Chick Lit

Book Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe

Author
Graham, Lauren
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Lauren Graham, the charismatic actress, writes an endearing and entertaining story about the struggles of show business in her novel Someday, Someday, Maybe. Franny Banks is a frazzled young woman with big dreams of making it in New York City, but she finds herself stuck in an unfortunate cycle of disappointment, only booking the occasional commercial acting job. When she finally gets an agent, Franny thinks things are looking up, but instead she becomes consumed by a toxic acting culture and loses sight of herself. Graham tells Franny's story with wit and relatability, conveying hard truths through sarcastic, sometimes hyperbolic observations, complete with Franny's amusing inner commentary and scribbly, sketch-filled planner pages. This novel could be a rude awakening to those who wish to pursue the acting industry or show business, but the truths it tells about life are important. Sometimes we forget what's best for ourselves when trying to please others. Sometimes failure can lead to the unexpected. And sometimes things don't work out like we hoped they would.

Reviewer's Name
Alexa

Book Review: Admission

Image
Cover of Admission; A letter "A" with a vine running horizontally across it
Author
Hanff Korelitz, Jean
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Admission is a book about the life of a Princeton admission officer Portia Nathan, who struggles to juggle the life changing impact of college decisions with old regrets, new beginnings, and constant change.
That's all I can really write for the summary of this book, since anything more would perhaps spoil the entire book. The story starts with an admissions officer: a simple yet captivating protagonist, not only through the controversy of her position but through the personality in her words. From the beginning we know she's hiding something from us, but it isn't so vague as to be annoying or so pressing as to be overwhelming. It shows how she views her secrets as simply things from her past that are occasionally a blip on her radar, then disappear beneath the waves yet again. Soon, the story begins to spiral into different directions, showing us more of her life as it begins to fall apart. One thing this book does excellently is show the struggle of college admissions alongside the details of Portia's life, often intertwining and combating the two ideas. They contrast brilliantly: young, fervent minds struggling to make their impact against the stark background of a middle-aged woman's fight for purpose. Another thing I find fascinating and amusing is how this book goes in so many different directions and yet holds the exact same tone, making for a roller coaster of a novel that still feels consistent and grounding. For example, the nameless secret we're told about from the beginning is finally revealed (of course) and despite the groundbreaking discovery and impact that ought to change the book from a distant examination of a woman's life to a fraught soap opera, the book still makes it known that the story, as a whole, hasn't changed. Despite seemingly dramatic or strange occurrences, everything is still realistic, showing how ridiculous things often happen to seemingly ordinary people.
This book was entrancing to me. Despite my usual near-hatred of realistic adult novels, this book stood out for a variety of reasons. First, it had real heart. The characters felt real, their mistakes felt earned, their gains were uplifting, and their motives were stark. I never met a single character in this novel that I didn't feel could walk out of the pages and shake my hand. Secondly, the prose is beautiful, and displays sordid emotion. One thing I often critique in adult realistic fiction is the lack of prose as an attempt to drive home the meaninglessness of adult life. This novel was willing to show its protagonist genuinely struggle with heartache and depression and nostalgia through gripping, raw language. It was also willing to be funny at parts, to show how, even when life is at its worst, there is often so much to laugh about. Finally, the ending was simple, yet so fitting and beautiful. It really encompassed everything the character had gone through, and made me feel hopeful for their future and respectful of their past. All in all, I believe this book is excellent for any seeking books about college admissions, raw and real characters, stunning prose, witty humor, and stunning writing.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name
Eve

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Author
Perkins, Stephanie
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This is one of my favorite reads, mostly because Stephanie Perkins has a way of writing a fictional universe to feel real. In the book, the main character Anna is sent to a Parisian boarding school and must learn how to adapt to a new environment- and new friendships. Anna is a relatable character- she's a perfectionist who constantly feels out of control and uses witty remarks to cope with overwhelming feelings. I love Etienne's compassionate personality, as well as the rest of Anna's friends' humor. This book is an accurate representation of dealing with a new change, like being away from home. Despite being new and even scary, so much good can come out of it.

Reviewer's Name
Maggie

Book Review: Beach Read

Author
Henry, Emily
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

Beach Read by Emily Henry is a feel good book that will leave you rooting for January and Augustus. These two famous authors have nothing in common except that they are neighbors. One night, they make deal. Augustus will write something happy with the help of January’s expertise in romance and January will interview surviving members of a cult to write the next Great American novel. Whoever writes the bestselling book wins. Nothing else will happen, right? Beach Read reveals how being opposite in every way could quite possibly be the best thing. I highly recommend this book to anybody who needs a feel good book.

Reviewer's Name
Jaala

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Author
Han, Jenny
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This book is absolutely amazing compared to the hit film on Netlfix; TonAll The Boys I've Loved Before. The movie covers the basic climax diagram andnonly runs through shallow waters. In the meantime, the book adventures moreninto Lara Jean's life and world. The places described and the moments thatnoccur make the reader feel as if they are a friendly neighbor walking by.nEven though this book has been made into a film, I was shocked about how thenbook set the scene in various ways and made each moment special.

Reviewer's Name
Savanah

Book Review: The Proposal

Author
Guillory, Jasmine
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

A romance filled with heartwarming moments, and powerful women this book is pretty good! If you want a cute, quick read this might be the book for you. The main character is a hard worker who puts her priorities first, which is very refreshing to see. She dose not take anything from anyone and it’s great! If your looking for a cute book with a strong female lead definitely check this one out!

Reviewer's Name
Rylie

Book Review: Fix Her Up

Author
Bailey, Tessa
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

Travis, a once super popular baseball star gets hurt and can’t play baseball anymore gives up on life. Enter Georgie, a once Tom-boyish now super hot girl who has always had a crush on Travis (She’s also his best friend's sister) this roller-coaster of a book tells Travis and Georgie's adorable love story, and you can’t put it down. While definitely meant for an older crowd, this story will leave you smiling. Its characters are so cute, and you are just rooting for them the whole time. If you are looking for a more mature, rom-com book then you should check out this book!

Reviewer's Name
Rylie

Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Author
Cohn, Rachel and Levithan, David
Rating
2 stars = Meh
Review

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, co-authored by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, is a lighthearted romance set at Christmastime. When Lily, a spunky nerd, leaves a red notebook filled with mysterious clues at the Strand in New York City, an unexpected relationship begins. Her notebook is found by Dash, a cynic who detests Christmas, and thus begins a montage of absurd dares as the red notebook is passed back and forth around New York City by the two teenagers and their strategically-placed relatives. Along the way, Dash and Lily come to believe they love each other, though they’ve never set eyes on each other before.

This book lacks a stable plot and character development. Lily’s character is unbearably obnoxious and immature, while Dash’s cynicism is over-the-top and irritating. Lily undergoes virtually no change through the duration of the book; however, Dash does open up and become slightly less self-absorbed. The authors’ excessive use of big, flowery language did not fit the characters. It seemed as though the authors believed this was necessary in order to portray Dash and Lily (mostly Dash) as intelligent and intellectual beyond their years, but I found it to be distracting and inappropriate for the context. The plot of this book was severely lacking. It was chaotic and disjointed, and never reached a strong climax. I was irritated with the unrealistic and completely bizarre parts, and disappointed when the ‘romance’ fell flat.

I understand that this book is meant to be fun and amusing, but it would have been much higher quality with likable characters and a coherent plot. I enjoyed the Christmas-y setting, but I believe the authors could’ve used New York City in a more impressive way for the dares. Only read this book if you’re in the mood for a fluffy, vapid story with no substance whatsoever. There are lots of Christmas romances out there, and I’m sure most are better than this one.

Reviewer's Name
Alexa

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Author
Kwan, Kevin
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Rachel Chu expects to be met with an average trip when her boyfriend Nick Young invites her to Singapore, but when she arrives she is met with Nick's childhood home that is beyond anything she could ever imagine. She has
unknowingly been dating one of Asia's most eligible bachelors. Rachel is eventually met by the crazy rich of Singapore and is forced to endure their strong criticisms, especially by Nick's judgmental mother Eleanor. Kwan exposes the vast riches and glamorous lives of the crazy rich of Singapore. Though the massive Young, T'sien, and Shang family tree can be confusing at times, it allows every reader to personally connect to at least one character and expresses and variety of personalities within this grand family. The novel will transport you to a world that is all too real. If you have seen and enjoyed the movie, I can guarantee that you will definitely be blown away by the book. The novel expands beyond the movie's humor and highly emotional scenes and drastically improves its impact.

Reviewer's Name
Jenna W.

Book Review: Tweet Cute

Author
Lord, Emma
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

This rom-com style book while can be cheesy at times is over-all heartwarming and charming. Pepper always has something going on, from swim practice to running her Baking account online. When she meets a mystery boy on an anonymous website, they spark a connection; pepper cant wait to find out who this mystery person is. This adorable story, is heartwarming and very sweet. If you like a cute romance story, this book is definitely for you! Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name
Rylie