Anticipated Book Releases | April – June

We’re already three months into this year and I really just can’t believe it. It shouldn’t already be almost April. It really shouldn’t. But it is anyway! It’s ridiculous. 24 years on this planet and I still cannot grasp the concept of time. Anyway, enough existential contemplation, it’s also time for another anticipated book releases post, for the second quarter of the year.

 

  • You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn by (April 2nd)
    YA contemporary about country music? Count me IN!
  • Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (April 16th)
    YA contemporary about a mysterious, reclusive author? Count me IN! πŸ˜›
  • Again, but Better by Christine Riccio (May 7th)
    It’s about a girl who worked too hard in school and now realized she doesn’t have much of a life beyond it, so she decides to turn her life around and do it all differently. Very excited about this New Adult book πŸ™‚
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (May 7th)
    This is a graphic novel about a girl who has a girlfriend who is not great at being a girlfriend. I really loved That Summer and I’m really excited to see more of this author.
  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen (June 4th)
    Hey I’m BIG Sarah Dessen fan and I will pre-order whatever she releases and I’m so, so excited for this new novel!!
  • When I Arrived At The Castle by Emily Carroll (June 19th)
    I’m a great fan of Emily Carroll, even though I’m usually not such a horror fan, but her graphic novel stories are just the right amount of horror and ghost story and just plain weird. I love them and they give be the shivers like nothing else does and I’m very excited about her new book.

 

All right that’s it for now πŸ™‚ Are you excited about any of these books? Let me know in the comments!

Film & Fiction | Chocolat by Joanne Harris vs Chocolat (2000)

Welcome to Film & Fiction, where we compare books to the movie adaptations even though we really shouldn’t! This time I’m going to talk about the book Chocolat by Joanne Harris (you can read my book review here) and the movie Chocolat (2000) directed by Lasse HallstrΓΆm. This post may contain spoilers, for both the movie and the book! Be warned! (By the way, this is not really a review post, but more my rambling thoughts on the adaptation.)

First of all, I need to mention that Chocolat is one of my favorite movies. I’ve seen it and endless amount of times because it’s such a sweet and nice thing to watch when you’re feeling under the weather (which I am, quite often). But I had never read the book, so I thought it high time to do so and I was really, really surprised with how different it was from the movie. Not just because it was a different medium, but the entire tone and setting had changed!IMG_20190109_185029_393

The thing that surprised me most was that in adapting the story to a movie, they placed the plot in an entirely different decade. The book is set in the 90s (I guess, because they talk about VHS tapes), but the movie is set in 1959. Now I have to admit, I do get why they would make a choice like that, because that sense of stifling oppression from the church (which is a very present theme in the book) makes more sense (to a 2000s audience) if it’s set in the 50s than when it’s set in the 90s. At least that’s my theory.

Something that was also strangely different, were the two main characters, Vianne (the chocolat shop keeper) and Reynaud (the priest). Vianne is a much more realistic and much less romantic character in the book. She’s definitely less sure of herself, has more difficult emotions and struggles much more with her fears. In the movie, she gets a romantic background, rather than the troubled past she has to struggle with in the book. It makes for a less complex character, but it also makes the tone of the story much less dark. A lot of the dark undertone of the book comes from Vianne’s struggle with her past, and that’s completely gone in the movie, that actual depth of human darkness and twistedness.

Besides that, all of the magical realism (her ability to get an idea of people’s thoughts, is diminished to her uncanny ability to guess people’s favorite chocolat, which I thought was a bit of a shame. However, the type of magic used in the book would be really difficult to convey in film because it’s basically just another sense and she never talks about it with other characters.

Another way in which the movie is a lot less dark than the book is through the character of Reynaud. In the book, Reynaud also gets a POV for some chapters and we hear his thoughts and musings as he talks to his comatose father. He struggles with his own dark thoughts and traumas and we get to see how twisted he is in many ways. It really lays bare how strange and dark humans can be, and how they can get twisted under pressures. IMG_20190223_154705_809In the movie, all of this is smoothed out, till all there’s left of the troubled and dangerous priest is a middle-aged man who misses his wife. He isn’t even a priest anymore, but a mayor (I think) which I find a very interesting choice. They wrote in a new character to play the priest, who is a very kind and a little naive young man, perhaps not to offend people and to avoid setting the Church in a bad light. It changes the whole idea of where the pressure put on this village comes from. Rather than from a tradition of centuries of religion used to oppress people, it stems from a misguided man who tries to distract himself from the fact that his wife has left him. It makes all he does so much more forgivable.

I just remembered that another character is written completely differently, which is Armande Voizin’s daughter. In the movie Caroline keeps her son away from her mother because she is overly cautious after her husband’s death, and is angry at her mother for not treating her diabetes properly. She’s just a worried and scared woman who is trying to protect herself, even if it means shutting everything and everyone out. It’s a little heartbreaking. But in the book, she’s only interested in how her mother’s ‘scandalous’ behavior reflects upon her and if she will ever get her inheritance. It’s a much darker and much colder character, and there’s nothing redeemable about her.

The conclusion is that in the movie most of the characters’ evil completely stripped away and what is needed for the plot is changed just so it is redeemable, because they are just sad or afraid and actually do really mean well – rather than the dark and selfish people they are in the book. It results in a much less dark story, more in a bitter-sweet kind of feel-good movie. But also the characters have less depth and less realism and are just less interesting because of all that.

Honestly, I enjoyed the book as well, and they’re both amazing in their own way, but they are very, very different in tone and mood.

Some Short Books For A Short Attention Span

These past few weeks I’ve been reading lots of short books, mostly because I’ve been reading so many longer and more difficult books this winter and I wanted to read things that didn’t take so long. Then I thought, others probably have that same problem, too, sometimes, so I made a list of shorter books that I really enjoyed at some point! The books on this list are between 185 and 250 pages long, but they vary in font size and how much white there is on the page, so some might be shorter than they seem!

 

  • The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff
    This is a very short book, only 185 pages, but it’s so full of story and lovely and harsh images, it’s almost like a painting or a folk song.
  • The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
    A very lovely and heartbreaking tale of four teenagers who all in some ways influence each others life by chance, but it’s about much more. It’s also about a time and a place and life in general. About 250 pages. CW: domestic abuse
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
    A really nice and cute children’s book that I think is pretty widely known. I love the movie and the book is really cute, although a little different. About 140 pages.
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    Again, I loved the film way before I ever read the book and the book is just as good, just pretty different and way more.. mature in some places. Really cool and really funny!Β  248 pages.
  • Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
    A fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian novel of 247 pages, a pretty cool book about magic and community and fighting for what you believe in even if you’ve been told all your life it’s evil. CW: domestic abuse.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
    Opinions are divided about this one. It’s pretty well-known but I’ve seen people absolutely hate it and love it. I really loved it and finished it within a day. I guess the ending is kinda predictable, but I feel like the way it gets there isn’t so predictable. Anyway, it’s well-written and about 240 pages.
  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
    One of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors, this is a very beautiful and sensitive book about being let down and forgiveness and healing from tragedy. Read my full review here. About 240 pages.

 

I tried to make it a mix of genres, so I hope there’s something for everyone πŸ™‚ Happy reading!

 

30 Books Marie Kondo Couldn’t Make Me Part With

Yes, the title is the joke. I will personally fight anyone hating on Marie Kondo, who is just trying to help people. I could write a whole essay about why it’s so stupid that people make fun of her/are actually really, really mean to her for no reason at all but I don’t really have the energy for that. She’s just trying to help people (who ASK HER to help them) and she NEVER said you’re the devil for having more than 30 books, or whatever it is people seem to think she’s said. (Also this person raises a really interesting point.)

Anyway.

This post is inspired by (cough cough, completely copied from) this video, by a youtuber called Leena Norms who is really cool and talks about books but also other things and you should definitely check out.

This youtuber made a video about the 30 books she would never get rid of, and I thought it’d be cool to do a post in the same vein as well. Now, I’m pretty good about getting rid of books, as you might have been of my big unhaul posts from last month, but these are the books I would really, really want to keep if I needed to choose!

 

1. De Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I had this really beautiful Dutch children’s edition of The Hobbit and I’ve had it since I was a child, so I would definitely be upset if I lost that. I don’t even think they print this edition anymore!
2-4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
I just really love these books, I always want to keep them at hand.
5-10. Literally all of Sarah Addison Allen’s Books.
Her books are really great romantic, magical realism set in the American South, full of sweet tea and summer breezes and just a tiny bit of magic. I love to read these books again and again, any time I need a pick-me-up and a hint of summer. They’re my favorite comfort books. I love all her novels, but my favorite is The Sugar Queen.
11-13. The Raven Boys Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
I’ve read this series over and over again and I love them so much. I never want to part with my well thumbed copies.
14. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
What can I say? I loved it. (Read my review here)
15. The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff
This is a beautiful tale of a young girl who runs off on the morning of her wedding, trying to escape a life she never wanted. It’s like a folksong in novel form, or like a painting in words. I love it and I will post a review very soon πŸ™‚
16. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
I just posted a review of this, but it’s a really cool book about four teenagers who touch each others lives in unexpected ways, set in Alaska in the 70s. Really touching and full of raw humanity.
17. The Princess and the Fool by Paul Neafcy
One of my favorite books this mixes fairytale with traditional high fantasy and adventure/action and comedy. It’s very funny and very dark and has amazing characters that always have a new side of themselves to show. Read my full review here.
18-21. Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
I absolutely loved this series as a teenager and though I haven’t picked it up in years (I really want to, though) I would never ever get rid of these books. Mostly because I have such beautiful editions, hardback with the most beautiful black and white illustrations. Even the paper is gorgeous and the smell! I believe I once said that that’s how all books should look like.
22. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
One of my absolute favorite fantasy books, it has everything I love, magic, a cool heroine who kicks ass, nature and creepy trees!
23. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
I just really love her fairytale retellings, all right? This is such a beautifully written book and so painfully touching. Read my full review here.
24. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
I love all of Dessen’s books, but this one is my favorite and I could never, ever part with by well-worn copy.
25. Last Chance by Sarah Dessen
Just like this one, I’ve read it many, many times and will continue to do so. It’s such an uplifting and relatable book.
26. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
This is my favorite graphic novel of all times. It’s so funny and unexpected and I love how the story seems to grow on the pages, as if it’s constantly improvised as you’re reading it. But also the mix of sci-fi and fantasy and such a cool and interesting look on fantasy tropes.
27. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
These books are just unbelievably beautifully crafted and I just really love fairytales, all right, especially Russian ones. Read my full review here.
28. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
I realize I don’t have a lot of contemporary books on this list, but this is one of my favorite. It features sleepy small towns, friendship, books, books and more books. And a really great collection of super funny characters!
29. The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
A really cool historical novel about a girl trying to survive winter in Paris in very little money, good fortune, bad fortune and revenge. Read my full review here.
30. Fender Lizards by Joe R. Lansdale
Very different sort of YA with an MC who is allowed to be ‘not girlish’ and actually pretty angry and aggressive, and just be a normal human being. But there’s also roller derby and learning to have some faith in life sometimes.

 

Pfew, that was a long list. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!

Top Five Tuesday – Books I NEED to read in 2019

Time for another Top Five Tuesday (a meme hosted by BionicBookWorm). It’s a new year now (I still can’t believe it, can you?) so this week’s theme is perfect (as they all are, to be honest). So here’s my list of books I need to read in 2019!

  1. Persuasion by Jane Austen
    Okay be kidding here a little, because I literally have to read this book for my English Lit course, together with Pride and Prejudice. That’s not to say I don’t want to read them. I’ve never read Persuasion (although it’s been on my TBR for forever) and I’m very excited about it.
  2. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
    Yes, another one I literally have to read for school! (Okay I’ll stop after this one πŸ˜› I will not list all the set texts I have to read). But it’s also been on my TBR ever since my mom gave me a super cute Everyman’s Children’s Library copy of this classic, so I’m curious to see what it’s all about.
  3. Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
    This book will release soon, and I’m really super excited about it! Emma Mills is since this year when I read all her books one of my favorite contemporary YA novelists, and I’m super excited for her next book!
  4. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
    I only recently discovered this book when someone I follow posted a review and it seems just so amazing and right up my alley. Historical fiction/magical realism is always a good combination in my book.
  5. Book Love by Debbie Tung
    I love Tung’s work and have followed her on social media for a long while now, so I’m super excited about her new collection of journal comics which will be released soon!

 

What are some books you need (or just really, really want to) read in 2019? Let me know in the comments!