Monday, April 21, 2014

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

This book is all secret smiles and childhood friendships, love letters, sisterly bonds, and sweet family traditions. I'm super not-sorry that I cheered when I read that Lara Jean is half-Korean. Jenny integrated it so perfectly into the story-line without it being a big deal. It's a really cute story filled with truths about imagining a boy might like you back, and the scariness of when someone might. It's also about the way life is different when someone you isn't there anymore.. I like that I actually didn't mind who she ended up with or what happened, I was just enjoying the journey.

Jenny Han also captured those little high school things so well: girls who spread rumors and seduce boys, creatively sneaking alcohol in, the friends we've had since childhood and are loyal to even though we're completely different people now.. Loving someone you think you'll probably love forever but never being sure.. Not saying 'I like you' back, even if you really do, because girls can be idiots too sometimes.

The boys in this book are so adorable and kind and charming in their own way. And the families are faithful and great and, it's a really lovely book.

Cute things made me smile: Lara Jean's innocent curiosity and the questions she asks, her adorable sense of style and how I wanted to wear all her outfits and also pick out a dress at that vintage house place, the family baking cookies in the kitchen together, the boys playing with her little sister, the way the sisters like their bananas differently and how that affects their household (the realest thing about family!) and the fact that Josh and Lara Jean jokingly used Harry Potter spells on each other on Halloween.

(Obviously I smiled very excitedly and maybe squealed when Josh was dressed as Harry Potter. But I also felt that way when Kitty gives her the love notes Peter wrote and they're so cute.) Lara Jean's sister, Kitty, is so adorable and sassy. I love everyone's automatic love for her and her innocent but fierce love right back.

Two great moments: "I told Kitty she was adopted and her real family was in a traveling circus. It's why she took up gymnastics." Bahhaha!

"And how could you stop after Chamber of Secrets! The third one's the best out of the whole series. I mean that's literally crazy to me. Do you not have a soul?" Because for real, AMEN SISTA!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

This book made me want to move to New York and then LA to live as a struggling actor and make friends with quirky people who will then become famous with me so we can take each other to awards shows and be super chilled about it together. And actually, it made me feel like I already have done all those things, because you go on the whole journey with Mindy..

It's similar to I Feel Bad About My Neck, the Nora Ephron book I adored, in that it's a whole lot of essays that explain Mindy Kaling's thoughts on different situations. This ranges from her memories growing up as a child and as someone moving out to New York to find work, to becoming who she is now in the 'celeb' world and with the cool-kids comedy circle. It's filled with honest and true commentary on society, in the most relate-able way. That's what makes it different to me. The Nora book made me want to be Nora, and Mindy's one made me feel like she is me, and I am her. Which I loved.

She talks about how funny her comedy-writing colleagues are, how loyal her friends have been. She explains conversations on the phone with her best friend, that awards ceremony gift bags are lame, and how married couples are ruining it for us single people. She says amazing things like "Is gluten still lame? Is soap cool again, or is body wash still the way to go?" and I actually had to pause for a moment to truly let it sink in when she wrote of her funeral, 'Dress code: chic devastated.' I mean, this girl is.. Just!

It feels real, like Mindy really is just talking to me and telling me these things in her usual cheerful, perky manner (The Mindy from The Mindy Project is the version of Mindy I know, and with whom I believe I would make excellent friends. This book only strengthened our bond, and also my desire to actually hang with real-life Mindy, who is probably way more badass than I could actually handle.) Mostly I love her confidence, and the jokingly intense level with which she's like 'I am Awesome!' because she is, and because that's literally how I talk with my bestie about us.

She's hilarious. Just hilarious. I'm not into reading books that are sold as funny, I'm not into straight-comedic things, but Mindy is my gurl and I wanted to laugh with her like I do when her show is on. And I did. Out loud! At the crazy things she says and her actual brilliance as both a human and a comedic writer. I love the way she sees the world. This book is filled with such clarity about our time, and she's just telling it like she's not Mindy-queen-of-my-heart but just a girl who lives in LA and is looking up at some very cool celebs.

There's sad parts and struggle parts, but it all endears you more to Mindy's strength and coolness. She's worked damn hard, and I'm so impressed by it all. There's pictures from when she was a child, selfies on her way to awards shows, stories from when people were mean to her, and all the pop-culture references I live for. Sidenote: I kind of want all the fake tv-shows she mentions as a joke, to become real.

It's just an AWESOME book that I will read again so often just for those laugh-out-loud moments of brilliance that she so cleverly fills her stories with. Mindy, man! Mindy! She's just cool, and this book is everything. Read it.

A word I learned, and now love to say aloud: pejorative (expressing contempt or disapproval)