Mini-Reviews: May Reads

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Well. I can’t say any of the characters were very likable (maybe just Lawrence). Seriously though! This may be one of the most unlikable families I’ve ever read about. I’m not sure what I was supposed to get out of this book either…what was the moral? Forgiveness? Living your truest self? Having children is the greatest joy you could ever have? Idk. Maybe this book was just over my head. 3/5

Book of Night by Holly Black

I really wanted to like this book. I REALLY wanted to like it. And some parts I actually did like, but mostly this book just felt kind of messy. The world didn’t make a ton of sense. And where Black’s vision of “Fae” is so clear, this more urban fantasy (which she’s done so well in the past with her Tithe books) just fell flat. The magic system didn’t make a ton of sense to me and there were so many new terms being thrown at me that I never got a good grasp on.

The parts I did like: the last confrontation at Salt’s house. That’s kind of it. The rest was just okay. The ending was unexpected and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Overall, I’m disappointed and disappointed in my disappointment. 3/5

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

It’s definitely an interesting experience to read a book as an adult that you loved as a teenager. I love the way Sarah Dessen writes. It’s like slipping on a cozy sweater on a cold day. It’s just so comfortable and easy for me.

This book in particular I reread before watching the new Netflix movie. And while I still enjoyed Auden as a character, the one who really stood out to me this time was Heidi. I hadn’t read this book since becoming a mom myself. Two kids later, let me tell you, that scene of Heidi sitting in the dark with the baby is SO REAL. I mean, I even have a really present husband, but with my first there were times when I would sit and cry and hope that ANYONE would come save me. The depictions of new motherhood were clearly written by someone who knows what it’s like.

Overall, I really enjoyed my reread. This is one that I forget about sometimes, but it’s up among Dessen’s best imo. 4/5

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

I’m so happy I liked this book! I really liked Beach Read, but People We Meet on Vacation was just okay for me. I liked the premise of the city girl who always gets dumped for the small town girl being able to tell her side of the story. Nora and Libby had a really sweet relationship and I almost wish we’d gotten MORE of that. Charlie was sweet and all, but the romance didn’t need to be as big a part of it in my opinion.

I always like getting a peek behind the publishing curtain, so that aspect was fun too. I’d like to think that in another life I’d have gotten into publishing.

Overall, I thought Henry did a good job playing with tropes. Honestly, my main complaint is that she’s managed to create another fictional book within her book that I’m dying to read. 4/5

Bad Luck Bridesmaid by Alison Rose Greenberg

I just didn’t love Zoey as a main character. Firstly, she seemed a little implausible as a person (manic pixie dream girl but as a super successful advertising exec). Secondly, I think we’re just too different. I couldn’t relate to her at all.

Then there are the flashbacks. So many flashbacks. I think the first 10 chapters is all flashback. I didn’t personally gel with the writing style from this book. Not to say that it was poorly written, I think it was fine, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Overall, this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. 2/5

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I LOVED THIS BOOK. I went into it with low expectations since I wasn’t jazzed by the synopsis and didn’t love Carrie from Malibu. But it’s TJR so I was going to read it regardless. And it totally took me by surprise. Obviously it’s beautifully written and it actually made me care about tennis (which is a true feat).

The relationship between Carrie and her father was a perfect focus for this book. Javier was a bright spot every time he was on the page. Plotwise, this book was very predictable. However, it’s still so enjoyable that I didn’t even care. Carrie is fantastic and is truly a great character. She’s complicated and imperfect but also unapologetically herself.

Overall, I just loved this book. If you’re a TJR fan, read this book. If you’re not yet a TJR fan, read this book and then binge her backlist. 5/5

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

DREAM CAST: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Last May, Netflix optioned three Sarah Dessen books which was very exciting news in my opinion. The three books were This Lullaby, Along for the Ride, and Once and For All. I’m not sure where they are in the process of actually becoming movies, but the other night I couldn’t sleep and started creating a cast for my personal favorite Dessen book, The Truth About Forever.

Dream Cast

Auli’i Cravalho as Macy
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What I’ve Seen Her In: Moana, Rise, All Together Now

I think Auli’i is incredibly talented and I think this is a great opportunity to add some color to one of Dessen’s books.

Charlie Gillespie as Wes

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What I’ve Seen Him In: Julie and the Phantoms

Charlie doesn’t look exactly how I always pictured Wes, but after watching him in Julie and the Phantoms, I think he’d bring a really good energy to the character and I think he’d be great opposite Auli’i.

Jordan Fisher as Jason Talbot

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What I’ve Seen Him In: Teen Beach Movie, Grease Live!, To All the Boys, Work It

I love this as a bit of a role reversal for Jordan. He’s typically played these “good guy” characters and Jason is still kind of that…but also he’s not the good guy of this story.

Madeleine Arthur as Kristy

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What I’ve Seen Her In: To All the Boys

I thought Madeleine was AMAZING in both To All the Boys movies–honestly, she was the best and most natural in my opinion. I would love to see her in such a dynamic role as Kristy.

Britt Robertson as Monica

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What I’ve Seen Her In: Dan in Real Life, Tomorrowland

This was actually a really hard role for me to cast. Honestly, I think the best person for this role would be Aubrey Plaza, but she’s probably too old at this point. Despite that, I think Britt Robertson could be really good as well.

Trevor Larcom as Bert

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What I’ve Seen Him In: Fresh Off the Boat

Trevor is absolutely Bert. If you’ve seen him in any episode of Fresh Off the Boat, I think you’d agree. He’s overly serious while simultaneously hilarious. He and Charlie probably don’t look quite enough alike to be brothers…but I’m willing to make that sacrifice.

Minnie Driver as Delia

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What I’ve Seen Her In: Return to Me, Ella Enchanted, The Phantom of the Opera, Speechless

I think Minnie Driver is such a great actress and she would totally be able to bring to life Delia’s chaotic energy.

Christina Chang as Deborah Queen

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What I’ve Seen Her In: The Good Doctor

She seems like this really tough type of lady and I could perfectly picture her as Macy’s mom.

Timothy Olyphant as Macy’s Dad

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What I’ve Seen Him In: I Am Number Four, The Office, The Good Place

This was another tough casting decision. Macy’s mom was really easy for me, so I knew I wanted to find a white actor to be her dad. I felt like he needed to be a bit rough around the edges, but also someone fit as he’s a runner. But then he also needed to seem really kind and a good contrast to Deborah.

Shay Mitchell as Caroline

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What I’ve Seen Her In: Pretty Little Liars

I feel really confident with Shay as Caroline. As I reread the book, I could really picture her in this role. She’s emotional and compassionate, but also has a hidden layer of strength.

Nelson Franklin as Wally

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What I’ve Seen Him In: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Office, Abby’s

Wally isn’t actually in the book much and I think he could have a slightly bigger role in a movie. I think Nelson could portray the perfect combo of nerdy and sweet.

Madelaine Petsch and Bethany Antonia as the Library Girls

What I’ve Seen Them In: Riverdale and Get Even respectively

The two library girls are interchangeable to me, but I feel like both of these actresses would be great in portraying a stuck up smart girl.

What do you guys think of my cast list?

18 Best Book Deals for 5/12/20: Behold the Dreamers, The Magicians, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $2

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

Less than $3

Rebel by Marie Lu

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

A Prince in Theory by Alyssa Cole

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to Present by David Treuer


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