he looks like the boy-next-door type, so I can buy it.

On a completely separate note, IMDB says that Will Smith is a producer? Random.

What do you guys think about the casting decisions for TABILB? Is there another actress/actor that you wish had been cast instead?

I find it weird that these books never mention Dylan Thomas once | This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back [ARC] by Estelle Laure

Lucille and Eden have been friends forever. But the summer before their senior year, Lucille’s mom decides to take off on a solo vacation. She promises to come back before school starts, but Lucille and her little sister Wren are left waiting long after that deadline has passed. Meanwhile, Eden is struggling to come to terms with her future in ballet and the new feelings that have arisen between Lucille and her twin brother, Digby.

Just to start off, I really liked This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back was also enjoyable, but I didn’t like it AS MUCH. I just really had so many feelings about Lucille and Wren. Lucille has to be so tough and is put in this impossible situation. I noticed that some reviewers haven’t liked how mean she is to Eden and Digby after a little while, but I feel like I can understand it completely. She has to be so stressed out and she can’t REALLY talk to anyone about her situation. But one thing this book does do is make me believe in the kindness of strangers. So…there’s that.

The relationship between Lucille and Digby is…a little weird. It feels completely one-sided at the beginning of the book and it’s not completely clear what makes Digby have a change of heart. He’s got a girlfriend at the beginning of the book and he cheats on her with Lucille which is NOT OKAY. That being said, I did end up liking their relationship in the end. Mostly, though, the relationship that I really liked was between Lucille and Wren. I LOVE a good sister relationship and I felt that this book definitely delivered in that area. There’s a sizable age difference between the two girls, but they love each other and are there for each other through everything. My heart was seriously just breaking for these girls throughout the whole book.

There wasn’t too much of a plot beyond trying to survive while Lucille’s mom is gone, but I was okay with that. Again, there have been some reviewers that disliked how the first book ends because they felt like there wasn’t a resolution. I can definitely see that, but I finished the first book and immediately went into the second which picks up right where the first one left off so…I didn’t really mind the lack of a resolution.

The title is something that really drew me to this book initially. The poem it’s quoting is great (who doesn’t love it?) and the girls discuss it a little in the book. But then they never mention Dylan Thomas to my recollection. There’s no real reason why the NEED to talk about him, but perhaps it could have added an interesting layer or dimension to the book.

This is the point where I’m going to transition into my review of the second book, so if you don’t want some things spoiled from the first book, do not continue reading.

I didn’t like Eden as a narrator as much as I liked Lucille. There’s just something a little…chippy about her? I felt like she had this undercurrent of anger throughout a lot of her interactions with people. Then because Eden’s just woken up from a coma, there are some weird things that she sees that almost gives this book a magical realism feel to it where that was NOT present in the first book. It almost feels like a different genre.

The new characters that were introduced in the second book are interesting. I was a little confused, though, because apparently Eden has these two really good guy friends who are over all the time but who are never mentioned in the first book. I didn’t like the way that her new guy friends or even her parents and brother reacted to Eden at times. They got really angry with her when she didn’t want to do something–the girl just got out of a coma! I would think she’s allowed to not want to go to a club or party.

This book was interesting because we really get Eden’s point of view in the whole fallout between her and Lucille. Lucille really isn’t painted in the BEST light in this book, which was hard for me since I liked her so much in the first book. At the same time, I thought it was a great way of showing that there are two sides to every story, you know? I understood why Eden felt the way she did and ultimately why she reacted to Lucille how she did in the first book.

Overall, I thought these books were pretty great. I think it would make more sense to read them in order, but you could definitely read them separately and I think the second book would still make sense…mostly.

Overall Rating: 5 (TRL), 4 (BTICB)
Language: Moderate for both
Violence: Moderate (TRL), Mild (BTICB)
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate for both
Sexual Content: Moderate (TRL), Mild (BTICB)

Note: I received But Then I Came Back free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Just because I own it, doesn’t mean I’ve read it

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic but they’re taking a little break right now (well-deserved). The topic I’ve come up with this week is: Ten books that have been on my Kindle forever that I actually really want to read, but haven’t read yet

1) My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows – Purchased 12/13/2016
2) The Siren by Kiera Cass – Purchased 6/3/2017 (but on my TBR forever)
3) Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – Purchased 5/14/2017 (but on my TBR forever)
4) The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – Purchased 9/30/2014
5) Bone Gap by Laura Ruby – Purchased 3/12/2017 (but on my TBR forever)

6) City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare – Purchased 11/25/2014
7) Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins – Purchased 4/12/2015
8) A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – Purchased 12/27/2016
9) The 100 by Kass Morgan – Purchased 12/29/2014
10) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow – Purchased 11/14/2015

Which of these do I need to move up my TBR?

July Reading Update

ARCs
Waste of Space by Gina Damico – DNF 99 pgs (24%)
Zero Repeat Forever by G. S. Prendergast
Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland – Read, review coming
But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure – Read, review coming

Other
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – Currently Reading
The Gold by Krista Wagner
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Refine by Nichole Van – Read
The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis – Currently Reading
First Date by Krista McGee – Currently Readind

So far this month I have finished three books with one DNF.

 

This series is neverending, but I don’t care | Ash & Quill by Rachel Caine [ARC]

Note: This is the third book in The Great Library series and may contain spoilers for those who haven’t read the first two books.

Ash and QuillJess Brightwell and his friends have been captured by Burners and taken to Philadelphia in America. Not only does he still need to figure out how they’re going to defeat the Library, but now he has to figure out how to escape the Burners without getting killed by either group. Jess thinks he may be able to get some help from his family, but the Brightwell’s don’t provide their aid for free–even for family.

THESE BOOKS ARE SO GOOD. And the covers are AMAZING (just look at it!). For some reason I thought this series was just going to be a trilogy (perhaps that was the original plan) but come to find out, there are actually going to be at least two more books. This is both frustrating and extremely exciting news. I love the world that Caine has created so I don’t want to let go of it too soon, but I also need to know how Jess and everybody else gets out of this mess. What I can say is that it definitely feels like Caine has this series planned out from start to finish. Some things from the first two books tie in to things in this book and I’m sure that’ll extend into books four and five as well. I love when it feels like an author has done a lot of work in developing not only the world, but the overall plot as well.

The characters were great as always. Even though the plot is a little slow moving, I don’t find that I mind because it just helps the characters to develop and enables me to make connections with all of them (literally, all of them). They’ve definitely developed over the three books in a way that’s genuine to the characters that we were originally introduced to. I love that Caine includes a good level of diversity (race, gender, sexuality, etc.) without hitting the reader over the head with it. It’s present and it effects who the characters are without seeming like a stereotype or an excuse to not develop the character further.

Something that’s so hard with ongoing series’ for me is that I often forget who characters are and what happened in previous books. From that perspective, the fact that the plot is so slow moving actually works in the books’ favor because I have a much easier time remember what has already happened since there isn’t too much for me to remember. That part aside, though, I also find it very easy to remember the different characters and their personalities which is impressive with a cast of eight main characters plus secondaries.

Overall, I heartily recommend this series. There’s part of me that might recommend waiting until all the books are written because each book ends with a cliffhanger, but another part feels like these books are too good so everyone should just read them now. I just want to point out real quick that as of today, the book has 113 ratings with only one two-star and no one-stars (of course, this is the day after its release, but still). THESE BOOKS ARE GOOD and I think they’d appeal to both girls and boys. There’s action and romance and a male narrator with some kick-a female characters as well. JUST EVERYONE READ THEM.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Mild
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Moderate

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Meta-TTT

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic but they’re taking a little break right now (well-deserved). So I decided to take this moment to reflect on the numerous Top Ten Tuesday’s I’ve done in the past. Here are my Top Ten TTTs in order from more recent to less recent.

1) Favorite 2017 Covers – Pretty covers are my bread and butter. I loved looking through 2017 releases to find the covers that really stood out to me.

2) Books with a Summer Setting – Like seriously…did I even write this one? I vaguely remember doing it, but I waxed way more poetic in that intro paragraph than I usually do.

3) Things Books Make Me Want to Learn or Do – There are so many hobbies out there, but sometimes books make you interested in specific hobbies.

4) Reasons Why I Love Sarah Dessen – Beyond the obvious (I love her).

5) Characters That Need to Get Out of My Life – Here, let me rant for you (don’t @ me) (or do. I don’t care).

6) Books to Read if You’re in an X Mood – I still completely agree with all of these.

7) Songs That Should Be Books – Hi, I’m still waiting…but as an addition to this post, I’ve recently been thinking that somebody should write a YA series where each book is based on a different Taylor Swift song. SO GENIUS.

8) Thanksgiving with Fictional Families – Never have I wanted book characters to be real so badly.

9) Necessary Author Collaborations – I just read through this post again and I AM A GENIUS. All of these collaborations are so perfect!!!

10) Authors with Ties to BYU – I had to throw another plug in for my alma mater. This was such a fun post to research and write 🙂

Which topics have been your favorites over the years?

If I hear the term “swimcest” one more time… | Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally [ARC]

Coming Up for AirFor years, the only things that Maggie has thought about are swimming, school, and food. She doesn’t have time for boys if she wants to get into one of the top swimming colleges–she has to concentrate on shaving seconds off of her race times. After a disastrous college visit, however, Maggie begins to rethink her “no boys” policy. The last thing she wants is to get to college and be completely inexperienced in the boy department. But how is she supposed to make time for boys with her busy swimming schedule?

The premise of this story is so cringe to me. Our main character doesn’t want to go to college inexperienced, so she turns to her best guy friend to help her get some “experience”. I feel so awkward just typing that sentence. And they kept using this term “swimcest” to describe two people on the same swim team dating…so cringe. For the record, it’s not the worst thing in the world to go to college without having kissed someone–I would know. (P.S. I turned out fine. I’m even married now! Funny how that happens). That’s kind of my main issue with this book I guess… I feel like it promotes an incorrect message that everyone going into their freshman year of college has had sex. This is so far from the truth! Do we really want teenage girls reading this book to feel defective if they haven’t had much experience with boys? Or feel pressured to get some kind of experience before college? That’s definitely NOT the message I’d want my daughters to receive. Every girl is on her own time table and that’s OKAY.

With all that in mind, I really think it’s about time that I cut this series loose. Looking at my Goodreads, I’ve realized that I haven’t given any of these books over three stars. Yikes. I think the only reason I keep reading these books is because I like finding the easter eggs–but that’s definitely not a good enough reason to keep reading.

But anyway, on to the actual book. I thought Maggie was completely immature in almost all of her interactions with other people. Perhaps I shouldn’t judge her so harshly since she’s only in high school, but I found myself rolling my eyes at her. A lot. Levi was a weird character who was nice enough, but didn’t have a ton of depth in my opinion. And then I guess there were other characters? But they were seriously so inconsequential that I can’t remember any of them.

The plot was completely predictable and had a ton of manufactured drama. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book. I wouldn’t recommend this series. While I appreciate seeing female main characters in prominent sports roles, that doesn’t outweigh all of the negatives that have accumulated from each of the books throughout the years.

Overall Rating: 2
Language: Moderate
Violence: None
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Heavy

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.