Brooklyn–Colm Toibin

SPOILERS.

This book was slow-moving. I liked the characters but I wasn’t into the story. I get that it was supposed to be an everyday life thing, but I thought it had so much more potential to go into a real in-depth story.

Eilis just seemed complacent about her life in all respects. Like she just did what she was told and rarely stood up for herself. 

And there was no point where it was like a turning point where she DID stand up for herself or make a decision on her own.

There was no stick to your guns moment. She was just like Well. This is my life, okay.

I liked Tony at first, but I didn’t like that he pressured Eilis into marrying him before she left for Ireland. Have some confidence. If you were secure in your relationship you wouldn’t need to pull something like that.

But again, Eilis just went along with it! 

I get the times and that women were more complacent and thought their lives were to go a certain way: Wife, babies, stay at home mom. But she had dreams! She said she was going to do the accounting thing, said she was going to divorce Tony when she got back to Brooklyn but kept waffling about it.

I liked her better with Jim. He wasn’t a relaxed and frivolous person like Tony, he was steady. 

I HATED THE ENDING. 

She left letters and then never told us what she did. Why does this author hate closure? 

It is my hope that Eilis went back to Brooklyn and despite what her mother said divorced Tony, came back to Ireland, and married Jim. Then in like 40 years, he finds out that she was married before him but chose him and he’s delighted. 

What a frustrating book.

I found it boring, but I guess that’s the point. Eilis was bored with her life too, so she had to take us through it.

I thought her mom was going to die, but I guess it makes sense in a plot point for her to stay alive and Rose to die. But I don’t believe that someone as kind-hearted as Rose would have NOT told her family that she had a heart condition.

But I can also believe that she kept it hidden so that Eilis didn’t feel obligated to stay with their mother forever.

in conclusion: This book was annoying, but I liked the characters. 

MOVIE: I liked Tony better in the movie than Jim. But I like Domnhall Gleeson better sooo. I still wanted her to leave Tony. BUT I loved the way they ended the movie sooo whatever. 

brooklyn

Short and Sweet Reviews

Everything Everything—Nicole Yoon 

Well. 

Well. 

Bloody hell. 

Look, there might be spoilers in this review. Take it or leave it. 

This book was amazing.

I love a well written young adult novel that takes a hot minute to read and is a DAMN good story. 

This book was about a girl with some sort of medical condition that made it impossible for her to go outside. Her mother is her doctor and keeping tabs on her at all times with the help of a nurse that keeps up her medical care as well.

Okay, there won’t be spoilers because y’all just need to read this. 

It was so good. 

Damn. 

everything

The Kiss Quotient—Helen Hoang 

This book had me questioning my entire life. 

It had me questioning if I’m on the spectrum. It had me questioning if I should hire a professional sex worker. It had me questioning things I haven’t thought about since I was kid. Like how long my anxiety has been affecting me, how I dealt with it, who helped me. 

You know? 

It was a wild and hot book. 

I ain’t gonna lie to ya! This book was sexy sexy. Haha, which you wouldn’t think it would be because it was about a woman who is intensely into math. 

Like real intense. 

BUT. It was a lovely story and an interesting perspective and like I said, it made me think about my ENTIRE life. Which not a lot of books can manage that. Especially not what could be seen as a romance novel.

I honestly looked up all the tells of a being on the spectrum and then I was like Whoa…I think I actually have ADHD based on all this research. (That and I was listening to a podcast about the same subject that made me think I am.)

WHICH MAKES SO MUCH SENSE YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

I should probably see a professional about it.

Anyway, read this book it was wonderful. 

kissquotient

 

Trouble is a Friend of Mine—Stephanie Tromly

This book was fun! It was a mix of Veronica Mars and Ferris Beullers Day Off. It was fun and adventurous and I’m really glad it’s a series. 

It was about Zoe Webster and Philip Digby, where they are trying to solve a crime or two.

Honestly, I barely remember this book because I read it last year, but I gave it 4 stars on GoodReads and that means a lot because I base everything off of one criteria:

Was this as good as Harry Potter? 

Four stars means it was a damn fine romp of a time.

trouble

As You Wish—Jude Deveraux

For a Jude Deveraux book I was very disappointed. 

It was a cookie-cutter version of some of her other books, which is to be expected given that it’s a romance novel, but she always manages to make things fun no matter what, but somehow this didn’t work.

I think it was because I hadn’t read the books leading up to this, I had no idea that this was in a series of sorts. 

But even with that it was still stilted and weird. 

Like I’m normally all for time traveling change your life kinds of books, but this was just eyerolling. 

Which sucks since I love Jude Deveraux. 

Thankfully she has a ton of books to choose from. And maybe reading the lead up books to this will change my mind. 

as-you-wish

Eleanor and Park—Rainbow Rowell 

I think I need to reread this. 

I don’t really remember it from reading it the first time, but my GoodReads rating says that I gave it 3 stars. 

Which probably means that it was cute but not my most favourite.

But I also have a bunch of other Rainbow Rowell books on my shelf…

Suspicious. 

Means I liked her writing at the very least. 

Hmm…deeply suspicious. Maybe I’ll read it again. 

eleanorandpark

 

Wishes—Jude Deveraux

After the debacle of As You Wish, I decided to read another Jude Deveraux. Which brought me to Wishes. 

It’s about Nellie Grayson and Jace Montgomery (love those Montgomery’s).

It was good, fun, romantic. 

There’s a ghost. It’s kind of great. 

wishes

Shrill—Lindy West

Get. It. Lindy. West. 

I love her. 

Admittedly, I was only reading this because I wanted to watch the tv series.  But THANK GOD I DID. Because what a fantastic read. 

This entire book was just one big shout out to big girls everywhere and what it means to constantly be berated because you DARED (eye roll) to show up and stand up and just breathe in a room.

The audacity. 

She tells her story in an eloquent and punch-to-the-mouth way and I love her. 

shrill

Constant vigilance!

We’re Going to Need More Wine–Gabrielle Union

This woman. THIS WOMAN. 

She’s a badass. BAD. ASS. 

You know when you see a book written by an actress and you’re like “Meh, I liked her. Maybe I’ll give it a read.” 

Well thank FUCK I DID.

This introduced me to a fucking FORCE of a woman. 

I learned so much from Gabrielle in this book that I never would have learned otherwise. Or at the very least got the perspective of! 

Gabrielle talks about what it means to be a woman, a black woman, and what that means as a stepmother for her children, what that means she’s looking out for, and so much racial bias and discrimination that I have never and will never have to endure because I’m a white woman. 

But fuuuuck did she open my eyes to some shit that I would never have thought of. 

Because I don’t have to. 

This body checked my white privilege hard. 

Her story is heartbreaking, beautiful, and a life of complete and utter badassery that I’ve never seen the likes of.

Fuck I love her. 

Read this book. Now. 

Constant vigilance!

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Becoming–Michelle Obama

Not going to lie, I thought this would be boring. I love Michelle Obama, she is a fun time for a First Lady. But because of BEING a First Lady, I thought she was going to have to shove a bunch of stuff under the rug.

And she didn’t. 

She was honest about how she felt about the Presidency affecting her family, her career, and what everything would look like going forward with a President that lacks any sort of maturity or decorum.

She said it nicely though but still made it obvious how she was feeling about it all.

This book was just as classy and sassy as Michelle is in real life. Or as far as I’ve seen her in real life, which is interviews and clowning around with people like Jimmy Fallon and James Cordon. 

Either way, I love her. And her relationship with her husband seems to be really healthy and forward. 

The part I really enjoyed, besides her love story with Barack, was her telling HER history. I liked learning so much about her as a human being and her career. 

Damn this was a good book.

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This Will Only Hurt a Little–Busy Philipps

I haven’t always loved Busy Philipps. Or rather, her characters. I’m looking at whoever she played on Dawson’s Creek. But I was also like early teens when I was watching that show, so really, I had no stake in the game. 

BUT. I did love her in Freaks and Geeks. And Cougar Town was hilarious.

Then Instagram came along and eventually her fame on there for being incredibly hilarious. 

Which inevitably gave her a book deal, which makes sense. Or does it? What world are we living in anymore? 

Anyway, I’m happy that she got a book deal.

I read this when I was still running my book club and this was one of the picks from my sisters. 

It was well written and funny in the bits that needed to be funny, sad in the parts that were incredibly upsetting, and overall, a beautiful book.

She covered a lot of stuff and I’m grateful she was brave enough to share her story in the way that she did. Busy talks about her first time having sex, her relationship with her husband, and her friendships. It’s an honest book and I really loved her being so candid with us.

Which is how she just lives her life, so that was impressive to see she wasn’t sugar-coating anything for the benefit of others.

She was incredibly real in this.

I loved it. And her. 

Constant vigilance! busy

Beowulf

No one knows who originally wrote Beowulf? How am I just realizing that now months after reading the book?

That’s not normal.

But I guess it’s folklore type stuff, so here we are.

This has been on my shelf for a bajillion years and I never got around to it. Then I started going off the ‘Rory Gilmore Book Challenge’ and was like Okay. Well I have this one. And it looks pretty simple to read.

So again: Here we are. 

It’s the tale of a hero called Beowulf who fights a bunch of mythical stuff and everyone dies. 

The end. 

I liked it but kept getting lost because if something isn’t moving along at a fair pace then I start losing interest. It’s becoming an actual problem with me. 

Overall: Interesting. 

beowulf

Born a Crime–Trevor Noah

This man. 

Born in South Africa, raised by a loving but hardheaded faith-driven woman, his father a Swiss-man that he barely had a relationship with because he was white and it was legitimately a crime for them to be family.

This was another book that I listened to on audiotape because I got into a real NEED TO DEVOUR ALL BOOKS IN ALL FORMS type of mood. So I was basically reading all hours of the day.

And let me tell you, you don’t mind being told a story as an adult as long as the persons voice is as smooth and sweet and charismatic as Trevor Noah’s.

He put so much personality into his stories and it’s always great to have authors read their books to you because then you know how the story was meant to be told. 

I love reading about real-life people’s lives and how different they are from mine, so this was pretty dang far off from how I grew up. 

Because I’m a white girl from small-town Ontario who grew up with both parents and four siblings and essentially boring on top of beige on top of bland. 

Except not because I had four siblings so we were actually wild fucking animals. 

Anyway, read this book, listen to it, it was lovely and smart and I really love him.

trevor

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things—Jenny Lawson

After reading the horror show that is ‘A Simple Favor’ I needed a HUGE laugh and a promise of no incest. 

Enter Jenny Lawson. 

I had read one of her other books so I knew what I was getting into. The issue I had with this one is simple:

I listened to it on audiobook read by her and nearly crashed my car a million times from laughing too hard. 

Stories about her pets, daughter, and long-suffering husband Viktor are always funny and amazing and I love how she touches on mental health and what hers is and how she (and her family) handle it. 

It was lovely to read about how she’s not okay, but she’s okay. And how scary it can get, and how putting her story out helps her and helps us. 

I just love her. This one goes on the shelf of ‘Everyone needs to read this’ because I love how it touched on mental health and family and it still felt like she was talking to us as a friend and not just telling us about her life matter of factly and that’s that.

You know? 

I love her writing, I love her penchant for loving horribly done taxidermy, and I love that I can expect more and more books from her. 

She’s wonderful. 

Constant vigilance.

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A Simple Favor–Darcey Bell

The first for the new book club! (Check on instagram for @derangedbookclub where I post all about books and do a live book club at the end of each month.)

[Editors Note: DerangedBookClub has since been cancelled because I got too busy with schoolwork and trying to become a librarian. However. I stand by the choices for bookclub.]

I was excited to read this because they were turning it into a movie which is how I know something is really really great. Or that they are going to make better somehow. 

Well. Everything failed me. 

It was good. But it wasn’t great. And the movie had a weird ending. 

Not to mention one important thing that I could not let go of if my life depended on it.

INCEST.

Stephanie was boinking her stepbrother. 

I DON’T CARE IF IT WAS YOUR STEPBROTHER. YOU SHARE A FATHER YOU TWO PIECES OF HUMAN TRASH AND THAT’S FUCKING GROSS. 

And the fact that she kept saying he looks like her dad in his wedding photo, and she looks like her mom was a TURN ON?

*insert Exorcist level vomiting*

It could have been such a good book but once that was all mentioned I was OUT. 

It had very ‘Gone Girl’ vibes about it and I wasn’t really into that book either.

So ‘Gone Girl with Incest’?  I was super out. 

I didn’t like ANY of the characters. And sometimes you just need ONE person to like in a book to redeem the entire thing. 

Maybe that was the point though?

I don’t know anymore.

Constant vigilance.

asimplefavor

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

My beautiful Dumplin’. This book was so wonderful I started a book club.

Now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m a chubby bunny. I mention it whenever I read a book by or about chubby girls.

So reading about this chubby teenager who is constantly crapped on for being fat broke my heart and then FULLY MENDED IT.

If you’ve watched the movie: STOP AND READ THE BOOK.

Because while the movie was adorable and fun, the book is actually 100 times better.

No joke.

There are so many more sweet moments between Dumplin’ and her mom. There are a handful of fights between them that didn’t make the movie.

And her Aunt Lucy isn’t the same as in the movie, where she’s pictured as a lovely larger than life woman who in spite of being fat lived her life to the fullest.

In the books, she was a recluse who was too scared to do anything because she was afraid of what she looked like and didn’t want anyone to see her. Which I think was really important to the narrative. It made Willowdean want to be braver. Made her want to grow, while also loving her aunt more than anyone 

Willowdean was so frickin’ great and touched on so many things that I worry about too. (Like when someone touches my back or chubby bits and how I would/do react.)

PLUS the movie left out the very loveable and friendly Mitch. How could they do that?! Especially when they left out so much of her relationship with Bo.

And the romance with Bo was GREAT in the book and they barely touched on it in the movies.

I realize that it was supposed to be all about Dumplin’ but really. There was a reason her life started to shift and she started to examine her life more.

And the reason was her Aunt Lucy’s death and what that meant to her.

You totally thought I was going to say Bo. Pfffffffft nah.

Read this book. Just frickin’ do it.dumplin