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What I'm Learning
Hi, I'm Chelsea! I’m on a mission to help you find joy and goodness in every day.
On this blog we talk about the big things (like chasing dreams) and the small things (like what books we're reading) because happiness comes in all sizes.
Plot: Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was. –via goodreads
Favorite quote: “For anyone who has been taught that good equals small and silent, here is my heart with all its ugly tangles and splendid fury.” (That was the dedication, but still my favorite thing from the book).
My thoughts: I loved We Were Liars, so I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it. I don’t really know how to say why without giving anything about the plot away, but the whole story (literally, all of it) felt like it was happening for completely random and unnecessary reasons. I loooooved Liars, but I’d skip this one.
Should you read it? No.
Plot: Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants. –via goodreads
Favorite quote: “You can’t measure love by time put in, but the weight of those moments. Some in life are light, like a touch. Others, you can’t help but stagger beneath.”
My thoughts: Sarah Dessen is my favorite author, so anytime she writes a new book, I basically hold it as a personal holiday. This book was SO GOOD. I feel like it was marketed as a sweet love story, but it was so much more than that. It dealt with deeper issues and current events and anxiety in a beautiful way. It might be my favorite one of her’s yet.
Should you read it? Yes!
Plot: A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn’t mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life. That includes taking her job… and her boyfriend. It’s a huge risk — but it’s just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.-via goodreads
Favorite quote: “Don’t talk then. Paint. Dance. Write. Just don’t hold your feelings inside. The longer we let pain hide in our hearts, the more it turns to poison.”
My thoughts: Do you ever finish reading a book and just kinda sit there and think, “What? Why? Why was that a book?” It wasn’t that it was bad, it was just weird. There were a lot of things happening that really just made no sense to me. I stuck it out and finished it, but this was a weird freaking book.
Should you read it? I’d skip it.
Plot: You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
Favorite quote: “I could say the night felt magical, but that would be embellishment. That would be romanticization. What it actually felt like was life.”
My thoughts: I sat on the beach and sobbed as I read this book. Not because it was sad, but because it was so deeply beautiful. I made my best friend read it, and she sat and the beach and sobbed, too. It is truly one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It was so well written. Nina LaCour truly has a gift, and I look forward to reading everything she writes, ever.
Should you read it? YES.
Plot: Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.
Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.
And then she gets hacked.
When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.
In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.
Favorite quote: “It’s easy to pretend I made a deal with the devil. But he genuinely didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. And somewhere inside, I think I knew we were. So which one of us was the devil?”
My thoughts: This was a super interesting story that I just couldn’t get into, for some reason. I have some friends who loved it, so it could just be the mood I was in when I read it, I’m not sure. But it wasn’t my favorite. And I truly hated the ending, so…
Should you read it? Meh.
Plot: Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.
Favorite quote: “Maybe once you’ve been left by the most important person in your life, you can never be unleft again.”
My thoughts: This book was a RIDE. After seeing it on a Buzzfeed list titled something like “20 plot twists that will make you scream out loud” I listened to it on my last road trip. It went something like: “Okay, so they basically give away the plot twist in the description, but it’s still a pretty good story. Wait. What? Oh wow, that was the plot twist. I mean, I kind of saw that coming, but I like it. W A I T. What is happening? I am scared. WHAT?” Safe to say, I enjoyed it.
Should you read it? Yes. I highly recommend it as an audiobook!
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