Posts By: Dani

Dani

By day, I am your average cubicle drone, but in my heart, I am and always have been an adventurer. When I’m not working or reading, I take to the road drinking in all the beauty that is the West Coast (ahem, best coast). I stockpile books like I am preparing to be a one-woman library after the apocalypse.

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Book Review – A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

February 17, 2015 Dani Dani's Reviews 1 Comment

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony MarraA Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Published by Hogarth on May 7th 2013
Pages: 416
Genres: Historical Fiction, Russian
Format: Paperback
Source: Blogging for Books
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four-stars

New York Times Notable Book of the Year * Washington PostTop Ten Book of the Year

In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night and then set fire to her home. When their lifelong neighbor Akhmed finds Havaa hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.

For Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise. Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content from the author.

“Each night he told her a new chapter, and so many nights had gone by, so many chapters had been told, that they referred to it as chapters rather than a story, because stories had endings and theirs had none.”

Before reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, I knew very little about Chechnya. Hell, I probably couldn’t even point to it on a map (if you’re curious, it’s here). I will admit, I was intimidated to read a book with a subject and a people so far removed from my wheelhouse. Fear not! There are snip-its of history woven in that provide enough detail to not feel like a noob, but not so much that it is like reading a text book.

I found strong similarities in theme and message to other books that deal with wars on ethnicity or identity (like Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Night by Elie Wiesel, and The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper). More than that, I discovered a profound connection to the characters simply as a human being who has experienced uncertainty and sorrow, joy and love.

“In the shoebox the identity cards were layered eight deep. She held a card to the light and set it back down. ‘He’s one of these,’ she said.”

Despite its moments of violence and terror, the core of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is about normal people trying to survive while their world disintegrates. It’s about a woman who can’t stop thinking about the last thing she said to her sister who has gone missing in the chaos of war. It’s about a father who obsesses over the mistakes he made with his son, and will do anything to make them right. And it’s about a man, who risks his freedom and his life, to save a little orphan girl.

“He had always tried to treat Havaa as a child and she always went along with it, as though childhood and innocence were fantastical creatures that had died long ago, resurrected only in games of make believe.”

Some of my favorite moments in this all-too-heavy book are the brief glimpses of humor and happiness – a little girl trying to teach a one-armed man to juggle, a man sharing his only food with stray dogs that roam his neighborhood, and discussions about how turtles evolved.

While A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is artfully crafted, I’m not certain I would recommend it to anyone. It is gut wrenching, heart breaking and emotionally exhausting. Should you choose to read this book, be sure you have something fluffy lined up for afterwards.

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Book Review – Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins

February 12, 2015 Dani Dani's Reviews 1 Comment

Book Review – Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie PerkinsIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Published by Dutton Juvenile on August 14th 2014
Pages: 352
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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five-stars

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Anna and the French Kiss series

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins{Review}
Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins {Review}

“Anticipation – of something – hovers in the air.”

First Anna, then Lola, now say hello to Isla. We briefly meet Isla in the first book as a fellow kind soul to Anna in a time of need. Since I was late to the series (and had the spoiler of book three’s title), I paid careful attention for mentions of Isla. Thankfully, Stephanie Perkins gave Isla her very own book and it was spectacular. The above quote completely sums up my feelings of this book. It was already pretty evident from my other reviews that I was probably going to be a total fangirl about book 3. And yeah, I totally am. I was so excited and it never faded during the length of the story.

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“Something is happening between us. Is it friendship? It doesn’t feel like friendship, but it’s possible I’m projecting my own desires. And I’m ashamed for even thinking about him like this after what happened last week. Because I’m not thinking. I’m hoping. People aren’t supposed to be able to change, but…I’ve never bought that.” 

Isla and Josh (who also makes an appearance in book one) meet in New York City one night after Isla’s just had her wisdom teeth removed. Little does Josh know that Isla has been crushing, HARD, on him for years at their boarding school in Paris. It is total “meet cute” with Isla hopped up on pain killers, a walk home in a rainstorm, and then nothing for weeks. The pair meet again when school starts back up and they begin a torturous friendship – even though to everyone else it’s clear they are madly in love.

“I want to weep with joy. He like me, but he thought he couldn’t like me. It’s difficult to wrap my mind around this idea. I suspected his attraction, but the full truth of the situation is unbelievable. How is it possible that my crush – my three-year-long crush – has a crush on me? This doesn’t happen in real life.”  

Isla is certainly the most real and honest of the three books in this series. I found myself holding my breath, laughing and crying with Isla. It was borderline reliving awful, angsty teenage years pining for the boy in calculus – hypothetically, of course.

“I stare at my hands. I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself? I thought honesty made people strong.” 

It would be very easy to chalk this book up as two little rich kids who fall in and out of love. But like Perkins’ other works, and even more so in this one, it captures so delicately and wonderfully the unsteady waters of a young woman’s heart and mind. Isla finds herself heartbroken and “drowning in a river of [her] own making.” The isolation to which Isla sentences herself is wholly authentic. Again, I found myself with another character in Perkins’ work that I could not only sympathize with, but empathize with. Isla is a best friend, a sister, me. Isla and the Happily Ever After is beautiful, captivating, and the most perfect ending to a fantastic series.

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In Memoriam: Colleen McCullough

February 4, 2015 Dani Uncategorized 4 Comments

Last week, we lost an author who was tremendously important to my personal reading history. As long as I can remember, Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds has been a staple on the bookshelves of my homes. First, as a book beloved by my mom – carefully packed, transported and reshelved along our many, many moves. My mom later shared this book with me as a young woman giving it her most honored (in my eyes alone) stamp of approval as “one of her favorites.” Most people who know us both, know that we share an awful lot; we have the same voice and mannerisms, we have similar tastes from food to movies, and we have a very deep love of reading. It was these small acts of sharing books like The Thorn Birds by which my mom slowly changed the course of my life. My love of literature grew deeper and stronger, and ultimately, more important than other pursuits.

 

 

Slowly, this book migrated from the communal shelves of our family to my own growing library. When I moved out, this was one of a very few books my mom officially passed to me. It still holds a proud place in my collection. I don’t read The Thorn Birds as often as I used to, but it’s one that I simply hold onto often – when I feel homesick, when I feel lonely, when I miss my mom. As I open the front cover, I see my mother’s (maiden) name written atop the first page. And as I read the epigraph, I can’t help but think of all the times my mom’s eyes have looked over the same passage.

“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest I searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain…Or so says the legend.”

Thank you Colleen McCullough for living, for writing, and for imparting your beautiful book to my mom and to me. You are greatly missed.

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Early Review – Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

January 31, 2015 Dani Dani's Reviews 2 Comments

I received this book free from First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Funny Girl by Nick HornbyFunny Girl by Nick Hornby
Published by Riverhead on February 3rd 2015
Pages: 464
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: First to Read Program
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From the bestselling author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down comes a highly anticipated new novel.

Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingénue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby's latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.

Barbara, a newly crowned beauty queen, leaves her hometown of Blackpool for London, where she hopes to become the next Lucille Ball. She rebrands herself as Sophie Straw – only to be cast as “Barbara from Blackpool” on a new BBC sitcom. Her new show is met with wide appeal for being the first comedy to shed light on more realistic wedded bliss.

“She didn’t want to be a queen at all. She just wanted to go on television and make people laugh.”

Readers of classic Nick Hornby novels, like High Fidelity and About a Boy, will likely have high expectations when approaching this book, as I did. Funny Girl has several very hard acts to follow and with the precedent of such charming, complex characters, this novel simply did not measure up. Barbara/Sophie has the same funny yet flawed characterization common among Hornby’s creations, but instead of coming off as relatable or interesting, she’s more brash and seems to desperately seek attention – like the annoying girl you try to avoid at a party.

Funny Girl has in no way deterred me from (eagerly) getting my hands on Hornby’s next book. I am still hopeful to find a glimmer of those all-too-human characters I fell in love with a decade ago that propelled Hornby on my list of favorite authors.

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Showcase Sunday (104) – SO MANY BOOKS (The Dani edition)

December 28, 2014 Dani Sunday Book Haul 2 Comments

Purchased

As Bonnie mentioned last week, we may have gone a little overboard at our recent bag sale. It was my intention to give all of these away (as gifts), but a few made their way home with me (marked with an asterisk).

Left Stack
Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) by L.M. Montgomery
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle
Needful Things by Stephen King
*The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1) by Anne Rice
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Ya Yas #1) by Rebecca Wells
*Witch & Wizard (Witch & Wizard #1) by James Patterson
*The Cider House Rules by John Irving
Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama
The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by Wm. Paul Young
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years #1) by Gregory Maguire
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Middle Stack
*Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic #1) by Sophie Kinsella
*A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones #1) by Helen Fielding
The Edge of Reason (Bridget Jones #2) by Helen Fielding
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
*The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen
Anne Tyler: A New Collection: (The Accidental Tourist — Breathing Lessons — Searching for Caleb) by Anne Tyler
The Lake House (When the Wind Blows #2) by James Patterson
*The Gift by Danielle Steel
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig
*The Search by Nora Roberts
*First Among Sequels (Thursday Next #5) by Jasper Fforde

Right Stack
Deception Point by Dan Brown
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
*Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson
*The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
*Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Timeline by Michael Crichton

Library Checkouts
Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows (Locke & Key #3)
 by Joe Hill
The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson

Other Purchases
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien by J.R.R. Tolkien

And THE book – the one I have been searching everywhere for four years – is finally mine!
Under a Velvet Cloak (Incarnations of Immortality #8) by Piers Anthony

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Book Review – Elevated by Elana Johnson

November 22, 2014 Dani Dani's Reviews 0 Comments

Book Review – Elevated by Elana JohnsonElevated by Elana Johnson
Published by AEJ Creative Works on February 14th 2014
Pages: 290
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Verse
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads


one-star

The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.

“I’d told Travis ‘always and forever’ once, And look at us now. Caged in this elevator, Secrets thick as cement, Silence suffocating us both.”

I absolutely loved the concept, and have seen some non-YA versions of the novel-in-verse that blew my mind with how beautiful they were – check out Late Wife by Claudia Emerson. Elana Johnson’s use of language and structure were interesting at times and always highly accessible. My biggest issue with this book was the main character, Eleanor. Thus begins my mini-rant.

Can we stop with the young women who are completely crippled after a break-up? Like to the point they now need medical attention? I remember being young and dumb and wholly devastated, but developing a fear of riding the elevator simply because you used to ride that same elevator with your ex – that’s not ok. Let’s give our younger selves and our sistahs a little more credit than that. I am tired with the frequency with which I see hollow shells of girls and women – even in books that I unapologetically love, like Twilight. We can be strong and resilient, and damn it, awesome without men. Dust yourself off and ride the hell out of that elevator (or just use the stairs, seriously).

Eleanor faces some very real issues (that I won’t spoil in case you decide I’m batty and you still want to read). I found them mostly convenient and used for dramatic effect to the point it was ridiculous, rather than called for by the narrative or well established through the frequent flashbacks/forwards. Books like these legitimize the popular notion that YA is pithy and somehow removed from being qualified as “literature” – and that makes me upset for the genre. If you’re looking for a novel in verse, I would highly recommend some Ellen Hopkins, or Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Want something about how miserable and complicated love can be? Check out Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, or High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.

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Book Review – Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg

November 21, 2014 Dani Dani's Reviews 1 Comment

Book Review – Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory OrtbergTexts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on November 4th 2014
Pages: 240
Genres: Books-About-Books, Classics, Funny-ha-ha
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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Also by this author: Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters

four-stars

Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield.

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car. Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.

PLATO: okay Glaucon so
i want you to picture a cave full of prisoners
who have been in the cave their whole lives
and they’re all shackled up in a line facing the back wall

GLAUCON: my god
what a nightmare
those poor people

ok no

Texts from Jane Eyre is a compilation of Mallory Ortberg’s regular contribution to The-Toast.net. Ortberg reimagines famous literary characters’ conversations via text, from classic figures like Medea and Don Quixote, to more contemporary ones like Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen. Ortberg’s writing is witty and smart, yet remarkably still holds true to the original works the texts reference.

 

KING LEAR: okay who wants a kingdom

GONERIL: me
me I do

how much do you love me

oh my god
how much DON’T I love you is a better question
i love you like i love eyes
or outer space
or standing up
or even this question
ahhhh that’s so much haha

After Emily Dickinson, some of my favorites in this collection were King Lear and Hamlet. As a Shakespeare buff, these made me bust up laughing. Ortberg strips the story down to the nitty-gritty in a way that is like nothing I have ever read – think No Fear Shakespeare but ruthlessly bitchy. She is the snarky classmate I never had, blatantly calling Hamlet a little shit, and Plato and William Blake psychopathic monsters (which they totally are).

 

LORD BYRON: uuuuuuuughhh
nothing’s any good

what’s the matter

EVERYTHING
do you realize i’m never going to be able to have sex with the rain

i didn’t know you wanted to have sex with the rain

of course i want to have sex with the rain
how can you even say that
i feel like you don’t even know me

Beware! I suspect this book is only hilarious if you have a working knowledge of the classic and modern tales Ortberg pulls from. While I knew the bulk of the stories, the last time I read a few was more than a decade ago; some of the more recent books I have never read, like Sweet Valley High or The Babysitter’s Club. I didn’t read or reread anything, because yikes, but I did hit the highlights on the internet for more LOLs – and it was totally worth it.

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Showcase Sunday (99)

November 16, 2014 Dani Sunday Book Haul 0 Comments

Purchased

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler {Purchase}
Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton {Purchase}

(On Kindle)
Brilliance (Brilliance Saga #1) by Marcus Sakey {Purchase}
A Better World (Brilliance Saga #2) by Marcus Sakey {Purchase}
My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins {Purchase}
The Moldy Dead (The Legend of ZERO 0.5) by Sara King {Purchase}

Library Checkouts

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Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan {Purchase}
Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins {Purchase}

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Book Review – Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins

November 15, 2014 Dani Dani's Reviews 0 Comments

Book Review – Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie PerkinsLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Published by Dutton Juvenile on September 29th 2011
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Funny-ha-ha
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket - a gifted inventor - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Anna and the French Kiss series

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins {PurchaseReview}

The one. It stops my heart. I thought Max was the one, but… there’s that other one. The first one.”

Dolores Nolan, aka “Lola”, is in quite a pickle. She is madly in love with Max, an older guy in a band. Max never wants to hang around Lola’s friends and only tolerates Sunday brunch with her dads Andy and Nathan. Simply, Max is a bad guy, but Lola is too blinded to realize he has little regard for her feelings. Enter Cricket – the first love who got away – and Lola’s new next-door neighbor. Lola’s feelings come rushing back, causing her to question every interaction when her heart already knows the answer.

In this book, Perkins tackles much more adult and complex issues than in her previous work, especially around the idea of family. Lola’s family dynamic strays from the “normal” nuclear family. Her dads adopt Lola from her teenage/junkie/homeless parents at birth. Lola’s mother happens to be one of her dad’s sisters, and she only appears in need of rescue.

“We take each other in. My mind spins as it tries to connect the Cricket of the present with the Cricket of the past. He’s grown up and grown into his body, but it’s still him. The same boy I fell in love with in the ninth grade. My feelings had been building since our childhood, but that year, the year he turned sixteen, was the year everything changed.” 

Perkins has a gift for making her characters fall in love at the right pace. Lola has to work on her relationships and struggles with decisions about to whom her heart really belongs. Oh, Lola. I know this girl. I have been this girl. While there is no instant gratification in her works, the extra strain tugs on heart strings, makes her characters seem more human, and the payoff is so worth it. I read a lot of girly love stories, but I connected with this book more than I have with any other because of its realism. Or rather realism AND a happy ending.

My least favorite part of Lola and the Boy Next Door is that it was marketed as “Anna and the French Kiss #2” – which is certainly is not. While my beloved Anna and Étienne do make appearances as supporting characters, I was expecting more of their wonderful love story with her at film school, him at Berkeley. This is a completely trivial complaint, but the only one I have for this book. Instead of my usual list of recommendations, I am going to stick to one that I haven’t even read yet. If you liked Anna and Lola, you must read Isla and the Happily Ever After.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Characters That Deserve Their Own Book

November 11, 2014 Dani Top Ten Tuesday 5 Comments

The Fellows

Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss is great, but Peeta is by far my favorite part of this series. He is selfless and still every bit as much of a hero as Katniss. Peeta’s hope never waivers. He makes Panem seem bearable.

Ron Weasley from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Sigh, Ron. He’s the comic relief when the story is dark, the best friend no matter what, and the awkward boy just trying to grow up…in the midst of a magical war, the Samwise to Harry’s Frodo. Simply, Ron is the best.

Jakob Black from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
What’s up Stephenie? Bella and Edward each got their own stories, and Jakob is way better than both of them combined. Hook a girl up already!

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This version of the Bennets and Pemberley would be so snarky and moody and AWESOME. Have please.

John H. Watson from The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
It’s commonly known that I’m not a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. (Go Team Hercule!) Yes, he’s already the narrator of the bulk of the stories, but it’s all about Sherlock. More Watson, less Holmes.

The Ladies

Jadis the White Witch from The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
We only get a teaser of Jadis’s past, but I want to know it all. What’s the deal with wanting to stop summer forever? How did she become so evil? Every witch deserves her Wicked moment.

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Ok, so maybe I just have a Harry Potter issue.

Lady Macbeth from Macbeth by William Shakespeare
What on earth happened to Lady Macbeth to make her so power-hungry, crazy and murderous? I would love to know what she was like before her husband came into play.

Tinker Bell from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Tink makes me wonder what life would be like as a fairy on an island of Lost Boys. I would guess pretty messy and smelly. Where is she from? What was her family like? Do fairies even have families? Maybe she would even get an alternate retelling in which she gets Peter, and Wendy just goes back from whence she came.

Aech from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
She kicks ass. I wonder what Aech’s experience in the OASIS and on Halliday’s quest was like. I want to be Aech’s BFF.

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