REVIEW: P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

REVIEW: P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Hello, lovelies!

 

Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve had a relaxing weekend. I’m finishing my week with a review of the brilliant P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han, the follow to her bestselling novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

 

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS & NEGATIVE OPINIONS OF PETER KAVINSKY

GoodReads Synopsis:

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?

My Thoughts:

I read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before about a year ago now and I kept meaning to pick up the next in the series but then I kind of forgot about it. Enter Netflix and the Lana Condor/Noah Centineo combo and P.S I Still Love You went straight to the top of my TBR pile.

I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the first book but I needn’t have been as Jenny Han did not disappoint. It was a very different experience reading P.S I Still Love You compared to TATBILB as I was picturing the characters from the film as I was reading. Lana Condor makes the perfect Lara Jean and Noah Centineo is one dreamy Peter Kavinsky so I have no complaints about that!

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The book starts a few scenes before the film ended and things with Lara Jean and Peter are still off. It didn’t come as much of a surprise that they immediately got together thanks to another one of Lara Jean’s letters (and also thanks to Netflix for the spoiler!).

I’m going to get this out of the way, rip it off like a bandaid. I actually didn’t like Peter at all in this book which is a complete shift from TATBILB. He is an awful boyfriend to Lara Jean and she somehow ends up taking the blame for this in the end which infuriated me. The Gen drama continues and despite being in a relationship with Lara Jean, Peter spends 3/4 of this book with Gen helping her through some ‘family’ troubles. Lara Jean naturally is uncomfortable with this and can’t help but feel jealous after always being second best to Gen (a perfectly reasonable reaction I might add).

When we find Gen’s family drama was, Lara Jean is suddenly fine with Peter’s complete neglect and disrespect for their relationship and goes running back to him to apologise. This bothered me so much and I’m sure I’m not the only one. No one no matter how mature or secure they were in their relationship would be comfortable with their significant other spending all of their time comforting their ex.

No one deserves to be treated like that, especially not Lara Jean and don’t even get me started on that hot tub video situation! For all you Peter K fans out there who are going to say ‘but Gen was going through a really hard time’, I know. That doesn’t give Peter an excuse to treat Lara Jean the way he did. Gen was manipulating the situation to hurt Lara Jean and Peter let her.

So, if it’s not already clear, I can safely say I am no longer a Peter K fan which leads me on to one of my favourite parts of this book… John Ambrose McClaren.

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John Ambrose McClaren is one of the recipients of Lara Jean’s infamous love letters and just as things with her and Peter start to heat up, John writes her back in typical John Ambrose McClaren fashion. He is the real MVP of this book and is who Lara Jean should be with. He’s thoughtful, smart, sweet and there for Lara Jean when Peter is off being Gen’s shoulder to cry on. I also loved that his full name was used so frequently throughout the book.

I loved the introduction of new characters in P.S I Still Love you including all those at the nursing home Lara Jean works at and it’s safe to say that Jenny Han has created some spectacular characters in this series but, I think we can all agree that Kitty Song takes the crown. I think some of my favourite scenes from this book are ones were the Song family spends time together. Often in YA novels, we have a dysfunctional or turbulent family at the center of the story and whilst the Song’s have faced their fair share of tragedy, Lara Jean’s family are so adorably close and normal that it was a breath of fresh air.

I am honestly surprised at how invested in this series I am and how passionate I have been about these fictional characters and relationships in this review. I intended this to be a more serious review of the writing, character building, and plot techniques but it quickly descended into a rant about my new found hate for Peter Kavinsky.

I love this series and I’m so glad there’s more to this story, let’s just hope Netflix carries on adapting these books into the cute romcoms we know they can be!

 

 

 

Thanks for reading! Are you a fan of this series? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome back to another Top 10 Tuesday! I hope you’ve all had a great start to your week!

If you’re not familiar with Top 10 Tuesday, it’s hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and features a different book related topic each week. This week weeks topic is the ‘Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet’.

I’ve decided to put my own spin on this week’s topic to include authors past and present as a lot of the authors that came to my mind are no longer with us.

If you’re also taking part in this weeks Top 10 Tuesday or if you’ve done a similar post in the past then please leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll check it out.

 

  1. Fredrik Backman

 

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you would have seen this one coming. I adore Frederick Backman’s books and would love the chance to meet him and hear all about the inspiration behind some of his eccentric characters.

 

  1. J. R.R Tolkien

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Tolkien is possibly my favourite storyteller of all time. No one can immerse their reader in a fictitious world quite like he does.

 

  1. Emily Bronte

As an English Literature graduate, it was hard not to make this list 100% classical authors. I’ve narrowed it down to a select few and obviously, Emily Bronte had to be on this list. I love all of the Bronte sisters writing but there is something so unique and inspiring about Emily’s work which makes her my favourite.

 

  1. Charles Dickens

I honestly don’t have a reason for including Dickens on this list other than its Dickens?!

 

  1. Suzanne Collins

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I would love to meet Suzanne Collins just to say thank you for writing the Hunger Games trilogy. These books shaped my teenage years and they are still amongst my favourite reads of all time.

 

  1. Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket

Daniel Handler is a brilliant author and exceptional storyteller. The diversity in his writing abilities is inspiring and I’d love to find out how he goes from a dark and quirky mystery like ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ to a teen romance story like ‘Why We Broke Up’.

 

  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Just picture it, it’s the 1920’s, you’re in Paris in some sophisticated bar full of societies elite, you’re wearing an elegant dress with your hair pinned up and you’re sipping colorful cocktails whilst listening to some of the most outrageous anecdotes from Fitzgerald. Now doesn’t that sound like pure perfection?

 

  1. John Green

This is an obvious choice but I am a big John Green fan and I feel like we would have some interesting conversations.

  1. Cheryl Strayed

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I really enjoyed reading Wild and I would love to meet the inspiring Cheryl Strayed in person and hear more about her amazing journey.

 

  1. Sara Shepard

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I would love to know how Sara Shepard comes up with the twisted plot lines for her novels and also to get her opinion on the horror that was the PLL finale (and that tragic attempt at a British accent!).

 

Thanks for reading! Which authors would you love to meet? Let me know in the comments below!

September Wrap Up

September Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies!

I can’t believe how fast these months are going by, it barely feels like it’s been any time since I was writing my August wrap up!

September has been a brilliant month for books but not so much for blogging. I’ve been really busy, so I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to my blog as I’d like but hopefully October will be a more productive month! I only read 5 books this month but most of them were great which is always a bonus. I’m yet to post my reviews on quite a few of these so keep a look out for them in the next few weeks.

My September Reads:

The Power by Naomi Alderman

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

You can read my review of this book here.

 

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

 

P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

 

The Stranger Upstairs by Melanie Raabe

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My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

You can read my review of this book here.

Currently Reading: A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

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Look at that cover! I’ve only just started this book but so far I’m enjoying it so I can’t wait to see where Wood takes the story!

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Thanks for reading! Did you read any great books in September? What are you looking forward to reading in October? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books I Want to Read

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books I Want to Read

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome to another Top 10 Tuesday! It’s been a while since I’ve taken part as the past few weeks I’ve been doing Top 5 Tuesdays but I thought I’d switch it up a bit.

If you’re not familiar with Top 10 Tuesday, it’s hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and features a different book related topic each week. This week weeks topic is the ‘Top 10 books by my favourite authors that I still haven’t read’.

I don’t have that many favourite authors as I read so many different books and genres so some of these are just books by authors whose other books I have enjoyed.

If you’re also taking part in this weeks Top 10 Tuesday or if you’ve done a similar post in the past then please leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll check it out.

 

  1. Us Against You by Frederik Backman

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  1. Britt Marie Was Here by Frederick Backman

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  1. Every Day by David Leviathan

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  1. Two Boys Kissing by David Leviathan

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  1. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

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  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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  1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin

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  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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  1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Thanks for reading! If you’ve read any of these books or have any books by a favourite author that you’re yet to read then let me know in the comments below!

REVIEW: The Power by Naomi Alderman

REVIEW: The Power by Naomi Alderman

Hello, lovelies!

Today I’m reviewing The Power by Naomi Alderman. The Power is quite a heavy book for a Sunday and this review will mention some topics that people may find difficult so please bear this in mind.

This is one of the most passionate reviews I have written so far so this is quite a long review which is unusual on this blog but once I started writing I just couldn’t stop myself.

 

Synopsis:

‘She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She’d put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.’

Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light

What if the power to hurt were in women’s hands?”

 

My Thoughts:

“When does power exist? Only in the moment it is exercised.”

Where to even begin with this review?

I had very high expectations going into The Power because of all the hype surrounding the book and I am happy to report that it did not disappoint.This was one of the most thought-provoking and provocative books I’ve read for a while.

If you’ve read The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Attwood (or seen the recent TV version of it) then think of The Power as Gilead inverted. Alderman immerses her reader in a world where women everywhere are discovering a new and dangerous power within themselves. With the simplest touch or slight of their hand, they are capable of inflicting immense pain and even causing death. This new power awakens in women an intense rage. Those who have been oppressed are now in a position to fight back, but at what cost?

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Alderman’s writing was so compelling. Her tone is very direct and she doesn’t dress her narrative up with elongated descriptions. This bothered me at first as I felt like the writing was almost a bit lazy or lacking something but I soon got into it. The tone perfectly suited the narrative. With the new found power, the women are rationalising their actions and the direct approach in Alderman’s style captured this perfectly. I found myself highlighting quotes on every other page so I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you:

“It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.”

“This is the trouble with history. You can’t see what’s not there. You can look at an empty space and see that something’s missing, but there’s no way to know what it was.”

“One of them says, ‘Why did they do it, Nina and Darrell?’ And the other answers, ‘Because they could.’ That is the only answer there ever is.”

As you can see from the above quotes, Alderman has quite the way with words. She flips gender stereotypes on their head giving women the upper hand with her subtle critiques of gender stereotyping and identities. As more women find this power within them, the rates of domestic abuse against men rise. Men become afraid of women and women to become violent towards men. We see the stereotypical roles or attitudes of men and women change drastically.

One of my favourite examples of the clever way Alderman subtly highlights this is the ongoing inclusion of news segments throughout the narrative. We see the roles of the presenters change slightly as the power balance shifts. A young male presenter is brought in alongside the strong female lead. The woman delivers the hard-hitting news stories with the man only interjecting some affirmative comments and shallow insights. It is clear that the new male presenter is there to ‘smile and look pretty’ which is so on topic in the current climate with the ongoing conversations surrounding the treatment of women across industries.

The most powerful element of this book for me was the different reactions and outcomes that the reader witnesses across the globe. Alderman is not naive to the vastly different societies and situations that women live in across the world and her narrative reflects this. In America and England, the changes are very much political and practical. There is no mass outrage or rioting, there is just the slow and quiet take over of the decision maker roles by women in a very civilized manner. However, in the Middle-Eastern countries, the reaction is severe. Women who have been oppressed for so long are rebelling. They are driven by rage and a lust for revenge after being abused and denied many basic rights for so long. It is in these areas we start to see the break down of governments and societies as they were. Murder, rape, and pillaging becomes rife across countries. This was a particularly difficult part of the book to read but it was necessary. Alderman wanted us to see all the harsh parts of reality through a different lens.

The ending was another highlight for me. It was completely and utterly perfect. I must have highlighted about 10 different quotes from the last few pages alone. To give you some context, the beginning, and end of the book are written in exchanges between a writer an a what I assume is a publisher. This frames the rest of the story as we realise that The Power is written as a historical fiction book by this writer who is male. He is trying to publish his book that offers an alternative side to history that is more in line with all the historical evidence that exists. Towards the end of the novel, his exchanges with the female publisher about the book he has written were genius.

Some of my favourites were: “I know you probably didn’t mean it to come across as patronizing, but it’s not just ‘a fun idea’ to me”, “Every book you write is assessed as part of ‘men’s literature” and the subtler “I’ll ask my assistant if he’ll sort out some dates for us to have lunch”. I actually found myself laughing out loud at some of these but the one that takes the crown has to be the last line of the whole book which I know is a spoiler but I couldn’t resist including it:

“Neil, I know this might be very distasteful to you, but have you considered publishing this book under a woman’s name?”

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There were so many exceptional and brilliant things about this book but the one thing that stood out to me was that Alderman gets to the heart of the issue with society in this appropriately named story. The problem isn’t men or women. The problem is power. When the women find themselves in a position of strength, they abuse their power. They don’t do a better job at running countries and societies than the men have, they make the same mistakes and show the same cruelties. Why? Simply because they can. As Alderman rightly points out, ‘that is the only answer there ever is’.

Those who have power will always be in a position to harm those who don’t and as Alderman has rightly highlighted in this book, this isn’t a problem that is linked to either men or women. The idea that one must be superior or the most powerful is the real problem.

“Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn’t. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not. Tap on it and it’s hollow. Look under the shells: it’s not there.”

“There’s never been a right choice, honeybun. The whole idea that there are two things and you have to choose is the problem.”

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Thanks for reading! If you have made it to the end of this review then well done, you deserve a medal for sticking with me on this long rambling review!

Have you read the Power? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!  

T5T: Top 5 Books That Made Me Laugh

T5T: Top 5 Books That Made Me Laugh

Hello lovelies!

Welcome back to another Top 5 Tuesdays. You might have noticed that I’ve been switching between Top 5 Tuesdays and Top 10 Tuesdays for the past few weeks and this is because they both have some amazing topics and unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to do two posts every week on a Tuesday so I’ll have to stick with alternating!

If you aren’t familiar with Top 5 Tuesday, it is a group here on WordPress now currently run by Shanah over at BionicBookWorm, where each week you are given a topic and you talk about 5 books that fit that category.

This week’s topic is the Top 5 Books That Made Me Laugh. If you are also participating in Top 5 Tuesdays this week or you have previously done a post on a really funny book then please leave your link in the comments and I will check out your post!

  1. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

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I would just like to point out that this list could easily have just been all of the books from this series as they all made me laugh like a loon on loon tablets. Georgia Nicholson and the rest of the Ace Gang are some of my favourite characters ever. I read these books over and over again when I was growing up and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick them up even now.

  1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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I feel like the only justification I need for having The Rosie Project in this list is the lovable Don Tillman. The end.

  1. The Wrong Knickers by Bryony Gordon

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When I first read this book I had no idea that it was a memoir as I just picked it up off my mum’s bookshelf and started reading. It was a hilarious, witty and completely outrageous and led me to become a big fan of Bryony and a frequent listener to her podcast which I’d also recommend listening to (she interviews Prince Harry in one of them!)

  1. Boy Meets Boy by David Leviathan

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This book was a wild ride from start to finish. Everything from the characters to the plot was just so over the top and perfect. This book would also make a brilliant film *hint* Netflix *hint*.

  1. Starter for 10 by David Nicholls

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I vividly remember laughing so hard I cried at parts of this book and then again when I watched the film. It is hilarious, brilliant and completely daft. (For any non-brits who don’t know what I mean by daft, its sort of a lovable way of saying silly or ridiculous).

Thanks for reading! What are some of your favourite books that made you laugh? Let me know in the comments below!

ARC REVIEW: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

ARC REVIEW: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Hey, lovelies!

I would like to start by saying thanks to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review. Somehow my amazing luck with ARCs continuous as this is another positive review!

GoodReads Synopsis:

‘Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.’

 

My Thoughts:

I want to start by saying that thrillers are not one of my favourite genres of books however, I had been in a bit of a reading slump and a fast-paced thriller is the perfect cure for that and Jane Doe did not disappoint.

This is probably the only thriller that I have ever read that hasn’t left me feeling slightly disappointed. I always devour thrillers as I can’t wait to find out what happens in the end and then when I get there I almost feel deflated. However, the ending of Jane Doe was brilliant. It perfectly wrapped up the story and was that satisfying kind of ending that you never saw coming.

Another reason I don’t usually love thrillers is that the protagonist is always insufferable. They are usually female and suffering from alcohol addiction, mental health issues or with some dark secret from there past which makes them unstable and unreliable. Jane, on the other hand, was such an interesting character. She is a self-diagnosed sociopath incapable of understanding or feeling emotions in the way that others do which makes her such a multi-dimensional character. She also had all the power in this story. We learn quite early on in the book why Jane is set on ruining Steven’s life, but we don’t know how she will do it which is why I think this book works so well. We’re not trying to figure out the whodunnit, we are trying to figure out how far Jane is willing to go.

I also found myself laughing out loud at times when reading this book which is definitely not my usual response to reading a thriller. Stone’s writing is brilliant and extremely witty in parts. I read this book on my Kindle and I found myself highlighting so many quotes so I thought I would include some of them in this post just to give you a taste of Jane’s voice:

“Frankly, fictional people appeal far more to me than real people do. In fiction, the choices have to make sense. The timeline proceeds rationally.”

“Erections and guilt can’t exist in the same place”

“After all, everyone knows that women are responsible for how men behave. If we’re not careful, they might decide to take what they want. They can’t help it. But somehow I’m the one with the psychological impairment.”

“Their penises are God’s divining rods, searching out evil.”

The whole book is narrated from her perspective which works brilliantly. Stone invites us into the mind of a sociopath, but she is a sociopath that the reader ends up rooting for. I would even go as far as to say I liked Jane. Stone set’s Steven up as such a vile character that I almost wished I could join Jane in making his life hell but deeper than this was that Steven is a character that far too many women are very familiar with in real life.  This makes his demise all the more satisfying.

This book is available to buy now and I would definitely recommend this book if you’re into thrillers (or even if you’re not as it was such an interesting read). I really hope Stone considers making this into a series so we get to read more about Jane!

 

Thank you for reading! Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!