Book Review | The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon ☀️

Hello my bookish friends!

I hope you are all having a magical week so far. It’s Wednesday so we are halfway to the weekend and I cannot wait to jump into bed and catch up on some sleep, wake up and have a nice slow breakfast. I love starting my mornings slow and steady. It really helps me to ease into the day and be ready for a whole lotta adventures… some of those adventures of the literary kind. This week we’ll be gushing about the ultra endearing and heartbreaking The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. ☀️ It took me a bit to find the words to describe how much I adore this book and how I came to read it at this moment in time when I needed it the most.

The Sun is Also a Star gives us the cool, science/math fangirl Natasha and dreamy and poetic Daniel. They meet accidentally (or do they) the same day that Natasha and her family are getting deported and have a whirlwind day discovering for themselves if things happen for a reason, if logic plays a role in people’s lives, and if it’s possible to fall in love with someone in one day. 💖

Friends, I’m not a big love at first sight type of person. Usually when I read those tropes in books, I kind of roll my eyes and take it with a grain of salt. Somehow Nicola Yoon made a believer out of me and I was flipping through pages totally wrapped in a tale as old as time. In between Natasha and Daniel’s chapters we get insights into the lives of people around them which add critical perspective at the situation and shows how intricately connected we all are. Yoon also gives us little pieces of science stories and historical facts that also add depth and make us understand where these characters come from and how their lives are shaped.

That’s all I want to say for now friends. This book is being made into a movie! I can’t wait to grab a bucket of popcorn and a cherry coke and see Natasha and Daniel on the big screen.📽️🍿

What books made you believe in love again? 💕

Until next time friends.

Read something wonderful and stay curious.

xo, Gisela


A Month of Bookish Love | Me Before You

Happy Tuesday once again bookish friends!

Valentine’s Day has come and passed but that doesn’t mean that we have to take love and smoosh it into a dark corner. Although if you are going through a breakup, that is perfectly acceptable for the time being. This week I’m bringing you another book that made me believe in love. It is the heartbreaking Me Before You that made me cry all the tears.😭

Me Before You tell the story of an unlikely couple who meet under very unusual circumstances. We have Louisa Clark who is one of the cutest, bubbliest, good-hearted heroines I have ever read. Usually, people assume that that means the character lacks depth, but Louisa is so much more. She offers so much to the world and has a very special brave heart. She is also intensely hilarious and I love a person that can laugh at themselves. Then we have Will whom because of an accident that left me paralyzed is bitter about everything and lost hope in his case.

As the story progresses and Louisa and Will get to know each other in a way that even regular couples don’t know each other sometimes. Because of the nature of his situation Will is at the mercy of Louis and other people taking care of him and it leaves both him and Louisa in very vulnerable positions. But oh, my friends, this vulnerability is where the magic happens. Being vulnerable allows us to get to the heart of things and see the gritty stuff we usually don’t let others see. It helps us to grow close, move past trauma, and realize we aren’t alone in our situations.

The way Louisa and Will’s relationship unravel can be open to interpretation and opinion, but to me, this book is beautiful in all it’s heartbreak. Both Louisa and Will learn from each other that life is so much more than what we see in front of us and that it can be worth living despite our past experiences. Yes, there may be an end to something that you have that was full of life and love and there will be many endings in our lives. But endings always lead to new beginnings, as cheesy as that sounds. But it’s cheesy because it’s true.

Okay now I’m crying.

Live boldly friends. xoxo, Gisela

A Month of Bookish Love | My Oxford Year

Hello Bookish Babes! I hope everyone is having a beautiful February so far!

Although February is notoriously known as the month of love, or Valentine’s or whatever, not everyone has a special someone. Which is completely okay! But why not spend this month with a true love that will never leave you? Yes, obviously I’m talking about books *nervous laughs.*

This month I’ve decided to share with you four books that I turn to often and that I absolutely adore. It was really hard to choose just four (But also, some of my favorites are out on loan to a couple of friends. I’m generous, what can I say). At the end of the month, I’ll list all the other romance books I adore so that you have plenty to chose from!


First on the list is My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan and friends… this book is lovely. We find Ella Duran a Rhodes Scholar traveling to Oxford to study for a semester. There she humorously bumps into some local guy but later finds out that he will be her literature professor. Sometimes those corny meet-cutes don’t work, but this one works. Of course professor, Jamie Davenport is a swoony intellectual and I couldn’t help falling in love with him from the get-go. Whoever says love, at first sight, doesn’t exist obviously hasn’t fallen in love with a fictional character.

Ella and Jamie’s fling turns into something more, as they exchange absolutely hilarious witty banter at each other, heartbreaking secrets are revealed, and life throws all the lemons at them. Fair warning, I sobbed at least a few times reading this book and when I finished it I was a wreck, but in the best way possible. My Oxford Year made me believe not only in the power of love between two people but between family and friends. There is a cast of characters that Ella meets during her time at Oxford and they are so endearing that I wanted to put them in my pocket and keep them forever. Ella herself is also a character. She stands up for what she believes in, doesn’t take shit, and we see her grow into an even more remarkable person. She begins to love Jamie, but that doesn’t change who she fundamentally is. I LOVE that.

Anyone who needs a bit of adventure, romance, and maybe shed a tear or two… My Oxford Year is for you.

The last thing I’ll share is a poem that Jamie writes for Ella who claims to only want a fling, but it ends up being one of the most romantic parts in the book. I still turn it it every so often when I need a bit of Ella and Jamie magic.

Hot Chocolate

Will you let your bindings

Bind?

Blindly for eternity?

Or will you snip the

Rotted lines,

‘Fore they be snipped for you?

Be back next week with another bookish love. Don’t mind me… just got a leak in my eye.

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: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

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“What does it say about a place that people will risk certain death to leave it?” 

After reading this book my heart is nostalgic for a country I have no connection to, and it breaks for those that do. Chanel Cleeton wrote a loving story during two turbulent times in the history of Cuba. Although, after reading this book it’s hard not to say that the times in between have been a complete disaster, a crime against humanity.

I absolutely adore historical fiction with all my heart and enjoy when authors write dates and facts into books so that you can know when and where things are happening. Cleeton does this in a brilliant way. She gives us the facts without taking away the emotional context of the story. If anything it only adds to the drama of the story and keeps had my heart racing trying to determine the outcome (even though we know what happened in history). As a reader, you learn everything you need to know and more to understand the circumstances that Marisol finds herself in while traveling to the land her grandmother was exiled from.

The book goes back and forth between Marisol’s grandmother, Elisa’s point of view to Marisol’s (in the present), and it was interesting to say just how alike the two women from different time periods, are. Their actions mirrored each other, without them even realizing it.

I’m an advocate for historical fiction. I truly believe when you put the emotional context into historic events, people understand, people empathize. For anyone not versed in the Cuban Revolution or in the precarious relationship the United States has with Cuba, this is definitely a good book to read. And for my romance gals, there is plenty of swoon-worthy moments as well.

“Do we all dare to hope for more? Of course.”

I give it 5 stars. If you want to fangirl with me about Next Year in Havana, please reach out to me!

Gisela’s review of My Oxford Year

But who are we really, eh? We’ve told each other what we think, but we’ve no idea what we feel. That requires a conversation. Having words, having language, to connect us to ourselves and to each other.“

Frankly, I don’t know where to begin. Sometimes I read a book purely for entertainment. Sometimes I read a book because I want to learn more about a subject. But, all of the time, I read purely to understand the condition of being human.

Ella and Jamie taught me that. Their shared love of knowledge and academia and poetry… was beautiful and called out to the nerdy student in me. They were clever and mischevious along with all the other characters present in the book.

Through Ella’s journey- neverending fear, unbridled joy, unconditional love, and worrisome thoughts are constantly present. But as Jamie says we must "Carry on.”

The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all the things I cannot change. Love that doesn’t follow a plan.“

Side Note: I cried more than a few times while reading this book. I think I was meant to read this book at the exact moment my life demanded it. This book needed to tell me something, and it did and I will cherish it always.

This will be a top-shelf book.

Gisela’s review of My Oxford Year