Showing posts with label Jenny Han. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jenny Han. Show all posts

Friday, June 2, 2017

Book Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han


Pages: 336
Genre:  YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.  Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.  But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.  When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?"



Lara Jean is at a major crossroads in her life. It's her senior year and she is heading off to college next year. She is pretty sure she will get into University of Virginia along with her lacrosse star boyfriend, Peter.  But what happens if she doesn't? Then there's her dad's upcoming marriage to Ms. Rothschild. That means Margot will be coming home for the summer to celebrate this big moment for her family. At this point though, Lara Jean's future is one big question mark, but no matter what happens she knows that she'll have to follow her heart.  Jenny Han's final installment in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series is such a heartfelt one and I'm sad to say goodbye to these beloved characters.

Lara Jean has always been one of my favorite characters.  I love her quiet way of living, her love for her family, her relationship with her sisters, and her quirkiness.  Where was this type of YA character when I was in high school? I would have absolutely fell in love with Lara Jean.  My only issue with her is her relationship with Peter. As an adult reading this, I had a hard time with the fact that she wanted to build her future around getting into University of Virginia. Was it became Peter was going there? Was it because her family lives nearby?  A combination of both? I wanted so much more for Lara Jean. I wanted her to spread her wings and fly off - explore the world - but she's a homebody by nature and is rather hesitant.

As much as I like Peter in Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I wanted him to let her go.  I didn't want him to expect her to follow him to University of Virginia and be lost in his shadow. I wanted him to encourage her to branch out, form her own friendships, and perhaps even go to another school.   As much as I enjoyed Lara Jean and Peter's relationship, I think Lara Jean has become too dependent on Peter. Nevertheless, I was happy with where the story went regarding Lara Jean and Peter; so all is well that ends well, right?

Even though I these small issues with Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I still really enjoyed it this novel and adored the series. This series is quiet, it's smart, it's heartfelt and I think many young adults can relate to it. I know I definitely could have my senior year of high school.  With all the changes headed Lara Jean's way, she handles it very well and realistically.  Although I am sad to say goodbye to these characters, I think it was a good ending for this much loved series.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.  "Waiting on Wednesday" spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Pub. Date: April 4, 2017



Goodreads says, "Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.  Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.  But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.  When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?"

I am thrilled there will be another book in this series! You guys know Jenny Han is my favorite YA author, so this definitely made my day.  Plus, how adorable is this cover? I am definitely pre-ordering this one!  What do you guys think?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Books with the Best Beach Towns



Being a beach bum myself, I always appreciate when an author creates the most perfect coastal town.  Whether the author captures the whole dynamic between townies versus vacationers or includes details like the perfect place to get ice cream or the best beach, I am sold.  A vivid and beautifully detailed beach town is the kind of setting I want to be transported to time and time again.  If you want to read my review for all of these books, please check out my review archive, which is organized by the author's last name. The following list includes some of my favorites:





Cape May, New Jersey

Jersey Shore: I'm a little biased since I am a Jersey Shore lover, but these books really capture what makes the "shore" so great. All of the Jersey Shore isn't like the MTV show; in fact, it is so, so very different. There's beautiful beaches, great places to shop, dine, and get a great scoop of ice cream ...these books have it all, not to mention the award-winning boardwalks and rides!
  • The Season of You & Me by Robin Constantine - Jersey Shore
  • The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski - Jersey Shore
  • All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue - Avalon, New Jersey
  • Others with this Setting: All I Need by Susane Colasanti, Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble, and Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman.




The Hamptons

The Hamptons/New York: I love a good beach read that takes place here, because the setting and the beach-goers seem so extravagant.  There's high-end shops and restaurants and huge homes on the beach, yet it is still a beach town at heart.

  • Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn - The Hamptons
  • The Last Summer of You and Me by Ann Brashares - Fire Island, New York
  • Others with this Setting: Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin, The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells, The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek, and A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard.



Nantucket

Northeast/New England: There's something special about New England beaches as well as Nantucket. I love the lobster rolls, the beautiful hydrangeas, the quaint towns, the lighthouses, the clambakes, and the rocky beaches all depicted in these novels.
  • Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
  • Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand - Nantucket
  • The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
  • The Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland
  • A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
  • Island Girls by Nancy Thayer
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty Series by Jenny Han
  • Others with this Setting: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer, Summer Sisters by Judy Bloom,  The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer, Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca, Summer Secrets by Jane Green, The Sound by Sarah Alderson, and The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis.


Outer Banks

The South: I love a good southern summertime story, especially if it takes place in Colby, Sarah Dessen's fictional beach town, or at the Florida Keys.  There's the perpetual smell of Coppertone, sweet tea, ripe peaches, fantastic porches, BBQ, and hot, muggy weather.  There's nothing better!

  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  • The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
  • Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
  • Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck
  • Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa LaFaye
  • Other Books with this Setting:  Sea Change by Aimee Friedman, Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks, The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland,  Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols, Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton, and The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews.



Southern California 
California: Every time I think of a California summer, I think of beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunsets, palm trees, and of course hot surfers.  These books capture the beauty of California. 

  • Moonglass by Jessi Kirby - Crystal Cove, California
  • Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler - California Coast
  • Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby - California Coast
  • Other Books with this Setting:  The Star Shack by Lila Castle, The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan, and Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway.


Miscellaneous Beach Towns:

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick,  First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler.


So, what are some of your favorite fictional beach towns? I know I could spend some time at Colby or Cousins Beach right about now! Let me know in the comments below.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Beach Reads About That One Special Summer


There are so many YA novels out there that focus on that one magical summer.  If you want to know my thoughts on each novel, click the title to head to check out my review. Here are some of my favorites:



The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski 

The Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick


The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby



Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler


That Summer by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

So, what are some of your favorite young adult novels that focus on that one special summer?  Let me know in the comments below. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Every Beach Bum Should Read

Summer isn't too far away (cue all my excitement) and it's never too early to start planning what you want to read on vacation or bring to the beach. This week I am sharing my favorite beach reads. If you want to check out my reviews, you can find them alphabetized by author here.  



1. Broken Hearts & Revenge series by Katie Finn - Katie Finn, a.k.a. Morgan Matson, is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and this series is summertime fun at its best.




2. The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski - I love that this story takes place at the Jersey Shore and features the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. 





3.  Nantucket series by Leila Howland - One of my favorites for sure! 





4.  Elin Hilderbrand novels - I haven't read all of her novels, but my favorite is The Island. If you are looking for adult "beach read," this is the way to go.






5.  Nancy Thayer novels - I really liked Island Girls; her novels shouldn't be missed if you want something light for the beach.






6.  Sarah Dessen novels - My favorite is The Truth About Forever and Along for the Ride. Although they aren't technically "beach reads," Dessen features beach towns and that one special summer quite frequently.





7.  A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams - This book was one of my favorite beach reads a few years ago. If you like some historical fiction in your beach reads, this one shouldn't be missed.






8.  All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue -This book holds a special place in my heart since it takes place in Avalon, NJ, one of my favorite places in the world. 





9.  On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves - Whoa. This was an awesome adult beach read. Highly recommended. 






10.  Summer series by Jenny Han - And my list wouldn't be complete without including my favorite YA series of all time. 





Some Other Favorites: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord and anything by Morgan Matson (loved Amy & Roger's Epic Detour as well as Second Chance Summer). 

So what are some of your favorite beach reads? Let me know in the comments below.  This meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish .


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My Most Recent Five Star Reads

Guys, I have only given out 59 five star reviews in the past six years of blogging. That's not many. So, a book has to really wow me in order to receive the full five stars. Here's the last ten books I read that earned the "five star" label.



1.  Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - Oh, this book. The heartbreak. It gutted me, but it's such an important and powerful read; it shouldn't be missed. So far, it's my favorite book of 2016. 


2.  A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - I LOVED this Beauty and the Beast retelling. 


3.  Cinder by Marissa Meyer - At first, I wasn't sure about a sci-fi retelling of Cinderella, but I thoroughly loved this story. I wish I read it sooner!


4.  The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams - Williams writes such fantastic historical novels and this one is one of my favorites.


5.  The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord - Very quickly Lord became one of my favorite contemporary authors. If you love YA contemporary fiction, you must check her out.


6.  The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - This book had me ugly crying for days. Wow. Who knew Hannah could write such powerful historical fiction?


7.  Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - I love this series! Maas has made me a fan of hers for life.


8.  To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - It's Jenny Han...you can't go wrong!


9.  Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan - I wonder why more people don't talk about this novel? I thought it was smart, quirky, and funny.  One of my favorites for sure.


10.  Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)  by Tahreh Mafi - I really enjoyed this series. Mafi has such a unique writing style; I loved it!


So what were some of your latest and greatest reads? Let me know in the comments below.  
This meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish .


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Greatest Love Declarations in Literature

For this Top Ten Tuesday, I am sharing the greatest love declarations in literature in honor of Valentine's Day.  Well, I can't promise you that these are the greatest, but here are some of my absolute favorites:



1.  “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”  ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars


2.  “I'm in love with you," he said quietly. "Augustus," I said. "I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.”  ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars


3.  “For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”  ― Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss




4.  “Gilbert, I'm afraid I'm scandalously in love with you.” ― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Windy Poplars

5.  “I love Conrad and I probably always would. I would spend my whole life loving him one way or another. Maybe I would get married, maybe I would have a family, but it wouldn’t matter, because a piece of my heart, the piece where summer lived, would always be Conrad’s”  ― Jenny HanThe Summer I Turned Pretty



6.  "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you.” ― Jane AustenPersuasion




7.  "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.'' - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

8.  “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”  ― Sarah DessenThe Truth About Forever



9.  “I will find you," he whispered in my ear. "I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you - then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest." His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me. Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”  ― Diana GabaldonDragonfly in Amber




10.  “I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..”  ― Nicholas SparksThe Notebook

So, what are some of your favorite love declarations? Let me know in the comments below! This meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2015

Guys, I have read SO many awesome book this year, but for the next two lists, I am including only books published in 2015.  If you are interested in reading my reviews of the books, check out my review archive, which is organized by author's last name.  Now, onto my favorite book of the year (in no particular order!): 


Young Adult/New Adult:

1.  First & Then by Emma Mills
2.  P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
3.  The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
4.  Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
5.  Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
6.  Vendetta by Catherine Doyle
7.  The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan



Adult:

1.  The Last Summer of Chelsea Beach by Pam Jenoff
2.  Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
3.  Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye
4.  The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
5.  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Last but not least, I can't forget about the awesome books I read this year that have an "older" publishing date. I am so glad I finally got around to reading these! 

Some "Older" Books That Made My Favorite List:
1.  Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2.  Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
3.  Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
4.  The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
5.  Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
6.  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd 

So, what do you guys think of my lists? Did I include any of your favorites?  Let me know in the comments below.  
This meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Thankful For




There are so many books to be thankful for, but here are some of my favorites.

1.  The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - This is one of the first Sarah Dessen novels that I read that really resonated with me.  It sparked my love for contemporary young adult literature.

2.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Thank you Ms. Austen for creating Mr. Darcy. Am I right?

3.  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - Anne was probably the first female protagonist that really spoke to me as a child. I still love Anne to this day.

4.  New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver - I am not an avid reader of poetry, but I do love Mary Oliver. 

5.  The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han - I adore this entire series. This series just gets me.

6.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - This is one of the few classics that really stuck out for me when I read it in school.

7.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - This story will never get old for me. I read it in middle school and then taught it for many years to my middle school students. 

8.  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - This book reminded me that adult sci-fi/romance can be just as powerful as a contemporary novel, if not more. Plus, Jamie Fraser. Need I say more?

9.  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - I gotta love me some Scarlett O'Hara.

10.  The White Queen by Philippa Gregory - This novel reminded me that adult historical fiction can be fun, captivating, and more interesting than I thought. It definitely reignited my love for historical fiction.

What books are you thankful for this holiday season? Let me know in the comments below.  This meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Quotes From Books

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, so I decides to share my top ten favorite bookish quotes. I have about 100 favorite quotes from books, but here are a few that I love.  



1.  "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library." -Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

2.  "After all," Anne has said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea




3.  "I'll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then.  Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back.  After all, tomorrow is another day. " -Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

4.  "Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes." - Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo



5.  "It's so hard to leave - until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world." - John Green, Paper Towns

6.  "For me, it was almost like winter didn't count.  Summer was what mattered. My whole life was measured in summers." - Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty





7.  "It's just that....I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic.  It's the universe's way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It's how life is." - Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

8.  "I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break.  It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower's stem."  - Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber





9.  "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what." - Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

10.  "Standing on the fringes of life.....offers a unique perspective.  But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor."  - Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


What do you think of my list? What are some of your favorite bookish quotes? Let me know in the comments below. This meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
 
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