Midweek Mini Reviews #10


The Key to Everything by Paula Stokes

I love novels that feature travel in them, however I can be rather picky when it comes to the ones I actually end up liking. Fortunately, I rather enjoyed Paula Stokes’ The Key to Everything. Since The Key to Everything is categorized as “New Adult” this made the characters even more relatable to me since they are closer to my age than the teens in YA novels are. I also loved the fact that Oakland and Morgan are Psychology graduates as that’s what I studied during my undergraduate as well. The whole joke about Oakland and Morgan analyzing the boys (because they’re studying psychology) has been said to me on numerous occasions as well when I went abroad as a student. And while it was a bit frustrating to see how Oakland behaved at times, I did appreciate the positive female friendships (there’s not much “drama” between the girls) and I was glad that Morgan was there to talk some sense in Oakland when she went too far. The Key to Everything is a great read that is sure to inspire some serious wanderlust, but more than that I love how it portrays the unexpected friendships and relationships that can form when you take the risk and put yourself out there. And while it’s not always the case, it’s was nice to see that the bonds the girls form during their trip end up lasting when they return to the “real world”. Slightly predictable yet also unique this was one book I loved throughout.

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa De La Cruz’s Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe has made many changes to the classic novel. The Bennets’ are now brothers instead of sisters, Bingley is a gay actor, and Darcy is an independent, modern woman who had to make her own fortune after she was “disowned” by her parents. What I didn’t like about this retelling was how Darcy was made out to be a selfish, snobby and stuck up person by almost everyone. As readers we get to see the story from Darcy’s point of view, but even from her actions while she’s far from perfect she truly isn’t that horrible or even judgmental of a person compared to some of the other characters. Which is why I felt her “change” was a bit excessive since we didn’t get to see how she previously treated her assistant and it’s not as if she abused Millie. I was glad when her best friend, Bingley finally assured her that she wasn’t the awful person that everyone made her out to be just because she was the only one of them to leave and make it on her own. As for the character of “Luke Bennet” (this version’s “Elizabeth Bennet”), I wish we got to know him more because his character came off as kind of bland. Other than that Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe was a sweet spin on the Pride and Prejudice story and would make for a nice quick holiday read. And if you’d rather watch the movie, then you’re in luck as Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe is in the process of becoming a Hallmark movie!

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 | 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 | Love and Chaos by Gemma Burgess

Authour:lovechaos
Gemma Burgess
Format:
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publication date:
February 25th 2014
Publisher:
St. Martin’s Griffin
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

“The only thing that will give your life meaning is the people around you. Create a circle of support that will keep you afloat when you feel like you might drown. A life raft. That’s what your friends are. A life raft.” (p. 184)

When I first heard about this series, I was excited to get into it as I am extremely close in age to the girls. In addition, there are not that many books that follow the lives of characters in their twenties right after they’ve finished their postsecondary education.

Love and Chaos is the second book in the Brooklyn Girls series by Gemma Burgress, and it follows the adventures of Angie, who in the first book was seen as the wild party girl who often was drunk, and was best friends with Pia the protagonist in the first book. I actually didn’t like her character in the first book so I was surprised that I actually fell in love with her character in Love and Chaos. In fact, I adored her more than Pia who honestly often got on my nerves in Brooklyn Girls. I believe that the main reason why I felt more affection for Angie was because I could relate to her on so numerous levels, such as how despite her tough exterior, she was secretly a romantic. In addition, I could relate extremely well to her struggles in finding a job and how she hides her all her struggles and vulnerabilities with a tough exterior. I loved seeing her grow throughout the novel and watching her become more considerate of others as she starts to open up more to the other people, especially the girls that she lives with, even though she initially mocked them for their closeness.

All in all Love and Chaos is probably one of my favourite reads this year for the summer as it has a nice balance of realistic vs. dramatic storytelling. I love the fact that even though there is romance and love it isn’t the sole goal for any of these girls, which wouldn’t be realistic as they’re only in their early 20s and have other worries and concerns as well. After reading Love and Chaos, I am excited for the rest of the books in the series, in particular, I cannot for the book that will focus on Julia’s story just cause I came to adore her character so much more in this book. So if you’re looking for a series that is more about the characters in their twenties and focuses more on female friendship and goals rather than romantic relationships then you should definitely try this series.

If you like this book, you’ll love: Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

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