Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow RowellTitle: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series: Stand-alone
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Romance
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Goodreads | Amazon


Goodreads Summary

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My Thoughts

“Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.”

Ehh, this book was okay. It was a quick read, and I wasn’t bored, but at the same time, I didn’t love it.

The single reason for my low rating was Neal. In my opinion, he was a pretty horrible person, yet we were supposed to like him. He ignored Georgie before they start dating, he pouted when he’s not happy with a situation, and he had no problem telling her that her dreams are stupid. He is described as short and pudgy, and he purposely never smiles or laughs. He is self-righteous and, in my opinion, emotionally abuses Georgie.

The writing was fine, but the character development left something to be desired. Georgie changed a bit for the better, but I don’t think Neal did any changing or growing up, which was disappointing. I don’t really understand what Rowell wanted her audience to get from this book, but what I got was that we should put everything aside for our relationships (which I agree with), even when the person we are in a relationship wouldn’t do the same for us (which I don’t agree with).

In Conclusion

This is the first Rainbow Rowell book that I’ve read, but from a negative review of her book, Attachments, I am wondering if this is a theme that she has in a lot of her books. I just didn’t like the way she portrayed Georgie’s and Neal’s relationship, and I’m not sure I’d feel any different with any of her other books.

“It’s more like you meet someone, and you fall in love, and you hope that that person is the one—and then at some point, you have to put down your chips. You just have to make a commitment and hope that you’re right.” 

Have you read Landline? What did you think of it?
Let me know!

How I Listen to Audiobooks

Audiobooks (1).png

Ahh, audiobooks. I know that talking about them can be a bit of a controversial topic because people either love them more than life or hate them with a burning passion. Some people think that it’s cheating to listen to an audiobook because you haven’t technically “read it.” Merphy Napier says it best on her BookTube channel in this video. You only have to watch the first minute and a half to hear her logic behind how listening to audiobooks is “real reading.” Definitely check that out because she says it better than I could have.

That being said, I love audiobooks, and I know I’m not the only one. There are three ways that I listen to my audiobooks without spending a ton of money! Not everyone knows all of the great audiobook resources out there, so I figured I’d share my favorite audiobook platforms that I use.

Audible (iOS/Android | $14.95/month)

Audible is probably the most well known audiobook website because they’ve been around the longest and have the widest variety of titles. You pay a monthly fee of $14.95, and that gets you one audiobook credit. After downloading a title, it is yours to keep forever, even if you cancel your account with Audible.

They also offer a free 30 day trial with a free audiobook when you sign up. Just for being a member, you get 30% off any additional audiobooks that you want to get after using your credit; however, the audiobooks are pretty pricey (around $30 per book).

Tip: If you sign up for the Audible Daily Deal, they will send you links to discounted Audible audiobooks that are usually only a few dollars.

Scribd (iOS/Android | $8.99/month)
This is an awesome app audiobook addicts, as well as people who like reading on their phone or tablet. For $8.99 a month, you can access thousands of books, audiobooks, newspapers & magazines, and even sheet music.

I use it exclusively for audiobooks because I personally don’t really enjoy reading on my electronic devices. Scribd has a vast variety of audiobooks that you download for one credit. You accumulate three reading credits and one audiobook credit per month and they can accumulate. Also, audiobooks are only around $8 to purchase if you’ve used up all your credits, which is a super great price.

Libby by OverDrive (iOS/Android | Free; requires library card)

This is a new find for me. It’s made by OverDrive (the more popular library digital distribution app), and so I decided to give it a try. It is much more user-friendly and atheistically pleasing than OverDrive is, in my opinion, but it’s essentially the same thing.

To use Libby, you have to have at least one library card (but you can add more than one), and that grants you access to your library’s selection of digital audiobooks and books to read on your phone or tablet.  If the book is available, you can start listening/reading right away, and you have 14 days until you have to return it. If it’s waitlisted, you can put your name on the list, but the wait can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, which is honestly the only downside to Libby to me. It’s very satisfying when you find a book that’s available because you can listen to it right then and there for free!

Are any of these apps new to you? What are some apps that you use to listen to your audiobooks? I’d love to find more options!

Book Tag: Books I’ll (Probably) Never Read

A really hyped book you’re not interested in reading?

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I have seen this book recommended so much on BookTube and Bookstagram recently, but it just really doesn’t sound like something that I’d enjoy.

A series you won’t start/won’t be finishing?

The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer. First of all, more often than not, I enjoy middle-grade reads. A lot of times, they are very well written and pack a pretty big punch. I really did enjoy the first book in the Land of Stories series (The Wishing Spell) and had every intent to continue with the series, but after further thought, I just realized that I felt like the writing and characters were a bit too immature for my taste, and that I didn’t want to continue on after all. However, I definitely recommend this series to a younger audience!

A classic that you’re just not interested in?

Anything by Jane Austen. I know she’s a classic author and as an English major, I’m supposed to like her, but I just can’t get over how thickly she lays on the descriptions and her storylines just never interest me.

Any genres you never read?

Historical fiction. There are a few genres that I don’t enjoy reading, but will still do so from time to time. But historical fiction is one that I honestly never read. I don’t know why but it just doesn’t interest me.

A book on your shelves you’ll probably never actually read?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I know this answer might upset some people because I’ve heard it recommended sooo much, but I have owned it for literally years and years and have never actually wanted to pick it up. It might be time to pass it on.

Source: Merphy Napier’s BookTube channel

What are some books that you don’t plan on reading and why? I really enjoyed completing this tag, and I challenge anyone who is interested to do it, too!

Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard BookTitle: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Series: Stand-alone
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Goodreads | Amazon



Goodreads Summary

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…

My Thoughts

“You’re always you, and that don’t change. And you’re always changing and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

This is probably going to be a shorter review because I really don’t have that much to say about this book — good or bad.

One of my favorite things about Neil Gaiman is that he always has these little nuggets of wisdom tucked away in all of his stories. He has a knack of wording things in such unique, thought-provoking ways, which I really enjoy. Gaiman’s overall writing style in this book was beautiful and eloquent as always. I noticed strong similarities between between The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Coraline, both of which are books that I really enjoyed.

The plot was definitely unique — a boy who is raised in a graveyard by ghosts and spirits. This is a bit of a coming-of-age story, and the overall message is, I think, that one should not hide just because they are different, which is a nice sentiment that is taught in a unconventional way.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, I didn’t have any issues with the characters or the storyline, and I enjoyed reading it, but I don’t know if the story will stay with me for very long — it just didn’t blow me out of the water. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it and would enjoy it if I revisit it sometime in the future.

“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”

Have you read this book? If so, what were your thoughts? 
Let me know in the comments!

Book Tag: Halloween Edition

Carving pumpkins: what book would you carve up and light on fire?

I really don’t have that much anger towards a book, but one that I really did dislike (and one that I’ve mentioned in a previous book tag) is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. 

Trick-or-Treat: a character who is a trick and a character who is a treat?

Trick: Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I typically enjoy reading about villains, but Umbridge is another story. She is such a terrible person and I hate her so much!

Treat: Sara Crewe from A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I reread this book this year and loved it so much. Sara is so positive and strong and is a treat to read about.

Candy Corn: what book is always sweet?

Any of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket. His books are just so wonderful to me, and every time I read one, I feel happy.

Ghosts: what character would you love to visit you as a ghost?

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT! (but probably not)

I have to say Dumbledore from Harry Potter. I loved him so much and was so sad when he died. I feel like he would have so much advice and wisdom to share if he came to visit me as a ghost.

Dressing up in costume: which character would you want to be for a day?

I tend to read books about characters in un-enviable situations, so I’ll have to go with a classic answer here and say Hermione Granger from Harry Potter.

Wizards and witches: what is your favorite Harry Potter moment?

Ummm… all seven books?

Blood and gore: what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile?

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz. This book is on my To-Read Again shelf because I honestly can’t remember what exactly happened, but I do remember that I got so creeped out that I couldn’t read it at night anymore.

Source: Hannah @ A Clockwork Reader

What would your answers be for this tag? I challenge anyone who is interested to do it, too! And have a safe and happy Halloween!

Book Review: It by Stephen King

ItTitle: It
Author: Stephen King
Series: Stand-alone
Publication Date: September 1986
Genre: Fiction, Horror
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Summary

To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered, a good place to live. It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, It lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each person’s deepest dread. Sometimes It reached up, seizing, tearing, killing…

The adults, knowing better, knew nothing. Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of It was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until the grown-up children were called back, once more to confront It as It stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

My Thoughts

The overall idea behind this story was a good one. A creepy clown who lives in the storm drains and sewers and terrorizes/kills children — yeah, I can get behind that. Within the first twenty pages, something creepy happens and I was excited. Ohhh, this is gonna be good, I thought. I was wrong.

First of all, let me say that the characters in this book were excellent. I really felt like I got to know the kids pretty well throughout all 1,500+ pages of this book. King did an excellent job of making their actions and thought processes very reminiscent of childhood, and I enjoyed that. He also did a good job developing the characters smoothly into adulthood.

King’s writing style is very good — I think that he has the ability to write eloquently, while still adding in colloquial elements to make it relatable and enjoyable. I’ve read a few of his other books (The Shining, Carrie, and “The Children of the Corn”), and I enjoyed all of them. I really do think that King is a good writer who has really creative ideas.

The problem with this book that I had really had nothing to do with the plot, character development, or writing style. Ultimately, the reason behind my low rating comes down to two things that go hand-in-hand: the length and the wordiness. This book could have been trimmed down to about 400 pages and it could have told the same story just as effectively — if not more so. The other issue that I had was that there was WAY too much extraneous information that didn’t need to be said (no, Stephen, I don’t need to know who that random kid passing by on his bicycle marries when he grows up, or how and at what age he dies). Oh, and then, of course, there was that one scene towards the end…

In Conclusion

I think realistically this book should have been split up into two — like the recent 2017 movie is going to be. I don’t necessarily regret reading this iconic horror novel, but I am pretty disappointed in it. However, this is the first King novel that I haven’t liked, so I will continue to read his books. After reading the book and seeing the new movie, I can honestly say that this is the first movie that was actually better than the book.

Have you read It? If so, what were your thoughts? Do you agree with my reasons behind my rating? Also, how did you think it compared to the recent movie adaption?

Book Tag: Unpopular Opinions

A popular book that you didn’t like?

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer. I know everyone seems to love this book, but I just honestly couldn’t stand it! I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads, but that was probably generous. I felt like the writing was pretentious and the author tried too hard to make it more literary than it was. The letters interjected throughout the story made the flow disjointed, and I just didn’t like anything about this book!

A book that everyone else seems to hate but you love?

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.  Okay, this one isn’t super hated, but a lot of the reviews that I saw after reading this book were bad, and I can understand why after thinking about it. It’s kind of predictable and has some cliché tropes in it. But I still really enjoyed reading it!

What is a love triangle where you feel like the main character ended up with the wrong person?

I guess I don’t read a lot of books with love triangles because the only one that comes to mind is the one in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins; however, I’m totally happy with who Katniss ended up with.

What is a popular book genre that you never reach for?

Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I have read a few from both of these genres in the past, but I don’t typically reach for them.

What is a popular or beloved character that you didn’t like?

Pippi Longstocking from the book of the same name by Astrid Lindgren. I know that’s super random, but she is fairly loved by audiences of all ages. This book even has 4.11 stars on Goodreads! But I read it earlier this year and oh, my gosh, I could not stand her! Maybe I’m just too old to really enjoy the book, but I figured it was sort of a children’s classic and that I should give it a try. She was insensitive and pushy and annoying and…ugh, you get the picture.

Who is a popular author that you can’t seem to get into?

Ted Dekker. I have only read one of his books, Skin, but it was so bad that I just can’t seem to make myself read another of his books.

What is a popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing?

Even though I liked two of the books that feature this trope (Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall), I am tired of seeing the trope where a girl has a handicap of some sort, and then a boy comes into her life and all of her problems disappear. It’s just not realistic, and it’s honestly annoying. But I still highly recommend the books mentioned above, despite the frustrating trope.

A popular book/series that you have no interest in reading?

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I haven’t read any of these books and honestly, I don’t plan on it because I just don’t have any interest in the plot.

What is a screen adaptation that you liked better than the book?

Even though I haven’t quite finished the book yet, I have to say It by Stephen King. I enjoyed this book for the first maybe 300 pages and then it just started to drag on. There was WAY too much unnecessary detail about things that have no significance to the overall story, but more on that in a future review. The 2017 movie adaption of It was very well done and honestly made some of the stale parts of the book even better.

Source: Merphy Napier’s BookTube channel

What are some unpopular bookish opinions that you have? Do we share any? I really enjoyed completing this tag, and I challenge anyone who is interested to do it, too!