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I decided, when I finally started using my library membership, that I was finally going to read all those celebrity memoirs I’d been putting off. On my list: Bossypants by Tina Fey, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day, so on, so forth, etc, etc.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? was the first one that was actually available.  I didn’t have to place a hold or anything.  So great.

…Not so great.

I wouldn’t call myself Mindy Kaling’s biggest fan.  I’ve seen a few episodes of The Mindy Project.  I enjoyed it well enough.  I saw her occasionally when I’d catch The Office.  But I’ve seen a lot of interviews and quotes from her, and she always seems so down-to-earth and funny.  She’s friends with unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  What could go wrong?

Well, first off, this book is not funny.  I mean, I guess I did a light chuckle a couple times, but that happens in most books I read.  I thought a book by a “comedic genius” would have me LOL-ing.  LMAO-ing.  ROFL-ing, even.  No such luck.  I wondered if I was missing something. Maybe I just didn’t get it?

This book is all over the place.  The jokes fell flat.  A lot of the essays veered into unfunny political incorrectness.  Most of the time it was just confused.

It was, unfortunately, a terrible first choice for my foray into celebrity memoirs.  Hopefully I’ll choose better next time.

Final rating: 

★★☆☆☆ 

For my 2016 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #15: a book written by a celebrity.

Book review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

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Last night, I devoured To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.  Read it in one sitting with a huge smile on my face.  So today I picked up P.S. I Still Love You.  Finished it in two sittings, with a somewhat confused expression on my face.  There was no smile to be found.

Lara Jean is still there.  Kitty is still awesome.  But what happened to Peter?

Peter was the best part of TATBILB and he is just… someone else here.  He spends all of his free time with Genevieve because “she’s going through some stuff.”  He doesn’t understand why Lara Jean feels insecure about him running to comfort his ex every time she calls.  At one point, Lara Jean plans a whole thing for him and he doesn’t even show up because Gen was crying and needed him.

I can’t blame Lara Jean for feeling betrayed.

And then, randomly, conveniently, another of the guys Lara Jean wrote a letter to shows up.  Because, hey, if you were worried that there would be no action without a love triangle, stop right there.  We have some kind of love shape (square? diamond? trapezoid?) what with Peter and Genevieve and Lara Jean and John.  Who even knows what’s going on.  Aren’t Peter and Lara Jean supposed to be together?

And the worst part of it, the absolute worst, is that I was rooting for John.  He is an infinitely better guy than this sorry version of Peter.  He’s there for Lara Jean when she needs him.  His interests fall much more in line with hers.  He’s generally just a stand up guy while Peter is sneaking off to be with Genevieve.  And I can’t for the life of me figure out how this is even a question for Lara Jean.

We’ve also got a weird side plot, which actually takes up a good chunk of the book, in which someone releases a sexy video of Lara Jean and Peter, and Lara Jean is promptly chastised by everyone from her classmates to her guidance counselor to her father.  (But, let me mention, not John.)  I appreciated that this allowed the opportunity for discussion of sexism and double standards (of course, Peter doesn’t hear a single negative word about it), but it dragged on for so long that it felt like another purposeful roadblock in an already rocky relationship.

Mostly, I felt really conflicted through this whole book.  I loved Lara Jean and Peter so much in the last book.  Their perfect, adorable relationship is gone.  Peter’s sneaking around with Gen.  Lara Jean is sneaking around with John.  Neither of them want to explain to each other what is going on, and everything just implodes.  I guess, if nothing else, this seems pretty accurate for a high school relationship.

I don’t think that this sequel was necessary.  It contributed nothing to the relationship between Lara Jean and Peter.  It made me wish that she and Peter had never gotten together.  It made me root for the other guy in the triangle, and that never happens.

I wish that I loved this book as much as I loved TATBILB, but I didn’t.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

Book review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: GoodreadsAmazon
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Source: Borrowed

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Every time Lara Jean wants to get over a boy, she writes him a letter. She fills that letter with everything she wishes she could say to him. Why she fell for him. Why she can no longer have those feelings. It’s therapeutic for her, and when she’s done, she hides them in a hatbox under her bed.

Then, one day, the hatbox disappears. The boys start receiving the letters. Lara Jean is humiliated. Every boy she’s ever had a crush on now knows her true feelings.

The worst of all is her sister’s boyfriend, Josh. Lara Jean’s sister Margot just left for college in Scotland, breaking up with Josh and him heartbroken at home. Josh and Lara Jean have been friends for years, since even before Margot and Josh started dating. Her entire family thinks he’s perfect, but she obviously couldn’t have feelings for her sister’s boyfriend. She wrote him a letter to get him out of her head. She buried her feelings and vowed never to get in the way of Margot’s happiness.

But Josh receives a letter.

Lara Jean tries talking her way out of it. It was written a long time ago, she says. But Josh tells her that she references something that happened pretty recently. She’s so embarrassed, so she does the only thing she can think of. She says she’s dating one of the other boys who got a letter.

Peter Kavinsky is that guy. The most handsome guy in the school. Super popular. Unattainable. Lara Jean had a crush on him in middle school, but those feelings are long gone. Peter’s longtime girlfriend just broke up with him for an older guy. To Lara Jean’s surprise, Peter agrees to be in a fake relationship with her.

As you might expect, the lines get blurred. Lara Jean gets confused about which of these two boys she really wants.

This seems to be a polarizing book. Most of the reviews I’ve seen are either scathing one-stars or raving five-stars. I’m at a solid 3.5, or maybe 4. Is this the deepest book I’ve ever read? Certainly not. Are you going to learn important life lessons? Not likely. But it was sure a lot of fun.

Of all the characters, I think Peter and Lara Jean’s little sister, Kitty, were my favorites. Peter because he’s imperfect and real. Kitty because she’s headstrong and spunky.

I loved the relationships between Lara Jean and her sisters. Margot had always taken care of her two younger sisters, but Lara Jean has to absorb a lot of that responsibility when Margot leaves for college. Her relationship with Kitty is rocky at the beginning of the book, but they are a great team by the end.

There were really only two things I disliked.

First was the love triangle. I never saw Josh as a viable love interest, especially given his history with Margot. It was clear to me from the beginning that despite her feelings for him, Lara Jean was never going to pursue a relationship with her sister’s ex. She loved and respected her sister too much for that. Josh was kind of a jerk for constantly interjecting his opinion about her relationship with Peter and trying to make Peter look bad or feel jealous.

I also didn’t understand the point of Chris, Lara Jean’s best friend. Chris is wild, almost to the point of caricature. She is Lara Jean’s polar opposite. She has no story. She’s just there, and it’s kind of weird.

But overall, I really liked this book. I read it over about three hours on a Friday night, and immediately picked up the sequel (which I’m sure I’ll also read in one sitting).

Definitely recommended for fans of YA romance.


For my 2016 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #34: a book from the library.

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today’s theme is top ten books on my spring TBR, and let me tell you, this was a difficult one.  There are so many great books coming out and so many books I’ve been wanting to read for so long and so many books that I have on hold at my library that I just did not know where to start.

So I just picked ten.

Sorry.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette //

The Lover’s Dictionary // Me Before You

Some Kind of Perfect // Confess 

Morning Star

//

A Court of Thorns and Roses // Six of Crows

Invincible Summer // Red Queen

What’s on your TBR this spring?