The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

TitleThe Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Date of Publication: November 1st 2016

Publisher:Delacorte Press

Description: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

meeeIf you have been a long term follower of my blog, it is no surprise that I loved Everything, Everything. In fact, it was my first ARC and signed copy of a book. When I heard that Yoon was coming back to Bookcon with ARC copies of The Sun is Also a Star, I was ecstatic! However, my expectations were severely not met.

After reading the synopsis of the book, I had extremely high hopes for this novel. The storyline seemed promising as it was something I had never read about before. Maybe my reading taste has changed or maybe it was her writing style, but the book was nowhere near as good as Everything, Everything.

The main flaw (and probably the characteristic that caused the most damage) was instalove. Oh instalove, my least favorite trope. You may be wondering how this trope made me dislike the book when Everything, Everything‘s plot involved instalove, too. In all honesty, the type of romance was different in both books. Everything, Everything‘s relationship was built off of more than just a day and started out as a feeling of curiosity because the main character had never had been interested, let alone came in contact, with a teenage male before. The Sun is Also a Star’s relationship formed within eight hours and for most of the book, the main male character is practically obsessed with Natasha. Daniel, the male protagonist who is a strong believer in love at first sight and basically every other idea of optimism, practically plans his entire future with Natasha when he has just met her. In fact, he states “using the stern voice she’s sure to use on our future children” two hours into their relationship. Call me cynical but instant love irritates me to a grave extent. I could not read Daniel’s point of view without having to cringe. He was a whole new level of hopeless romantic.

Another flaw was the characters (mainly Daniel). Daniel was not a character I enjoyed. He expected his feelings to be reciprocated and was unhappy when events did not turn out the way he wanted. He often pitied himself and made his life much more complicated than what was necessary. Even in the story, Natasha points this out to him because he tries to make other people save him and he complains about his life every single chapter. I found his point of view annoying and overdramatic. Too often I found myself rolling my eyes at his internal monologue. His obsessiveness and awkward personality caused for his point of view to not entertain me.

Another character that I did not enjoy was Charlie. Was he important to the book? Barely. Charlie was a character that seemed unrealistic. His conversations were weird and his personality was overly malevolent  (he gave me a Buzz from Home Alone vibe). Honestly, he was not a character that I felt belonged in the story and should have been formed better in order to contribute to the storyline.

Finally, I did not think that the story engaged audiences. I felt that the pace was too slow and the storyline dragged. The climax was halfway to the end but I felt that the plot could have been resolved quicker.

Despite the flaws, there were a few positive attributes. The main one way that Yoon’s research into the story was evident. With a vast amount of information on different cultures along with scientific facts, readers got a deeper sense of the plot. I believe this helped the audience understand the cultures of the protagonists and their belief systems.

Another thing that I enjoyed was Natasha. I was engaged in her story and I felt that she was the most relatable character. I found her character development and how she was a realist to benefit the mold of the story. Also, she gave the book the reality check that it needed at times.

Finally, I loved the cover. Nicola’s books always look perfect! I can honestly say that the cover is one of my favorites.

Overall, the book was not worth recommending. I feel that it had the potential to be something incredible but failed.


Changing Themes!

If you read the title to this article then you are aware of my intentions on reading more adult literature along with young adult. After my blog hiatus, I began to enjoy reading adult literature more than young adult. The reason I became inactive on my blog again is because my blog is strictly Y.A. and I couldn’t mess up my theme by adding adult literature reviews; if I did decide to post adult reviews, it would not be fair to my audience. However, I decided that I would make known to my audience of my plan to focus my blog more on YA and adult rather than middle grade.

For those of my audience wondering why I am removing the middle-grade section from my blog, it is because my site is based upon ‘a teen helping teens find a love of reading’ and since I have become older on the scale of teenagers, I believe that the reading level on my blog should change. In all honesty, I haven’t read middle-grade book since Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi so incorporating it as part of my theme is pointless. However, I have grown fond of YA, new adult, and adult fiction which is why I have made them my theme of my blog.

To add a sense of clarity, I am going to keep my site teenage friendly. I won’t review erotic books because it is not my genre of choice and my audience still may remain the same. I hope you all understand my interest in changing themes and continue to be a part of my audience.

Book to Movie: The Silver Linings PLaybook by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook is my favorite movie. I loved the movie since the first time I saw it. Not only is the movie filmed very close to where I live, the story captured me in an emotional way. I felt changed by the movie. Realizing that the movie was inspired by a novel written by Matthew Quick, I knew I had to read The Silver Linings Playbook. After finally reading the story, I am shocked that the book and movie are complete opposites.

As many book lovers know, movies are rarely similar to the books. Some book-to-movie adaptations seem as if their only purpose is to ruin the story for its original fans; while others seem to compliment the story. No matter what the movie does for the original book, they are never completely alike. Is a movie adaptation allowed to be different? That is for the reader to decide.

The Silver Linings Playbook‘s book-to-movie adaptation was the most drastic change in a story that I have ever witnessed. When I mentioned this to my mom, a fellow lover of the movie, she asked me which was better. In all honesty, it’s impossible to compare the book and movie because it is like comparing two different stories.

The biggest difference is Pat’s mental health. The movie doesn’t portray how serious Pat’s mental illness is. In the book, Pat had to stay at the facility for four years as opposed to the eighteen months mentioned in the movie. Also, in the book, Pat is unaware of Nikki cheating on him and what he did to the guy. Pat is unaware of Nikki divorcing him and that she is now married to another man until the end of the novel. Pat’s ignorance allows him to naively believe that happy ending always happen and that he and Nikki are still in love. He is obsessed with reconnecting with Nikki and refuses to believe that she does not want him.

Another change is Pat’s reaction to Tiffany when she pretended that she was Nikki in the letters. In the book, Pat is devastated. The book portrays his feelings in the way they should have been. He spent years clinging to the idea of a happy ending with Nikki. He believed that Nikki was writing to him only to find out it was Tiffany. As any human, Pat was hurt and angry. In the movie, he appeared okay and wanted a relationship with Tiffany.

Tiffany and Pat’s relationship felt overly romanticized in the movie. Throughout the book, Pat was focused on reuniting with Nikki. Pat never saw Tiffany as a potential love interest until the end of the novel.

One change that bothered me was the dance recital. In the movie, it is seen as more professional. Also, the movie mentions that Tiffany and Pat did not perform well and that the recital was scored. However, in the book, the dance is a deep and meaningful piece that Tiffany and Pat worked hard to succeed at.

The final change I will mention is that Pat never sees Nikki in the book. Unlike the movie where Nikki shows up at the dance recital, he only sees her when he drives by her house at the end of the book and realizes that she is genuinely happy. Seeing Nikki content with her family was Pat’s ‘happy ending’. All he wanted was for Nikki to be happy and that was his closure. The movie makes it seem like Pat has a choice between Nikki and Tiffany which is false. Honestly, I do not believe that the Pat in the book would choose Tiffany if Nikki was at the dance recital.

Overall, I believe that both versions of The Silver Linings Playbook are amazing in their own unique ways. Both focus on different aspects of the story. I believe that one does not overshadow the other, but that they are two stories that loosely relate to each other. No matter what the relationship is between the book and the movie, I am still a fan of the story and believe it is something that people should read/watch.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

TitleThe Summer I Turned Pretty

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Date of Publication:May 5th, 2009

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages:Hardcover, 276 pages

Summary: Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along

summer I turned pretty

I bought the whole series in one book a while ago because I thought it would be worth it. Sadly, the book was not worth the hype.

This review is going to be hard to write because I read the whole series in a short amount of time and since the books were all slammed into one book, I am having a hard time separating details from each book. The Summer I Turned Pretty takes place over the span of a summer. However, there were many random flashbacks that occurred without warning. It was confusing when trying to find out whether the events were occurring now or in the past.

The basis of the story is that Belly returns to her beach house one summer and is pretty. Her mom’s friend’s sons are shocked to see that the Belly that they grew up with was now beautiful. Because of her newly found beauty, the sons, Conrad and Jeremiah, develop feelings for Belly. Belly now has to choose between her lifelong crush, Conrad, and her best friend, Jeremiah.

This book was not one of my favorites. First off, the characters weren’t likable. Our main character, Belly, is a horrible person. Also, do not tell me she is relatable as a teenager because I am a teenager and she is still horrible. Do you need reasons why?

  1. She spends most of the book being selfish and rude. She brings her friend to her shore house and then gets mad at her for liking both boys. Newsflash, you can’t have both boys, Belly! Also, she’s terrible to the people she “loves”. She constantly freaks out on all of them as if she never does anything wrong. She is an emotionally weak character.
  2. Belly obsesses over Conrad, a boy who has shown no interest in her and lacks a personality, for most of her life. She revolved her life around a guy who seemed to not care for her. It was so pathetic.
  3. She annoyed me in so many ways. Whenever she was not included in things, Belly would whine and complain. Also, she always threatened to tattle-tale. Belly wanted to be treated as an adult, but she acted like a helpless child.
  4. SHE WAS SO INSENSITIVE!!! All she cared about was herself. Her comments about other people’s problems were obnoxious. 
  5. Finally, Belly was extremely superficial. Half of the time, Belly would mention how pretty she had become. Also, it seemed like every male in the entire world was attracted to her. I hate when authors make their character seem like everyone’s prized object. Honesty, Belly was too annoying to have all those guys attracted to her.

Next, Conrad was extremely moody. He was supposed to be described as a dark and dreamy love interest. Sadly, he was a helpless asshole who only cared about himself. The children had to always help Conrad despite him being the oldest.

Another thing that I did not enjoy was how superficial the book was. I feel that the message in this story was that if you are pretty then everyone will be attracted to you. Basically, the message says that being pretty is everything. Not a very good message for teenage girls.

Though I did not like this book, I enjoyed a few things. The relationship between the mom and Susannah was adorable. I felt that their bond was expressed very well. I also liked the setting and beach vibe.

Overall, I would not recommend. The good did not outweigh the bad.

Romancing the Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

*I received this book from Entangled Teen. However, all opinions are my own!* 

TitleRomancing the Nerd

Author: Leah Rae Miller

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Date of Publication:April 4th 2016

Publisher:Entangled: Teen

Pages: Paperback, 352 pages

In all honesty, I did not care much for this book. 

Reading the description of the story, I had high hopes for Romancing the Nerd. However, the hopes feel flat. The story felt very similar to movies and books I have read before. And though I love stories that follow the premise of the plot, I didn’t feel that way with this book.

The major problem I had with the story was the writing. This book featured outdated fads that weren’t relatable to me. In my opinion, I feel like the author should have used fewer fads. Instead, I think she should have created fake apps, brands, and other things so they didn’t end up seeming outdated to the author’s audience. Also, the author used terms like “drama-ramma” which personally, I didn’t particularly enjoy. If the author used the word “drama” in the text, I feel like the book would have been a better read. Terms like “drama-ramma” felt somewhat cheesy.

Another problem that I had was Zelda. I admit, I am stubborn and at times, I do overreact. However, that girl was crazy. Yes, Dan did ditch you once and ACCIDENTALLY hit you in the face with a basketball. Yes, it sucked but to go to the extent where you create a fake account to catfish him to the point of embarrassment is extremely bitchy. Zelda is somewhat crazy and petty.

Finally, the last problem that I had was the whole scheme that Zelda initiated. The plan is used frequently in books and movies. I did not feel that this story complemented the plot. Also, (spoiler) why would Dan end up with her after he realizes her crazy scheme?! I would be running as fast as I could to get away from her (spoiler end).

The book was easy and fun to read. I did not have difficulties getting into the story. Most characters are fun to read about. Also, they have great depth to them. Overall, the book was not something that I enjoyed but it could just be me.