Review: Landline

*This review contains spoilers, read at your own risk, or jump down to the *** near the end for the briefest review you’ll need without spoiling it for yourself**
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Start Date: December 12th, 2016
Finish Date: December 15th, 2016
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This book combines a lot of my favorite things all into one: “time travel”, marriage, children, and a “not-too-sappy” love story. I enjoy YA novels, but much more enjoy then when they are geared towards older, married/have children, audience.

Georgie (main character) and her husband Neal, who have 2 young daughters, have been together since college and married for ~15 years. She and Neal are polar opposites in their work fields, he studied oceanography (now a stay-at-home dad) and she became a sitcom writer. She loves California, grew up there, and is required to stay there for her job. Neal would love to move back home to Nebraska, but sacrifices this for Georgie and her career. The present Christmas, Georgie and Neal are supposed to go home to Neal’s family like they do every year. However, because Georgie and her best friend/writing partner, Seth, have landed the biggest deal yet on making their own TV show, but the deadline makes her need to be home during the time they are supposed to go to Nebraska.

Naturally, Georgie stays for her career and best friend, but instead of Neal staying with her and being with her for Christmas, he up and leaves with the girls in tow to Nebraska. This is where I, personally speaking as a mom and wife, would just say it can wait until after Christmas and just go and be with my family. But no, she still stays. As many times as she tries to contact him, though, he never answers. So, she thinks that this may be the last straw to a never-ending argument that has been going on for years, where Georgie always puts herself first and never considers Neal’s feelings whatsoever. I mean, go be with your family, the show and Seth will still be here until you get back. Jeez, at the very least take your laptop with you and do your writing and send it to Seth while you’re up there.

While she can’t get Neal to answer her, she doesn’t want to go home to an empty house. She instead goes to stay at her mother’s house with her, her step-dad, and sister (who is still in high school, so her and Georgie have a significant amount of years between them). She stays in her old room, which hasn’t been changed much since she left for college many years ago, and she sees and old (yet still new) rotary landline phone. Here’s where things get interesting. Since she doesn’t want to go home, where her chargers are, her cell is dead 99% of the time, so to try to get a hold of Neal, she uses the landline. When she calls, Neal’s mother answers, then she gets Neal, but he sounds different. Younger. And then she hears Neal’s dad. Who’s been deceased for years. Odd.

Upon several conversations over the next few days, she realizes that she is talking to the young Neal. From when they were in college, before they got engaged, married, and had kids. She’s also worried that her talking to him might alter their current future where they are married with children. So, she has to be careful on what she says, otherwise she might end up talking Neal out of marrying her and therefore end her current life as she knows it.

***This is a story of love, family, and not taking for granted what and who you have. This is by far one of the better love stories I’ve read, especially in the YA genre. I highly recommend reading this around Christmas time because of the feels. Also, if you have any doubts on this book because you read Fangirl, please put that judgement aside, because this is definitely a book you want to read. I don’t enjoy sappy love stories and this is not one of those. This hit the nail on the head as far as what “real” relationships and marriages are like. Don’t miss out.***

UPDATE

Update on LANDLINE.

Let me just say, I’ve almost finished this book and I’ve read over 200 pages in the last 24 hours. I am almost finished which is a far cry from where I was at in the book a few days ago. I am hooked. I wasn’t a fan of Fangirl who has the same author (Rainbow Rowell) so I was a little bit skeptical to read it because I didn’t really like the writing style. Honestly, the only thing that did pull me in was the plot.

Needless to say, I’m very happy with myself for going against my ‘better’ and initial judgement and gut feelings.

 

Review to follow soon! Happy Holidays!

Library List

For some reason, since I am a hoarder of books, I completely forgot about the library being at my disposal. I have been buying books here and there, most of which I want(ed) to own anyway, over the last 6 months. And here I could have read The Girl on the Train months and months ago. I also admit that I have been reading this book for entirely too long, mainly because I get distracted easily or I forget to bring my book to work. Yes, I am very fortunate to be able to read at work (I have a lot of down time and am in an office by myself for the most part almost every day). Also, 3 year olds aren’t too fond of seeing you reading alone so they either a) want you to stop what you’re doing to watch them watch a movie, b) try to sit with you while you read, but get overly excited and flip through all of the pages, or c) (the least painful one) wanting you to come play with them or read their books to them. I love my little so much, but there’s only so many viewings of the live action Alvin and the Chipmunks a mother can watch before she loses her mind ;). So, distractions.

Anyway, I have made it a point to start going here, since my current reading list consists of many books I do not own and don’t want to buy for fear I might not like them, and it’s hella long. 52 books to be exact. An entire year’s worth of reading (for me). Currently, I have checked out:

  1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (yuck for having to get large print because that’s the only copy that they had, I checked. Not even any audio 😦 )
  3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I am pushing myself to finish The Girl on the Train because I desperately need to start these books if I’m planning on reading them by the end of the year (which I am).

 

Review: Ready Player One

Date Started: November 9th, 2016

Date Finished: November 19th, 2016

Overall rating: 4.9/5 Stars

The actual start date to this book should be somewhere in 2015. I can’t tell you how many times I had picked this up and put it down, simply for the fact that it starts out a tad slow. Now having read it, I could kick myself for letting it go unread all this time. As soon as I got past the first few chapters it was smooth sailing, and honestly the only reason it took me 10 days to read it is because of work and my video game hobby. I am in love with 80’s pop culture. I wasn’t born until the mid-90’s, but most of my favorite songs, movies, bands, and the like come from the 80’s time period.

Wade Watts, a high school senior in both the real and virtual world, lives with his aunt and her nasty boyfriend, where he is treated horridly and completely unhappy. Therefore, his uses the virtual reality that is the OASIS as his everyday escape, and he goes to his hiding place every day which is miles from his aunt’s trailer. Trailers, at this time, are very common. They are so common, that they are actually stacked on top of one another to save on space because of the state of the Earth’s decline. Every one (well, almost) is un-wealthy, and these ‘sky-trailers’ are about as affordable as housing gets. Wade actually got his hands on his Virtual Reality (VR) set through school when public students began to be allowed to attend school online. So, a little after he first got his VR set through school, 5 years prior to current time of the story in 2044, James Halliday (OASIS creator) passed away. Upon his passing, he left a video-will for the entire population stating that he had created a game within the game. 3 Easter eggs have been hidden throughout the very vast virtual world, which are found by opening 3 gates, which are opened by obtaining 3 keys. The prize? Whoever finds all 3 eggs first, inherits Halliday’s entire multi-billion dollar fortune and OASIS itself. He left the first riddle for everyone in his video-will, but for there to be any more clues revealed, one must locate the first key.

What you seek lies hidden in the trash on the deepest level of Daggorath.”

Pretty straight forward, right? That is, if you’ve ever played Dungeons & Dragons. This first riddle put the world in a frenzy over finding the keys to get the eggs. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a multi-billionaire? However, it took a whole 5 years before anyone found where the riddle was leading to.

This tale is one of friendship, love, hate, pride, and fun all throughout its entirety. Wade gets to meet his girl gunter (egg hunter) crush, eventually gets to meet face to face with her AND his best friend that he’s never met in person. They get to take down a huge evil corporation, who only wanted to win the prize so that their ownership of the VR game would allow them to make subscription fees present in an otherwise free-to-play realm. Greedy, greedy, greedy. Instead of making the world a little bit better and making world hunger less of an issue, let’s charge every one a monthly fee and further plummet the economy. Great idea. But what can you expect from those with already plenty of enough money that they don’t have to worry about themselves or their family going hungry. They’re only concerned with making their own bank accounts bigger. It’s always grand to see ‘government’ evil corporations get kicked in the teeth.

As soon as you pass those first 5 chapters, you’re golden. I sped through this book because I was so in love with it. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. I couldn’t hardly put it down. Please, if you love nerdy things, classic 80s games & movies, or anything 80’s really, pick up this book. My husband, who NEVER reads, loved this book. Mainly for all the 80’s and pop culture references and that it was about video games, but still. It’s amazing and the only reason I gave it a 4.9 and not a 5 was because it starts out slow. Don’t miss out on this one. Also: This is being made into a movie with the release year of 2018. AND THERE WILL BE A BOOK SEQUEL. Ernest Cline has posted several times, hinting that the title may be called Ready Player Two.

Holidays

Posting will more than likely be sporadic throughout the holidays until the end of December. Moving houses by the end of Dec., Christmas, etc., I’ll barely have time to read as it is, much less post solid, lengthy reviews. I will post throughout the holidays, but regular reviews will not be scheduled or posted unless I find the down time. Thanks for your understanding, time during the holidays is much more important with family, unless you can’t sleep at 4 A.M. then it’s best with a book. Happy Holidays!

Mail Call

So very excited to receive my copies of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn yesterday in the mail! Now I am awaiting the arrival of Sharp Objects also by Gillian Flynn and the trilogy all-in-one book of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Thriftbooks.com has truly been my best go-to website for purchasing books. I have only been dissatisfied once, and that was my fault because I misread the dimensions of a book, which I thought was a regular paperback when it turned out to be a mass market paperback version. Those versions are the devil. However, I did look back at my order and realized that I had failed to make sure of the correct dimensions. I have otherwise not had a single issue, not to mention they all arrive within about a week! I am excited to finally have these books, so that I can finish out the year with the (hopefully) awesome reads!