Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Title: Dear John
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Series/Novel: Novel
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Chicklit
Pages: 276
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Year Published: 2006
First Line: “What does it mean to truly love another?”

“‘Dear John,’ the letter read. And with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives changed forever.
When Savannah Lynn Curtis comes into his life, John Tyree, knows he is ready to turn over a new leaf. An angry rebel, he had enlisted in the army after high school, not know what else to do. Then, during a furlough, he meets Savannah, the girl of his dreams. The attraction is mutual and quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah vowing to wait for John while he finishes his tour of duty. But neither can foresee that 9/11 is about to change the world. Like so many proud men and women, John must choose between love and country. Now, when he finally returns to North Carolina, John will discover how love can transform us in ways we never could have imagined.”

My Rating: 4/5

Now before anyone gets upset about the fact that this is also a very popular movie, and that I probably watched the movie before I read the book, you should all know this. I haven’t watched the movie yet as I’m completely out of the loop. So this review is purely based on the book.
This book was far better than I thought it would be. I expected it to be so lovey dovey stuff, and there was some of that. But it wasn’t all stuff that makes us regular people want to puke. But it was a lot of character struggle, showing how a long distance relationship can feel.
To begin with I was interested in how much the military would play into this book, and while there are plenty of times that it is obvious that is what John does for a job, it doesn’t always consume the story line.
All in all, I really enjoyed this novel. It was better than expected and made me fall in love with my man all over again. It had the twists and turns that were to be expected, but some that I certainly did not see coming.

Thanks for reading,


Spoiler: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

This novel broke so many boundaries for me. So many people go through long distant relationships and find those difficult. But nothing can be as difficult as someone who has signed to live away for years at a time, risking their life for those around them.
Dear John shows a side of the military I had never witnessed, love at first sight and a love that is beyond words.
I often read this book while on my lunch break at work. I was often warned that I was going to cry and had people throw the Kleenex box at me. I did cry in the end after I flopped the book down and was going back to my office. Throughout the book, as a reader you realize that maybe things will not always work out, and by the end it just doesn’t fit together. It’s heart breaking, but that’s also how you can tell John feels a real love for Savannah.

John: He’s a little rough around the edges. The beginning of this story doesn’t do much to make us like John. He acts like a jerk towards his father, and rebels. But as he joins the army he becomes that all good guy type, that is with the tattoos included. I did fall in love with him a little more story by story. The trouble with that is, that as I read about his heart breaking, my heart broke over and over. Seeing the struggle he went through with Savannah was sad, but seeing him finally give his all to his one love without reciprocation is hard.

♥Savannah: I know there are probably some who blame her for not staying faithful to John. I don’t agree with that for the simple reason, that you can’t control what the heart wants. Sometimes we can fall in love with two people at the same time, especially when there is such a great distance between two people. I strongly believe that while long distance is a capability, not all people or relationships are built for it.

♥John’s Father: It was heart breaking to hear about how his life had diminished near the end, but I’m happy that John had a chance to get to know who he really was, and why he was the way he was. It’s hard to learn something like that about someone you love. But just because there may be an additional support need it doesn’t mean there is something the matter with a person.

♥Tim: It said at the beginning that Tim appeared to be in love with Savannah, but I never thought the book would end with him. I was surprised they ended up together, I just didn’t see it coming until she sent the letter. Then again, the fact that he got cancer was a tragedy in itself. John couldn’t very well steal up a cancer patient’s wife, now could he? All the same I’m happy that Tim made it through thanks to John’s contribution.

♥Moments to Remember♥
♥Pg. 47
“‘I have to start my day with coffee. It’s my only vice.’”

♥Pg. 133
“‘I’m going to marry you one day, you know?’
 ‘Is that a promise.’
 ‘If you want it to be.’
 ‘Well, then you have to promise that you’ll come back for me when you get out of the army. I can’t marry you if you’re not around.’”

♥Pg. 144
“From the very beginning, the calls and letters between us were regular. We e-mailed as well, but I soon learned that Savannah preferred to write, and she wanted me to do the same. ‘I know it’s not as immediate as e-mail, but that’s what I like about it,’ she wrote me. ‘I like the surprise of finding a letter in the mailbox and the anxious anticipation I feel when I’m getting ready to open it. I like the fact that I can take it with me to read at leisure, and that I can lean against a tree and feel the breeze on my face when I see your words on paper. I like to imagine the way you looked when you wrote it…”

♥Final Line: “And for the briefest instant, it almost feels like we’re together again.”

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: After Summer by Hailey Abbott

Title: After Summer
Author: Hailey Abbott
Series/Novel: Summer Boys Series (Book #3)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Chicklit
Pages: 163
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Year Published: 2006
First Line: “Beth lined up her bare toes along the edge of the platform and arched her body forward, extending her arms over the still, blue water.”

“Summer may be over; but the hook ups are hotter than ever:
Beth: George is supposed to be my boyfriend and my best friend. Now, it’s like he’s only interested in one thing- and it’s not my friendship
Ella: Unbelievable. Ryan is an even bigger player than… I am. Have I finally met my match?
Kelsi: Even though Tim is great, I still want us to wait a while. But what if I’m the only one at college who hasn’t done it yet?
Cold winds. Hot boys. Can summer love survive?”

My Rating: 4/5

This book is the first and only book from the Summer Boys series that takes place in each of the girls’ separate towns. I was surprised how much of a difference that made. While this novel showed some contact between the cousins it made it harder to follow each individual story as they did not overlap nearly enough for my liking.
That being said, I also found that this instalment in the series was completely over dramatic. It seemed as though it was repeating parts from the first two books, so it was hard to be put on edge by anything.
But truth be told, I’m a sucker for drama. I got sucked into each story and was heartbroken at times along with the girls, but also angry at the girls for doing things I never thought they would do.
I am extremely excited to read the last instalment of these books, as I want to see who ends up with who and why, etc. In all honesty, I’m hooked!

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: After Summer by Hailey Abbott

Welcome back (told you I’d get better with posting more frequently!). So this book caught me off guard in so many ways. As I’ve read through the Summer Boys series, I realized that the girls lived in different areas. When I found that this book wasn’t based on Pebble Beach I thought nothing off it, in fact I looked forward to it. Truth be told it changed the way the individual perspectives were told, as the girls didn’t see each other nearly every day. I found it hard to keep all the stories separate when a lot of similar things were happening with Kelsi, Beth and Ella. Also, can we hear from Jamie more often??? Please!

♥Ella: I think I expected her to leave Jeremy in the dust during the beginning of the book, but I was still disappointed in her when it happened. Although that being said, it seemed like Jeremy had decided he was out, so she must have been hurt. So forth, Ryan. What a piece of work!! I was overjoyed when she realized that she was a different person than who she was before Jeremy. She’s really changed and started to think about having one boyfriend, instead of every boy. That’s a real step up for her. Hopefully she can make it to summer to be with Jeremy. Fingers crossed.

♥Beth: What in the world is going on here? I was cheering for her and George. But I guess things can’t always be patched. Especially when she was feeling so stretched out. It could happen with time that she and George get back together. But at some point I had to realize it was done for them. Especially with how jerk-ish George was acting about the sex thing. Grrrr….

♥Kelsi: Kelsi is certainly right. People change, they grow apart, it just happens. It’s sad, and parts of you might still love the other person, but it takes a real adult to be able to stand up and say, “This isn’t working.” I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up with Bennet, but if she doesn’t that’s ok too. Maybe she just needs time to explore her options and whatever. Have to wait and see I suppose.

♥Moments to Remember♥
♥Pg. 111
“‘Not the hotel, George,’ Beth snapped at him. ‘I can’t believe you. This was supposed to be a new romantic weekend. And you decide that means I should dress up like some ho. Then you paw at me all night, and now you think I want to go and have sex with you? Who are you? What happened to you?’”

♥Pg. 116
“Kelsi wasn’t sure she’d missed her sister while away at college. But when Ella came up for the long Veteran’s Day weekend in November, Kelsi realized that she had. A lot.”

♥Final Line: “All she had to do was jump.”

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Book Review: Four by Veronica Roth

Title: Four: A Divergent Collection
Author: Veronica Roth         
Series: Divergent Collection (0.1-0.4)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 285
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Year Published: 2014
First Line: “I emerge from the simulation with a yell.”

“Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.
Newly christened ‘Four’, he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future- and the future of the entire faction system.
Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting the world might become more clear. With her it might become possible to be Tobias once again.”

My Rating: 5/5

This book follows Tobias through his transfer into Dauntless, his initiation and several trials that help him become the man we know as Four in Divergent. The stories are put into several different categories that show different values that Tobias has completed.
Although it’s been quite a while since I finished the Divergent series, books which are told from Tris’ perspective, this book was a beautiful reminder of the world Veronica Roth has created. It gives a different perspective of the faction system, Dauntless Initiation, and the rebellion as a whole. Not to mention a few of the amazing moments that Tobias and Tris shared through the series. Learning more about Tobias’ life before leaving Abnegation helps the reader understand his actions throughout the series.
I only wish that this addition to the collection had come out, but I understand how that would not have been possible, as the series had to gain a following first.

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Four by Veronica Roth

The first thing I thought when I finished this novel was that it was pure poetry, a bittersweet ending to a fantastic collection. This being said there are many of us who wish this was not the end. I suspect, sadly, that Veronica Roth may have trouble returning to the series again.
Following Four through similar struggles as Tris was fascinating. But I found it was most interesting to see Four’s life in Abnegation. His perspective on why he left, why he never became a leader and how he found out about the Erudite plans helped patch together parts I felt were missing a bit in the rest of the series.
I’m so extremely glad to have read this novel!

♥Four/Tobias: This man is strong, compassionate and quite the introvert. I found that the way he began vs. the way he came to be at the end of the third book was a huge contrast. I was shocked at the way his appearance changed, as well as the massive strides he took to controlling his own life. Although he went through so much he continued to overcome and was able to begin trusting others again.  While I often thought in Divergent that Four was acting stupidly with Tris this change of perspective helps readers understand how Four handles different situations.

♥Zeke: He’s that fun best friend you can count on to have a drink with anytime you need. I’d compare him to Chandler Bing in a moment with some of the jokes he makes. Although he makes a far better drinking buddy. It was fun to see him in a different light.

♥Shauna: It’s not easy to tell a close friend you’re interested in them in a different kind of friendship, but watching her struggle with Zeke was heartbreaking. Especially if you know the end results.

Moments to Remember
♥Final Line: “One thing I know: For helping me forget how awful the world is, I prefer her to alcohol.”

Thank you for reading,

Sidny xoxo