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.*

 

 

Book Review: Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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“Protect your happiness at all costs.” 

Evidence of the Affair is a short story by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but friends, this short story is full of everything that makes Taylor’s books so moving and in only a few pages. The short story is composed of letters exchanged between two people, Carrie and David, who have found out that their spouses are having (and continue to have) an affair. The more that is revealed about the nature of the affair between their spouses the more Carrie and David feel alone but also… it brings them together and they form a bond that both heals them.

Friends, this was beautiful. It’s so short! You can finish it in an hour but the impact it had on me…

“I needed so badly to see that regardless of whether I could carry a child, I was still me, still worth something.” 

Throughout the book, Carrie is confronted with the “fact” (and I put quotation marks because well, you’ll see) that she can’t have a child. Her doctor tells her that it is all her fault. Her husband says that she is useless and can’t do the one thing she is made to do. I should point out that this book takes place in the 1970’s but these are situations that women still find themselves in- situations where they are questioning their worth.

All the time, I hear women around me who say the same thing “I can’t even do the ONE thing I’m meant to do.” “I’ve tried for so long and I’m hopeless.” Now, I never want to discredit anyone’s feelings, but imagine to someone that does not want kids or does not have kids yet? Are they worthless because they have no child?

Am I worthless?

No, you aren’t and no I’m not. Having a child is a beautiful thing, but my life isn’t any less fulfilled then yours because I don’t have a kid.

Thank you, Taylor Jenkins Reid, for pointing out the obvious and letting us know that we were made for so many different things in this one insanely unpredictable life.

“All is not lost. There is still beauty out there, still unexpected wonders.”

Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

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“As far as I can tell, there are only two emotions that keep the world spinning, year after year. One is fear. The other is desire.”

I wanted to love this book. I’m so mad at myself for not loving it. Truly, I am, but there were just so many things that made me cringe. It also took me forever to listen to. There were times when I didn’t feel like listening to it, but again I try to give every book a chance.

The only thing that saved this book from earning a 1 or 2 star from me was the setting and some of the storylines (there were many). The story takes place in Oxford (swoon) in a library (swoon x10) and then later in France, and we round it off by ending in the United States. The premise is interesting enough, a scholar finds an ancient manuscript that contains mysteries everyone is trying to get their hands on! That’s like golden adventure status right there! Plus you throw in some vampires and witches and you got magic (haha, pun intended). There is a lot of science behind the creation and idea of vampires, witches, and daemons and it was all super interesting and it was really cool how much time and research the author put into, but… that is probably where the compliments end. Sorry.

Diana and Matthew. *Sigh* I had high hopes for our witch protagonist and vampire protagonist, both who fall in love with each other (I couldn’t help thinking throughout the book how the hell they were going to be with each other in the future when he’s, you know, IMMORTAL). At first, Diana seemed super cool, smart, and independent. She had an interesting tragic story/background. Then, Matthew, the vampire comes around (stalking her, not a great start) with his hyper-masculine self and asserts himself throughout the book to Diana and everyone else (for those of you who read ACOTAR – he reminds me of Tamlin *shivers*). AND THEY JUST ACCEPT IT! Except, Diana’s aunt, Sarah who is probably the only one with her own mind in the book and my only favorite character. It just made me really uncomfortable. I was hoping the whole time that Diana at one point would side with her aunts or defend them, but nope – she was star-eyed over Matthew the whole time and their love story just became kind of cringe-worthy. She even questions herself at several points in the book and is all “he lied to me” or “he kept this from me” or “he is the general of this house.” UM EXCUSE THAT IS YOUR AUNTS HOUSE? And she is just okay with all of that. I think what would have made this more interesting is if he turned out to be a villain, but nope. I also felt bad for Marcus (his son? who Diana then calls her son?! ew.) and him being all under Matthew’s glorious shadow. We hear a bit about Marcus’s background and I think I would rather read a book about him than Matthew, who can’t help but name drop every important person in the history of the Western world.

I really feel like I should stop, friends. I think it only gets worse from here. *sad face* Diana is not a well-rounded character for me. Before anyone gets on me about criticizing unlikable characters, I always appreciate unlikable characters but Diana goes beyond that. She has absolutely nothing to offer the story except that she is the most powerful witch in a long time, but complains about absolutely everything except Matthew. Also, she faints a lot.

Okay, I’m done. I did read that this was going to be made into a T.V. series. I’m hoping that maybe the T.V. writers fix some characters and storylines. This might be one of the only times when I pray that the on screen-adaption is better than the book.

Now the question you might be asking is: Are you planning to read the second book? Well, friends, I am curious about how the story will end and what will happen, but I just can’t bare to listen to more nauseating romance between Matthew and Diana and hear Matthew being his important self. So maybe… in the far far future.

 

Seasonal Wish List | Fall 2018

Fall 2018 Releases

Hello Friends! It is almost the end of the summer and you know what that means…

Fall book releases galore! I obviously love reading any time of the year (I wouldn’t have this blog if I didn’t…), but there is something very special about autumn that makes me want to get cozy, light up a candle, grab a cup of coffee, and pick up a good book. I say this, even though I live in the Sunshine State and its fall for probably one week in the season and disturbingly hot the rest of the time (also hurricanes).

With that, I’ve included the top ten book releases I am most excited for.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker I have a confession, I’ve been trying (and failing) to read The Odyessy by Homer, the Robert Fagles translation since the beginning of the year. It’s been an odyssey in itself trying to finish it. But I’ve come across a few re-tellings of ancient Greek stories that I’ve been wanting to read including this one! (I read Circe earlier this year and it was phenomenal).

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating Christina Lauren strikes again! I’ve been loving everything they have been writing lately. I gobble it up so quickly. (Side note: I have a special project involving this book coming up soon. Stay tuned!)

The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Karen White, and Lauren Willig Historical fiction is a true love of mine, and I’ve adored the two books by Beatriz Williams that I read this year. I’m looking forward to more brave female heroines.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas OH MY GOODNESS. NEED I SAY MORE? The final book of the series is finally being released and I don’t think my heart can handle it. Don’t mind me… just getting ready for the biggest book hangover of MY LIFE.

Pride by Ibi Zaboi I read Ibi’s first book, American Street in one sitting. ONE SITTING. Also, I’m a sucker for re-tellings and this is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice. Yes, yes, and more yes!

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake The last book left me with my mouth hanging open. I need to know what happens next. Thankfully I already have the book so I do not have to wonder any longer.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kristin White I love Kristin’s other series The Conqueror’s Trilogy, and as I mentioned above, I love re-tellings. I also like the book, Frankenstein. Let’s see how those three things will add up.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory This is a spin-off from her first book The Wedding Date which was ADORABLE AND AMAZING AND ALL THE CUTE ADJECTIVES YOU CAN THINK OF.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton This sounds so darn interesting and it sounds like it has everything I like: mystery, darkness, romance, history. Done. Give it to me right meow.

The Kennedy Debutante by Karry Maher I’ll admit, I thought it had something to do with the Kennedy’s (the presidential ones) but after I read the synopsis, I still want to read it! It’s a historical fiction so I’m sold.

Let me know what you all are looking forward to reading! Any books that I missed this summer that I should add to my list?

 

 

The Bookstore Is There For You.

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Hello friends, last weekend I took a quick trip to Puerto Rico to visit family and check up on them. It’s been almost one year since Hurricane Maria hit and our island is looking… well… rough.

It’s still beautiful with its lush greenery and tall palm trees swaying in obedience to the ocean breeze, but in my grandfather’s hometown, just about 20 minutes from San Juan, hardly any traffic lights are working and every other building looks disheveled and abandon. I spent plenty of time with family, laying around in front of the fan and joking with my cousins, but when I needed a respite from the overbearing heat, I didn’t get closer to the fan, I suggested that we go to the bookstore.

 

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The shelves are interrupted with windows into different sections of the bookstore.

 

We went to Casa Norberto: Libros and Cafebar and I felt instantly at home (and also refreshed by the A/C, let’s be honest). I bought my mother and myself lattes and pastries and we sat down and sipped on our drinks and observed those around us – a father pushing a stroller picking up poetry books, two women trying to find a book in the bestsellers section, my dad trying to pick out a gift for his pastor… it was lovely. I looked up while drinking my coffee and a T.V. screen showcased the weekly events the bookstore was holding and it’s a scene I’ve found myself in many times in many places.

I perused the stacks, taking my time through the aisles and touching the spines of books. I didn’t buy anything, I don’t think my TBR list at home would allow me if it had a mind, but I got something better, comfort, consistency, and quiet company.

“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.” – Jen Campbell

 

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I love these nooks they have throughout the store.

 

Book Review: The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

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“Of course you don’t forget. But you cross that bridge and you can’t cross back to where you stood before. You keep marching, that’s all you can do.”

The darkest of secrets, betrayals, forbidden romance, and MURDER. What else can you expect or want when you put together a cast of unruly characters on a secluded island in summer. My second Beatriz William novel and I AM OBSESSED.

The story centers around Miranda and her interactions amongst the higher class summer vacationers, and the year-rounder islanders who serve them. Miranda’s mother marries into a higher class family in 1951 and what ensues is a clash as the two classes collide (that’s a tongue twister). Miranda must consolidate her growing feelings for the son of a fisherman whilst balancing the act of a new society girl, a role she never thought she would play. There are three storylines – Miranda in 1951 when she first arrives on the island, 1969 when Miranda returns to the island after 18 YEARS, and 1930 from the point of view of Bianca, a young Portuguese girl who has so much more to do with the story than you first believe.

Friends, I got through the first half of the book in one night because I 👏could👏 not 👏put👏 it 👏down.👏 You would think you would get confused with so many storylines but no, Williams crafted a seamless story that had me at the edge of my seat as secret after secret is revealed. Williams was able to tap into the nitty gritty emotions and the relationships that bind us no matter how much we yearn to break free and the main protagonist, Miranda was my absolute favorite, a real “star in the sky.” Class does play a major role in this book, and it’s interesting to see how the characters interact with each other despite the social divides.

Side Note: The Shakespeare quotes sprinkled throughout the novel were brilliant. I’m no Shakespeare expert but I can enjoy the bard. 

My written words don’t do justice for how I feel about this book. I was left speechless last night at 1:00 in the morning.

“Promise me something,” he said. “Don’t ever let them keep you down. “Those bastards, don’t let them change you.”

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If you’ve read The Summer Wives or any other book by Beatriz Williams, let me know and we can fangirl together because my heart is so full right now!

Book Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

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Just when you thought you knew who your friends were…

Side Note: As with suspense/mystery/thriller books I never give much away in my reviews. I don’t want to spoil it for you since this books are so easy to spoil when writing or speaking about them. Expect the bare minimum here!

Lets set the scene – Amber is poor and power hungry. Daphne Parrish is the trophy wife to Jackson Parrish, a bazillionaire (at least that’s what I think the way they kept describing him as). Amber wants what Daphne has and what ensues is of Alice in Wonderland proportions…

I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed The Last Mrs. Parrish. When beginning the audiobook, I had a hard time understanding what Amber’s motive was. I just kept getting upset at every single thing that she did and yelling alone in my car, “WHY DOESN’T ANYONE SEE THROUGH THIS GIRL!” She’s manipulative, narcissistic, cunning – all things you want in a villain. BUT with that being said, all I’m going to say is keep reading and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Or possibly angrily surprised as I was.

As for the other characters I had my suspicions about them and I was proven correct about one. Part One is Amber’s point of view and Part Two is Daphne’s, so you will be able to get both women’s perspective which makes it very interesting.

If you have read The Last Mrs. Parrish and want to fangirl with me about it, reach out!!!