NEW SARAH DESSEN BOOK

I’m sure a lot of you have already heard, but contemporary romance queen, Sarah Dessen, is coming out with a new book next year! It’s going to be called “The Rest of the Story” and it releases June 4, 2019. She’s moved to a different publisher now (she was with Penguin, but is now with HarperCollins) and she’s also created a new lake town (!!!) which will be the setting of this book. I have a special place in my heart for Colby, so I’m a little disappointed it won’t be set there, but this is still exciting! I’m hoping we still get cameos from some of our favorite characters–I bet Louna and Ambrose will be there for a summer wedding for sure.

Here are some quotes from Sarah regarding this new book:

  • “I realized that I wanted to do something different, so I created a new lake town”
  • “It is a summer novel, taking place in the summer, like many of my other books. Some of this book came from the fact that I am a regular reader of my local obituaries. There are all kinds of strange things in this book that I love. I want readers to know that it’s going to be a new chapter in the world that I’ve created and I can’t wait for them to join me there.”
  • “[This book is] a big-hearted, sweeping novel about a girl who reconnects with a part of her family she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl—and falls in love, all over the course of a magical summer.”

Yes. Please.

This book already sounds amazing and I’m excited about the promise of many more books set in this new town. Also, obituaries? I’m intrigued.

How do you guys feel about Sarah moving away from Lakeview and Colby? Who do you hope to see in a cameo?

Lastly, HATE SPINNERBAIT.

Source: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/78562-ya-author-sarah-dessen-moves-to-harpercollins.html

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Overall thoughts after rereading the TATBILB trilogy [SPOILERS]

The first time I read these books, I remember LOVING the first book. The second and third books were okay for me, but that’s mostly because I’m 100% #TeamJohnAmbrose. This time around though, I’m struck by how incredibly immature Lara Jean is. She’s selfish and petty and dramatic. I mean I guess that’s just being a teenager? But she’s trying to have this incredibly grown up relationship with Peter and it’s 1,000,000% clear that she’s not ready for something this deep and heavy.

So that’s pretty much my problem with Lara Jean. I find her slightly unlikable because of how immature she is. I feel like there are quite a few instances in each book where Kitty is more mature than she is and Kitty’s just a kid (though, obviously the superior character–Kitty rocks).

My next issue is obviously the fact that Lara Jean picks Peter over John Ambrose. I mean…excuse me, Jenny Han? You can’t just write the literal most perfect teenage boy character/potential love interest who LITERALLY has no faults and then not have your protag pick him. There is literally no good reason why Lara Jean decided to stick with Peter. I mean, Lara Jean says it’s because Peter got there first, but that is NOT a good reason. I challenge anyone to list John Ambrose’s faults. I’ll wait. THEY DON’T EXIST. He gives her the most perfect birthday present and he and Lara Jean are about to have this wonderful life together and then Peter walks up because he’s jealous of John Ambrose. If Peter hadn’t felt threatened by John Ambrose would he have wanted to get back together with Lara Jean? I submit that he would not.

Then in the third book they paint Peter to be the sweetest guy who is doing all of these things for Lara Jean like getting her chocolate chip cookies and recreating the scene from Sixteen Candles…but all of those things are so OBVIOUS. If Lara Jean was dating John Ambrose in the third book, he would be doing all kinds of sweet things that Lara Jean didn’t even know she wanted until he did them. He also would have been super supportive of Lara Jean going to whatever school she wanted and wouldn’t have made her feel bad or guilty in any way.

But whatever. Lara Jean and Peter deserve each other. I’ll wait for the next book which will feature the two best characters of the whole series falling in love (Kitty and John Ambrose). Lara Jean will be mad because John Ambrose is HERS but Kitty won’t care because she’s Kitty and she does what she wants. Margot will be a little freaked out because of the age difference, but again, Kitty won’t care because she’s Kitty and she does what she wants. Trina will just say, “You go, Kitty!” and Kitty WILL care because she loves Tree, but also because Trina is supporting Kitty doing what she wants.

A brief issue with bookstagram

I’ve been noticing that a new trend has hit bookstagram some time in the last year… All of these bookstagrammers are posting pictures of paperback books with the cover folded all the way back so you can see the title page. What is this madness? Every time I see one of those pictures I just think about how that poor cover is never going to lay flat again! I would post some examples, but I don’t want to put anyone specifically on the spot–especially since it seems like EVERYONE IS DOING IT. I mean, people can do whatever they want with their own books, but I could never imagine making that sacrifice for the gram.

Do you guys have any bookstagram pet peeves?

Everything wrong (and right) with the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie [SPOILERS]

Does anyone else spend a ton of time on Buzzfeed or is it just me? One of the things I really enjoy is reading articles where someone is doing a stream of consciousness type review for a movie or TV show (usually the Bachelor/Bachelorette). So here’s my stream of consciousness review for the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie–I’m literally typing this as I watch it. Prepare yourselves for lots of book vs movie comparisons and I guess there will probably be some spoilers for people who haven’t already watched the movie. Here we go!

  • BEAUTIFUL opening scene and KITTY IS THE BEST.
  • I don’t like that the girls are ragging on Dr Covey’s Korean food. From what I remember from the book, it’s not always terrible.
  • Josh walking into the house with his shoes in his hand is pretty weird. Like, either he should have left them on the porch or taken them off inside.
  • What Asian family eats that little rice with a meal?
  • Margot is making this dinner supes awk questioning Josh about the plane ticket but once again, Kitty is the best.
  • EWWWWW MARGOT GETTING INTO LARA JEAN’S BED WITH HER SHOES ON
  • John Corbett is the perfect guy to play the Song girls’ dad. There is no one else.
  • Why haven’t Lara Jean or Kitty called Margot “Gogo” yet? It’s such a cute nickname!
  • LOL at Lara Jean’s awkward school picture smile.
  • Okay, so I know they’re in Oregon, but Lara Jean’s wardrobe seems a little too Fall for the first day of school. She’d be way too warm!
  • Gen doesn’t look as cliché popular girl as I would have imagined…and I don’t really get why she’s making fun of Lara Jean’s boots? They look super trendy to me… I will say that Lara Jean’s defense of “They’re vintage? But I got them on Etsy?” isn’t super helpful though.
  • DISLIKE that they made Lara Jean’s kiss with Peter into a spin the bottle thing. That changes the WHOLE dynamic between her, Peter, and Gen imo.
  • Josh is super awkward and stiff and I can’t tell if it’s the character or the actor.
  • How is there popcorn all over the couch when the popcorn bowl looks like it’s been untouched? It’s the little things…
  • KITTY IS THE BEST
  • No, no, no, it erases an entire vindictive side of Kitty for her to be sending out the letters with good intentions. I want evil Kitty!
  • For anyone who doesn’t recognize Jenny Han, she’s just looking like the world’s most awkward chaperone.
  • I’m really digging this soundtrack.
  • KITTY IS THE BEST!!!!!!
  • These letters seem to be MUCH more cringeworthy than they were in the book.
  • That fall out of her window would hurt SO BAD.
  • This whole diner convo between Lara Jean and Peter is super stiff and awkward.
  • There has to be a better time for Lara Jean to talk to Peter that’s NOT in the middle of Lacrosse practice.
  • I am so glad that Peter is pointing out the weirdness of the “hand in back pocket” thing. No one does that anymore! It was weird when Jason Segel did it in Freaks and Geeks and it’s still weird–not romantic.
  • It’s very distracting that every time we get a view of the contract, “Ski Trip” is written differently.
  • LJ–solid nickname for Lara Jean. That should’ve been in the book for sure.
  • Like I said, the hand in the back pocket is NOT cute.
  • I’m so glad Dr Covey is less clueless in this movie than in the book. I cringed so hard when he thought Peter was taking Lara Jean to a birthday party in the book.
  • No one’s hair looks that good coming straight out of a ponytail.
  • Peter, what part of FAVORITE SCRUNCHIE do you not understand?
  • Obviously at this point in the movie, Peter is starting to like Lara Jean but it still feels like it’s coming out of nowhere. This is another point that the book does a lot better.
  • Josh is coming on super strong and way too intense right now. It makes it seem like he’s having a hard time getting his lines out and makes the scene hard to watch.
  • Awkward sofa pillow fight.
  • This conversation in Peter’s kitchen feels way more natural than any of their other conversations.
  • Blatant Subway product placement.
  • I don’t really see how Josh can shed any light on Lara Jean’s situation with Peter. Oh, surprise, he doesn’t. He literally just says, “I don’t know what to tell you.”
  • Instagram posts weren’t in the contract, Peter. If you wanted that, then you should’ve included a social media clause.
  • Chris rocks. She’s asking the question that we all want to ask male gynecologists. Also, she’s the best actor in this whole movie (besides John Corbett).
  • Again, ballin’ soundtrack.
  • Lucas is great too. There’s some really good secondary cast going on here.
  • I’m not really understanding Lucas’ logic here, though. He kind of makes it sound like Peter’s liked her since the beginning (which isn’t true) and how does he make the leap to Peter waiting for her in the hot tub?
  • Okay wait, but how is Lara Jean’s night gown now completely dry???
  • *sigh* classic high school angst created by miscommunication (or refusal to communicate in this case).
  • Josh is such a lurker. What is he doing slinking around the Covey’s house with his hood up?
  • Yes Kitty, you ORDER that pizza, girl! Also, I would watch a whole movie of Kitty and Dr Covey playing chess.
  • THIS MAKES NO SENSE. If Kitty really wanted Lara Jean to have a boyfriend, she wouldn’t have sent out the letter to Josh. An 11-year-old would recognize that couldn’t work and would only cause family drama. This is why we need vindictive Kitty back who sent the letters out for revenge. That makes so much more sense.
  • Who exactly took that picture of sleeping Peter and Lara Jean for her phone background?
  • Another reason the spin the bottle kiss was a bad change–it makes Gen way crazier than she is in the book. I mean, she’s crazy in the book, but in this movie I feel like she’s completely unhinged.
  • The movie also makes Peter’s notes way more romantic than they were in the book.
  • Lara Jean is making this whole thing so awkward. First, she makes Peter turn around and then she does the most awkward shoulder tap in all of history.
  • There’s no reason for John Ambrose to be wearing his Model UN blazer here. But whatever, I’m die hard #TeamJohnAmbrose.

Okay, overall the movie was pretty good–probably especially if you haven’t already read the book. It’s a cute idea and kind of different from other teen rom coms coming out right now. However, I felt like most of the acting was about a 4/10 for me. Everything just felt so stiff and scripted. If you want to see teen conversations that actually feel real, just watch any episode of Friday Night Lights–that’s the real stuff.

But that’s just my opinion, what did you guys think of the TATBILB movie?

I disappeared! Here’s why.

I owe you guys an explanation. I was just getting my blog up and running again, but something happened that made me need to take a quick, unexpected break:

Some of you may have already known I was pregnant, and my due date was May 11. Well, this guy decided he wanted to be an April baby instead and he made his appearance on April 3rd. He was in the NICU for a couple of weeks and then we were able to bring him home. My husband and I were COMPLETELY unprepared (we didn’t even have his crib set up). Luckily we had a little bit of time to get things together while he was in the NICU, but we’re still getting the hang of things with him home.

The next thing that’s happening is that we’re moving for the summer. My husband has an out-of-state internship that we’ll be leaving for soon. So, with the baby and moving, I’m not sure when exactly I’ll have time to start blogging again, but I am planning on coming back! It just might take me a bit. In the mean time, what are you guys reading right now? Let me know in the comments!

BOOK VS MOVIE | Ready Player One

Let me start off by saying that I fell in love with Ready Player One from the first time that I read it back in 2011. Then I read it again more recently in 2015 and thought that it still held up really well. Then I made my husband and brothers-in-law read it and they all liked it too.

Some time between my first and second read, it was announced that the book had been optioned for a movie–this was VERY exciting to me. But then years passed and nothing came of it until…something did. When they finally started casting, I was ecstatic and thought that almost all of the actors/actresses casted were perfect (with the exception of Art3mis). When they announced that Spielberg would be directing I thought, “OF COURSE. THIS IS PERFECT.” And then when the first teaser trailer came out, I swear I actually died and came back to life. Needless to say, this weekend when my husband and I went to go see the movie, my expectations were high. Very high.

Well…I liked the book better. But, that’s not to say that I didn’t like the movie too. To be honest, I almost always like the book better than the movie. A lot of the time, I feel like the movie changes or completely omits too many things and that makes me mad. Why did they have to change the story? The book was PERFECT and there was no reason to get rid of that character or change that plot point or whatever.

And then there’s Ready Player One. RPO changed quite a few things from the book while maintaining the overall storyline. Despite all of these changes, I still really enjoyed the movie! I actually understood why things were different from the book–to be honest, it just would not have been as interesting to watch as it was to read. Another big difference is that the movie is not so saturated with 80s pop culture. So if that’s what you love from the book, you’ll be disappointed. There are definitely some 80s references, but the movie also references more current pop culture things like Halo and Minecraft (which I actually think is reasonable considering the OASIS is set in the future where all of those things would exist). It’s just not quite so much of an homage to the 80s as the book is.

Overall, the movie was good–a little slower than I expected? But still good. Depending on why you like the book, you may or may not like the movie, but I would still recommend it.

Have you guys seen Ready Player One yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

How do you read so much? | 5 ways to read more books

Over the last few years, I’ve been able to read over 100 books a year even while going to school and/or working full-time and/or making time for my husband. I don’t say this to brag, but just to say that I’m pretty good at finding the time to read. I just wanted to share a few tips that I’ve found help me to find the time and motivation to read despite my busy schedule.

1) Always have a book with you

book splits gif

This one seems kind of obvious–right? If you don’t have a book with you, then you can’t read. This is one of the main reasons why I love my Kindle Paperwhite. It’s slim and light and easily fits in my purse. I’ve almost always got a book that I’m reading on my Kindle whether it’s one I’ve purchased, an ARC, or a library book. If you don’t have a Kindle, though, I would highly recommend the Kindle Reading app for your phone. I don’t like it quite as much since the screen is so small, but it’s better than nothing! Whenever I’m waiting in line for my lunch or for a meeting/presentation/class to start, I pull out my Kindle and read for a few minutes. If you’re doing this a few times a day, that easily adds up!

2) Prioritize reading over other activities

loki thor reading gif

Since my husband’s family lives close by, we spend a lot of time with them. We often have family dinners followed by hanging out/playing games/watching sports. When I was first getting to know the family, I felt like I needed to participate in everything and show that I was a team player, etc. However, now, I think we all know each other well enough that I don’t feel that need to “impress” so much anymore. Obviously, I don’t seclude myself in another room all night, but if I don’t feel like playing a game, I’ll sit it out and read instead. Or if the boys are all watching a basketball/football/baseball/insert sport game, then I’ll sit back and crack open my book. It’s okay to choose reading over other activities! Don’t let other people make you feel bad for enjoying reading more than other things.

3) But don’t force it

the office chillax michael scott steve carrell gif

I have been known to add reading a certain number of pages to my weekend “To Do” list (especially if I’ve got an ARC or blog tour book that I need to finish). But sometimes…I just don’t feel like reading! I feel like watching Netflix or working on one of my other hobbies, and that’s okay! I think that if you force yourself to read, it will just take you longer to get out of your reading slump. So calm down, take a minute, allow yourself to do other things, and then maybe you’ll feel like reading again in a few days–but don’t stress about it.

4) It’s okay to DNF/mood read/reread

sherlock benedict cumberbatch reading gif

I think sometimes DNFing or mood reading or rereading books are considered “bad etiquette” in the blogging world, but I don’t think they should be! If I’m not enjoying a book, I’ve learned to DNF because I don’t want to waste my time anymore. Even if it’s a book I’ve been asked to review, I’ll just say at what point I DNF’ed, explain why, and then move on. For mood reading, I find that I read books a lot faster if I’m in the mood to read them. If I’m forcing a mood on myself, it will take FOREVER to finish a book. Lastly, I think rereads are great–especially for getting myself out of a reading slump. Some of my favorite rereads have just become comfort items to me and are so easy to sink into.

5) Read more than one book at a time

reading multiple books gif

I’ve usually got a couple of books going at a time. Usually I’m reading one on my Kindle and at least one hard cover or paperback. It’s just easier to read physical books when I’m at home and my Kindle everywhere else. But I think reading more than one book at a time is a great idea because if you get tired of one, you can just switch to the other. Of course, if you’re just plain tired of reading that doesn’t help…but if you’re just tired of the story, then pick something else up for a bit!

Have you tried any of these? What are some reading techniques that you use? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!