Review: Gmorning, Gnight - Lin-Manuel Miranda

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“Good night now, and rest. Today was a test. You passed it, you’re past it. Now breathe till unstressed.”

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Poetry, Nonfiction, Self Help

Reading Challenge: 31 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda's audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun.

Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.

My Thoughts —

So I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again for the new readers: I absolutely adore Lin-Manuel Miranda. I think he’s oh so talented and practically the most inspiring person of our time, not to mention adorably dorky. And now he’s gone and created the most adorable, uplifting book I’ve ever laid eyes upon.

I really loved reading this book. It went by so quickly since it’s only about 200 pages and there’s only a few lines per page. But the little time I did spend with this book was lovely. Every passage was uplifting and empowering. I took to putting Post-It notes on the pages of my favourite passages, but that ended up being about 90% of the book by the end lol. I loved everything so much. Lin really has an incredibly way of putting things into perspective and making you appreciate the small things in life.

I think this would be a really excellent graduation gift idea, for those who know someone that’s graduating high school or post-secondary education! Also, if you want to read more of his “Gmorning, Gnight” style tweets, you can find those on his Twitter.

Are you a Lin-Manuel fan, like me?

Felicia x

Review: Dear Mrs. Bird - A.J. Pearce

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“If there was anything I wanted most in the world (other, of course, than for the war to end and Hitler to die a quite grisly death), it was to be a journalist.”

My Rating: ★★★

Genre(s): Historical Fiction (WWII), Fiction

Reading Challenge: 28 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

A charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist—a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.

My Thoughts —

If you hadn’t already noticed, wartime fiction has sort of become my jam this year. It’s had a pretty substantial presence on my reading list. Recently, historical fiction has become one of my favourite genres to read, especially ones set in WWII or post-WWII era. I can’t get enough of it!

Quite simply, I found this book to be very cute. I don’t think that it was nearly the hardest-hitting of all the wartime novels I’ve read this year but I do think it was an important look at women’s efforts during the Second World War. I’ve been studying women’s history this term in university and the past little while has been all about interwar years and WWII so it’s definitely been interesting to see the parallels between my school stuff and my recreational reading.

I think that Emmy was a bit immature, considering that she was in her early twenties and involved in war efforts. I would think that war would make people, even young people, mature quicker due to the circumstances and focus more on the important issues. But Emmy’s primary concern was becoming a big fancy war correspondent and the rest was just ~whatevs~… I also thought her best friend was immature and sometimes annoying as well.

(Side note: I also have to mention the fact that some things were capitalized randomly throughout the novel to draw emphasis, and it absolutely bothered me to not end. If you remember my review on The Alice Network, you probably remember how this sort of thing in writing is my biggest pet peeve!)

Honestly I just saw this as more of a lighthearted adult fiction that just so happened to be set during the war, as opposed to a wartime novel. It was a cute, heartwarming story. I loved the focus on women breaking into the paid workforce, but it just didn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi you know?

Have you read Dear Mrs. Bird? Do you agree with me?

Felicia x

Review: Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

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“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre(s): Classics, Fiction, Romance

Reading Challenge: 27 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

Jane Austen's first novel—published posthumously in 1818—tells the story of Catherine Morland and her dangerously sweet nature, innocence, and sometime self-delusion. Though Austen's fallible heroine is repeatedly drawn into scrapes while vacationing at Bath and during her subsequent visit to Northanger Abbey, Catherine eventually triumphs, blossoming into a discerning woman who learns truths about love, life, and the heady power of literature. The satirical novel pokes fun at the gothic novel while earnestly emphasizing caution to the female sex.

My Thoughts —

So, first off, Northanger Abbey is the first of Austen’s novels to be prepared for publication (even though it didn’t come out until after she died). I think that’s what makes this book less of a hit with me, compared to her later works - like my personal fav, Pride and Prejudice. But that’s definitely not to say that the writing in Northanger Abbey is immature! Jane Austen was always wise beyond her years and I still think Northanger Abbey is a great novel, just not one of the best. You know?

I thought it was quite clever that Jane Austen used Catherine’s love for Gothic novels almost as a flaw in her character. It was a really tongue-in-cheek jab at Ann Radcliffe. Catherine’s imagination and obsession with the novels gets her into quite a lot of trouble, which is a fairly amusing storyline.

The one thing that irks me though is that Henry Tilney, for the majority of the novel, is quite annoying. He’s presumptuous and condescending. Most of his time spent with Catherine, and his sister Eleanor for that matter, is by berating her for her interest in Gothic novels and how her perception of things is wrong. Blah blah blah. He does get less tiresome throughout the last half of the novel. THANK GOD.

All in all, it was a pretty good read! I might not read it again, though.

Are you a Jane Austen fan? Do you like Northanger Abbey?

Felicia x

Review: The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

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“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Reading Challenge: 25 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

My Thoughts —

This book really hit me hard. I was heartbroken, angry, empowered, and inspired - all at once. I cannot begin to imagine being in Starr’s place. As I read about her experience of Khalil’s death and the ramifications afterwards, I felt sick to my stomach all the way through. It’s already a horrific thing to see your own friend to be killed; but to have to fight to prove that the killer was actually at fault is something else entirely.

I truly feel like this might be one of the most powerful stories I’ve read in a very, very long time. Obviously the major problem in this book - police brutality and shooting of unarmed POC - is something that we are facing in modern day society every. single. day. It’s so frustrating to see this sort of thing happen all the time and there’s no justice for the victims whatsoever. That’s exactly what this book is about. I wholeheartedly believe this book should be a mandatory read in high school. The classics are great and all, but it’s time for a book like The Hate U Give to make an appearance in school curriculums and draw attention to major social issues.

Read this book. Take a stand against what’s wrong, stand for what you believe in. And go see the movie, too. This is the sort of thing that needs attention y’all.

Have you read The Hate U Give? What are your thoughts?

Felicia x

Review: How To Stop Time - Matt Haig

Title: How To Stop Time

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: Viking

Release Date: February 6th 2018

Pages: 325

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2 (3.5/5)

Goodreads | Amazon


“The longer you live, the harder it becomes. To grab them. Each little moment as it arrives. To be living in something other than the past or the future. To be actually here.”

So, today’s read is a bit different in that it’s a bit sci-fi I suppose. I picked this up because although it had that fantasy element which is a bit unusual to my taste, it’s very saturated in history which, you probably know by now, I love.

How To Stop Time is the bizarre story of a man named Tom Hazard, who may appear outwardly as an average 41-year-old man but is really several hundred years old. He’s walked through history alongside people like William Shakespeare and has experienced the world as it’s advanced to become what it is today. But nobody knows. Except for the Albatross Society, a secret society of people like Tom who work together to keep their condition a secret - even if that means killing those who threaten their existence. Then, one day, Tom begins to fall in love - which is strictly prohibited.

I’m a bit iffy on this book. I didn’t hate it by any means. I just didn’t love it either. Overall, it was well-written and evidently well-researched. It had everything it needed to be a great book. But it just lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. I felt like the climactic event wasn’t all that climactic and I kept waiting for the shoe to drop, so to speak. The big moments were simply brushed over and resolved very quickly, and they didn’t have any repercussions at all. It was very simple and to the point which wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for.

The concept, however, was very interesting. A man who’s lived through history, who’s witnessed major historic events first-hand, is now living in the 21st century. Sounds like a cool concept. It was fun to see him placed in history. Especially when historical figures were included, too. But constantly flipping between present day and some-hundred years ago was a bit confusing and muddled after a few chapters. After awhile, I started to wonder if there was a need for so many flashbacks or if it was just for the sake of reminding you that, hey look, this guy is really really old.

How To Stop Time was a fun read, but not really a meaty one. It didn’t take me very long to get through this one and because of that, I think it’d make a great beach read.

Have you read How To Stop Time? What did you think of it?

Goodreads Challenge: 21 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

“The whole point of fanfiction is that you get to play inside somebody else’s universe. Rewrite the rules. Or bend them.”

My Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Reading Challenge: 20 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan..

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts —

I have NO IDEA why I didn’t read this sooner!! Before this, I’d read - and loved - two books by Rainbow Rowell: “Attachments” and “Eleanor and Park.” But “Fangirl” just never really stood out to me. The only reason I ended up picking it up was because I had heard so many good things about it as I became more involved with the book blogger community and I finally gave into the hype. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

I really resonated with Cath and I think that’s what got me hooked so early on. Like me, she’s in university and also is an English major. She suffers from anxiety which makes her pretty reclusive, something I totally understand for my own experiences. A lot of people criticize Rainbow Rowell’s decision to give Cath anxiety in their reviews on Goodreads, because apparently her “awkwardness” around people reinforces the “socially inept fangirl” stereotype. But I actually found Cath to be more relatable because of it. I hate when people use words like “socially inept” to describe people with anxiety. Grr…

MOVING ON.

I loved Cath, even when she made mistakes (which we all do sometimes) and I thought her story was really interesting. She’s someone who’s come from a difficult past that she has to find the strength to conquer every day. That’s pretty bad ass, if you ask me. And, of course, the romantic storyline in this book was lovely and adorable and it hit me right square in the feels.

I’ve also got to give Rainbow Rowell major kudos for being able to include excerpts from the Simon Snow novel. I mean, Simon Snow is not a real series. It exists only in her head. She basically had to write two stories for the price of one, didn’t she? That’s insane and she deserves a lot of respect for that. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do that! I thought the little excerpts were a lovely addition and that they added a lot of depth to the storyline.

Overall, this was a farm and fuzzy sort of book, the kind I’d want to reread when I’m having a bad day. For me, those are the best kinds of books.

Have you ever read a Rainbow Rowell book? Which is your favourite?

Felicia x

Review: Confessions of a Prairie Bitch - Alison Arngrim

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Title: Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

Author: Alison Arngrim

Publisher: It Books

Release Date: June 15th 2010

Pages: 302

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon


“By making me a bitch, you have freed me from the trite, bourgeois prison of ‘likeability’. Any idiot can be liked. It takes talent to scare the crap out of people.”

Y’all probably know by now how I’ve got a bit of an undying love for Little House on the Prairie. Yes, I know it’s extremely outdated and at times super offensive. But my love for it stems from the fact that it was a huge staple of my childhood. I watched it with my mum, but mostly my grandmother who took care of me as a kid when my parents worked. We bonded over this show about this little pioneer gal and her family, particularly the perpetually shirtless Pa. I read the series of books approximately a hundred times, bending On The Banks of Plum Creek into despair, and even wrote my own stories about Laura Ingalls when I was 9. So I guess it’s not much of a surprise that I practically bolted to my car and took off to the bookstore the minute I heard Alison Arngrim had released a memoir.

If you don’t know, Alison Arngrim is the actress who brought Nellie Oleson to the small screen. Nellie Oleson is the epitome of mean girl - in fact, sometimes she can be downright evil. I spent my childhood tucked in front of that tv, watching Alison Arngrim flawlessly have temper tantrum after temper tantrum, making Nellie a character you love to hate.

As it turns out, a fair chunk of Alison Arngrim’s story is actually quite grim. Despite living in Hollywood as a child and brushing elbows with all sorts of great stars, including Liberace, she did not have a good childhood. Behind those bouncy blonde curls, Alison was really struggling. Her childhood was plagued with sexual abuse from her older brother. The stories she told about the abuse were extremely difficult to read. It’s so sad to imagine that behind the scenes of such a happy-go-lucky show like Little House, someone was dealing with such horrible things. Her story of overcoming the abuse and going onto work for the National Association to Protect Children was so powerful and I respect her immensely for her courage.

I know what you’re probably all thinking - can a child star from the 1970s really write a good book? The answer is, yes. Very much so. Alison’s writing was so clever and witty, it actually had me laughing out loud a few times. I read the majority of this book on a plane beside my mum, and I had to keep leaning over to read her funny excerpts. My personal favourite part was when she described with brutal honesty each of the main characters in the novel.

Of course, a large chunk of this book was about her time spent on Little House. It’s not called Confessions of a Prairie Bitch for nothing! Her stories about Little House are, fortunately, far more light-hearted than the other stories in her book. She speaks about her memories of the show and the people involved very honestly. While she had a good relationship with most of the cast - particularly with Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) and Steve Tracy (Percival Dalton) - she didn’t with others. The stories about Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary Ingalls) were blatant and so amusing. That whole portion of the book would really appeal to Little House fans looking for a little behind-the-scenes gossip.

This was a short, but great memoir. I really enjoyed reading it and would totally recommend it to anyone who’s watched and loved Little House as it really gives a nostalgic feel for those good ol’ pioneer days (or at least, the sort of pioneer days that Michael Landon envisioned lol).

Did you watch Little House on the Prairie? Did you love it, too?

Goodreads Challenge: 19 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Leah on the Offbeat - Becky Albertalli

“I swear, people can’t wrap their minds around the concept of a fat girl who doesn’t diet. Is it hard to believe I might actually like my body?”

My Rating: ★★★

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance

Reading Challenge: 18 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

My Thoughts —

Oh, look! Another Becky Albertalli book. Are you surprised at all? If you’ve been around awhile, you’ll remember my review of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in which I sung Becky Albertalli’s praises like Julie Andrews on the hill in Austria. So, here we are again, but this time with the spin-off of Simon! Excited? Let’s dive in.

As much as I loved Simon, I wanted to love this book. I truly went into this book with the expectation that I’d love it. But I just didn’t.

In Simon, we didn’t really get a close-up, in-depth look at the personalities of the secondary character because obvs it was about Simon, his sexuality, and his super adorable quest for finding his one true love. Despite that, I liked Leah. I thought she was a complex character and a take-no-shit kind of gal which I respect. Unfortunately, when it came to this spin-off novel, I just didn’t like Leah Burke. At all. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m an extremely empathetic reader. I find the best in even the worst characters sometimes. But I don’t know… Leah was just mean. She treaty the majority of the characters pretty terribly, especially her mom - and for what reason? Her mom was really supportive and caring, despite the fact that she was majorly preoccupied with the fact that they were struggling financially and that she had to work so much to support Leah. But Leah was just really rotten to her.

Without giving away the plot, I gotta say I wasn’t huge on how picture-perfect everything seemed. Like, I found in Simon that I could really believe that these characters were actual teenagers living in Georgia and going to high school and living ordinary lives. But this just seemed to me like it followed a really idealistic storyline. Like it followed every book cliche ever. I guess that’s just not what I had expected or even wanted out of this book.

I think that maybe my point of view would’ve been entirely different if I hadn’t just read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda before reading this one. Maybe I should re-read this in a few months or something to see if my opinion changes at all. I’ll keep you guys updated! All that being said, however, it has to be pointed out that this book does have a bisexual female character which is HUGELY important. Representation in novels is key my friends! So definitely check this book out and don’t let my bitterness over teen angst deter you from reading this!

Have you read both books? Did you like Leah on the Offbeat?

Felicia x

Review: The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin

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“But I think magic holds the world together. It’s dark matter; it’s the glue of reality; the putty that fills the holes between everything we know to be true. And it takes magic to reveal how inadequate reality is.”

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Genre(s): Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary

Reading Challenge: 17 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

My Thoughts —

It was such a pain for me to get this book. It was completely sold out at my local Indigo (bookshop), which is thirty minutes from home. After trying the same shop another day to no avail, I ended up going an hour out to another Indigo, where I eventually found a copy of this book. Can’t beat the rural life, folks. I assume the fact that it wasn’t available is a testament to how much people want to read this book? Regardless, I was very eager to read this by the time I got my hands on it.

First and foremost, I have to say that I thought the concept of this book was extremely interesting. I loved how the author toyed around with the idea of fate and free will by showing these young adults growing up with these looming prophecies and deciding ultimately how it’d affect their lives. This novel absolutely poses a ton of questions about life, destiny, and the power of mind. I thought that the exploration of these topics was really well done.

As for the stories… If I’m honest, I much preferred the first two - Simon’s and Klara’s - over the latter two, which were Daniel’s and Varya’s. I thought that Simon’s story was the most interesting because a) it took readers into the LGBT community in San Francisco during the 1970s and 1980s and how Simon fit into it, and b) it was sort of a kicking-off point for the rest of the story, as the three other characters were largely affected by several events that occurred during Simon’s story.

The reason that I didn’t rate this higher was simply because, despite having a very intriguing concept, the actual story itself was sort of lacklustre in my opinion. I found that certain parts just didn’t grip my attention like others, and I found myself a bit bored at times. But don’t get me wrong! Overall, it was quite good. I just don’t really know if this is the sort of book for me. Although I’m sure many, many others would love it.

Have you read The Immortalists? Did you love it or find it so-so?

Felicia x

Review: The Alice Network - Kate Quinn

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Title: The Alice Network

Author: Kate Quinn

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Release Date: June 6th 2017

Pages: 503

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon


“What did it matter if something scared you, when it simply had to be done?”

The Alice Network is all about a young - and pregnant - American socialite who enlists the help of an ex-spy and a Scotsman with violent tendencies to assist her in finding her cousin, Rose, who went missing during World War II.

I’m truly a sucker for books set during the World Wars. The first half of the 20th century is one of my favourite eras of history to study and the historical-fiction set in that time period always has me hooked. But at first, I wasn’t sure that I’d like this one. I was finding it sort of difficult to get myself totally immersed in the story. Although I do love me a good dual-narrative, I was finding each chapter pretty short so it felt a bit like whiplash going from one woman’s story to the other’s. But I got into the flow of it just after the first thirty or so pages. Considering the length of this book, it ain’t no thang.

I have to say, out of the two stories, I preferred the 1915 one over the 1947. I think that Eve was a total bad-ass and she went through some crazy stuff in her lifetime. From the moment her character was introduced, I wrapped up in her story. I wanted to know all about what made her the cold woman that she was in her old age. Charlie, on the other hand, came into the story “fresh”, so-to-speak. Aside from being pregnant out of wedlock, she didn’t have much of a backstory to get me invested in her story. The way that I saw the novel was that it was Eve’s story and Charlie was there to help the plot move along.

Oh, and Kate Quinn knows her shit, you guys. She’s a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Classical Voice, so you can bet that this book is full of details.

The one thing that really irked me about this book - and I do mean really irked me - was that there were a handful of words that were repeated throughout the novel that I found so cringe-y. Like, they were constantly used, over and over. For example, Eve calling Charlie a “Yank” or Charlie referring to her unborn child as the “Little Problem” or, worse, “L.P.” *shudder* I don’t know why, but it just drove me crazy. Don’t get me wrong! It didn’t make me dislike the book. It just made me cringe a bit whenever I came across one of the words.

I loved this book. And if you’re looking for an incredible, fast-paced novel about bad-ass women during the second World War, you’ll love it too. The women in this novel are seriously inspiring and the female friendships are so important. It’s also worth noting that the 1915 story is actually based on real-life events! The Alice Network was very real and it was led by Louise de Bettignies, aka Lili. Kate Quinn actually explains the inspiration for the novel at the end of the book so if you’re curious about that, make sure to look out for it!

The Alice Network is a remarkable story, about unsung heroes and I just adored it. Also, Reese Witherspoon included this in her book club a while back! How cool is that? If you’re curious to know what Reese had to say about this book, you can view her online book club site here.

(Somewhat Spoiler: I should mention that there is mention of a particularly gruesome abortion, as well as some rape and assault mentions. Keep that in mind before/while you read!).

Have you read The Alice Network? Did you like it as much as I did?!

Goodreads Challenge: 16 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me - Mindy Kaling

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Title: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Author: Mindy Kaling

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Release Date: November 1st 2011

Pages: 222

My Rating: ★★★ (3/5)

Goodreads | Amazon


“I simply regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world created therein has different rules than my regular human world.”

Hi friends! Welcome back. I read Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me ages ago, but never ended up writing a review on it for whatever reason. So I thought I’d finally get to it and write up a little review.

Disclaimer: I read this back in April, so I don’t remember everything. This is going to be a quite short and sweet review!

I think Mindy Kaling is fabulous. She is so funny and so talented. I absolutely loved her on The Office and thought her role on The Mindy Project was hilarious (for the short time I watched it eek!!). So I was really excited when I found out that she had written a memoir. With her work on The Office to go by, I was ready to hunker down and dive into this one.

I literally read this book in two sittings. It was a really quick read and the fact that it was funny made it even easier to read. The only thing I found was that certain parts of the book seemed like Mindy was trying a bit too hard to be funny or relatable… Sometimes it just got a little too much and I just wasn’t really into that. Like, certain parts were genuinely so funny, don’t get me wrong. It just sometimes felt like Mindy was saying “Look! I’m just your everyday average girl!” and I found it a little harder to believe it as authentic.

I did think the stuff about her experiences working on The Office were really interesting. As you may know, I’ve been into The Office for about a year and a half now, and I’m also the sort of person who loves juicy, behind the scenes tell-alls. This didn’t reach full gossip potential, however it did give a good look at what it would’ve been like working on and filming The Office which was really great!

Really, that’s all there is to say about this one. I thought it was okay - not my favourite sort of book, but definitely a fun read. I’d say it was something similar to Anna Kendrick’s book, Scrappy Little Nobody, which I reviewed earlier this year. So if that’s your cup of tea, then you’ll really enjoy this, I think!

Are you a Mindy Kaling fan?

Goodreads Challenge: 15 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

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Title: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman

Publisher: Viking - Pamela Dorman Books

Release Date: May 9th 2017

Pages: 327

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon


“Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that you don’t need anyone, you can take care of yourself.”

Hello guys. Welcome back! Today’s review is of one of my favourite books of the year so far, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. This was such an incredible book that I’ll probably be singing it’s praises for the rest of 2018 and beyond. So, without further ado, let’s just jump right into it!

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about a woman named living in Glasgow who lives every day, every week, and every month exactly the same. She runs on a specifically planned, solitary daily schedule. Things start to change when an accident brings her and her office IT guy together in an unlikely friendship. Soon, she is forced to come to grips with a secret from her past that she’s been keeping from everyone, including herself.

I really, really, really enjoyed this book!!! Eleanor’s story is extremely moving. It’s one of those uplifting, ‘life does get better’ sorts of stories that really warms my heart. From the very beginning of the novel, you can already tell that Eleanor is not a happy woman and that something in her past has caused her to be that way. Right off the bat, I was rooting for this woman to find happiness in her life. She’s the sort of character that you can’t help but get attached to and you just hope the best for.

The writing of this book was particularly interesting because Eleanor is a very eloquent character. She’s very prim-and-proper, and pays very specific attention to how she speaks to others. Because of that, the novel is extremely well-written and included many a descriptive sentence. At first, I had worried that it might get sort of distracting to have the narration be so meticulous and flawless. However, I found that the sentences actually flowed surprisingly well and I ultimately found it no problem whatsoever!

All in all, I wasn’t at all prepared for this book - particularly the last half. It took me completely by surprise, which is something that I don’t usually find with novels. It was extremely difficult for me to actually believe that this book was Gail Honeyman’s debut freaking novel… like, I’m still in total shock. I’d love to read more from Gail Honeyman in the future, I’d probably read whatever she puts out honestly haha. This is the sort of book that I’d recommend to all my book-loving friends.

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine? What did you think?

Goodreads Challenge: 14 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Boy Erased - Garrard Conley

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“I came to therapy thinking that my sexuality didn’t matter, but it turned out that every part of my personality was intimately connected. Cutting one piece damaged the rest.”

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBT

Reading Challenge: 13 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to "cure" him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness. 

By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, Boy Erased is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.

My Thoughts —

I came across this book online in a post that listed off a bunch of must-read nonfiction books. As I’ve probably mentioned in my earlier book reviews, this year I wanted to delve more into genres that I don’t typically reach for, and nonfiction is definitely one of them. After reading a few nonfics already, I was eager to read another so I decided to pick this one up. And it was definitely a good choice.

I thought this book was really interesting because Garrard’s story is one that could’ve easily gone untold. He’s from a small southern town, where he was raised by a fundamentalist family helmed by a father who was, at the time, working towards becoming a pastor. His father views homosexuality as a sin, therefore leading Garrard to hide his sexuality from his father and the rest of his friends. At the start, Garrard went into Love In Action somewhat willingly - not because he was dying to do it, but because he was horrified with how his family saw him once they discovered his sexuality. The fact that he found the strength to go against the therapy was what made this book so remarkable because frankly, the experiences he went through were so demeaning and horrifying. I could’ve even handle it sometimes from a reader’s point of view. I can’t begin to imagine what he went through himself, living it.

The stories Garrard tells about his early adulthood - not just about his time in conversion therapy, but in university, too - are harrowing and heartbreaking. So many times I had to stop reading for a second because it was just so difficult to get through. It’s so hard to imagine a nineteen-year-old going through all of what he went through. He had zero support system whatsoever, especially once everyone around him began to find out about his sexuality. They acted as if his sexuality had anything to do with what sort of a person he is, which is despicable honestly.

I think that arguably the most important aspect of this book was that it shed light on the fact that there are still conversion therapies open and commonly used, even in the United States. Love In Action, where Garrard attended conversion therapy, only just shut down in 2012. From a quick Google search, I found that only a handful of States have a ban on conversion therapy for minors. The rest still permit it, which is something I didn’t even consider until I read this book. I hope that this book continues to make that a more widely known fact, so that there can be more done to get rid of these horrible therapies.

Have you read Boy Erased?

Felicia x

Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

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“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Genre(s): Classics, Fiction

Reading Challenge: 12 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

My Thoughts —

So I went into this book with a very different idea of what it was about. I honestly can’t remember now what I thought this book was about before I read it. At this point, I’m so overwhelmed by it all that I can’t even register it all haha. Essentially, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story all about morality and a young society man who sells his soul in order to be eternally youthful - and it comes with severe consequences. It’s a Wilde story. SORRY I had to.

The first half of this book was quite slow, in my opinion. I kept waiting for there to be some big “wow” moment, which did ultimately come - but not until several chapters into the book. Eventually though, once that moment did come, the rest of the book was intriguing and it was fairly jam-packed with twists, turns, and intensity.

One of the things about this novel that I didn’t necessarily love was that there were often very long bits of dialogue. It bothered me a bit. Not terribly, but just worth mentioning. However, this is probably a consequence of it being an older novel. If you’ve ever read a Jane Austen novel, you know how well she could write a run-on sentence so each author has their thing y’know? Long dialogue just sort of loses my attention after awhile.

The writing, however, was very good overall. And once the plot quickened in pace, the storytelling was extremely interesting. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that I can say about the actual plot without giving away a bunch, however I can say that it was certainly a page-turner! I thought it was a good novel, although I wouldn’t say it was particularly my taste or one of my favourite classic novels.

Have you read The Picture of Dorian Gray? What did you think?

Felicia x

Review: Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick

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Title: Scrappy Little Nobody

Author: Anna Kendrick

Publisher: Touchstone

Release Date: November 15th 2016

Pages: 275

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon


“I lost a Tony award to Broadway legend Audra McDonald when I was twelve, so I’ve been a bitter bitch since before my first period.”

Hello everyone! Recently I read Anna Kendrick’s book, Scrappy Little Nobody and had to come on here to review it because wow, what a ride.

This book was wonderful. Anna Kendrick’s memoir was perhaps one of the best I’ve read yet. She honestly seems like one of the most genuine celebrities ever — or at least, she can act like it — and wow, is she funny.

I just really enjoyed this. I went to my good friend Google to see if she had actually written this herself or had it ghost written (you never know!) but from what I can tell, it’s all her. And I’m not surprised. If you follow Anna Kendrick’s Twitter account, you’re probably already fully aware that she’s a hilarious person. That humour translates nicely to her memoir writing as well.

Her anecdotes were really amusing and sure, she does play that ‘quirky, too-cool-for-this girl’ role a bit more often than I'm usually a fan of, but a lot of what she talked about seemed genuine, at least to me anyway. The essays were fairly short and sweet, which is just how I like ‘em! I find that in a lot of cases, people can drag their personal stories on for ages and ages, by no fault of their own. But fortunately, Anna Kendrick didn’t fall into that trap.

No matter how she’s perceived (some reviewers on Goodreads said she seems ‘pretentious’), I think it’s quite ballsy of her to put such personal stories on paper and publish it for the whole world to see. I respect her immensely for it. Being completely authentic and honest is certainly no easy feat, especially as a celebrity I’d imagine. Anna Kendrick was a good sport about some of the things that would be pretty embarrassing to write about!

All in all, this was a witty, fun read. It didn’t take long to finish and I did have a few giggles along the way.

Are you a fan of Anna Kendrick?

Goodreads Challenge: 11 out of 50

Felicia x

Review: Leave Me - Gayle Forman

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“She felt almost tearfully grateful to be off the hook, and residually angry because she was always on the hook.”

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Genre(s): Fiction, Contemporary, Adult Fiction

Reading Challenge: 10 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention--meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who's so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn't even realize she's had a heart attack.

Afterward, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we're going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself.

My Thoughts —

I’ve been a big fan of Gayle Forman for awhile now. Prior to Leave Me, however, I’d only ever read Gayle Forman’s Young Adults novel. This was my first of her adult fiction novels. Personally, after reading this one, I think I’m more drawn to her YA books. But I still find the wit and charm of her writing translates nicely to page, even in the Adult Fiction genre.

I guess my main grievance with this book really lies in the fact that the main conflict could have been resolved if Maribeth and her husband had just sat down and had a five minute conversation. Or, better yet, if they’d just gone to marriage counselling. If I can find an easy solution for a conflict right off the bat, then I find that I can’t really get invested in the novel.

At the start, I felt a lot of sympathy for Maribeth. Although times have changed, women - especially working women - still have a pretty rough gig. And Maribeth is the perfect example of being the primary caregiver, which is a role women are often socially expected to take on in a marriage. She has a job, two young kids, and not much help is given from her support system. It makes sense that she runs away.

She goes off on a journey of self-discovery (supposedly) where she’s finding her place in the world outside of the realm of motherhood. This journey is pretty much cut off at the head by the end of the book and just gets tossed aside as a subplot which is almost carelessly tied up (in my opinion) for the sake of ending the novel on a good note. I just felt there wasn’t a whole lot of character development in this novel, either on Maribeth’s part or her husband’s.

All in all, the novel was pretty entertaining. The ending left something to be desired but I don’t know if that should distract entirely from the rest of the plot - it should just be noted.

What did you think of Leave Me?

Felicia x

Review: Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple

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“Just because it’s complicated, just because you think you can’t ever know everything about another person, it doesn’t mean you can’t try.”

My Rating: ★★ 1/2

Genre(s): Fiction, Humor, Contemporary

Reading Challenge: 9 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces--which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where'd You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter's love for her mother. 

My Thoughts —

Overall, this book was just okay for me. The emails and such that were used to make up the novel made it interesting and the writing was quite good. Originally, I liked Bernadette. I kind of looked at her through the perspective of my own experiences with agoraphobia and as you might remember from my Under Rose-Tainted Skies review, I really like when I can connect to a character in that way. But Bernadette was kind of awful? She put down every woman around her, aside from her daughter who she viewed as a saint that could do no wrong. The fact that she was thought she was too good or whatever to hang with the other school mums was kind of annoying.

There’s really not much else I want to say about this one. There wasn’t any huge reason why I disliked it, other than that I just didn’t find it as great as everyone else has seemed to. Different strokes for different folks, I guess! But I won’t be re-reading this one, that’s for sure.

Have you read this? Did you like it?

Felicia x

Review: The Help - Kathryn Stockett

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“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

My Rating: ★★ 1/2

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction, Adult

Reading Challenge: 8 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women, mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends, view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

My Thoughts —

I’m going to come out and say it right off the bat - I didn’t like this book. I was pretty shocked. I’d seen the movie a long time ago, back when it came out, and then a couple years later, and I remember enjoying it. But the book put a sour taste in my mouth, to say the least.

Unlike the majority of people who’ve read it, I didn’t read the book when it first came out. Reading it nearly a decade after the fact definitely has a huge impact on how you see it because the hype has died down and all. I got to see things with a clearer, less biased perspective. In the time since this book was published, a woman named Ablene Cooper came forward and actually sued Kathryn Stockett for damages, claiming that Stockett used her resemblance for the character Aibileen. Hearing about the lawsuit made me really think about the voices of black women and men, and how they’re drowned out by the voices of white people. In the novel, the black maids risk literally everything - their jobs, families, and even their lives - to share their stories, which are ultimately filtered through Skeeter, a white woman. And it seems like the only people who recognize the true sacrifice and heroism of Minny and Aibileen’s actions are other black people. Skeeter doesn’t get it, and maybe she can’t fully get it coming from a position of privilege.

Kind of on the same point, I felt like Skeeter’s story was given a lot more attention than the others’ in terms of the layout of the book. The story has a multi-narrative structure, alternating between Skeeter, Minny, and Aibileen. But it felt to me like the entire novel was focused on Skeeter, and that Aibileen and Minny’s stories were meant for background information. It’s almost like The Help was a coming-of-age novel focused on Skeeter, and that her writing the book was just a plot device. Idk it just seemed pretty off to me.

Something I did like about the book (since all I’ve done is talk negatively) was the relationship between Aibileen and Minny. I love seeing the unity between in books and in contrast to the toxic relationship between Hilly, Elizabeth, and Skeeter, the one between Aibileen and Minny was refreshing. I also thought the relationship between the Footes and Minny was pretty great.

I don’t know what else to say about this book, honestly. I struggled to finish it. I was hoping for a serious discussion on the Civil Rights Movement but was left quite disappointed. I think the lawsuit plus the privileged voice of the story put a bad taste in my mouth. If this book had been written by a POC, it would’ve been a lot better.

Have you read The Help? Do you agree?

Felicia x

Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies - Louise Gornall

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“See, anxiety doesn’t just stop. You can have nice moments, minutes where it shrinks, but it doesn’t leave.”

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre(s): Contemporary, Young Adult, Mental Health/Illness

Reading Challenge: 7 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

My Thoughts —

Where, oh where, was this book when I was in high school?

Let’s talk about mental illness representation for a second, as it’s obviously a major aspect of this novel. In the six agonizingly long years I’ve suffered from severe, sometimes debilitating, social anxiety disorder, I’ve never related to a book as much as I did to Under Rose-Tainted Skies. I can’t even begin to tell you how important it is to me that this book exists. I spent a large portion of my teen years having people say things like, “You have anxiety? So, you get stressed… So does everyone else.” IT’S SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. And this book actually shows the nitty-gritty side of anxiety. The depiction of anxiety in this book was so spot-on to my personal experiences that I was questioning if I’d maybe just wrote it myself lol. I haven’t come across many people who have fully understood or experienced my anxiety triggers (although I know there’s people out there somewhere!). But Norah did. I really hope someday I can write a novel that makes people feel as comforted as this made me feel.

Admittedly, I did have this awful premonition in the first-third of the book that Luke, the boy-next-door, would end up ~saving~ Norah by somehow curing her mental illness with ~love~… blegh. For a split second, I considered putting this book down before it got to that point because I just couldn’t handle if it did. Luckily I kept reading because hooray! It didn’t happen! No magical curative love powers here! The relationship between Luke and Norah was sweet and realistic. Sometimes I feel that in the YA genre, authors can often forget how teenagers are awkward, nervous, and inexperienced kids. I like how Norah doesn’t know what she’s doing in a relationship. I also appreciated how Norah’s mental illness never took a backseat to the gushy stuff and her anxiety wasn’t used as a device to further the romantic plot.

The ending was… a bit rushed, in my opinion. It felt as though we were building up to something huge that ended up being quickly resolved and tucked away. I could’ve done with a few more pages in that final scene. Overall though, this was a great novel. I would totally read this again.

Did you read Under Rose-Tainted Skies? Did you agree with the representation of mental illness?

Felicia x

Review: The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

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“I’m afraid that if I stop writing I’ll stop thinking and start feeling.”

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography

Reading Challenge: 6 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager. 

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

My Thoughts —

I ought to start off by saying that I’m a massive fan of Carrie Fisher. And a fan of Star Wars, too, for that matter. Although that fact still muddles me to be honest. I’ve been wanting to read this memoir for quite some time, essentially ever since I heard that it had been published, and boy, am I glad that I finally got the chance to.

My family is pretty big on Star Wars. It started with my mum, who’s been a fan of the films since she was a kid. I never got into them when I was younger and neither did my dad for a long time, but when my boyfriend came along, he was a fan so my mum and him watched the films together. As a favour to both of them, I went to see Rogue One and the rest is history. What really grabbed my attention about these films was, of course, the bad-ass and irreplaceable Princess Leia. After obsessing over her character for awhile, I started paying attention to the actress herself and was thrilled to find that Carrie Fisher was unsurprisingly also a bad-ass. So when I heard about this book, I had to read it obviously.

The Princess Diarist is quirky and fantastic. I think it really shows the honesty of Carrie Fisher, as she leaves out no detail, however embarrassing or shameful. She never tries to impress you or make you think that she’s something that she’s not. Carrie is unapologetically authentic and I loved that.

What I found so interesting about this book was how unavoidably eerie it was that Carrie repeatedly spoke about her own mortality. She made several comments about her death and her legacy. Given the proximity of this book’s publication and her untimely death, it’s just very strange. Yet, on the other hand, I think that this book was meant to be released exactly when it was. The story of her and Harrison - or “Carrison,” as she puts it - was a story that Carrie had been holding onto for years. Forty years, in fact. It was the final story she had to tell…

Anyway, on a brighter note. I love memoirs. I love hearing true stories about real people who have walked this earth and lived a life so similar yet so different to mine. I think we get so wrapped up in seeing celebrities as celebrities, and not as what they actually are - people. It’s sometimes hard for some to separate Princess Leia from Carrie Fisher, or vice versa. People forget that Carrie’s not a space princess fighting off bad guys. This book (I hope) alters the perspective. Carrie’s a person, like you and me. She’s an actress, a mom, a daughter, a human. She makes mistakes, she falls in love, she gets embarrassed… And sometimes, she hooks up with her married co-star.

Are you a Carrie Fisher fan? Have you ever read one of her books?

Felicia x