My name is Erica and I'm just a little book nerd. I'll blog what I feel, I'll read what I want and I'll talk about the Books I'm reading or read. Welcome to my world :)
About the book
From the critically acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves comes an emotional, empowering story of what happens when love isn't enough to conquer all.
Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They've been together forever. They never fight. They're deeply, hopelessly in love. When they separate for their first year at college—Toni to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU—they're sure they'll be fine. Where other long-distance relationships have fallen apart, their relationship will surely thrive.
The reality of being apart, however, is a lot different than they expected. As Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, falls in with a group of transgender upperclassmen and immediately finds a sense of belonging that has always been missing, Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside their relationship.
While Toni worries that Gretchen, who is not trans, just won't understand what is going on, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in Toni's life. As distance and Toni's shifting gender identity begins to wear on their relationship, the couple must decide—have they grown apart for good, or is love enough to keep them together?
I read the ARC of this book, and I can't say that I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed Lies We Tell Ourselves but I also didn't hate it. I had a few problems with this book......
The genderqueer representation is not good at all. The main character T was referred as a genderqueer character however, the way T few genderqueer was so annoying!. T acts like a hipster "babydyke" (another character's word, not mine) and goes around calling everyone by gender neutral pronouns, until the very end of the novel. Secondly, T is portrayed consistently as "confused." This is fine; because growing up is very confusing especially when you're trying to "find" yourself. In my opinion I do not think it is okay for a author to portray a character as officially genderqueer and then have their thought process be, "I think I might be transgender, and I might want to transition ftm, I might want to go on hormones, I might get surgery, but then again I might just be "gender variant" (T's word) or "gender nonconforming" (also T's word) but I'm not sure right now, I'm really confused so I'm just going to go with genderqueer."
For a book to clearly present a character (all the way to the end) in a manner that reinforces all those toxic stereotypes is really problematic.Although I could not relate to this book, I just felt that the book was based on stereotype versus actual facts.
T girlfriend Gretchen was the sweetest character however, the author made her seem to dependent on T. Gretchen life revolved around T and I did not like that. I understand Gretchen was madly in love with T but she didn't have a mind of her own. She was afraid to express what her deepest thoughts were because she was afraid of what T might say. She seemed weak to me and that bothered me a lot.
Overall I would give this book a 3.5 stars
Some things are worth waiting for…
Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.
Some things are worth experiencing…
Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.
Some things should never be kept quiet…
But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?
And some things are worth fighting for…
This book was just what I needed right now!! Now I understand why everyone is raving about it. I was smiling from ear to ear while reading this book. I love the fact that Avery and Cam relationship took time to develop- it was well paced. Avery is a girl with some sort of issue from her past who has run clean across the country to escape it with hopes of living in anonymity, but she's met this guy that really likes her. I mean, he really likes her, and he isn't giving up until she likes him back. The thing is, well, she actually kind of does really like him but she doesn't want to admit it and she really doesn't want to admit it to herself either. Every time Cam asks Avery to go out with him - DAILY - she turns him down. Avery was raped when she was fourteen while being at a Halloween party. The parents of the young boy who raped Avery paid Avery to switch her story. Avery parents and including herself was paid to deny the rape. She was bullied because of it so that scarred her for life. Meeting Cam was like meeting her Hero.
Cam is fantastic.
Cam is persistent and continues to shower Avery with his awesome friendship. They spend a lot of time together; he bakes for her, he makes her breakfast every Sunday. Seriously, my favorite part of this book was the slow building friendship turned relationship between these two. Most of this book felt like foreplay! Although I felt like smacking Avery in the head a couple of times, I really liked her. It was nice seeing her go through so much growth, letting people in, building friendships and coming out of her shell.
The love between Cam & Avery was…….
On Eleanor’s first day of school, no one will move over to give her a seat on the bus. She’s not surprised. She’s awkward and different looking with her bright red hair and an overweight body, she’s usually the school outcast. She’s on the bus with nowhere to seat but surprisingly a “weird Asian” boy scouts over for her. I guess he was being nice huh? Park wasn’t too happy with giving her a seat anyways. Park isn’t so perfect himself, he’s a half Korean young boy who listens to weird music, reads comic books and wear black clothing but he’s a lot more accepted in school compare to Eleanor so he has pity on her therefore, he moved over. It takes weeks for Park and Eleanor to finally speak to each other, and even longer for them to touch. But once the walls break down, these two unique individuals find that they are two souls searching for the other.
Eleanor comes from a very dysfunctional family with 4 siblings. Eleanor father left them and eventually started another family with someone else. Due to her father leaving them they were forced to move into a very small house until her mother remarried. Eleanor and her siblings understood what it meant to cherish little things such as a toothbrush or even have a bed although they were cramped in one room. To top this off Eleanor stepfather is a beast who will do everything he can to get rid of everyone one by one.
Eleanor family moved to a new town and into a new house thanks to the beast of a stepfather. He’s an alcoholic, and verbally abusive to the entire family. Besides what she is going through with her family, she is overweight and insecure. She wears men clothing that are way to big since her mother is unable to afford nice clothing for everyone.
Although Eleanor life is a mess, Park family is perfect and solid. He lives with both parents and a younger brother. Park parents are a true definition of true love. Within time, Eleanor and Park became as one. Their feelings for each other deepen and Eleanor was able to escape in Park’s “Brady Bunch” life. Unfortunately, she knows that it’s only a matter of time before her stepfather learns that she has a boyfriend, something that would send him over the edge and maybe even put her safety in danger. Other obstacles conspire to separate them, but always they find that being apart is far more painful than anything they’d have to endure to be together. Eleanor realized that she could no longer risk her life because of a boyfriend so; she leaves everything behind including park and her siblings in order to move with her uncle. The uncle became a new escape for her.
Now it’s time for my opinion
This book was an okay book for me. Although in the beginning I was into it but as the story kept going I was losing interest. Rainbow Rowell is an awesome author as far as writing. E&P was definitely an easy read and because of that I won’t give this book a bad rating.
My Main issue is the romance between Eleanor and Park. I just didn’t get it…although I tried to understand the romance, I just couldn’t understand how Eleanor went from “weird Asian” kid on the bus, Park thinking Eleanor was unattractive to the next chapter they were madly in love. I understand that Rainbow Rowell tried to make the romance realistic so I tried to remember the moments when I was a teenager and the excitement of infatuation I experience for the first time However, with Eleanor & Park, it unrealistic and unbelievable. I just couldn’t grasp the realness behind the relationship. Park went from telling Eleanor “sit the fuck down” on the bus to the next moment Park is telling Eleanor that he can’t imagine his life without her. The romance moved entirely to fast to even understand what was going on. The story had so much potential but in my opinion the story was rushed. In other people reviews I read that people said that the ending was heartbreaking and through out the story they couldn’t stop crying but did I miss something? I did not shed a tear nor was I close to being heartbroken. Eleanor life story was sad but not to the point that it had my heart breaking for her.
I’m not saying that this book was terrible because clearly it touched a lot of people but I think it was a bit overhyped. I went into this book with very high expectations thinking that this book was going to blow me away and I would need a day to move on from this book but instead I’m walking away with an empty feeling because I wish Rainbow Rowell gave me a little bit more. I wish she took her time with this book and didn’t rush every detail.
Where do I begin with this book? I have to say this book was my absolutely favorite in 2014.
Lies we tell ourselves is mainly about two teenage high school girls who names are Sarah Dunbar and Linda Hairston. This book takes place in the 1950’s where segregation played a very big part. Sarah Dunbar is an African American girl and Linda Hairston is white but guess what happens? NO I’m not telling you, you have to guess!!
Okay Okay I’ll tell you!
The girls fall in love! In love? WHAT? Yes you’re thinking correctly!
Sarah Dunbar is a black girl who is chosen to integrate into an all-white Jefferson High. Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the most powerful segregationists in town. Along with Sarah, her friends and sibling joined Jefferson High School hoping that sooner or later everyone will become equal but that didn’t happen. The physical and emotional abuse that the African American children received was horrific and disgusting. It was disgusting to read that Sarah was constantly spit on and pencils stabbed into her skin. There is no redeeming quality when she gets to Jefferson High: even most of the teachers are racist. Although Sarah spends most of her school days walking through the hallways in fear, she remained the strongest. She had a goal to protect her younger sister name ruthie and while they were use to the name calling everything was okay until she gets cornered in the hall by the leader of Jefferson’s own anti-segregationist gang, Bo Nash. To everyone’s surprise, Linda is the one to stop it. Once the fighting breaks up, they both rush from the scene to the same bathroom.
Linda wasn’t as evil as the other kids and in this book and I was able to see the innocence behind Linda because it was her parents who implied negativity in her mind about color people. However, Linda and Sarah were forced to work together on a project after school generally sweet and soft-spoken best friend, Judy. Sarah and Linda’s arguments become less polite and more truthful. Slowly, their dynamic begins to change. The fights are no longer caused by hatred and there was a sexual tension between them. Both girls they look forward to being together for their school project. Sarah seeks the girl she sees inside of Linda, the intelligent, understanding one. Sarah has always recognized her attraction to women, though religion has made her desperate to hide her "sinful" thoughts.
Linda has a fiancé, but she doesn't love him so much as the escape he represents from an emotionally (and occasionally physically) abusive home life. As Linda comes to reject the violent racism of her father and her classmates, she also falls in love with Sarah. The moment when they finally give in to the pressure and kiss is as delightful as any young adult novel. I loved that the narrative celebrated lesbian romance in an era in which it was rarely discussed.
The writing flows beautifully from chapter to chapter and perspective to perspective. It’s hard to force yourself to stop, even to sleep, because of the amazing way Robin Talley writes this story. The storyline is very interesting and Talley carefully crafts characters that the reader truly cares about. It’s so difficult to dislike anything about them because she creates them not as perfect, but as human.
Along with the minority of race and sexual/romantic preference, this is a wonderful story for teenage girls. Teenage girls are constantly shown as flighty, less serious or generally weaker. This novel never shows them as anything but strong. These characters are a good representation for anyone who falls into the categories of female, minority, and/or queer. They show that history does not skip over you, and that anyone can be the main character of a story. They show that anyone can be strong and anyone can be a hero, whether it’s to a large group, or just one person. If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend it because it was nothing but AMAZING. Every detail was worth holding on to because it wasn’t a book that was a typical read. It had truth behind it.