Everything, Everything was okay. (Movie thoughts)

This is somewhat a movie review! I don’t plan on doing more movie reviews in the future, but I did see Everything, Everything and wanted to say my thoughts.

Everything, Everything was okay.

So, I saw the movie yesterday with a theater full of teenage girls, parents, and grandparents.

The movie didn’t have nearly as much detail as the books, but the visuals were beautiful. The location and room-building were excellent. I wanted Maddy’s room (or better yet her house). And if it was the movie’s purpose to make Hawaii seem like the best tourist attraction ever, it succeeded.

Consumerism was very low. But I wished it had been higher. All of Maddy’s outfits were so cute!  Where are they from? Forever 21? I would love to buy some of the dresses she had especially the yellow one with the zipper.

It had a nice soundtrack too. I definitely perked up at hearing Ari Lennox’s distinct voice in the movie.

There were some major pacing issues. Introducing Rose (who is only mentioned in the book) was cool, but not at the expense of cutting out major moments, which are in the spoiler section.

The kisses were good. The love scene was tasteful.

I loved the inner-thought bubbles when Olly and Maddy had like their third meeting. The direction the director took to show their text messages was creative too.

I liked the ending a lot more here! The book’s ending felt too open-ended.

Overall: Not totally exciting unless you have read the book, and then you might feel disappointed because some of the best parts were condensed or passed over. Still, I am glad I got to see it. I haven’t been to the movies in a while.

[SPOILERS INSIDE]

Continue reading “Everything, Everything was okay. (Movie thoughts)”

Book Review #18: Everything, Everything

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Just in time for Mother’s Day! This book has a huge focus on the mother-daughter relationship!

Everything, Everything was everythang! Nicola Yoon has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I reviewed The Sun is Also a Star before this, and Yoon’s first book is just as good (TSIAAS is just a bit more polished).

STORY:

“…The world barely knows I exist. I mean, I exist online. I have online friends and my Tumblr book reviews, but that’s not the same as being a real person who can be visited by strange boys bearing Bundt cakes” (pg 29).

In Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (310 pages), Madeline Whittier (I’m going to be calling her Maddy throughout the review) is sick, in a way, she’s allergic to the entire outside world. Her mom and the best nurse ever, Carla, keep her monitored closely and on a tight schedule. Nothing in Maddy’s life is unplanned or out of the ordinary until (wait for it…) a boy, parkour-black-clothes-only-wearing boy with one dimple in his right cheek, moves in next door.

Yoon is awesome at “showing” and not telling. I love reading her descriptions of characters and things, basically just nouns. She describes nouns well.

“Maddy: What color are your eyes?

Olly: Blue

Maddy: Be more specific, please.

Olly: jesus. girls. ocean blue

Maddy: Atlantic or Pacific?

Olly: Atlantic. What color are yours?

Maddy: Chocolate brown

Olly: More specific, please

Maddy: 75% cacao butter dark chocolate brown

Olly: hehe. nice” (pg 51).

I also like how the real-world references didn’t feel cringy. This book taught me a word that I never knew existed, uxorious. Aww! My favorite English word is pugnacious (or adore), but it might change!

“Maddy: Friends don’t kiss, Olly.

Olly: really good ones can” (pg 123).

I want to say Olly and Maddy were attracted to each other too quickly (instalove!), but if you were basically trapped in an impenetrable bubble your feelings might be intensified. Also, hormones.

There are some mentions of domestic abuse (not with Olly and Maddy btw), and a heavy-handed hint at mental trauma. Oh yeah, there’s a sex scene too, a little edgy but not explicit. Blink and you miss it. I don’t know how I feel about it.

No one had to tell me, but I just knew from the minute I picked up this book that there would be adorable “aww-worthy” moments and some punches in the gut. This book has a mean right hook.

CHARACTERS:

Maddy was sheltered and compliant, but her head was also in the clouds (or rather outer space) and Olly sent her thoughts and health awry.

Olly was agile, witty, and fun. He harbored a lot more pain than he let on, and Maddy intrigued him in every way. He also loved black clothing but wasn’t goth.

Wow. The mom was so believable. I just… She really loved Maddy, almost to a fault.

I loved Carla! She was the absolute best!

OVERALL:

I enjoyed it! The characters, the humor, and, even though it made my heart physically drop, those gut punches. The climax was very climatic. I can’t wait for the movie!

Mini Review #3: Off the Page

29358306So, I stayed up until 1 am last night (or day? I don’t know, man) because I just had to know what happened in the last book. Did the book redeem itself? Would I actually care about Deliah and Oliver’s love? How would Oliver be in the real world?

“The really crappy thing about being a teenager is that even if you have a legitimate, monumental problem– the sky is falling or the zombie apocalypse has begun or you’ve contracted the plague– you still have to do your geometry homework” (pg 295).

Well, Off the Pages by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer (368 pages), got better and worst.

What did I like? I thought the death in the book was handled pretty good. I know it sounds morbid to like a fictional death, but I hadn’t expected it in such a cookie-cutter book. Thankfully, there were no do-overs either! Some of Oliver’s confusion of the real world was somewhat fun. The author (the real one) tried to add some last-minute depth to the mean girl, Allie but it was like trying to add pecans to an already cooked cookie. You know what I’m saying?

I thought some scenes in this book could have been condensed like Deliah helping Seraphima pick out a bra at Victoria Secrets because all her fat goes to her breast! Yeah, that was an actual line in the book.

The romance was dry. Oliver and Deliah are just too perfectly in love. I don’t feel anything for them.

The ending was going to be unsatisfying either way. I don’t want to say it, but the ending was a bit on the garbage end. It was so unrealistic… And I am someone that loves happy endings!

I still liked Edgar (and Jules) the most as they had the most personality out of everyone.  Chris was a cool one-note character!

OVERALL:

Off the Page gets 2 stars from me. Should you read this book? I don’t think anyone over the age of ten would be amazed by this story. It’s a cliche book (but the premise is not) but some might find it fun and innocent!

Book Review #16: Between the Lines

12283261You guys already know I like fantasy books, so I had to read this one!

STORY:

This was why there was music, he realized. There were some feelings that just didn’t have words big enough to describe them” (pg 230).

In Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer (352 pages), Deliah Mcphee is a total social outcast and only finds solace in her favorite kids’ fairytale Between the Lines. On the other side of reality, in that very book, Prince Oliver knows there’s more to life than rehearsing the lines of his book. Deliah wants a new life and Oliver wants to leave his book, and, of course, chaos ensues.

If I am to be perfectly honest, the book started off corny. However, the concept of self-aware fairytale characters was intriguing and managed to capture my interest early on.

“Brightening, I smile at her. ‘Look at how much we already have in common.’

“She smirks. ‘Yeah. Like, for example, I’m talking to a book, and you think you’re alive. We’re both insane’ (pg 53).

I wasn’t enthusiastic about Deliah’s narrative because she was so boring. I’ve just seen the “misunderstood high school girl” too many times to not have anything special added to her. Also, I don’t know why but I found the real life references cringy, like “Cinderella in Starbucks.”

“It hits me with the force of a blow: the understanding that I’d rather die than know I might never have a chance to truly, finally, kiss Deliah Mcphee” (pg 86).

This story had plenty of corny moments, like all fairytales, but they generally elicited the desired effects, an “aww” or an eye-roll.

But I loved the illustrations and the colorful fonts because it truly gave a storybook feel. I enjoyed the grueling process it took to get Oliver out the book. It definitely wasn’t easy, and something unexpected happened!

To me, the long-awaited kiss scene was pretty lackluster! I don’t know… Considering the book’s recommended for 12 and up (honestly, nothing in the book was bad enough to garner that rating; it was innocent), I expected the kiss to be more detailed. It had all the intensity of a grandma kiss.

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CHARACTERS:

I like normal girl characters (everyone can’t have magic, superpowers, or super abilities) but Deliah was terribly boring. This is not to say I wasn’t sympathetic to her horrid school life.

There’s not much to say about Oliver. He’s just our male lead.

Jules was cool! I just wished Deliah hadn’t ignored her only friend so much, but it added need tension I guess. This was one chill girl and a decent female friend, which is sometimes lacking in YA fiction.

I liked Edgar the most even though he was only there for like five to six chapters.

All the kids at Deliah’s school fit the perfect American high school typecasts: jock, snobby popular girl, rebellious punk rocker, geek kids, etc. I didn’t like any of them.

Also, the mermaids in Oliver’s world were not what I would call feminists but that’s how they were labeled, which might ruffle some feathers.

OVERALL:

Eh,  I found Between the Lines a bit lackluster (I give it 2 stars) yet I will definitely be reading the sequel. Hopefully, I will like the next book better because that’s when the real story starts.

Thanks for reading!

Book Review #13 The Sun is Also A Star

28763485The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon (348 pages) gets 4.5 stars out of 5 for me, but let’s just round that up to 5, okay?

I’ve heard raving reviews for Nicola Yoon’s work, so I decided to check it out for myself. First, the multiple narratives surprised me because I thought it would be Natasha and Daniel’s perspectives at the most. Yoon does a phenomenal job “showing” and not telling, and that made me really enjoy the descriptions in this book.

STORY:

“Yes, it’s obnoxious. But I have a good reason for this behavior that involves a completely empty train one night at two a.m. (way past curfew) and a man with a big-ass snake wrapped around his neck who chose to sit next to me despite there being one thousand (give or take) empty seats” (pg 43).

There are some parts in this book that made me giggle and smile like a delirious loon. Then there’s that part where Natasha meets Charlie, Daniel’s brother, and his Dad. I really cannot believe how nonchalant she was! I could not deal with no racist in-laws. No one has time for that! Also, I love how this book addressed the history and politics of why Korean hair stores are always in black neighborhoods.

Oh yeah, the karaoke/ norebang scene… Girl… Hormones galore!

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CHARACTERS:

I love the two main characters, Daniel and Natasha. I even love the one-off characters like Joe, the Chopsticks lady, and the religious bus driver. Some of the characters are pretty zany, but the story is set in New York City.

“Observable Fact: I don’t believe in magic.

Observable Fact: We are magic” (pg 170).

Natasha reminds me a bit of myself, although not as cynical, scientifically-minded, and opposed to love. She’s very realistic like someone you know and not a character in a book.

Daniel is what those tumblr kids call a sweet cinnamon roll.  Dude is a decent guy who is in touch with his emotions! *GASP* Yeah, he’s not the brooding, emo bad boy love interest (even though I like those too) readers have come to know in YA fictions.

I like the emphasis on parental relationships as well. In so many books, it’s easy to forget the main characters are teens who have parents. I feel slighted that there was no chapter from Daniel’s mom’s perspective, and I would have liked another one from Patricia, Natasha’s mom. Samuel Kingsley, the reason Natasha’s in this mess, was so infuriating but believable.

I kind of want to see Jeremy Fitzgerald fall down a flight of stairs into incoming traffic. Yeah.

OVERALL:

“I try to give her a look that says don’t argue with the old security guard with the lung problem, otherwise he won’t let us stay here and makeout, but even if she interpreted my facial expression correctly, she ignores me” (pg 264).

So many good quotes and that ending! Guys, I cannot… I can’t. It’s a little bittersweet but optimistic enough. I felt my heart drop.

Okay, if you can get over the “fall-in-love-in-a-day” heavy chick-lit tone then you will really like this book. Even if you’re not a romantic like me, you will at least be entertained. For me, the hype was justified, and I gotta add this to my bookshelf. I will probably be reading “Everything, Everything” soon too.

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