Everybody Rise (2016 Book Bingo Review)

To say that I liked reading Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford would be an utter lie. I actually did not enjoy this book and it was a major disappointment.

major-disappointment

And yes, I know it is supposed to be kind of a satire and yes I know that the main character is supposed to be flawed, and yes I know that we are supposed to see the downside of that unattainable life- but I just didn’t get into it.

everybody-rise

This book, which took the place of “a book with a green cover” on my book bingo, actually did have a pretty satisfying ending (which came way too late in the book and I really only had like 10 pages to enjoy it). The plot sounded like something that I should enjoy… so why didn’t I? I’m just not sure. I think that the plot kind of stressed me out, that might be it. Just the fact that the main character is racking up SO MUCH DEBT just to try and fit in- NOT SMART! STOP THAT! DON’T SPEND MONEY YOU DON’T HAVE! OH MY GOODNESS!

The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking of that episode of Gossip Girl where Jenny tries to fit in with the rich, popular girls, and she becomes a horrible person temporarily and steals a dress, and then she obviously gets caught and the rich, popular girls no longer want to be her friend and she is lonely and sad, but has her family to fall back on.

jenny-red-dress

In fact, to save you some time, you should just watch that episode instead of reading the book. There you go.

Have you read this one? What did you think? Let me know!

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The Knockoff (2016 Book Bingo Review)

To take the spot of ‘a trending book’ in my 2016 book bingo, I read The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza and I LOVED it!

the knockoff

The Knockoff is a story of old vs. new. Experience vs. ingenuity. Imogen vs. Eve. When Imogen (a mid-40s fashion magazine #girlboss) returns to work after a 6 month medical leave, she comes back to find things MUCH different than when she left. Her old assistant, Eve (mid-20s and ready to take over), is back and taking Glossy magazine in a completely new direction… all while trying to edge Imogen out and take her job. While giving an inside look at what life at a fashion magazine/app might be like, you can’t help but cringe at the evil, entitled Eve. Don’t worry- good wins in the end and this book will have you rooting for and relating to a middle-aged woman, no matter what age you currently are.

I really enjoyed reading this one! I heard of it from The Skimm (best daily email ever! Sign up here if you aren’t currently getting this in your inbox!) and I’m glad that it was available at my library! The whole time I was reading it, I kept seeing the story play out like a movie in my head. Complete with a stellar cast. Yes, I have picked out the perfect people to play these roles. I’ll share them with you!

Knockoff

I mean, that’s a good looking cast right there, amIright?!? If you’ve read the book already, what did you think? Did you like it as much as I did? If you haven’t read it yet, you should add it to your TBR (to be read) list ASAP!

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Where Things Come Back (2016 Book Bingo Review)

For the spot of ‘a book you can finish in a weekend’ I chose Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. I can’t remember why I wanted to read this book in the first place (it might have been the cover, to be honest) but it was the first thing listed on my secret Pinterest board called “Books to Read” (aka it had been like 2 years since I added it to my list) so I figured I might as well give it a go.

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Where things come back is a YA book told from the perspective of a small-town teenage guy, Cullen. There isn’t anything special about his town- the people, places, or things -but then one day his town gets thrown into the national spotlight when someone claims to have seen a certain type of woodpecker there, previously thought to be extinct. Everyone gets so excited- and Cullen couldn’t care less. During all this excitement, his brother goes missing. Different story lines merge together and the story has a satisfying ending.

I definitely picked this book because I knew I could finish it really quickly (I read most of it in the airport, to be honest), and while it wasn’t my favorite book I’ve ever read, I liked the plot a lot. I think it was maybe the style of the author’s writing that I didn’t enjoy so much… it was hard to put my finger on it… but I always love when there are multiple story lines that come together so perfectly and seamlessly, as was the case in this book. Like you know how in Love Actually there are all these separate stories but oh wait they’re all kind of connected? Yeah, like that!

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The Bell Jar (2016 Book Bingo Review)

One of my very favorite classes in high school was College Bound Reading, or CBR for short. Basically, you got to sit and read during class every day (heaven!) You chose from a list of books and had to read so many from every category, and then you would answer some questions or take a little quiz to make sure you read your chosen books. I read a lot of great stories and tales in that class, but there were still so many great books that I didn’t get a chance to read. One of those, was The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. I just read it now, and it takes the place of a ‘classic’ you never read in school on my book bingo list.

the bell jar

The Bell Jar takes you to New York City in the 1950’s where we meet Esther. It seems like everything is going her way – she is smart, she has a college scholarship, a boy who wants to marry her, and she is spending the summer in NYC as an intern at a fashion magazine (complete with fabulous clothes, fancy dinners, and great experiences!) But as the summer progresses, we join Esther on a journey into mental breakdown and get an inside look as to just how deep, lonely, terrible, and somehow normal that can be. Plath writes from experience, which makes this book even more haunting. This is a fictional tale, but it comes from a place of knowing, and you experience every emotion and paranoia right along with Esther.

Even though this book is a bit of a downer (just a bit…..) I am glad that I read it. It was such a realistic reading experience and I felt mentally and emotionally exhausted at the end. It was fascinating to read and wonder what was purely fiction and what parts were taken straight out of the author’s life. I even got another book from the library (called Pain, Parties, Work) about Sylvia’s summer spent in NYC, just to learn more and even compare.

Have you read this one? Did it leave you feeling drained, too? What did you think? Also, LOOK! I got my first BINGO!!! Hooray!

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The Bassoon King (2016 Book Bingo Review)

Celebrity memoirs are so popular right now- and I’ve read quite a few of them. When I saw that Rainn Wilson had written one, I knew that I had to read it. Everybody loves him as Dwight Schrute, the resident goofball who takes life very seriously on The Office, but I really wanted to know more about him. So, taking the spot of A Memoir or Biography of Someone Interesting is The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson.

This memoir is pretty much just like all the other ones out there, in that Rainn goes through his life, where he was born, a little about his parents, big moments in his life, and also chronicled his rise to fame and just how difficult that road can be. There were quite a few things that really surprised me about his story. He was very honest about a lot of things most people would try to gloss over, and that really made me appreciate him even more.

Some things you will learn in his book: he spent quite a few of his childhood years living in a remote village in Central America. He was a self-proclaimed nerd in his youth (I mean, I could have guessed that, but he was REALLY owning it, so good for him!). He studied acting in college and eventually had some issues with drugs. He is a firm believer in his particular faith and shared what that means in his daily life.

All in all, this was a good one. It had me laughing out loud, it had me shaking my head in a “what were you thinking thank goodness you’re ok/alive” sort of way, and it gave me what I really wanted, some insight into those amazing years at The Office.

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