My Blind Date with a Book

Hello, all you beautiful humans!

Who here has read a Blind Date book?

For anyone who doesn’t know, blind book dates are usually orchestrated by libraries and bookstores around Valentine’s Day, and essentially consist of a mysterious book wrapped up with a clue on the front.

In case you haven’t already noticed, I did not read this in February when I was supposed to. I also did not post this in February when I meant to.

I’m a queen of library renewals and disappointment.

Aaaaanyway, I’d never done one before, so I figured I’d give it a go this year. I am very much a judge-a-book-by-the-blurb-and-cover girl–AKA the absolute OPPOSITE of the whole going-in-blind thing–so this was very much something I am not at all used to.

The book I turned out to have gotten is The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg. When when I picked it up, it was covered in brown paper packaging (tied up with strings! These are a few of my favourite things!), labelled “It’s a 5-Star fluff with a little protein to make it stick.”

Clearly, that tells me NOTHING except that it’s probably contemporary. I’m still not entirely sure what possessed me to go “yeah! Let’s definitely pick the most ambiguous clue for the first time you’re doing this!”

I wanted to guess things! I had nothing to guess!

I decided, against my usual grain, that I would not look up the title and read the blurb, that instead I would go in totally blind. So in the book about a 40th high school reunion, I first had to piece out oh they’re all seniors, oh they’re from high school, oh it’s a reunion.

It’s an interesting experience to have gone in without any reservations at all, and I found it largely freeing that I didn’t have any expectations, meaning I couldn’t so easily be disappointed. Also, everything was a surprise. Blurbs will often contain or allude to spoilers, presumably as a way of hooking their readers, but then twist ceases to be a twist! The shock isn’t shocking! This time I had ZERO spoilers, and had to piece everything and everyone out as I went. I didn’t know about, as the description states, “Candy Armstrong, the class beauty,” I just knew everyone was jealous of her or wanted her, meaning okay she’s probably the cheerleader.

A downside I found was that I couldn’t get excited about something that was going to happen. I mean, okay, if two characters are gonna end up together, I kinda want to know about it! To anticipate it! Get pumped about it! But I didn’t, so I couldn’t, which didn’t affect me as much as it could have but bugged me more than I, who hates spoilers, might care to admit.

The book itself at the end was pretty good. It definitely took some getting used to the seniors acting like sex-starved teenagers and superficiality of some of the characters, but as the novel progressed it showed more and more depth, offering not only a picture of nostalgia, but also the reality of coping with life coming to an end. I gave it 4/5.

As an experience, the blind date thing was neat. I’m not entirely sure if I’d do it again, and the book wasn’t exactly my usual style, but I found the whole ordeal (yes, ordeal) more fun that I’d anticipated!

Maybe come next Valentine’s Day, it’ll be a solid alternative to my nonexistent love life–who needs a real date when you’ve got a book? 😉

Summer TBR

Welcome! to my latest list of unrealistic expectations – AKA my summer TBR! It’s been a while since I’ve done a legit one of these (TBH I think the last one was in video form. Awks.) and, frankly, I’ve been a terrible reader these past months. But today is a new day! July is here! The sun is out! The birds are singing! My bibliophilic hopes are soaring! And I am gonna kick some serious TBR ass.

To be fun for once, instead of repeating the same books I STILL have on my shelf that you’ve probably heard about a dozen times and I apparently think about reading more often than actually reading, I’m making this more about what I want to add to my ever-growing shelf of unread-tragedy. Three cheers for shiny new reads! Continue reading

A Definitive Ranking of My Book Boyfriends, Because I’m Alone

Oh, Valentine’s Day! So sweet! So romantic! So beautiful! So–

ALONE.

Kay, to be frank, despite having been single for 20 of the 20 V-Days I’ve experienced, I LOVE today. But still, there’s nothing like an abundance of happy couples to draw a little too much attention to your singleness.

So today, I will not be alone. I will be surrounded. Surrounded by beloved characters who already have beloved girlfriends who will be OVERLOOKED so I can be loved by them.

And what better way to celebrate that than with a large pepperoni pizza, a full bottle of wine, and a top-ten list of my favourite book boyfriends??

Easy answer: there is none. Continue reading

Unrivaled

26116460Unrivaled by Alyson Noël

The degree to which I was dreading reading this book just proves how moronic I must be.

You see, I read the first two books of Noël’s The Immortals series and had to stop. There was something about the writing, I thought, that I just wasn’t fond of so when I finished book two and seriously disliked it I thought it best to steer clear of her books since they must just not be for me. Then Unrivaled came along with it’s pretty gold-dripping strawberry cover and featured position on that fateful Costco table and suddenly I found myself walking out of the store, book in hand, despite the fact that a) it’s by an author I don’t like, b) the synopsis is not a book I’d typically enjoy, and c) reviewers compared it to the PLL books which I gave up after #1 because I didn’t like them. Basically I only bought it because it looked pretty so when a BookTubeAThon challenge was to read a book you got for the cover, I knew this was it. And I whined about the prospect of having to get through it.

That was a spectacular misjudgement on my part because oh my stars Unrivaled is. so. good! Continue reading

Geek Girl: Picture Perfect

18665259Geek Girl: Picture Perfect/Geek Girl Series by Holly Smale

Picture Perfect is numéro trois of Holly Smale’s Geek Girl series. Now, before anyone freaks out, I know that I haven’t reviewed either of the first two–I kind of might have read them during that super loooooooooong period of absence on here (shame shame shame)–but they’re just so damn cute I couldn’t not do at least one of them! That said, this review will be on both the individual book and the series as a whole. All right so quick, rough recap/series summary: Harriet Manners is a high school genius with an incredible memory, an arsenal of random facts, and a penchant for both making lists failing spectacularly at anything non-academic. She’s discovered by a top modelling agent when a beautiful teen male model finds her under a table. In Geek Girl, her step mom Annabel doesn’t want her modelling so she and her dad take off for her to shoot in Russia where she re-encounters ‘Lion Boy’ (AKA. Nick Hidaka), the model from the table. In Geek Girl: Model Misfit, Harriet is modelling in Tokyo where she must deal with a broken heart (courtesy of Nick) and hilariously horrible disasters (courtesy of Harriet herself). In Geek Girl: Picture Perfect we have Harriet navigating her repaired relationship with Nick in New York alongside her family where she’s not supposed to be modelling but is. Continue reading

Pushing the Limits

16145531Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits is about two high school seniors who’ve basically been through hell. Echo was Miss Popular (well, one of) until one fateful night Sophomore year leaving her with a mosaic of scars crisscrossing her arms and little memory of the experience. Her controlling, overbearing, image-obsessed dad is expecting a child with her former babysitter and her mother–who may or may not have been involved in Echo’s ‘accident’–suffers from a mental illness. Bad boy Noah’s parents died two years ago and after an unfortunate encounter with a former foster parent he’s spent his time trying to reunite with the family he has left. BTW, you learn all this in the first two chapters so I’m not spoiling anything. Anyway, Echo is for various reasons forced to tutor Noah and it is through this that the two become properly acquainted. The novel is spent fixing/discovering their issues, documenting the goings-on of therapist appointments, and sorting through the intense feelings the two have for one another. Continue reading

He’s So Not Worth It

9703097He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott

WHAAAAAAAT!?!?!

WHY OH WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DO THAT TO ME, KIERAN? WHY?!

Okay, breathe, breathe. In, out. Whew.

Ahem, all right then. He’s So Not Worth It is the sequel to She’s So Dead To Us and the second in the He’s So/She’s So trilogy. If you’re here, I’m assuming you’ve already read the first one (if not, you may not want to see this) and know about the nasty little video and Shannen’s all-around evilness. The sequel follows Ally and Jake as they attempt (not so successfully) to deal with the fallout. Continue reading

She’s So Dead to Us

8341148She’s So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott

I really need to stop underestimating contemporary novels.

She’s So Dead to Us follow formerly rich and popular, now broke and hated Ally Ryan and her humiliation, victimization, loss, and love upon her return to Orchard Hill. Here she meets the super-sexy, super-flirty, super-off limits Jake Graydon (our other POV) who took her place among the ‘Cresties’, the rich kids of Orchard Hill and also Ally’s former best friends.

This is not the quick, light read the title would have you believe. The story actually deals with a lot more than simple romance and betrayal. Ally’s father talked a bunch of Crestie families into some bad investments resulting in the loss of millions, trust funds, houses, spouses, and more. Her dad immediately disappears and she and her mom move away for two years, severing all contact with their former close friends. Continue reading

Girl Online

22510983Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Bleh.

It’s bleh.

Let me just say that had it not been for my best friend’s incessant pleading that I read this, I wouldn’t have. It’s not that I regret reading it–it wasn’t positively horrible–but I’m just saying that there are much better uses of my time. Like studying.

Girl Online is the first novel written by Zoe Sugg. For those of you who don’t know her (like me, before the aforementioned incessant pleading), Sugg runs an ubër famous YouTube channel under the alias ‘Zoella’. Her book was published by Penguin Random House after consulting the CEO’s 13-year-old daughter (theverge.com). Continue reading

Smart Girls Get What They Want

12924304Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Can someone please explain to me why I didn’t read this sooner? I just— I don’t understand.

Let me just get it out there in the open: I am a total, complete, diehard hopeless romantic. And sometimes (I’m sorry) I might take a while to buy/read a certain book if it doesn’t seem to have much romance in it—I know, I’m ashamed. Anyway, it sat untouched on my shelf for a while until finally—and I say this with a smile—I read it. This book was downright adorable! I laughed. I sighed. I swooned. I rolled my eyes. I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration. I wanted to hurl the book against the wall and then check it for bruises before jumping back in.

Surprised? So was I. Continue reading