“Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson

81bAquOCgWLI promise, I tried really hard not to finish this book before finishing Jenny Lawson’s first book, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir,” but it was just really difficult and I failed.

I blame audiobook library lending limits. I think I only have five more days left, which is arguably long enough to finish the 60 or so pages of “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” and then finish this book, but listening to audiobooks is so much easier than sitting down to read the physical book. Darn you, technology.

Anyway, I started reading this book because I was halfway through her first book and I liked it pretty well and “Furiously Happy” was available at the time in both audiobook and e-book. So I mostly listened to it on audiobook and then occasionally flipped through the e-book to see the pictures. There were a couple parts where something completely off the wall was mentioned, followed by “I wrote all about that in my first book” and it was just another reminder of how I failed to read two unrelated books by the same author in the correct order.

The book starts with a blog post that Lawson wrote when she was going through a bad phase of depression where she decided that instead of being hidden away from the world, she just decided that she was going to be furiously happy instead. There are plenty of stories where Lawson writes about conversations she has with her therapist and crazy arguments she has with her husband (they’re the cutest) and how bad she is at dinner parties and it’s just great because it’s so real. She writes a lot about struggling with mental illness and I think it was good to see it from a different perspective. I have never really been able to understand what people who have mental illness are going through and she explained it in a really well done way.

She’s also incredibly hilarious. She curses plenty in the book, but she has some pretty funny stories to tell. I’m sure she would be a really good friend in real life.

Until next time,
Maegan

“The Infinite Sea” by Rick Yancey

16131484This sequel definitely wasn’t as good as “The 5th Wave,” but it was still decent. I think it was more about building the characters up and explaining the in-between with some extra action thrown in there compared to the first book.

Rick Yancey definitely overdid the whole “the infinite sea” thing. It was probably mentioned seven times in the book and something like that where it’s a weird phrase that people don’t use AND it’s the name of the book sticks in your mind.

One thing that really bothers me in this book. There’s no holding back when it comes to killing people off, but this one character has stared death in the face like three times and he/she is still not dead. I can understand why he/she is not dead because he/she is integral in the big thing that’s happening in the book, but really? If he/she is going to survive death, just do it once and be done with it.

I’ve already started the final book in the trilogy, “The Last Star,” and it’s good so far but not as exciting as I had hoped. But more on that later.

I’m also still reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” and “Furiously Happy,” both by Jenny Lawson, but one of my co-workers just gave me the book “Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded” by Hannah Hart and I have a feeling that I will start it before these others are done. Maybe I can resist, but no promises.

For now,
Maegan

“The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey

512And8xM0LThis book is pretty decent as far as young adult dystopian novels go. I first read it a couple years ago before the movie version was released and I remember being in shock and awe over all the twists and turns in the plot. It definitely keeps you guessing right up until the end. Then it leaves you hanging. So clearly I have already started reading the second novel in the series, “The Infinite Sea,” which I have also read before. I’m really excited about getting to the third book, “The Last Star,” because that one had not been released when I was reading this series the first time, so it’s all new territory.

I actually think I did a library foul because I borrowed all three books at once in e-book and audiobook format. But you can’t blame me too much because I’m getting through them pretty quickly. Plus I couldn’t chance it if someone checked out the next book after the one I was currently reading, because then I would just have to sit and wait until they were done and that is no bueno.

I like the writing in this book a lot because it is in human speak and the dialogue actually sounds like kids speaking, instead of what some adult thinks kids would sound like if they had gone to a secret etiquette-based boarding school in their formative years. And there’s just enough annoying teen drama to make it realistic but not so much that you sigh and consider chucking the book out your bedroom window.

So basically the plot is this: Everything is fine and dandy in Ohio/the world until *dun dun duhhh* the Arrival. The Mothership shows up in the sky and then the “Others” start making insanely terribly things happen to eradicate all human life. These things come in waves, i.e. “The 5th Wave” is eminent at the start of this book. Not surprisingly at all, a bunch of teenagers/kids figure out what is going on and try to handle that mess. But of course, the book ends pretty much immediately after some big action so you really don’t have much information about the impact of their actions.

One thing that gets me in this book: There’s this analogy that keeps popping up about humans being the cockroaches of the world compared to the Others, which is fine. Cockroaches are gross, but still. But there’s this other analogy that keeps coming up where the main character is referred to as a mayfly by her male companion. Like ew. If you’re trying to be sweet or romantic, how about a butterfly or something less ew? Really, you’re comparing this girl to a gross bug that hovers around water or something. Way to get some brownie points. But for some reason that is completely mysterious to me, this chick completely digs it and is all about being referred to as a gross bug. Her prerogative, I guess.

Anywho, now I’m on to “The Infinite Sea” while also simultaneously reading Jenny Lawson’s first two books, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” and “Furiously Happy.”

Just call me a book reading fiend,
Maegan

“The Future of Us” by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

10959277This book. It came back into my mind after re-reading and watching “Thirteen Reasons Why” because of Jay Asher. I read it several years ago and I remembered the plot but not much of the specifics.

But now I definitely know my tastes are changing because the main teenage girl in this book was ANNOYING. She didn’t care about how her actions affected anyone else and she was just so petty and selfish.

And I did not like the ending. Josh deserves better than everything he got in this book.

Basically, the premise of this book is that it’s the 90s and people just got into having personal computers and accessing the internet. Emma’s dad buys her a guilt computer because he lives in Florida now with his new wife and baby, then Emma’s friend Josh who she rejected 6 months ago brings her an AOL CD-ROM. They log on then bam! Facebook exists! Somehow these kids understand how it works and they are not at all confused by the name “Facebook.”

So they find their profiles, but it’s the profiles of their future selves 15 years down the road. Somehow they are only mildly freaked out about this. I don’t understand.

Anyway, Emma is not happy with the way her life turns out, so she keeps trying to change the future. Maybe it’s because Emma is a selfish teenager who can’t stop whining about her life and being rude to all the people who care about her. A couple times she succeeds, but whatevs. But there’s all this chatter about how the things you do now are creating time ripples that affect the future, even if you don’t even know what decisions you’re actually making right now.

Children. You should probably just focus on the present because none of your degrees and your good jobs are going to happen if you don’t finish your education first. Chillax.

So in conclusion, in the past I was all over this book but now all I can think is, “Wow, was I this obnoxious as a teenager too?” Sure hope not but we were probably all obnoxious then.

Now I have to go figure out my next read,
Maegan

“See Me” by Nicholas Sparks

201608-See-Me-TR-680x1020Let me preface this by saying that I’ve read virtually every book that this man has written. Every now and then, I like to read a good romance, and sometimes there’s even some suspense thrown in.

This book. It started out interesting, but by the end, I was gritting my teeth just to get through it.

Yes, there’s a love interest story line, but there’s no drama to it really. It’s a super typically timeline, with meet, meet again, meet a third time unintentionally, dating, etc. I think the author tried to spice things up by giving the main character a past, but it doesn’t do much for anything.

Fast forward to a big surprise, someone in the book is a criminal. There is so much potential for this plot. Instead, you just get stuck in a runaround where you’re not actually sure who the bad guy is. First it’s A, then it’s definitely A, then it’s B, but no because it’s definitely A, then it’s A and B, then it’s A again, then it’s A and C, but a very predictable C.

I don’t know, something about it just started bothering me. Like the story was trying so hard to be interesting that it just started being annoying.

In addition, the dialogue in this book is so formal. It’s unnatural, and off-putting, honestly. If you’re going to write a book in which your characters talk to each other, they should speak as they actually would in real life. Don’t try to fancy it up because it just makes them seem stiff and like you can’t relate to them.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Started out all right, but by the end I wanted to throw this book across the room. Probably won’t stop me from still reading Nicholas Sparks’s other new book, “Two by Two.” Don’t even really know what that one’s about but I’ll probably still read it.

I’m also still reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” by Jenny Lawson (have made literally zero progress since my last post), and I just started the audiobook of “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling, because she/he is the queen of books.

Until next time,
Maegan

“The Crown” by Kiera Cass

The_Crown_CoverI finished this one a couple days ago while I was on vacation. Mind you, it’s not a very great beach read. But it did the trick.

I was super excited to read this book and the one before, “The Heir,” because I had never read them and they rounded out the Selection series. Lo and behold, I started losing interest.

You know the whole book is about the princess/future queen and her search for a husband that she initially didn’t even want to have. In the end she picks someone she’s had probably one and a half conversations with. So clearly it is true love.

And there’s just something about this character. Her people think she’s a horrible person but her many suitors disagree. Still, there’s nothing really that proves that she’s not a horrible person. It just seems like every time she tries to be nice and the author tries to show that she’s genuine, she comes off as fake and it just really doesn’t seem sincere.

But at least I finished it. So now I am trying to finish “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” which is a giant book when you’re trying to read on a plane. But I am also back to listening to the audiobook, which is much more mobile. Next I am planning on reading “A Dog’s Purpose,” by W. Bruce Cameron. I saw the movie a few weeks ago and I thought it was the sweetest thing so of course now I have to read it.

More later,
Maegan

“The Queen” and “The Favorite” by Kiera Cass

the-queen-kiera-cass Favorite_EpicReads1.jpgThese two stories were the last two novellas related to The Selection series. I think of all four of the stories, “The Queen” was probably the most enlightening. It was told from Prince Maxon’s mother’s eyes, but it was when she was younger and she was actually part of the Selection. It gives a looooot of insight into why the king acted the way he did to America and to Maxon. Honestly, after reading it, it’s surprising that Maxon was so kind to those around him. Then again, his mom probably had a lot to do with that.

“The Favorite” told Marlee’s story. Marlee was the first of the girls that America met when she began the Selection, and they became best friends pretty quickly. Marlee’s life was turned all topsy turvy, but thanks to Mason, she was always happy with what she had.

I think it is amazing how deep Kiera Cass’s understanding of all her characters goes. Between the Selection series and the “Happily Ever After” companion book, she wrote scenes from 7 different characters’ points of view. It’s 8, at least, if you could “The Heir” and “The Crown.” Which I haven’t started yet, but they are next on the list.

I’m still intrigued by this series and I’m excited to read these last two books because I’ve never read them before. Aside from these, I’m in the hold line to get “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” on audiobook for my commute. While I was waiting I was getting super bored while driving to work, so I also started listening to “The 100” series by Kass Morgan. I’m nearly halfway through the first book right now and I’m intrigued. There’s a lot of suspense and a lot of questions that haven’t been answered yet. I also have a new book I got for Christmas and I want to reread the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books, thanks to Neil Patrick Harris and the new Netflix series. So that’s what my short-list entails. But I’m sure it will grow.

I’m off for more Sunday funday,
Maegan

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling

ootp-us-jacket-artI feel like I’ve been working on this one for a while but IDK… Eh, kinda. I just checked and it’s been about three weeks. Of course I have all these books in both paperback and hardback, but I mostly listened to this one as an audiobook during my commute. It’s the weirdest thing but I have discovered that listening to audiobooks on the drive actually makes me feel calm. No irritation at traffic or that it’s taking me an hour to drive 14 miles. It’s incredible.

Anyway, Harry’s story continues and he is forever connected to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and just writing that once makes me wonder at how J.K. could stand it. But I’m sure she just typed it as “Voldy” or something like that and then did a massive find and replace. That is definitely something I would ask if I ever had the chance to meet her. So Harry is now 15 years old and in addition to being sought out by the Dark Lord he is also tortured by the most horrible person ever, Dolores Umbridge. Like this woman literally made him write lines in detention with a quill that uses his blood instead of ink. She dark as the Dark Lord.

Book Dumbledore (because there’s a difference between book Dumbledore and movie Dumbledore) ignores Harry a lot and then it turns out he’s kept an awful lot of information from him, but don’t you worry because it all comes out in the end. Lots of twisty turny stuff going on, but I love it.

Now I’m waiting on the audiobook for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which is on hold at my public library website. But at least there are two copies, so hopefully I will get it sooner rather than later because my commute this morning was much more dull without the antics of pre-teens getting themselves into trouble with grown men and women who are trying to kill them.

Bye bye for now,
Maegan

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by J.K. Rowling

91igIGBj0vL.jpgWe all knew this one was coming. Being the Harry Potter nerd that I am, I saw this movie within a few days after it came out and I went on the waiting list to check out the screenplay in ebook format as soon as I could at my public library.

I finally got the ebook, but it took a few tries to get it fully read because I was reading a few other things too. So I’ve been working on this one for a few weeks and I finally finished it this morning.

Clearly J.K. Rowling is the queen of the wizarding world and she continues to reign forever and ever. It’s amazing all of the things she has created and shared with us over the years. I particularly like reading her screenplays because there are little details that you might miss in the movie but are pointed out in writing and it adds to the story. What’s even better is this movie is independent of any other books, so I didn’t torture myself by comparing what should or should not be happening during the movie. It was a great movie. I already have the movie poster hanging on my living room wall.

But anywho, I highly recommend the movie and the screenplay for all Potterheads, and I’m sure I will end up reading it again one day.

I’m only a few chapters shy of finishing “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and I’m also reading “The One” now, which is part of the Selection series.

More on that later,
Maegan

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling

harry-potterOk, I lied, I didn’t post last week. But I did finish the book when I said I would, so that’s an accomplishment. Once I really got into the groove I read a chapter a night and it wrapped it up nicely.

It only took basically a year. That’s when I finished “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Mind you, I did finish quite a plethora of books between that time, but as Mad-Eye Moody would say, I did not have “constant vigilance!”

Anyway, I know a few people who are of the opinion that this book is the worst in the series. I can see how they would think that, as the whole point of the book is to set up the return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I think there are some good additions to the storyline, though. It introduces Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum, and Fleur gets a bigger part later on in book 7, but that’s another story.

Now I’m on chapter 11 of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Thanks to audiobooks, of course. I probably would still be working on “Goblet of Fire” if I didn’t get the audiobook for that one. And even then I still didn’t finish it before I had to return it to the public library.

And now (I think) I’m actually only reading one book at a time. Unless I’m forgetting something, I am only working on the one book.

Never mind, I just remembered I’m also working on the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” screenplay. But it’s the same wizarding world so maybe it doesn’t count. Ok, it probably counts. But now I’m only reading two books instead of four. So that’s progress, right?

See ya,
Maegan