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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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: The Lines We Leave Behind by Eliza Graham

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“I am only twenty. How can someone like me really help anyone?”

Hello Friends.

There are very few times when a book leaves me completely speechless. Or at least vocabulary escapes me and I can’t seem to put together a coherent thought on what I just read because I have been so affected by what I just read. I also feel like I get this way everytime I read a historical fiction novel that takes place during World War II. Just when you think you know most of what happened, there is something new to discover, and I think that is what calls to me from this particular type of genre.

For those of you who do not know, and it may seem odd, I absolutely adore historical fiction, but I especially love historical fiction that takes place during World War II. I know there are plenty of time periods, events, cultures in other times of the world that are very much important and I love reading about them as well, but I do not know what it is about WW2 that completely captures my attention, my fascination. Perhaps it is because how wide this war’s reach was and how many lives it altered – to the most important political leader, to the smallest soldier or child or sister or spy. Everyone was involved and I think this is why I find it fascinating – there are thousands of stories of resilience no matter what class, race, gender… so many stories we have yet to discover… and I want to read them all.

I’m sorry I have yet to speak about the book friends, but The Lines We Leave Behind in lamest terms… messed me up. I’m a mess. It was an extraordinary story about an extraordinary woman who finds herself in incredibly difficult circumstances. And although her story is fiction, it is rooted in fact – there are those, real people who probably had similar experiences and are in fact real. This book is historical fiction, but also mystery, thriller, suspense. Our main player, Maud or Amber (since she goes back and forth) finds herself in an unbearable situation (in an insane asylum) after the war and deals with what I can imagine many after the war experienced as PSTD. But because she was also a woman, it was handled horrendously different from her male counterparts.

Guys, again, this book left me shaking. I could not believe what I was reading and I was filled with hope and rage and hope and rage and oh my goodness this roller coaster of emotions was a lot, but so worth it. Read it. I highly recommend it.

Book Review | Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren

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“I think I”m only now starting to realize how hard it must be to be a woman. Too thin or not thin enough. Do your job flawlessly, but don’t show up any of the men. Speak up, but don’t be bitchy. Smile.”

Somehow they always do it. Christina Lauren – they are always able to write a completely hilarious, fun, and sexy story while still weaving an important lesson or situation that people should be aware of. In Dating You Hating You, our players are Evelyn and Carter both who work for talent agencies in Los Angeles. They both meet a mutual friends costume party (obviously have been set up) and really feel their connection. They have the same sense of humor, are both really kind and civil to each other, so of course, they are attracted to each other and end up going on a date and well… hooking up.😉

Hijinx ensues when the agency that Evelyn works for takes over Carter’s agency and they now find themselves not only working together but competing for the same position thanks to their seriously horrendous and misogynist of a boss, Brad (yuck).🤮 Anything that can go wrong, goes wrong and they resort to old school pranks on each other through the book, which I found absolutely hilarious! Don’t get the pranks wrong though, they are also in the deep in with their feelings for each other and have to grapple without to work out their chemistry and still be focused on the competitive nature of their job.

Friends, I laughed out loud with this book. Carter is super cute and funny and I know that if I met a guy like him in person, I would totally fall as hard as Evelyn did. He has flaws though and I like that about him because it doesn’t make him the perfect guy. And Evelyn is what I aspire to be in a workplace – cool, focused, and brilliant BUT she doesn’t shy away from her insecurities either, she makes her insecurities work for her and she totally excels.

Now the real issue that the book showcases (which I think is very important) just how unfair it can be for women in the workplace when compared to men. Christina Lauren point this issue out many times by showing that some men do get paid more than women, even if they have been there less time. Or how their horrible boss, Brad clearly favors the men in the company and gives them perks that he doesn’t dole out to the women. Even the language that is used to describe Carter’s work persona (confident) is different then when they describe Evie (intimidating), and THAT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME PEOPLE. We naturally perceive a woman and man’s confidence differently.

I can probably go on and on about that subject, Friends but I won’t. There are plenty of studies and statistics out there for those who wish to research more on the subject. For now, if you want a funny and relatable book to read, try picking up Dating You Hating! If you already read it, let me know! ❤

“Fictitious Trash” a.k.a. Romance Novels

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Happy Friday, Friends!

I have a blog but I also follow other blogs and one of them that I absolutely adore, Two Nerdy History Girls (go follow them if you love all things history!) posted about a pastor in the late 1800’s warning against the dangers of reading novels, specifically of the romantic nature. Another warning was also given by another man:

“I have seen a young lady with her table loaded with volumes of fictitious trash, poring day after day and night after night over highly wrought scenes and skillfully portrayed pictures of romance, until her cheeks grew pale, her eyes became wild and restless, and her mind wandered and was lost – the light of intelligence passed behind a cloud, and her soul was forever benighted. She was insane, incurably insane from reading novels.”

I don’t know about you, friends, but reading sounds like an amazing way to go. My feelings could have gone one of two ways, anger (and oh I was angry), but instead, I decided to laugh and then I got with my cousin, Carla, and we decided to show this book snob a piece of our minds with us becoming the Lit Chicks! 💕

We decided to take this love affair of books up a notch, and spread this diseased love of books we have with the world! We will be “wild” and we will be “restless” and we will be “incurably insane” for this romance books and no one shall stop us!

So please join us every month on Youtube as we discuss and swoon over different romance books. Below is our first video talking about Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. Check it out and let me know what other romance books you would like us to cover! Love you all! 📚💖

 

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: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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“The world seems full of men who are initially infatuated by our eccentricities, but who ultimately expect them to be temporary.”

If I say I enjoyed reading this book, that would be an understatement. I am head over heels in love with this book AND Hazel AND Josh AND I need Christina and Lauren to be my best friends right now and turn my life into a romantic comedy! 💖💖💖

Just when I think their last book is my favorite, I get a new favorite. In this book, we met Josh and Hazel, both of whom briefly knew each other in college. Then seven years down the road with established careers, the two meet and become instant best friends (probably due more to Hazel’s lovable insistence). Hazel’s best friend happens to be Josh sister and from the moment they reunite it’s a roller coaster of setting up blind dates for each other.

This book was totally driven by the characters and the situations they put themselves in. Hazel’s personality is probably one of my favorite that I have had the pleasure to read about in a long time. I don’t think I’ve laughed out loud reading a book in a long time either. I mean tears pouring down my face laughing and re-reading the same sentence over and over (and listening because I also got the audiobook – I love it that much) just to relieve the moment. Her bright and sunny to Josh’s cool and collected was the perfect match and their interactions were priceless. I’ve never read such flawless chemistry between two characters before! How does Christina Lauren make characters so real? It always baffles me.

Ultimately, the book has a beautiful message about accepting your quirks and finding someone who loves you for them too. There are many times in the story when Hazel points out to Josh that guys don’t tend to stick around long because they can’t take all her quirkiness. She isn’t going to change herself because of that though. Josh sees that despite what everyone thinks about Hazel, she is who she is and that is what makes her special. I love that. Dating now in days can seem like a competition and it’s almost like you have to have a filter on in real life in order to be able to make it. Hazel showed me that it’s possible to find someone who will love you as long as you keep being yourself AND love yourself.

All the stars to Josh and Hazel.

P.S. This book got reeeeeeally sexy but it was so darn relatable! 💃

“I have chaos around me, but it’s like he doesn’t care. He doesn’t need me to change or be someone else.”

P.P.S I didn’t say too much about the story and the characters in my review because I have something special up my sleeve with this book and a project I’m working on. STAY TUNED, FRIENDS!