This is a shorter book post (in terms of the number of books), but one I’ve been waiting to do for months, years if I’m being realistic. I know that there are some people who get excited for movie releases (Stars Wars and Marvel films come to mind), but books are really what I get excited for. Sure, it’s more of a quiet excitement because there typically isn’t a large gathering for a book release, but I get excited nonetheless. I know that the physical vs. ebook debate rages on furiously (as evidenced by every single comment thread on a book post on Facebook), but as someone who will be moving in the next few years who already has too many books, I’ve been buying mostly ebooks! When the big day arrives, I know that the ebook will be loaded into my Kobo library, all ready for me to dive in. Today, you can dive into my reviews! Spoilers ahead….
Lyrebird, Cecelia Ahern
For anyone new to my blog (welcome!), I currently have a love/hate relationship with Cecelia Ahern. I loved her older works- P.S. I Love You, Thanks for the Memories, The Book of Tomorrow, all wonderful pieces of fiction that kept me enthralled. I love that there is some touch of magic involved while still remaining grounded in real life. However, in her more recent books, ie. One Hundred Names, The Marble Collector, the magic is gone. Quite literally, magic doesn’t figure into them at all. I find that they aren’t as bright or shiny, they are a grittier look at life (relatively grittier, I totally understand that there are far darker books….) than before. I haven’t been drawn in the same way, I am not compelled to keep reading them. It’s been sad to “lose” one of my favourite authors but I know that everyone grows and changes. Lyrebird was the last shot I was going to give Cecelia…
“Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after.
A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.
When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…”
I still don’t know where I stand on this one! On one hand, I couldn’t put it down. It kept me enthralled from start to finish, I wanted to know what was going to happen to the Lyrebird, I wanted to know how the world would receive her, and I wanted to know what would happen with her family member left (she didn’t deliver on that).
On the other hand, I rather hated all three of the main characters. Bo and Solomon are a couple who are the documentary crew in question, Laura is the Lyrebird. Bo and Solomon are hella dysfunctional from the get-go, and you can tell straight away that they aren’t going to end up together. Solomon is incredibly easy to read, and he is a self-serving characters who continually fawns over Laura throughout the entire book. Bo comes off as a pure asshole, although she does own it and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Laura, as the Lyrebird, is most problematic for me. The whole idea that she is this pure person not spoiled by anything or anyone is inconsistent. For one thing, she was raised by her mother and grandmother for the first fifteen years of her life, she hasn’t been alone on a mountain for 26 years. She will “know” X about people, but won’t understand Y, even though they go hand in hand. It felt a very convenient plot device that was used when needed.
I grudgingly gave it 3.5/5 stars because I was engaged and pulled into the book, unlike the last few books from her. While I hated the characters, I suppose that irritation is what kept me reading. We will see how I feel about the synopsis of the next one, but I think I will be waiting a while to read it….
Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick
If you are looking for a quaint memoir to warm your soul, this isn’t really it. However, if you are looking for someone who uses a wide variety of profanities, sort-of spills kind-of secrets about celebrities, and makes you realise that everyone makes multiple trips to IKEA when one would suffice, Scrappy Little Nobody is the book for you! If you don’t know who Anna Kendrick is, watch either Pitch Perfect. Or Into the Woods. Or Up in the Air.
“A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.
Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”
At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.
With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”
Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).”
Along the veins of Bossypants, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, and Yes, Please! this is a comedy memoir that makes you feel like you are friends with the author. No, I probably won’t be cool or weird enough to ever be friends with Anna (though I might slide through on the “little” part), I got to spend a few hours with her and laugh out loud more than I would care to admit. My confession: I am a curser. I will swear like a sailor given a semi-private setting and no minors. So the fact that Anna doesn’t hold back on the profanity appeals to me. I mean, she’s not dropping F-bombs for no apparent reason, but she doesn’t censor herself to market the book to a wider audience.
It’s not overly long (she’s shot like a thousand movies, I think that it’s a miracle she had time to write this), but being broken up into smaller essays allowed her to cover quite a few different topics. Truth be told, you could just print her Twitter account and I would be sold on it, but she does just as well with writing when she can exceed 140 characters. She is brutally honest about everything, shoplifting, puberty, friendships, sex, Hollywood, fashion, you name it. While some of these memoirs take moments to get deep and more serious, I think that Anna balances the comedy well. It gives you the feeling that no matter what, she’s gonna be a smartass and make it through life- it’s rather comforting.
I think that 98% of people would enjoy this book, and I’m hella jealous that Target gets an extra chapter- SOME PEOPLE DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO TARGET, ANNA. This is a book that I will eventually acquire in hard copy, and am more than happy to pay for it twice. And I don’t say that very often.
Both were purchased by moi, and so don’t change my library savings total!
What books have you been waiting for?