November 24, 2016

Phantom Limbs - Paula Garner

Title: Phantom Limbs
Author: Paula Garner
Pages: 368
Publisher: Candlewick
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: 

About: Otis and Meg were inseparable until her family abruptly moved away after the terrible accident that left Otis’s little brother dead and both of their families changed forever. Since then, it’s been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protégé of eighteen-year-old Dara—part drill sergeant, part friend—who’s hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he’s never forgotten and the brother he’s never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.

I spent the majority of this book yelling THIRTEEN like Luca from the Babysitter's Club movie.

Hey Luca, you alright buddy?

First of all, I just don't buy this deep, epic love that Meg and Otis supposedly had because THEY WERE THIRTEEN (look it's happening again).  I'd buy best friends, I'd buy crush, but this first everything overwhelming can't imagine being with anyone else love that they bring up throughout the whole book?  No.  And I'm a sucker for the whole best friends to lovers thing, so it's a double bummer that I couldn't get on board with these two.

It took way too long to get to the point of the Meg/Mason story.  Mason is Otis's little brother who died, which is the catalyst for Meg and her family moving away.  You know that Meg was somehow involved in Mason's death and everyone hides it from Otis, but it takes waaaaaaaaay too long to get to the point.  And because it takes so long, the reveal doesn't feel big enough.  Or maybe the reveal not being big enough makes it feel like it takes longer.

My big problem with this book is that it feels like there was too much going on.  Just look at Dara.  She's training Otis to help him get to the Olympics, she's dealing with her phantom limb pain from her shark attack (really), her dad not ever being home, her self acceptance issues, her first girlfriend, her suicidal tendencies, her jealousy of Meg.  Too much!  And she's not even a main character!

I'm starting to see this one pop up on a lot of best of lists and I just don't get it.  The oversold soulmate feelings, underwhelming mystery death, and all the issues ever! make this book too much and not enough at the same time.  I didn't find myself rooting for any of the characters, and when I can't get on a friends to lovers story you know something's wrong.  Phantom Limbs was not a winner for me.

November 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (89)

Title: Talking As Fast As I Can
Author: Lauren Graham
Pub. Date: 11.29.16

In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls—the first and second time—and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. This collection of essays is written in the intimate, hilarious, and down-to earth voice that made her novel, Someday Someday Maybe, a New York Times bestseller.

“This book contains some stories from my life: the awkward growing up years, the confusing dating years, the fulfilling working years, and what it was like to be asked to play one of my favorite characters again. You probably think I’m talking about my incredible achievement as Dolly in Hello, Dolly! as a Langley High School junior, a performance my dad called “you’re so much taller than the other kids.” But no! I’m talking about Lorelai Gilmore, who, back in 2008, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again. Also included: tales of living on a houseboat, meeting guys at awards shows, and that time I was asked to be a butt model. A hint: all three made me seasick.”—Lauren Graham

My entire brain is Gilmore Girls this week and I'm not even sorry.  Only a few more days!!

November 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (103)

I love Thanksgiving.  We usually have a quiet day at my house, but the food is amazing.  We try to tackle all 9 of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes (we usually fail), we play the states game (fail again), and there's the first White Christmas viewing of the season.  However y'all celebrate, I hope it's a good one!  This week's topic is bookish things I am thankful for.

1. The new Archie (or Hot Archie, as it were.  Though I'm more of a Jughead girl myself).  If you would have told me a year ago that I was going to devour the new Archie comics I would have called you a filthy liar.  I don't really like comics, but I put that aside when Jem and the Holograms came out because, hello, Jem is more important to me than most things.  Then I picked up Archie and I was totally hooked.  It's such a fast read and so fun .  I love seeing how they've updated the characters while still keeping their essence.

2. Bookshelves!  I moved into a new apartment this year and I finally have bookshelves in my room.  I am in love with having shelves where my books and my vinyl pops can cohabitate.

3.The bookish Twitter community, especially after this hellish election.  They really helped me keep my head on straight and continue to as we figure out what we need to do now.

4. Those never-ending Stephanie Plum books.  Honestly, they're not even that good anymore, but I can't stop until she finally ends up with someone.  And by someone, I mean Morelli.

5. My sister, whose book knowledge is out of this world.  I trust her recommendations above any other and am so thankful we share a similar taste.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!