Apr 21, 2014

The Truth About Forever

Sarah Dessen, from the moment I ever read one of her books, is one of my favorite authors. She writes these beautiful contemporary stories that you can't help but get caught up in. The Truth About Forever is easily one of my favorites along with, Just Listen. It's one of those books I've read so many times the spine is starting to look very worn. But I can't help but always come back to this story.

A long, hot summer...

That's what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy's father.

But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister's project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl's world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?

Macy's life is anything but perfect but perfect is what she strives towards. She has to feel that sense of control over her life after the sudden and traumatic death of her father. And even though everything seemed fine the way it was with Jason, her intelligent boyfriend once he leaves for Brain Camp she realizes her life isn't fine. She isn't fine and never will be perfect. And that's okay.

Macy is a character who I really related too in a lot of ways. She likes to feel in control of her life and has a hard time going off routine. But things change when her boyfriend leaves for the summer. And thank god because Macy goes from being a likeable character to a character who is not just likeable but loveable. It was awesome how much growth Macy goes through without this book. She goes from this somewhat quiet girl to becoming a badass who knows how to make an exit. I so loved this character. I think a lot of people want to achieve being perfect or somewhat so and I loved that we get to see Macy realize perfect isn't achievable. Having flaws is so much more enduring.

Wes oh Wes. He tops the charts on my favorite book boyfriend list. He just does and there are many, many reasons for this. Wes is thoughtful, artistic, genuine, funny, and completely flawed in his own way. And of course the fact he's totally good looking doesn't hurt anything either. I loved that about Wes is how he doesn't take the fact he's attractive seriously. Looks aren't important to Wes. Have you fallen for him yet? He's such a fantastic character it's hard not too fall head over heels.

Sarah Dessen has a way of always building the best friendships before she explores any romance. That is one of my favorite things. It's important to me that their is a friendship or how else will the relationship actually last? And Wes and Macy become really good friends by playing Truth. I loved it whenever they picked the game back up! The interaction between these two was so wonderful.

There are so many characters in this book that you find yourself loving pretty much everyone. And as they all interact together you find yourself laughing, getting emotional, and mostly laughing. The whole Wish crew? Loved them! Bert was my favorite. He was so funny and goofy--unintentionally so most of the time. Kristy was another favorite and even Monica who never gave energy into full sentences. The chaos between the catering crew was so real and fun and I wish I could be apart of it. 

Though there is romance in this book it's not the center of the story. Family is like it is in most of Sarah's books. One of my favorite things about this book is how everything seems to be interconnected without you even realizing. All I will say is that final thing from Macy's father was something beautiful and such a sign.

The Truth About Forever is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me! As always Sarah Dessen writes a beautiful story about family and how to live in the now. You don't need to be perfect, you just need to live and be happy. Read this book and not simply for Wes, even though he is great, but because it's a story everyone needs to read. It holds such a beautiful message. I'd recommend it for anyone any day of the week.

Apr 18, 2014

Just Listen

Just Listen is one of my favorite books written by Sarah Dessen. Ever. It's a story that to this day has stuck with me and every time I find myself rereading it I find I love not only the story but the characters within it more.

Annabel Greene is "the girl who has everything" — at least that's what she portrays in her modeling shoots. But Annabel's life is far from perfect. Her friendship with Sophie ended bitterly, and her older sister's eating disorder is weighing down the entire family. Isolated and ostracized at school and at home, Annabel retreats into silent acceptance. Then she meets Owen–-intense, music obsessed, and determined to always tell the truth. And with his guidance, Annabel learns to just listen to herself and gains the courage to speak honestly. But will she be able to tell everyone what really happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends?

Annabel Greene is the girl with everything. The girl who holds back as not to hurt others feelings. The girl who can't handle conflict. A girl who has something brewing deep inside of her that she won't allow herself to say. She's dealing with something far bigger than anyone has any idea about. And then she meets Owen and he teachers her honesty and that silence is so freaking loud.

Annabel Greene is one of my favorite characters. Sarah rights her so beautifully and she's so real. I could relate a lot with Annabel in the way that she has a hard time expressing herself and doesn't do well with conflict. And because there was so much about Annabel that reminded me of myself I found myself getting very invested in her story. It's such a beautiful and often times heartbreaking story. She's the type of character who sticks with you for a long time. Her story always at the back of your mind.

Owen Armstrong will and forever be one of my favorite book guys. He is so admirable and utterly honest. He does not lie. What so ever. What you see is what you get with Owen. And boy do you get something amazing. He isn't perfect though and that's something I really appreciate about Sarah Dessen and the characters she creates. He's very much real and such a music junkie.

I really loved the way Sarah wrote Owen and Annabel's story. Here are two complete strangers who build a friendship and slowly find a romance building. I personally really love the gradual growth of two characters who are friends before a romance starts. There is something much more endearing and charming about the romance when that happens. And Sarah does it so well that it makes it that much better between Owen and Annabel.

Me being someone who really loves music always really enjoys when music is featured in books. There is a lot of discussion and mention of music in this book because of Owen being so into it. And I really loved that. There was mention of so much music and such a wide variety of things. Owen definitely listen's to a bunch of different things and the discussions with Annabel about it were the best parts of the book.

There are a lot of great characters in this book from Rolly and Mallory to Annabel's sisters. That is something I really loved was it wasn't just about Annabel but also about her family and how through the years and struggles they've changed. Whitney grew to be one of my favorite characters and I loved her character growth as she came to terms with her condition.  And Kirsten as well was great as she too changed.

There is so much I loved about this book. I could talk about it for hours from how beautiful Sarah Dessen's writing is to how amazing the characters are. Just Listen gets 5 out of 5 birds from me. This book conveys a very good message and it's too beautiful of a story not to be read. I'd recommend everyone read this one. You'll quickly become invested in the story. It's very hard not too.

Apr 17, 2014

If I Stay Movie Trailer

There are so many amazing books being adapted into films these days. And I've noticed recently that they are finally sticking closer to the book than they did when they first started making these adaptions. Last night on MTV they released the first trailer for If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This is a book that I really loved and it's a book that demands to be cherished.

Holy moly. That's all I could think after watching the trailer the first time around. Of course once I was over the shock of how awesome it looked many thoughts flooded my brain and I watched it over and over again. I'll get to that. But first watch the trailer if you haven't seen it yet!

Okay I have to recover from my feels. Every time I watch it I get chills. It looks like it is going to be beautifully acted. I have never heard of the guy who is playing Adam but I have to say I am sold one hundred percent. His acting looks amazing already and this is just a trailer. Did anyone else just get captivated by him? Especially when he's asking her to stay? I can't wait to see the whole movie. Chloe looks like she will do Mia justice and her acting is always pretty good. Gah. I am just so excited. I have to reread the book sometime soon. What are your thoughts on the trailer? Are you as excited as I am?

Apr 16, 2014

That Summer

That Summer was the very first book I ever read of Sarah Dessen's. To do this day I can still remember picking up that book and falling in love with Sarah's writing. After all these years I still really enjoyed That Summer.

 The more things change...

For fiteen-year-old Haven, there's just too much going on. First, there's her father's wedding to Lorna Queen, the local television "Weather Pet." Then her sister Ashley's wedding to boring Lewis Warsher, who doesn't seem to suit Ashley at all. And Haven can't ignore the fact that she's nearly six feet tall and still growing. Haven can barely figure out who she is anymore or where she fits in. Then Ashley's old boyfriend, Sumner Lee, shows up and sparks Haven's memories of the summer when her parents were happy, her sister was plucky and carefree, and everything was perfect...or so it seemed.

Too much is changing in Haven's life. Her father is getting remarried, her sister is getting married to a guy nothing like her usual type, and her mom has a new friend Haven isn't all that fond of. Not to mention the fact she's struggling with the fact she's nearly six foot tall.

Haven was an interesting character. She wasn't one that I could necessarily connect with but at the same time I could understand where all her frustrations and anger was coming from. It is a hard thing to accept change and with Haven it seems like everything has changed. She gets tired of never being bold and speaking her thoughts. I love Haven because she's very much a realistic fifteen year old girl. She's flawed like most people are especially at that age when we are trying to figure out who we are.

Sumner Lee made an impression on Haven. A big one. So much so that when her sister dumped him she felt everything fell apart in her family. Her parents got divorced and no one was really ever as happy again. And now Sumner is back in her life and it brings all those happy times rushing back. I really loved Sumner Lee and his role in Haven's life. It's hard not to like Sumner. He's got a a quality about him that demands to make you smile. But he wasn't this perfect character either. That's one of my favorite things about Sarah Dessen's characters are how real and flawed they are. And Sumner certainly was. I loved how everything came to full circle with Ashley and Sumner and what exactly happened that night.

Ashley can seem like a bit of a brat in the beginning so focused on her wedding and having hissy fits over things. But at the end of the day Ashley is really good character and I found myself really liking her and the relationship she had with Haven.

Though this book doesn't have all that much of a romance aspect it never failed to keep my attention. Sometimes it's okay for a book not to focus so much on the romance and more so on a family struggling to pick up the pieces as everything around them changes. I liked that Sarah did that with That Summer. 

This is a quick summer read with a great story to be told about family and how change isn't all that bad when you know why everything changed in the first place. That Summer is getting 3.5 out of 5 birds from me! I really enjoyed this book and all though it isn't the best of Sarah Dessen's work or one of my favorite's I'd still recommend everyone read it. It's a good book with a story I think anyone can take a little something out of it and relate to.

Apr 13, 2014

My Life Next Door

I am a huge sucker for boy next door kind of love stories and I have to say that My Life Next Door has to be one of my favorites of them all. Because not only is it a sweet romance but it's a great story with more than just a romance. It's about family and hard choices. It's such a good book.

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

From the moment the Garrett's moved in next door to Samantha they were off limits. They were this big rowdy family her mother could do nothing but complain about. Getting to know them was not something her mother would allow. So that left Samantha to watch them from afar.

I quickly become attached to many of the characters in this book. And surprising it wasn't the main characters but instead the Garrett's themselves. I adored this family from the start whether it be little George or Patsy who only seems to know the word "boob". I have never loved a family like this one. Sometimes when there are siblings or parents involved in books it doesn't work all that well. It can grow to be boring but with the Garrett's that wasn't the case. Each of them was written so well that I was always so eager for there to be more of them.

Samantha was a great character. I really enjoyed her narration and it was very easy to become engrossed with her fascination with the Garrett's. They live next door to each other yet their lives are completely different. And from the moment Samantha meets Jase she changes little by little. She changes for the good. She becomes stronger and braver and more loving. I could fall in love with Samantha and Jase's story over and over.

Jase Garrett he is something else. Something so amazing he sets new standards for book boyfriends. He is just so thoughtful about everything. And he notices all these little details. Not only that but he's so kind in general. I loved all that about Jase because it felt so genuine and different from any male character I have ever read about. He felt very much is own. Needless to say I fell for this character.

I was really annoyed with Samantha's best friend Nan. How could she be so nasty? Sure maybe Samantha has an easy life but Samantha doesn't flaunt that in peoples faces. And just because someone has money doesn't mean their lives is all that easy. Samantha's a good friend. And Nan just...wasn't. It's so sad that sometimes the people you think are your closest friends end up not being so.

Huntely Fitzpatrick's writing was the type that didn't take any effort to read. From page one you just slip into it and you find it very hard to stop reading. I am a new fan of this author and can not wait to read more from her! She pulled me in so much with this story.

My Life Next Door is a new favorite and is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me! This was a book I had a really difficult time putting down. I'd recommend it to anyone because it's such a beautiful story with so many wonderful characters. It's the type of book that the moment I'm finished I want to go back and reread all my favorite parts. Definitely read this one!