On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn

Does anyone else drag things out when they’re really enjoying something and then you’re getting close to the end and you don’t want it to me over? Like when you’ve binged 8 seasons of a show and then take forever to start the 9th because you’ve just spent the last month of your life obsessed with the characters and you’re not ready to say goodbye. Just me?

I really don’t have a good reason for why it took me so long to finish the last Bridgerton book. It was actually really enjoyable and I liked the story. Maybe it was getting a puppy and not having time to actually sit down and read at first, or maybe it was that I wasn’t ready to be finished with the Bridgertons. I am a little sad to say that I’m finally done.

Gregory’s story wasn’t anything special, but it was certainly enjoyable. From the beginning you know the hero and the heroine, so you know that they’ll eventually end up together. It was kind of a cute story, but I wish there was a little more drama and suspense for who Gregory would end up with.

I appreciate that Kate was so involved in this one. If you’re a fan of the show and haven’t read the books, they’re starting to show previews with Kate and she’s easily one of my favorite characters throughout the series.

It’ll be interesting to see if the show gets renewed for 8 seasons of Bridgerton weddings. I feel like it could if they can keep up the drama like they did in the first season. I hope it does. I definitely want to see Hyacinth’s story and would like to see Gregory’s as well. Would they cast different actors? It would be weird for these children to have the sexual scenes in the future seasons after watching them grow up.

I’m going to do a separate post for the Second Epilogues. I think they are published together in a Bridgerton Happily Ever After book, but I’m 99% sure that they’re the same thing, so I’m not going to spend money on it again. Not sure what I’ll read after that. Outlander maybe??

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

Like almost every other book I read, I watched this movie first. I thought that the movie was good, the actors played their roles really well, and the story was interesting. However, I felt that there was probably way more to this story than what they were portraying. Boy, was I right.

My aunt and I were talking about the movie and how we both wanted to read the book. She actually surprised me by sending a copy to me in the mail (special shout-out to Aunt Angie!).

***MAJOR MOVIE AND BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD***

I was surprised when I started reading that the book wasn’t set up like the movie. It didn’t start in the present with a major conflict that the main character was dealing with, it just started from the beginning of J.D.’s life.

It threw me off at first, but I liked it way better. Starting from the beginning really allowed us to see everything through J.D.’s eyes. We got all the background on his family in Kentucky, his Mamaw and Papaw’s move to Ohio and everything that led up to his childhood. It really helped to set the scene and give the reader the sense of hope for a better future by getting out of Kentucky.

If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, you know that his grandparents getting out of Kentucky wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. They never lost their “hillbilly” side and had very strong and aggressive personalities. It made his mothers life very difficult, which in turn made J.D.’s life difficult.

This sort of rut that they were stuck in is something that I think needs to be talked about more. I don’t think people realize it, but when you grow up in circumstances where you’re told this is all you’ll ever amount to and this is what you should expect from life, it’s really hard to get out of that. J.D.’s mom was smart and did well in school, but as he mentions ended up pregnant and divorced before she was even out of her teens. She was just a product of her environment and once she was caught up in it, she didn’t find her way out.

J.D. was on that path as well because he was also stuck in that environment. It wasn’t until he took control of his life and moved in permanently with his Mamaw that his life started to change for the better. Through a series of choices that he made, without any real goals, he became the exception to the rule. He made it to Yale. He made it out of poverty. He was able to improve his life and recognize that he wasn’t the norm for people who grew up the same way.

He also recognized that he didn’t do this on his own. He needed help and he needed people to help him figure out how to get that help. It was actually shocking to me as well when he realized that he could spend less going to Yale than he did going to a local college. It makes sense when you think about it, because there’s plenty of financial aid for people who need it when they go to college, and of course ivy-league schools have lots of money to give. It made really wonder how many people haven’t even tried because they didn’t think they could afford it. How many people were told that they couldn’t accomplish going to a better school because they would end up with too much debt?

Since I watched the movie first, I was shocked to find out that the entire conflict in the movie wasn’t even mentioned in the book. J.D. wasn’t interrupted during his dinner to find out his mother had overdosed and had to drive all night to make it to the hospital. He didn’t take her to a rehab where he had to pay with multiple credit cards. He didn’t catch her trying to use at a dirty motel.

There were mentions of similar situations, but nothing so dramatic as what they portrayed in the movie. It actually made the movie feel cheap and like a disservice to J.D. real, true story. They used his family’s problems to create a dramatic situation that took away from his accomplishment. They made it about Amy Adams, when it should’ve just been about how he got away from her.

It’s not often that I’m disappointed in movie adaptations, but this one is pretty bad in my opinion.

Everything he wrote about was real and interesting. It’s eye-opening and inspiring to see how someone from a totally different background can accomplish more than they ever thought was possible. It really does show that opportunity is out there, but it’s not as accessible as we think.

This was truly a great book and great story. I really hope that everyone who watched the movie takes the time to read the book.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I’m back again with some new posts! I really try to keep up with this blog and I’m constantly reading. It’s just always a struggle for me to motivate myself enough to log in and post reviews (so lazy, I know!). I’m not really sure anyone checks out this site, other than my Grandma and a few people who have mentioned seeing it to me here and there. I really appreciate any one who’s looked at any of my posts since I started this a few years ago.

Hopefully one day I’ll get myself into shape and have a schedule for posting regularly. I do have lots of plans for where I’d like to go with the posts and moving past just the reviews, so bear with me, we’ll get there eventually!

Anyway, back to the review! I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes really, really fast. The dynamic between Will and Lou was really interesting and Jojo Moyes definitely did a good job creating chemistry between the two characters.

I had seen the movie before reading the book (sort of my thing, isn’t it?), so I knew how their story was going to end. Sometimes I really hate knowing how a book is going to end, but I also think that you know it’s a good book when you know the ending and you’re still really hoping that something will change. I definitely felt that way about this book. I really wanted a happy ending for Will and Lou.

It’s definitely interesting to read a story about assisted suicide. I can see how it could be a touchy subject, and I understand family and friends wanting to keep their loved ones alive. I just think that if someone really wants to die, assisted suicide is probably better than them doing it themselves and their family members having to find them that way. Especially if they’re in pain or their quality of life won’t ever be the same. I’m curious what other people think about this topic. Anyone want to share their opinion in the comments?

I really, really enjoyed reading this book and seeing how Lou and Will’s personalities mixed. I think there were two books after this that focus on what Lou did after Will’s death, but I read some reviews online and it seemed like the general consensus was that people didn’t like the other books as much as the first one. I’m not sure if I’ll read those or not. At this point I probably won’t, since there are so many other books that I want to read and it sounds like they’re not great anyway. If anyone disagrees and thinks they’re worth the read, let me know! Change my mind 🙂

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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So, a little while ago I finished a novel called Never Let Me Go. There’s so much that can be said about this story that I’m not even sure where to begin.

First of all, I have to say that I absolutely loved this book. I actually saw the film version first and loved it, so I (of course) had to read the book and I was not disappointed.

The story is about a girl name Kathy who is reflecting on her time as a student at a boarding school-type place called Hailsham, and on the direction that her life went after she left school. Hailsham is different from other schools because its students are clones who will grow up and donate their organs when they come of age.

As children, it seems that the clones weren’t fully aware of their fate but did know that they would be making these “donations” as adults. The idea of having these clones that are raised and harvested for their organs is definitely something that was interesting throughout this story. I think that this “idea” is something that has probably been considered in real life, especially with stem cell research and its important to have stories like this to really think about what life would be like for these people if that actually happened.

What really makes this story interesting are the relationships that Kathy has with other clones, especially Tommy and Ruth. Kathy has romantic feelings for Tommy but can’t act on them because her friend Ruth has already made Tommy her boyfriend. Throughout the story, Tommy and Kathy are very obviously attracted to each other and want to be together. However, Ruth interferes with their relationship every chance she can get. When they are older and Ruth has begun making her donations, Kathy begins taking care of her and Ruth reveals to her that she wants Kathy to pursue a relationship with Tommy and that she regrets keeping them apart for so long.

By this time, Tommy has also already begun his donations. Seeing Kathy and Tommy try to stop or delay the process of donations for themselves so that they can be happy for just a few more years is really heartbreaking. You want to root for them so badly, but it seems that nothing can go right for the couple.

This story is really so, so good. I could definitely go on for awhile talking about every thing that I loved about this book, but really I don’t want to spoil it all because I think people should read it for themselves.

I would love to hear from others who have read this book and to find someone to discuss it with further because there really is SO much to talk about. Leave me a comment! And thanks for reading!

Currently Reading: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

b913c84d7ef58653bbee8ecb00f8eb69I’m really looking forward to getting more into this book. I love Lena and think that she has a brilliant mind. So far I like the little insight that it gives into her private and personal thoughts. And I think it’s really brave of her to write it down, publish it, and let the world critique her. She’s definitely someone that I admire as an aspiring writer and I can’t wait to post about it more!

Currently Reading: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

ad4d06aa24b4764b20aafaaf4aeaa84bI’m not completely sure I’m ready to take on reading this entire series. Apparently there are 16 of them, and the last one is coming out this December, who knew?

I’m a fan of the television series and bought the first book a while ago (after watching the first season, finding out there were books, and needing to know who A was). I do know that the show has strayed somewhat from the books, but I think it might be interesting to see if there are any similarities/differences and where the story went in the books.

I’m about six chapters in, and so far it’s exactly like the first season. I actually really like all the Philadelphia/Pennsylvania references. Not sure if I’ve said this before, but I’m from Pa and actually went to college in Philly, so it’s pretty interesting and makes me connect a little more to the books.

Really, what I want to know is if anyone has actually read through all of the books in the series. Are they worth it? Are they as good? I’d really like to know. ALSO: if anyone wants to talk PLL and theories with me, I’d love to do that!