Rereading Twilight as an adult

It was always my plan to reread Twilight this year, but with the Midnight Sun announcement I thought I’d better do it sooner rather than later to avoid long wait times on a hold list.

Rereading Twilight

I remember the first time I saw Twilight. My older sister had checked it out from the library and I remember reading the cover flap. I don’t remember what my immediate thoughts were, but it was during the period of the time that I read many of my sister’s library books without her knowing in the middle of the night. Regardless of when I ended up reading it, I loved it. I loved the entire series though I was never Team Edward or Team Jacob (I was Team Jasper). Since then, a lot of criticism has come out regarding the Bella/Edward relationship. I was too young at the time to recognize any potential abusive situations so I was really curious how the books might read as an adult.

So here I am rereading the books over 10 years, a husband, two degrees, and a kid later. I am in as different a stage of life as I could possibly be from when I first read these books. First, I just want to talk about the writing. I found the first person narrative to be really grating. I’ve read other books that were narrated in the first person that didn’t seem so self-absorbed. I didn’t particularly enjoy being in Bella’s head that much. It was also clear to me that Meyer was trying to write in this really lush and descriptive way, but it doesn’t come off smoothly. Her descriptions end up bogging down the entire story. Honestly, I would love to take a red pen to these books because I think that we could cut out about 200 pages from EACH BOOK (probably 300 from the last one). Especially in the last book, I just noticed that it took FOREVER to get through the story. There were so many pages and chapters where nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. We get this huge internal monologue about nothing and when the character comes back to the present, five seconds have passed. It was just so infuriating, especially in the last book when I just wanted to be done.

The plot itself isn’t bad. It’s not a bad story by any means (despite the love triangle). I actually do find this entire community of vampires to be interesting. In the later books it gets more into vampire history and I thought that part was different and perhaps could have been expanded on. It just didn’t need to take as much time as it did.

Characters…this is ultimately where I feel the books really suffer. As a kid, I think I remember liking both Jacob and Edward fine. Bella was just okay for me, even back then. With this reread though, I realize that all of these characters are AWFUL. Bella is extremely codependent. She goes from an over-reliance on Edward to an over-reliance on Jacob. She also has this recurring problem of underestimating the paranormal creatures in her life. Or perhaps it’s less an underestimation of their skill, but an overestimation of their willingness to die for her? Anytime one of the groups (vampires or werewolves) decides to go fight someone, she has this freakout because she thinks everyone is going to die and it’ll be her fault. It’s such a complete overreaction and she does it time and time again. It’s infuriating. Obviously, they’re going because they think they can win–maybe give the paranormal creatures (who you really know nothing about) a little more credit, Bella.

This time around, I can definitely see that Edward is super controlling. In Eclipse, he literally is trying to tell Bella who she can be friends with. She has to ask his permission to do anything and it drove me crazy. It’s also super creepy that he crept into Bella’s room to watch her sleep. That will never not be creepy. He doesn’t start treating Bella as any sort of an equal partner until like…the end of Eclipse. He’s also terrible at communicating with her (as in, he doesn’t).

Jacob is hotheaded and not at all respectful of any of the choices that Bella makes unless he completely agrees with it. My jaw was literally on the floor when Jacob sexually assaults Bella not once, but TWICE. And he thinks he did nothing wrong! He sort of apologizes? But in a way that’s clear that he would definitely do it over again.

And now…the relationships. Bella and Edward quickly jump into being “in love” when “in lust” is more like it. What is their relationship based off of? Nothing of substance, that’s for sure. Bella can’t control herself when they kiss and if that’s not the definition of “in lust”, then I don’t know what is. Even as a kid, I remember being really confused by Bella’s physical overreactions. Later on in the series, Bella finds that she’s actually in love with BOTH Edward and Jacob. I know she’s supposed to be really mature for her age (even though she doesn’t act like it), but I just have a hard time seeing how a teenager could be truly in love with both Edward and Jacob to the extent that she seems to be. It’s just too much.

Lastly, let’s talk about Renesmee. Now, this part of the plot was a tad more of a stretch for me. Why does Renesmee grow and develop so fast? No one knows. On a side note, let’s talk about her name. Renesmee Carlie–the ultimate name mashup. So cringe. The cringiest of the cringe names. So bad. But back on topic, because of her quick development, I had a really hard time keeping an image of her in my head. Does she look like a toddler but act like a ten-year-old? Or is she just like…a mini ten-year-old? On another note, I didn’t love her interactions with Bella. Or rather…I didn’t love Bella’s interactions with Renesmee. I remember this from before as well–Bella never reads like a mom to me. Especially now that I AM a mom, I feel like Bella reads more like an older sister or something. There’s so much internal monologuing about literally everything else, but I just don’t feel from Bella what it’s actually like to be someone’s mom.

Overall, this was a very interesting experience and I’m glad to be done with it. I can safely say that I will not be rereading these books ever again and I have no interest in picking up Midnight Sun. Twos across the board.

Have you read or reread the Twilight series as an adult? What were your thoughts?

Every thought I had while watching To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You [Spoilers]

  • Okay, but who actually needs a recap for this series? It’s not THAT complicated.
  • Kitty remains the best character, “Have you even showered?” This is the Kitty we want and deserve. #JusticeforKitty
  • John Corbett also remains the best actor to portray Dr. Covey.
  • This is clearly too nice of a restaurant for your average teenagers to be going to on a date.
  • Lara Jean not being able to keep her purse on her shoulder is super relatable.
  • Definitely thought they were watching a Youtube video–not chatting with Gogo.
  • I’m loving this sassy Kitty that wasn’t in the first movie. So much closer to book Kitty (but still not quite there unfortunately).
  • Oh man. That Korean food looks SO good.
  • There’s nothing wrong with not dating until college…HAVEN.
  • John Ambrose is the best.
  • Here’s hoping Gen gets more depth this movie.
  • Nope. Still just your basic mean girl.
  • How was Peter supposed to let Lara Jean know he was going to be late when he was literally practicing the whole time?
  • What carnival game gives out snow globes??? And if this means John Ambrose ISN’T going to give her a snow globe at the end, there will be blood.
  • Tree!!!
  • Wow. When I get old this is EXACTLY the kind of retirement community I’d like to live at.
  • I’m getting very anxious about Stormy spilling her Bloody Mary.
  • Classic Lara Jean being a complete spaz when John Ambrose shows up.
  • Does Lara Jean think she and John Ambrose would still be together or something if he’d gotten the letter back in middle school? Because that seems unlikely.
  • Two eggs seems a bit excessive for an egg wash for eight turnovers.
  • Jenny Han cameo.
  • These singing valentines would never actually happen at a real high school, right? Certainly not the high school I went to.
  • Okay, wait a second. It’s just dawning on me that it’s Valentine’s Day and Lara Jean is wearing short sleeves OUTSIDE. IN OREGON. No.
  • I’m glad Subway is still sponsoring these movies.
  • I like the angle of John Ambrose being Stormy’s great-nephew or whatever better than him being another volunteer.
  • All of the sets in this movie are amazingly beautiful.
  • This seems extremely awkward for John Ambrose. Lara Jean has left him alone for a really long time.
  • It is super weird for Lara Jean to just be sitting on the counter like that. Shoes on and everything.
  • Was Ross Butler a character in the last movie? Maybe I DID need that recap.
  • I feel like this scene in the car needs some music or something. It’s weirdly quiet.
  • John Ambrose continues to be perfect for Lara Jean in every way.
  • Who was in charge of setting up the Bingo stuff in the first place? Why are Lara Jean and John Ambrose responsible for draggin everything to the basement?
  • Oh man. Lara Jean is making it so awkward for when John Ambrose finally discovers that she’s dating Peter.
  • Okay. Now I’m imagining the teacher spending hours drawing a chalk octopus on the board.
  • Why didn’t Lara Jean and Peter show up to the time capsule thing together?
  • Chris. MVP.
  • Of course John Ambrose plays piano. Because he’s PERFECT.
  • Fakesgiving sounds great. I would LOVE to have Thanksgiving twice a year! (But I don’t remember this from the book?)
  • Get a bag for the Brussels sprouts, Lara Jean!
  • Lara Jean is being a little too dramatic right now re: Peter and Gen.
  • The picture of Slot Canyon on Lara Jean’s wall seems kind of random? I don’t feel like it really fits the rest of her decor.
  • I don’t totally remember from the book, but I feel like Lara Jean should be trying to get advice from Margot or something. She’s hardly been in this movie!
  • The music video-ish part in the hallway is kind of weird and doesn’t really fit with the rest of the movie.
  • I just feel on such a deep level that Lara Jean and Peter shouldn’t be together. Especially when compared to John Ambrose.
  • I’m glad that Gen did get a little more depth in this movie, but I still feel like the book helps their whole dynamic to make more sense.
  • Old people dancing is the best.
  • More product placement! It just would look so much less staged if SOME of the Bubly labels weren’t directly facing the camera.
  • I’m glad John Ambrose is drawing attention to it snowing so late in the year (he continues to be perfect).
  • GET OVER PETER, LARA JEAN.
  • Get out of here, Peter. This doesn’t happen in the book and now I’m mad that they’re making movie Peter more likable than book Peter.
  • Those construction people are there very early to take down that tree house.
  • Peter and Lara Jean floating into the air at the end…just why. Every once in a while this movie tries to get a shot that’s just a little too weird and doesn’t match the feel of the rest of the movie.

My concluding thoughts–despite their best efforts, I am still strongly on #TeamJohnAmbrose. Peter Kavinsky is better in the movie than he is in the books, and they took out some of the things that made John Ambrose especially perfect for Lara Jean, but it’s still not enough. At least they cut Lara Jean’s “Peter was there first” line.

Non-fiction in the summer | Mini-Reviews

mini-reviews

StiffStiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Stiff is one of those book that you’re always hearing about. It was inevitable that I’d eventually read it. With that being said, I was a little disappointed. I’ve read some really good narrative non-fiction over the last few years. While this was good, it wasn’t as entertaining or easy to read as some of the other non-fiction books I’ve read. Roach definitely has a sense of humor that comes through in the book, but she uses a lot of big words. Overall, this book has more of an academic feel than I was hoping for. With that being said, I still thought this book was really interesting. I learned so many things about what happens after you die and I feel more than ever that I want to be an organ donor one day. This book is not for those with a weak stomach as she goes into plenty of detail. Lastly, this book was published a while ago (back in 2003) and I’d love to read an update or something. In the book she talks about the future of the funeral business and options other than a ground burial, but I feel like I personally haven’t heard about any recent developments. 3/5

Purchase: Hardback | Paperback | eBook

The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik

The Big Year

I loved this book! My husband and I watched the movie a few years ago (starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin–link to trailer below) and then he read the book it was based off of and highly recommended it. I finally got around to reading it this month and just fell completely in love with the idea of birding. I know literally nothing about birds but this book made me want to do a big year. Just reading about the preparation leading up to the three big years was really exciting for me! And then the author does a really good job of keeping the suspense up throughout the big year as well. This book was just great. Even if you know nothing about birds, like me, I’d highly recommend this book. 5/5

Purchase: Hardback | Paperback | eBook

Movie: Trailer | Rent

24 Best Book Deals for 6/13/19: Neverwhere, The Princess Bride, If I Was Your Girl, and more

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

School for Spirits by Aron Lewes

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Are the images showing up here? I was having trouble with the formatting, but the code is in…if someone could let me know in the comments. Thanks!

SARAH DESSEN + NETFLIX = HEART EYES

We have all heard this news by now, yes? If not, brace yourself…Netflix has optioned not one, not two, but THREE of Sarah Dessen’s books! I am BEYOND excited.

Sarah Dessen Netflix

We all know that I am a Sarah Dessen STAN. I almost died when she retweeted this blog post of mine. My brother-in-law even noticed and said something. If that doesn’t show my true devotion to this queen, then I don’t know what does. According to this article by Hollywood Reporter, they’ll be doing Along for the Ride first which I am so pumped about. All I’m saying, though, is that they better include The Washroom because it is the best Sarah Dessen location of all time.

I’m also eager to see This Lullaby turned into a movie. I’ve long thought that this is the one that would be most suitable for a movie. I hope they get Remy perfect and I can’t wait to see her and her girlfriends on screen.

Though I’m sad they didn’t pick my fave (The Truth About Forever) I am happy with the choices they made and am BEYOND excited to watch them. Until then, did you guys know that Sarah Dessen has already had two of her books made into a movie? They combined That Summer and Someone Like You into one movie starring Mandy Moore which you can rent on Amazon Prime for $2.99. It doesn’t have like…GREAT reviews, but I liked it.

How excited are you guys for these movies? Who would you pick to play the main characters? Let’s chat in the comments!

Enter John Ambrose

Late this last week, Netflix made the announcement of who would be playing John Ambrose McClaren in the second To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie. Spoiler: It isn’t the guy from the end of the last movie. How would it feel to be that guy? Geez. I wasn’t a huge fan of that guy’s look in the first place, but I still feel bad for him.

Anyway, John Ambrose will be played by…drumroll…Jordan Fisher!

11633250-6865605-image-m-199_15538868887244917332711594932967.jpg

So there we go. I’ve been a fan of Jordan Fisher since his Teen Beach Movie days, but especially after Grease Live. I’m actually super excited about this casting and I continue to be, as ever, #teamJohnAmbrose. We welcome any and all new recruits.

How do you guys feel about this casting announcement? Are there any other actors you had in mind for John Ambrose?

18 Best Book Deals for 3/30/19: The Rosie Project, Dune, Odd & True, and more

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

Reap by Casey L Bond

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21 Best Book Deals for 2/23/19: Twelve Years a Slave, A Study in Charlotte, The Alienest, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
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MOVIE TRAILER: The Sun is Also a Star

A lot of you may have already seen this, but the trailer for The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon dropped yesterday. You’ll have to tell me what you think since I haven’t actually read the book myself yet…

So….what do you guys think? Does it look like it’s going to be as good as the book (which I’ve only heard good things about)? Do you think they chose the right people to play the main characters? I, personally, love an Asian actor as the romantic male lead–I know that wasn’t really a casting decision since I think the character was written as Asian, but still.

And this is probably your last chance to purchase the book before the movie tie-in version is everywhere.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Let me know what your reaction is in the comments!

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TSIAAS Movie Trailer.PNG

6 Books Coming to a Screen Near You

On-screen adaptations of books have been doing really well lately and I think studios and streaming platforms are all excited to get their hands on the next big thing. There are a number of books being turned into movies or TV shows as we speak, but here are the 6 I’m most excited for. Titles link to their IMDB page.

1) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (2020)

Chaos Walking movie

I liked the book quite a bit, but I don’t plan on continuing with the series for various reasons. It’ll be interesting to see how this movie comes across as so much of the book is in the main character’s head. And also, the movie is going to be called “Chaos Walking” instead of “The Knife of Never Letting Go” so does that mean the movie is covering the whole series? Looks like a great cast though.

Starring: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Nick Jonas

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

2) The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (May 17, 2019)

The Sun is Also a Star movie

This is one I haven’t read yet, but I’ve only heard good things and I think it’s amazing that Yoon has come out with two books and gotten two movies deals (that actually came to fruition). She is rocking it!

Starring: Yara Shahidi, Charles Melton

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

3) Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (August 9, 2019)

Artemis Fowl movie

I loved Artemis Fowl as a kid! Was I the only one who was obsessed with decoding the symbols on every page? Even though it was a repeating message, I did the whole thing because I was sure there might be a difference or something new later haha. Anyway, I think it’s interesting that they’re finally coming out with the movie now. I have almost no recollection of the storyline, so I might have to pick this back up as a refresher before the movie comes out.

Starring: Ferdia Shaw, Judi Dench, Josh Gad

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

4) The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (October 4, 2019)

The Woman in the Window movie

This book has made quite a splash and especially with this article coming out about the author, I’m a little more wary of supporting this author (he kind of creeps me out now, and that transfers over to his book). But, it’s got a great cast and I’d be interested to see if they follow the book exactly or if they throw in some new twists.

Starring: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Anthony Mackie

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

5) Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (2019)

Stargirl

Another one of my childhood favorites! I’ve reread “Stargirl” a few times over the years and it’s always so good. It’s magical and emotional and I hope, hope, HOPE that they don’t ruin it with the movie!

Starring: Grace VanderWaal

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

6) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (TV Series, 2019)

Good Omens tv show

Another one that I haven’t read yet, but I love Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and David Tennant seems like the PERFECT person for them to team up with. This book has definitely moved a few places up my TBR so I can be ready for this show. Honestly though…Pratchett and Gaiman…what a pairing.

Starring: David Tennant, Michael Sheen

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books and are anything like me, you should consider making that purchase now before the only cover that exists are the dumb movie tie-in covers.

Which of these movies are you most excited about? What other books are you excited to see on the big screen soon?
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