You Know You Love Me By Cecily von Ziegesar Review

Hello we are back with another Gossip Girl book review.

So this time, people headed out to college for some interviews and Blair’s mom got married to Cyrus!

First off, the wedding came real quick. I wasn’t expecting it. But that’s because on the show Elenor didn’t get with Cyrus until at least season 2/3 and I swear they didn’t marry ’til like season 5 haha.

Anyway yeah so introducing: Aaron Rose! Man he is not the cute, mysterious artist who Serena decides to date and knows from summer camp. He is a guy who smokes herbal cigarettes and has dreadlocks. Ew.

Surprisingly though Blair actually had a nice time with him. Despite her not saying more than two words to him on the TV show. I wonder if he has more of a presence in the books because in the TV show he left after Serena was done with him lol.

Also the college visits! Everyone going to Brown but Blair going to Yale. Well we all knew Blair was a Yale girl. It was surprising her interview went so terribly. I could have never imagined that for her but I suppose she was frazzled from the night before. Poor girl.

I wonder if they all end up going to NYU like on the TV show.

I mean from the way Serena, Dan and Nate’s interviews went I could see it happening. Though Nate’s interview actually seemed to go well so yay for him.

Oh. By the way. I HATE stoner Nate. I prefer TV Nate. Like it’s honestly so boring to hear every time he’s around he’s baked. Please get a new description for him please.

Plus him and Jenny? Didn’t expect it to happen so fast. Or for Nate to just kind of dump Blair. I suppose I am still holding out for cute Nate from the TV show. But I guess we are just stuck with stoner Nate. Though he doesn’t smoke around Jenny? Interesting. Wonder how long it lasts. Side note: when are we gonna drop the Jennifer thing as well haha, she can try to seem more sophisticated but she will always be Little J.

Also like zero mention of Chuck Bass. I read he was a much minor character in the books which is fine I suppose I don’t really miss him but it’s kind of weird at the same time not to have him hanging with the gang. In the books, he is just the creepy guy everyone tolerates because their family is rich and they’re part of the inner circle.

Another thing that’s kind of weird is that Erik is the older, cooler brother of Serena wherein the TV show he is her younger brother and kind of shy and also gay lol what a transformation they made for him.

Moving on to Dan. Ugh. Honestly he is really pathetic in the books. All moody and shit writing poetry. I can’t say I like him on the TV show but this is like an even worse version of him. Its kind of depressing.

And then I’m still trying to figure out Vanessa too. Shes’s also annoying though in a different way than on the TV show. Don’t know what it is about her I just don’t like her.

Anyway yeah another book is done and dusted, overall this one was okay. I did kind of like Blair’s spiral into stealing and breaking down etc. Part of me expected her to be more dramatic about her mom deciding to get married on her birthday but it’s chill.

Also, I’m surprised Blair managed to freeze Serena out for so long too. But I’m also proud of her because that takes a lot of effort haha.

Other random things to note are:

I’m still not over everyone smoking

OMG also I forgot hello Dan and Jenny living on the Upper West Side so they aren’t even as poor as they were made ou to be on TV, plus their dad is gross in the books at least he was likeable on TV.

Also not used to Blair having a younger brother still it was weird to read about him.

Not 100% sure how to feel about Gossip Girl posts in the series, I guess I expected them more frequently but also expect the characters to mention them and react to them like on TV – like shouldn’t Blair have known what Nate was up to if she was reading Gossip Girl?

And I guess Serena and Dan do not have their romance quite yet since Serena is creeped out by Dan and Dan is too obsessive which is totally fair. We see how Dan and Vanessa go…if she breaks up with her boyfriend

And so that brings us to the end of this Gossip Girl blog post. Last week while I was at the library I ended up checking out a new book so I will read that before going back into the upper east side.

I’m wondering what will happen next. I’m trying to avoid reading what happens in the books so it doesn’t give it away but sometimes it’s hard to resist…

~ Courtney x

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar Review

Hey Upper East Siders,

I just finished the Gossip Girl book and I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

So I’ve actually read this book before. I planned to read the whole series after I finished the TV show but never got around to getting the rest of the books because I was a poor secondary school student. And then, earlier this year when I got a library card I discovered they had the series on their ebook app. So now I can read them all!

Anyway yes, I wanna say beforehand that I love the TV show Gossip Girl. The drama was everything, the cast was everything. I love it a lot.

Will I love the books though? I guess we see.

So I know the show is loosely based off of the books so I’m not expecting anything to be exactly the same. I would say the first few episodes of season 1 are similar to the events in the first book.

So here’s my list of similarities:

  • Serena back from boarding school
  • Nate slept with Serena
  • Chuck tries to force himself on Jenny at the Kiss on the Lips party
  • Blair wanting to have sex with Nate but finding out about Serena and Nate

So not many things. But they don’t all happen in the same way they did on the show. To be expected.

Now onto things that were different because this stuff was interesting.

First thing is that everyone’s parents are around. Yeah it’s weird. Because in the show Serena has her daddy issues and Lily remarries several times and then also on the show Chuck never knew his mother. But in the book world of the Upper East Side both their families are in tact. Not only that, all the families have more siblings than the show had you believe.

I can’t imagine Blair or Chuck having siblings it doesn’t seem right. But there ya go.

Also Gossip Girl is a .co.uk site? This is weird to me only because the book is based in America so why would the website have a UK domain? I don’t think this is a thing most people care about but I do.

Plus, Gossip Girl always refers to everyone only by their first initial on the website. Unlike on the show when sometimes Gossip Girl would use their actual name. Which I’m glad they did on the show just because only referring to someone by a letter doesn’t sound good when you’re talking about them lol.

Another thing they play up in the book is that Nate is a major stoner. Which we never really got in the TV show. Not to mention that everyone smokes. Though I suppose that wouldn’t have been a good look on TV. Especially since at the time of the TV show I feel like you couldn’t smoke everywhere like you could early 2000s when the book was set.

But yeah, other things that happen in the first book did happen in the TV show just later on like Blair’s mom getting with Cyrus and the introduction of Vanessa.

Oh! That’s another thing Vanessa goes to Constance in the book! Which I can’t even imagine but yeah that’s a thing.

I can see that the TV show definitely changed a lot but it’s understandable. With TV shows they need to amp the drama up and cut minor characters because it’s a money thing. But in books you don’t need as much drama. Which is fine. I mean I’m not expecting anything major from the first book.

I am interested to see where it goes though. I mean right now there’s the familiarity of everything that happens but I have no idea where we go from here.

If I had to say anything it’s that I am sad we won’t have Dorota in the books. Dorota is Blair’s maid and she honestly makes the show so much better haha.

Also, do they reveal who Gossip Girl is in the books?! Because the TV show reveal was weak and I think it would be better maybe if there wasn’t a reveal but at the same time I would love to know who Gossip Girl was actually meant to be. Kind of like how in Pretty Little liars, A is actually not who they made it out to be on the TV show. (I haven’t read PLL but it’s on my list even though I know who A is in the books).

But yeah, overall I liked it. Like I said I am interested to see where we go from here.

Don’t have much else to say. I mean this was just me breaking down the similarities and differences from the TV show but I promise to talk more about the books as we go on. But I can’t say I won’t bring up the TV show again. But yeah, more focus on the books from now on.

So until next time,

You know you love me,

xo xo

~ Courtney

(P.S I’m glad they add the ‘xo xo’ part on the TV show I don’t know why but it just sounds good)

You By Caroline Kepnes Review

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I watched the Netflix adaptation of this book at the start of the year and it definitely made me want to read the book.

You is about a guy called Joe and Joe falls in love with Guinevere Beck but his love is just a little bit too much to handle. Basically, he’s an obsessed stalker who would do anything to get with Beck.

Now I gotta say the TV show definitely changed some of the storylines and I think it was to make it even more dramatic which is fine it makes sense. Also in the book they didn’t have a neighbour for Joe like Paco on the TV show. He was a good egg. Miss him.

I really enjoyed reading the book, it was really addictive and I think I liked it more than the TV show just a little bit. I think sometimes the TV show dragged a little. But the book did not.

It’s so interesting to see things from Joe’s point of view. He never has a doubt in his mind about what he is doing, he does everything for her and to protect her. And it’s wild.

Also thank you book for explaining that Beck actually emails people so that’s how he can follow her, rather than the TV show saying that Joe can read her text messages even though they showed her using iMessage but she had an Android phone and those things just don’t work together…

Anyway, I am super excited to read the sequel if I can get my hands on it, plus I hear a third book is on the way. I’m kind of obsessed with seeing where things with Joe will go. It’s just so different from other things I’ve read yet still in the realm of things I enjoy haha. Gotta have a bit of thriller and mystery in there.

So basically overall loved the book – though sometimes it was a bit hard to read because I got confused at who was talking sometimes. And the whole thing about how he only talks about Beck like “you are doing this, you see me, you act like…” etc. Some of those paragraphs were long and it took a while to process but nothing too terrible. Still easy to read and very addicting.

Now excuse me while I go out of my way to find the sequel – I read this book as an ebook borrowed from the library but they don’t have the second one as an ebook which is annoying…but I’ll find a way to get it.

~ Courtney x

Reread: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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I first read this book when I was around 16. I actually made a blog post about it at the time on an older blog. I decided to read it again after watching the Netflix series and seeing how it compared to the book.

Everything is pretty much the same, except that Clay listens to the tapes in one night in the book and in the TV series he takes FOREVER to get through the tapes. They also play out the Hannah/Clay romance way more on the TV show as well as Clay having more interaction with Tony.

Aside from that, going back and reading the book was interesting. I got through it probably a lot faster than I did the first time reading it, apparently when I first read it I got confused about when Clay was listening to the tape and when he was not, I didn’t have trouble with that this time haha.

I also think the second time reading it was a bit boring, I guess because I knew what happened and so nothing was really new.

So it’s not worth a re-read. And also I guess since it’s so close to the TV series if you’ve watched that you don’t need to read the book. That being said, if you want to know what happens in a less graphic way, definitely side with the book. In the book, Hannah swallows pills and does not slit her wrists open. That actually traumatized me watching it…and the book also does not depict graphic scenes of rape like the TV show does either.

And of course, the book does not have a sequel, which means all the stuff that happens in season 2 doesn’t happen in the book world. It just ends with Clay sending on the tapes and reaching out to Skye. And in my opinion, I think the show should’ve stuck with the one season, I wasn’t the biggest fan of season 2 and if the graphic scenes are going to continue I think I’ll be okay with not watching it.

Anyway, I rated the book 3/5 on Goodreads. I think it’s good for what it is but I do think I prefer the TV series. And of course, it carries an important message about how you never really know how you can affect someone’s life. So it is important to be kind and treat others well.

The next book I have decided to read is China Rich Girlfriend, it is the second book in the Crazy Rich Asians series and I’m excited to find out what happens next 🙂

~ Courtney x

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult Review

I watched the movie when it came out in the cinema years ago and decided to give the book a go. I don’t really remember the movie but I remembered enough to know how the story goes.

The first thing I was not expecting when I read the book was that it switches point of view a lot. I have not read anything that switches character point of view that much since I read fanfiction. It was kind of hard to follow along at first.

The book switches between the point of view of Anna, her parents Brian and Sara, her brother Jesse, and also her lawyer Campbell and her appointed guardian ad-Litem Julia. That is a lot of people to cycle through. And it’s a lot to take in for the first couple of chapters. I guess you get the hang of it but it, but I was definitely confused the first time I read from Julia’s point of view because I was like “who is this?”, I thought it was a completely different story and I had missed something at first.

I also feel the Julia/Campbell side story isn’t really needed and is kind of annoying. I mean they cut it out of the movie entirely so I didn’t know it was a thing until I read the book. But probably wouldn’t have missed it if it wasn’t there.

One thing I thought was interesting was that a lot of Sara’s point of view parts of the story were set in the past. Telling the story of the family’s struggle throughout the years as they dealt with Kate’s health issues. I suppose this is to give some context to how they ended up where they are today.

But if anything it annoyed me. The way that the parents were so focused on one child that they neglected their other two. I mean Jesse is basically abandoned and left to fend for himself and Anna is only important because she serves a purpose for Kate. Like it’s crazy.

I suppose I would understand if I was in that situation, I mean you can understand people’s actions to a degree but it made me so angry when reading.

Then there was Brian who, kind of just took himself out of the equation sometimes by working to ignore his problems. Again, not a fan.

Overall I guess the book did make the points it wanted to, about how parents aren’t always suited to make the right decisions for their children when one of them is sick. And how family life is anything but simple.

I think it is an interesting story and a good read if you’re into that kind of thing. Everyone’s point of view is written well and you can see the different personalities come through.

Though I did find Jesse’s additions to the story kind of random – another thing you wouldn’t have missed if it wasn’t there. It was just him off on his own setting fires about the place because he felt like he had no control over anything else. Kind of seemed like it was meant to be a bigger moment than it was when Brian found out it was Jesse starting all the fires.

Aside from all that I think the thing that upset me the most was the ending. A different ending than the one the movie had. It kind of just all happened at once and it almost felt like was all the drama that happened really worth it? I mean I was so done with the book by then…it just made me sad. I guess that was the point…

I felt it was disappointing though, but still overall a good read. Even though I felt like I came out of it having more negatives than positives I still enjoyed it for what it was. Though if I had to choose between the book or the movie I would probably choose the movie.

I wonder if I would have liked the book a bit more if it was written in only Anna’s point of view. Though I suppose to really understand everything fully you needed the perspectives of the others. Because obviously, Anna’s view of what was going on was going to be different from her parents’. So maybe it was good to have the insight from her parent’s compared to what Anna wanted. But they still had a few perspectives too many in my opinion.

Apart from that, the book was still interesting, something very different than any of the other books I’ve read this year. So I will give it that. The rating I have given it on Goodreads is 3/5 stars. Because I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. It fell somewhere in the middle for me, though probably a bit more on the negative side than positive.

And now that I have finished this book, I have officially completed my goal of reading 12 books in 2018! It’s been a journey and I feel really accomplished to have stuck with it. Of course, now that the goal is complete I know I must strive for more next year. But until then, I’m sure I can fit one more book in before the year is out…stay tuned to find out what it is!

~ Courtney x

Life And Death Twilight Reimagined by Stephanie Meyer Review

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I picked up this book a few years ago when I was in Eason’s and have finally gotten around to reading it now!

As someone who used to fangirl about Twilight, basically non-stop I felt like I had to get this. The 10th-anniversary edition of Twilight with Life and Death, Twilight reimagined.

Originally I was not sold on the idea of gender-swapped Twilight, what was the point when it was basically the same story over. But I did want to give it a go. So I decided to reread Twilight before reading the new story to compare.

Truth be told, I did find Life and Death interesting, it has the same basic core story but I was interested to see how things would be changed to fit the new gender roles. How Beau would end up stranded in Port Angeles for Edythe to come and rescue him, how they ended up at the ballet studio because Beau didn’t take ballet lessons…

The swaps were interesting, and I actually found myself enjoying the story of Beau and Edythe more. I don’t really know why that was, I guess it was because it was new, I know the Edward and Bella story like the back of my hand but changing some of the details made me want to read more.

The biggest change in Life And Death is the ending. I don’t know if I liked the ending so much.

I think it’s because by this time I knew what happened, I’d read it before and having it reiterated differently was just boring. In this version, Beau ends up becoming a vampire, and then there’s pages and pages of him explaining the agony of his transformation while Edythe and her family tell him about their pasts, which we already know about from the previous books.

The last chapter and the epilogue of the book were boring for me, I just think because it was like when Bella became a vampire except much later, they had a run in with the wolves because they thought the Cullens had killed Beau, and learning about the Volturi and everything.

I feel like maybe Stephanie just wanted to add some more information about these things because she felt she didn’t have them in the original series but I felt it wasn’t needed. I guess I just wanted the exact same Twilight story but with the names changed, which is what it is for 90%.

Overall I did enjoy it, I think it’s something people should read if they are interested in Twilight and liked the original books. I can’t say I would want more of the gender-swapped world, I prefer the original but I think it was a nice read and it was pretty great to revisit the Twilight world after being away from it for so long.

I give this book 4/5 stars and am eagerly looking forward to my next read! For all updates on my books and what I’m reading feel free to follow me on Goodreads.

~ Courtney x

 

Ready Player One Book Review

It’s been a while since I’ve read something that wasn’t written by a YouTuber. I feel like it was a nice break.
I decided to read Ready Player One after my boyfriend recommended it, and he also suggested I read it soon because the movie is coming out later this month. I thought I would give it a go because it sounded interesting and I had remembered that Joey Graceffa mentioned it ages ago and I wanted to see what it was about.
Ready Player One follows the story of Wade as he explores a virtual reality world called the OASIS in search of an Easter Egg that was hidden there by its creator, James Halliday. And whoever found this Easter Egg first would be the winner of the fortune and the virtual world created by Halliday.
When I first started reading the book I knew right away that there was a lot of it I was not going to understand. Because the book is filled to the brim with 80’s references and I wasn’t even born until the 90’s so I basically didn’t get any of the references made in the book. And essentially that was 99% of the content in the book. So right away I decided not to get too hung up on the fact I didn’t get any of the references. The gist is that Halliday was really into 80’s culture and so the challenges he put in place on the way to find the Easter Egg were all 80’s related.
So I guess if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the 80’s pop culture then this is the book for you.
It’s kind of weird to imagine a virtual universe where a lot of the worlds in it were based on ideas of the past but at the same time, it’s not so crazy. Trends from the past make come-backs all the time, and I guess the author just really wanted the 80’s to come back in a big way.
I also thought when I first read the book that the pace of it was going to be faster than it was. Which I’m glad it wasn’t so fast. I did think that once Wade had found the first challenge and succeeded that the second challenge and third wouldn’t be that difficult for them to find and so the search for the Egg would have ended halfway through the book.
The book starts with Wade logging into the OASIS and telling the story of how he found the first Gate – there were three gates to clear in order to find the Easter Egg and gain access to Halliday’s fortune. And Wade was the first person to find the first gate.
Naturally, after he found the first gate and everyone found out about it he became instantly famous and people were trying to find out from him where the gate was and how to clear it.
As the book goes on, it’s clear that the OASIS is not just a virtual world, but it has become everyone’s reality. And that some people’s threats were more than just virtual ones.
I think the one thing that kept me reading was the idea of the OASIS itself. I wanted to know more about this world where possibilities were ended and I found it fascinating. Virtual Reality is something that has recently come up more in the tech world so to read about a world where VR has become everyone’s entire lives is very interesting. And it’s also scary how you could see it becoming a reality.
Though I think one of the main points of the book is that while you can experience amazing things in video games and through VR it will never compare to experiencing it in the real life. Several times in the book it does describe Wade logging out of the OASIS and taking in his real-world surroundings and it’s not great. I guess it makes me appreciate that we are not at that point yet. And I hope we don’t get to it.
Anyway, didn’t expect to get serious about that but back to the book.
I enjoyed the story, I also liked that there was a little bit of a romance in the book but that it wasn’t the main focus of the book. I think it would have been weird to have an all-out romance in the middle of this book. Even if the story seemed to veer in that direction for a bit.
I do think the biggest plot twist for everyone was the identity of Aech, Wade’s best friend in the OASIS but at the same time shouldn’t we have expected it? I think so but I ain’t mad about still being surprised at the reveal.
I was super excited for Wade to finally meet the people he had been talking to in the OASIS, I guess because I know what it’s like to meet someone you’ve only talked to online. It’s scary and it’s a risk but it can also be a great thing. Sure, there are dangers, just like everything but it’s still cool that the internet connects people in lots of positive ways.
As for the ending, well it was kind of expected. In fact, seemed kind of boring towards the very end but that was okay. I feel like everything leading up to the final gate was good and I think the movie will do really well in capturing the end. But I guess we will have to see.
And so, to sum up – I enjoyed this book. Thought it was a fun read. A nice break from what I have been reading recently. And of course, I am excited for the movie. Although that being said when I watched the trailer, the OASIS didn’t look how I imagined it would – but that’s the risk you take when you read the book before you see the movie.
Now moving onto my next read… I have decided it will be Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, especially because I have been calling myself a fangirl since 2009 so I feel like this is something I can relate to. So, look out for that review (hopefully) soon! Can’t make any promises though, sometimes you read something and don’t have a lot of thoughts on it but, I will still leave a rating on Goodreads, so follow me there if you wanna know more about my reading ventures. (And please don’t judge me for how slow it seems I read)
~ Courtney x