Review: Boomerang

July 24, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Review, 3 comments

Review: BoomerangTitle: Boomerang (Boomerang #1)
Author: Noelle August
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Genre/Age Group: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Source: Won
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 4 Stars

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?(less)

my thoughts

Who says New Adult books are only about tortured twenty-somethings who use sex as a way to escape their issues? Noelle August (who is actually writer’s duo Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi) shows that there is much more to this genre than a lot of people (myself included) think there is. Admittedly, I have been wary of NA books in the past. The formula seemed to be exactly what I wrote in the first sentence of this review, and for me, that only works so many times before I get stuck in eye-roll mode. Like most NA books, Boomerang contains some mature themes than you would normally find in Young Adult stories. But unlike other NA books I have read, Boomerang is not just about sex. Or rather, sex is not described as something that would solve problems, but rather something that is just something people do and want to do. It’s a part of the characters’ lives but it’s not their entire lives. It’s natural.

Boomerang is about Mia Galliano, twenty-one year old aspiring film maker, and Ethan Vance, also twenty-one years old, but with a passion for soccer instead of films, who wake up after a one night stand they remember nothing about to find out they both start interning at one of the biggest media companies that very day. While they don’t remember much (or anything at all) of the previous night, they quickly realize they like each other a whole lot (and are very attracted to one another as well), but problem! They can’t be together without getting fired, and to add to the pressue, they are competing to get a job at the company in a few months. Uh oh. What I like most about Mia and Ethan is that their attraction felt completely natural to me. Often, romance in books feels forced to me – can’t have a book without some swoon, right? – but not in this book. Ethan and Mia are attracted to each other, but they also really care for each other.

Ethan and Mia were both realistically complex characters. Both have been hurt in the past, which is also something that usually comes with a NA novel, but it was written very well and didn’t define them completely. I am not often a fan of dual narrative in books, because so often, I can’t distinguish the two characters, but that was not the case here at all. Mia and Ethan were very different characters, both were equally well-written and loveable, with completely different lives. We learn a lot about their background, and it is obvious that there is more than just attraction. While the romance is the main factor in the book I love that we also learned about friends, family, and, of course, work. We learned about Mia and Ethan separately as well as together, and that is what ultimately made me love this book so much. I especially liked the moments with Mia’s family and I just love that family was important to them as they were trying to find their way.

Along with the (sexual) attraction comes my favorite aspect of this book: the humor. The entire book is written with a lightness, a great sense of humor that made me laugh out loud at multiple points. Especially the banter between the two main characters is amazing, because they are both sharp, witty and very smart. I also just love that sex is something that isn’t taken as seriously as it usually is. While I love it when characters take their time with having sex (my favorite example being My Life Next Door), I adore that Ethan and Mia are just enjoying themselves. Their constant flirting and banter were amazing and the entire book just made me so happy. Granted, I was a bit disappointed with the ending, simply because I was expecting something more (from the sex scene, from the work thing), but it was still just a great book. I loved Boomerang, and you should all read it if you’re looking for a happy, flirty, sexy book that is also very smart.

memorable quotes

“So, that’s the image we’re unveiling for our investors? Sex organs whipping through the air?”

“I want to be able to ook at a person and say, ‘I want you.’ Or ‘I really like you so much.’ It’s like none of us – not me, not any of my friends, no one I know, will ever just put themselves out there and say, ‘I want to be with you.’ We’re all scared of giving up the power of being the person who cares less.”

“Mia,” [Nana] said to me the other day. “It all goes so fast, but you never feel different inside.” She’d put her hand on my heart and said, “We’re the same age. In here.”

“The minute you put my panties in the toaster oven, I knew you were the one.”

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

July 21, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Review4 comments

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeTitle: To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys #1)
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Genre/Age Group: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 4 Stars

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only.

Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

my thoughts

I wish I could write my review of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before with smiley faces, hearts and exclamation points. It’s one of the cutest YA contemps I’ve read so far this year, and I couldn’t stop smiling when I finished it. I had an issue with the likability of a couple of the characters, but Han’s character development is amazing, and she is obviously a master storyteller, because she completely changed my mind about them by the end of the book!

Lara Jean, the main character and narrator of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, was very immature in the beginning. She is the middle daughter, self-absorbed and spoiled, thriving on attention from her father, her older sister Margot, and little sister Kitty. Plus, at 16, going on 17, she didn’t like to drive and wanted someone to chauffer her everywhere she went. Since I was so annoyed by Lara Jean, I couldn’t relate to her at first, and to be honest, I wasn’t very invested in her story. For a split second, I even considered setting the book aside because I couldn’t stand reading from such an immature point-of-view. However, I’m glad I hung in there because I learned a very important lesson: never doubt Jenny Han’s writing and character development!

The character growth in this book is amazing.  We learn that the girls’ mom died when they were very young, so the oldest sister, Margot, had to take care of Lara Jean and Kitty for a lot of years. In fact, I perceived that Margot was a lot like a mother to the girls, especially since their father was often at work. When Margot moves (very far) away to college, Lara Jean finds herself thrown into Margot’s former role: caring for her little sister Kitty and helping their father out around the house. It’s an extremely difficult job for Lara Jean at first, since she’s so accustomed to being pampered, but she quickly settles into a routine and actually matures a lot when she no longer has Margot to do everything for her. It was so heartwarming to see Lara Jean grow into such a responsible adult who not only takes care of Kitty but also loves her unconditionally. She’s actually very good for her little sister because she teaches her some responsibility (although Margot chastised Lara Jean for being too hard on Kitty when she came home from college for the first time).

So, it sounds as if the family aspect is the main story in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, right? Well, wrong. No contemporary would be complete without a little romance (at least in my opinion… y’all know how much I like those kissy scenes!).  Jenny Han did not disappoint me, because she gave us a delightful story about two people falling in love. But muwahahahaha, I’m not telling you which two characters fall in love because there are a couple of guys who end up vying for Lara Jean’s attention. ;)

There is a bit of tension between Margot and Lara Jean because of the fact that Margot dated Josh, Lara Jean’s longtime crush. Margot broke up with him right before she left for college, but because Lara Jean is afraid to confess her feelings to him, she writes a letter instead. She puts it in a box under her bed, along with other letters written to other “crushes” that she’s had over the years. She never planned to actually mail the letters, but, oops, somehow they end up in the mail. When Josh reads his, things get awkward, so LJ enlists Peter (her first kiss) to be her “boyfriend.” Lara Jean and Peter are both hoping to make someone else jealous, so this fake relationship benefits both of them, and they start spending a lot of time together to make the relationship seem authentic. I absolutely love the “fake relationship” storyline, because usually with this storyline the two characters end up realizing that they want to be with each other (I won’t tell you if this happens here!). I was so delighted when I realized that it was going to be a large part of this book’s plot, and I loved watching Lara Jean realize what, or who, she really wants.

The only thing about this book that I ended up disliking? That there is going to be a sequel! I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN RIGHT THEN. Aaaah! Jenny Han, that is a very evil thing to do to your readers. Haha, just kidding, I actually loved it because the ending left me with my mouth hanging open! I can’t wait to find out what happens to these characters and how they evolve in the next book. I’m sure that P.S. I Still Love You will be equally great!

memorable quotes

“Firsts are best because they are beginnings.”

“To belong to someone—I didn’t know it, but now that I think about it, it seems like that’s all I’ve ever wanted. To really be somebody’s, and to have them be mine.” 

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that. Because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life.”

Isla Is Coming: A Happily Ever After Readalong

July 19, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Read-Along1 comment

islaiscoming2

Hi everyone! Today I’m here with an announcement for a super fun event that’s happening soon. Andi from AndiABCs, Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner, Lindsey from A Bookish Sinister Kid, Meg from Cuddlebuggery and I have been working on putting together a (re)readalong for Stephanie Perkins’s books, which we all love a whole lot. That’s right: we are (re)reading Anna and the French KissLola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After (which comes out soon and omg, we need it now!). But that’s not all. Besides the readalong, we are also going to post some fun blog tour-ish posts for each of these books. After all, these books deserve a big celebration!

You should join us if: a) you have never read these books but have always wanted to, b) you have never read these books but you feel like reading a super cute contemporary romance from the Queen of Swoon, c) you have read these books (once, or more than once) and you are dying to get back into the worlds of Anna and Lola and like us, can’t wait to finally be able to swoon of Josh along with St. Clair and Cricket. Phew, long sentence. Basically, I am super excited for this, because I love these books and also because I have been dying to be able to read Isla (I preordered this baby in December 2012. Dedication, yo). Here’s what’s happening when:

readathon

Don’t know what the books are about? Check out Anna and the French KissLola and the Boy Next DoorIsla and the Happily Ever After on Goodreads. All in all, it’s a very low key readalong. We just want to have fun with this, and enjoy these books during this lovely summer (I’m resting my feet in my newly purchased kiddie pool as we speak). All you need to do to sign up is link up (your blog, website, Twitter, wherever we can find you) below, and, if you want, tweet along using the hashtag #ISLAISCOMING. If you want to write a post to spread the Isla love, that’d be great. You can use the banner above or the button below (both created by the wonderful and talented Meg). But you obviously don’t have to.

islaiscoming-badge2

Review: Virgin

July 17, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Review, 0 comments

Review: VirginTitle: Virgin
Author: Radhika Sanghani
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Genre/Age Group: Contemporary, New Adult
Source: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Okay, I admit it…I didn’t do it.

Yet.

This is normal, right?  I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?

It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.

The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?

Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?

I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.

Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious.

my thoughts

Virgin is what would happen if Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones and Daria Snadowsky’s Anatomy of a Boyfriend/Single Girl had a baby. Part hilarious monologue, part society criticism, I’m sure that every girl or woman growing up in the 21st century (and wondering about everything that has to do with sex, looks, genitalia, masturbation, body hair, etc.) will be able to relate to it. Even though it is very open about all these things and it is possibly more New Adult than Young Adult, I think it’s good for young readers as well, because it deals with so many things teenagers might wonder. (I could have certainly used this book back then.) It talks about a lot of things girls and women obsess over, and it was refreshingly open about all of these things. I’m so glad this book exists.

So let’s go back to the start. Virgin is about Ellie, a twenty-one-year-old English student who lives in London, and who mostly worries about still being a virgin. All of her friends have had sex (many, many times) and Ellie feels left out. As someone who was also a latebloomer, I could relate to Ellie a lot, mostly because I used to worry so much as well. Some people may think she obsesses over her lack of experience too much, but there is so much pressure on women having sex or not having sex these days. It’s like whatever you decide to do, it won’t be right according to the social standards. It’s ridiculous, and this book tackles that issue perfectly. Sure, when Ellie takes matters into her own hands and dates this guy who was obviously a jerk, I wanted to smack her, but I do think it is realistic.

The best thing about this book is its positive attitude towards women having sex. Quite honestly, I was expecting this book to be a little too focused on Ellie’s virginity and make it a really big deal, but instead, it doesn’t just focus on virginity, but everything that has to do with be(com)ing sexually active as a woman. I really like that there was no slut-shaming or virgin-shaming. No one cares that Ellie is a virgin or that her friends are self-proclaimed sluts. (This was a detail I was a bit iffy over, but one of Ellie’s friends is trying to make slut a positive word, so I’m trying to use it in that way.) But I also like that this book talks about sex in such a down-to-earth, realistic way. Sanghani doesn’t brush over any awkward subjects (like getting a Brazilian), but instead describes everything vividly, which is mostly what reminded me of Snadowsky’s Anatomy of a Single Girl. Some may think it’s too open, but I think that’s good.

Sure, there were some things I didn’t like, like the BFF drama or the “love interest”, but overall, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don’t think this book will work for everyone. Some may think it’s a little too open, and others may think Ellie’s struggles are unrealistic and over the top, but I don’t think they were. There is so much pressure on women having (or not having) sex these days and this book portrays that struggle perfectly.  I think this is the kind of book that would help girls and women through all those awkward questions you don’t want to ask anyone. If you’re not convinced, let this description of a sex scene win you over: “For a second he stopped completely and I momentarily panicked that he’d suffocated in my cleavage, but he quickly came back with full force and was licking everywhere like a happy puppy.”

memorable quotes

Taken from the ARC.

“We [...] vow to never mention his name again?”
“Ugh, no,” I said, wrinkling my nose. “Have you not read Harry Potter? By calling him you-know-who, you give him power. You’ve got to call him Voldemort.”
“Fine,” she said, rolling her eyes. “So am I allowed to read Voldemort’s texts?”
She really wasn’t getting my metaphor.

“Don’t waste your time trying to preempt what a guy wants. If you don’t like having Brazilians, don’t get one. Go au naturel. If you want to be a virgin, be one. If you want to sleep with every man who smiles at you, fucking do it!”

“I don’t care what the next guy says about my pubes and I refuse to be part of the culture that assumes women have no hair down there. WE. DO.”

Top Ten TV Shows We Love

July 15, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Top Ten Tuesday17 comments

ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Besides books, TV is one of the first things Ellice and I bonded over. So naturally, this is a top ten Tuesday topic we had to do. Between the two of us, we have a list of fourteen shows we absolutely adore, and I think we did a pretty good job. Do you love any of these shows as much as we do? Or do you have some great recs for shows you think we’d enjoy? Let us know! We love fangirling over TV shows just as much as fangirling over books.

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