Book Review: Going Vintage

Title: Going Vintage                         

Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Genre: Contemporary YA
Rating: 3.5/5

The Cover

I really like this cover, it’s very different from other YA books out there. It looks cute but not corny and it really fits the title of the novel. I like the colors, the retro look of it and even the fonts are nicely done.

The Story

Mallory finds out that her boyfriend Jeremy is cheating on her, cyber cheating to be more precise, so she decides to not care about boys anymore but more than that, she decides to go vintage and not use any modern devices anymore. Having been burned once, she feels like it’s better to say safe and not even use the computer anymore. On top of not using any modern technology anymore, Mallory finds a list of goals her grandmother once made in the 60s and she decides to try and do everything her grandmother put on that list. Things on that list are: becoming a pep club secretary (except Mallory has no idea yet what a pep club actually is), organizing a dinner party, do something dangerous, find a steady and sew her own homecoming dress. Her sister and her Jeremy’s cousin end up helping her, and so does her grandmother but as she finds out, completing the list is not as easy as it looks like.

My thoughts

As fun as the cover makes the book out to be, and it is a fun and easy read, there’s more behind the story. It’s a really heartwarming tale of family and friendship and it makes you wonder if we all really need all this modern technology. Yes, we can all agree that it makes our lives easier and we all love the internet for various reasons (and let’s face it, I doubt anybody would still want to live without it) but sometimes electronic devices to get in the way of actually living or spending time with people. It’s fun to see how Mallory deals with this, going from having a hard time without using her cell phone or computer but realizing that life can be good without them as well.

There is of course also a romantic storyline in the book, it is definitely well done and it develops rather slowly, which is always a good thing. I enjoyed most of the other characters in the novel too, especially Mallory’s sister Ginny is quite hilarious, and her grandmother is adorable. Another thing I really liked is every chapter starts with a list Mallory made and it sort of introduces you to what will happen in the chapter. There are some small things that either don’t really make sense or are weird additions to the story but I won’t get into those because it would ruin some plot lines for those that would like to read this book.

All in all, if you’re looking for a fun and fluffy read that has a bit more substance and originality to offer than a lot of other novels out there I’d definitely recommend Going Vintage.

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale                                       

Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Feminist dystopia
Rating: 5/5 stars

The Cover

The books has several covers from different publishers but most of them feature an image of a handmaid. I don’t particular like or dislike this cover and I’m not sure it’s something that attracts readers but it does give you a good idea as to what the handmaid’s look like and I find the fact that they’re pictured with a huge wall next to them quite fitting to what they have to endure in their lives.

The Story

The novel tells the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Handmaid’s are only used as baby machines so to speak, they’re property of their Commanders and are required to have sex with them every month in the hopes of getting pregnant because the Commanders actual wives can’t have children. Offred’s commander is called Fred, which is where here name comes from, which shows how much of property they really and how much value they have. Offred used to be a normal woman before society changed into this hell, she had a a job, a husband, a daughter and a name of her own but then things changed and she was stripped of all her rights and freedom by the new dictatorship and through flashbacks we get images of Offred’s life before Gilead was founded.

My Thoughts

Even though this book was written in 1985, it still seems scarily accurate, it’s a world that, while it may seem far-fetched, could become a reality. Especially considering that in many places women don’t have the rights that are taken for granted in other countries. It’s scary to imagine a world like it, maybe even scarier than other dystopias dealing with dictatorial regimes because what is going on in Gilead is downright disgusting.

What I find especially interesting of this story is that it is set at the beginning of this new society, unlike many other dystopian novels that are set way into the future when people don’t know any other life. Offred, however, knows how it was before and she knows the freedoms that she has lost. I think this makes the reading of this novel a completely different experience because even though you know what a free live is, reading about it through the character that doesn’t have it anymore, is a different thing.

Being a huge Atwood fan, I’m maybe biased when I say this but this is a engaging novel that pulls you into an emotional and grueling story. It’s like a scary dream you don’t seem to wake up from. The writing style is maybe something you either love or hate, it’s different and needs some getting used to because it’s more unconventional than conventional but it’s something you have to experience yourself.

Book Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe


Title: Someday, Someday, Maybe                                                            

Author: Lauren Graham
Genre: Contemporary Adult
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Cover

The cover is pretty but it doesn’t immediately jump at you. What I like are the understated colors with the detail of the girl on the bike wearing the bright red jacket and the fact that it isn’t a cover like many others that are geared at the same audience. I like that you immediately know that the novel is set in New York City and the lights on the bridge look really pretty.

The Story

Someday, Someday, Maybe is set in New York City in 1995 and tells the story of Franny Banks, an aspiring actress, dreaming of making it on Broadway. When the novel begins, Franny is nearing the deadline she set when she started out on this dream. She promised herself to give up if she wouldn’t have made if after three years and now she has six months left with not much to show for. Franny is still working as a waitress and she’s only done a couple of commercials. Her father keeps nagging her to give up and come home and the only real supporters she has are her friends and roommates, Jane and Dan.

My Thoughts

I went into this wanting to like it because it’s written by Lauren Graham and I love her work on Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, and I did like it but I think I expected more.

The writing style is funny and engaging, you can really hear Lauren Graham’s voice through it. What is original about the book is that it’s set in 1995, it was refreshing to read and fun to go back in time. Another really fun part of the book are the included pages from Franny’s Filofax, scripts and other things. It’s a really nice touch and gives another little inside to Franny’s life and goals.

Franny’s friendship with Jane is really well done, they are supportive of each other and genuinely care about the other person. I would have liked to see more of Jane and Franny’s other roommate Dan because they’re both great characters but since the focus is obviously on Franny and her life, you don’t really get to know the two of them so much. All the people in Franny’s life though are very distinctly different, everybody has their own personality and looks which is a lot of fun. The romance in the book is nicely done as well and it’s really nice that it isn’t the center of the book because ultimately this books is about Franny and her dreams of becoming a star.

All in all, it’s interesting to read about the trials of becoming an actress and if you’re looking for an easy and funny read that is also well-written and has some special quirks like the Filofax pages and fun characters, you should really pick this one up.

Movie: Prisoners

The Story

Two little girls are abducted but there’s not much evidence except for an old RV that was parked in the street and the police seems to be stuck with dead ends. One of the fathers decides to take matters in his own hands, the question of how far will you go to protect your family, arises.

Yay!

  • It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time, which is quite impressive for a movie that is 2 1/2 hours long.
  • You just keep guessing and guessing about what the hell is going on and you’re being mislead quite some times.
  • The story ends up being very intricate once it starts falling together, everything seems to be connected in a way.
  • The acting is phenomal, Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhall own the movie.
  • The cinematography is great and while it doesn’t look actually pretty, it rains a lot and the colors of the movie are quite dark and grey, it all fits the story and the darkness of the movie perfectly.

Nay…

  •  I would have liked to know more about detective Loki’s background because it was obvious he’s had his own struggles.
  • The ending was a bit abrupt but it wasn’t really disturbing because you basically know what will happen anyway

All in all

A really interesting and suspenseful movie that keeps you in its grip. It’s not only about the mystery of who has abducted those two little girls and if they’ll be found again but it’s also a character study and it does make you wonder what you would do in the same situation. It was quite interesting to see the different reactions to what had happened from the different characters. 

Rating

4 of 5 stars