It’s been way way way too long since we’ve done a marry, date, or dump and I’ve just been reading the three most perfect YA romances to pick our boys from. We’ve got Ambrose from Sarah Dessen’s new book Once and for All, Teddy from Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, and last (but certainly not least!) Peter K. from Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. If you want to play along, say who you would marry, date, and dump in the comments. My answer are…
Did you see what I was trying to do there in the title with the Wizard of Oz reference? No? Oh well, moving on with my geeky self. Last night, was like nonsexual YA orgy of amazingness. I got to go to my favorite bookstore and see/meet three favorite authors. The crowd and energy in the room was nuts. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen more folks come out to Books of Wonder before. I got their half an hour early and was apparently the 70th person there … bananas! Continue reading “Sarah Dessen & Jenny Han & Jennifer E. Smith … Oh my!”→
I have major love for Lara Jean Covey and all the Song girls. I like that she is a shy, quiet, bookish girl who finds her confidence not by losing her shyness or a boy liking her – but through her own journey. I like her relationship with her sisters and the way Margot and Kitty have changed over the last three books. I like the cultural details of being half Korean American that are weaved in and out of the narrative. I’ve said this several times now, but reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was formative to my interest in writing contemporary YA. Hearing Jenny Han speak at The National Book Festival in 2012 was formative to my decision to move to New York City and get my MFA in writing for children and teenagers. So yeah, I’ve been looking forward to reading the third and final Lara Jean book since I found out it was happening. And, as expected, it did not disappoint. Continue reading “Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han”→
I have always, always been a sensitive person. Sometimes this serves me well, like in my writing. Sometimes it doesn’t, like in the fifth grade. Despite (or perhaps because of) this sensitivity, I tend to spend a lot of time in my head. It’s less overwhelming than living in the world of my feelings. This means that when things aren’t going well, like in the last month or so, I spend a lot of time trying to understand why. This is a completely futile exercise, but one I have a hard time stopping. Especially late at night. Continue reading “Sensitivity, Writing, & Grief”→
I’ve said before that I think one of my main measures for a good book are how reluctant I am to move on after finishing the last page. P.S. I Still Love You, by Jenny Han, definitely earns high marks in this test. I’m still spending lots of time thinking about Lara Jean and her suitors. In all this thinking time, I realized that Lara Jean’s companion novels set up the perfect trifecta of boys to marry, date or dump: Peter, Josh, and John McClaren. So if you’ve read either, or both, books feel free to jump in and let me know in the comments who you’d marry, who you’d date, an who you’d dump. Continue reading “Marry, Date or Dump: Peter, Josh & John from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han”→
There have been a few books that have totally clicked with me in the past 2-3 years. Books that I’ve read and reread and reread again, and also books that have really directed the kind of stories I want to be writing. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han, (which I completely fangirl all over in this review) was one of those books for me. It’s one that, both as a reader and as a writer, I keep coming back to. So you can imagine my asdfghjkl!!!! levels of excitement when I finally got P.S. I Still Love You in my hands on Tuesday. So excited that I read the book in one sitting, laughing, swooning, and even sobbing at one point as I worked my way through the rest of Lara Jean’s love letter journey. ***Before I continue, I just want to point out that while I won’t have any spoilers for this book, as a sequel it’s impossible to discuss it without spoiling some things about its predecessor, so proceed with caution***Continue reading “P.S. I Still Love You, by Jenny Han”→
*I’m going to try not to put in any spoilers for any of the books in the series into this review, but there definitely won’t be any spoilers for the last book. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone*
I can not say enough nice things about the Burn for Burn trilogy, by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. But I’m going to try. These books are funny, quirky, romantic, thought-provoking, suspenseful, and heart breaking. The characters are relatable and grow throughout the series … some in ways that I promise no one could have imagined. The books deal with issues of race, social class, sexual assault, grief, bullying, and betrayal without being issue books. They also deal with boyfriends, best friends, fashion questions, lip gloss flavors, gossip, jealousy, and school dances without being frivolous. Ashes to Ashes is no exception. Continue reading “Ashes to Ashes, by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian”→
High school junior Lara Jean has never had a boyfriend, but she has been in love. She’s been in love with the cocky, popular boy who “stole” her first kiss, the boy from summer camp who saved a kid from drowning, the fashionable classmate who everyone thinks is gay, and even the family friend who dated her older sister. She’s been in love with them, but she’s never told them. Instead she’s written them love letters to get over her feelings and stored them, unsent, in a hatbox her mother gave her before she died. When the love letters mysteriously are sent to all the boys, she has to deal with all the emotions she’d thought she’d sealed away in five little envelopes.
I was not a big fan of The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy, by Jenny Han. In fact, I think I kind of hated it. So it might have been surprising that I suggested to Alee that we read Jenny Han’s newest book Burn for Burn, co-written by Siobhan Vivian. What changed my mind, you ask?
Okay, no one asked, but I will answer anyways. What really changed my mind was seeing the two of them discuss their friendship, their book, and their childhoods in person at the National Book Festival last fall. The only word I can use to describe them is delightful. Jenny Han wore knee socks. Both talked about the most embarrassing thing someone ever did to them growing up (and they used the perpetrators full names!). Plus apparently while writing the book Han and Vivian would take on personas from the book and fight with each other. Combined with the prevalent theme of bullying within the narrative I was pretty instantly intrigued.