Midweek Mini Reviews #7

One Brother Shy by Terry Fallis

I’ve been a fan of Terry Fallis’ books since I’ve read Up and Down so I was excited for this one especially as it features twins! (For those of you who don’t know the author is also a twin in real life) Anyways, One Brother Shy was a well written and heartwarming story about family and moving on from your past. As with his earlier novels, Fallis’ trademark humour once again is evident within the pages of One Brother Shy in addition to his talent for writing scenes that are funny but also shockingly dark like the “Gabriel” incident in this book. I loved that in addition to family One Brother Shy touched on other topics like bullying, trauma, the effects that viral videos have on their victims. And despite liking the where the book Alex leaves at, I do wish we got to spend more time with Alex, Matt and the rest of their family. One Brother Shy is a great vacation read that’s not too light and not too dark, and bonus points for it being Canadian of course. Also while the book is good, I’d highly recommend you check out the podcast of One Brother Shy. Read by the author himself, you definitely feel more connected to the story, the world and Alex when you listen to the podcast.

Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini

Having found, Katie Heaney’s earlier books fairly enjoyable I was really looking forward to her newest book, Public Relations which she co-wrote with her friend, Arianna Rebolini. I love a fun, light romantic comedy, especially for the summer and I was eager to dip into this tale of a faux showmances.

Unfortunately, this one was a bit of a disappointment. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, although I did appreciate how the novel chooses to focus on Rose’s job in PR giving us an insider look at what goes on behind the scenes of a public relations firm. And I can definitely relate to her working an entry-level job and trying to work her way up the ladder. That being said, however, the characters and the majority of their relationships were often frustrating at times. Furthermore, I couldn’t stand the character of Archie Fox, who was supposed to be the intended love interest, as he came off as pretty spoiled and condescending and I couldn’t really see his appeal.

So while I didn’t hate Public Relations, I will admit it just wasn’t for me. I do think that Public Relations is a book that may appeal to the millennial crowd and someone who is looking for a read that’s light on romance and heavier on celebrity culture and PR.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

 

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Book Review | Dear Emma by Katie Heaney

emmaAuthour:
Katie Heaney
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 303 pages
Publication date:
March 1st 2016
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Having read Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date and enjoyed it I was curious to see how Katie Heaney would approach fiction. Furthermore, the fact that the book was set in college meant that the characters would be closer in age to me and therefore extra relatable. Although a work of fiction, I believe Dear Emma shares a few similarities with Katie Heaney’s first book which was a memoir of sorts. What the two books have in common, is that both appear to be tributes to female friendships. When it comes to Dear Emma if you are looking for a book with romance in it, then you’re best looking elsewhere. The focus of Dear Emma remains truly on female friendships and college life.

What’s intriguing with Dear Emma is that not only did the author say it was inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma (albeit incredibly loosely) in addition it was also inspired by the authour’s own college experiences. As a result, it was incredibly relatable and it made me nostalgic for my university days. And sure I didn’t live away from home or near my school however I had several friends who did and the stories I’ve heard from resemble the lives of Harriet, and. That’s probably why this book resonated with me, it wasn’t too long ago that I was hanging out with my friends in one of the school’s cafeterias and/or getting together for study group sessions.

To be honest, not much happens in Dear Emma. There remains a bit of relationship drama here and there however it was only in tiny doses. I did however appreciate the fact that Harriet had her own column in her college’s newspaper as I loved reading her reactions to the letters/emails she gets in addition to how her personal life slowly collides with her “private” work life.

Dear Emma is definitely a book that could make several of us nostalgic for our postsecondary days. After all as Dear Emma demonstrates, college is a time that you may or may not find the love of your life however it’s more likely that you’ll form some memorable friendships that will have a lasting impact on you instead.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | Never Have I Ever by Katie Heaney

Authour:neverhave
Katie Heaney
Format:
Trade Paperback, 255 pages
Publication date:
January 14, 2014
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis:

“I’ve been single for my entire life. Not one boyfriend. Not one short-term dating situation. Not one person with whom I regularly hung out and kissed on the face.”

So begins Katie Heaney’s memoir of her years spent looking for love, but never quite finding it. By age 25, equipped with a college degree, a load of friends, and a happy family life, she still has never had a boyfriend … and she’s barely even been on a second date.

Throughout this laugh-out-loud funny book, you will meet Katie’s loyal group of girlfriends, including flirtatious and outgoing Rylee, the wild child to Katie’s shrinking violet, as well as a whole roster of Katie’s ill-fated crushes. And you will get to know Katie herself — a smart, modern heroine relaying truths about everything from the subtleties of a Facebook message exchange to the fact that “Everybody who works in a coffee shop is at least a little bit hot.”

Funny, relatable, and inspiring, this is a memoir for anyone who has ever struggled to find love, but has also had a lot of fun in the process.

Review:

“That’s what I hope this book feels like. You and I are hanging out, and I am drinking too much and talking to you–about my most embarrassing adventures in flirting and kissing and liking boys–for a really long time.”

I don’t normally review non-fiction titles on my blog so when I do feature a non-fiction book on my blog (usually a memoir of some sort) it is because I really enjoyed it which was exactly the case when it came to Katie Heaney’s Never Have I Ever. This book is a fearless memoir about what’s it like to find love when you have somewhat unrealistic notions about what love is really like. Is also about female friendships and how nice, complicated and necessary they are.

As one of a few (three to be exact) in my circle of girlfriends to have never had a boyfriend before, I really wanted to read this book because it felt like something I could relate to. Though I am very happy and secure in my lack of a relationship, my friends do express their insecurities from time to time, sometimes rather loudly. It’s rare to see people talking openly about being single, and enjoying while at the same time wondering (in a not desperate manner) why you can’t find love which made this book seem even more appealing to me.

After reading this book, I’m glad to say that this little memoir did not let me down in spite of my high expectations. It was as I predicted, very relatable in addition to being absolutely hilarious and utterly adorable and charming. I loved that it was a short and simple read though with many hidden emotional depths throughout which makes it an easy read for those who are not big readers. I also loved how the book was divided up into different parts of her life such as her childhood, high school years, college and even grad school. Overall I think Heaney does a good job at capturing not only what it’s like to be single when it seems like all your friends are out dating people, but also what it’s like to be a twenty-something year old today. I highly recommend Never Have I Ever to anyone who is or remembers what it was like being single and trying to find love and not finding what you’re looking for. Also to those who think that there’s something wrong with them because they can’t find a date, I really think you should pick up this book. I for one will definitely be putting this book into the hands of my friends especially those who could really use some hope that no matter what they think they will (probably) find that special someone someday.

If you like this book, you’ll love: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.