All posts filed under: February

Twisty Romance

It Ends With Us caught my eye when it won the 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for best in romance. I’ve never read a book you’d categorize as a “romance novel” (unless you count Twilight), but I figured the best of 2016 was a good place to start. And it was an interesting experience. If you know anything about this book, you know it’s not your typical romance novel. But it’s pretty close to exactly what I’d expected (mostly because I’d done a lot of research when voting for our Bookly picks). The relationships were hot and heavy, with lots of steamy romance, a fairly predictable female protagonist with just enough baggage to make her interesting, some lack-luster writing, and some terribly romance novel-y names for the romantic interests (Ryle and Atlas). However, the unusual twist made it much more than just a predictable romance novel. Lily’s story made this a likeable read. SPOILERS I knew before reading it that Ryle was not who he seemed. But I wish I hadn’t! I think it would have …

February Book

Hello February, love is in the air! Or not. But either way, there’s some love in our next book. This month we’re reading Colleen Hoover‘s romance novel It Ends With Us. Until now Hoover hasn’t really been on our radar. But this seemed like a great February pick considering it won Best Romance in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. Not to mention the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon are crazy good. But if you’re still not sold, here’s some more info… Hoover is an interesting story herself. She started writing in 2012 when she self-published her debut novel Slammed. From there everything  fell into place with all of her full-length novels since ending up on the NYT Bestseller List. It Ends With Us came out in 2016 and it’s been one of her most successful novels yet. Although Hoover describes it as, “the hardest book I’ve ever written.” And we can see why. This book tells the story of Lily Bloom, Ryle Kincaid and Atlas Corrigan; the owner of a flower shop, a neurosurgeon (Lily’s new love) and a …

My Pride and Prejudice

I’m surprised I’d never read Pride and Prejudice until now. Not even in school. But I never really had the urge to until I saw the 2005 movie. Ever since it’s been high on my to-be-read list. But sometimes classics don’t always live up to those long-standing expectations. I thought I’d be disappointed after waiting so long to read such a classic. I wasn’t. I expected to enjoy it, but given the language, the time period and already-seen-the-movie plot line I thought it’d be more of a labor to get through. It wasn’t. Even though I knew exactly how the story played out (the 2005 film was very true to the book) I found myself looking forward to picking it back up at the end of the day. I’d been charmed by each and every character and their quick wits. I eagerly stepped into the world. Maybe part of it was that I’m in a place where a story about the potential good in this world is welcome and needed. I also found it to be surprisingly feminist for its …

Eligible: An Updated Pride & Prejudice

As an all-around Jane Austen fan, I have read Pride & Prejudice more times than I can count. So as much as I would happily read it again, I thought this would be a good opportunity to expand my horizons, though admittedly not very far, and read Eligible. If you’re not familiar with the Austen Project, it is a Jane Austen update – pairing  six bestselling contemporary authors with one of Austen’s complete works to retell/rewrite/reboot it for the modern age. Curtis Sittenfeld, who also happens to be one of my favorite authors (Prep and American Wife are particular favorites though you really can’t go wrong!), was tasked with retooling Pride & Prejudice. I DEVOURED this book (confession: I read the book in less than three days at the end of January and wrote this immediately afterward, so hello from the past!). It was, in my opinion, the perfect reimagining of Pride & Prejudice. It stayed true to the plot and the characters, but with appropriate updates for 2017. She perfectly married the language of P&P with contemporary language, creating a sort …

February Book

Image by Katherine C. The only thing getting us through this month is the promise of chocolate (whether bought by someone else, or yourself. No shame). The weather’s not great. Awful, actually. We’re months away from spring. And we’ve just said a long goodbye to the Obama’s. So, let’s embrace February as a month of romance. Whether Valentine’s Day is your favorite or least favorite holiday we can all agree there’s no better upper than a good love story. So we’re taking you back to a classic romance to end all romances (well, no, that wouldn’t be good… but you get what we mean).   Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, is a world-renown classic. First published in 1813, and set in the early 19th century, it tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet (and her family) and her struggles with English manners and upbringing styles of her time. We’re probably telling you what you already know, but for those of you who haven’t read this one, we’ll go on with our basic summary. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s five unmarried …

Mending a Broken Heart

This book broke my heart over and over again. My heart broke for Eleanor, for Park, for Eleanor and Park. I was completely shattered. I was preparing myself to be totally destroyed by the ending, and then… and then came the last line of the book and I was lifted. I know Rowell was purposely vague and I am sure there are those who did not read the ending as positively as I did. But I am the eternal optimist, I’m hopeful, and I’m always searching for happy endings. So I am choosing to believe that those three words on the postcard were “I love you,” because if they weren’t, I would just simply be crushed. I know other Bookly Clubbers disagree, but I adored this book. I felt so strongly for, related to, and identified with both Eleanor and Park on so many levels that I couldn’t help but love the story. I remember being a teenager, and even a young adult to a certain extent, and wondering how it was that so-and-so felt the way they did. I also remember, like Park, feeling simultaneously protective of …

All the Feels

Confession: I read this book months ago. While details of the story might be fuzzy, how I felt about it isn’t. I devoured this book, so consumed by the relationship of Eleanor and Park that I stayed up into the wee hours, finishing it in a couple of days. I recommended it to anyone who hadn’t already been charmed by the quirky characters and the innocence of first love. This is why I love books; how it resonates – or doesn’t – with the reader varies from person to person. It’s dependent on their life experiences, who they are, what they believe, what makes them feel. For Katie C., this book didn’t resonate, a totally legitimate reaction. But for me, it took hold within the first few pages. I was what some might call a late bloomer. I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 16, my first boyfriend until 17. This kind of young love that bonded Eleanor and Park is something I’m unfamiliar with. And that might be the reason it fascinated …

Just not that into… this book

This was the first Rainbow Rowell book I’ve read. But I’ve been hearing a lot about her recently. Similar to John Green, I feel like her books have found sudden popularity in the YA world. So with all the hype, especially surrounding Eleanor & Park, I was definitely excited to read this one. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of YA books. Well, let me explain. A book like this is not typically my first choice, but when I have read YA books I’ve really enjoyed them. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve read all the Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent series, and loved each and every one of them. Anyway, I didn’t have SUPER high expectations for Eleanor & Park, but I did expect to enjoy it… unfortunately, I was wrong. Maybe it’s because I didn’t fall in love until I was in my 20’s, or maybe because I never had a high school relationship, or because by the time I was 18 I’d moved six times and never quite experienced a typical adolescence, but I couldn’t …

February Book

Image © Haiku Deck We’ve come full circle! This is our last book of 2015/2016 before we start anew in March. If you’ve been with us since the beginning you’ll recall that we first launched Bookly in March 2015 with Still Alice as part of our Screenplay theme in honor of Hollywood’s awards season. For February, the month of Valentine’s Day, we’ll be reading a love story… … Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Although many are now familiar with Rowell’s name, and her books (Fangirl, Attachments and Landline), this was her first young adult novel. Published in 2013, Eleanor & Park follows these two protagonists from Omaha, Nebraska as they fall in love in the late 1980’s. At the young, innocent age of sixteen Eleanor and Park build a connection over mix tapes and comic books, and find themselves in the dramatic world of young love. And since this book has such a strong emphasis on music we’ve brought back our Bookly playlist this month. So during your reading sessions, take a listen to the Bookly {February} “mix tape” on Spotify: …