Sunday, August 31, 2014

Isla and The Happily Ever After

The final book from the Anna and The French Kiss has finally arrived!

I have to say I've loved this series for a long time. Back when I read the first one, Anna and the French Kiss, it made me want to go back to the time when I was an exchange student and I was pretty much like Anna during the first days of this adventure. Discovering this whole new world outside of your comfort zone and venturing out to a new world was pretty much how Stephanie Perkins described it in her book. When I found out there was another one from this same series coming out, I was ecstatic. Even more so when I discovered that it wasn't going to be the typical "sequel", but rather like a tie-in. Yes, I got to see more of Anna and Étienne, but I also got to fall in love with Lola and Cricket. And now, us fans, finally get to see how this all ends with Isla and Josh's love story.

So, in this third and final book, we meet (or rather get to see again and know more of) Isla, a senior at an American school in Paris. During the first pages we discover that for quite a while she has had a crush on Josh (whom we also met briefly during Anna), but she hadn't had the opportunity to act on it... until now, during the summer, in New York, where they both live, and with her being super high after a dentist's appointment.

That one summer night was magical for Isla, but she didn't see him again, at all, during their time off from school. Now she is back in Paris, and he seems more interested in her than ever before (I guess first impressions really do are important). They quickly fall in love... but sometimes, that isn't enough.

Sometimes, our own insecurities will destroy the one thing that is best for us, and if we don't have enough trust and confidence in ourselves, how can we believe it when someone else does? How can we believe someone who tell us of all the potential they see in us? This is what happens to Isla, and her journey of self discovery, for me, was quite eye opening.

I loved Isla and the Happily Ever After, but I also loved to rekindle my romance with Anna and Étienne, and Lola and Cricket. And now suddenly, I want to re-read them all over again...which I might do.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rebel Belle

¿Southern debutantes mixed with newfound superpowers? Why not! This is what you'll find when you read Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.

So, Harper Price, town darling, president of everything, captain of all things, queen of life, is ready for her final year of high school and the crowning of her perfectly constructed life at the homecoming dance. But (as there is always a but), the night of said dance completely changes her life.

Due to an emergency change of lipstick color, she has to run to the bathroom minutes before being crowned, getting herself in the middle of a battle between the school janitor and one of her professors (WHAT? How can those two be fighting...and with swords or whatever those pointy things are called?). Just before he dies, the janitor transfers something special to her via a really awkward kiss. Now, Harper has to deal with superpowers while trying to be what she has always wanted to be and protect the life of the guy she hates the most: David Stark.

Turns out, Harper has been turned into a Paladin, an ancient guard in charge of protecting the oracle, whom just happens to be the guy who has made life impossible for her since they were in diapers (passive-agressive flirting anyone?). But she is not alone.

Ever since the Starks arrived in town, Saylor Stark has been the most prominent female figure in  their small town in Georgia and an authority in everything related to the Southern Belles, including the Cotillion where Harper will be "presented" to society (and you say quinceañeras are old fashioned!). Except, there is a reason why this has magically happened... she's a mage! Duh!

Now the three of them, the most awkward of teams, have to unite in order to protect David, who will someday have the power to destroy or save the world as they know it.

Rebel Belle is an easy and compelling read, the kind of book that you can just read in one go and finish it with a good taste in your... eyes? It has best friend drama, boyfriend drama, school drama, can I save the world drama... basically everything you could hope for in a Young Adult book. The characters are well crafted, the humour is humours and everything comes together quite nicely.

Go on... you know you want to read it! Do it!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Love, Rosie

If you've ever felt the need to read the personal emails, chats, letters and any kind of written messages from a friend of yours to every important person in her/his life, this is the book for you.

Love, Rosie (Also known as Where Rainbows End) doesn't have a "normal narrative" in the sense that there is "no narrator", but you get to know these characters in a series of written messages between all of them. This is the story of Rosie, a girl from Ireland that meets, without realizing it, her soulmate since kindergarden. Rosie and Alex become friends for life, without ever going into the romantic side of their relationship. Life happens to both of them, kids, college, marriages, divorces, jobs, more children, more marriages, more divorces and so on, the kind of stuff that could really happen to any one of us. As the tag line says, "they were inseparable, constantly being separated".

It isn't the typical love story, Rosie has to make a lot of sacrifices for the good of her family, and like it happens in life, she can't really be selfish and make choices that will only benefit her, as frustrating as that is, but that are for the good of what she already has.

I chose to read this book after I watched the trailer for the movie, which stars Lily Collins and Sam Claflin (two of my favorites). If you want to get an idea of what the book is about, you can watch the trailer below:

If you want to read romance with more that a little bit of reality mixed in it, go ahead an read Love, Rosie (Oh, and it also has a lot of good quotes about life and love and friendship and family and everything in between).