Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 12/2/19-12/4/19

How I Found It: Goodreads

Let me mention, I am writing this review before seeing the movie (although if you scroll down, you can see my opinions on the movie, too), so this section of the review is only about the book. This book reminded me a lot of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in that it is written through a series of letters and the humor behind the stories are similar.

Bernadette Fox was an incredible architect who found ways of incorporating uncommon objects in her projects. When her final project gets bulldozes, Bernadette has to face the grief that comes from that loss. Many years later, Bernadette lives in Seattle with her husband, Elgin, who is a Microsoft leader in robotics, and their 15-year-old daughter, Bee.

Bee decided that she wanted her graduation gift to be a trip to Antarctica. Bernadette, who has become a bit of a recluse, started to freak out over the trip, which exacerbated issues within the family.

Many of the mom’s at Bee’s public school are what Bernadette calls “gnats”. Specifically, Audrey Griffin is the worst gnat of all. Soon, their feud builds to a breaking point, including a mudslide. This behavior begins to worry Elgin, and he decides to hold an intervention to get Bernadette help.

So that’s when things get weird. Elgin began looking for comfort from his admin, Soo-Lin, who is best friends with Audrey, as they prepare for his TED talk and impending trip to Antarctica. When Audrey gets copies of Soo-Lin’s and Elgin’s emails, she warns Bernadette of the intervention. Bernadette ends up sneaking away and eventually was found in Antarctica only to sneak away again. Told from the story of Bee, it shows the love between a mother and daughter and how that connection can’t be topped.

My biggest issue with this book is Bee. The entire time I listened to the story, I assumed Bee had to be younger than she actually is. It threw me off the entire story and constantly bugged me. Also, what 15-year-old is in 8th grade?

I was super drawn into this book, even taking time when I was home from work to listen to the novel. There is a certain humor (similar to Fredrik Backman) that is both cynical and hilarious. My biggest complaint with this book, sans the whole Bee situation, is that it just wasn’t overly memorable. There are books that I will remember forever and there are books that I read just for the sake of saying I read them, and this one will fall in the latter, which is really disappointing, because by all accounts, it should have been niche for me. I am going to have to rank this book 3.5 out of 5 stars, with a “maybe I will come back to it one day”.

After watching the movie, I am impressed by just how close it follows the book. Obviously, time-wise, certain sections of the book were cut out, but more or less the rest of the movie does a really good job. Also, the credit scene of her architecture project is incredible and so satisfying!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/7/19

The box is so cute!

Today I am going to attempt to read the November 2018 box (I know man, I’m late to the party). I have told myself that I cannot watch the movie (although, man, I really want to) until I finish the book. So here we are!

Every box comes with a 3×5 print!
The magical cover!

Page 2

First gift time! I can’t tell you really anything about the story, though the cover is by Stella’s sister. No idea who Stella is other than her lungs suck. Yea, I got nothing.

This one is supposed to be a picture of Stella and her sister. Here’s the thing. Cool idea, but what am I supposed to do with that? I’m not going to keep a picture of 2 girls I have never met for the sake of a box.

Page 210

Wow. A lot has happened. Basically, there is this girl, Stella. She has an amazing personality, but really crappy lungs. She has cystic fibrosis, and thanks to an infection, she is stuck in the hospital. Then there is Will. He has been in hundreds of hospital thanks to an infection of B. cepacia, which basically means that he has a bunch of bacteria growing in his lungs that laugh in the face of antibiotics. Like, antibiotics literally do nothing. For them to be with 6 feet of each other would spell death for both of them. They meet, and as all these types of books go, they begin to fall for each other.

Unlike the first gift, I could actually use this (if I wasn’t useless in the kitchen). It is rubber and it seems durable, so we’ll see if I end up breaking it out every once in a while!

Page 225

Ummmmmm… EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!

You can’t just do that to me! That was completely uncalled for and I am going to be writing a STRONGLY worded letter!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I love it! It is so cute and so in my comfort zone and I am going to be wearing this! Don’t you worry your little heart about that!

Page 262

AND I’m crying. I normally wouldn’t have ripped open this gift right away (shout out to my fingerprints that immediately ruined my shot, but I was hoping there was going to be a drawing AND THERE WAS! And while I won’t tell you the ending, because spoilers are no fun, I am so incredibly amazed by this book! What a great Sunday!

Five Feet Apart Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6472976/

They did an incredible job of matching the movie to the book. There obviously were details that were taken out, but the movie took the time to match other details from the book that I wasn’t expecting to see in the movie. It wasn’t a movie that I would watch over and over again, but it was a solid book adaption!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/Ebook

Dates Read: 7/4/19-7/5/19

Firstly, thank you for your patience. I know this post is a few hours late, and while I could give you all an excuse as to why I was unable to do it, the main reason was that I was tired. This author series has been so incredibly rewarding, but extremely draining. Thankfully, this series is coming to a close, and today’s post is on one of my “calm down” movies. As I have mentioned in other posts, I struggle with anxiety. My anxiety often manifests itself at night as I lay down to go to bed, and I watch movies to help go to sleep at night. This one is on the list of movies I have seen so often that I not only can recite lines, but I can easily fall asleep to it. Also, who wouldn’t feel instantly relaxed by Scott Eastwood?

This story follows Luke Collins, a bull rider out of North Carolina. He meets art history major, Sophia Danko, at a bar after his ride, and instantly their connection is palpable. The next day they go horseback riding together, and the rest is history. But Luke has a secret that forces him to keep riding, and Sophia has to decide what her next step in life is going to be. Mixed into their love story is the story of Ira Levinson, a haberdasher that happened to love an extremely increible woman, Ruth.

The book is strange. In a lot of ways, I think Nicholas Sparks added in elements that he knew sold well into a love story that really didn’t need those elements. Specifically, Brian. There was no need for the “bad guy” in this story, and it felt extremely clichéd. Even more so with the addition of Marcia.

The Longest Ride Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2726560/

Wow, the movie is its own entity. While the movie is based on the love stories, the overall arc of the movie is completely different than the book. The movie to me seems much more cohesive and the pathway from A to B makes more sense. It also felt very disingenuous that the book didn’t talk about the things that Sophia and Luke are interested in (considering their differing passions were a series of stress in their relationship), and the movie managed to showcase those passions without taking away from the original love story.

P.S. The woman who played Ruth is a phenomenal actress. She is going places, guys.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 7/2/19-7/3/19

I feel like every day this week is going to start with “Whew!” While I have been busting my butt to get these reviews out to you, I have saved my favorites (and least favorites) for this week. This one happened to fall in the latter category.

When I read this for the first time, I was disappointed. I didn’t think that it was worth the insane amounts of hype that it has been getting. HOWEVER, now that I have done this series (and read the really bad ones), I don’t mind this book. It will never be my favorite, but it also isn’t on the complete dislike list, either. So, progress?

Tru Walls is a game guide from Zimbabwe. When he receives a letter from his father, he goes to Sunset Beach in North Carolina. Hope Anderson is at Sunset Beach to clean out her family’s beach house after her father’s diagnosis of ALS. In the short time they were neighbors, they quickly fall in love. But life forces them apart, and they must take the steps they need to find each other again.

Unlike any of his other books, this one is a true story (with names changed). Despite that, it still follows the story arc that we are all used to. The characters are completely unlike the ones I would expect him to write, which is more a situation of circumstance. One of the things that most bothered me originally about this story was that I didn’t feel the connection between not only myself, but the characters themselves. This time around, I felt it, and I can’t tell if it is because I am more attuned to the connection after these past weeks or if I just didn’t give it a chance before, but it was there. This was not the type of story that left me crying, and I didn’t even feel close.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 7/1/19-7/2/19

Man I love this book! This has been one of my favorites (mainly because I love the movie) for a few years, and I am glad to be doing a review!

This book follows Travis, the veterinarian and all-around-player-of-women, and his neighbor, Gaby, a physician’s assistant. When Gaby’s dog becomes pregnant, she suspects Travis’ dog as the culprit. But as they begin to get to know each other, she is forced to choose between Travis and her boyfriend. Overarching all of this is a tragedy, where Travis has to make the ultimate choice.

The ending (in my opinion) was WAY too long. There was no need for half of the last 100 pages. With that being said, I absolutely loved Part One of this book and I could have used more of that! It is one of those situations where you have to pick your poison.

The Choice Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3797868/

Shout out to my Internet for crapping out 10 minutes before the movie ended. It ended up working out because I had to clean up the puddle of tears at my feet, so whatever.

Oof, man. Oof. So some backstory about me. I have told you that my mom died when I was 18. While my mom was in the hospital, my dad stood beside her, took the 2 hour drive every weekend to be with her, and managed to still stay ever so present in my brother’s and my lives. Seeing what Travis is going through in the movie just hit me right in those feels, and I am trying to recover from that.

I think the movie did a better job of spacing the romance with the ending. My only fault is that characters were changed around almost haphazardly, and there were random storylines that were just thrown in there for good measure. But clearly I love the movie, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/29/19-7/1/19

Meh. This book was okay, but it didn’t do anything for me. The romance was so short-lived and I didn’t really feel it.

This book follows Adrienne as she tells her daughter, Amanda, about her love affair with Paul Flanner. After a stay in an inn in Rodanthe, NC, where Adrienne covered as innkeeper for her friend, they became closer until the moment came that they wanted to bask in their closeness. But life seems to always catch up to them, and they have to make decisions about their love and their futures.

This one definitely was not my favorite, but it happens. While I think that Adrienne is incredibly strong, I don’t necessarily think that this love story was one of his best. With that being said, there are books for everyone and everyone for books, so just because I wasn’t on board doesn’t mean you won’t be!

Nights in Rodanthe Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0956038/

While the movie did a relatively good job of falling the book, I still found it lackluster. (P.S. James Franco is in the movie?!?!?!) At no point did I feel “love” and I just wasn’t into it. I think that the guy who played Robert Torrellson was incredibly good, though!

Side note: When I was in college (which is a great phrase to make me feel old), I told all my dorm-mates that the MOST romantic thing a movie could do is have wild horses running on the beach. They thought I was insane. But here’s the thing: I’m not. I knew it was real, but I couldn’t remember where I saw it. So to all those people: I TOLD YOU SO!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/26/19- 6/28/19

Well looky here! I knew I had read this book before, but man, was this book good! I am kinda disappointed it was never turned into a movie!

This book is about Julie, a widow with a Great Dane (and yes, this took me 5 minutes and this is the best description I could come up with). So Julie went out with this guy Richard, and while they had a few good dates, she just wasn’t feeling him. But home girl was feeling her husband’s best friend (technically he isn’t her ex-husband, but I don’t know what signifier you use for this situation. Widowee? Widower is when the wife dies, which BTW is a really dumb rule, but whatever. Look man, I’m trying here), Mike. When Julie and Mike start to get close, Richard gets mad. As Richard’s stalk continues, Julie and Mike’s relationship is put to the test. But can they survive all this?

Firstly, Singer is a good boy. Give him some Scooby Snax and rub his belly because he deserves the day off.

Secondly, I think this book did a really good job of addressing the feeling of loving someone who was close to your ex. At the end of the day, love is love, and sometimes it does not fall into place at exactly the time you were hoping for. I think this one did a really good job of saying, “hey, that’s okay, but that doesn’t mean you have to be unhappy.”

Thirdly, just read it, man. Just read it.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!