Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Another wrap up to a wonderful series. What I love about Lara Jean is that she’s a young teen. She likes to stay home and bake and scrapbook. She doesn’t drink, have sex or go to crazy parties*. While those aren’t bad, I think it’s important for all teens to see themselves in literature. Whether that’s race or gender or sexuality (which are also incredibly important), but it’s important to note that not all teens are Katniss Everdeen or Blair Waldorf, and that’s okay.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean, by Jenny Han, follows Lara Jean in her last year of high school. She’s worried about which school to get into and will she and her boyfriend Peter stay together and how her older sister will handle their dad remarrying. A lot of stuff is going on!

I wasn’t dating the star Lacrosse player during high school (or dating for that matter) nor was my dad remarrying, but I still saw a lot of myself in Lara Jean in this book. The pressure to chose a college is immense. Especially when you’re not really psyched about all your options and put all your hope into one or two… Despite the realness of this issue facing teens, along with the typical sex and drinking and growing up, I felt the ending of Always and Forever, Lara Jean was a bit rushed. Without giving away too much (I hope), it seemed like Han was going to end it one way, and then changed her mind (or her publisher or agent changed theirs). So the ending fell a little flat to me, and I wish it had ended the first way (or at least what felt to me like was supposed to be the ending).

Talk to me if that makes any sense. I want to hear someone else’s thoughts.

* she definitely becomes a more mature teen throughout the series, through Peter, but she’s still a young teen. It’s also interesting to watch that change throughout the series.

Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you

Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge: A book by #ownvoices or #diversebooks author

Second Grade Visits

It’s that time of year again! Outreach for Summer Reading!

My library happens to be across the street from a local elementary school, and every year the second graders come over for library card signups, a tour, and an opportunity to check out books. During their visit, I talk about our summer reading opportunities and then I read A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker.

I am loving how well this books is working out! We talk about library rules (Bear and mouse roller skate to the library, so we talk about appropriate shoes, Bear is loud in the library so we talk about how we have to be respectful to everyone else in the library, but not necessarily silent), we talk about storytimes and activities, and lastly, we talk about fiction vs nonfiction.

Also, every second grade class (so far) has applauded for me when I’m done reading. Whether that’s a sign of how much they enjoy the story, or a cultural thing at their school is a bit up in the air, but I love it! I do think they enjoy the story though, since they laugh a lot. A Library Book for Bear has gone over much better than last year’s Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library. Although that also led to lots of good conversations.

Rich People Problems

I discovered the Crazy Rich Asians series well after the second book came out, and devoured them in days once I got them from the library. That’s the advantage to coming to something (be it a TV series or book series once all parts are available). I did not think Kevin Kwan would write a third book, but once I knew a third was in the works, I immediately began impatiently waiting. Lucky for me, I was approved to read an Advanced Reading Copy through NetGalley!

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Once I started reading Rich People Problems I realized I’d forgotten a lot of what happened in the first two books. This is what happens when I read too quickly. However, Random House has the family tree available on their website and Wikipedia has a pretty good summary of the first two books with character descriptions.

Despite needing some refreshers on character connections, reading Rich People Problems felt very familiar, but in a good way. I love Kwan’s writing style and the humor he exudes. Generally, I’m a sucker for footnotes, and I love Kwan’s. Although reading footnotes on an e-readers is obnoxious. Also, when most authors try and describe fashionable people, or what their characters are wearing, it sounds like a What Not to Wear episode. Kwan, on the other hand, makes me believe Astrid is as fashion forward as she is portrayed. I also really enjoyed re-connecting with Astrid. She is by far my favorite character in the series. Learning more about Su Yi and the history of Singapore was a nice surprise. I wish I knew more about the area’s history and culture. Lastly, Eddie and Kitty were just as annoying as always. Which was perfect.

Popsugar Reading Challenge: A Book Involving Travel

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge: A Book that is set more than 5000 from your location

Baby Storytime: 20

Opening Song

Action Rhyme:

Open Them, Shut Them

Book:

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No Nap! Yes Nap! by Margie Palatini

Feltboard:

Tiny Tim

Action Rhyme:

“One arm and one leg”

One arm goes up,

One arm goes down.

One arm goes up and down.

Two arms go up,

Two arms go down.

Two arms go up and down.

One leg goes up,

One leg goes down.

One leg goes up and down.

Two legs go up,

Two legs go down.

Two legs go up and down.

Two arms and two legs go up.

Two arms and two legs go down.

Two arms and two legs go up and down.

Book:


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Are You My Mommy? By Mary Murphy

Feltboard:

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Song:

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

Book:

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Good Night Piggy Wiggy by Christyan and Diane Fox

Song:


Itsy Bitsy Spider

Closing Song

The Marvels

I started reading The Marvels by Brian Selznick back in March, and tore through the pictures. Then I got to the text and read maybe 20 pages and got bored. The book lived in my car for almost a month. I even changed my Goodreads to mark it DNF (did not finish). For some reason, however, I was drawn back to the book on Thursday.

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I stayed up way too late reading. Since it had been almost a month since I began the book I had forgotten who was who, so I kept having to flip back. In the end, I really liked it! I like the construction of The Invention of Hugo Cabret more than The Marvels (I still haven’t read Wonderstruck) since the text was interspersed with the pictures, and the pictures are really Selznick’s strength.

I don’t want to summarize too much, because I’m afraid I’m going to give away the twists. Check out the blurbs on Goodreads, but for goodness sake, don’t read the 1 star reviews. Makes me sad for humanity. So many close minded people out there.

PopSugar Reading Challenge: Book with pictures

Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge: Book over 600 pages

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge: A YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ