Top 5: Books as Event Themes!

Maddie: Neither Bee or I are really party people. The closest we’ve got to a book party is listening to Hailee Steinfeld while we read.  This Top Five Wednesday theme encourages us to think outside the box to create the perfect themed get-together and a couple of books instantly jump to mind!

First, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I’m not suggesting that we all sit around and write letters to past crushes, but can you imagine the aesthetic of the party? It would be pastel confetti, tea dresses and homemade baked goods galore. We’d make each of the sisters’ favourite cookies and then play the ninja-warrior-hide-and-seek-tag game from the second book. Now that’s the kind of party I’d attend in a heartbeat.

Next, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. Everyone would be claimed by their godly parent, when they arrived, with a fun personality quiz. Then we’d play Capture the Flag. (I just like parties with games, okay?) If there was some real planning involved, we’d stage a quest to find…something. Or go in a maze.

Continue reading “Top 5: Books as Event Themes!”

Spring Recommends

Previously, we have given some Christmas Recommends. This is something we’d like to do more of! As part of our seasonal recommends, we bring you the best books to read during the season of new beginnings!

the iron king1. ‘The Iron King’ by Julie Kagawa
Faery tales are absolutely perfect for the spring time! The scenery is perfectly decked out for the spring time, although The Iron King has a technological twist that really makes this faery world stand out. Spring is the best time for faery revelry and discovering new worlds, and Julie Kagawa’s faeries certainly won’t disappoint.

The Unbecoming2. ‘The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’ by Michelle Hodkin 
Spring is all about NEW. Mara Dyer was neither contemporary, a fairy-tale retelling or a dystopian; the genres I find myself reading from most. So, to read a book that was so far outside my comfort zone, I couldn’t even see it on the horizon, was an excellent decision. I think the best label for this series is ‘supernatural thriller’. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as you’d expect from spring recommends, but if you don’t mind unnatural powers, mild gore and oodles of sexual tension, I’d totally recommend picking this book up! (You’ll be in for a wild ride!)

To All the Boys3. ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han
However, if sunshine and rainbows books are more your thing, ‘To All The Boys’ is the perfect read (and basically anything else Jenny Han has written too!) Concerned with boy trouble and romantic solutions, Lara Jean and her adorable family are sure to entertain you on a warm-weathered afternoon.

why we broke up4. ‘Why We Broke Up’ by Daniel Handler
This book is all about getting over a broken heart (well, we’ve all read the title.) Min, our protagonist, takes us through the story of her relationship with Ed, from the halcyon days of holding hards and sweet kisses, to the dark days of smashing cups and stomping on flowers. So, yes, it’s kind of depressing. BUT it’s also all about new beginnings and letting go of whatever’s holding you back – the perfect springtime outlook!

160968245. ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J Maas
What’s better than one book about fairies? Two books about fairies! If Mara Dyer was stepping out of my comfort zone, this book was very much in the centre of my ‘favourite types of books’ Venn diagram. With most of the plot taking place in the spring, and in the Spring Court of the fairy world, this book pretty much hits the recommendation on the nose.

Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All The Boys ITo All the Boys‘ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★.5
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

I got everything that I was expecting with this book, except the promised plot. We were sold on the idea that boys would be receiving love letters from a girl who doesn’t love them anymore, but there were only five letters. Two boys didn’t bother to confront her about it. One boy was sweet about it, but fleeting in the story, and the other two guys ended up in a fight for Lara Jean’s affections.

What I wasn’t expecting was the classic ‘be-my-fake-boyfriend’ plot that steered the majority of the story. And what normally happens in this scenario? They actually fall in love. Did that happen? Is it really a surprise if I say yes?

Although I’m a fan of the fake bf/gf story line (like a good love triangle, when does it ever happen in real life?) I didn’t really get the purpose of this one. The explanation for it in the book was to ‘save face’. What does that even mean?!

The main character, Lara Jean, doesn’t really stand out for me as a character with much backbone. She’s super dependent on her sisters and kind of babyish. This naivety hinders her from doing things and speaking out when, really, that would make her a lot happier!

That said, I loved the relationship she had with her sisters. It was very equal and realistic and though I don’t know what it’s like to have older or younger sisters, I do have a sister and I know what it’s like to be angry with her! My favourite sister was probably Kitty, the youngest. She was adorable, determined and great at plaiting hair. I’d of much preferred a book from her perspective! J

The relationship between Lara Jean and her boy-next-door Josh went unresolved. He was one of her loves but the problem was, he was dating her older sister Margot. (Pronounced Mar-go or Mar-got?) They broke up. Both LJ and Josh were single. Did they get together once LJ knew Josh liked her too? NOPE! LJ did the fake bf routine with the most popular guy at school, Peter. WHYYY?!

Peter and LJ’s relationship was cute. I liked how they both were unsure and adorable to each other, with Peter really trying to impress LJ and Kitty. Josh faded into the background at this point, which was down right inconsistent, but he popped back up at the end of for the classic sister-betrayal fight.

A lot of clichés in this one. Sorry about that.

I originally thought that this was going to be a stand alone, but just discovered it was going to be a series. That’s good, otherwise I would have complained about the complete lack of satisfying ending. What happened with Josh? What happened with Peter? What happened with Margo? I had questions. A lot of them. Now, I guess, I wait for them to be answered.

Overall I’d give this book about 3.5 stars. I did enjoy it once it got going, but was surprised and the change of plot line from what was promised. Jenny Han has such a lovely way of writing family life and simple day activities, with a lot of emphasis put on food. LJ baked a lot in this book that made me crave cookies.

Generally cute, fluffy read with some substance. Definitely needs a sequel to tie up some very loose ends.