Tag Archive for: 3.5 Stars

Review: The It GirlTitle: The It Girl
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 423 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Steaminess: 0.5 Flames

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Goodreads Synopsis

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford. Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends--Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily--during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.

My Thoughts

I knew if I wanted to get over my reading slump, I needed to read a thriller or a romance. I decided to go with a thriller and read THE IT GIRL by Ruth Ware.

THE IT GIRL’s my first book by Ruth Ware. I’ve heard great things about some of her other books and THE IT GIRL seems to be the new hottest thing.

The premise of THE IT GIRL really drew me in. I love dark academia and psychological thrillers. I loved reading why everything happened the way they did and what lead up to the main “thing.” I really enjoyed the split narrative: 10 years in the past when the “thing” happened and the present when some of the circumstances of the “thing” are questioned.

“Don’t let yourself get caught up in what-ifs. That way madness lies.”

I especially loved the setting of THE IT GIRL. Even though Pelham College is a fictitious college in Oxford, I loved experiencing how one of the most prestigious schools in the world functions. Oxford’s so different from anything I experienced in school here in the US. It was very interesting to learn more about the English education system.

The characters in THE IT GIRL were interesting to me. I didn’t like April very much. She was a spoiled rich girl with entitlement issues. I didn’t feel like her friendship with Hannah was very believable. I think April only “befriended” Hannah because Hannah was easy to manipulate. I thought Hannah was an okay character. I just wish she had more backbone and stuck up for herself more. I really liked Will, but I can’t say why.

THE IT GIRL’s ending was really good. I wasn’t disappointed in learning how it all came together. I’ll definitely give Ruth Ware another go.

Have you read THE IT GIRL? If so, what did you think?

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeTitle: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 368 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Steaminess: 1 Flames

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There's a trigger warning for this book. See Trigger Warning section at end of review for more details.
Goodreads Synopsis

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. The letters are for her eyes only. Until the day they are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My Thoughts

I’ve wanted to read TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE ever since it became a huge phenomenon because of the Netflix movie. Yet, I’m only just reading it now because it’s my IRL book club’s book for February. (I’m excited that I can finally watch the Netflix movie at least! Woot woot! ) There are minor spoilers in this review.

I really liked Lara Jean and her sisters. I also really liked the interaction between Lara Jean and the two main guys, the boy next door and Mister Cocky-Handsome-Everyone-Loves-Me. What I didn’t like is that two main guys meant that there was a love triangle. I despise love triangles. They’re my least favorite YA trope. They’re the main reason I don’t read as much YA romance anymore.

Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s part of the risk.

Even though TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE had a love triangle, I decided to be optimistic. I even told myself, maybe Lara Jean will end up with the boy I want her to. Of course, all kinds of chaos ensued and it was a lot of fun to read and witness. I actually really enjoyed the story, but the ending, or non-ending I should say, almost ruined it all for me!

I like choosing to read the next book in a series because I want to, not because I have to. I understand series have cliffhangers; I’ve just never read one quite like this and in the first book. At this point, I’m not sure I’m going to continue the series. I’ll probably just see if I can get what I need from the Netflix movie(s).

I’ve been trying to decide if I want to rate TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE 3 or 4 stars. I’m settling on 3.5 stars. (I find myself giving out more half-star ratings.)

Have you read TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE? If so, what did you think?

Trigger Warning

There is a trigger warning for loss of a parent.

There are spoilers for THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE (LWW) in this post.

Narniathon: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

As I stated in my post Joining the Narniathon21, I’ve decided to participate in a reread of The Chronicles of Narnia hosted by Chris over at Calmgrove. I’ve wanted to reread the series for a couple of years now as I want to see if my feelings, for THE LAST BATTLE in particular, are the same after a reread. I won’t say more than that as I want to discuss those feelings when we read THE LAST BATTLE.

I first read the Narniad 14 years ago as an adult. I read it with a couple of friends and they told me to read it in chronological order rather than published order. Even though it was my first time reading the books, I was familiar with the story of LWW as I had watched a TV adaptation with my mom when I was a teenager.

One of the things that I always thought was weird about LWW (from the adaptation) was how abrupt the ending was. I had always thought the TV people didn’t have the budget to end the story properly. Nope. I was very surprised to find out that the book ending is just as abrupt and that the adaptation was actually quite faithful to the book. The ending is the thing I least like about LWW.

The thing I like the most about LWW (or the Narniad in general) is the Christian allegory. I’m not sure if I knew about the allegory when I watched the adaptation, but I know I knew about it when I read the Narniad 14 years ago. During this read, certain parts of the allegory made more of an impact on me. Of course I understood Aslan’s sacrifice the first time I read LWW. This time, I noticed the wording surrounding the Deep Magic regarding Edmund’s treachery. CS Lewis termed the Deep Magic as “law” and when the White Witch and Aslan discussed what to do about Edmund, the White Witch said the law stated that anyone treacherous belonged to her. It immediately brought to mind an image of Satan and Christ bargaining for a wayward soul.

I’m also much more well-read this time around and I noticed that Lilith, Adam’s first wife in Jewish lore, was mentioned as part of the White Witch’s heritage. I felt like Captain America in Avengers:

I actually really like the Lilith lore and I love reading stories that include her in them. Do you know anything about Lilith? Have you read any other books that include her lore in them?

I wasn’t a reader as a child. I despised reading. In fact, my reading adventures didn’t begin until about 14.5 years ago. I wonder if I had read LWW, or any of the Narniad for that matter, as a child if I would’ve liked them more. I’m also curious if reading them for the first time in chronological order has any bearing on my feelings about the books. What do you think?

Have you read THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE? Did you like it? Why? Why not?

P.S. My two favorite characters from LWW have always been Lucy and Aslan. I think it’s obvious why Aslan’s one of them. Lucy’s one of them because I relate to her the most. She and I are both the youngest in our families, seen as small (her in stature, me in manner) but fierce, wear our hearts on our sleeves, think of others, and are especially fond of animals. Who’s your favorite character?