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Waiting on Wednesday – 26

Posted by on August 28, 2013 9:20 am in Book talk | 6 comments

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

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I just finished reading Just One Day this morning and I need the next book like right now! Unfortunately, I have to arm myself with patience until October!

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just one year

Just One Year by Gayle Forman (October 10, 2013)

The heartrending conclusion—from Willem’s POV—to the romantic duet of novels that began with Allyson’s story in Just One Day

After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem’s story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson’s own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

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What are you waiting on this week?

Review : You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Posted by on August 27, 2013 2:00 am in 4 stars reads | 0 comments

you look different in real lifeYou Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle
Pages : 355
Genre :  YA, Contemporary fiction
Stand Alone My Rating : 4/5

From the back of the book  :

For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they’re real life.

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There’d be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

Now sixteen, Justine doesn’t feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what’s on film. They’ve all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else’s eyes.

 

My Thoughts :

I had heard many great things about Jennifer Castle’s first novel The Beginning of After, but with so much to read already, I never got around to reading it. When You Look Different in Real Life came out though, I was immediately intrigued by the premise. With its theme of “docu-reality”, I expected a drama-filled teenage story, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover a quiet, more character-centered story.

Though we follow the story through Justine’s narration, we get a great look on the four other kids who were part of the documented group. Each with a different personality, each with different secrets. Nothing is revealed all at once, and while the revelations at the end weren’t unexpected, I felt like the author had made it more about the journey to the truth than about the revelations themselves.

As I mentioned before, the story wasn’t about the twists and the drama, which made the book a little uneventful – but not in the bad way! This gives us a deeper, more intimate look into the five characters’ life, especially Justine. A lot happened in the five years since the last movie, and in a way, we get to know the characters at the same time Justine gets to know them once more.

The friendships are definitely what makes the book, too. Sure, there’s a bit of romance, but it’s such a small part of the story it’s almost an afterthought. It’s refreshing, really, to have books where teenagers still think about other things than romance.

All in all, You Look Different in Real Life  was a really pleasant surprise. I devoured the book quickly and reached the end feeling satisfied with the conclusion. Now, all I need is to go back to the bookstore, and get myself a copy of The Beginning of After!

Filling the Shelf – 114

Posted by on August 26, 2013 12:33 am in Book talk | 6 comments

Filling the Shelf is basically Mailbox Monday or the more recent Stacking the Shelves, but with a title that suits my blog! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, I invite you to visit the two hosts!

Hello hello everyone!

I am back from France! Whoa, did these weeks go by fast! Three amazing weeks traveling and eating and seeing the most gorgeous and interesting places; I really couldn’t have asked for a more amazing experience! And while I am now completely exhausted and really appreciate being back home, I would do it again with great pleasure.

I promised many of you to share pictures and this will, indeed, happen over the course of the next few weeks. But other than pictures, I also brought back many, many books from Paris! 16, to be exact; 4 in English, 2 about places we visited, and most of it books in French. It turns out French books are much more cheaper over there than here, and it was my birthday after all!

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Books in French include : Andrea H. Japp, Hélène Grémillong, Lucia Etxebarria, Mathias Malzieu, and a few more.

I got some books from Shakespeare and Company (how do I love this place!) and because they would be souvenirs from Paris on top of being simple books, I decided to go with authors I know and love.

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The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker (edited by Marion Meade) / Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman / The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

What did you add to your shelves recently?

Review : Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Posted by on August 22, 2013 1:00 am in 4 stars reads | 2 comments

flirting in italianFlirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Pages : 336
Genre :  YA, Contemporary fiction
Stand Alone My Rating : 4/5

What it’s about  :

When Violet comes across a centuries old painting of a girl who could be her twin, she feels like this is her opportunity to answer all the questions she has about who she is. Before long, she has planned a wonderful summer in Italy for herself, where she plans on discovering her link to the painting all while meeting boys and learning Italian. This could very well be the best summer of her life

My Thoughts :

Who hasn’t dreamed of spending a summer in beautiful Italy? I know I have; the landscapes, the food, the art, everything there appeals to me immensely. When I first heard of Flirting in Italian, I was first attracted to the location; then I read the synopsis, and was enchanted by the idea of a novel mixing travel, romance, art and a mystery.

First I must say I loved Violet. She was brutally honest in some places, at times judgemental and bitchy, yet I found something endearing and real to her narration. I loved that she wasn’t the typical bookworm, super shy girl all the guys are attracted to; instead, her looks make her far less noticeable than her friends, but she doesn’t dwell on it and always reminds herself to appreciate the chance she has to be there. And even though she has her own insecurities, she stands up for herself when she needs to.

I also liked all three girls she was studying with. They formed an interesting quatuor, and even though they were all very different from one another, I had no trouble believing in their friendship.

There were two things though that diminished my enjoyment of the story; the first is the romance aspect, which was nothing swoon-worthy if you ask me! The push-and-pull between Violet and Luca wasn’t attractive; he’s something of a jerk to her and I couldn’t see what she saw in him. Maybe it was only physical? Or the italian accent?

I was also disappointed by how little of the mystery we actually hear about. I imagined Violet would be lurking around castles and investigating paintings, but once she gets to Italy, the mystery is barely mentioned for a long while. The classes and the friendships and the visiting was still super interesting (though a tad uneventful at times), but considering her motivation to go to Italy came from a painting, I thought we would hear more about it. There is also no complete resolution about it when the book ends, since there is a sequel to come.

All in all though, I enjoyed Flirting in Italian. Lauren Henderson did a wonderful job of describing Italy in all its gorgeous aspects, and I felt like I traveled a little with her characters. This was a great summer read, and I am looking forward to reading Violet and her friends’ next adventure!