mercredi 30 septembre 2015

Dear September

Dear September,

You were quite a bittersweet month. Mostly sweet, but there was a bitterness that I just couldn't shake off, especially as the days grew colder.

I'm thankful for the sweet moments, though. They were the highlight of my month and surprisingly numerous. I enjoyed my cozy nights with friends and family, or simply by my own, with soft music playing in the background and a nice candle burning. I spent so much quality time this month that I felt like if I were to die at any point during this month, I would've had a perfectly happy life. Knowing this only made me want to go on in life even more, so I gained an energy that kept me going in the darkest times.

Hearing the rain pour while I was reading in bed made me feel happy and safe, which is always the case with autumnal days. Whenever I got a little bit of fall depression, I just picked up a nice romance novel, which cheered me up instantly. I was guilty of doing that a lot, in the last thirty-something days. However, I read over ten books in a month, while dealing with college, which I'm pretty proud of. In the end, you were a great month, reading-wise.

You were an awesome month for music. All four of the concerts I attended this month were amazing, leaving me with an exhausted yet giddy feeling. They came with a bit of nostalgia, knowing I would never experience the same exact feeling again, but they were absolutely worth it. My days were lulled by music and I found myself daydreaming about those dimly-lit rooms full of people who shared my passion. Incredibly, I got to meet my favourite band when they were performing at a music festival, something I will never forget. It's a completely different thing to listen to music all alone in your room than to hear it performed in front of you, but meeting the people who created it and talk to them brings you to cloud nine. I feel so blessed.

As I said before, there were more bitter moments, or days. You brought back the date marking the loss of someone I loved, but you also brought back the sadness and the overwhelmed feelings I felt only a year ago. Knowing it had been a year since I last saw this special someone, I couldn't help but break inside. I was fortunately able to find comfort in knowing that one day, maybe, I would think about the happier moments instead of my loss. I also got scared of losing someone else, which made me feel abandonned for as long as this fear lasted. I'm hoping that October will convince me that it was all just a fear, nothing serious.

Dear September, thank you for leaving me happy and hopeful, excited to see what October holds for me. 

mardi 29 septembre 2015

The Paris Key - Juliet Blackwell

Goodreads summary:

An American in Paris navigates her family’s secret past and unlocks her own future, in this emotionally evocative novel byNew York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell.

As a girl, Genevieve Martin spent the happiest summer of her life in Paris, learning the delicate art of locksmithing at her uncle’s side. But since then, living back in the States, she has become more private, more subdued. She has been an observer of life rather than an active participant, holding herself back from those around her, including her soon-to-be-ex-husband.

Paris never really left Genevieve, and, as her marriage crumbles, she finds herself faced with an incredible opportunity: return to the magical city of her youth to take over her late uncle’s shop. But as she absorbs all that Parisian culture has to offer, she realizes the city also holds secrets about her family that could change her forever, and that locked doors can protect you or imprison you, depending on which side of them you stand.

My review:


While this novel is certainly not my favorite, I really liked it! 

As a French speaking person, books where there's French and English are always ones that I enjoy, because I get to compare two languages and see how hard it is to do the opposite of what I did, which was learn English. Although I'm not actually French and I've unfortunatelt never been to Paris, I love to read about France in general, because my family comes from there and it sounds beautiful and amazing, except from the rude waiters, maybe. I liked to see the city through the eyes of someone who struggles with French and who's considering moving altogether to Paris, since moving to another country has always sounded incredible and romantic to me, even though it's way too scary for me to attempt it in a near future. I was relieved to see how Genevieve struggles with immigration and feels like giving up sometimes, because otherwise it wouldn't have been realistic and it would've bugged me the whole time, preventing me from enjoying this novel.

The writing style is great. I loved the alternated stories told in different chapters, because I had a better idea of the entire scheme that way. It helped me view the story as it is, instead of clouded by a character's opinion, which I really liked. I think that it could've been told only in Angela and Genevieve's perspectives, because they're the most important characters and their sides of the story are the most different. 

I enjoyed the intriguing part of this story. There's one plot twist that I saw coming from the very beginning, so I was deceived to see that I had known it all this time and that it was so obvious. However, I remained curious about other parts of the story, which is why I continued reading, anxious and doubting every sentence, trying to figure out the truth. I wasn't expecting to read a mystery book, but it ended up being a little bit like that, which I welcomed happily. 

The plot is interesting, even though I wish some details were more in depth. Genevieve's divorce seemed very mature to me in the end, because she truly got to know herself better and figure out the reasons behind her actions. I particularly liked seeing her understand her mother, herself and her friends better, because it shows a lot of character development that's well displayed. 

I would recommend this novel, especially to Paris lovers and locksmiths out there.

(Thank you Edelweiss for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)


vendredi 25 septembre 2015

The One Thing - Marci Lyn Curtis

Goodreads summary:

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie's whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she's ever met.Ben's life isn't easy, but he doesn't see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn't have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she's currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie's new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben's brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future... before she loses everything she has grown to love.

My review:


I LOVED IT SO MUCH! Seriously, read this book.

I was intrigued by the description of this novel, especially since I wasn't sure what it would be about. I didn't know what to expect, but it made me want to read it even more. I'm so glad I did! 

I absolutely loved Ben and Maggie's friendship. Ben is the most adorable kid ever and I just want him for myself (which sounds weird, but it's okay. You'll understand if you read this book). I loved how he reacted to Maggie's news about her seeing him even though she's blind and I adored the way he kept trying to kiss her and saying that she's his girlfriend, even though he's way too young for her. I thought he was simply incredible. I know Maggie feels bad because she thinks she's using him to see, but in my head, it has always been clear that from the beginning, Maggie loved this kid and wanted to spend time with him because of how happy he makes her. It touched me more than I would've expected and I cried more than once.

I wasn't really expecting a love story in this novel, but I was happy to discover there is one. Although it's really not what I'll remember the most about this book, it's sweet and cute and I loved it. Also, I really enjoyed seeing Maggie angry and passionate, since she's an incredibly funny character. I wish I could be more like her, except without all the trouble she gets into. 

Maggie's story made me sad, because it must be incredibly hard to lose your sight so suddenly. I understand why she pushed her friends away, but I can't imagine being her friend and seeing her get through all of that while being excluded from her life. They must have been really sad, too. I was glad to see her embrace her handicap and become happy again, even trying to make other friends. It's a great character development. 

I can't think of anything that I disliked in this novel. It's something that I would recommend to anyone. 

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)


mercredi 23 septembre 2015

Smart Girls Get What They Want - Sarah Strohmeyer

Goodreads summary:

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .

My review:


This book is fluffy and sweet and smart. Just perfect.

For once, the main character isn't a popular girl who doesn't like to read and who never studies for her exam. Instead, she and her two best friends accumulate near-perfect grades in hopes of getting into the college of their choice, all of it by studying until late at night and even early in the morning. If that isn't different from most YA novels, than I don't know what else it could be. I could see myself a lot in these characters, because I'm a workaholic, too, and having good grades has had the same effect on me than it had on these girls. I don't know what it is about good grades, but it seems to push people away, to make them see you as a cold person or, simply, to make them hate you. I loved relating to the characters in that way, because it's so incredibly different from my usual cheesy novels.

I really liked the fact that while this novel's main character is Gigi, the story is about her and her two best friends. I cared a lot about their lives and their friendship, since they're almost as important and known to the readers as the main characters. Their friendship is adorable and I love their strength and fierceness.

There are some characters I didn't understand - I'm obviously talking about Will. I really didn't like him, but his sudden change of attitude at the end perplexed me. It felt way too happily-ever-after to me, because let's be real, some people just never change.

Although it's predictable, the romantic aspects of this novel are adorable. I loved the relationships and the characters who are in them, because it was just too cute to be true. I chose this novel as a cheesy and easy read and it was definitely what I expected - and needed.

If you're tired of never reading about smart characters in YA, pick this book up. It's original and refreshing, making it the perfect novel to read between study books.


lundi 21 septembre 2015

Giveaway Winners!

Hi everyone! As some of you may know, there was a giveaway going on on my blog. The book we were giving away was Stay the Distance by Mara Dabrishus (both of which are awesome, by the way). Now that it ended, we have the names of our winners, selected randomly by the author. Congratulations to +Dans notre monde and +Macklin Loosley-Millman ! We will be emailing you very soon. Thanks again to everyone who participated!

samedi 19 septembre 2015

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (Shopaholic #2) - Sophie Kinsella

Goodreads summary:

The irresistible heroine of Confessions of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Ties the Knot is back! And this time Becky Bloomwood and her credit cards are headed across the Atlantic....
With her shopping excesses (somewhat) in check and her career as a TV financial guru thriving, Becky's biggest problem seems to be tearing her entrepreneur boyfriend, Luke, away from work for a romantic country weekend. And worse, figuring out how to pack light. But packing takes on a whole new meaning when Luke announces he's moving to New York for business--and he asks Becky to go with him! Before you can say "Prada sample sale," Becky has landed in the Big Apple, home of Park Avenue penthouses and luxury boutiques.
Surely it's only a matter of time until she becomes an American TV celebrity, and she and Luke are the toast of Gotham society. Nothing can stand in their way, especially with Becky's bills miles away in London. But then an unexpected disaster threatens her career prospects, her relationship with Luke, and her available credit line! Shopaholic Takes Manhattan--but will she have to return it?

My review:


Once again, Sophie Kinsella does it: she creates a funny, romantic and original novel.

I loved the first book in this series. Its idea is so original, so well-thought and so addicting that I know that, no matter how long it takes me, I'm going to read this series to its end, because it's really amazing. The continuation of the story in this book is just great. Becky is more aware of her tendencies, even though that doesn't mean she doesn't make mistakes again ('cause she makes A LOT of them in this book). I loved how she tried, in vain sometimes, to refrain herself from buying something. Her pride in doing so made me laugh so much sometimes, because I know how it feels to be proud of doing something that people don't even need to think about and we've got to support each other.

Becky's character is incredible. While she isn't perfect at all and she gets on my nerves (and on most readers') when she's so wrapped up in shopping that she spends way too much on clothes, accessories, makeup or simply random stuff, she's a character I absolutely love. We've all got our own faults and Becky's are pretty inoffensive, to anyone but her, if you think about it. She just gets herself in bad situations, but little by little, she learns.

I loved how Becky and Luke's situation progressed in this book, because I have to admit I was scared when I learned that they got in a relationship in the first book of a series and I'm always scared of reading more about some characters' relationship when I'm already satisfied by it. However, I feel like everything that happens in this book was necessary and I'm definitely happy with the way it ends.

There's just something about Sophie Kinsella's writing that's SO DAMN FUNNY! I swear, she's probably the author who cracks me up the most, and that's saying a lot. Whether it's what Becky's saying or doing or simply the way it's described, it's hilarious and I love this series for making me decompress. In this book, I felt a lot more sadness than in the first one, because there's some injustice that made me really angry and sad at the same time. I wasn't expecting to tear up while reading this, but a person's life can't always be great, even when it's a fictional character's. I absolutely loved the ending, though, and I'm so happy and proud of Becky. I feel like she grew up a lot in this book, maybe even more than in the first, no matter how subtle it is.

If you haven't started this series yet, please do.


jeudi 17 septembre 2015

Just Listen - Sarah Dessen

Goodreads summary:

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

My review:


Wow. It's so, so, so, so good. I loved this book. It's so hard to read about such a sad story though, it hurt me more than any book did in a while, if not ever. I was sobbing at some point and there were other times all of my body hurt, even though I couldn't cry. It's incredibly sad, but I'm glad it gets better.

Having read two or three of Dessen's novels, I was expecting this one to be fluffy, with romance and one or two small issues. Well, let me tell you, the issue mentionned in this book is probably the worst thing ever. I was absolutely not expecting something this traumatic or sad, so it completely destroyed me.

I loved this book's characters and how the good ones reacted to Annabel's story. Owen was my favorite, expecially since his care for Annabel kept melting my heart, compensating for the sadness I was reading about. He made me smile, with his adorable sister and his love for music, and I loved his honesty.

Once again, Dessen created a character I could totally relate to. While I haven't experienced anything like Annabel, we share many personality traits, which is why it hit me when Owen told her he absolutely never lies. Like Annabel, I'm always a bit too nice and I hate saying hurtful things, so little white lies are part of my life. I don't hate confrontation as much as she does (I kind of like it, once in a while), Owen's words still made me think a lot about my entire life and every single lie or omission I can say without thinking about it. I now realize there's no way to always be nice, so I'm trying to get better, just like Annabel.

All of Dessen's books have one similarity, it's that they all have great families. Maybe not in the fact that they're perfect, but more in the sense that they're realistic and loving. This book isn't just about a love story, or about a traumatic experience, it's about every single part of Annabel's life, including her family. I love it when authors include family members a lot in their story, because family is important. Her sister's issues are ones that I had to deal with in my family, so I can completely understand how Annabel feels. I loved seeing how she Evolved and it gave me hope for the future.

Overall, this book is awesome. It has everything you could ask for: romance, some more serious stuff, family, love, music, everything. I highly recommend it. It's definitely my favorite book from Sarah Dessen so far.

View all my reviews


dimanche 13 septembre 2015

Major Crush - Jennifer Echols

Goodreads summary:

Tired of the beauty-pageant circuit, Virginia Sauter tosses her tiara, pierces her nose, and auditions for the most unlikely of roles — drum major of the high school marching band.
Virginia wins, but is forced to share the title with Drew, whose family has held the position for generations. Sure, Drew is hot, but because of his superior attitude, he and Virginia are constantly arguing. That is, until they share more than just their half-time salute...

But as the drum major's heated competition turns to sizzling romance, explosive rumors threaten everything — including the band's success. Love seemed to be a sure hit, but Virginia and Drew may be marching straight into disaster.

My review:


That was such a lovely read and it definitely lifted my spirits! Once more, Jennifer Echols proves how good she is at writing short and sweet romance novels.

If you're in a bit of a down, pick up this book, or a book similar to this one. It'll cheer you uo and make you feel all giddy and happy again. I finished this novel grinning like a fool, happy with life in general and full of hopes and expectations (I'll deal with those later).

Love stories between enemies is not the kind of books I read often, because I'm more of a best-friends-fall-in-love-with-each-other girl, but I truly liked this one. I don't think the summary is actually giving a good idea of the story, because I was expecting this to be more about Virginia giving up beauty-pageant and going in a completely different direction, while this novel seems to take place much later in her life. It's okay, but I wasn't expecting that.

I liked how Virginia and Drew's relationship evolved, although I didn't like the fact that he had a girlfriend in the beginning. Sure, she's a bitch and they're not serious, but he shouldn't be flirting like that with other girls. It's just a big no-no. Although there are admittedly some very cheesy parts, they're the ones that made me smile the most, so I'm not complaining.

I like how marching band is important in this book. There has never been any marching band at the schools I went to, but I still like Learning about them and reading about passionate people. I wish there'd been a bigger part about them though, because it's clear that romance is a much bigger part than this.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I don't know what else to say about it, so I guess that'll be it!

View all my reviews

vendredi 11 septembre 2015

Magonia (Magonia #1) - Maria Dahvana Headley

Goodreads summary:

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. 

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. 

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. 

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

My review:


It wasn't bad, but it really didn't live up to my expectations. I had heard great things about it, and while it was imaginative, I found it hard to keep up with.

I think the writing is really nice and I honestly loved the beginning of this book. The characters are interesting and I wanted to know more about them. However, at some point, the story got very complicated, very quickly, and I felt like I was always trying to catch up with it. After that, it fell back into a quiet moment, but I was simply not that interested in the story. It was too weird for me and since there was nothing more to catch my attention, I actually spent a long time trying to finish this novel. The ending was easier for me to follow, although I'm left wondering what's going to happen next, which I wasn't even interested in in the middle if the book. 

Other people might love it, but it simply wasn't for me.


The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

Goodreads summary:

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

My review:

GUYS THIS BOOK IS JUST SO GOOD! Obviously, I knew it would be, from all the good reviews I read about it, but now I just don't know why I didn't read it sooner.

I liked how intriguing this dystopian world is. In some dystopian novels, there's basically an explanation at the beginning of how the world works, why it's that way, what it means, etc. In this book, everything was just explained detail by detail through the story, which kept me on the edge, wanting to know more about this strange world and this strange life. I wasn't disappointed! It's complicated, crazy, infuriating, interesting and completely different from everything I've read before.
With the characters on the run, I was constantly scared that someone would be lying, or that trouble would be around the corner. It made me read this book quite quickly, since I couldn't let go of it without being forced to do so. I liked this fact about it, since it's been a while since I read something action-packed. With all the superpowers in this book, I felt like I was reading Percy Jackson sometimes, which obviously isn't a bad thing, since I love Percy Jackson.

This book has great characters. I loved Ruby, who's fierce yet fragile, and I loved how she acts with people around her. Her story is heartbreaking, so I truly have a soft spot for her, now. My least favorite part of this book is probably the romance, since I didn't fall in love with Liam or anything. For me, it was just alright, while the friendships are incredible. I absolutely hate Clancy, because he's the creepiest guy on Earth and I want him to die right now. I hate people who pretend to be someone else and who manipulate others, so obviously, I couldn't stand him. I felt so much anger and fear at the same time that I thought I would explode if something else didn't happen sooner or later.

I think this book has a great plot. I loved the story and I sure as hell am ready for the next book. I loved the importance of colors at the beginning of the book, which is why I kind of liked the book's first title, Black is the Color. I do think it could've been slightly altered, but I love how it fits the book.

I would highly recommend this series, even though I'm only at the first book. It sounds awesome and I can't wait to continue reading it!


mercredi 9 septembre 2015

Interview: Katie Pierson

Hi everyone! Today, I've got an interview with Katie Pierson, author of '89 Walls. Her novel is amazing, you can read my review here if you haven't yet. I hope you'll enjoy reading this interview!

Hello Katie! Thank you for being here today to answer some questions about yourself and your latest novel, '89 Walls. 

Thank you so much for having me, Laurence! 

Can you explain what the book is about?

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity. I, personally, have a crush on Seth. He’s the smart guy with the dry sense of humor that makes a girl trust herself.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite. 

What inspired you to write this story?

A conversation with a friend in 2006 about the pros and cons of potentially attending my 20th high school reunion brought to mind the random people you run into at those things: old crushes, old “frenemies.” I suddenly had the idea for Seth and Quinn’s reluctant romance. I thought it would be fun to introduce young readers to the concept of Star Wars as more than just a movie, and the good old days of writing notes in cursive and getting by on 12 cable channels.

Halfway through the first draft, I realized I was also writing a partisan allegory. Seth is the Democratic Party in the late 80’s: reactive, angry, without a compass. The successes of the 1970s’ social movements had been dampened by Vietnam. Quinn’s father, Tom is the Republican Party: optimistic, smug, and still grounded in a true small government philosophy but underestimating the rising Religious Right. Mr. Levine, the teacher, is the moderator who allows two strong points of view to talk it out respectfully. Quinn is all of us, trying to find her way when tidy theories crash into reality.

Was it hard to write a story set years ago? How did you deal with it?

It helped that I was a young adult in the late 80s but I still had to do a lot of research on political events and pop culture. I found that a lot went down in 1989: divestiture in apartheid South Africa, the Tiananmen Square protests, the Webster decision, the Iran-Contra scandal, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the savings and loan crisis, the growing AIDS epidemic, the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the premiere of Seinfeld. 

In a way, setting the book in 1989 was an itch I needed to scratch. That was the summer that changed everything for me. The Supreme Court’s Webster decision gave states the power to limit abortion access and opening the door for waiting periods, procedural bans, and state-scripted woman shaming. It marked the first time in 26 years that the court failed to affirm Roe v. Wade. It set up a system of Jim Crow for women. 

At the time I was volunteering as an abortion counselor at the Planned Parenthood affiliate in downtown Philadelphia. (This was before the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act.) I was already spending every Saturday pushing through hostile, screaming crowds to help my patients get in the building. Webster felt like a huge betrayal and the Republican Party with which I’m grown up didn’t put up much of a fuss. That was the point in which I changed parties and thought that maybe those of us who are not privileged white males need big government to guarantee our basic rights. 

My dad also died during the summer of 1989. Writing this book let me imagine the adult conversations with him that would have helped me make sense of the huge shifts in the political landscape in the late Eighties. 

Who created your book cover and what exactly inspired it?

I worked with a freelancer from Random House, Jessie Sayward Bright, who really listened to my ideas about my target audience and similar titles. It’s a total coincidence that the cover features all of my favorite colors. The skyline is Lincoln, Nebraska.

How did you come up with your characters' names?

This sounds strange, I know, but my characters came to me already named.

Who do you relate to the most in your characters and why?

While nothing in this book’s plot actually happened much of Quinn’s perspective is emotionally and politically true, I relate to her (and, therefore, also judge her). But I’m proud of her for making her way.

Your characters grow up a lot in your novel from being with each other and from experiencing many things in their lives. What would your advice be for teenagers who are Seth and Quinn's age, and faced with many important decisions?

Adolescence can feel so overwhelming. You never have another period in your life when you change so fast and learn so much. I think it’s important to connect now with a trusted adult. Then when you find yourself in doubt or in a hard situation later, you have someone to whom you can say, “Here’s what I need. Can you help me?” Unless they’re in crisis themselves, there’s a 99% chance they will help you—and will be incredibly flattered you asked.

Your novel is about many important subjects, such as politics, diseases and abortion. Why did you want to talk about these subjects? Do you think you could have dealt with them the same way if your story had been set in the present?

I have a couple of degrees in American history and my work background is in public policy, specifically women’s reproductive rights. I did write about what interests me. But ’89 Walls is also a response to the fact that so few YA books out there deal with politics or teen sexuality. I’m annoyed that the publishing industry underestimates the intelligence of teen readers so much. By default, they censor your books.

Young adult fiction is the fastest growing genre in publishing now. Yet very little of it discusses sex in a realistic way or abortion at all. Given that 2/3 of high school seniors report being sexually active, and that over a third of all women have at least one abortion, the lack of YA literature on the subject seems odd in a creepy, censored sort of way. And when abortion is depicted in YA, it’s almost always a trauma, a painful, heart-wrenching decision. 

I tried to write the kind of book that I’d want my own daughters to read; one that shows fun, safe sex in the context of a trusting, respectful relationship. There are plenty of YA books out there with sex scenes but very few showing female pleasure or a female orgasm. Is it me or is it totally sexist that writing these scenes is “controversial?”

I also wanted to show what the research proves is the much more common abortion experience: a young woman chooses her own future, has the abortion, and thinks, “Whew. Thank god that’s over.” She’s made stronger and happier by the self-affirming decision she’s made.

I was surprised to hear from agents and editors that “teens don’t care about politics.” That’s not what I observe of the Obama generation. While I have my gripes about social media (the way it makes you feel like you’re not living your life unless you’ve posted it online, for example) it’s an amazing political tool, too. Young people have enormous power and potential now to organize, contribute to the dialogue, and change the system. That’s pretty cool. 

What is your writing process? Do you have any funny habits?

I have a quote by Ernest Hemingway taped to my desk that says, “The first draft is always shit.” It’s so true. But Anne LaMott says go ahead and write that “shitty first draft.” So that’s what I do. My first drafts are painfully earnest and rambling. Revising is way more fun.

As a writer, I’m basically the most boring person you know: I write for two hours in the early morning. I do all of my writing in my office. My dog sits on the red sofa behind me all day and stares at my back. I put my daughters on the school bus. I work out at the YMCA at 9:00. I write for another two hours. I read a section of the Sunday New York Times while eating lunch. (It takes me a week to read the whole paper). Then I write for another two hours before ramping up for after-school craziness and the dinner hour. (Is it me or does literally everyone call my house at 4:00?) I work in my yoga pants and t-shirts, usually with my hair sticking up. 

What would be your best piece of advice for young writers?

Everyone feels like a fraud. Seriously. It’s not just you. When you call yourself a writer and act like one, you are one. There’s no coronation, but no one can take that piece of you away either.

What do you think is the definition of an author and when did you first consider yourself one?

I’ve heard others say that writing a novel is like opening a vein and letting it bleed. I agree. And then you have to get it published. If my long and detoured road to publication taught me anything, it’s that you only get to call yourself an author when you put on your big girl pants and act like one.

Digital copies of your novel were offered through NetGalley for review. Do you think this process helped with your novel's publication? What are your favorite and least favorite things about it?

NetGalley is a great service for authors, especially first-timers and indie authors like me. For a fee, they advertise your digital title to people who review books in your genre. It really helped with my marketing to get endorsements from librarians and book bloggers like you. Those early reviews helped me get on the radar of publications like, Foreword and School Library Journal. My favorite thing about NetGalley is that the feedback belongs to me—it’s not for public consumption. I can’t think of a downside.

What is your all-time favorite quote?

“The secret to being boring is to say everything.” --Voltaire

If you could've only read one book in your life, which one do you wish it had been and why?

Persuasion by Jane Austen is my favorite. She builds a world that you can practically taste, and makes you privy to all those simmering feelings that no one admits to.

What's your favorite thing about writing?

The flexible schedule and being able to work from home. The downside is the isolation. I depend on my hip-hop class for my daily social life and “colleagues.”

Can you tell us about some of your current/future projects?

I'm toying with a memoir of my family's sabbatical year in London during the final year of the Bush administration. The working title is, Acting Canadian. I loved writing '89 Walls and read as much YA as I do adult fiction. I would love for another idea for a YA novel to drop in my lap. 

Thanks again for having me, Laurence. This was a fun interview!

'89 Walls - Katie Pearson

Goodreads summary:

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

My review:


I have very mixed feelings towards this book. I could relate a lot to Quinn, yet sometimes I couldn't understand her at all. I thought the classes and the discussions were amazing and if there's one thing I learned from this book, it's that I love politics and that I would really enjoy being in a debate club - even if Quinn despised it.

However, I didn't really care about the characters' relationship. I can't really point out what is lacking in this book, but I couldn't get in the story at some times and it really felt like what it was: me, reading a book. I love to immerge myself completly in a storyline and care for the characters, but there's something about the way it's written that made it impossible for me. This is my main negative point about this book, because it was a recurrent one. Also, not everything made sense, in the way that some actions felt precipitated and unrealistic.

I still enjoyed reading this book, but I think there is some work to do related to the way actions are described.

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

I also did an interview with the author, which you can find here.

lundi 7 septembre 2015

The Martian - Andy Weir

Goodreads summary:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

My review:

100/5 - Just too good.

It's so good! Guys, please read it RIGHT NOW if you haven't yet. It's funny, action-packed, interesting and absolutely crazy. I even stayed up after 2 AM to finish it, because there was no way I could sleep without finishing this novel.

The main reason why I like this book is that it basically has everything I could ever ask for. There's some maths and science, which I really liked (some parts are a bit complicated, but don't worry, it's nothing like a maths textbook). I like learning things from reading, so this book was perfect for me. Also, it makes the whole experience more realistic, because astronauts are absolutely very intelligent and they need everything they know about all things space, or even more, if you're Watney. Then, there are some sensitive parts, because having an astronaut stuck on Earth isn't exactly a nice situation and fearing for his death is quite scary, even though I knew from the book's number of pages that Watney would probably not die right away, at least. Thinking about his family, his friends and his team of astronauts made me sad, but it's part of the experience, too. The funny parts, which are basically the entire book, are the best, in my opinion. I loved how sarcastic Watney is all the time, especially since I wouldn't always expect that from someone who basically needs a miracle to survive and make it back to Earth. If I wasn't cracking up every page, I was at least smiling, even in the darkest times sometimes, because Watney always finds the most surprising and crazy thing to say to make me laugh. I loved how it's much lighter than you'd expect (especially if you watch the movie trailer, which looks really stressful but awesome). Towards the end, I did get really anxious, especially since I didn't have the pages left's reassurement that Watney wouldn't die. I was basically dying to finish this book and know if he survives or not, and how.

Weir did a great job at creating characters. Each astronaut has its very own personality and I feel like we get to know them pretty well, even though they aren't on Mars with Watney. I was surprised to read about what is happening at the NASA and with the rest of Watney's team, but I ended up loving these moments. There's even a bit of romance and some more joking that I really enjoyed, especially since they lighten up the atmosphere.

This book made me think so much, it's crazy. It's been exactly two weeks since I finished it, but I keep recommending it to other people (my entire class today, as an example. I might've looked crazy, but I'm not even embarrassed. It's so good!). I always Watch the movie trailers, because I'm super excited for the movie (which I plan to see on its opening week with my best friend, who listened to my rant about how amazing this book is and blablabla). Whenever I hear something about space, science or botany, I think about the book, comparing it to what I know. Seriously, I keep thinking about it.

I highly, highly, highly recommend this novel. It's perfect. Also, its cover is gorgeous, so it'll look awesome on your shelves. See? Everything is a good reason for all of you to buy it and read it right now.


Finding Audrey - Sophie Kinsella

Goodreads summary:

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

My review:


Still unsure about my rating, but I really liked this book! It's adorable, short and sweet, perfect to decompress.

I love how realistic the writing style is. I feel like I truly got to know Audrey, even without knowing exactly what happened to her. I think all of us got a pretty good idea of it, since most of us are well aware of how girls can be in school, so I kind of liked not to know what made Audrey so sensitive. Sure, I am curious, but it might be for the wrong reasons, because really, there's no need for me to know exactly what happened in her life. I perfectly understand why she wouldn't want to talk about it and I think that this is even better than if she had just explained every single thing about that traumatizing event. Some people might be annoyed by this detail, but I like its realism.

I like how this book explains the relationship between a psychologist and her patient. It could've been only briefly mentionned, but instead, Sophie Kinsella decided to fully include parts of their meetings, which I really enjoyed reading about. It must have needed loads of research, but it adds to the realism of the book, again. Many pieces of advice given by Dr. Sarah are important for me, too, which I found quite nice. At first, I didn't understand Audrey's need for sunglasses, because I simply thought she must look weird, wearing them all the time for apparently no reason, but when I actually understood why she couldn't take them off, I almost wished I could wear some, too. Taking them off is a big step for her, but we all know this is necessary, because she couldn't possibly live her life with them on all the time.

Audrey's progress truly made me happy. Sometimes, when she was with Linus, I felt like she progressed maybe a bit too much, because he's a bit like her hero and magically, she can do things she couldn't even dream of before, but I let that go and simply enjoyed seeing Audrey getting over her illness, step by step. Her appointments with Dr. Sarah reminded me that there would probably be a moment when she wouldn't be that well anymore, because you can't just go higher and higher, but it only made me want to read more to know what would happen.

I found Linus and Audrey's relationship absolutely adorable. Can we just talk about that paper kiss? Too cute. I loved how Linus helped not only Audrey, but her entire family, too. He's really caring and I love how he pushes Audrey to do her best, even though I feared it would be too much, sometimes. I wish I could find such a guy!

Frank was probably my favorite character. I love how rebellious he is, how much he cares about everything, from video games to his sister, and how serious he can be, as young as he is. He truly inspired me and I was touched by his actions more than once. He's a great part of the family, which is awesome itself. Sophie Kinsella never fails to create complicated, funny families that you get really invested in.

It's very different from the other Sophie Kinsella books I've read, but not in a bad way. I wouldn't mind it if her next books were more on the serious side, like this one, because I truly enjoyed reading it.


vendredi 4 septembre 2015

Cheesy Novel Recommendations

I'm the kind of person who thinks way too much and ends up really tired at the end of the day. Whether I'm tired from school, from work, from meeting new people, from exercising, from worrying or from life in general, I need ways to energize other than sleep, since I can't possibly just go home and sleep for 20 hours every day.  My favorite way to compensate for a draining day is simply to curl up on my bed with a good light-hearted book, a cup of tea, a scented candle burning in the corner of my room and soft music playing. During these moments, I don't look for complicated dystopian novels or huge classics, but cheesy YA books. Those are basically my addiction, as well as my guilty pleasure. I just love to read swoon-worthy, heart-warming and short books that will lift my spirits and make me all giddy and happy again. I know these might not be everyone else's taste, but believe me:  some of them are true gems. Here's my list of recommendations in no particular order.

Since You've Been Gone
Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um...
Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

These Are the Moments
Jenny Bravo

You can't go back.
You can't go back.
You can't go back.
Wendy Lake... Big dreams. Small bank account. Back home from college, she's the girl with the day job, the girl whose mom still packs her lunches, the girl with the memories she can't shake.
Simon Guidry ... The boy who holds her past in his pocket. And maybe her heart, too.
This is the story on-again, off-again Wendy and Simon, told in the now and then of their relationship. As the couple is thrown back into each other's lives through their friends' wedding, These Are the Moments dares to ask the questions:
Do people ever really change?
Do two people, who can never make it work, actually make it right?
And most importantly, do they even want to?


On the Fence
Kasie West

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Rainbow Rowell

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?

The Distance Between Us
Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Jennifer E. Smith

Four minutes changes everything. Hadley Sullivan 17 misses her flight at JFK airport, is late to her father's second wedding in London with never-met stepmother. Hadley meets the perfect boy. Oliver is British, sits in her row. A long night on the plane passes in a blink, but the two lose track in arrival chaos. Can fate bring them together again?

The Start of Me and You
Emery Lord

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?


Second Chance Summer
Morgan Matson

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.
Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.


Un jeu vers le soleil
Pascale Gingras

Véronique a besoin d'air?! Cet été, c'est décidé, elle ira travailler en Ontario, question de se dépayser un peu. Garder un enfant de 4 ans, pour elle, ce n'est pas un boulot très exigeant, mais à son arrivée dans la famille de Max, elle aura la surprise de constater que son petit protégé a un grand frère... de 19 ans?!
Secret et distant, Thierry a tôt fait d'intriguer Véronique, qui décide de se mettre sur son cas. Pourquoi refuse-t-il de sortir de la maison?? Et, surtout, pourquoi évite-t-il son regard?? Gagnant peu à peu sa confiance, Véronique découvrira le drame qu'il vit, ses craintes, ses douleurs profondes et essayera de l'aider. Même si c'est malgré lui.
Pour son premier roman, Pascale Gingras nous offre une histoire remplie d'humour et de bonne humeur, mais surtout délicieusement romantique. Un récit intense qui se déploie tout doucement, comme les nuages s'écartent devant le soleil.


Colleen Hoover

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…


Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist
Kay Marie

My name is Skylar Quinn. I just moved to New York with my best friend Bridget, and I have a confession. Well, more than one. Okay, quite a few really. Fine, here goes!
Confession #1: I'm a sex columnist. Hold on, that's not really the confession. You see, I'm sort of a columnist.
Confession #2: I'm kind of in love with Bridget's older brother, Oliver. No, I was. No, I am. Wait, was? Am? Crap.
Confession #3: I've been avoiding Oliver for four years. Or I was until today, because he just moved in. Yes, you read that correctly. He's my new roommate. So that night we've both been pretending never happened, well, we might not be able to keep it a secret any longer.
And trust me, this is only the beginning.

The Fill-In Boyfriend
Kasie West

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Just One Day
Gayle Forman

Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.
A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.
The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!


Something Borrowed
Emily Giffin

Something Borrowed tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancé. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness. Something Borrowed is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend.

Those are my recommendations! You can just click on the book covers to get to the books' Goodreads pages. Two of these books were sent to me in exchange for an honest review, but the others weren't. I hope you have a good time reading (and swooning)!

mercredi 2 septembre 2015

Web Series Wednesday - Emma Approved

Hello everyone and welcome to a new Web Series Wednesday post! Hope you enjoy this one.

Okay, so I'm perfectly aware that some people might not agree with me this week. I know Emma, as a character or as a novel, isn't everyone's favorite Jane Austen book, but I have to say that I enjoyed this web series, as well as the novel that inspired it, very much.

My experience watching this series was very different than what I'm used to. Instead of watching the series after having read and loved the novel, like I usually do, I watched the series while reading the novel for the first time. I know it might sound weird and scary, but I made sure to be a couple of épisodes behind what I was reading so that I wouldn't be spoiled. I really enjoyed doing it this way, because I could see this behind the writing, such as the romance, which isn't developed that much in the novel because of when it was written. I could still see hints ofit in the novel, but the web series was absolutely swoon-worthy, which got me addicted to the series. I fell in love with Knightley (and the actor who plays him, actually) and I started seeing him in a completely different way because of the episodes I was watching. My suspicions were also confirmed in video when I wasn't sure if actions meant more than they seemed like, so overall, I had a very nice time reading and watching the same story unroll before me.

After LBD, I was afraid that I would have excessively high hopes and be deceived. However, I ended up liking this as much, or maybe even more, than the series that drew me into this fantastic world of adaptations. I quickly became addicted to the music of this web series (don't judge me) and I fell in love with so many characters that it's actually crazy. It's a funny, light-hearted and well-played series that made its way into my heart.

I really liked Emma, first in the novel, but then in the web series. I think many people take her on the wrong side, but I personally think she's hilarious. Sure, she has her flaws. She's self-centered and tends to go overboard, she's vain and nosy, but in the end, she only wants what's best for the people she loves and her biggest dream is to help as many people as she can. She can be clumsy while doing so, but she's so caring and entertaining that I can't help but love her. I think that people must stop seeing all her faults and see behind them, where amazing qualities show themselves. If you've ever started this web series or novel and couldn't stand her, please try again with that in mind, because you could discover an amazing human being who is admittedly annoying sometimes. But aren't we all?

The settings in the web series are great. I love how they transposed the story into Emma's company, because it truly makes sense. Filming in the office is a really nice touch, even though sometimes it seemed a little bit nosy to be watching all of that (still loved it though, because it would've sucked NOT to see everything). As with LBD, I'm convinced the writers of this web series are geniuses, because I could see how tiny details were adjusted to make the story work as a whole in modern world.

In my opinion, the true reason why this web series is so good is the way they used the secondary characters and made them more important on the screen. Harriet and Martin are absolutely adorable and so are Harriet's videos, which are a nice addition to the series. Knightley makes tiny appearances that kill the fangirls, because there's so much that's not said but that we readers understand and it's sweet torture. Reading the comments is also really nice, because you'll find some obsessing over sentences and looks that you hadn't even realized meant something. I find the web series experience much more fun than regular TV for this reason, because there are true discussions that you can be a part of if you want to. Or you can just read and like hundreds of comments like I did, which is just fine and makes you laugh and obsess over characters (Knightley).

Here's a Knightley for you. Not too bad on the eyes, right?

To sum it up, I'd like all of you to give this book and this web series a chance, because I think the story truly deserves it.

Every Last Word - Tamara Ireland Stone

Goodreads summary:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. 

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

My review:


I really, really, really liked this novel. It completely sucked me in. Wow.

I didn't know much about OCD before reading this book. Sure, my dad and me have a coupel of OCD-like habits, but it's not like we're ever going to need medication about it, because it's not OCD, it's just quirks. When I started reading about Sam, I found it really hard to imagine living like her and having such a mind. I think it's the first thing that really drew me to the story, because I wanted to know more about how she deals with everything. With her talks with her mom and her psychiatrist, I felt like I could see her evolve and understand her better. I think the author did a really good job with that. 

I really liked how Sam distanced herself from her friends, because she realized she would be better without them, but then she realized she didn't have to stop being their friend altogether. Even thought their friendship is evidently not the way it used to be, they can still be good together and I feel like it would've been too much if their friendship had been completely ruined by it. I think realizing that about her friends made Sam grow a lot as a person and with her OCD. 

I absolutely loved Poet's Corner. I thought it was so intimate, relaxing and interesting that I immediately wished there had been such a place at my school. I liked how no one judges in there, how you can read something if you feel like it, but you're never pressured and how everyone seemed to be comfortable with each other. I read the poems and songs out loud, just like they do, and it brought them to life, making me feel like I was in Poet's Corner, too. 

Andrew is such a sweet character. I enjoyed seeing the differences he made in Sam's character, even though he's clearly not the only reason why she evolved. Their relationship is adorable and I loved seeing them interact with each other. I'm glad it was done realistically, especially since he didn't magically "cure" her, like relationships do in unrealistic novels. It was clear to me that everything, from going to the pool to making new friends, helped Sam with her OCD.

I really wasn't expecting what happened at the end. I was confused, hurt and I even felt betrayed, because it was such a big plot twist. I really liked it, though. I think it turned this novel into a much different one, deeper than what it looked like at first, but I like being surprised. I found it hard to read about such a thing, though, especially since I had found no warning sign. 

I absolutely loved this novel and I would recommend it to every living person. In fact, I've already talked about it to so many people that it's hard to believe it's only been a couple of days since I read it. Seriously, go read it.