Tag Archives: Books

Book Review: Yes Please + Fangirl

November 6, 2014

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I’ve read two books since last week’s disasters. One is fiction, one is not. One is about a household name with crazy eyes and a kind heart, and one is about a shy twin with anxiety issues and an obsession with Harry Potter (respectively).

Both were, undoubtedly, great.

Amy’s book came in the mail on the day it was released, its fresh pages and new book smell keeping me up all night. Fangirl (finally) came from the library, after being one of fifty-two holds. It was worth the wait.

It is ironic that their titles play to each other, despite their lack of similarity.

Forever an Amy Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell is pretty great too),

KB

PS: Happy Reading.

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1. Yes Please

Yes Please

If You’re Looking For: Comedy memoir

If You Liked: Bossypants, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Not That Kind Of Girl

My Review: I didn’t doubt I’d love this book, I’m obsessed with Amy and her work. I will admit the whole thing is a bit scattered and unorganized. Still, I laughed out loud more than thrice which is enough for me to mark it as a favorite. Amy is smart, funny, and writes an honest portrayal of the life of a celebrity/mom/writer/woman. Basically the whole book is just a confirmation that you love someone you’ve never met. The nuggets of wisdom on career and womanhood are gold. I will read it more than once.

Their Review: “And this candor is why we love Amy Poehler, and why fans will eat up ‘Yes Please’ like a gooey Chadwick’s sundae, extraneous haikus and all.” A very grumpy Kara Baskin, Boston Globe

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2. Fangirl

fangirl

If You’re Looking For: Coming-of-age love stories, Young Adult fiction

If You Liked: Eleanor And ParkAge Of Miracles, The Fault In Our StarsWe Were Liars

My Review: Sweet, captivating, and surprisingly complex. The characters are flawed but lovable, the plot quick but gritty. This was exactly the hit I needed after two disappointing novels. I read it in one day, ignoring all the housework, work-work, and kids (sorry guys) because I couldn’t pull myself away from the story. This is a book with equal parts heart-ache and heart-happy. A “beach read” but also a real read. Proof I am forever in love with a good coming-of-age tale.

Their Review: “A funny and tender coming-of-age story that’s also the story of a writer finding her voice…touching and utterly real.” -Publishers Weekly

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Favorite Books

Book Review: I’m Having So Much Fun Here Without You + One Last Thing Before I Go

October 28, 2014

Book Review

Remember when we talked about loving a book other people hate? The absurdity! And yet here I am on the other side this week, rolling my eyes and sending annoying texts to friends over the injustice of poorly written stories about books so many other people loved.

I do feel guilty giving a lousy review. It feels like a betrayal; a writer saying another writer did a bad job. On the other hand, it’s probably important to be honest when talking about books and their real-life impact. It is not a good reflection on genuine opinion to sing and dance about everything one reads.

Dear wonderful, hard-working authors: Writing is hard. I’m sure there are those who really loved these two books.

(As a rule, never spoilers and I always read the book from start to finish).

Happy reading.

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1. I’m Having So Much Fun Here Without You

I am having so much fun here without you

If You’re Looking For: A predictable love story set in Paris

If You Like: The Vacationers, predictable love stories set in Paris

My Review: I sludged through this book with heavy sighing and excessive eye rolls. In short, it was monotonous, contrived, and weirdly irritating. Another story begging to be turned into a slow indie film or a major motion picture rom-com. One of those books that makes you appreciate the good beach reads. I hate to say hate so I’ll just say, “nah.” My time would have been better spent staring at the wall, dreaming of sandwiches. I only finished it so that it could finally be over.

Their Review: “Here we have the literary beach read — a book that pleases people who read two books a month and people who read two books a year. . . . The situation is timeworn and irresistible. The settings . . . are idyllic escapes, lushly drawn. . . . [Maum] is abundantly gifted — funny, open-hearted, adept at bringing global issues into the personal sphere . . . eventually creating that rare thing: a book for everyone.” -Washington Post

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2. One Last Thing Before I Go

this is where I leave you

If You’re Looking For: Dysfunction junction, Hollywood screenplay appeal

If You Like: This Is Where I Leave You

My Review: If you’ve read Tropper’s other work, this book is basically more of the same but perhaps a bit worse. The characters are predictably flawed but “likeable” as their banter leads each other into the next snappy line. There are many moments when it felt like I was supposed to garner something meaningful, but instead it all sounded a bit rehearsed. Amazingly high ratings on Goodreads, but not a book I would recommend to a friend. I believe this is how my friend Elizabeth (and roughly half of the folks on Amazon) felt about his bestseller This Is Where I Leave You. I get it now (but still really enjoyed that story). In a word: disappointing.

Their Review: “Tropper’s characters are likably zany and fallible, and perhaps more important, funny. One Last Thing Before I Go is a poignant story about facing death and celebrating life, even when things seem well beyond repair.” – The Daily Beast

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