Tuesday, August 22, 2017
As an aside, my love language is definitely Quality Time, closely followed by Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. Physical Touch is pretty far behind, and Gift Giving is almost non-existent for me. It's funny to realize how much of a disparity there is for me between the different categories.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
The authors say that they are writing in the spirit of The Princess Bride and their hilarious, irreverent tone definitely follows in the same sphere. I loved how the narrators continued to "check in" with the reader and break the fourth wall of the story by telling us things behind the characters' backs and how they would give little asides like, "He looked like a regular Casanova--although the comparison didn't actually cross his mind, since the actual Casanova wouldn't be born for another two centuries." All in all, this was a really fun and excellent read.
Side note: I saw some people on Goodreads label it as YA but there's nothing YA about this, in my opinion.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
I feel like reading this book, Warner must have been kind of unsure how to recreate the magic and independence and self-reliance that is the main theme of the first book for a sequel. Now that the kids have been rescued and live with their super-wealthy grandfather, they have servants to do everything for them, so what's the fun in that? So she has the grandfather send them to fend for themselves and live on a private island he owns for the summer, because he thinks that would be fun for them. (It's so hilarious that this was considered okay back then--for four children to go live alone on an island unsupervised all summer long.) They forage for food and dig up some surprises and make a museum out of the things they find, and discover an unknown cousin in the process. It definitely wasn't my favorite of the Boxcar Children books, but not bad. Dane loved it and has been making little museums out of his toys and stuffed animals in his bed at night, and is begging to move on to the next one during our reading time.
Friday, August 11, 2017
I liked how this felt so classic Montgomery to me, with hilarious, quirky, opinionated characters that seem to come off the page (I think Grandpa Murphy would have fit right in with some of these clan members). I especially liked the story about Gay Penhallow, who was young and in love and goes through her first heartbreak, and her emotions and realizations during that year felt very realistic. But I couldn't seem to quite get into it; I was kind of waiting for it to be done. I think maybe because there wasn't one main story to tie it all together? And I felt like some of the stories were a little silly and unbelievable, like the couple who got married ten years before but on their wedding night they separated and haven't spoken since, but the man still secretly loves her and the woman just needs a nudge to go back to him and they will live happily ever after? I'm sorry, but no, that would not have happened. Any of it. But it was a fun read and I'm happy to have it on my shelf.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
The two things I liked about this book were:
-Asian love interest--a nice difference from most YA novels, and appropriate for being in Southern California, where it was like 50% Asian (at my high school)
-Based in Tustin, five minutes from where I grew up, and at the Santa Ana Zoo, which I've visited many times and where I have pictures of Dane riding the exact carousel in the cover. So I was able to picture it all myself and enjoyed that.
But otherwise... not so much.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
In this story, Celia, Jane and Margot Woodward are left to fend for themselves when their pretty much good-for-nothing father leaves them and the country after embezzling money at his company. Celia and Jane decide to set up a tea shop to make money, and things work well for a while, until their new landlords up the rent and kick them out of their San Francisco shop-space and apartment. So they move to Austin, as a new place to start fresh and find a new place to set up shop, moving in to the guesthouse of a cousin of their (dead) mother's. And... you can guess what happens from there. I really liked how Lodge was able to modernize the Dashwood sisters and their predicament, and how she wrote them in a way that made them seem almost less charicature-ish than most retellings and even the original story, where Elinor is SO logical and Marianne is SO emotional. In this book, the two sisters definitely had more of those personalities, but the story was told from Jane's perspective (the Marianne of the story), which I feel changes the whole point of the overall story. Instead of looking on at Marianne's hysterics and obsessive romance and thinking she's totally overdoing it, you are in Marianne's shoes and seeing her get swept off her feet by the picture-perfect guy. I also liked that we got into Callum Beckett's perspective as well (the Colonel Brandon), which also gives the story a lot more depth. AND I really liked all the quotes about Texas and tea before each chapter--I thought that was cute. The author must live in Austin or Texas, because she really knew her Texas food places--Torchy's was mentioned several times, and Amy's Ice Cream, and a lot of Austin favorites. I thought the focus on tea throughout the story was pretty cute. And I thought it was kind of neat how there were recipes sprinkled throughout the story, since Jane was a huge baker/cook herself (for their tea salon) and that was a major hobby and interest of her character's.
All in all, this was a riveting audiobook--I kept sneaking a chance to listen every time I was nursing or sitting down for more than a minute, and I thoroughly enjoyed this twist.