Some Books You Might Not Have Heard of and That Definitely Deserve More Hype (Pt. 3)

All good things come in threes, right? So here’s my third post of books I think need more hype πŸ™‚ You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Let’s get into it πŸ˜€

 

  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell
    Rowell is most famous for her YA books, and mostly for Eleanor & Park (which I LOVE) but I feel like less people know she’s also written two adult books, which are just as great. They’re pretty much still written in YA style, but about people in their 30s or late 20s. Landline is one of them, about a woman who works really hard, then gets the opportunity to write her own tv-show (or at least the pilot). But at the same time she struggles with her home life, then, after a fight with her husband she finds out that the old landline in her childhood bedroom connects to the past… Really cool concept and wonderfully written.
  • Notes From the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell
    This book is about a girl, I think set in the 90s, who loves film and embarks on a project of making a film. But after love and hurt and all the other things that encompass teenage life happen to her, the film becomes something the hadn’t expected at all. I really liked it when I first read it, which has been a few years, and I thought it was really cool set against this artsy scene.
  • Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann
    This is a really, really cool series about a girl who gets stuck in other people’s dreams. It’s been a while since I read it but I remember loving it and being so impressed my the premise. Most people on Goodreads either love it or hate it, but I thought it was pretty well-done.
  • A Storm of Ice and Stars by Lisa Lueddecke
    This is set in the same world as A Shiver of Snow and Sky and it’s just as atmospheric, although a little less action-y, and really enjoyable and for some reason not that well-known online! It doesn’t have a lot of GR ratings yet and I think it definitely deserves more hype. Read my full review here.
  • I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
    This is about a girl who lives in a trailer park and feels there’s no way out of that place. But she’s hoping to get into art college and do something different with her life. It’s also about a boy who went to the Marine’s to escape this place, but had to return without his leg. It’s a really beautiful story about hope and love and resilience. Really one of a kind.

 

So, that was it πŸ™‚ Hoped you enjoyed it! Have you read any of these books? Got any recommendations yourself? Let me know in the comments!

 

Some More Books You Might Not Have Heard of and That Definitely Deserve More Hype

So a while ago I posted the first list of super cool books that just do not get enough hype, and now I’m back with MORE books that do not get enough hype! These are books that I think are awesome and are not really talked about much, at least not lately and I really want people to see these really cool books. So here’s a list πŸ™‚

 

  • Debbie Harry Sing in French by Maegan Brothers
    This is a story about a teenage boy who wants to be a drag queen! Or rather, at first he doesn’t really know that that is a thing, but he wants to do those things and the novel is about him realizing and doing that. It’s really cool and about something I haven’t ever seen in a YA book before or since.
  • A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddeckea shiver of snow and sky lisa lueddecke
    A really cool and atmospheric adventure novel about a girl who has to cross a dangerous land to save her village. You can read my full review here.
  • Attchments by Rainbow Rowell
    Rowell is mostly known for her YA, but she has also written adult books that are equally as cool. Written in a YA style, but with older characters, this book is about the time e-mails were the only form of digital communication. It’s about the guy whose job it is at work to check people’s e-mails to see if they’re using the e-mail for work purposes, but he intercepts messages between two friends and reads them like a soap. A really cool book about human connection and loneliness and love!
  • Let’s Get Lost by Aldi Alsaid
    It’s been a while since I’ve read this, but I’m still pretty impressed by this story. It’s about four teenagers from across America, who only have one thing in common, a girl called Leila, who they met suddenly and who leaves just as suddenly, but changes their lives in the process. It’s a pretty coP1020838ol book about travel and finding yourself, and I especially loved the final part.
  • Bright Young Things Trilogy by Anna Godbersen
    Godbersen is known for her Luxe series, but I feel Bright Young Things isn’t talked about enough. It’s a really cool series set in the 1920s and features so many cool things from that period, including a bootlegger and speakeasy’s and young women who do cool things and wear trousers! But it also doesn’t romanticize anything and that’s what I love most about it.

 

So, that was it πŸ™‚ Hoped you enjoyed it!

 

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!

Some Books You May Not Have Heard of That Definitely Deserve More Hype

Sometimes we encounter books and read them and love them then draw a deep breath to shout about them into the void that is the internet only to realize that.. no one has heard of these books. Or at least they don’t seem to be talking about them because they’re now backlisted or never got much hype to begin with. (Disclaimer, maybe some of these books are well-known, but I just haven’t seen them be talked about since I got involved in the book community).

I know a bunch of these books, so today I’m talking about some of them πŸ™‚ Here are some books from my book shelf that I haven’t seen anyone talk about recently and I think need a little more hype.

  • The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
    I’ve mentioned this book now in multiple lists and I STILL have yet to review it! It has multiple points of view, and tells stories that I haven’t often seen told before, all against the 1970s Alaska. It very delicately shows how life is in that place and time, and it’s really cool to read and really well-written. Full review here.IMG_20190223_155832_401
  • The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff
    I first read this when I was a young teenager, when I borrowed it from my school library and it stuck in my head for ten years. Ten years. I kept thinking about it from time to time so in 2017 I bought an English copy and reread it and it’s just so good, quiet and lyrical but also full of morning dew and freedom and grass beneath your feet. In the reviews I’ve read about it most people write that they were disappointed because it’s so different from Rosoff’s other work, so keep that in mind. I tried to read How I Live Now but I couldn’t get through it, but I absolutely loved The Bride’s Farewell, so don’t expect that. Full review here.
  • Supergirl Mixtapes by Maegan Brothers
    Okay, so I read this years ago, but I thought it was a pretty unique YA contemporary that features a useless mom and a struggling music-obsessed teen in New York City. But it’s also pretty dark at times, and I think it features (I think off-page) self-harm and suicide is maybe mentioned. I’d need to reread it again for more details, but I remember really loving it and thinking it was so.. different (at least at the time) from most YA, and I have NEVER seen anyone mention it!IMG_20190223_160227_785
  • Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
    All right, this one has quite a lot of ratings on Goodreads and it was published only four years ago but… it’s really good and I haven’t really seen anyone talk about it lately. It’s about a group of kids who are ill, who are sent to a boarding school to be all sick together. I think it’s because of contagion, or something, but I don’t remember the details, but I do remember how this boarding school life was described and the friendships and the characters, and I remember really loving it.
  • The Princess and the Fool by Paul Neafcy
    This is a really cool, self-published fantasy novel that takes fairytale tropes and uses them in a novel form, full of dare-devilry and adventure and dark things and very funny jokes. (Read my full review here).

 

All right that’s enough for this post πŸ™‚ Soon I’ll be posting a part two with more cool books! Hope you enjoyed it!

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

“I just don’t want you ever to think that I’m not going to find you.”

Sophie has always loved her small town life, her four best friends, her marching band. But when her marching band is chosen to march in the Rose Parade in LA, she has to find a way to fund this trip. In the middle of the night, she sends an e-mail to Megan Pleasant, asking if this local and super famous country singer will come back to her home town to sing a charity concert to fundraise the trip – even though she has sworn never to return.Β  But there’s also a new guy in town, who seems to have just as many secrets as Megan Pleasant.

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…IMG_20190223_154148_326

Goodreads | Bookdepository*

I’ve been a fan of Emma Mills books ever since I got hold of This Adventure Ends almost a year ago, and I was reeeeally looking forward to Famous in a Small Town! And it was definitely as great as I’d hoped it’d be!

First of all I need to mention how funny this book is – like laugh out loud funny. And also the way in which it’s funny that it feels so recognizable for my generation. It’s a specific kind of humor that I can’t really explain but I don’t often see in books and I love it when I do.

There’s less action in Famous in a Small Town than in Mills’ other books, so if that’s something that’s going to bother you maybe this isn’t the one for you, but I loved how it gave more spotlight to the characters and their relationships with each other. Because I do think these characters are the best from all her books, they’re so sparkly and life like and all of them so unique with their own voices and quirks. It becomes such a beautiful portrait of these people and their lives, and especially their relationships.

I especially loved how these five people (plus the new guy) have known each other for almost their entire lives and it’s so visible in the way they fight and make up and have long standing inside jokes. Often books center around new friendships, and I love to see longterm friend squads. I especially loved that while there was a distinctive group dynamic, all of these friends also had special relationships with each other, certain habits and tradition only two of them shared and such. Like they were a tight group, but they also had their individual relationships with each other and those were shown in such a subtle way. It’s so realistic, because no friendships are the same and especially groups are so complex, and Emma Mills writes this really well.

I also really loved the story, too, it’s quiet, yes, but it feels so powerful. There were two moments I totally did not see coming and I was completely surprised with the ‘revelations’ (as they’re not really plot twists in the traditional sense). The story lulls you to sleepΒ  and then comes the INFORMATION (by lack of other word)! It was really surprising, but I won’t say anything else on it!

It’s a bit of a quiet book, but it’s so full of these people and their daily lives, their histories and their emotions, their super funny inside jokes that make you want to be part of their circle. A really lovely and comforting book that I’ll love rereading again and again.

 

 

Content warnings (may contain spoilers): a shitty suicide joke by a shitty character (but it’s made clear it’s shitty), death

 

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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!