Book Reviews · bookish · In Theaters · Recap · Summary

Movie Review: Everything, Everything

This movie has been on my highly anticipated list ever since I read Everything, Everything earlier this year! I’ve been obsessively re-watching trailers and stalking all the social media sites to get some glimpses into the film. Once the viewing times were available, I scheduled my theater visit for Friday evening after work. Now, this is not the type of movie that’s a summer blockbuster, action-packed, etc. However, it is in the category of typical teenage love story, with quirky, non-traditional characters – what I absolutely love.

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Book Reviews · England · goodreads · In Theaters

Snap Review: Belle – The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice by Paula Byrne

Title: Belle – The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice

My rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

The illegitimate daughter of a captain in the Royal Navy and an enslaved African woman, Dido Belle was sent to live with her great-uncle, the Earl of Mansfield, one of the most powerful men of the time and a leading opponent of slavery. Growing up in his lavish estate, Dido was raised as a sister and companion to her white cousin, Elizabeth. When a joint portrait of the girls, commissioned by Mansfield, was unveiled, eighteenth-century England was shocked to see a black woman and white woman depicted as equals. Inspired by the painting, Belle vividly brings to life this extraordinary woman caught between two worlds, and illuminates the great civil rights question of her age: the fight to end slavery.

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Book Reviews · harry potter · In Theaters · reading challenge · Recap · Summary

Snap Review: A Man Called Ove

Title: A Man Called Ove

My rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

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Book Reviews · In Theaters · reading challenge · Recap

Snap Review: Everything, Everything

everything

Title: Everything, Everything

My rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

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Book Reviews · In Theaters

Book Review: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

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Title: Brooklyn

Author: Colm Tóibín

Published: 2009

Pages: 262

Genre: Historical Fiction

Format: Book borrowed from the library

My rating:  3/5

Reading Challenge: A book with a one-word title

Review:

“Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America — to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood “just like Ireland” — she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.”

A quick read for sure that spends little time on scenes as smooth transitions are made throughout the 2 years Brooklyn takes place. In the third-person specifically on Eilis,  I would have liked more of her thought process and emotions, especially with the devastating news from Ireland. I felt that the story seemed rushed near the end, as actions that Eilis was taking brought out frustration and some disappointment. Reflecting on how I felt about Eilis near the end, I believe that that is how a character should be developed throughout the novel – changing our thoughts and wanting the best for them as trouble persists. It is somewhat realistic and should be expected even though we as readers may be surprised!

As one of my favorite time periods to read and learn about in U.S. history, I was pleasantly appreciative of Eilis’ 2 worlds – in Brooklyn and Ireland. The dichotomy presented of the two locations was definitive and painted the picture of culture and familial themes. Not only were the locations starkly different, it felt that Eilis created two different lives or versions of her self. This made me think about what we call home and if we can have the best of both worlds. Eilis’ struggle to figure out if she can, makes me think that it would become quite challenging keeping the connections and focus on both (maybe multiple). Coming out to the MidWest from the East Coast (although in the same country), I felt a chance to kind of start over – whilst still holding true to my values and personality – but join different organizations and teams. Whenever I go to the East Coast where my family is, I feel myself falling back into those routines again, like a pendulum. I can only imagine what folks who are making a better life or seizing an opportunity feel, sometimes having no choice.

With all the talk about immigration in the United States, in addition to the hot topic of presidential debates for the 2016 race, I couldn’t help but wonder what has changed from the 1950s to now – the populations the U.S. is concentrating on are from Mexico versus Ireland. There is talk about building a wall on the border and some other ways of regulating the process (I will not speak directly about my feelings/opinions towards immigration laws, I am only making statements about themes I read and reflected on in Brooklyn). To play the reversal, I do think about a potential dual citizenship in Europe, and I’m wondering what processes for that looks like. I’d imagine I would adjust to the culture ‘shock’ and feel more comfortable with everyday tasks the longer I stayed. Eilis’ time throughout the novel equated to 2 years in the U.S. where she was able to acclimate fairly well. *Sigh*, I digress. A simple read that gives way to somewhat complex thought on issues bigger than one person or population.

Read Brooklyn if you like the themes of:

  • Immigration
  • Homesickness
  • Love

Look out for the movie adaptation in theaters, November 6th, 2015! Until then, here’s a trailer to give some visual context to the story.

book jobs · In Theaters · Life Updates

You’ve Got Mail

mail

After a weekend work retreat and recovering from the worse virus I’ve ever experienced, what better way to relax than the enchanting You’ve Got Mail! The film starts out at the beginning of fall in New York City where two unknowing book shop owners meet through a chatroom (yes this is from the 90s). As my school starts back up again today, I can’t help but wish for the crunchy leaves and slowly walking through the trails whilst reading a classic – most likely Pride and Prejudice (a book frequently mentioned in the film 🙂 ). Every season in the city is represented as Kathleen and Joe battle it out over their bookstores. Being so close to Cincinnati, I have a favorite small bookstore that I frequent on my days off – not the same charm as The Shop Around the Corner – although I am a loyal patron. My goal in life is to be a regular as well as attend their unique events and book chapter readings/signings.

Every bit of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks’ characters are a reminder of why I’ve fallen in love with books. The two different atmospheres of a chain and an independent small store, the passion for reading and wanting to share that love and knowledge, just everything. They do both go to a ‘book business’ soiree – I feel that for me, being in the book business (even though it technically is) isn’t what I would want to say if that was my job (dream job, duh!). I feel as if that makes it seem impersonal and not having the heart in the right spot – even though that is not true for every bookstore owner/employee. In college I remember applying to a chain bookstore and filling out the application, I felt euphoric! Like I was signing up for a cause! Unfortunately, I did not have any customer service/retail-type job experience so I never got a phone call :(. C’est la vie. The library in my town is moving to a larger, newer building space which looks absolutely beautiful – maybe that can be my push to get to working with books. I can start with volunteering their first and see where it goes, I do miss meeting with the consistent patrons every Monday back in my alma mater’s town.

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Despite it being dated, there are similar struggles in modern day book ‘businesses’, more noticeably in formats. I am not against receiving/reading e-books or PDFs. I would like to think I am an environmentalist, though when it comes to books, paperback/hardback cannot be beat. I have been writing letters once a month to my closest classmates in graduate school and the anticipation of receiving their letters back and having a physical letter to hold on to is more than enough. The same thing when I order books from Amazon or receive ARC’s and open my mailbox to small parcels awaiting me to dive right in. You’ve got mail, whelp in a different sense of the phrase :).

“You are what you read”