Book Review | I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson

“Some of the best experiences don’t end with a bang, but rather a dose of reality.”

Total Bad Ass.

Abbi Jacobson words were like looking into my own heart and mind. So sit back friends because I believe I’m about to get personal in true Abbi fashion…

“What do you want with your life?” “How far is it to X city?” “Should I say no to the fries and yes to the salad?” “Will I bump into my ex?” These are all things that go through my mind, probably a lot of other people too, and our main girl Abbi Jacobson. She is one of the producers of the show Broad City and God, I love her. Every page I turned and just kept saying yes and praying that we would meet one day and become fast friends. Obviously, the probability that we meet is probably ZERO chance. Abbi has decided that she will go on a cross country road trip from New York City to Los Angeles to give her time to ponder and be on her own, make her own decision, and grab life by the balls! What we get here are her person ramblings of her time on her own, reflections on the world from Climate Change to Sexual Harassment to keeping in touch with friends.

Extremely relatable, her decision to get in a car and drive West is incited by one of the ultimate universal feelings loss and heartbreak.

“That ultimately I’m admitting that I’m scared of being alone. But aren’t we all? Isn’t that… the main thing? Aren’t we all secretly terrified that we’re not understood, not seen, not loved, not wanted? Okay, great, cleared that up.”

Attempting not to fall into the dark hole that is that chair.

Life is hard friends. We all know it. Obviously, we aren’t immune to the suffering of the world and Abbi makes that extremely clear in her book, but it doesn’t lessen the pain we feel when we’ve put our heart on the line only for it to get completely mangled. Pain happens in degrees but it is still pain. Heartbreak is universal. If not then why are there so many damn poems about it? So many songs about failed love? Abbi makes clear the excruciating agony that comes with losing love after being closed off to vulnerable emotions for so long. It can be life-shattering to feel EVERYTHING and nothing all at once. Like you’ll never feel whole again. When thoughts of him (or her) attack you at a moments notice while you’re picking up lentils at the grocery store and you feel your body lurch to the side just a bit and you become imbalanced because you remember, “They don’t exist in your life anymore.” When you get those texts at 4:45 a.m. and your heart squeezes because you know who you are hoping it is and isn’t and you’re scolding your traitorous hand to stay put and not check the message. You know it’s going to hurt, but we still do it.

Abbi goes through this. She acknowledges this and holds on to it like so many of us do. But it’s okay to feel this. It’s okay to be heartbroken, to feel lost, to feel like you don’t know what direction your heart is going. We can feel all these things and more but we keep going… despite the hurt. You got this darling.

We got this. 💗

Ever the wise words.


Book Review | My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

“…we are hardwired to protect and remain loyal to the people we love. Besides, no one is innocent in this world.”

This cover is everything guys. i mean how could you not want to read this?

My Sister, the Serial Killer is… wow, how do I put it… different but interesting. At first glance, you think you are about to read another standard mystery novel (nothing against them though), but what you get is two deeply complex characters and the way familial ties forever bind us, no matter how much we yearn to be set free.

We are introduced to Korede, the older sister who is deemed responsible, uptight, and unlikable to everyone, and then Ayoola, the younger sister who’s looks and personality are alluring to every man she comes in contact with. There is a problem though. As the title suggests there is a killer in the family and it happens to be Ayoola – not a spoiler alert. She kills her boyfriends and her big sister, neat freak Korede comes to the rescue to clean up the mess… every time.

Although not a traditional murder mystery-ish “girl” book, the pace of the plot had me finishing the book in one day (although I think most people would because it is also a very short book with short chapters). I HAD to keep reading to find out if the sisters would get caught and if the book would end the way I thought it would… in tragedy.

I title this “Cousin takes picture of book crime scene. Gisela becomes a killer.

Friends… I definitely felt for Korede. I’m not a big sister, I’m a little sister in my family, but I could feel the bitterness and hurt every time Korede wished to be free of her family’s antics and drama but was pulled in due to obligation. I wondered the entire time, just like Korede ponders throughout the book, why the hell is Ayoola killing these men? She says it’s self-defense, but is there more to it than that? We catch glimpses of the girls upbringing throughout the story and little by little we understand the why. We also see how the different characters in the book perceive the men scattered throughout the story. Some of the men are pure victims in the women’s eyes, but Ayoola who seems like she doesn’t even really care sees them for who they really are and for what they truly (and sadly) want – just a pretty face. Our girl, Ayoola gives them what they want, but it comes with a price.

I’m not so sure how I felt about the very end of the book, though. I won’t say because it would give things away, but it left me wanting more. The book moved forward very quickly and then… I was like “THAT’S IT?!” Despite that, My Sister, the Serial Killer is still definitely worth the read.

Book Review | Vox by Christina Dalcher

“Think about what you need to do to stay free.”

Just me pretending to not have a voice like the women in the book. A total nightmare.

Usually, the most important thing from a book is that it immediately grabs your attention from the absolute beginning. There are slow burn books that gradually get better and build to a beautiful exciting conclusion. But we most yearn for the books that rapture us into their stories. Vox is one of these books. It was wild and I could have finished it in two nights, but I stopped myself because I wanted to make it last as long as possible.

Here is the link to the synopsis on Goodreads so I do not bore you with the details except for one: in this dystopian version of the United States everything is normal except that women are only allowed to speak 100 words or less. They also aren’t allowed to pretty much do freaking ANYTHING. It’s a complete a total nightmare and every time I turned the page I gave a mental (and many times verbal) WTF?!

I also appreciated that our main characters are scientists. That was beyond cool and interesting and I’ve never read a book with characters like Jean, Lin, Enzo, or Patrick. Not going to lie, I had to look up some things they talked about in the book because I felt like a 1st grader and then suddenly I found myself down the rabbit-hole of the internet learning about neuro-linguistics. Guys, it’s complicated.

The ending of Vox, I have to admit, was the only thing I didn’t really enjoy. Although fast-paced is good for the most part, the ending felt way too rushed. Without spoiling anything, there are deadlines and I completely get that, but I wish the author would have expanded a bit more, changed the storylines for some of the characters too. It felt a bit lacking and I think this is also because we get so much from some of the characters during the first 2/3 of the book that the last part leaves you going… “Wait, what?” Vox wasn’t completely unsatisfying, I wish it would have ended differently.

Either way, still worth the read! The topic is interesting and important and reflects heavily the fears that society has now. Whether you follow politics or not, it’s hard to ignore the injustices that happen in our world. Our main girl Jean tries to do this. She constantly tries to ignore the injustice, plays off the weird politics as a joke, “that would never happen” is thought many times… until it does happen. It reminds me of the quote by Martin Niemöller ” and I believe it summarizes the idea behind the book beautifully:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/martin-niemoeller-first-they-came-for-the-socialists

It’s important to show some compassion friends. Even if situations don’t directly affect us, they will in the end.

Hopefully the library doesn’t care that I put it on the ground for the sake of a picture.

My Top Books of 2018!

Happy Last Day of The Year Friends! 

2018 has been an exciting and strange year for me but the books I’ve read have been life-changing and beautiful. I’ve included my top books below! Obviously, Christina Lauren and Taylor Jenkins Reid take the cake for favorite authors of this year!

Let me know if you read any of the ones below. Cheers to another year full of books and magic!

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Lit Chicks December Read | The Duke’s Holiday by Maggie Fenton 💕

Hi Friends! 

I hope your December is magical and peaceful. If you celebrate Christmas, then Merry Christmas! If you celebrate anything else then I wish you a joyous season! Woo!

Carla and I are back with a Regency-era romance this month and we must say it was uniquely entertaining. It’s an old-timey romance with all the trimmings: an uber smart heroine, a stuck up duke (he changes we promise), a creepy villain, and endless hijinx.

Enjoy friends!

xoxo

Merry Bookmas!

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Hello my wonderful bookish friends!

I hope you are all having a magical holiday that is hopefully stress-free. For myself, it’s been a bit of both; juggling multiple responsibilities like work (but why?), finding the perfect thoughtful gifts for the special someones in my life while dodging everyone in the mall (thank goodness for the internet), and making time to read all the books!

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*phew* *wipes sweat*

I have to admit, I’ve been a little MIA the past few weeks with all of that and more going on, but never fear you are all (whoever you are out there) still in my heart! I have a bunch of wonderful projects, reviews, and trips planned for 2019 and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Stay tuned next week for:

📚 Book Reviews (a lot of them)

💕 Lit Chicks December Pick Video (If you haven’t started reading go go go! A Duke’s Holiday!)

🎇 2018 Top Books!

✏️ And perhaps an article or two!

Thank you to all who have read the books I’ve reviewed and recommended! As always reach out if you want to book gossip with me!

Have a beautiful, magical, and miraculous season my friends.

xoxo,

Gisela

Book Review | Sadie by Courtney Summers

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“And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl.”

So where do I begin?

Agonizing, devastating, and important.

Sadie by Courtney Summers is dire in a way that makes me want to run up to the highest mountain and scream my lungs out to release the emotions and the knowledge that bad things happen in this world that we have no control over.

This story is told in alternating chapters – Sadie, on a mission to find her younger sister’s murderer while confronting her own taunting demons, and West McCray a radio personality following the trail of Sadie, who has gone missing, no one knowing why.

I listened to the audio book first before purchasing the book and I highly recommend it to be listened to. It’s narrated by a cast and the radio show has a podcast feel that will appeal to anyone who likes listening to mystery or crime podcasts. My heart was achingly racing while listening to it. The narrator for Sadie brought to life the loss she felt at no longer having her younger sister around and the survivor’s guilt she carries around with her. West McCray’s performance gets more and more desperate as he hopelessly talks to people who have crossed paths with Sadie in an attempt to find her and bring her home.

I won’t give much because you need to experience it, but it’s a  hauntingly realistic portrayal of what happens everyday – children get killed and people go missing and our system very often fails at protecting innocent lives. Sadie points out many times in her narrative how the powerful protect the powerful, while the weak are left to defend themselves in the only way they know how. West McCray also points this out when interviewing the witnesses when they all mention how unhinged Sadie seemed – “Maybe she was protecting herself?” West McCray and very few people actually see Sadie for what she is, a girl who has been hurt in the most despicable way and is searching for justice.

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Sadie’s mother, Claire also brings up a very valid point that I can’t stress enough:

West McCray: “I often think about what Claire said to me in the apple orchard in Cold Creek. How when she asked me why I was looking for Sadie, I told her I had a daughter of my own because it felt like the most noble thing I could offer her at the time. Claire got mad at me, rightfully, for using my daughter as a reason to see the pain and suffering in her world, and as an excuse for my fumbling attempt to fix it.”

So many times, we only pay attention to the struggles that directly affect us. During this scene in the book, Claire points out what a bullshit excuse “I have a daughter, sister, mother and that’s why I care” is. We should care because there is an injustice and we are human. You don’t need to have kinship with the person in pain to try to understand their struggle. You learn and you empathize and you act.

I have a lump in my throat thinking about this book. My stomach turns and roils with the desolate situation Sadie finds herself in, time and time again. I so wanted a happy ending. I wanted good to triumph over evil. But as Sadie says:

“It was a terrible thing, sure, but we live in a world that has no shortage of terrible things. You can’t stop for all of them.”

Sadie, hopeless as she feels, knows that sometimes nothing can be done. I know, books as these are not always people’s cup of tea. Books are a form of escapism, even for me. But you have to, you have to listen to this. You have to get your head out of the clouds sometimes, and realize that there are very real people going through very real things and they need you. They just need you to know that you see them. That they exist. Their pain is valid.

“I always forget fear is a conquerable thing but I learn it over and over again and that, I guess, is better than never learning it.”

Lit Chicks November Read | Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid 💕

Hi Friends!

We hope your Thanksgiving was full of love, gratefulness, and food! And if none of those are up your alley (we totally get it), we hope that it was filled with tons of good books (or Netflix)!

Carla and I know that some of you are probably running around getting started on your Christmas shopping and others might still be in a state of stupor after eating tons of food. Whatever state you are in, how about you take a break and have some fun with us while we discuss Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid! Enjoy!

xoxo

Book Review: Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody.”

If I wasn’t convinced before (which I was from the very first book) I am absolutely convinced that Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favorite authors. Each book I read teaches me something new, makes me feel something I haven’t before, and forces me to empathize with characters I will probably never meet. Daisy Jones and The Six is no exception.

Just like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (if you haven’t read it yet, please do so – it is phenomenal) I had a hard time remembering that this book is fiction because Taylor makes it so damn real! I kept wanting to look up on Google “The Six” and “Daisy Jones,” while listening toa healthy dose 70’s rock. In this book, we get Daisy Jones, a girl born of the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, and the band The Six which is composed of Billy, Graham, Karen, Eddie, Warren, and Pete. It is evident in the book that although it is The Six, the stars of the show are Daisy and Billy and how the band falls apart in 1979.

The book is told in an interview style, with each of the band members having their say of what happened, now, in the present. That, right there, this telling of past events is what got to me. You can’t help but take notice that the past happened, yes, but it gets so convoluted the more time passes and the more people were involved. Everyone sees events differently, and it goes to show that the way you experienced something, will never be the same to another person, even if you are both looking at the same damn thing.

“You have these lines you won’t cross. But then you cross them. And suddenly you possess the very danger information that you can break the rule and the world won’t instantly come to an end. You’ve taken a big, black, bold line and you’ve made it a little bit gray. And now every time you cross it again, it gets grayer and grayer until one day you look around and you think,

There was a line here once. I think.”

There are a few specific events that happen, which I won’t go into extreme detail because:

  1. This book doesn’t come out until next year.
  2. This is a book you really should experience without knowing too much. The summary on Goodreads is excellent because it just gives you the general gist of the book. No spoilers. Well except that you know they split up, just not how.

But what I will say is thank you, Taylor, for not being afraid to write about things that most authors don’t like to write about. She writes human emotions in a way that the feelings become visceral. I cried, guys. I cried and I raged with every member of the band. I wasn’t just a reader, I was a participant reliving the emotions of fictional characters.

Daisy Jones and The Six comes out on March 3, 2019. Mark it on your calendar because the band will take you on a tour down memories filled with sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.*

Also, I vote to have all the song lyrics turned into actual songs by a singer! 🙋

“It’s like some of us are chasing after our nightmares the way other people chase dreams.”

 

*I might update my review once the book comes out so I can gush about all the things Taylor made me feel while reading it.*

 

 

Lit Chicks October Read | Match Making for Beginners by Maddie Dawson 💕

Hi Friends,

Welcome back to another Lit Chick post! From the bottom of our hearts (mine’s and Carla’s) we are so grateful for everyone who watched our first video and gave us such kind words. This really is a fun thing for us to and we love sharing our love of books with you!

This month we decided to read Match Making for Beginners by Maddie Dawson. We thought this was the perfect read for the beginning of the holiday season. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Love you all and enjoy!

xoxo