A little side note: I didn’t know that Christina Lauren was two people! This was such a well written book knowing that two people contributed to the story. I kept trying to think about how they each contributed to both. Other books I’ve read written by two authors usually have two main voices. For this one, it was so consistent that you can’t even tell.
Love, Life, and the Teen Dream
Recently, a bookish friend asked me for some book suggestions. She was looking for teen romance novels for girls who are single and want to find love.
I obligingly provided her with a few of the authors that I loved (more on that in a little bit), but there was something I wanted address about the specific genre she was looking for. When I was a teenager, I desperately wanted the kind of love you can only get on the CW. That brooding dude with a mysterious past that’s good to you comes along to the school you’ve been sludging through the past three years and out of everyone he notices you.
It’s the same with these stories. You want to feel what these characters feel and how that one guy you hope will look at you does.
Here’s the funny thing about those stories; they’re not real. It’s work of pure fiction and when you go into reading a book about love, you should remind yourself that this is purely for enjoyment of stories. I know that these stories are beautiful and modeling your life a little bit off it is fun, but remember you are yourself and you’re in the middle of writing your own story.
While I wanted to be one of those girls that fell in love in high school, I actually fell in love for the first time when I was 21. And even then, it wasn’t the best romance of my life. It shook me that I didn’t get to have that experience and it shook me even more when the mental and emotional abuse kicked in. Where is my Happily Ever After there? But then a few years after that, I found a person who loves me for who I am and finds no fault in me and jokes with me and is real with me and it’s better than any love story I’ve ever read.
Even though that’s only one instance of love and there are tons of people who love their high school sweethearts there are literally billions of people on earth. Don’t limit yourself to that one guy or gal.
I guess you can call me a cynic, but I want to say this as a person who is a full grown adult and in love; focus on yourself. Focus on what makes you happy and what you enjoy. There’s no point in impressing someone who doesn’t find you impressive, so impress yourself. There will always be someone on the periphery watching what you do and falling in love with you for it. You do you. Continue to be your lovable self. There is life after high school and that’s where most people fall in love.
Remember, what do all of those YA stories have in common? No one is going after each other. That goes for both men and women and for every gender in between! You should fall in love with someone who loves you and not with someone who doesn’t know you exist. Be your quirky self and you’ll find that the one person you didn’t even realize was The One will come to you when the time is right. Don’t rush it. It’ll only lead to heartache.
When you fall in love, you fall. Don’t get pushed and don’t throw yourself at it. Let it fall and hopefully someone will catch you.
Now, time for some romance novels for you young loves out there to read and dream of when your time will come:
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
- P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – Review and Trailer!
Happy belated Valentine’s Day, y’all! The internet gifted us the other night with the new trailer for Everything, Everything and I’m in love!
I didn’t plan for the trailer to be released at the same time I was finishing this book. Since that’s the way it goes, I’ve decided to post both my review of the book as well as the new trailer.
You have no idea how excited I am about this!!!
Synopsis (from Goodreads.com)
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
Rating: 5/5 humuhumunukunukuapua’as
Before you say anything about this book and your level of interest, I need to say something. If you’re an adult or perceive yourself to be an adult, pull yourself out of your adult mind and get excited to read a piece of young adult fiction. Watch out, folks, because I’m about to sell you this book.
Everything, Everything has everything (duh) that I love about YA. Yes, the book is set in the narrator’s teenage years, but like almost all the YA books I’ve read there are some hard hitting themes. It has love in all shapes and forms, identity crisis, family issues, and personal growth. When I read YA, I don’t do it because the world is easier in a YA novel. I do it because the stories are relatable and if you’ve ever been a teenager, then you know exactly what kind of stories these are.
I originally picked this book because of a few reasons. First, I loved The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon as well. Second, the main character is a POC but it’s the kind of story you want to read about POC. On one hand, it’s really important to read about struggling with identity and race, but on the other hand, it’s really important that you see POC characters played out the same way white characters would in a book. Meaning, hey, they live ordinary lives just like everyone else.
Finally, being in an inter-racial relationship myself, you get to understand more that love has no color. My boyfriend loves me because of who I am and not because I’m Asian or not white or any of those. The world needs to evolve itself to the point that you’re dating someone because of what’s on the inside. You’re friends with someone because you have things in common and we are basically all the same despite where we come from. We’re all human and that’s super important to remember and see and be comfortable with in real life.
But let’s get back to the book.
Yes, it’s about love but it’s also about life. It’s about what you would do if you met someone truly sick and you wanted to be their friend. It’s about a mother who’s been struggling with letting go of her tragic past. It’s about a young man who is trying his best to be the best son, brother, and friend possible. It’s about a young woman opening herself up to the world as well as to the possibilities beyond the four walls of her little home. You can guffaw at the insta-love (I know I did), but here you feel the same way you felt the first time you had a crush. It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling you feel everyday when you’re in love.
You feel so many emotions. So so many of them! And now you’ll see those emotions on the silver screen. If you need convincing on whether or not you should read this book, I would recommend taking a peek at the video above. It’ll tell you everything you need to know. Everything.
Memories, trinkets, and a good story
I love memories and trinkets. The mind’s ability to recognize something and immediately understand that this was a part of my childhood. Even if it only lasted for a few fleeting moments in my life, I can remember my fondness for a wind up toy or how I lovingly caressed my barbies.
Memories and their correlation to trinkets and ephemera are powerful. You’re immediately transported to another world. It’s similar to reading. Reading sometimes feels like a memory to me. It’s like I’m watching a show I loved when I was a kid or feeling like this is something that actually happened to me. Stories transport you and any good writer allows the story to take you wherever it needs to go.
What I find extremely funny in this world of mine is that the trinkets and ephemera of the novels I read suddenly become things that I tangibly need. For example, the key to the secret garden Mary Lennox comes across in The Secret Garden or the twin ivory elephants.
Or perhaps the locket from A Little Princess:
And that little piece of ephemera whisks you away to a place where the ground is still fertile or a promise to return. You are Mary Lennox or Sara Crewe. You lived their lives and looking back on these trinkets is almost like looking back at yourself as a kid.
As an adult, it’s always good to look back at the good times and remember when things were a lot easier. You can imagine getting lost in the wild and you can remember bike rides and your favorite toys and the one trinket that you’ll always hold dear to your heart. The same can be said about books. There will always be the story you remember to warm your heart and soul and think about the best moments in your life.
As long as you have that, then there’s never anything to worry about.