Review: Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han (My True Love Gave to Me)

It’s day four of my very own “Twelve Days of Christmas”, during which I’m reviewing one story per day from My True Love Gave to Me. So far I’ve reviewed Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights”“The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link, and Matt de la Peña’s “Angels in the Snow”.

Today I’m reviewing Jenny Han’s story, “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me.”

My True Love Gave to MeIMG_20141216_200742

This story is about a human girl named Natalie (or Natty) who is being raised at the North Pole by none other than Santa Claus. She lives and works with the elves, who have a much ruder attitude than you’d probably associate with elves. She’s been crushing on one of the elves for a long time, but she also met a human boy last year while delivering presents with her dad.

The story was cute though I can’t say there was much substance to it. It’s really just a fluffy story. It’s also really short, like 13 pages short. To me, it read more like a first chapter than an entire story with beginning, middle and end, which is how even a short story should read, at least to me.

The main character is a little whiny and spoiled. On the other hand, I did enjoy reading about how she got to live at the North Pole and the festivities that happen there in the lead up to Christmas. Overall, a cute story with a sweet, hopeful ending.

Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing the story I have a feeling I’m going to love the most: Stephanie Perkins’ “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown”, which I’m heading to read right now!

Review: Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña (My True Love Gave to Me)

Today is day three of my very own “Twelve Days of Christmas”, during which I’m reviewing one story per day from My True Love Gave to Me. So far I’ve reviewed Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights” and “The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link.

Today’s story is Matt de la Peña’s “Angels in the Snow.”

My True Love Gave to MeIMG_20141216_122842

I’m not sure how I felt about this one. I enjoyed the writing style but it felt a little weird. I liked the story but I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would’ve liked. I thought the romance was cute but the SPOILER cheating really irritated me.

I did enjoy the writing style for the most part. I would be interested in checking out some of Matt’s books. One thing that I’m not sure how I feel about is the fact that you can tell a dude wrote it. I hope this makes sense. Obviously, I read books written by men, but this one was a dude. Probably doesn’t make sense. Moving on…

I didn’t connect with the characters all that much. On the other hand, I connected with some of the things they said. I’ve been giving at least one quote from each book, so here’s today’s:

Sometimes I feel like a shook-up bottle of soda. Like, I have all this passion that wants to explode, but I don’t know where to aim it yet.

That’s me. I feel like that. That’s such a perfect description of what being passionate feels like.

Overall, this one kind of felt like a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. Just kind of cheesy and lots of drama and all that jazz. The end was really wonderful though. The last paragraph was really poignant.

Come back tomorrow when I’ll be reviewing Jenny Han’s story “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me”.

Top Ten Tuesday: Difficult Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read (because difficult of book, subject matter, because it was cringeworthy– however you want to interpret)

As always, titles are linked to their corresponding Goodreads page. If I’ve reviewed the book on my blog, I’ll link to it after the title.

It's Kind of a Funny StoryBECAUSE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – here’s my review

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – here’s my review

BECAUSE I KEPT ROLLING MY EYES

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – here’s my review

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – I reviewed this one on WatchPlayRead

BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT THE SERIES TO ENDExit Music

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Exit Music by Ian Rankin – thank goodness this ended up not actually being the end.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth – this was hard for more than one reason. I’m sure you could guess all of them

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

What about you? What books were difficult for you to read? Why? Link me up to your TTT!

Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved BeforeTitle: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Hardback: 355 pages

Stand alone or series: Beginning of a series

How did I get this book: Borrowed from the library

Check out the Goodreads synopsis

What I thought:

When I read a contemporary novel, I expect certain things: cute romance, loyal friends, sweet dialogue and a character that has a fair amount of growth throughout the novel. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of these things with this book.

Lara Jean Song Covey (yes, that’s actually her name) has been in love with her neighbor Josh for a long time. However, there’s a little problem: Josh is dating her older sister Margot. Margot is about to leave for college in Scotland, so she breaks up with Josh instead of trying a long-distance relationship. Lara Jean is a romantic, and she’s written a letter to each of the boys she’s ever “loved” as a way to get over them when they disappointed her. Somehow these letters are actually mailed, and thus starts a sometimes painful, sometimes funny trip through Lara Jean’s love life.

My main problem with this book was Lara Jean, which is a problem as she’s our main character. I found her to be silly, childish, unbelievably naïve, and stereotypically girly (she knits, bakes, scrapbooks, love pinks, and can’t drive. Ugh). At one point, she actually says “Gosh” and “tippy-top.” She was just really immature, and by the end of the novel I felt little to no growth in her. There is supposed to be a sequel, so maybe we’ll see more there. Well, maybe readers will; I won’t because I doubt I’ll read it.

Two things I expect from a contemporary novel are friends and romance. Lara Jean has NO friends. And Lara Jean’s fake romance with one of the boys she wrote a letter to is…well, fake. Lara Jean spends most of the book pining after Josh and wishing he’d just see that they are meant to be. Then she begins to like Peter more and more but he’s still obsessed with his ex-girlfriend.

I wanted to like this book so badly, but I just didn’t.

The bottom line: I wanted a sweet, make-you-feel-gooey-inside romance that had a nice friendship in it. You know, a good contemporary novel. I got none of those things, and I was disappointed in this book. Nothing got resolved and there wasn’t really an ending to this book. It felt like I wasted my time reading it and I’m not really sure what the purpose was as Lara Jean didn’t grow.

Rating: 3 – Horrible; why am I reading this?

This is the first time I’ve given a 3 rating, and I’m really sad about it. I know I am just being honest about my opinion, but I don’t like hating on a book. Unfortunately, I really did have to push my way through this one.

Currently reading: One of Us by Tawni O’Dell

SUNDAY FUNDAY: WEEK IN REVIEW [1]

The lovely Cristina over at Girl in the Pages started Sunday Funday a couple of weeks ago as a way to recap the bookish (and not-so-bookish) things that have happened that week. I thought it’d be a really fun way to keep you guys up to date on what I’ve been reading, reviewing, and wanting to read but also to tell you a little bit more about myself outside of my book love. I think I’ll tailor the post each week to what I’ve done but I will always try to include a book haul and a new book or two that I’ve added to my want-to-read list. 🙂

May 25 – June 1, 2014

Books read:

This week I read and reviewed Coin Heist by Elisa Ludwig, which I wasn’t really a fan of (like, AT ALL), and The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder, which made me feel weird. I haven’t started the next book on my list (The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi) yet because I’m worried I won’t enjoy it. I guess I’m kind of in a little book reading slump, and this makes me sad.

TBR:

In addition to The Chance You Won’t Return, I’ve got Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson checked out from the library. I’m looking forward to that since I enjoyed Since You’ve Been Gone so much! I also have e-ARCs of Paradigm by Ceri A. Lowe and The Revealed by Jessica Hickam from Netgalley to read.

Today I found ALL THREE of Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy in one book for $10 at Wal-Mart! I’ve been wanting to check her out for a while, and who could say no to that deal?! I’m excited to start that soon.

I’ve added Across the Universe to my to-read shelf on Goodreads, which I’d like to check out from the library soon. It sounds really interesting!

Non-bookish things:

This weekend I drove up to Memphis (about 3 ½ hours) to see Hands like Houses. They are one of my absolute favorite bands, and this was my third time to see them, but the first time in the States (I saw them previously in Glasgow, Scotland and Manchester, England last year). I got to hang out with them for a few after the show and say hi, and they all remembered meeting me! How cool is that? I also saw Alive Like Me live for the first time; they were one of the openers (along with Miss Fortune and Slaves). I’d only ever heard their first (and only) single, Start Again, and I thought they were freaking fantastic. I ended up buying one of their shirts at the show and then their single when I got home. I met their singer, Jairus, bass player, David, and one of their guitarists, Brandon, and they were very sweet and down to earth. I’m definitely looking forward to their album. Suffice it to say, I had an amazing time!

Here are a few pictures!!

Jairus, singer for Alive Like Me

Jairus, singer for Alive Like Me

Alex, guitarist, and Matty P, drummer, of Hands like Houses

Alex, guitarist, and Matty P, drummer, of Hands like Houses

Trenton, vocalist for Hands like Houses

Trenton, vocalist for Hands like Houses

Alex, guitarist, and Jamal, keyboardist, of Hands like Houses

Alex, guitarist, and Jamal, keyboardist, of Hands like Houses

Some more pictures of ALM.

Some more pictures of ALM.

Clockwise (Coops, Matty P, Trenton, Alex). Such great guys!

Clockwise (Coops, Matty P, Trenton, Alex). Such great guys!

I LOVE music, so if you have a band/musician that you think I might like, let me know! (No country though, sorry)

Non-bookish things I’m excited about:

TEEN WOLF. Holy freaking crap am I excited. I keep seeing the promo for it and freaking out. Watch it HERE. Season 4 premieres on June 23rd! Any Teen Wolf fans here? Let’s fangirl together!

New tattoos. I have two new tattoo ideas that I am pretty sure I’m getting done this week! One on my foot and one on my wrist. Pictures next Sunday if I get them. 🙂

I also would really like to see X-Men: Days of Future Past sometime this week. Looking forward to that.

 

What are some of the bookish or non-bookish things that happened to you guys this week? Let me know!