Help Me Title This Review

Help Me Title This Review

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. Even though I diligently wrote notes on The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand, I feel like I don’t have the words to describe it in a single sentence that will attract people to read this review. I just don’t feel it’s that kind of book, you know? I certainly don’t think it’s meant for entertainment purposes, and it’s also not for everybody, but if you do read it, it’s going to impact you in ways you probably weren’t expecting.  I read this book from March 16th to March 25th, 2019.

Before you even consider reading this book, keep in mind that it revolves around the suicide of the main character’s brother, which is, again, why I say this book is not for everybody. And even if suicide is not a triggering topic for you, I would make sure to be emotionally ready, in the sense that I think to endure this book one has to be strong enough. I know this would have completely destroyed me a few months ago because I could relate to the main character and the way she was dealing with trauma, even though I have never undergone a situation as painful as what she was experiencing.

We follow the main character who, after her brother commits suicide, starts going to therapy, and her therapist suggests that she writes a journal/diary. We get to read excerpts from said journal, which I think added a lot to the story because it would let us see another aspect of both the main character and her brother. My younger sister is my baby, so the bits where the relationship between the two siblings is described really got to me.

You have to understand what the main character is going through because she reacts to her trauma by coming off as dry, and definitely not “likable.” If you don’t enjoy novels like this one or flawed characters, then I suggest you pick up something else because I don’t think you’ll get the point of this book. You’ll also end up drained, and that’s something you must anticipate when thinking about picking this book up.

I cry a lot for many different reasons, and though there were several parts that made me tear up, I only straight up bawled once, at the very end. For me, the story should have ended about halfway through the actual book, you know? I think there were some bits that just dragged, and some events that were included for dramatic effect but that to me only made the story lose its main focus. I was going to give this book three stars, but as I said, the ending was the redeeming quality, and it was honestly what made me give it four stars.

Do you know of any other book that in your opinion deals with mental illness in an accurate, respectful way? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

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Another Cookie-Cutter YA

Another Cookie-Cutter YA

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. When I read the title The Night We Said Yes and saw the cover image, I thought I was going to be presented with something similar to How to Get Away With Murder, you know? Like, what did those four friends say yes to? Why are they all standing in what looks like the middle of the beach, or a deserted football field? And then I read the actual novel by Lauren Gibaldi and was very disappointed.

You know that once a book has let me down, I will find other flaws in it, and since I discovered that this was a teenage love story instead of a college murder mystery, well, let’s just say that I kept my eyes peeled for things that annoyed me. Now, I’m going to be totally hypocritical here and say that the main character was super negative. She does mention having being hurt in the past, which explains why she’s so bitter, but still.

A redeeming quality of this novel is the fact that it is a summer read, and we all know that those are my favorite books and the ones I read the fastest. I also appreciated that there was a gay character, only to find out that he was in the story as a filler and that wasn’t even present for 90% of the plot. Seriously, what was the author’s goal with that? To say that there is representation because out of all her (white) characters, one is gay? Technically there are two gay characters, but we are never introduced to one of them, we just learn from him because the other characters in the book talk about him.

Something that annoys me big time is when I can predict the plot of a book. Remember how I mentioned that the main character was bitter because she’d been hurt? Well, she’d been hurt by this Matt guy, and he’s mentioned earlier on in the novel. Also, I know he’s important because there is a companion novella titled Matt’s Story. The plot twists, right?

I really enjoyed the flashbacks and flash-forwards, and I really appreciated the fact that what happened in the past was narrated in the past tense. I think this was a clever choice by the author to give us a hint as to where we were standing in the story. It’s also one of those plots that take place on a single night, which I’m undecided about.

Like I said at the beginning, I thought there was going to be some depth to this novel, and that it was going to be more serious. At some point, it even gave me vibes similar to How to Love by Katie Cotugno or Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover. But no, there’s no depth to this book. It’s literally a novel about teenage drama. I didn’t appreciate the shallowness one bit.

Have you read any YA novels lately? Were they any good? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Mila Watches Younger

Mila Watches Younger

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Hello and happy Tuesday. I feel like I haven’t sat down and talked about TV shows in a minute, but here we are, with a brand new Mila Watches. Today I want to talk to you about Younger, a show my best friend told me to watch a long time ago and I never did until I found myself at an Airbnb that had Hulu and thought “why not?”. Teachers was actually my first choice because I absolutely live and die for that show, but I guess it got cancelled or it actually isn’t in Hulu anymore because I couldn’t find it.

Anyway, Younger is this show about a woman called Liza who’s 40 years old, recently divorced, with a daughter in college. She needs to find a job, but after so many years without working, and considering her age, the job thing is not happening. Can you guess what happens? Yes, she creates this new life for herself in which she is 26 years old, and once she does that, she gets the hot boyfriend, the awesome job, and a new BFF. Cute, right?

Now, I wasn’t emotionally in the best place when I (binge) watched this show, so I might have a distorted view on it. All in all, it’s one of those harmless shows that are basically just there for entertaining. I mean, I don’t think I got a valuable lesson from it other than “don’t lie about your age,” but it did make me laugh at times, so I’ll give it that.

The huge highlight of the show for me is Josh, interpreted by Nico Tortorella. That guy is absolutely perfect and delicious, and I could have him for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He could totally be my midlife crisis (if the plan of being happily married and with kids doesn’t work for me), and he could fill my body with tattoos (at a girlfriend discount, of course). Honestly, though, I got to a point where I was just sort of waiting for Josh to appear shirtless, kind of what happened with Prison Break and pretty much any other show with a hot guy in it.

Younger is still releasing episodes, and you all know how much that annoys me because it means at some point I’ll have to wait for a new one to be released. I think I stopped watching halfway through season 4, and right now the episodes being released are from season 5, but I think I’m done with the show, at least for now. I think when the drama is too obvious, shows get boring. I mean, you get the big “will everyone find out about Liza’s lies?” and then “are Josh and Liza meant to be together, or should they both find someone their own age?” and that’s basically it throughout every season. I’m seriously done with that right now.

Have you watched Younger? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Tuesday!

Love, Miss Camila

This Book Deserves Two Posts

This Book Deserves Two Posts

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. I was convinced this book was an ARC and I was going to launch a new series with a review, but I’ll guess that’s going to happen some other day. I don’t know how and why the book Counting to D by Kate Scott came to me, but I read it and now I’m ready to share my review with you. Let’s get started, shall we?

Like the title indicates, yes, there are going to be two posts about this book because it was so bad I decided only one wouldn’t do it justice. Today I’m going to talk about my first impressions, and then for the next post, I’m going to share a little surprise with you.

I began reading this book on March 18th and finished it on March 201th. I think this is the only good thing I have to say about this. It is a quick read, which is totally ironic given the fact that the main character has dyslexia and is illiterate (her words, not mine.)

Now that I’m using my Magical Monthly Reading Planner to write down these reviews, I am including my rating for each novel, and I’d originally given this two stars. My final rating, though, is one star because not only this novel was horrible, it was also full of ableist jokes. Basically, people were made fun of for having learning disabilities. No. Just, no. I always give authors that one extra star for effort, but Kate, you don’t deserve yours.

My general thought about the writing style is that it was clearly written by an amateur. I mean, the first page alone was all over the place, and this didn’t improve as the novel progressed. You know how I hate the “girl moving cities” thing, like seriously, that’s old news. From that first page in which the main character announces she’s moving, I could already know what was going to happen, and I’m sure you can guess it, too. This is probably why it took me just two days to read this book: it was boring and predictable. And while we’re at it, guessed what the main character did? Yes, she released a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. How could she not?

Another thing that really bothered me about this novel is that it was supposed to be a young adult novel, but the author had no idea how 15-year-olds speak nowadays. The dialogs were forced, and some expressions I’d never heard were included. It just added to the things that didn’t let me connect with this story. The main character was totally off for me, and I think if she’d been twelve instead of fifteen and this would have been marketed as a middle grade, maybe I wouldn’t have despised this so much.

Let’s start a blacklist. A list of books we don’t want anybody to read. This is obviously my candidate. Share yours in the comments below.

Happy Wednesday!

Love, Miss Camila

NYX Mini Haul + Review

NYX Mini Haul + Review

 

Hello and happy Sunday. Today’s post will be short and sweet, but I just wanted to share with you two products I got from NYX that I’ve been loving and that you might too. Also, I did buy these myself for a change, meaning that no, I didn’t get them in a subscription box or anything. Let’s get started, shall we?

NYX Professional Makeup Hydra Touch Primer 

I was running out of primer, so I bought this one mainly because it’s affordable. This product reminds me of aftershave when it comes to texture and scent, but especially because it does leave that tacky makeup-ready feel on the face that I particularly like in my primer. I got it for $8.39, but I’m sure that if you live in the States and have an Ulta nearby you can manage to get a discount for it.

NYX Professional Makeup HD Studio Photogenic Concealer in Fair

I think this can be a dupe for the Smashbox concealer I recently talked about in an unboxing, and I think this concealer matches my skin tone very well. I would say, though, that this has a yellow undertone and I would prefer a pink one, so that’s something to take into account if plan on repurchasing this. It cost $3.27, which is a stupidly good price for a concealer in my opinion.

In the comments below tell me about your favorite NYX product.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

I’m Too Cynical for This Sh*t

I’m Too Cynical for This Sh*t

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

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Hello and happy Wednesday. Are you excited that there’s actually going to be a review today? Me too, although I’m also a bit nervous because I’m sure today’s post is going to be full of unpopular opinions. A few weeks ago, I read Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, and let’s just say, a lot has changed since I was the girl who raved about her fluffy, super romantic novels. Let’s get started, shall we?

I started this book while I was on vacation, and I was on a reading slump, so I actually hoped that this fluffy, cute, and let’s be honest, quick and easy read would get me out of it. I think in a way I underestimated this story, and I sort of forgot that Jen E. Smiths’s novels often have some depth in them, and they deal with family issues, not just romance. To me, that’s why I was so surprised at how original the beginning was because I’d never read a story that started with someone buying a lottery ticket. Another thing I appreciated was the fact that the chapters were short, especially because this book is borderline big in my opinion, with a little over four hundred pages.

Something else I liked about this book, and then again, it’s something I’d underestimated in Jennifer E. Smith’s books, is the fact that she doesn’t leave loose ends or is unnecessarily mysterious. She just tells things as they are without adding drama. I’m talking about when she introduced Alice’s cousin. There weren’t any awkward scenes that had the readers wondering who he was or anything like that, which happens more often than not in YA novels. I’ve read my fair share of Jen E. Smith’s books, but I think this is the first in which the main character is in love with her best friend.

Now that we’ve said all the good, let’s start with the bad and the ugly. Let’s start with the love triangle, okay? That’s something I have no passionate feelings about. I think sometimes love triangles are great and they add drama and they make me change my mind a thousand times, and sometimes I feel like they didn’t even need to exist in the first place. This is probably going to be a spoiler, so if you don’t want to read it, just leave for now and come back when you’ve finished the book. I won’t get mad, I promise. So anyway, this book has a love triangle, right? And it’s your typical love triangle including this guy who’s a complete dickhead and who only realizes he’s going to lose the girl he loves to this amazing, genuine guy who actually makes the girl happy. Guess who the girl picks. Ugh.

After that, it all went to shit for me because I was already upset that I knew how this book was going to end up and there was nothing I could do but keep reading and rant in here. I was so mad, that I caught a gem, the “breath I didn’t know I was holding” gem. Yes, even queens like Jen E. Smith, fall for that one. And while we’re at it, what’s with the editing issues, Jen? Besides that being super annoying for me, I found it uncommon for a book written by this author.

Before we finished this very weird review I must admit that, yes, I cried a few times here and there. That’s probably the “ugly” part of this review because I’m pretty sure I resemble Kim Kardashian when I cry. Now, time for the important question. There are three Jennifer E. Smith novels that I haven’t read. I don’t know what they’re about, and if I’m completely honest, I don’t think I even have them in my wishlist. However, it’s up to you. Should I read these three novels? Or one or two of them? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Just A Heads-Up

Just A Heads-Up

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Hello and happy Wednesday. Finally a book review. Yay! I told you I was going to get to it and I am recovering my reading pace. I think actually finishing Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn will help me get into easier, fluffier books because all my energies won’t be consumed in a single novel.

Yes, this is what my review is going to be about today, and before we start, I want to tell you that I wasn’t in the best place emotionally when I began reading this. I was suffering from depression and my anxiety was worst than it had been I think in forever, and reading this book didn’t help. Many of my thoughts, the ones that will make up this review, come from that emotional and mental state in which I was, so first and foremost I’d like to warn you that if you feel right now you’re in a vulnerable place in terms of your mental health, don’t pick up this book. I also want to say that my reviews have never been objective, but that especially in this case you try to understand how unfit this novel was for me at the time when I read it, and decide for yourself whether what I say here will influence your thoughts some how. Let’s get started, shall we?

Even from the first page, I could sense how raw this book was. I’m also not used to psychological thrillers or anything of the sort, so it took me a while to adjust to the style because it is very vivid and descriptive. I had recently read a review in which the person said they didn’t like reading about crappy marriages, and when reading Gone Girl, I couldn’t have agreed more. It actually had a vibe similar to This Is Where We Live by Janelle Brown, which has all the crappy marriage stuff without…you know.

I have to say that at first I thought that all of Nick and Amy’s politically incorrect/ unpopular opinions were quirky and sort of funny. Like, yes, we finally get main characters that aren’t about bs. Don’t worry, I quickly changed my mind. I do have to say that after reading this and watching some psychological thrillers, I do understand that the characters are so messed up that you end up empathizing with them at some points, and that makes you kind of messed up as well.

Unfortunately for me, because I joined this reading party a bit too late, I had already been contaminated by the movie. I haven’t watched it, and I never really watched the trailer either, but I think it was briefly on Netflix or something, and I got to see a clip of the trailer, and that spoiled it, basically. I kind of had an idea of what was going to happen, which meant the great plot twist wasn’t really that for me.

I’m noticing that this is not a big rant as I thought it would be, which is surprising. In terms of the author’s style, I have to say I really liked the alternating perspectives. I think in a story like this, it just adds so much to the story and has the readers even more hooked. I also love that there’s not really a true version of the facts, just two versions that both characters have twisted and turned to their convenience. Even when I was done reading this book, I talk to my sister about it. She’d watched the movie, so I wasn’t spoiling anything for her, but it was like even if we knew what went on, there were still things we didn’t know were real or lies. That’s how well-crafted the plot was.

Something that I think you need to keep in mind is that this book is on the longer side. I mean, it is definitely around 500 pages. You know that unfortunately for me that’s a bit discouraging, and it will make me take even longer. I did get slowly into the book and by the end I would just sit down for a couple of hours at a time and try to advance as much as I could. I couldn’t have possibly read it in one sitting, or spent an entire day reading because I felt it was too emotionally draining. My sister told me she actually had to do various sittings in order to watch the entire movie for the same reason.

There is a police novel kind of vibe to this story, which I don’t really mind. I mean, an investigation here and there is interesting for a change. But beyond that, this is a very twisted novel. I even described it in my notes as “horrible.” Like I said before, I had to take long pauses. I mean month-long pauses before I could feel emotionally strong enough to keep reading. If you are a mentally healthy person, I would still recommend pausing because this is a very negative book.

This novel has many trigger warnings including rape, as well as descriptions or assault and domestic violence. If reading this could be harmful to your emotional and mental well-being, don’t read this book. Just don’t. Even if some of the things described end up not being real, even if it’s all made up within the story, the descriptions are very graphic.

Something that bothered me towards the end, when I was really into this novel and eager to finish it, were the time jumps or however you call that in English. Like they skip ten days, then ten weeks, then ten months, and I felt like that made the ending rushed and sort of incomplete. The ending was also super unexpected and abrupt for me. I was expecting to be reading at least a couple more chapters when the end came. Like, seriously?

Have you read Gone Girl or any book similar to it that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila