Friday, July 21, 2017

Stef's "So Good You Can't Put It Down" Book Reviews Summer 2017 Reading Challenges! - Third Update

My first book of the summer has been completed!!!!! YAY! :D

Once again, beware of possible spoilers. However, I think I did pretty well not giving anything major away.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Began: June 3, 2017 12:23 AM
Finished: July 14, 2017 12:48 AM

It took me a month. I'm a slow reader, I guess. Then again, I was juggling this book with others. Focusing on this book alone is when I finally completed it.

I loved this book! It is because of this book that I am now a fan of Mindy Kaling. I'm going to actually miss reading it, especially outdoors, but I am looking to purchase my own copy of this one and its predecessor, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), which she occasionally refers to in Why Not Me? and seems to be a similar premise, to add to my collection. I'm looking forward to seeing what is next for her (which is actually the movie adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time coming out in March 2018).

I feel both inspired and empowered from reading this book. Even if some of her chapters seem longer, her quick humor is so easy to read through and leaves you surprised like "Wow. I am done with this section already." There is one part in her chapter called "A Perfect Courtship in my Alternate Life" that consists of fictional emails and text messages and I wasn't very excited about reading them, but she manages to make this entertaining as well. Her chapter "Harvard Law School Class Day Speech" is a transcription of her Harvard Law School 2014 commencement address and when I first read it I followed along while watching and listening to the video of it on YouTube.


Her words don't totally align and aren't exact with the book's transcription, but it was still an interesting, accurate reading experience. It was fun to see her written words literally come to life as I read them. I recommend. :)

Here is the review I wrote for Goodreads (at least so far)!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I made it!!! The first book of the summer and my reading challenges done! :D

Such a good book! I feel so inspired! I feel like I've just been on this journey with her. Mindy Kaling gives such great, honest, life advice with lighthearted sarcastic humor and made me think of things from new perspectives. It is such a light, quick read and the mint-colored cover is so calming and inviting. It's also nice and light to hold in your hands. :)

I want to read her other book now and hopes she writes more of them! :D I also want to purchase my own copy of this book now too.

Oh! And before I conclude! Here is the Jai Courtney paragraph on page 44 that I was talking about as promised:


I kept returning to this page and paragraph just because I love it so much. And just in case you're wondering what Jai Courtney looks like...

Credit: GQ Australia - This is actually my favorite written interview with him. Very interesting read and great photos! I learned some Aussie jargon along the way too! Check it out! :)

Hamana hamana hamana 😍😍😍

So now I have been resuming my reading of Katherine Applegate's Beach Blondes. I am on page 382 out of 721. Basically I am halfway through. I'm still in the July section and need to be at page 491 by August 1. Let's attempt that goal again. If I did it last time, I think I can do it again this time.

We're still following Summer's triple romances and we still see teenagers annoyingly thinking that they are "in love," but at least Summer has been learning from past mistakes. Considering her episode with Adam, she doesn't want to fall too quickly into love, which is refreshing, especially considering that she is a main character in this type of genre. She also stands up for herself well too and tells off characters when need be. Sometimes I get frustrated with lead characters when someone says something unpleasant to them but the character remains silent because they either have no words to respond, do have the words but hold back, or they do spurt out something but immediately regret it after. "Say something back!!" I end up silently screaming at the book. Summer, thankfully, often manages to speak up for herself and rarely regrets it. It makes her a decent character. She's also a pretty funny person in general with her responses.

The "Video Blog" chapters are still irritating. I can't stand how they halt the action. They give us insight into Summer's deeper thoughts and provide details as to what has been going on between the lines of the story so that Applegate doesn't have to dedicate a core of the story to them, but like I have said before, we already know her feelings, and these minor details aren't that important. Sometimes I feel like skipping over these chapters, but then I feel like my reading of the book won't be complete. What do I care what she tells Jennifer, who is a character that we haven't even met or care about?

Diana is still the most interesting character. Her story is what drives me to keep reading, but yet it gives me the most anxiety too. She has gotten happier lately because she has come to a realization about her current situation and is concocting a plan to achieve justice. Applegate does a pretty good job keeping us guessing with Diana. Right now my mindset with her is "What exactly is she planning?"

On Monday night I MAY have managed to find and purchase NEXT year's all-summer book excursion by month (reminiscent of Beach Blondes) at Barnes and Noble. :P

It is called Summer Brides, a collection of novellas written by Marybeth Whalen, Beth Wiseman, and Debra Clopton respectively. I believe it was the only one of its kind on a "Bargain Priced" table, so therefore I felt that it was meant for me. It appears to follow this trend I have observed of wedding books on the rise nicely.

Summer Brides is a part of the A Year of Weddings Novella Collection, so therefore there are books in this series called Winter Brides, Spring Brides, and Autumn Brides as well. There are also individual novellas that are separate books that make up these books. For example, A June Bride (Whalen), A July Bride (Wiseman), and An August Bride (Clopton), make up the eventual Summer Brides collection, which was my motivation for buying it. It mirrors the Beach Blondes setup in this way, but is an anthology with multiple authors as opposed to Applegate's continuous narrative. There is also a book full of the complete collection called A Year of Weddings: Twelve Love Stories, which would have been a better purchase down the road had I known this. Now I feel like I need to collect the rest of the series to have it be complete! I'm somewhat feeling the same way about the SUMMER novel series too so I can continue reading that story.

Reading is something that makes me feel good and is leisurely for me, so I don't want to turn it into a collector's item perfectionist thing. It's okay if I only read and own a few (or even one) books out of a series. No harm done. I mean, I was okay with reading the The Last Little Blue Envelope out of order last year.

Some of the books in the A Year of Weddings Novella Collection series, such as the full collection, are only available on Kindle/Nook or audiobook anyway. Right now I prefer solid books, so I may have made the correct choice for now. I'm hoping to obtain the other books somehow so that I can somehow read them throughout a/the year by month nonstop.

They have gotten mixed reviews on Goodreads. We'll see how these go with me if I do resolve to take them on and keep the book. See, lately I'm buying certain books in stores thinking that I am not going to be able to find them otherwise and/or for a good price online, so I have some decisions to make. I do think that they would make an interesting year long reading challenge for me to compare and contrast writing styles and stories.

For now though, I sadly returned Kaling's book to the library on Monday *sniff* but in place of it I checked out Ruth Ware's The Woman in Cabin 10. I'm excited about this one. I've been visiting Barnes and Noble more frequently and keep seeing it for sale. I'm tempted to buy it, but because Sprague Library has it, I'm borrowing it first to test the waters. I also have to work on Amy Schumer's book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo as well.

You know, I am loving writing these book blog posts! I'm starting to consider dedicating a blog, maybe this one, to just them! lol

By the way, we now have 239 books in our library! I'm still organizing my personal collection of what I want to contribute, keep, and donate.

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