24. Sandy Hall – A Little Something Different

Yay for two posts in one day! I guess that’s what happens when you go away for the weekend and you finally have time to update this. For more about my weekend away, check out my last post, which also includes a review of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

The second book I read over the weekend was A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. I read half of the book in Central Park on Saturday and then finished it on the bus ride home yesterday.

Sandy Hall - A Little Something Different
Sandy Hall – A Little Something Different

The book is a story of two college students who like each other but they are both really shy and won’t make a move. The story is told from fourteen different viewpoints, none of which are the two main characters.

I thought it was kind of cool how we get to hear the story from other people, not the two love interests, but I think fourteen is a bit too many perspectives. Some of the people that we hear from seemed to me to be kind of unnecessary, and I think it could have done with less.

Also, the whole idea of this story is that these two are so obviously meant to be together that everyone sees it, including a Chinese food delivery boy, a bus driver on their campus, and even a squirrel. That’s right – one of the viewpoints is that of a squirrel. Don’t even get me started on the bench.

I might be wrong here, but I just don’t think that happens in real life. There’s no way two people can be so in love but never talk to each other, and somehow every single person that sees them knows they should be together.

The ridiculousness of that premise mixed with the overwhelming amount of viewpoints left me not really liking this book. I was disappointed. From reading the back cover of the book, I thought it would be really good, but it was just too outlandish and cheesy for my taste. Plus, as a college kid myself, it seems to me like the author has no idea how college kids actually act.

This book was an easy read, and I’m sure a lot of people like it, I’m just not one of them. If you read the description and think it might be interesting, there’s a chance you’ll enjoy it, but there’s also a chance you’ll end up disappointed like me. My advice is to proceed with caution.

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23. Stephanie Perkins – Lola and the Boy Next Door

Happy Monday! I don’t know about where you guys are, but it’s super rainy here in Connecticut. 😦

Anyway, back to another school week after a very fun weekend for me – I went to visit my sister in Manhattan for the weekend! I turned 21 at the beginning of this month so she wanted me to go visit her to celebrate with her and one of her friends.IMG_2044

I got there on Friday night and we went to Bar Nine where they have dueling pianos, these two guys play requested songs on piano and everyone sings along. That was really fun. IMG_2052After we left there, we went to another bar and then eventually made our way home to order drunken Thai food. It was a really fun night.

IMG_2059The next day, we didn’t do too much – just wandered around and got some food, then we went to Central Park to relax and read. And then yesterday I took the bus back to school, so even though it was a fun-filled weekend, I had plenty of time to get some reading done.

On Friday, between waiting at the bus station and then reading on the bus, I finished a book before I even go to New York, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. This book is the second in Perkins’ trilogy, following Anna and the French Kiss, which I loved (check out my review of that one here).

It’s a YA book that follows a high schooler named Lola. At the start of the book, Lola is seventeen dating a 22 year old that her dads don’t approve of. She thinks they’re going to be together forever and that they’ll prove everyone wrong – until her old neighbor moves back in next door.

Stephanie Perkins - Lola and the Boy Next Door (photo taken by me)
Stephanie Perkins – Lola and the Boy Next Door (photo taken by me)

Lola and her neighbor, Cricket, have a history, one that she’s reluctant to share with her boyfriend. Over time, she starts hanging out with Cricket, but her boyfriend doesn’t approve, so she doesn’t tell him.

Throughout the story, we follow Lola as she has to make some tough decisions and find her way to happiness. Since it’s a Young Adult book, you can probably guess how it ends, but it’s still a good book.

I really liked Anna and the French Kiss, even though it’s kind of a cheesy YA book, so I had high expectations for this book. I think I liked Anna better, but this was still a good book, and I look forward to reading the third book in the trilogy.

One thing I thought was cool about this book was how Anna and her boyfriend from Anna and the French Kiss were included in this book, but it wasn’t all about them. It tied the two books together but they’re still two completely different stories, and I really liked that.

This book is an easy read, it only took me a few hours to get through, and I’d definitely recommend it to someone who likes YA books.

22. Melissa Bank – The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing

I’m super sick. On Sunday, I woke up with my throat hurting, Monday I went to one class then came back to my room and slept for four hours. So I took yesterday off from class and today off from work to rest and get better before I go away for the weekend.

I spent all day yesterday in bed watching Netflix… I finished all of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Have any of you guys watched that yet? Let me know how you feel about it!

Today, I decided to be a little bit more productive, and I read a book instead, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Banks (I also painted my nails a pretty new color I got from Julep, as you can see in the picture below). I don’t know what made me buy this book. I think I saw it on Amazon after going through a bunch of books and it looked interesting so I bought it. I’ve had it on my bookshelf since around Christmastime without reading it.

I picked it up today and read the back cover before starting it. The description on the back of the book says, “with an unforgettable comic touch, Bank skillfully teases out issues of the heart, puts a new spin on the mating dance, and captures in perfect pitch what it’s like to be a young woman coming of age in America today.”

After reading that, I looked at the inside of the book to see what year the book was published: 1999. Oh great, I thought. This is going to be so outdated and I’m going to hate it. 

Melissa Bank - The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing (photo taken by me)
Melissa Bank – The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing (photo taken by me)

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It’s obviously set in a different time than now, but the main character, Jane Rosenal, is so relatable, it was still a good read. The book is a bunch of different stories piecing together Jane’s life – almost like a memoir although it is fiction.

At the start of the book, Jane is 14 years old on summer vacation, and it’s a good story to start the book and reel the reader in. I flew through this book and finished it in a matter of hours.

Obviously, since this book came out in 1999, the “dating” aspect is a little different than it is today. Jane goes through the dating tango with a couple of guys, and the whole time they’re playing phone tag while calling each other – something that really doesn’t happen today because everyone just texts. Also, there’s a lot of calls made from payphones in the book, which don’t really happen anymore either. These didn’t really get in the way of the story for me though.

The only other complaint I have about this book is that one of the stories is about an entirely different family who lives in the apartment below Jane at that point in her life. At first, I didn’t even realize the story wasn’t from Jane’s perspective, because up until that point, they all had been. Once I figured it out, that whole story just didn’t really make sense to me. I still don’t really see how it fit in to the rest of the story. Maybe I’m just missing something.

Anyway, it was a pretty good book. It was definitely better than I was expecting it to be, and it was a really easy read, which I was thankful for. I was feeling kind of like I was slacking in my reading lately, so this book really helped to catch up quickly.

21. Kate White – Hush (and my 21st birthday!)

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted, but my 21st birthday was this weekend! It was actually on Easter, which was a little bit lame, but I still did some stuff to celebrate.

On Thursday, I took the train home from school so I could spend the weekend with my boyfriend. On the train, I read almost all of my newest book, which I’ll talk about more later.

I didn’t do too much to celebrate my birthday over the weekend. On Friday night, I went to my boyfriend’s house and we made homemade pizza for dinner, which I’ve been craving ever since I read Delancey, haha. IMG_1651

On Saturday night, I stayed at home, but Boyfriend went out and bought stuff to make fun drinks at midnight once I was officially 21. We made adult cherry limeades, which were supposed to be like the cherry limeade from Sonic. They were pretty good drinks, the recipe can be found here if you’re interested. Also, check out my Instagram @becc.adams if you wanna see pictures from my birthday!

On Sunday, we woke up pretty early for a 3 hour ride to my grandparents’ house for Easter. I spent the day with my family, until about 7 when my parents and Boyfriend (and my puppy) all had to leave to go home but I stayed at my grandparents’ house for the night. It was really sad saying goodbye to them and that I didn’t really get to celebrate with Boyfriend, but it was still a good day and I was glad he was willing to deal with my crazy family all day. 🙂IMG_1685

After everyone had gone home, my cousin came back to my grandparents’ house to take me out so I could order my first legal drink! We went to On The Border just for quick appetizers and a drink. Mostly, I just wanted to take part in the tradition of going out for a drink on your 21st birthday just because you can. I got a margarita, and didn’t even get carded! How disappointing!

Anyway, somewhere between all the fun and drinks, I managed to finish a book! The book was Hush by Kate White, who used to be the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. I found this book on the clearance table at Barnes & Noble. Originally I didn’t have very high expectations for the book, but I’ve been trying to branch out from my usual genre of memoirs, so I picked it up.

Kate White - Hush (photo taken by me)
Kate White – Hush (photo taken by me)

The book is about a middle-aged woman named Lake who is going through a divorce and works as a marketing agent for a fertility clinic. One night, Lake goes out with a new doctor at the clinic, and ends up going back to his apartment and sleeping with him. Later that night, the man she slept with is murdered, and to avoid complicating her custody battle with her ex, Lake lies to cover herself.

In order to prove that she isn’t the murderer, Lake tries to figure out who did kill the doctor so she can point the cops in that direction. She ends up digging up some unexpected troubles at the clinic she works at, and the book follows her mission to solve the murder and expose the clinic.

The cover of this book has a quote saying this book is “a real page-turner,” and it definitely is. I loved this book. I read almost 250 pages of it on the train ride home, which made the 6 hour ride fly by for me. There were lots of turns in the book and I was always wanting more.

It’s a good mystery without being really scary, it had a lot of unexpected twists, and I read through it really fast. I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a thriller and I am now going to look into reading other books written by White.

20. Madeleine Wickham – Cocktails for Three

I finished this book last night but didn’t want to post twice in the same day, so I’m gonna write about it quickly now before I hop on the train to go home!

The book is Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham. I’d seen this book online before and then I found it in Barnes & Noble the other day, so I decided to pick it up.

Madeleine Wickham - Cocktails for Three (photo taken by me)
Madeleine Wickham – Cocktails for Three (photo taken by me)

The story starts with three friends, Candice, Maggie and Roxanne, meeting each other at a bar for drinks, something they do every month. The rest of the story follows each of them through an important time in their life, but since they’re friends, their stories intertwine.

At the start of the book, Maggie is pregnant and soon figures out that she might not be cut out for motherhood. Roxanne is having an affair with a married man, but things don’t go as she had planned, and Candice meets someone from her past that has a dark secret. Throughout the book you dive in to each girl’s life to find out what happens next.

I thought this book was okay. It was another book that didn’t really grab my attention at the start, but I stuck with it and wound up liking it by the end. In my opinion, I think this story would make a really good movie. One of the stories was really juicy and I always wanted to find out what would happen next, so I read through it pretty quickly.

The whole time I was reading this book, I was imagining it in my head as a movie. It’s very dramatic and leaves you wanting more, which is why I said I think it would make for a good film.

In any case, I generally liked the book. It seems like it’s for more of an older crowd, so I might not recommend it to someone my age or younger, but if you think it sounds interesting, I’d definitely say to give it a try.

19. Martin Kihn – Bad Dog (A Love Story)

So, good news! Tomorrow I have no classes and I’m going home for the weekend because Sunday is my 21st birthday! Yay!

I finished this book the other day (and I’m almost finished another one before I’ve even gotten around to writing this!), Bad Dog (A Love Story) by Martin Kihn. I was drawn to this book by the picture of a Bernese Mountain Dog on the cover as an avid puppy lover. The last book I read about dogs was Inside of a Dog, so I was looking forward to reading more of a story about dogs instead of an analysis.

Martin Kihn - Bad Dog (A Love Story) [photo taken by me]
Martin Kihn – Bad Dog (A Love Story) [photo taken by me]
The book is a memoir from Martin Kihn about his life with his Bernese mountain dog, Hola. Kihn and his wife got Hola as a puppy when Kihn was an alcoholic – his wife thought the dog would keep her company. Since Kihn was unmotivated to train Hola, she was very poorly behaved and even started attacking Kihn’s wife.

After one particularly bad day with the dog, Kihn’s wife left to get some time to herself in their vacation home. This inspired Kihn to sober up and train Hola to be a good dog so that his wife would come back home to them.

At the start, Hola seemed untrainable, but Kihn persisted and the book leads up to Hola taking the Canine Good Citizen test. Throughout the book, Kihn explains this whole process and what exactly the Canine Good Citizen test is, as well as Hola’s progress.

I have mixed feelings about this book. For the first chunk of the book, I wasn’t in to it. It was kind of boring and I didn’t really have the urge to keep reading, although I stuck with it, and ultimately I was glad I did.

The ending of the book is really, really sweet, and after reading it, you really feel connected to Hola. I was definitely left with a heartwarming feeling when I finished this book.

If you start to read this book and aren’t hooked immediately, I think it’s certainly worth sticking with until the end. I think people who like dogs will especially like this book.