Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Romantic Movies for Book Lovers


I love bookish movies and especially romantic comedies/dramas that include some sort of bookish element are perfect to my tastes! 

Today, I will share with you some of my favorite Bookish Romance Movies. Some of these are really well known and probably ones you might have already seen, but I tried to include a few lesser-known films you can maybe add to your to- watch lists.


Crossing Delancey (1988, directed by Joan Micklin Silver)

Crossing Delancey tells the story of Izzy, a thirtysomething woman who works in a bookstore. When her grandmother's hires a marriage broker to find a husband for her, Izzy meets Sam and starts to question her thoughts about the "ideal" man for her.

+ Directed by a woman
+ The Manhattan setting is gorgeous
+ Interesting portrayal of Jewish customs
+ Interesting portrayal of generational differences

"I have plenty of friends, lots of women who are doing tremendous things with their lives and don't need a man to feel complete. It's not like I'm going to say "no" if someone walks into my life tomorrow, I'm not canceling out that possibility...but I'm not holding my breath."


10 Things I Hate About You (1999, directed by Gil Junger)

This modernization of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew is set in American high school and it focuses on the lives of Kat and Bianca Stratford and the young men that form relationships with them. 

+ Julie Stiles's Kat is not afraid to speak her mind and say things as they are
+ Heath Ledger

"I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car, I hate the way you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you're always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you're not around, and the fact that you didn't call. But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all."



Amélie (2001, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet)

Amélie tells the story of a young woman who, while helping others, breaks away from her isolation and falls in love. 

+ absolutely beautiful Paris scenery (the film was shot in over 80 Parisian locations)
+ It's whimsical, fantastic and the soundtrack is to die for

"Amélie has a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It's a perfect moment. A soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind overcomes her."


Beauty and the Beast (1991, directed by Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise)

A young bookworm named Belle offers to take her father's place in captivity and thus agrees to live in the castle with the Beast, a Prince who was cursed due to his arrogance.

+ You all already know this, but this movie is ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL
+ The soundtrack is one of the best things I've ever heard

"Take it with you so you'll always have a way to look back... and remember me."
  

Love by the Book (2014, directed by David S. Cass Sr.)

Emma is a hopeless romantic who has grown up believing in fairy tales and that one day she is going to find her prince charming. When two men, Landon and Eric, show up to her life at the same time she learns that maybe real-life fairy tales don't exactly have to be like the ones found on the pages of books.

+ It has similar elements of Jane Austen's Emma
+ It's a super cheesy and cute Hallmark Channel original movie

"Real life is one thing, fiction is another. My sister Jane and I were raised on a steady diet of fish sticks and fairytales... We lived on the pages of books, staging epic battles, going on magical adventures, and I was always the perfect princess, of course."


The Shop Around the Corner (1940, directed by Ernst Lubitsch)

Alfred and Klara work in a shop in Budapest and cannot stand each other. Around Christmas, Alfred is looking forward to meeting a mystery woman he has been exchanging letters with and is surprised when he learns who the woman he has fallen in love with really is.

+ If you like You've Got Mail you'll probably going to love this one (You've Got Mail is an adaptation of a play on which this movie is based!)
+ James Stewart is sooooooo charming

"Well, I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find. Instead of a heart, a hand-bag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter... which doesn't work." 


You've Got Mail (1998, directed by Nora Ephron)

Business rivals Kathleen Kelly, the owner of a small bookstore called The Shop Around the Corner, and Joe Fox, the owner of a new big bookstore meet in an over-30s chatroom. They connect online, but absolutely despise each other in real life. 

+ Directed by a woman
+ Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are amazing together

"When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your life does."

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Have you seen any of these? What are some of your favorite bookish (romance) movies?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (#72) - Books On My End of the Year TBR


Happy Tuesday!
This week I am sharing with you ten books I want to have read by the end of 2016. 
Let me know in the comments what you have on your Fall/end of 2016 TBR!


I have loved every contemporary novel I've read by Kasie West so I have no doubt I will like this too. In P.S. I Like You Lily falls for her anonymous pen pal and attempts to find who she is connecting with while juggling school, friends, and her crazy family. 


Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown tells the story of out and proud Joanna who moves from Atlanta to Georgia. Her new hometown is very conservative and when her father asks her to lie low for her senior year, Jo tries to pass as a straight girl. 


Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry focuses on key evidence that according to Rabia Chaudry dismantles the State's case against Adnan Syed. The book also shares Adnan's life in prison and presents never-before-seen letters by Syed. 


The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon tells the story of Natasha and Daniel, a girl whose family is hours away from being deported to Jamaica and a boy who has put his dreams on hold to be the kind of son his parents expect him to be. 


Kids of Appetite by David Arnold is a story about first love and devastating loss. It includes, among other things, one dormant submarine, a coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey and a story collector. 


In Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between Lauren Graham recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls and shares stories about love, life, and working in Hollywood. 


Teach Me to Forget by Erica M. Chapman is the story of suicidal girl Ellery and a boy called Colter who is determined to change her mind. 


When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore weaves together multicultural elements and magical realism into a story about a transgender boy and the best friend he's falling in love with. 


This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills tells the story of Sloane who falls in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida. Expect friendships, romance, and sharp, witty dialogue.


In What Light by Jay Asher Sierra has two lives - her life in Oregon at her family's Christmas tree farm and her life in California during the Christmas season at her family's Christmas tree lot. Usually being one place means missing the other...until Sierra meets Caleb.

So what's on your fall/end of 2016 TBR? Let me know in the comments!


Monday, September 26, 2016

Middle-Grade Review: Frazzled - Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat

Release date: September 27th, 2016
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 240
Purchase links: Amazon - Amazon UK - Amazon CA - Book Depository - B&N - IndieBound - iTunes - Google Books - Adlibris

Description (from Goodreads):

Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.

Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.

Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!

Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures.
 



I don't read middle-grade novels very often, but after reading Booki Vivat's Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, I definitely became more interested in the prospect of delving into MG literature more often. Frazzled is extremely funny, relatable and filled with funny and poignant illustrations.

Frazzled is the story of Abbie Wu who is about to start middle school and she is far from excited. As a middle child, she is used to being in the middle and that has never really worked out for her too well. She feels like an alien in her family, surrounded by a big brother who is loved and admired by everyone and a little sister whose cuteness is always acknowledged by everyone. Middle school - the middle point between elementary school and high school - thus seems alien to her as well. 

At the beginning of the new school year, Abbie is faced with the decision to pick her electives. Unlike her friends, Abbie has no idea what her THING is and the way people are talking about the selection of the electives makes it seem to Abbie like one wrong decision could destroy her life in the long run. Despite the fact that the students are still so young they are already made to think about their futures and how their electives of choice will help them reach a certain goal in the future. I think Frazzled excels in portraying the anxiety Abbie goes through, and despite the fact that I have already found my "thing", I was able to relate with Abbie and the struggle she goes through, because I was that girl looking for my thing not so long ago (I think I found "my thing" only in high school). 

The illustrations in Frazzled are brilliant and I definitely want to pick up the finished copy because I don't think the advance copy did justice to them. There is a very humoristic feel to this novel that kind of reminded me of The Princess Diaries, aka one of my favorite series ever. There are no royals here, but the observations Abbie makes and her sense of humor were somewhat reminiscent of Mia's diaries. 

I am not sure whether Frazzled is a standalone middle-grade novel or a start for a series, but in both cases, I found it to be very entertaining and funny. I would have loved to have this book in my life when I was younger and I hope young readers find it and embrace it. 


Rating:



"I worry more than anyone I know and maybe more than anyone in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD."

"I always thought the Universe was supposed to send me some kind of sign. Like, all of a sudden, I would discover that I was a genius at something and that would be my sign from the Universe and THAT would be my Thing. "

"Was I changing? Was this even me? I wasn't sure if I was becoming someone new of if I was just now figuring out that this had always been me."

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han

Release date: May 26, 2015
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352

Description (from Goodreads):

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
 



P.S. I Still Love You continues from where To All The Boys I've Left Before ends. Lara Jean's fake relationship with Peter is over and while she tried her best not to actually fall for him, she failed, because Peter is all she can think about. When it seems like Peter has a hard time forgetting Lara Jean too, they get together and for a while, everything seems perfect. But then someone from Lara Jean's past, someone she never really had closure with, returns and suddenly Lara Jean finds herself confused and not quite sure about the decision she has made.

As I mentioned in my review for To All The Boys I've Loved Before, I think this necessarily wouldn't have had to be a series. By ending the story where the first book ends or by adding a few more chapters, Jenny Han could have finished the story in a satisfying manner. While I am not one for series, mostly because I suck keeping up with them, I think P.S. I Still Love you a satisfying continuation to the story. Do we really need a book three? Not sure. But I will definitely look forward to seeing what readers think about the upcoming third book.

The element that really made me fall in love with the first book and with this one as well are the characters, especially Lara Jean and her sisters. Lara Jean is such a likable, relatable character to spend time with -- she is confused as hell most of the time, but who wasn't as a teenager? She questions her thoughts, actions, and decisions all the time and while she might try to deny it at times, what other people think of her is extremely important to her. I think through the element of bullying this book introduces Jenny Han taps quite well into what it is like to be a girl in high school and how differently boys and girls are treated when it comes to things like sexuality and relationships. 

I know Peter is a fan favorite, but I honestly feel nothing towards him. If I would have been looking for a purely romantic YA contemporary, I probably wouldn't have liked this series at all, because I think Peter is kind of the worst most of the time. He is less absent than present, spends more time with his ex (yes, he is comforting her as a friend, but still) and at least occasionally treats Lara Jean as someone who is obviously going to wait for him to do his thing because "girls like her" don't usually date guys like him. Yes, there might be some chemistry between the two when they actually spend time together, but I just constantly kept thinking that Lara Jean could do better.

The guy from her past is kind of the opposite of Peter in many ways -- he is willing to give all of his attention to Lara Jean and clearly has no other girls in his mind. But in some way, he is this dream-like figure, almost too perfect. Lara Jean has fun with him, but none of it really feels real, if you know what I mean. 

One of the absolute treasures of his book is Stormy, a woman who lives in the nursing home Lara Jean volunteers at. She represents a whole different generation, but as Lara Jean spends time with her, one quickly notices that things are not that different after all. Sure, we have social media and all that now, but the essentials seem same. 

Lara Jean's family dynamics remain as the most interesting element of her story, and I love seeing how she grows as a sort of maternal figure to Kitty. I think this book also brings new maternal figures to her life in the form of Stormy and their neighbor. And while Margot is not physically present for the majority of the book, she still has a huge part in the story.

I didn't enjoy P.S. I Still Love You quite as much as I enjoyed To All The Boys I've Loved Before, but nevertheless found myself entertained and touched by this continuation to Lara Jean's story. As I said, I am curious to see how the third book turns out. At least the cover for it is absolutely beautiful.


Rating:


Friday, September 23, 2016

Reread Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before (To All The Boys I've Loved Before #1) by Jenny Han

Release date: April 15, 2014
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 369

Description (from Goodreads):

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.


I quite rarely reread books, but because I was dying to read P.S. I Still Love You and didn't really remember the details of To All the Boys I've Loved Before, I thought it would be good to give it a reread before I moved to the second book in the trilogy. 

I read To All the Boys I've Loved Before right around the time it was released in 2014 and couldn't put it down. I gave it glowing five stars and a rave review. When I picked it up for reread almost two and a half years later, I was slightly scared of my possible reaction. Would I love it as much? 

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you that it was just as awesome as I remember it being, and I think I might have liked it, even more, this time around. 

I love the idea of writing letters to get over something. For Lara Jean the letters represent getting over a guy, but I think you could as easily write letters like that about something else. It is extremely interesting to see how Lara has grown from those letters she has written and how she has changed as a person. 

While I love the romantic aspects of the book, my favorite thing about this book is the representation of Lara Jean's family relationships. She has two sisters, Kitty and Margot, and while she loves them equally, her relationships with them are quite different. Kitty is the younger sister that has pretty much been raised by Lara Jean and Margot while Margot is the wise older sister who takes a leap and leaves her family behind to attend college in Scotland. Margot's departure, while not unexpected, changes the family dynamics and Lara Jean has to adapt into the role of not only a sister, but also someone Kitty can look up to. While their father is around, there are some things girls just find easier to talk about with their sisters. 

The book presents two possible love interests for Lara Jean -- Peter and Josh. Peter is the popular guy. Josh is Margot's ex-boyfriend. While Lara Jean finds herself thinking about these both guys, I wouldn't say this book really has a love triangle, because like I said, at the end of the day this book is more about the family dynamics and Lara Jean's growth as a person when she finds herself from a new situation. So if you are someone who does not like love triangles I think you can still give this one a go.

After rereading To All The Boys I've Loved Before I cannot wait to see how Lara Jean's story continues. Like I said in my original review, I think this book could have been standalone with a slightly ambiguous ending, but I won't complain about the chance to get to know more about these wonderful characters. 

!!LOOK AT HOW GORGEOUS THE COVER OF THE THIRD BOOK IN THE SERIES IS!!


Rating:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Cover Reveal - ALL LACED UP by Erin Fletcher

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Let us know what you think of the cover for All Laced Up (Breakaway #1) by Erin Fletcher, which releases October 10, 2016!


This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN!

                                                             alu_1600

About All Laced Up:

Everyone loves hockey superstar Pierce Miller. Everyone except Lia Bailey. When the two are forced to teach a skating class to save the rink, Lia’s not sure she’ll survive the pressure of Nationals and Pierce’s ego. Not only can’t he remember her name, he signed her bottle of water like she was one of his groupies. Ugh. But if there’s one thing Lia knows better than figure skating, it’s hockey. Hoping to take his ego down a notch—or seven—she logs into his team website under an anonymous name to give him pointers on his less-than-stellar playing. Turns out, Pierce isn’t arrogant at all. And they have a lot in common. Too bad he’s falling for the anonymous girl online. No matter how much fun they’re starting to have in real life, she’s afraid he’s going to choose fake-Lia over the real one… Disclaimer: This book contains a swoony hockey player (and his equally swoony friends!), one-too-many social media accounts, kisses that’ll melt ice, and a secret identity that might not be so secret after all…

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of All Laced Up today!

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About Erin Fletcher:

Erin is a young adult author from North Carolina. She is a morning person who does most of her writing before sunrise, while drinking excessive quantities of coffee. She believes flip-flops qualify as year-round footwear, and would spend every day at the beach if she could. She has a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which is almost never useful when writing books.
Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Entangled Publishing

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (#71) - My Fall Playlist


I'm not really one to make new playlists for every single season (except maybe Christmas), but I thought for this week's free audio related post I would share with you ten songs that I have been listening to a lot this fall. Some of these went through intense play already during the summer while some are new additions for the fall. 

I have been listening to a lot of these while working on my thesis and I'm always on the look out for new artists to listen to. So if you like especially country music and have an artist in mind you think I should listen to, please let me know in the comments! 















What have you been blasting from your speakers/headphones recently?