{ESC} BOOK ELEVEN: AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES

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Dear Reader,

On Friday night, my sister and I decided to see Paper Towns. I read this book last summer, loved it, and was ecstatic when I found out that they were turning it into a movie. And I am glad to report that it did not disappoint, and might be my favorite movie of the summer so far.

After it ended, we headed down the street to our local Books-a-Million, where I dropped $78 on books and road maps (I was very influenced by this movie). But one of the books I picked up was another John Green book, An Abundance of Katherines. I had no idea what it was about, but I like John Green, and I own all of his other books, and it was $10. So I bought it and read it within 12 hours. And here’s what I thought.

First of all, it’s a very weird premise. This child prodigy has been dumped by 19 Katherines, and, in fact, has never dated anyone by another name. Bizarre, right? And I really don’t want to spoil it (though there’s not much to spoil), so I won’t say much else about the actual plot. But I will say that the characters were very interesting and it was very informative. I feel like I know a lot more random facts that I found interesting (even if the supporting character, Hassan did not).

But here’s the thing: it’s a John Green novel. So, if you like stories that follow the same formula as Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, you’ll like this one. There’s a boy who really doesn’t do much. He’s not necessarily opposed to adventures–I mean, he’ll certainly follow the main female character into one without question–but he’s just used to staying home. And then he falls in love with this quirky, interesting, intelligent, beautiful girl.

That’s really all I can say without giving away the ending, but if you asked me if I would recommend it, I still probably would. It has tons of overlaps with his other stuff (the above formula, discussion about oblivion like in The Fault in Our Stars, characters obsessed with road trips), but there were still some interesting differences from AAOK that I enjoyed. I especially liked the last bit about the stories we tell and how they can impact people.

So, I’ll give it 3 stars, and probably won’t be dying to read it again any time soon, but it certainly wasn’t a waste of time. Parts of this story will definitely stick with me.

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

{ESC} BOOK SEVEN: THE EX FILES

A few months ago, I was walking through Half-Priced Books, and I came across The Ex Files. After reading the back, I decided to buy it for $4. Was it worth that $4? Hard to say…

Here’s what I gathered from the back: Kendall’s husband left her for her sister, Sheridan’s husband left her for another man, Asia’s baby daddy left her for his wife, and Vanessa’s husband committed suicide. Each woman deals with heartbreak in a different way–from depression to revenge. Interesting plot, right?

That’s what I thought! But now it’s over a month later and I’m just now finished.

Part of this is due to it being almost 400 pages long, but part of it, too, is because I actually had to put it down at one point.

It says on the cover that it’s a faith-filled novel, but I didn’t even consider everything that meant. So when I got to the part where two characters are casually talking about how homosexuality is a choice–and a wrong one at that–I was floored. It shouldn’t have come to me as a surprise, especially since one of these characters is a pastor, but I was shocked to be reminded that some people truly believe homosexuality to be a sin.

This along with some of the comments about suicide made me a bit uncomfortable, and when I first set it down, I didn’t pick it back up for three and a half weeks. Part of this is because second semester started and all of a sudden I was really busy, but it was also hard for me to go back to a book that was preaching ideas I just couldn’t get behind.

So that’s part of the reason why I give this book 3 stars. Other than that, the characters were alright, but not ones that I fell in love with. I didn’t really understand Sheridan or Vanessa, so I didn’t connect with them, and by the end of it I was so done with Kendall, I didn’t even want to read the chapters devoted to her.

Then we have Asia. I didn’t mind her, but her morals were pretty questionable. And I don’t want to spoil anything (in case this review for some reason prompts you to read the book for yourself), but what she does it horrifying and awful. I enjoyed watching her character develop, though.

Another sidenote is that some parts were really cheesey. There was one part at the end with Sheridan that actually had me rolling my eyes.

Also, I found a blatant typo, and I always find that to be weird. I mean, didn’t someone read this before it got sent to publishing? How was “reuion” missed? Did the editor just get bored and skip that part to get to the end? Because I’m not sure I blame them.

Well that’s all I’ve got for you. The Ex Files was a bit of a disappointment, but I’m holding out hope for Book #8.

It’s a good one.

Sincerely,

Sammy

BOOK HAUL? (IS THAT WHAT THIS IS?)

Dear Reader,

I’m driving back to school today, which means break is over. And, as you may have realized, I’ve become kind of book-obsessed this winter break. But I don’t think you realize how much.

I have 15 more books than I had 3 weeks ago.

It started on the day of my older sister’s shower. My Aunt recommended a really good local bookstore, so we decided to check it out on our way home.

I left with four books:

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Crazy Rich Asians

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How to be Parisian Wherever You Are

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Bossypants

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and Let it Snow

A few days later, my younger sister and I decided to visit Books a Million. Because why not? And I purchased three more books because there were surprisingly good sales that day:

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Emma – a book I needed for school

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Warm Bodies – a book that was on sale for five dollars! 

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and It’s Kind of a Funny Story – a book that I felt I needed. And I was right.

Then, on the weekend after Christmas, we drove down to Dayton to celebrate with my family. And what did my older sister get me for Christmas? The only thing I asked for, of course–books!

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Bossypants 

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Let’s Pretend this Never Happened

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and Gone with the Wind

I know, I had a major brain fart a week earlier and already bought Bossypants, even though I specifically told Caitlin that it was a book on my list. But, hey, it’s a great book. Having a spare copy isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Anyway, while in the Dayton area, my family decided to make a pit stop at a store called “Half Price Books.”

This. Store.

Oh my gosh, it was amazing. After spending fair chunks of my allowance at Books a Million and Barnes and Noble for all these years, I’ve learned how expensive reading can be.

But this. Store.

I left there with three movies (Baby Mama, American Pie, and Moulin Rouge) and five books for–wait for it…

$39.05.

Tax included.

The lucky picks were:

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The Help

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Nineteen Minutes

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The Manny

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The Ex Files

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and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

In conclusion, I am now fifteen books richer. The books that I’ve read have links to my reviews of them (It’s Kind of a Funny Story coming soon), and I’m currently working on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I don’t normally read two books at once, but I have my reasons in this particular situation (ones I’m not about to delve into right now).

But I have a question for anyone who’s made it this far. Have you read any of these? Which one should I start next? And what books should I add to my growing to-be-read shelf?

DON’T YOU JUST LOVE BOOKS?

Sincerely,

Sammy

{ESC} BOOK FOUR: BOSSYPANTS

Dear Reader,

Get ready for a very quick review because I have a lot to do today and not a lot to say about this book.

This is not to say that this book is bad in any sense–quite the opposite, actually. It’s great! But, I mean, isn’t that what we’re expecting? People rave about Tina Fey’s autobiography. And this is just another one of those reviews, so I don’t want to waste any more time.

If you’ve never read an autobiography by a comedian (or, should I say, comedienne) before, I highly suggest you start. Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Chelsea Handler, and now Amy Poehler! They all have books out and they’re all hilarious. I mean, laugh-out-loud-funny. Seriously, don’t read them in public if you’re not comfortable smiling goofily at a book or chuckling to yourself with others around.

And, actually, I can’t even speak for Amy’s because I haven’t read Yes Please yet, but why would it be any different? It’s Amy Poehler.

Which brings me back to Bossypants: it’s Tina Fey. Of course it’s hilarious and charming, while still insightful and, well, informative of her past. It is still a biography.

So, no more time to waste. If you feel like laughing, and especially if you watch 30 Rock or follow Tina’s career in any way, pick up this book. You won’t be sorry.

Sincerely,

Sammy

{ESC} BOOK THREE: WARM BODIES

Dear Reader,

If there are two things I want you to get from this review it’s this: 1. Warm Bodies is definitely worth the read. And 2. The book is sooooo much better than the movie (shocker).

That actually made me sad, though. I bought the book the same day my sister bought the movie and I read it in a night (it’s a quick read, which I loved). So we watched the movie and, though I adore Nicholas Hoult, I was just mad the whole time. Sarah, on the other hand, had never read the book, so she loved the movie.

But obviously the book is going to go into things that the movie just doesn’t have time for, but that’s what made the book so amazing! I had heard of it before–I knew it was about a zombie who fell in love with a human, but the book explained life before the apocalypse so much better, and it went into the backstories of the characters. I mean, I loved Perry in the book, and his story was heartbreaking, but in the movie he was just a jerk. And we didn’t get to understand why.

Anyway, Warm Bodies is now one of my favorite books. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves a good romance story but doesn’t mind a bit of action, blood, guts, and brains, or an insight into our civilization and what might cause its downfall.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. The song for this post is actually from the trailer of Warm Bodies: Lonely Boy – The Black Keys. I hope you enjoy the official music video, which is just a man dancing to the song.