Sep 27, 2015

Bookish Haul {2}

While dusting off my bookshelves and trying to figure out how to rearrange my babies, I realized that I should probably do a book haul post before mixing them all up with one another and forgetting which ones I have and haven't hauled. So here you go.

Who better to guard my books than the Vision himself?
Emancipated by M.G. Reyes
Until the Beginning by Amy Plum
The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
How to Love / 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Better Than Perfect / Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

The first three are of course from the lovely peeps from HarperCollins International who still send me books even though I fail at reading and reviewing them. I promise I'll get to them one day *huggles* P.S. I Still Love You was just as, if not better, than the first book, which I just reviewed btw. And the rest of the pile was for the triple-author signing I went to a few months back.

I am kind of - scratch that, superbly appalled that I've only read three of these books. Like, if hitting myself on the head with these would solve the problem, I'd have done it a long time ago. Anyway, off to read!

Sep 22, 2015

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han

Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1)
Author: Jenny Han
Release Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age Group: Young Adult
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.
They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
My personal measure of a great book is when I have to read it twice before I'm able to form a half-coherent review for it. But when I have to wait a year before picking it up again because I'm still reeling from the awesome? That's something else. 
If love is like a possession, maybe my letters are like my exorcisms.
Lara Jean is an all-around good girl with a secret: she has five love letters stashed in a teal hatbox, one for each boy she's ever loved. She writes the letter when she gets tired of being consumed by her love for a boy, and when she's done, she buries it in the box along with her feelings and moves on, easy as pie. But when someone mails her letters to each boy she's written about, her peaceful existence is jarred to life. 
When someone's been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it's like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you're just clutching air and grit.
Aside from the chaos that her letters unleash, Lara Jean also has to deal with her sister moving to Scotland for college. Almost her entire life, she has looked up to and relied on Margot like a mother, but now carefree and innocent Lara Jean has to learn to take over that role for their youngest sister Kitty - which would be hard enough even without all the trouble her letters bring.

Let's talk about the boys. Now, I get Josh's appeal. Really, I do. Minus the fact that he's Margot's ex-boyfriend, he's the nice boy next door who Lara Jean's known since childhood and has practically grown up with. He's the guy who gives her rides because she's scared of driving, who knows what she's going to order before they even sit down, but I just couldn't root for him as a love interest because I couldn't help but put myself in Lara Jean's shoes and think he's nothing short of a brother.
You're the vainest boy I've ever met.
Peter freaking Kavinsky, though. Sigh. He's such the classic stupid jock cliche it's amusing, but the deeper we get to know what makes him who he is, the more his character struck me - so much more than Josh did. Peter is the kind of guy every girl has met at least once in her life, the guy you try so hard but utterly fail to dislike, even when he's being a total jerk because, man, that face can start and end wars. What sold me more was how Peter's friends treated Lara Jean. So adorbs, like a bunch of monkeys that's been handed a porcelain doll lol.
To belong to someone - I didn't know it, but now that I think about it, it seems like that's all I've ever wanted. To really be somebody's, and to have them be mine.
To sum this up, I know To All the Boys is one of the most relatable books I'll ever read. Some will no doubt find Lara Jean's character overly child-like and naive, but I know it's possible to be like that at her age - I was like her at that age, and to be able to read this and look back on those years is probably the biggest reason why I love this book so much. And I just know that if I'd read this back in grade school, I would have my own set of hidden letters.

MY FAVORITE PART was the hot tub scene, of course.