All posts tagged: February

Steam Fest

In true Drew and Alexa form, I’ll get right to it… this one kinda fell flat for me. I think that’s an unpopular opinion, so if you disagree with me you’re probably in the majority. I had high hopes because I know a lot of others really liked The Wedding Date. But maybe my hopes were too high? Romance or love stories aren’t usually my first pick, but Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren and One Day in December by Josie Silver are two I really liked. And I’d heard Guillory’s debut would be similar. But before reading it I read a review that basically hit the nail on the head: “The book is also unexpectedly raunchy, since Alexa and Drew’s connection starts as a purely physical one and they only later develop deeper feelings. The characters never find a situation that doesn’t turn them on at least a little bit” (Kirkus Review) I’m fine with some steam and a good love story, but for me things were a bit unbalanced. I liked the …

March Book

  Awards season is always one of our favorites, but the Emmy’s, Golden Globes, SAG awards, BAFTAs, and the Oscars have all come to a close. However in March we celebrate some of the nominees and winners by reading a book that was turned into one of last year’s acclaimed films. This year we’re reading James Baldwin’s classic If Beale Street Could Talk. Published in 1974, it’s the story of young love, family, injustice, and hope. Tish has fallen in love with Fonny, the father of her child, who’s falsely imprisoned and seeking the justice he deserves. Facing their uncertain futures, the lives of these two characters twist tragedy and joy in ways that make their stories unforgettable. Baldwin is a legendary American author whose writing is a beautiful as it is poignant (and if you haven’t read The Fire Next Time by Baldwin do so ASAP).   “A moving, painful story, so vividly human and so obviously based on reality that it strikes us as timeless”  –Joyce Carol Oates “If Van Gogh was our nineteenth …

February Book

It’s a new year full of new books! Since finishing our December & January book—Women, Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis—February marks Bookly’s official start to 2019. In fact, we’re currently finalizing our list of books for this year, and we’re so excited about all of them!! But anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. February is the month of pre-fixed candlelit dinners, hallmark cards, chocolate, fuzzy hearts stitched to teddy bears, and romance. So, since we’re a book club that reads what’s fitting for the month we’re reading in, this month we read romance. This year’s love story is a debut novel published just last year. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. A graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law, Guillory sets this story in her hometown; the Bay Area. Her writing has made her a new favorite go-to romance author of many. And since The Wedding Date she’s published a sequel, and the third in the series comes out in July. So if we love this one we’ll have two more to add to our TBR (to-be-read) lists!   …

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 …

The Year in Review

Another year on the books! This month marks two years since we first started The Bookly Club. Thank you to all of you who have joined us here. This year we enjoyed reading a diverse group of books, which we mostly liked. Here’s our year (2016) in review: March: Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church In 2001 a group of reporters for The Boston Globe started a series of reports on the Catholic Church’s management of sexual abuse. This group of journalists methodically and publicly uncovered the church’s decades-long neglect, denial and deliberate coverup of sexual abuse committed by numerous Boston area priests. Our thoughts … “The crimes committed by the abusers are only equalled (if not surpassed) by the Church’s complete and abject failure to protect its children from repeated, horrific, sexual abuse. As grotesque as its subject matter may be, this book is important to read.” April: One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories Novak’s book is a series of fictional short stories born from his creative imagination. Just a few of the short stories include: a boy …

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 …

Our First Year of Bookly!

Hooray! We’ve officially completed one year of Bookly. If you’ve been following along since the beginning (thank you!) you might remember we read our very first book last March. The book was Still Alice. And we’ve read a lot of other great ones over this past year (the short and smart We Should All be Feminists, a good tug at the heart strings from Tell The Wolves I’m Home, and the bizarre but fascinating The Handmaid’s Tale, to name a few). This year we’ve also shared some great cover redesigns, newsworthy bulletins, and helpful recommendations! And we hope you’ve enjoyed it all, and maybe learned a little something new. We’ve definitely enjoyed sharing these past 12 months (and 9 books) with you all! With February coming to a close, that means we’re starting a whole new year of Bookly picks and posts. And if you’re new here we hope you’ll join the Bookly club! Here’s a little refresher on how our book club works, AND a few hints at what we’ll be reading this year 🙂 The Bookly Club was started as an …

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 …