Thursday, 25 June 2015

city love (new york city, oh and a review)

Bonjour my internet friends, 

It's time for another book review. 

I just completed City Love by Susane Colasanti. 

Now this book made me feel a lot of things but lonely was not one of them. 

Summary: Sadie, Rosanna, and Darcy are all roommates living together in a homeshare for UNY. Sadie has lived in NY her entire life, Rosanna is from a poor family in Chicago, and Darcy is from kind of higher up in SoCal. The story moves from each of their points of view into their love lives and friendship. 

Before I get started, if you plan on reading the book then do not read this review. Because damn, do I need to get out my feelings and I will be spoiling some huge information. So I repeat, stop reading now unless you don't care and just want to see my opinion. Then, thank you. 


We are going to start with my girl Sadie, because I related to her most from the very start. 
Sadie is on the search for love. She even has a quote above her bed "just around the corner". She goes to her internship for home design and meets this guy that she totally connects with. 

Okay honestly, he's pretty much perfect. He and Sadie have so much in common it killed me to read about her so happy. 

I fell in love with Austin alongside Sadie. They were just so perfectly meant for each other. With only a few years between them. 

Sadie kept a secret the entire book, even from the readers, and finally told Austin. I was waiting for her to say something and when she did, it seemed like they were suddenly closer.

But NO. 

See, I was expecting some sort of falling out. Probably over something stupid. But this was on another level. 

Spoiler: Austin had a wife. 

He was married the entire time he called Sadie his girlfriend.

When you read about this, it's hard to imagine. But I know. It would be hard for someone to know another person going through that, let alone being the person in that situation. 

(Pardon my French but) Austin was a complete dick. He ended up being a horrible and rude human being. Thank god, Sadie is on another floor at their work. 

Well, I guess we need to go on to my girl Rosanna. I related to her very well also. She's the shy girl who is a counselor at camp just wanting to make the world a better place even with the little money she has. 

She makes a friend with one of the other counselors, Mica, and they really hit it off. I was not expecting something to happen between them. On to that later. 

Mica takes Rosanna to a party for the counselors at both the districts of the camps. Rosanna has a weird encounter with one of the other counselors who spills her drink on Rosanna's shirt (she's never met this girl before). She then meets Donovan, or D. 

She doesn't know how she feels about him at first but she sees the connection and props to her for recognizing it. 

The only problem to her is their different worlds. Rosanna is from a poor, loving, and happy family from Chicago working at a kid's camp. D is from a rich, loving, and happy family from Manhattan working at Wall Street.

They couldn't be more different. But it was so evident that D loved Rosanna a lot. They clearly connected and he always seemed fascinated by her. It was beautiful to read. 

And to read about her having a reason to feel uncomfortable getting so close to a man but not saying it, kind of killed me. All these little secrets. But that's what kept me reading. 

She didn't feel comfortable telling D at any point in the book but she did reveal how she was molested as a young girl when one of her campers showed signs of a similar situation. 

In light of her and Mica, the girl at the party (Addison) actually told Mica that she knew Rosanna from high school and that she said all these nasty things about her. But Rosanna has never met Addison in her life. Mica didn't believe Rosanna and they had a serious falling out. Which kind of made me cry. I didn't like it because they had such a good connection. I hope that it turns out better.

Rosanna fascinated me. I found her endearing and interesting. She was a lovely character to read from the eyes of. 

On to the final and honestly craziest roommate, Darcy. She is a year older than said previous ones (who were fresh out of high school) and a very free spirit. She took off a year to backpack around Europe. Now that is a goal right there. 

Darcy interested me. She was so hardcore that I think she forgot to just let go and think for a moment. And just be. Breathe. 

She lived a life of luxury but still was able to keep herself grounded. She still spent money a bit recklessly but kept in mind what was important. 

She told her secret story very soon into the novel. About how no boy can keep her grounded due to the breakup she had recently encountered before leaving for New York. 

But then she meets Jude and he's all she could ever have hoped for. They are kindred spirits and connect but she makes it very clear that she is not going to be tied down. 

But over the course of the novel it is clear things change. She still is a bit reckless and has a hookup with a guy in a Gap changing room but her character development is there. 

I don't have much on Darcy to be honest. Her story 
didn't really resonate with me or have the same twists and turns Rosanna and Sadie's did. 

Overall, I loved it so much and am so glad I own it. I will read it again and again. Over and over. 
The whole novel just reminded me of Taylor Swift. Welcome To New York, The Lucky One, Red, Enchanted, all songs that came to mind while reading the novel. Especially when the title was blatantly stated in the book. ;)

I feel like this novel is a Taylor Swift novel because New York City, love stories, twists and turns, and amazing writing. 

Susane Colasanti has done it again and I want to thank her for her hard work and amazing novels. Because without her, so many of us would be stuck reading something else. 

Keep smiling beautifuls, 
Naddy xoxo

Saturday, 20 June 2015

gracefully grayson (review)

Bonjour my internet friends,

I recently completed the novel, Gracefully Grayson, and it was definitely heart wrenching and beautiful.

A short synopsis:
Grayson is a sixth grader and has been holding a secret in his entire life: being born in the wrong body. He knows in his heart that he is very much a girl. His story tells of the acceptance, bullying, and friendships that Grayson encounters in the trial of seeing who Grayson really is.

Now to use proper pronouns for this character.

I really felt connected to Grayson as she navigated the sixth grade, continuously being misgendered and teased. Her journey is a tough one but what makes it amazing are the people who don't bat an eyelash or question Grayson's true identity.

I loved the idea of putting To Kill A Mockingbird and The Myth of Persephone as literary references to how she's feeling. Especially as it reveals the true opinions of some minor characters.

This all along with the loss of her parents. Being raised by her aunt and uncle, she had a different childhood than expected. Later in the novel, it is revealed her mother Lindy was very supportive of Grayson's choices to be "girly". But her aunt Sally was not so.

I will try not to spoil too much but there is just such an interesting dynamic and my favourite character other than Grayson and Paige (Grayson's new friend) is Grayson's younger cousin Brett.

Brett is only in second grade and is perfectly innocent. Every time someone questions something about Grayson's identity choices, "why? What's wrong with Grayson doing that?" It was truly eye opening. Because yeah, why *can't* Grayson do that?

It just makes me wish that we all still had the innocence and blindness we did as children. Clueless that according to society and adults, these things are wrong.

But they're not.

That is why I think this novel is so beautifully and brilliantly written. Well done, Ami. I applaud thee.

Keep smiling, beautifuls,
Naddy xoxo