P.S. I Like You by Kasie West // I HAVE HOPE FOR LOVE!

Thursday, 29 June 2017 2 comments
P.S. I Like You, by Kasie West
Publication: July 26, 2016, by Point
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 330
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favourite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!
Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

My Thoughts:

Kasie West has just stunned us all with P.S. I Like You. Just like everything else she has written, this is a contemporary romance that is so cute, impressive and addicting. I am in love with the concept solely because it focuses on romance in a different way than your usual author. IT'S A CUTESY SCHOOL SETTING. Sure, we normally find ourselves reading about characters in a school setting, but this was different. This went away from your typical school cliques, and dove deep into the world of pen pals and anonymous messages. Although it was predictable, THAT WASN'T THE POINT. The way West spun the story out was the most important thing that I took from this whole book, and that's what I found the most impressive. To this day, I am unable to identify how this concept came to life. Can we please make a movie out of every book that West writes? Pretty please with a cherry on top?

This book wasn't just about love. It was mostly about a teenage girl named Lily and her high school life. She was battling so many issues throughout the whole book concerning her family, friends and crushes - and it just seemed so real. Some authors are unable to create a contemporary romance chick-lit novel that seems real or valid, but Kasie West always seems to do that, and I just can't help but wondering... how? Every book doesn't follow the same formula of bookish magic, which is what confuses me. Every time, we are introduced to new characters, issues, settings, ways of falling in love. Although I cannot relate to the love part, her writing gives me hope for love. AND SOMEHOW THERE'S ALWAYS SOME KIND OF SUSPENSE ATTACHED.

The suspense was the best part of the novel. I read this going on a road trip, and I found that the pacing of the book progressed at the same rate as my trip did. I felt like I was a fly on the wall when reading this... Lily's life was so realistic that I'm silently hoping that I could be best friends with her. She just seems to be my kind of person. 

At this moment, I wish that I could talk about the love interest. HE IS MY DREAM BOOK BOYFRIEND. I'd like to keep this spoiler-free, so let's just say that the relationship West created between Lily and this mystery guy is unbelievable. Opposites do attract... somehow, and I wish I could understand the mechanisms as to why.

P.S. I Like You is a memorable, adorable story that will just make you smile. It is easy to read, mostly because it is laid out in an interesting fashion with a fun setting. It makes a dream that school is not only about homework, assignments and friend drama. It could definitely be a setting for a true (not cheesy) love story like this. PLEASE GRAB THIS while I grab Kasie's new books. I need them all!

What is a love story set in an interesting place? 

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan // A Cute Sequel. That's It.

Sunday, 25 June 2017 0 comments
The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily (Dash and Lily #2), by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Publication: October 18, 2016, by Knopf Books FYR
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 215
Format: ARC
Source: BEA/Publisher
Rating: ½

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since they first fell in love among the shelves of their favorite bookstore. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.
With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends must take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the unique holiday magic of a glittering, snow-covered New York City in December.

My Thoughts:

I have been waiting forever to read the sequel of Dash and Lily, and I finally got the chance a little after Christmastime this year, which is kind of depressing. The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, however, was quite boring and uneventful compared to the first novel. I feel that this might be because it was released years after the first book stunned us. It has lost the magic, to be honest, and I feel bad saying this, implying that the sequel to an adorable contemporary romance novel was disappointing. 

Listen - 3.5 stars isn't bad. It isn't even terrible at all. It's just that I was expecting something more to come out of this. I wanted Dash and Lily to have a story that screamed out Christmas, hot cocoa, and gooeyness all together. But instead - NO. I was given a story about the two members of this lovely couple questioning their relationship, questioning all the time they have spent together. It was just lacking something, and I felt that the story as a whole was just filler and made to please the audience. It wasn't made as a continuation, because a continuation honestly wasn't needed.

So, as the title explains, this story takes place over a span of twelve days. Twelve days for the two main characters to discover who they are and what their relationship really means. It was cute, but I feel that New York City, the setting, was the reason why it was cute. I COULDN'T GET ENOUGH OF READING ABOUT ALL OF THE STREETS AND ATTRACTIONS AND AGH - it was glorious. I just loved the idea of reintroducing these characters for a short period of time again. It was like another season of Gilmore Girls - same idea and characters, simply made to please the fans.

"This is the funny thing about New York — there are so many things to do at all times of the day, but there are still moments when you have no idea which of them to do, and feel extra silly because you know there has to be something out there for you to do; your mind just hasn't found it yet" (180).

The plot was a little slow for me but I can admit that it was all because of the pacing. The story was meant to go by fast but the relationship's destruction slowly occurred and I just became confused. This surely had its good, swoony moments where I literally FELL for Dash, but I occasionally felt the need to read something else. However, Levithan and Cohn's writing is as gorgeous as always. I constantly feel these poetic vibes coming from every word and chapter.

If you are the BIGGEST fan of this series, then give this a go. If you liked it, but wasn't OBSESSED with it, then you may pass on this because, even though it was written nicely, there are better books out there, including better books by these two authors. I can admit that I missed both Dash and Lily, so this was a nice run-into.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*

What is a sequel that is worth skipping?

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi // My First Experience With a Graphic Novel in English Class

Saturday, 24 June 2017 0 comments
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi
Publication: June 1, 2004, by Pantheon
Genre: Non-Fiction, Graphic Novel, Memoir
Pages: 153
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.
Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

My Thoughts:

 You can't even imagine how long it has taken me to write this review. Eight months, maybe? Nevertheless, I LOVED it. This is the second graphic novel memoir that I have read, and it was so intelligent and unique. It definitely gave me a new outlook on the Iranian Revolution, an event I previously read about in Marina Nemat's Prisoner of Tehran (if you read that and enjoyed it, then this will be just as good). Persepolis is an outlook on crises in the Middle East, and I completely recommend it for anyone of any age. We often hear about what the governments' roles are in these types of situations, however we have limited information as to what citizens are enduring. Marjane Satrapi provided us with this information, and I have grown a bigger sympathy for people because of this memoir. It has made me a better person, I can admit.

Persepolis paints a picture of Marjane's life and how she overcame the many struggles she faced. It's a deep story that is much more than what meets the eye. I adored it so much and found that the graphic novel style imagery just made the book's plot fly by faster. And to be quite honest, the book itself was absolutely in-depth to the point that it felt like fiction. Marjane's story felt like something an author wrote to make readers intrigued. However, this is valid and legitimate, proving that people's lives can be so complex to the extent that we feel that it is totally unreal.

I now feel intrigued to read more of Marjane's writing - I want to see how her story continues and how she became the person that she is. It's not everyday where you get to read a story like this, and I feel quite lucky that this book was chosen as a required read for my English class. It boosted my interest, simply because it is a graphic novel (and I once had an Archie phase so this made me nostalgic in a way) and because it was promising. It holds a unique topic that our world needs to talk about more often. It's an influential, inspiring story that can teach everyone that all we need is a little hope, that no giving up should ever occur or else that'll tear us down. 

Marjane's writing was also easy to read with bits and pieces of depth that is up for interpretation and analyzing. I love analyzing books as I read, so I definitely found many hidden messages in between the lines. I just can't get this out of my head, so I actually am going to request the sequel from my local library so I can see the continuation. It's SO good, and I feel like we need to raise awareness of these unknown books. GO MEMOIRS.

I am begging you to pick this up. IT IS WORTH IT and one of the best books I have read in English class. There's just so much to talk about, so let's have a discussion about this!

Are there any other graphic novel memoirs out there?