A BOOK : Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

It’s Friday and you know what you should read this weekend?

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
by Sara Farizan

Here’s why:

  • You have first love + confusing crushes
  • You have a funny and interesting main character, Leila, who narrates the trials of high school. She is absolutely adorable and super smart.
  • Even though it’s 304 pages the pages are shorter, so this reads quickly. Perfect to finish in a weekend!
  • Along with romance it has some pretty awesome friendship and familial story lines.
  • It has a perspective that I haven’t ever read from– an Iranian-American girl who is still in the closet– which was super refreshing- especially when it came to Leila sharing her experiences at school and her fears with her sexuality.
  • It’s funny! And wonderfully awkward in all of the real life ways.


This came into my life after listening to episode 8 [“Why Are Samosas in Every Book”] on the podcast See Something, Say Something. Check out the episode! It’s good :).

 

A BOOK : Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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This little beauty snuck its way into my life, and ended up being a top favorite for the year. It’s about a girl who is basically allergic to the world and needing to stay in an uncontaminated environment. As a result, her life is pretty limiting. At the start of the book she has turned 18, and she has lived her entire life in her house with just her mother and her nurse for company. She has managed to make a life out of her life, but when new neighbors move in next door she realizes she might want more out of her life– whatever the cost.

So time to parse everything out!

1- I love the formatting. Included throughout the story are just little scraps from inside Madeline’s head- diagrams and definitions and an “insert” of a few journal pages from when she is 8. It fit with the flow of the story so well and as a result it didn’t feel gimmicky. It helped crystallize Madeline’s character and what she was going through.

2- The tone of this was beautiful. At its core it’s about living– what constitutes it, and what doesn’t? What happens when you want more than what you’re given? What do you do?

“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.”

3- In many ways, it was so so so sad. I think I mentioned this in my top ten tuesday which featured this book on that list, but I was most definitely crying in public. But it’s not the most depressing book in the world, because….

4- MY GOODNESS CUTENESS OVERLOAD. There were lots of cute moments with a certain boy… and some surprisingly some extremely attractive moments over little things.

5- Speaking of which, I LOVE the dialogue between Olly and Maddy. It was adorable. Especially because since the girl is trapped in her house, they can’t do much else than talk and their conversations are so much fun.

Everything, Everything is definitely a must read if you like interesting characters put in interesting places.

Take a look at it on Goodreads!

A BOOK : Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs

Breakfast Served Anytime
by Sarah Combs
Published April 2014

When Gloria sets out to spend the summer before her senior year at a camp for gifted and talented students, she doesn’t know quite what to expect. Fresh from the heartache of losing her grandmother and missing her best friend, Gloria resolves to make the best of her new circumstances. But some things are proving to be more challenging than she expected. Like the series of mysterious clues left by a certain Professor X before he even shows up to teach his class, Secrets of the Written Word. Or the very sweet, but very conservative, roommate whose coal-industry family champions mountaintop removal. Not to mention the obnoxious Mason, who dresses like the Mad Hatter and immediately gets on Gloria’s nerves — but somehow won’t escape her thoughts.

Summary and photo from Goodreads.com

This is one of those titles that really show me the power of blogging and sharing books. Wayyy back in April I read GRead’s post raving about Breakfast Served Anytime and since then this book has been sitting on my mental “READ THIS ASAP” list. FINALLY, I did.

And I’m really glad.

Breakfast Served Anytime is seriously one big emotional treat. Soon to be senior Gloria is at Geek camp for the summer and is at the cusp of trying to figure out where to go next in life. Should she go to New York with her best friend and try to become an actress as they had originally planned? Or should she stay in boring old Kentucky because she will be getting a really good scholarship? And of course, just because you have your eyes on the future doesn’t mean every day life stops. There are still infuriating boys to deal with, surprising friendships, and  trying to figure out your stance on the world.

This book largely exists in Gloria’s head, and as a result, I feel like it is a ball of EMOTION. She is gloriously sentimental and nostalgic. I think that is what stuck out to me the most, especially as an adult reading this. There are times when she seems to love the moment she is in so much, that she starts to fret about when it will be over. I get that. I really, really get that.

And that is pretty much the sum of my experience reading Breakfast Served Anytime. I kept saying, “I understand. I get that.” It’s one of those books that is very unique in some ways, and because of that it I can see this as very divisive emotionally. It’s either “I get that!” or “What the heck is she on about?”

Bonus: There is something really enjoyable about reading about someone that isn’t afraid to love things. Gloria loves things passionately and shares that love. She loves her dad, she loves the anticipation before things, she loves reading, she loves To Kill a Mockingbird, she loves music, and so many other things. One of my favorite quotes about reading:

“I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes you can love a book not so much because of what it’s about or what happens in it, but because it belongs to a certain time or person in your life- like you’ll always remember where you were when you read it for the first time, or who gave it to you, or what season it was, or who you were before you read it and how you were different when it was over.”

So for those looking for a quieter book about interacting with the world and change and growing up or for those looking for a young adult novel that strongly stands on its own, you should check out Breakfast Served Anytime.

Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads

A BOOK : I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson
Published September 2014

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Photo and Summary from Goodreads.com

I. Loved. This. Book. So much.

The narration is split between twins Noah and Jude, Noah’s sections being when they were 13 and Jude’s sections being from “the present” when they are 16. Both of the characters are poetic messes of people, struggling with parental attention, growing up, and trying to figure out how to live in the world. Maybe it’s through the use of the dual narration, but Jandy Nelson does a good job of breathing these two into real life, giving me a good idea as to their inner worl, and how they interact with the outer world.

I am trying to put my thoughts into words, but my ability to string them together is FAILING today. Instead I am just going to throw fragments at you.

-Jandy is a good writer. Really good. She uses a more unique style from what I’ve been reading recently, which to me personally was a breath of fresh air. Having just read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart I would say the language and the that were tools used come from a very similar place. I loved it.

-The family dynamics were really interesting, because from the two different narrations of siblings you end up getting two perspectives of the same thing. I found it really enjoyable that as a result of this you get to see the tension between perceptions the characters have versus reality in the book.

-The characters that fill up Jude and Noah’s life are really interesting. From a mysterious gruff stone sculptor to a boy with a mismatched face to a kid that searches for space debris- these characters shine in their own ways on their own. Sometimes it feels like all of the characters in a book are just created to build up the narrator and progress the story. This book didn’t feel like that. It felt like I had zoomed into a town, and then just chose to zoom into Jude and Noah’s lives.

I’ll Give You the Sun is all about art and creating things and understanding people and understanding yourself and falling in maybe love and being okay with who you are and guilt and responsibility and it is just bursting with beauty. Bursting! Plus, the cover. Look at that! Plus plus, I love the title even more now that I understand how it relates to the book. So read it. Okay?

Add it to your to-reads shelf on Goodreads!

A BOOK : Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

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Bright Before Sunrise
by Tiffany Schmidt
Published February 2014

When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, “miserable” doesn’t even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother’s first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real… until she breaks up with him. 

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she’s really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She’s determined to change his mind, and when they’re stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself

Summary and photo from Goodreads.com

SCHOOL IS ALMOST OUT FOR A LOT OF YOU HIGH SCHOOLERS! You know what is the perfect thing to do? Read Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt. Why this one specifically? It takes place one night 17 days (I think)  before the last day of school. It’s told from the perspective of Brighton, who is popular, pretty, a people pleaser, and volunteer-a-holic, and Jonah, a new kid in school, angry, frustrated at life, and outsider. I will be honest, at first I wasn’t so sure about the characters. They both were on the surface seemingly ordinary, but had secret layers no one knew about. I was worried that this would end up being a feel good, campy story where the Miss Perfect Character meets the Mr. Nobody Character and they live happily ever after, but this was wayyyyy more than that. I though Schmidt did a really good job of not just peg holing Jonah, Brighton, and the supporting characters, but instead developed real characters with all of their own positives and negatives. I especially enjoyed Brighton’s story line with her dad.

I also loved that it took place in one night, and it felt like both of the characters were on the cusp of a greater change not only in their understandings of each other, but also their place in life and themselves. I’ve had plenty of magical nights not quite like this one, but where it felt like my entire world shifted. Sometimes in the morning it had. Sometimes in the morning I’d find it hadn’t. This book however is just filled with possibility and beauty and I am getting kind of sappy right now, but I can’t help it.

I think one of the reasons why I liked this story is because I felt like it so easily echoed the thoughts and feelings of my own heart, while still maintaining the unique perspectives of the characters. I noticed this especially with Jonah’s relationship with his mother and step father. You definitely see these characters through HIS eyes, and not how they might actually appear to be on a third party onlooker. I loved that this was subtly done, yet also a little noticeable just because it was done well.

If you want more books that take place in one night check out…
I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (I haven’t read this one but it has a lot of praise!)
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (I have read this one and I say READ IT)
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (I haven’t read this, but it’s Cohn and Levithan writing so that’s reason enough)

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Do you have any suggestions?

And of course, as always: Add Bright Before Sunrise to your to reads shelf on Goodreads.com!

 

 

A BOOK : To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

So Jenny Han broke my blog. That is not really true, but do you ever read a book that you fall in love with and you want to write about it, but you have no words to express it? To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, published this past April (2014!) is that book for me. I read it towards the end of April, and you will notice, I have been silent here since- ha!

I don’t know what it is, but Han manages to pinpoint exactly the type of book I want to read, the characters I want to read about, and then completely debilitates you, because you kind of want to just lay in bed and pretend this entire book is real so you can never leave it. To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before filled me with butterflies, but not the anxiety-inducing kind, but the happy fluttery ones that just make you want to prance around on a warm summer night chasing after fireflies. If you liked Han’s summer series (The Summer I Turned Pretty, etc) then I definitely urge you to read this one, her newest novel out currently. I also have to say, I think Lara Jean is one of my favorite main characters ever. I love her unsurety, I love her love for fashion, I love how she keeps accidentally putting herself in messy situations, I love her relationships with her sisters, I love that she grows yet doesn’t, and I love how strong her voice was in this book. So yea.

Check it out:

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Summary:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Add it your to-read list on Goodreads.com!

Just a heads up! My entries are probably going to be shorter this summer like this one! I have read a LOT of really good books lately (at least I like them) that I would love to share, so keep your eyes peeled. I also have been planning a few other entries about things (reading schedules, goodreads ratings, etc!) those will be coming soon as well. SO. I hope you are all having good days, and I look forward to the coming months!

A BOOK : Panic

Something I am super excited about….

PANIC by Lauren Oliver

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I happened upon an arc through the bookstore I work at, which made my day because it is something I have been looking forward to for like, ever. I love Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Absolutely positively adore it. I love the way Oliver writes everyday life and her interpretation of the modern world, which is why I have been eagerly anticipating this contemporary realistic teen fiction novel.

It ended up being a LOT different than what I expected, in a good way. It was soooo much darker.

The entire novel takes place in a small poor town in America over the summer. This is one example of where the setting has a personality of its own. A majority of the characters don’t have a lot of money and come from homes where bad things have happened, and as a result it raises the stakes of the game so much more. These people need to win. So you have a lot of characters that need to win, and you want to win. But there can only be one winner.

Then you have pressure from the authorities and the adults trying to crack down on the game because people actually get hurt in these things all the time.

You also have the mystery of the game makers, who seem like mysterious and powerful puppet masters and pretty much could be anyone.

And finally you have the game itself. I was physically cringing as I read some of the tasks (for those of you who read this, I am talking about the one with the cage. GAH! That got me.) because nothing good could come out of these tasks and this game.

To put it simply, Lauren Oliver drove me to be an anxious stressed out mess while reading this.

Other things: A lot of the times I didn’t like most of the characters, and I like this book so much more because of that. This novel is split into two different narrations: Nat, who seems like the main main character to me, and Dodge, who still seems like a secondary character. At the start of the novel both of them know of each other since it’s a small town, but don’t really know each other. As a result you get to see events and people from two different perspectives. Even though I didn’t particularly like a lot of the characters, I still cared about what happened and wanted to know what was going to happen.

Panic will be out in stores March 3, 2014 (so SOON!!).

Pre-order it | Add it to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.com