Top 10 Tuesday (on Wednesday)

I decided to participate in this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, which was started and is facilitated by the lovely girls over at The Broke and The Bookish. However, the day got away from me yesterday, so it’s Top 10 Tuesday on Wednesday!

This week’s topic is Top 10 Characters I Would Want With Me On a Deserted Island – and as usual, since this topic is applicable to both books and television I will be answering for both! So, in no particular order…


— From Books —

Katniss Everdeen (from The Hunger Games trilogy): She has more than proven her survival capabilities, and as I have none to speak of, that would be extremely useful!

Jo March (from Little Women): Jo is so creative and such a natural storyteller that it would be nice to have someone who could provide some sort of entertainment and activity to do when the boredom sets in. She’d definitely have us doing plays with palm tree leaves and coconut costumes.

Levi (from Fangirl): Levi is so sweet and kind and calm that he would be such an awesome calming presence for me. Also, he’s a dreamboat.

Wade Watts (from Ready Player One): Wade is crazy intelligent. I’m sure he’d be resourceful enough to figure out ways to collect drink water or get food or even figure out how to get off the island.

Harry, Ron & Hermione (from the Harry Potter series): Setting aside the magic thing, these three have been through a lot and, I’m sure, would keep a level head at being stuck. The all bring something different to their little trio and would be great to have on the island.

Lena Kaligaris & Tibby Rollins (from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series): *Spoilers* For the purposes of this list, I’m going to pretend Tibby is still alive and well because her and Lena were always my two favourites of the Sisterhood series. I think we’d get along really well.

Lincoln O’Neill (from Attachments): This is for purely selfish reasons. I fell in love with Lincoln when I read Attachments, so having the opportunity to fall in love with him for real would be awesome.


— From Television —

Dean Winchester & Sam Winchester (from Supernatural): This should be fairly self-explanatory. Sam and Dean hunt evil things for a living. Yeah, they’d be bored being stuck on an island, but they’d be super useful. And also you can’t separate them so I’ll take ’em both.

Oliver Queen (from Arrow): It’s probably cruel to dump Oliver on an island again, but his archery skills would definitely come in handy when it comes to hunting things and getting food.

Mindy Lahiri (from The Mindy Project): I love Mindy so much. She would be incredibly distressed being stuck on an island, just unbelievably bored, but she would provide immense comedic relief.

Veronica Mars (from Veronica Mars): The love I have for Veronica cannot be quantified. I want to be her best friend, and if I have to trap her on a deserted island with me to make that happen, I will.

Maggie Caruso & Emma Crawford (from Playing House): There may only be ten episodes in the first season of this show (please, please give us a second season) but I fell hard and fast for these two best friends. Their friendship is beautiful to watch and these ladies are incredibly hilarious – I would want them on the island for Bosephus alone.

Lexie Grey (from Grey’s Anatomy): *Spoiler* Once again, I’m ignoring the rules of life and death. From the moment Lexie was introduced, she became one of my very favourite characters on the show. She started endearing and naive but grew into a beautifully strong character. I would love to spend time with her. Plus, she’s a doctor, so that would

Lorelai Gilmore (from Gilmore Girls): Lorelai is fast-talking, lovable, funny, smart, and would just make time spent on an island much more enjoyable.

James Ford | aka. Sawyer (from Lost): Once again, it’s probably cruel to dump Sawyer back on an island, but hey, it’d probably be good to have someone who’s experienced it before. Also, he’s not bad to look at.

Happy Wednesday, and as always, happy reading/viewing!

The One and Only by Emily Giffin | Book Review

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Title: The One and Only
Author:
Emily Giffin 
Published by
Ballantine Books [2014] 
Pages: 
432

Synopsis:

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.

But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets [source].


(This review contains spoilers)

I ordered this book mostly off the rave recommendations of multiple people I follow on twitter, and of course, the synopsis triggered my Friday Night Lights nostalgia, so I was looking forward to picking it up and diving into another universe featuring a small town with a football obsession.

This FNL sentimentality both helped and harmed my opinion of the book. I loved reading a story of a group of people full of passion and enthusiasm for something, but I found myself constantly comparing Coach to Eric Taylor, and thinking of his deceased wife Connie as Tami Taylor. Unfortunately, none of the characters lived up to the picture in my head of my favourite fictional married couple and the characters that surrounded them on the Jason Katims headed show.

I didn’t feel as though any of the characters underwent any, or at the very least, believable character development.  Ryan James went from ‘pro-footballer and good guy’ beloved by all to an abusive asshole in what felt like breakneck speed (a transition that felt cheap, like it was a decision made simply to disqualify him as a viable love interest for Shea) and Lucy’s change of heart at the end came so far out of nowhere that I almost got whiplash. None of the other characters were interesting in the least – not Shea’s mom (whose name I have forgotten), her dad, her step-sister, her step-mom, Miller, Neil, or Smiley.

Shea Rigsby, the protagonist of the novel, felt wimpy. She never made a single decision for herself. She let Coach choose her life path – he told her to apply for the job at the paper, so she did; he told her she should break up with Miller, so she did. Even the decision to end her relationship with Coach was made because Lucy wanted to. I did understand that decision, their friendship was placed above a romantic relationship, but rather than being a demonstration of loyalty, it felt like Shea once again could not make a decision for herself. She even states that she had been counting on Coach to counteract her “decision” and keep their relationship together, yet again refusing to make a decision for herself, and instead counting on a man – specifically Coach – to save her from sticking to her guns.

The character of Coach was another character that felt as though he had no personality. He was simply a vessel for football talk to spew out of – something that could connect him more strongly to Shea. The only scene in the novel that he seemed to have some spunk and some sort of personality was when he was fighting with Shea. I do understand that he was meant to come off as sage and wise and stoic, but instead, he came off as completely bland.

From what I’ve gathered from Goodreads reviews, the aspect of the book that readers had the most trouble with was the fundamental plot point of the novel – the relationship between Coach and Shea. I have to agree with them. Their relationship seemed mildly incestuous. Coach states at one point that he practically raised her, and Shea comments multiple times throughout the novel that he was more of a father figure to her than her own father was. The argument of “you can’t help who you fall in love with” can also be made for their relationship, but it felt like a hero worship crush that was inorganically, and all of a sudden, reciprocated. It happened so quickly that I found myself doubtful when they protested to Lucy that it never would have happened if Connie were alive. It seems unbelievable that those feelings would have manifested so quickly, had they not been there for quite a while.

In addition to all of the plot points and characters, I had a few issues with the writing style, specifically the dialogue. It felt forced and contrived and unbelievable at times. This, more than anything else, pulls me out of a story the fastest, and I found myself tripping over conversations between characters.

Overall, although I enjoyed the nostalgic elements that called back to one of my favourite television shows, there were major hurdles that I was unable to get over. It was this that ultimately led to my reading experience being an uncomfortable and mostly negative experience.

Top 10 Tuesday

I usually participate in Top 5 Wednesday, however, this week’s topic [Top 5 Naked Cover Books] is one that I can’t do due to the fact that half my books are at my apartment out at school and half are at home, so instead I decided to participate in this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, which was started and is facilitated by the lovely girls over at The Broke and The Bookish!

This week’s topic is ‘Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list‘, so in no particular order:

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides: This is a book that I’ve had sitting on my shelf for almost a year. I tried to pick it up multiple times during the school year but found that I was too burnt out from my Literature course to pick up a true literary novel in my spare time. I’m excited to read it now that I have time off for summer!

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King: This is another book I’ve had sitting on my shelf for over a year now. I keep meaning to read it, but I wanted to do it when I had time to take a highlighter and tabs to it, in order to truly get the most out the writing advice.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: I recently read ‘The Secret History’ and absolutely loved it, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel!

More Than This by Patrick Ness: I got this book for Christmas this year and just haven’t been able to get around to it! The cover is really awesome and it’ll be first Patrick Ness book!

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell: My plan is to get into more of the classics this summer, I have a stack of Austen and Bronte and Woolfe to dig in to, but this Gaskell book is one that I’ve heard lots about and is the classic I’m most excited to read.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien: I utterly failed in my bet with my best friend to read the LotR trilogy over winter break, but I’ve been told that it’s best to read ‘The Hobbit’ first anyway, so that’s what I’ll be doing!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: Thanks to all the hype surrounding this book, I’m torn on wanting to read it. I read/watched many reviews before it was released that absolutely praised it, but since it’s release I’ve also read many that say it doesn’t live up to the hype. I hope it’ll be as great as I imagine, but I’m also prepared to be disappointed.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: I don’t know much about this book other than it’s written by the author of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ trilogy! However, I recently read ‘Burn for Burn’ and did not enjoy it all, so I’m hoping that this will go much better than that did!

The Circle by Dave Eggers: I received this book as a Christmas present from my best friend and I’m excited to get to it! Also, the cover is beautiful.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth: I have been putting off reading the last book in the Divergent trilogy for months. I have managed to stay spoiler-free, but I do know that it ends in a way that is very divisive, people either really enjoy/respect it, or they hate it. I have no idea what camp I’ll be in, but I’ve been putting it off because I’m nervous to find out.

Hope everyone had a good Tuesday, and as always, happy reading!

 

Top 5 Wednesday

Over on YouTube, there is a Top 5 Wednesday family, where a large community of people answer different Top 5s each week. It was started by Lainey (gingerreadslainey) and I’ve been watching a number of the videos every Wednesday so I thought I’d participate over here on my blog!

This week’s Top 5 is books I struggled with, but ultimately ended up finishing!


5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy back-to-back, and after loving the two first books, I was incredibly bored by the final book. The politics were confusing and dry, and did not make a good or satisfying conclusion to what had been such a strong trilogy. I had blasted through both ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Catching Fire’ in just over a week, but it took nearly two to struggle through ‘Mockingjay’. I have no earthly idea how they are going to get enough material to make it into two movies.

4. The World Is Moving Around Me by Dany Laferierre

This is a book that was on the syllabus for one of my English Literature courses in my third year of university. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy this book, I just found myself stumbling over the bluntness of the narrative and the subject matter. In the end, I finished the book but I don’t think I got very much out of it, and I avoided writing about it in a final exam.

3. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

I really, really disliked this book. I read it in Grade 10 for my English class, and I believe my dislike of this book stemmed from the dislike of my teacher and the way she taught, so maybe I should re-read it on my own now that I’m older… but probably not. Personally, I found the premise confusing at the time and didn’t find the characters interesting or engaging.

2. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Another book read for school – this one all the way back in Grade 6. I was having such a hard time getting through it that I had to lock myself in my room with no other distractions in order to force myself to read. It was the very first time I ever had to force myself to read a book.

1. The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

I. Hated. This. Book. I generally have spot on judgment with books I buy, and I tend to enjoy them, at least marginally. But for this book, I made the mistake of purchasing a book based on the title and boy was that a mistake. I won’t bother reiterating how much I disliked it, so if you feel like reading more of my thoughts about it, you can check my review out here.

 

Have a good Wednesday, and happy reading!

Summer Viewing

Summer is, of course, the perfect time to catch up on shows or to make time to watch those that you’ve been meaning to watch through the year. Now that it’s June and I’m settled into my two jobs and my lack of school, I finally have time to catch up on the shows I fell behind in during the school year, watch those that I’ve be meaning to for a long time, and rewatching some of my favourite shows, either in preparation for the new season or to reminisce shows that have long been cancelled.

Without further ado, here are the shows I plan to watch this summer!

Continue reading “Summer Viewing”

Top 5 Wednesday

Over on YouTube, there is a Top 5 Wednesday family, where a large community of people answer different Top 5s each week. It was started by Lainey (gingerreadslainey) and I’ve been watching a number of the videos every Wednesday so I thought I’d participate over here on my blog!

This week’s Top 5 is characters I wish I was more like!

I also decided that any time there’s a good crossover Top5W topic, I’m going to answer it for books as well as television shows! This is one of them!

Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday”

The TV of 2014 – 2015

Although I am still in mourning for the shows I loved that fell victim to the 2014 cancellation spree (RIP Trophy Wife, Enlisted, Community and Revolution, most notably), and I will be writing a piece about that soon, I wanted to go through the teaser videos of the pilots from the major networks that were announced during Upfronts season and give my inital thoughts.

Click on the name of the network to get the rundown of the shows!

 

FOX

CBS

ABC

NBC

The CW