8 Reasons Why Books Are Better Than Movie Adaptations

Book Vs Movie

What is your opinion? Which one is better? Some people would say that the movie is better than the book. Personally I would look at that person and say I don’t believe that you actually read the book. As an avid reader and lover of books I will always 100% say that the book was better than the movie. I honestly can’t think of one instance where I enjoyed the movie more than I enjoyed the book. Were there movies that I thought lived up to my expectations? Sure. But they have never done a movie so well that I thought it was better than the book. I will say that I am also one of those people that will not see a movie until I have read the book. For example, I have yet to read Wonder, yes it’s out in theaters and I want to see the movie so very badly….but I will not see it until I’ve read the book. I also will not put down the book I am currently reading to start reading it. I just can’t do it.

Okay enough rambling…here are my 8 reasons why the book is always better than the movie.

 

1. Books are portable and timeless.

Now you’re probably thinking well duh. But I’m one of those people that always has a book on them, like there’s a book in my purse right now. Do I always have time to read it? Nope. Actually I usually don’t have time to read it. But that’s okay. Think about it when you own a movie how many times do you watch it? Once or twice a year depending on what the movie is. It only takes you a few hours to actually watch the movie and then its done and over with. Eventually it could even become broken, scratched or just be outdated. With a book it can sit on your shelf and collect dust for years but it will never be broken. It will always be there. Personally I feel like I have more of an emotional connection to my books. I’m not the type of person that can throw away a book.

2. Movies Have Time Limits…Books Don’t Have Page Limits

Could you imagine if an author was told that they could only write a book if it was under 200 pages?? Imagine all of the amazing details that would be left out! When you hold a book in your hands your lucky enough to have the whole story in hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pages. That to me is amazing! Movies however have a limited time frame, usually about two hours (or just over that). With a two hour time limit there is absolutely no way to get every little tiny detail into it (unless they decide to make it a two part movie…but you can’t do that for every book to movie adaptation). Because of this, you are often left with important events or details of the book being left out in the movie in order to fit that time limit. In my opinion, if you just watch the movie you’re doing yourself a disservice because you’re not getting the full story….just the condensed version.

3. You Can Experience a Book at Your Own Pace

Have you ever been watching a movie and thought that it was too much to handle all at once? Too many emotions being thrown at you? Maybe you need some time to contemplate what’s happening, some time to process it. Well with a movie sure you could pause it (if you’re at home) and come back to it at a later time, but what’s the point in that? Now think about all of the times you’ve been reading a book and you’ve thought to yourself “I need a minute to process this”. I know personally I’ve done that several times, I can think of probably a dozen books that I’ve been reading and I needed to put it down. Sometimes I need to put it down for a day, sometimes I need to put it down for a week, it just depends on what is happening. With a movie you can’t do that, if you did, it just wouldn’t make sense. With a book it’s a lot easier to put it down and pick it back up and still have a sense of what’s going on in the story once you do.

4. You Get to Experience it as the Author Originally Intended

Now sure when you’re reading a book you can obviously have a different take on certain messages than the author might have intended, but for the most part when you’re reading a book you experience everything just as they would have wanted you to. There are no Hollywood agendas, no screenwriter changes being made. Sure maybe the publishing companies made a few changes here and there, but it’s still the majority of the authors work. Have you ever read a book and then heard it’s being turned into a movie and been so excited to see it for it only to be completely butchered and destroyed by Hollywood? Yeah…me too and that is one of the most disappointing feelings in the world. I’ve learned my lesson several times so honestly I try not to get my hopes up when it comes to movie adaptations.

5. You Get A One Way Ticket into the Characters Thoughts

When you’re reading a book you tend to get more character development and you often get to experience what the characters are actually thinking and feeling. When it comes to the movie there are certain things you have to rely on in order to experience this. The characters must actually tell you what they are thinking or feeling and you have to be able to pick up on the subtext from the performance of the actor or actress. If the actor or actress is actually decent in character then you can easily pick up on those hints but there have been plenty of times where I’ve seen actors or actresses that were not fit for a character and it’s disappointing when you know what you should be seeing or what kind of vibe you should be getting from these characters and you’re missing it because the acting isn’t all that great. You also have to remember that there are certain emotions that can’t be seen just by looking at someone and if the movie doesn’t have a narrator explaining every tiny little detail (personally that would annoy me) then you’re going to miss certain things.

Which leads me to my next point…really I could’ve connected the two but I liked having 8 reasons instead of 7 and I couldn’t think of another reason to replace it with so there ya go!

6. You Get to Know the Character Better

Just like I mentioned above, a book allows you to experience so much more with each character. The character development and background story in a book vs. a movie is much more detailed. You’re spending so much more time with them in the book than you are in the movie. There have been times I’ve read a book and there have been several chapters dedicated to one particular character. Could you imagine if they added that kind of detail into a movie? Depending on the details and the length of the chapters that could easily become half of the movie. One of my favorite part of reading a book is learning the backstory of a character and experiencing every little detail of their development.

7. You Get to Imagine the Characters for Yourself

I love picturing what a character would look like in real life. Of course when you’re done reading the book and you see the final casting list you can often times be disappointed (when they casted Kristen Stewart as Bella in Twilight I was heart broken) but on occasion they get it right and I am over the moon (when they casted Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in Hunger Games)! Now don’t get me wrong I think Kristen Stewart looked the part….but her acting skills in the first movie just drove me nuts, but that’s beside the point! As you read, you keep your imagination fresh and alive. I love when I can sit with a book in my lap and just get lost in the story, it’s like I’ve been transported from my room into this new world. It’s the most magical thing ever to be able to imagine the story and watch it unfold inside your head. This is why I love reading so much.

8. A Book Stays With You Forever

I’m sure if you’re an avid reader like I am then you can probably remember the book that made you fall in love with reading right? I know I can. To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it in 7th grade with my language arts teacher and it was immediately my favorite book. I’ve loved it ever since and it will forever be my favorite classic. I honestly believe that it is a book that will never get old. I’m 25 years old now and I still love that book just as much if not more than I did the first time I read it. I also believe that everyone should read it at least once. It’s just that good of a book. If that doesn’t sum up what I mean about “a book stays with you forever” then I don’t know what will. I mean to be completely honest if you ask me about any of the 80+ books I’ve read in my lifetime then I could probably give you a pretty good summary of it and tell you what I liked or maybe didn’t like about it. Let me tell you, 80 books is a lot of books. But when you read something it sticks with you longer.

Okay so I may or may not have a bonus reason for you! The only reason I even thought of it is because I happened to be talking to a colleague about the show Gilmore Girls and if you’ve ever seen that show then you know that Rory Gilmore loves her books. There’s one episode in particular where Rory is showing someone around her college and she takes her into the library and tells her to “smell the books”. I honestly never would’ve thought about it until I heard her say it but books have a very distinct smell and let me tell you it’s a glorious one. If you live in Columbus Ohio and you’ve ever visited The Book Loft in German Village then you know what I’m talking about…or maybe you don’t and I think I’m nuts! But I feel like The Book Loft has that amazing “book” smell and I love it. There’s a comforting feeling when it comes to the smell of a book and if you add a cup of coffee or hot tea to go along with it, I’m in heaven.

 

Are you a book or a movie person?? Do you love the smell of books as much as I do or do you think I’m insane?!? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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My thoughts on The Glass Castle…

The Glass Castle

Well, to start off I would like to say that this book took me longer to read than I would’ve liked it to. It’s not a very long book so normally I would’ve had it done in a day or two…maybe a week tops if I had a busy week. But it took me months to get through this book. No that’s not me saying that I didn’t like the book, to be honest I loved it! But there were parts that would just….anger me and I would have to put it down and walk away from it for a while.

 

The Glass Castle is a memoir written by Jeanette Walls, which details her unconventional childhood. She grew up with an alcoholic father and a mother who seems to be mentally ill. Walls began her memoir by why she felt the need to write about her family. She has finally “made it”, a successful writer in New York City. One day as she’s strolling down the street she comes across her mother…picking out of the dumpster, and out of shame, she sinks down into the seat of her taxi and pretends that she didn’t notice her. Later she will confront her mother, asking her what she is supposed to tell people about her parents. Her mother replies by telling her to tell the truth….simple as that. If you think about it, it’s really not that simple.

As Walls tries to come to terms with her upbringing throughout this memoir you begin to realize that The Glass Castle is anything but simple. We begin by learning of her young childhood on the west coast, her parents living as nomads. They moved so often between desert towns, always looking for the next big “adventure”. This chapter of Walls’ life we mainly get a look at her mother. She’s an artist and a writer, living in her own world. She doesn’t particularly show any concern in raising her children. She’s always looking for the next adventure…the next struggle. The family soon gives up their residence in Phoenix that her mother had inherited to move to her father’s home town of West Virginia…a small depressed coal town.

Once in West Virginia, the story begins to take a turn down a dark road. In this small town of West Virginia, the family begins to drift apart. Their father has taken a very dark turn, and up until this point he has always been the light of his daughters eye…..not so much anymore. Like their mother, their father has a big imagination. He takes small odd jobs that never seem to last long, and he is always chasing after this long lost dream to strike it rich with one of his crazy inventions. He continues to promise over and over again that once he strikes it rich he will build his family a “glass castle” – the most special project….a great big house for his family to settle down in. As their time in West Virginia goes on, things continue to get worse. However, Walls and her brother do their best to make the most of it. Feeding off of their father’s promise of the glass castle, they thought they would help him out by starting a hole in the backyard for the foundation of the new house. After it had been finished for a while, the family began to realize that there were certain things that they just couldn’t afford. One of them being trash pickup…which meant that the hole in the yard that was supposed to be used for the new house…would now be used for trash.

This is one of the situations that really angered me. These parents are just deliberately not taking care of their children. Making them empty promises and not caring how it could effect them later on in life. It really frustrated me that these parents…grown adults, could let their children go hungry, cold and without proper clothes or showers. These were the points where I had to put the book down for a while and breathe. The fact that I know there are still kids out there today that go through situations just like this one…makes me so angry. I feel for these children, I feel for the author, knowing that she lived this life.

Anyways…rant over. Determined not to end up like her parents, Walls moved herself to New York. She will go to college, graduate, gain employment as a writer, marry a rich husband, and settle down in her Park Avenue apartment. Walls tries to get her parents to visit her new apartment, to get a sneak peek into her new lifestyle. Her father of course refuses, her mother visits, but questions her values. Tells her that she raised her differently and that she shouldn’t be living the way that she is.

Umm values?? No offense but I didn’t realize that not feeding your children and basically living on the street were values that you wanted your children to pick up. I thought that parents were always supposed to want more for their kids. That they were supposed to want their kids to have more than they did, have better jobs, go to better schools. Just an overall better life. Instead, Walls has done just that and she is getting criticized for it….so unfair.

Now, I understand that there is probably more to this than meets the eye. Sure her parents were a drunk father and a somewhat lazy mother, but after reading and really reflecting on this memoir I feel like there are other lessons to be learned here. It reminds me of the quote….

money cant buy happiness

I mean if you think about it, as Walls grew up she never really seemed unhappy until she was really old enough to understand what was going on. Each time they moved she really did see it as an adventure. Did her parents always provide her and her siblings with the food, clothes and other things that they needed? No. But what they did provide them with was love and happiness. All of their kids grew up believing in themselves, with an appreciation for the things that most of us take for granted today but most importantly they were loved, unconditionally.

Though they struggled to get through this crazy thing called life, they did it. They all made it. Did they all make it big? No they didn’t but they made it. We all grow up with struggles, they’re all different. But our struggles are what make us beautiful.

 

Have you read The Glass Castle or maybe seen the movie?? If you have please let me know what you thought in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!!

XoXo Shelby

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Technology Takeover and burning books…

Now I will say that it has been a while since I read this book….I want to say that I read it in sixth or seventh grade? I’m 25 years old now, BUT I remember really enjoying this book! Now this is not going to be a typical book review. Yes I loved this book but in order for me to review it properly I would have to re-read it and my “to-read” list is a mile long right now. Maybe at a later date I will pick this book back up and give it a proper review. Until then I just want to discuss how I think this book relates to the world around us today. The more technology seems to develop, the more I feel like books are becoming more irrelevant. Does that mean they’re being banned? No they’re not, but I see it day in and day out…kids (and adults) just don’t like to read…and that makes me sad!

I feel like this book has more relevance (for lack of a better word) now than it did when it was written, but I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a minute. Before I do, let’s talk about what the story is actually about.

Set in the 24th century, Farenheit 451 tells the story of Guy Montag. Montag is a fireman and loves his job, you could even say that he takes pride in it. But this job isn’t like any fireman you would see around your city today, these firemen burn illegally owned books and the homes of their owners. Could you even imagine?!? I would be devastated if my house was burned to the ground because I owned a book (or multiple books because let’s face it I love books so in this setting I would be a rebel lol)! As the story develops, Montag begins to question the value of his profession and ultimately….his life. Through this novel we follow his struggles with his existence and eventually we follow him as he flees the oppressive, censored society that he lives in and joins an underground network of intellectuals. With his newfound friends, he witnesses the atomic destruction of his former city and dedicates himself to rebuilding a literate and cultural society. (Now that sounds like somewhere I would want to live!)

Continue reading “Technology Takeover and burning books…”

Mystery…Thriller…Suspense…

Okay so it’s been a minute since I’ve read this book but I do remember loving it so much that I couldn’t put it down, and frankly I didn’t want to!

Before I go into my review let’s do a little summary first.

From Goodreads:

Every day the same.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

Until today.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good??

 

Now if that alone doesn’t make you want to read this book I’m not sure what will!!

This is definitely one unsettling thriller. No one can be trusted in this story. If you had to choose between an alcoholic, a liar and a cheat who would you trust??? These are the three women who are at the center of this story: Rachel, Anna and Megan. Each girl has her own story, and in that story is nothing but secrets.

Have you ever sat in a public place and watched people as they went about their daily lives? As you did that did you imagine what their life story was? Maybe even make up some stories about them and their life? Do you imagine that they are living their perfect lives?

That is what Rachel does each day as she rides on the train to and from town. She uses the lives of others to distract her from the mess of her own life. She has grown particularly fond of the life of “Jess and Jason” (as she likes to call them) who live at the house just outside of her train window when the train stops at the same red signal each morning. However, one morning Rachel notices that things are not as they normally are. As Rachel is watching out her train window one morning she sees something that completely changes the life she has imagined for “Jess and Jason”. This event will pull her into their lives more than she already was, though she is unsure exactly what she has seen and what she has seen or what she might know, she feels the need to find out.

Rachel’s boozy behavior and alcohol habit leaves her as an unreliable sources when it comes to whatever happened between “Jess and Jason”. This behavior is also what got her fired from her job in London and her husband. Since their divorce, she has become obsessed with Tom (her ex husband), who left her for a blonde woman named Anna. Like any man who leaves his wife for another woman, Tom thought the grass was going to be greener on the other side…and unfortunately he was wrong. Anna’s personality has drastically changed now that they are married and have a young daughter. Rightfully so, Anna isn’t so fond of Rachel lurking around their house. But no matter what Tom says or does, Rachel lurks and pesters them and remembers none of it the next day.

Now let’s circle back to this Jess and Jason situation for a moment. One day as  Rachel is taking her daily commute to the city she sees Jess…kissing another man, or so she thinks that’s what she saw. Jess’ real name is actually Megan, and this life that is she lives is nothing like the one Rachel had imagined in her head. She is incredible restless with her husband Scott (better known to Rachel as Jason) and is having an affair with her therapist. Megan feels as if she doesn’t belong on this little suburban street in this life that she lives. She once worked at an art gallery, however when she lost that job…things changed. She is bored and restless and completely unhappy with her life. Then one day…she disappears…never to be seen again.

As you can imagine, the disappearance of Megan became a huge story and as it does Rachel feels that it is her duty to go to the police with what she saw from the train. Of course, no one is willing to take Rachel seriously; a random drunken witness just waltzes in off the street declaring she knows what happened to this missing woman??? I wouldn’t trust her either. As if this story line isn’t crazy enough already, remember how I mentioned earlier that Anna can’t stand the fact that Rachel tends to lurk around their house?? Well it’s about to get even worse because Megan used to be Anna and Tom’s babysitter for a hot minute (and was terrible at it), which of course connects Megan, Scott and Anna….which connects Rachel and Anna…making them potential victims to whomever took/hurt/killed Megan.

Will they find out who took/hurt/killed Megan? Was is her husband. the therapist, Anna or some random stranger? Did she run away from home? You’re going to have to pick this book up and read it for yourself to find out!!

The story continues to unravel with more lies, more back-stabbing and more secrets. I don’t want to give too much away, so I will leave you with what I have written.

Have you read Girl on the Train?? What did you think of it?? I want to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

XoXo Shelby

Looking for an exciting thriller to read?? Check out this one!

Could you imagine waking up every single morning not knowing who you are or who the person is that is laying next to you or anything about your life?? I mean if you think about it, our memories define us and make us who we are. I couldn’t imagine not being able to remember who I was or anything about my life. Welcome to Christine’s life.

In my opinion this debut book by S.J. Watson was written wonderfully. It’s a fast-paced psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I would definitely describe this book as one that you won’t be able to put down!

Before I Go to Sleep is about a woman named Christine who wakes up each morning with no memory of who she is. With the help of her husband and some labeled pictures, every day she put the pieces of her life back together just to forget it all again when she falls asleep. Each day she is reminded of the accident that put her where she is. However, after a visit from a mysterious doctor she is lead to a private journal that she has been writing to herself. This journal leads her to believe that her life might not be all that it seems and that the one person that she should be able to trust….might not be so trustworthy after all.

As she begins working each day with this Doctor (Dr. Nash) she begins to uncover more leads that are helping her to really piece her life back together. But with every memory that she unfolds, she is greeted with greater confusion and more questions. There are things that she remembers that her husband tends to leave out or not want to discuss. She remembers having a child and she suspects that at one point she was an author.

Are these new memories true or false?? Who is being truthful with her? Who is hiding things from her and why are they hiding those things?

As you read through this book you get sucked into the story line. Getting a small taste of what it would be like to live without your memories. As the story line develops you begin to notice things (along with Christine), that make you really think. Let me tell you, as the story developed I had two people on my list of “the one”….and I was right about one of them and I cried when the book ended.

I could really talk about this book forever. But I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to go pick it up and read it for themselves…which I highly recommend that you do, so I’ll end my review here.

Have you already ready Before I Go to Sleep? What did you think of it? Have you seen the movie? If you have would you recommend it? (I personally haven’t seen it yet!) Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

XoXo Shelby

Go Set a Watchman

When I heard that the amazing Harper Lee had written another book, to say that I was excited would be an understatement. When it finally showed up to my house, I was beyond ecstatic.  To Kill a Mockingbird was (and still is) by far one of my favorite books, so I knew that I would love Go Set a Watchman just as much. And I was right, the love I have for this book, I can’t even explain it.

I can honestly say that I think that what made my experience of reading Go Set a Watchman as great as it was, was that I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird before I picked up this book (which by the way killed me a little bit inside because I just wanted to dig right into this book!) I believe that the experience of reading these two books together gave it a sense of one full story, honestly I feel like it could’ve been one really long book (and yes I would’ve read it all!) instead of seeing them as two separate stories, a book and its sequel. I feel that it does both books more justice to read them together, not separate. So if you take anything away from this review….let it be that!

As I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird (for probably the third time), I found myself seeing things that I hadn’t seen before. I was getting a completely different view of the book. When I read it or the first time I felt such a connection with Scout that I blocked out the most important detail of To Kill a Mockingbird, it wasn’t even Scout’s story….it was Atticus’. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “umm but wait Scout was the one telling the story how can you say it wasn’t hers?!?”, and I get that, but I feel like it was still more focused on Atticus than Scout. Scout was the narrator and she was trying to get across her view of her father and all of the amazing things that he did and the lessons that he was trying to teach her and her brother. (In case you missed it I did a review on To Kill a Mockingbird…go check it out!)

Transitioning from To Kill a Mockingbird to Go Set a Watchman, I felt the story dynamic change a little and I soon came to realize that this was Scout’s story, which was probably why I loved this book so much. Scout is my favorite character from To Kill a Mockingbird, I felt such a great connection with her.

In both books Scout is forced to face some harsh realities, some that will turn her world completely upside down. One of the most difficult things about growing up is seeing what the world is really like, realizing that you had this idea in your head about how the world would be when you were older and slowly realizing how wrong you were. We’ve all been there. Think about it, when you were a little kid I’m sure you had plans, ideas about how your life would go. I know I did. Now I’m not saying that I thought the world was all sunshine and rainbows, because that’s definitely not the case. But I will say that I did think that I would be in a completely different place than I am now; and watching the world around me unfold into what it has…verses what it used to be…..it’s scary, devastating and disappointing.

After reading other reviews on the book, I’ve noticed there was a ruckus about Atticus Finch, people saying that he’s changed. But if you really think about it for a minute, I don’t think that is the case. (Don’t shoot the messenger this is just my opinion!!) If you think about it, To Kill a Mockingbird was told by a young Scout, a little girl who looked up to her father and saw the good in him. Go Set a Watchman is based on an older Scout; one who has lived her life and moved on from her small little town, of course there’s a chance she’s going to see a difference in her father. As a 26 year old woman, Scout can now see the things that she was blind to as a child.

If you think about it, in Mockingbird when Atticus is defending Tom he is defending him because he knows him to be innocent of the charge of rape, not once did Atticus mention the color of Tom’s skin in direct relation to the case. Atticus is defending him only for the sake of justice, nothing else. When reading the book for the first time, one might miss that point. I know I did, I mean I was only in seventh grade when I read it for the first time. The way that Scout tells the story of her father defending Tom it makes it seem as though he could possibly be doing it because he believes that Tom should have a fair trial because if anyone else had taken his case it would have ended in a completely different way, simply because of the color of his skin. However, after re-reading it and reading Watchman with it, you can see the difference, simply by the actions of Atticus in the sequel.

Would I say that Atticus is racist? No I wouldn’t, I highly disagree with that. Atticus understood the big picture, we as human beings, are only capable to do so much. The time period that these books take place in were so different, the mindset was so different. That is not me defending him, giving him and excuse or a justification. We just have to realize that sometimes the time and place of an event or situation matter greatly in how a person will react. Atticus had a lot to consider when Scout and her brother were at home, he was their leading example, their only example. Now that Scout is grown and can make decisions on her own, Atticus has a different mind set and only has himself to think about.

As yourself this question; do you do what’s right most of the time?? No, probably not because no one is perfect. BUT, are you still a good person?? I would say yes. It is possibly to still be a good person even if we don’t do what’s right all of the time. Atticus is no different, it seems to be hard for people to accept that Atticus is just another common human being. For years we have held him up on the same pedestal that little Scout did when she was growing up, it’s difficult for us to see any different, and we don’t want to try out of fear of not liking his character anymore. Just remember, not everyone is perfect, it’s okay to make mistakes, we all do it.

For me, I will forever hold Atticus on that high pedestal. After reading Watchman I might even dare to say that I have more respect for him now that I did before. Being able to show his flaws and see him as a more realistic and relatable character makes him an even better person in my mind.

Scout is of course coming to terms with the different obstacles in her life the same way that she always has, by throwing herself completely into it. She is nothing short of passionate when it comes to her beliefs, which I believe is another reason I was so drawn to her character. When she knows what she wants she doesn’t let anyone or anything stop her from achieving it. I admire that quality in her, I love that she is never afraid to speak the truth no matter how harsh it is, or who will listen to hear her. Her passion in her beliefs and her willingness to be heard, seems to get the attention of Maycomb County.

You will notice while reading Watchman that it has more of an adult feel and perspective than Mockingbird did. You will see Scout (better known in the novel by her given name….Jean Louise) lose her innocence and take on a new view of her home as well as her beloved father. Though she is passionate and strong-willed in her beliefs and ideas Scout’s internal struggles in this book are interesting to read and experience. It can be incredibly scary and difficult to reconcile the upbringing of your childhood with your newfound beliefs of being an adult. Even though I resonated greatly with Scout in Mockingbird, I felt that I resonated with her even more so in Watchman, her journey is one that anyone could relate to.

I highly recommend that if you are going to read Go Set a Watchman that you re-read (or re-read) To Kill a Mockingbird first. It will do the book more justice. I also highly suggest that you do your best to keep your mind open, don’t think of Watchman as a sequel (even though that’s what it is), give it a chance to mold itself into the story of Mockingbird. You will have a much more enjoyable experience.

 

Have you read Go Set a Watchman? If you have what did you think? Did you love it? Hate it? Were you indifferent to it? I want to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

XoXo Shelby

The Book That Made Me Fall in Love With Reading!

 

Now that I think about it I feel like I should have wrote my review to this book a long time ago. Harper Lee is one of my all time favorite authors and the fact that it took me this long to realize that I hadn’t reviewed her books yet makes me sad!!

Before I get to the book review I think it’s only appropriate that I talk about the amazing Harper Lee herself!

Harper Lee is best known for writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Go Set a Watchman (2015). Lee was born April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She is the youngest of four children, grew up a tomboy in a small town where her father was a lawyer, a member of the Alabama state legislature and owned a portion of the local news paper…hmm does that sound familiar to anyone?!? For most of her life however, her mother was said to have suffered from a mental illness (supposedly bipolar disorder) and she rarely left the house.

She grew up with Truman Capote (who would later also become a writer). During their childhood, Lee who was tougher than most of the boys she knew, often stepped up to protect Truman who was often picked on for being sensitive and not sharing many interests (if at all any) that other boys his age had. Though Truman and Lee were very different, they had one major similarity; they had touch home lives.

Fast forwarding to her college years; in her junior year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, she was accepted into the university’s law school. The demands of her law studies however, forced her to give up things that she loved, such as writing for the Rammer Jammer and being it’s editor. After one year in the program Lee expressed that writing was her true passion.

Lee went to Oxford University in England as an exchange student, after returning to her law studies that fall, Lee dropped out after the first semester and moved north to follow her dreams of becoming a writer.

For several years she struggled in New York City, working as a ticket agent. However while she was there she was reunited with her old friend Capote who was one of literatures rising stars of the time and also befriended the Broadway composer and lyricist Michael Martin Brown, who later that year would offer her the best present an aspiring writer could ever receive; Brown and his wife offered to support Lee for a year so that she could begin writing full time. The Browns were also kind enough to help her find an agent who would later get a publisher (J.B. Lippincott Company) interested in her work. While working with the editor, Lee was able to write the manuscript, set in a small Alabama town, which would later become her novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

To Kill a Mockingbird is the book of Lee’s that I am going to be reviewing first (a review of Go Set a Watchman will be coming later!). I read this book for the first time when I was in seventh grade and I loved it. I enjoyed reading before I read this book, but I can honestly say that this book made me fall in love with reading!

Continue reading “The Book That Made Me Fall in Love With Reading!”

1 Short Story With a Big Twist!

I opened this book and I will say the first line had me in….shock? I won’t tell you what the line is because if you read the book I want you to have the same first reaction that I did! But what I can tell you is that I absolutely loved this short story!

This was the first book by Gillian Flynn that I have ever read and The GrownUp did not disappoint one bit! I never knew that a 64 page book could give someone chills! (Yes I just said this book was only 64 pages!)

Flynn’s writing played with my mind the entire time I was reading this story. I kept thinking to myself that I knew exactly what was happening and what was going to happen. But the more I read the more I kept questioning myself. Originally when I completed this book I thought to myself, “I need more!!” But now that I’ve had some time to process…I’m glad that it was left open-ended.

There are some instances where explanations and closure are needed, and when it comes to books I am usually all about getting closure. This book was different, this book plays with your mind and gives you, the reader the opportunity to create your own truth and your own ending and I really enjoyed that.

In this novel a canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. One rainy April morning, she is reading auras at the Spiritual Palms (where she works) when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our narrator immediately notices that Susan, though rich, is an unhappy woman who is eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, why this “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home, the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes that she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s stepson, does not help matters with his disturbing and sometimes terrifying manner and imagination. As you read this short story you will follow these three characters through a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and hat, if anything, can be done to escape it.

In case you couldn’t tell this is kind of a ghost story! Which was another reason I loved it!! I read it all in one sitting. Now…since this was a short story…I will leave you with a short review. I mean I could definitely talk about this book a little bit more, but I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone who wants to read it!

Have you read this book or any other book by Flynn? If so leave it in the comments below! Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

 

271 Pages and Still I Needed More…

 

Have you ever read a book and not been 100% sure what was going on but you still wanted more? That was how I felt while reading Lucky You by Erika Carter.

I know that you’re probably thinking “umm if you don’t like it then why did you continue to read it?” Well, I can tell you that Carter’s writing was a huge part of what kept me reading. Her writing kept me glued and sucked in, so for that I loved it. But I also wanted so much more, and that was the worst part.

When I chose this book as my January selection for Book of the Month Club, I chose it because I felt that a book about twenty-somethings trying to find themselves would be right up my alley. I mean I am a twenty-something, granted I’m not trying to find myself but I felt like I might be able to relate a little bit. But I was wrong.

Before I get into my full review on the book I want to say this…

If you’re looking for a book about life, just something different from your own then this book might be of interest to you. There’s no big plot twist or anything that is going to completely blow your mind away, so if that’s what you’re looking for then look elsewhere.

I do feel that reading this book, a book that follows a group of people who make a choice to go off the grid for a year, especially in a world where we are so focused on technology and social media could be a good thing for everyone to experience. I mean haven’t you ever just wanted to unplug for just a day?!? I know I have! Sometimes the things I see on social media just drive me insane!

I challenge you to head to the library and check this book out. Give it a fair chance despite the other reviews that have been written online.

Now on to the review….

Part of me felt completely lost while I read this book. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. I found that I couldn’t relate to any of them on a personal level. I kept waiting and wishing that something would happen to give them a different path. Something that would allow them to grow, to mature, something to change the path of the story..

As I continued to read I kept holding onto this false sense of hope that I would be able to connect with just one of the characters in this book. I desperately wanted to connect with even just one character, even if it was just for a moment. But the more I read…the more I realized that probably wasn’t going to happen. Making a small connection to any of the characters, finding something that would help me to like them probably would’ve helped me to like this book a little more…but….nothing. Not having that…made this book difficult to read.

I felt that Ellie, Chloe and Rachel were unpleasant people. The background stories of each character were unclear and lacking in detail. Maybe I couldn’t connect with any of these women because I have not experienced anything that they had went through in this book. I loved the whole idea of the book, I just wish I could’ve connected with them more.

Now I don’t want to go too much into detail about why they are where they are just in case you want to read this book. So I will end my review there.

How do you feel about reading a book that you can’t connect to? How do you feel about reading a book that you don’t particularly care for? I’m the type of person that when I start a book I have to finish it, no matter what! Tell me in the comments below if you feel the same. Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

 

Why I Gave Good As Gone 5 Stars!

Good As Gone by Amy Gentry was my first book from my Book of the Month Club subscription (and no this post is NOT sponsored by Book of the Month – I pay for my subscription each month!).

When I heard about this subscription box I just knew I had to have it, and honestly I have not been disappointed yet!

Along with the book you receive a book mark and sometimes a card with a note from the judge that picked the book.

I received this book in October of 2016 and along with the book came a card from the judge, Liberty Hardy, the card said:
“Snuggle in and get cozy with this perfect mystery! Actually it’s more like mystery squared- it’s a mystery-in-a-mystery! There’s the question of what happened to Julie, but also has she returned?!? And if not, who is sleeping in her bed??? (Spoiler…NOT GOLDILOCKS!) This novel kept me guessing while repeatedly squeezing my heart! It’s so, so good!”

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Review//Thoughts: 

I personally LOVED this book! I loved the way that Amy Gentry told the story of Julie backwards. I also loved the way that she focused in on each part of Julie and all of the different roles that she had to play over the years that she was gone. I feel that those “people” shaped her into the new person that she is now that she’s back home.

I’m not gonna like, I questioned at first if the woman standing on Anna’s doorstep was really Julie, even after learning a little bit about what happened at “their hold house” it never crossed my mind that Charlotte could’ve been the one that died. Part of me thought that Charlotte was posing as Julie for some reason. But as I continued to read and the story began to really unfold I realized that it really was Julie standing at their door and that she had been the one who escaped and finally made her way back home.

I loved reading this novel. I felt that the ending was absolutely perfect. It was amazing from beginning to end. I read some reviews online after I finished the book and read some of the comments in the discussion board on bookofthemonth.com and I noticed that some fellow readers were disappointed with the book. Some said that they were left wanting more about Jane (Julie’s sister) and her father. I understand where they are coming from, but at the same time I feel that the author told the story the way that she did for a reason. Yes, Jane and their father were an important part of Julie and Anna’s life but the were not a huge asset to the story. It was not her father’s “fault” that Julie ran away (nor was it her mothers). BUT I feel that Julie felt closed off from her mother, like the bond that a mother and a daughter are supposed to have was not there. I felt that she was trying to fill that void through conversations and her “relationship” with Maxwell/John David. That is why I feel we did not get more background on Jane and her father.

To be completely honest I am content with how the story ended and I am content with how the story was told. I did not feel cheated or disappointed because the fine details of two characters were left out. I felt like I got the complete story and I feel like the author did an amazing job telling it from start to finish.

I would highly recommend this book.

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?? Leave me a comment below!

Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby