All Things Bookish | Review | Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

“Some people are destined to meet.”

4/5

Waffles, cheesecake, and chocolate chip cookies.

All three of those combined would not taste as sweet as this book.

This is probably my favourite anthology. Actually, it’s the first one I’ve ever read (I … think?) but I’m pretty sure it’d still be my favourite.

Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet is a collection of short stories written by multiple authors, each with their on take on how people meet and fall in love – all couples have to start somewhere, after all. Readers will experience every author’s take on a meet cute, and perhaps fall in love themselves, too.

Now, I was unfamiliar with the writing style of all of those authors. Sure, I’d heard of a lot of them – but I’d never actually read any of their books, although I have some on my TBR. After seeing this book around a lot, and it being one of the January picks for The Book Bound Society, I knew I simply had to pick this up!

I had that nagging voice at the back of my head that wondered if things would be too cheesy or cringey to read, but oh boy. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Although I didn’t love every story, there were certainly a lot more stunning ones than average ones; as a result, I think it’s more appropriate to review every story separately!


  • Seige Etiqette, Katie Cotugno

“The truth is that your favourite thing about being popular is being able to control when and how people look at you and what they see when they do, like you’re the curator of a fancy museum and your only exhibit is yourself. The problem is that lately you haven’t been able to do it.”

[1/5]

I don’t think this was the best story to start this book off with; it made me hesitate about whether the rest of this book was really worth it.

I know, I know – it was only the first story. But hey, first impressions count!

I just felt like Hailey and Wolf fell in love too quickly? Especially considering that they both seemed to really dislike certain qualities about the other? I think it would have been more realistic to end the story on the note that they both start to feel some butterflies, but either deny it or not care much for it, only for their feelings to develop further later on.

Also, am I wrong, or did this story somehow glorify cheating? Nah, that’s just not acceptable. This story was certainly not for me.


  • Print Shop, Nina LaCour

“It’s early, I know. We’ve only just met. But this might be a love story, so I want to tell it right away.”

[5/5]

Thank God this was the next story, because it filled me with hope for this book! This is the first writing of LaCour’s that I’ve read, and I was in awe of her style and descriptions. The flow of events was pleasantly soothing, and the entire “vintage” vibe had a calming effect on me.

‘I should start with Print Shop. The romance of it: the dark wood and the ink smell, the papers everywhere, sheets of it cascading off every surface. The old lights on the desks and the framed monotypes and screen prints.’

-the moment in which every bibliophile & antiquarian fell in love with this story

LaCour’s depiction of Evelyn’s feelings and thoughts towards the “disgruntled customer”- a.k.a Lauren – is like a cute little candy you pop into your mouth because it’s so sweet. You cannot not cheer for Evie, she’s a memorable persona that I definitely want to see more of!


  • Hourglass, Ibi Zoboi

“No matter how long we’ve been living in this town, we never fit in. I never fit in.”

[4/5]

Bust out your party hats ’cause we got a big girl here! Cherish is such a sweetheart and her boldness is a quality to admire. I mean, anybody who glares at those perfectly-manufactured mannequins and smacks it upside the head, declaring, “You are not all that,” earns my respect.

Her meeting with Mamadou had that fluffy stuff filling up my brain and stomach, because damn is he a gentleman. And he makes dresses! Honestly, his caring nature left me screaming on the inside – I need more of this story, dammit!


  • Click, Katharine McGee

“People were so complicated – sensitive and unpredictable and erratic – but code made sense. Code could be analyzed, and fixed.”

[5/5]

This story has occupied a special place in my heart.

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No, seriously you guys. I think this might be my favourite story – one of its best elements is Alexa’s analytic thought process, and Raden’s emotional and abstract outlook on life. A computer programmer and a photographer; they Click perfectly, and no, they don’t need an app for that.

They’re the kind of couple that’s like: “Are you sad? I’m sorry, here, let me cheer you up,” but at the same time, they’re like, “We know that running between cars in frantic search of a phone will potentially get us killed, but we’re gonna do it anyway.”

I’ve said this multiple times already, BUT I NEED MORE OF THIS!

‘He couldn’t take a decent picture of something without falling in love with it, at least a little.’

-I love my baby Raden


  • The Intern, Sara Shepard

“At least if I was alone, I could be myself. I could make my own choices. I could grieve. With people, I was always in this smiling in-between, wanting to cry but feeling I had to put up a front that I was healing.”

[3/5]

This story had potential, and I did enjoy it, but it didn’t score a lot of points in my book. In fact, even as I’m writing this, I’m realising that the story is pretty forgettable. Clara and Phineas definitely have that chemistry going on, but I felt that there was some “insta-love” here. The beginning is a little dull, then we’ve got some adorable scenes later, but the ending makes me feel as if the author wanted them to just fall in love already.

It’s definitely not a horrible story, but it doesn’t cross three stars for me, either.

But I shall forever appreciate this reference: ‘His expression – an appealing mix of awkwardness, cleverness, and kindness – reminded me of L, the detective from Death Note … ‘

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Hell yeah.


  • Somewhere That’s Green, Meredith Russo

“I was wrong. I repeated things I’d been told to think because it was easier than speaking up.”

[5/5]

A story featuring a badass trans girl and a brave gay character – Nia and Lexie captured my heart from the start.

Well, maybe it took a little longer for Lexie, but hey, that’s what a great character arc is about. You’d think twenty-five pages would be short for a character to grow and learn, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Lexie’s character development is such a joy to read, and the sparks flying between her and Nia make you scream, “ADMIT YOUR LOVE ALREADY”!

I just can’t conjure up the words to describe it in a way that would do it justice. The writing has an addicting flow to it, so much so that you have to finish it. 👏👏👏


  • The Way We Love Here, Dhonielle Clayton

“Momma said people are like streams, and when you meet your beloved, you become a single river flowing in one direction; currents, waves, ripples, indistinguishable from one another.”

[5/5]

Someone get me more Dhonielle Clayton books because I am hooked.

A far-off island filled with beautiful scenery and magic? Smart and loveable heroine? Witty and hilarious love interest? Can we get more of this? (I cannot confirm when exactly I will stop saying this … )

Viola and Sebastian are PowerCoupleTM, and their romance is not only realistic, but also allows the reader to imagine their own ending – and I think this is what really drew me in. You’re shown a number of possibilities of where their romance could whisk them off to, and it’s really up to you, depending on whether you think they click or not, to decide if you want them together.

Not to mention, make sure you hold on to your breaths because this book will definitely take them away with its lovely descriptions:

‘I know the leeward side of the island by scent and sound: the pollen of the larkspur flowers, the chittering pink birds that cluster in the horsetail trees, the hum of crickets and cicadas, the scent of fried sweetbread.’

-I want to live here

And, of course, this relatable exchange:

‘”You okay?” I ask him.

“I think. Am I still handsome?”‘

-Getting some Peter Kavinsky vibes here

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  • Oomph, Emery Lord

“I grip it, this feeling – so tightly that my fingers ache. It’s like trying to hold smoke.”

[5/5]

The quirky take-off for this romance had me hooked. Seriously, if you love Marvel, you’ll love this story – and that’s only a part of it.

Johanna and Cassidy are the type of couple that you ship from the very beginning and start drawing fan art of after the story ends. They seem to understand exactly what the other wants right away, be it a joke or a comforting pep-talk – and for this to be communicated through only seventeen pages? That’s skill right there. This review will never be able to properly express how lovely this story is – definitely an endearing read with a unique charm to it.


  • The Dictionary of You and Me, Jennifer L. Armentrout

“I was a big dork when it came to Christmas. I loved everything about it – the twinkly lights and crinkling paper, the smell of pine and balsam, the music and the movies, and most, I loved all the hope.”

[5/5]

I sat down to read this story and, ten minutes later, heard the police at my door.

Turns out, the neighbours had reported inhumane dying noises coming from my room.

Oh my God, this is the most precious thing.

Now I don’t know about you, but I love it when couples (or potential couples, in this case) have conversations that are weird but so enjoyable that you’re just laughing the whole time. That’s basically this whole story.

(Imma spoil this story a bit, so scroll by if you’d like the element of surprise to stay!)

I mean, while it is a spoiler, it’s a pretty expected one – still, the way the truth is unraveled is adorable. You have Moss, the girl who works at a library, and Tyler, the guy who has in his possession a dictionary with a long-overdue date of return – except she doesn’t know his identity. He could be a creepy stalker for all she can guess.

But the moment he walks into that library – and that conversation they have – ugh, stop being so damn cute, will you?!

‘Tyler knocked his hair back from his forehead and the strands immediately fell back in place. “I wanted to say something earlier, but I … ” The blush deepened, and he looked away again, coughing out a low laugh. “I just didn’t have the nerve. When I, uh, when I figured out it was you, the girl who sat in the back of history class, I wanted to say something then, but … ” Another low laugh. “Yeah, I didn’t have the nerve.”‘

-*screams for five years*

STOP DOING THIS TO MY POOR HEART.

(Spoiler end!)

The sweet-as-sugar writing will captivate you from the start, and I’ve already said this, but damn, I love those two!!


  • The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love, Jocelyn Davies

“Numbers don’t lie, even when the heart does.”

[4.5/5]

God, I’m running out of adjectives to use here. These stories deserve entire books, and I especially appreciated the unorthodox approach to love in this one – after all, you’d hardly think to calculate your chances of finding love, or to find out the probability of you being with the person you like, right?

‘You can’t substantiate that love exists by plugging some variables into an equation and calling it a day. Therefore, why should I believe in it? It’s not like I could prove it had ever happened to me.’

-When this kind of, weirdly, makes sense

It’s true that some parts are cheesy, but the scarily-accurate statistical approach to a matter as abstract and subjective as love captured my full attention. Sam has quite a stubborn take on it, but I really enjoyed watching her slowly experience what she had so fervently denied her whole life (okay, well, maybe not ‘slowly’ … but still.) Mystery Boy at the metro is a real cutie, and these two are definitely going places.

Also, damn – Sam’s mom is, in her daughter’s words, a “Boss”.

‘Dad took a bite of pasta. “The idea that you have to meet someone in an adorable way in order for it to be meaningful is nonsensical. Your mom and I aren’t soulmates. Fate didn’t bring us together after some over-the-top series of missed connections. We met at the bar at Webster Hall.”

“Excuse me?” Mom said. “Not soul mates?”‘

-SOMEBODY’S IN DEEP TROUBLE


  • 259 Million Miles, Kass Morgan

“You can make a statement about not living in fear, how it’s better to fail than never try at all.”

[4/5]

DO NOT START THIS STORY WITHOUT A BOX OF TISSUES. I REPEAT: DO NOT START THIS STORY WITHOUT A BOX OF TISSUES.

I won’t even bother telling you to mentally prepare yourself, because pretty much nothing can prepare you for this short yet-heart-wrenching plot.

Phillip – that cinnamon roll – oh my God. I just want to wrap him in a blanket and cover him in kittens, okay? He’s so precious. And Blythe gives me serious Luna Lovegood vibes, and seeing as I’m in love with Luna Lovegood, I was beyond ecstatic.

I love how there’s a slow, subtle build-up for the ending, and as much as I cried … well, I have to say that it suited the story perfectly.


  • Something Real, Julie Murphy

“I think we’d all surprise ourselves to find out what lengths we might go to to re-create and savor the moments that make us feel like we have purpose. There’s no shame in that.”

[3/5]

This is a lovely twist on reality TV (since we all know how reality TV actually is), and June and Martha are hella badass and supportive, but some parts of this story felt a little fast-paced and boring – I’m not exactly sure why, but maybe that’s just me.

Regardless of that, though, I was extremely fond of the ending (take that, Dylan!) and especially grateful that neither June nor Martha hated on the other in the start simply because they were competing against each other. Their support for one another had me whooping – it’s so motivating and empowering!

‘We’re just two people who were randomly driven together in the most ludicrous of ways by some reality TV show that I can now say, without a doubt, is more fake than it is real. But standing here with her. This is real. There’s just something about her that makes me feel like we could really be something to each other in real life.’

-❤❤❤


  • Say Everything, Huntley Fitzpatrick

“What you get to keep is the friendship – and someday more – of that boy whose life unexpectedly collided with yours, who made it a resolution to right and wrong, whatever way he could.”

[1/5]

Meh … this story really didn’t work with me. I found it bland and forgettable, with barely any character depth. There are moments when Sean or Emma will crack a joke, but it might as well be a robot speaking. I don’t know, maybe second-person just isn’t for me – I liked the main idea, but the writing … not as much.


  • The Department of Dead Love, Nicola Yoon

People feel so much. Love is so big and it leaves behind a crater. Even when it’s wrong.”

[4/5]

I really enjoyed this concept. There’s a powerful fantastical element to this story, and I was really interested in all those love-related buildings and careers; very creatively-portrayed!

I liked the character of Thomas and Gabby, although how they develop feelings for each other is a bit foggy to me. You can see those sparks flying, but you’re a bit unsure of how they came to be in the first place. Still, this story really encouraged me to check out Yoon’s other books, and I can’t wait to pick them up!


There you have it! Reading this anthology was such a stress-relief for me, honestly. Now I know that, in times of pressure, flipping back to those fluffy scenes is bound to help. I just – I just can’t, you guys. Fluff is my weakness, okay?

Have you read this anthology? What do you think? Let me know!

Stay creative,

Angel

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All Things Bookish | Review | A Court of Thorns and Roses

“You didn’t tell me this would happen.”
“You didn’t ask. So how am I to blame?” 

0/5

This is not how I wanted to start my year.

According to a Wikipedia page and pretty much everyone, A Court of Thorns and Roses is supposed to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is certainly no “beast” in this fae world – God forbid we have any character who’s less than attractive, actually. But that’s not the only thing wrong with this book.

This may be a very random start, but that’s only because of the numerous problems I found while reading this.

This entire review is probably an unpopular opinion, and who knows if I’ll be getting hate for it, but guys – guys. Just stay with me a bit, okay?


Synposis (from Goodreads):

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


I can barely stand the characters in this book. ACoTaR is crawling with Mary Sues and Gary Stus, so much so that it makes me want to gag. Feyre is definitely not the type of character I’d hoped we’d be following in this story. Not only is she two-dimensional, but she seems to like rebelling for the mere sake of it. Honestly, ninety-per cent of the time she sounds like a brat, and the other ten per cent she’s complaining about her “sharp face”. I just can’t stand her. I think this book is supposed to be about love, but if Feyre talks about Tamlin’s “golden hair”, “cords of muscles” or “flecked green eyes” one more time, I’m going to chuck it at some poor unfortunate soul.

Speaking of Tamlin, I’m not a fan. His character is extremely bland, but worst of all, he forces himself on Feyre during the Calanmai thing (that ceremony is messed up, by the way.) Feyre is clearly attempting to escape when he pins her, and yet he bites her neck. And then he blames it on her when he says, “Don’t ever disobey me again”. What the hell, asshole?? I don’t care if you’re under some ‘influence’ or whatever – this is completely unacceptable and it pisses me off.

Now this is where my review becomes even more unpopular, but I’m going to outright say it: I despise Rhysand, and here’s why:

  • he practically forces Feyre into a bargain she doesn’t want to make;
  • he has her dressed up in clothes that make her uncomfortable;
  • he forces her to drink a type of wine that makes her lose her senses;
  • he makes her dance sexually for him without her consent;
  • he calls her his ‘belonging’.

And it gets even worse. What really makes me scream is the fact that he has the audacity to act innocent and ‘righteous.’ That last scene, where he flies off into the sunset like the oh-so-angelic ‘misunderstood bad boy’ he is? Yeah, I think I threw up a little in my mouth.

This book is anti-feminist. It teaches girls that it’s okay if men sexually assault a woman, because it’s their ‘nature’ and they ‘can’t control it’. Fine, then. I’ll just punch this asshole in the face and go like, “Oh, I’m sorry! This is just my nature and I can’t control it.” It portrays a character as horrible as Rhysand as the good guy after all he does. I can’t fathom why people aren’t talking about this. Just writing this review was so mentally exhausting. I was getting ready to rant about the lack of diversity, but I think my brain is about to explode.

I’m beat, y’all. I think you’re gonna have to bribe me with a lifetime supply of chocolate if you want me to read Maas’ other series – not that I plan to. Not any time soon, at least. Who knows? Maybe it’s better than this one. At any rate, I hate how the hype around this book glosses over all the problematic things with it, and this is one trilogy I will not be continuing. I do not recommend it at all. 

Have you read this book? Let me know what you think.

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | All the Bright Places

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” 

[0.5/5]

(Trigger warning: suicide.)

This…is not what I’d been expecting.

I think I should begin the review saying: if you are going through depression, or having suicidal thoughts, or any of the similar, please do not read this book. Trust me, it’s not for you. I mean, I appreciate Niven’s original idea – to have people be made aware of these things and of how to seek help – but, really, this book is for those who have lost people to suicide and are grieving the loss. 

All the Bright Places tells the story of two teenagers: Theodore Finch – often mocked as “weirdo” and “freak” – who is always thinking about death and ways that he could end his life, and Violet Markey, who has lost her sister, Eleanor, in a car accident and has never been the same since. When the two partner up for a school project to look for the noteworthy landmarks of Indiana, Violet realises that there’s much more to Finch than he lets others see, and she might as well be on the road to healing … but it doesn’t take long for her to realise that Finch is becoming more and more unreachable as the days pass.

Here’s the thing: nothing about this book feels real. It’s like…the author picked up some mental illnesses, chucked them into characters, then threw them into a story so said characters can be put into a scenario which will mark the start of their romance. I personally am no expert on this subject – I think the way you take this book depends on your experiences – but no one seems to have taken Violet’s and Finch’s mental illnesses seriously? It’s like one big joke to them.

And what even is up with the adults? The parents? The book makes it seem like the counselor is really trying hard to help Finch, but honestly, to me he just seems to really hate his job – and the boy, for that matter. Don’t even get me started on the people around Finch – not a person bats an eye at his disappearances, claiming them to be “normal” and oh-so “typical Finch”. I’m just kind of confused how no one realises that Finch is bipolar, until we near the end? Everyone in school seems to know him, and yet no one’s bothered to stop and think about why this is happening?

Not to mention, the romance between Finch and Violet borders on unhealthy. Can we just talk about how Finch practically forces Violet into a car, when she makes it explicitly clear that she doesn’t want to be in one? And how does Violet even get over her fear so fast? We’re constantly reminded of how traumatised she is, so how is she suddenly okay with not only being in a car, but also driving one? Without any fits or hesitation?

Moreover, what kind of ending was that? 

(Spoiler alert) 

I mean, for a book that is supposed to help suicidal people, I don’t think ending it with Finch killing himself is a hopeful note at all. In the end, I feel like this book is mostly about Violet and how she grieves, and not about helping Finch recover. Barely anybody even bothers to help Finch, anyway. He’s just left to fend for himself, to try and hold on, and by having him commit suicide … how do you think that looks? The ending depressed me more than anything, honestly.

(Spoiler end)

There are other issues as well, such as the abundance of cliches (“mean girl whose life is not as perfect as it seems”, “populars”, and more) and just … I didn’t find anything good about this book.

I could go on, really, but I think you get the idea. This book does not deal with mental illnesses as it should – in fact it seems to be a plot device – and I would not recommend it. 

Have you read All the Bright Places? Thoughts?

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | All the Light We Cannot See

“You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history. We act in our own self-interest. Of course we do. Name me a person or a nation who does not. The trick is figuring out where your interests are.”

5/5

This book is not your typical, straight-forward, cliché wartime love story. I think that’s what draws a lot of people to the plot – its unrelenting realism, its bitter truths, and its scientific and emotional approach. I am clearly no exception.

All the Light We Cannot See is about two children: Marie-Laure, a blind French girl forced to flee her home with her father, in search of sanctuary when bombs begin to fall in Nazi-invaded France, and Werner, a talented German orphan whose exceptional skill in mathematics and physics does not go unnoticed by the Hitler Youth.

Doerr’s writing style is heavily-dependent on elaborate description and thought-provoking imagery. He knows how to get the reader to visualise exactly what he wants them to, and in a story such as this, this style is crucial. The way in which Doerr describes characters and scenery brought about a lot of emotions from me – calmness, sadness, sympathy, and – of course – agony. We can’t have an author who doesn’t break our hearts, now can we?

Doerr takes us back and forth in time – presenting us with the scenes just before the meeting between Marie-Laure and Werner, and the events that lead up to this encounter – and that’s really what makes this book unique. As you read on, the gap between those two timelines becomes shorter, and you can’t help but feel a sense of dread, like…something is ending.

But you also find yourself unable to stop, because what happens next?? The two journeys we embark on: with Marie-Laure, and with Werner, could not be more addicting, and you’re just waiting for their paths to converge, all the while mourning the fact that this book is about to end.

The depth to Doerr’s characters is truly astounding; from Marie-Laure’s father to Madam Manec, from Werner’s sister, Jutta, to Frau Elena – you fall in love with every single one, and I was especially drawn in by the contrasts between Marie-Laure and Werner. You have a girl who is unable to see, but feels with such an intensity, and a boy, confined to orders and commands, but who still manages to delve into his own world and make something brilliant.

I could go on and on, but no review I could write – no matter how lengthy – would do this book justice, so in conclusion, I say that this is a book definitely worth immersing yourself in. Make yourself a cup of tea, curl up in bed, and enjoy!

Don’t forget the tissues, though. Anything but the tissues.

Have you read All the Light We Cannot See? What are your thoughts?

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | Always and Forever, Lara Jean

“I guess that’s part of growing up, too – saying good-bye to the things you used to love.”

4/5

You know when you’re eating a bar of chocolate, and tell yourself you’re going to savour it – but end up taking a bite way too big and it melts way too quickly in your mouth? That’s what it felt like reading this book. I wish it had lasted longer. 😭

Now that I have finished this trilogy, I can say that it’s a lot like watching a child grow up. You go through the phase where they do stupid things and learn the way the world works, and then they begin to slowly adjust, until finally they’re independent and can do everything on their own.

Wow, am I sappy.

Synopsis: Always and Forever, Lara Jean, is the concluding book to Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. Lara Jean’s life seems to have finally clicked into place – she’s on her way to graduation, there’s the prom with her boyfriend Peter to look forward to, along with class trips, and the fact that her father is getting married to their next-door neighbour, Mrs. Rothschild. But when Lara Jean receives news she hadn’t predicted … well, a lot of freaking out and change of plans is definitely in order.

Spoilers ahead!

Jenny Han has this talent for contemporary writing – she can get you laughing with a single sentence, and I feel like that is a great element to her books.

“Don’t you think he’s a little scrawny?” Peter presses.

I shush him.

He crosses his arms. “I don’t get why you guys get to talk during movies and I get shushed. It’s pretty bullshit.”

“It’s our house,” Kitty says.

“Your sister shushes me at my house too!”

-Peter realising that he cannot win an argument against a Song girl

“The photographer lets us take a look at our picture, and Peter insists on taking another one because he doesn’t like the way his hair looks.”

-Peter being as vain as ever, and yet we still love him

Speaking of Peter, I found myself falling in love with him even more, and I had no idea that was even possible? 

“Who will braid my hair when I’m at college?” I muse.

“I will,” Peter says, all confidence.

-The moment that all doubts about Peter’s love for Lara Jean are cleared; not that there are any

I run back to his car, I pull him toward me by his shirt, and angle my face against his – and then I push him away and run backward, laughing, my hair whipping around my face.

“Covey!” he yells.

“That’s what you get!” I call back gleefully.

-Lara Jean “Payback” Song Covey

Okay, okay – I realise that the bulk of this review is basically quotes, but hey, it says something when you can’t put your feelings into words.

The friendships and family relationships in this book – oh Lord, they’re the sweetest. I feel like I’ve said this countless times already, but the Song girls’ dad, oh my God. Give this guy a medal. A MEDAL.

He loves his daughters to death, is always there for them, offers to bake for them if they’re too busy, and is generally the lovable parent you want to see more of. Also, I think I cried when he talked about their mother – the man sounds so heartbroken, it breaks my heart!

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Kitty is the usual sassy little sister that we love, and I swear she’s the entire reason there’s even a plot.😂 Can we get a novella of just her and her dad? Pretty please with LJ’s perfect chocolate chip cookies to go with?

As for Margot, I liked how sceptical she is about the marriage in the beginning – it made perfect sense, considering she’d been away while the whole thing happened, and watching her gradually warm up to Trina in the end is delightful. I love those two.

I know I’ve been raving about this book during this entire review, but I am not exaggerating when I say that one of the best parts is when Lara Jean decides to pursue the future that she wants, and not the one that would be the most convenient for her and Peter to maintain their relationship. Watching her debate the idea in her mind, consider her options and doubt herself actually reminded me a lot of myself (uh, except for the part that I do not have a boyfriend). I’m still so confused on where exactly I want to go, and I’m glad Lara Jean didn’t get into UVA – because this is life, and anything can happen, and sometimes things take a turn for the unexpected and we have to come up with new options. And I’m proud that our girl makes her own decision in the end; you go, LJ! ❤

One more thing, you guys, and I’ll stop ranting, promise (*crosses fingers*) …

ALL.

THOSE.

HAMILTON REFERENCES!

“But if we could do anything … what would we do?”

“Anything?” Margot bites into her bacon. “We’d take the train to New York City and enter the Hamilton lottery, and we’d win.”

“You guys can’t go without me,” Kitty says.

“Be quiet, And Peggy,” I say, giggling.

-We discover that Kitty is And Peggy

“In truth, if Kitty is anyone, she’s a Jefferson. Wily, stylish, quick with a comeback.”

-Never mind, we’ve got a Jefferson on our hands

“Lara Jean, we live in the time of Hamilton! Phillipa Soo is half-Chinese, remember? If she can play Eliza Hamilton, you can churn butter.”

-Margot, a.k.a Big Sister of the Year

Needless to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised.

This trilogy will always have a special place in my heart, it seems – kind of like a childhood tree house to visit whenever times get tough. Cozy, filled with sweet memories, and a whole lot of fun.

Have you read this trilogy? Would you like to? Let me know in the comments!

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | P.S. I Still Love You

“I cry over important things.”

“You cried the other night because Daddy wouldn’t let you stay up to watch TV!”

“Yes, well, that was important to me.

[3.5/5]

Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky seem to have occupied a special place in my heart. Be it after a playful banter or an intense fight, they always  manage to find their way back to each other, and that says a lot about how much they care.

In Jenny Han’s P.S. I Still Love You, the second book in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, Lara Jean is still trying to deal with the fact that she’s genuinely fallen for Peter. Her confusion only grows when another boy returns into her life, drawn in by the letter she’d written to him years ago, and cue even more sweetness and romance.

Spoilers below!

I’m telling you, this series has the exact kind of fluff I signed up for. I understand how some people might not really like Lara Jean, considering her thought process seems to be quite childish at times, but her optimism and desire to help others is simply endearing – I can’t help but love her.

Peter is a sweetheart and you all can fight me on that. Or you can fight him – he seems pretty adamant on keeping Lara Jean happy. He’s absolutely furious about the hot tub video and goes to whatever lengths he can to get people to shut up about it. I mean, going up in front of the entire school to clarify the rumours? All with just Lara Jean in mind? No wonder I love this guy.

Also, I would like to present Margot Song Covey with the Best Sister Ever award, because: “‘Society is far too caught up in shaming a woman for enjoying sex and applauding a man. I mean, all of the comments are about how Lara Jean is a slut, but nobody’s saying anything about Peter, and he’s right there with her. It’s a ridiculous double standard.'”

Which leads to Lara Jean realising: “Boys will be boys, but girls are supposed to be careful: of our bodies, of our futures, of all the ways people judge us.” I mean, almost every teacher stops her in the hallway to tell her not to be like “those girls” – but does anyone say anything to Peter? Nope. This book calls that out perfectly.

The importance of family and the love that Daniel has for his daughters is, once again, simply delightful. I love that he goes out of his way to follow Korean traditions and, like I’d said in my review for the first book, to preserve their heritage.

“‘My one regret is that you girls didn’t keep up with Korean school.'”

RArHe

There were moments, however, in which Lara Jean kind of bugged me. She would say nonsensical things at times, speak without thinking, and blame Peter for being jealous when she’d write letters to John Ambrose McClaren (a.k.a Love Rival). I mean, wouldn’t anyone get jealous if they found out that their significant other was writing letters to another potential lover? And the whole thing had started with a love letter to begin with? C’mon, Lara Jean – you could have at least told Peter.

Speaking of Peter, I completely understood why he spends all this time with his ex-girlfriend, Genevieve. She’s going through a really tough time, she needs a friend she can trust. Okay, I get that – but why does that justify her taking out her anger on Lara Jean? Of humiliating her and embarrassing her so much? Why is Peter suddenly okay with that? It’s not like it’s Lara Jean’s fault for her family problems, so I really don’t know why Peter is so lenient with her. He should’ve expected Lara Jean to be jealous, too.

Also, John. I mean…I don’t know, I’m just not a fan of love triangles, really. Unless they’re properly written. And this one is…well, it’s not badly written, but I still found it a nuisance at times. Lara Jean and Peter literally go around in circles, and then John swoops in and suddenly Lara Jean likes him, too, which makes Peter jealous, but Lara Jean points out that he spends way too much time with Gen, and Peter says that he’s supporting her, and Gen continues being spiteful towards Lara Jean, which causes her to rant to John, and…you get what’s going on here? It’s a bit frustrating to read.

Also, I totally knew John was Stormy’s grandson. Don’t expect to be caught off-guard by any plot twists in this book.

Expect to laugh, though. Regardless of the love triangle mess, Lara Jean’s family is hilarious to read about, and the effort her father puts into ensuring their happiness is incredibly sweet. The friendship between her and Lucas, her and Chris, her and Peter’s other lacrosse friends, is definitely worth it, too. I still prefer the first book to this one, but P.S. I Still Love You must be a cheesecake because damn, this book can be really sweet at times.

What do you think of this book? Let’s discuss it!

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

“I don’t think relationships are just about physicality. There are ways to show you care about someone, not just using your lips.”

4/5

If you ever need a break from the constant action/suspense/tension in thriller books, or just need something simple to follow along with rather than the elaborate world of fantasy stories, Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is your solution.

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In this novel, we follow sixteen-year-old Lara Jean, who is probably in love with love. She’s had numerous crushes, but never dares to confess – instead, she writes them love letters and hides them away in her hatbox. She writes to her heart’s content, withholding not a trickle of her feelings; everything she would never say out loud. However, when Lara Jean discovers that those letters have actually been mailed, her life turns into a whirlwind of mortification, embarrassment, and, most important of all, unexpected  romance.

Spoilers ahead!

Lara Jean is possibly one of the most lovable characters I’ve ever read about. She’s real, she’s optimistic, she’s quirky, and she loves her family more than anything. Usually, when reading a romance novel, things such as family and friends are cast aside for the sake of the love interest – I was ecstatic to find out that that is not the case here. The father-daughter relationship, sister-sister bonding, and strong friendships are a fundamental part of this book. Lara Jean looks up to Margot, cares deeply for Kitty, and loves her father to death. She misses her mother and constantly thinks about her, but not in a way that seems to beg for pity from the reader. Thank God. Also, Chris is seriously badass – even if I do question her priorities at times. Seriously, how could you hate Chris? OR LUCAS? I really love Lucas. ❤

The Korean representation is excellent in this book. You have snippets here and there about Korean food, clothing and lifestyle, and there’s no overload of information just to tell you: “LOOK! WE HAVE AN ASIAN MC, SO YOU CAN’T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE LACK OF DIVERSITY!” *claps* I also really appreciate how the Song Girls’ father keeps trying to preserve their Korean heritage by cooking their food and practising their traditions. You rock, Daniel. Here, have this Dad of the Year medal; you deserve it.

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The romance in this book is bubbly, funny, witty, and definitely not annoying to read. I love Peter Kavinsky to death, y’all. Everyone in the book keeps on clubbing him with the “douche-y guys” who only want to “use” girls, but really, Peter smashes through that stereotype. I love how realistic he is: yeah, sure, he’s vain and likes to talk about himself a lot, but that doesn’t change the fact that he really loves Lara Jean. He can be extremely considerate and caring when the situation calls for it, and having those parts of him slowly revealed to us is a joy to read.

There are also very important issues addressed here: rumours and sex, especially in high school. As Chris says, “It’s not fair for the girl. Guys have it easy. I’m sure they were all congratulating him, pounding him on the back for being such a stud.”

You’d think this book is just about the ups and downs of romance, but it’s not. It’s so much more.

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit.”

“Just because a girl is sad, it doesn’t mean it has anything to do with PMS.”

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

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I’d recommend this book in a heartbeat – a light and adorable read for everyone.

Have you read All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Would you like to? Let’s discuss it!

Stay creative,

Angel