Book Review: “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

I think the last time I reviewed a book was back in 2016. I lost my reading mojo, even though I continued to go on YouTube and watch over 7 different booktubers on a daily basis, adding new books onto my to be read list on Goodreads. In August 2018, I decided to take a chance and bought my first contemporary, trending book out there, it was Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Honestly, this book has been on my TBR list for two years, and I thought it would be one of those books that I’d either never want to read or purchase it because it was a bit cheesy. Fast forward to now, I’m thankful that I talked my mom into letting me buy it! And the fact that Netflix was releasing a movie based on it, definitely didn’t hurt either!

Backstory – Taken from Goodreads

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

I think I bought this book when the Netflix edition covers were released, because I almost didn’t recognize the title of it until I read the back of it and remembered the name “Lara Jean” so I was a bit intrigued but I also didn’t want to purchase it solely on the fact that it was going to be turned into a movie. I think I really got it for the fact that I hadn’t read anything in over two years and I made it my mission to make time for other things besides blogging throughout the week, so when I saw it, I hoped it would be enough to get me out of my funk and for like two months, it did that for me before I lost it once again. In my defense, I was an idiot and tried to read three books at the same time! Apparently I’m not that kind of a bookworm.

Overall

When I first started reading it, I wasn’t on chapter five yet, and I had already expressed to my parents how much I loved the book! I’ve been out of school, in what feels like forever, but this transported me back to my freshman year and I was seeing the similarities between what I did around all of the cute guys, except I never wrote them all letters. I only did that one and I delivered it in a full cafeteria, and how Lara Jean was around both Josh and Peter.

I think what I loved the most about her was how different or quirky as Peter describes her. I think that’s actually a perfect way to explain her to people. She is mostly a home body, likes to hang out with her family, and best friend Chris then getting drunk and/or high with the rest of the party goers. Besides all of the drama that ensues in the book, I honestly think the letters going out to the boys was the best thing for her. It got her out of comfortable shell and I think she started to learn something about herself as a person.

As far as the boys go, I was going back and forth with them. In the beginning, I was pulling for Lara Jean and Josh, but the more it continued I was really loving this “relationship” between her with Peter. I think my favorite outing between these two characters was their first one, where Peter takes her to go estate shopping at this old house. This is where you get to see Peter in a new light, he’s away from his friends and his attention isn’t on the ex-girlfriend Gen, they’re bonding throughout this little adventure. This is also the readers first glance at Lara Jean getting out of her comfort zone too.

Lastly, I need to talk about something that was added at the end of the book, and I’m not totally sure if the previous editions included them, but in my copy we get recipes of the cookies that were talked about towards the end of the book. I’ve only come across a book that had a recipe somewhere within the book and that was (weirdly enough) Duff McKagan’s autobiography It’s So Easy (and Other Lies) released in 2011. If you’d like to check out that review, you can click here, but I should say that the review was published in 2012. I wasn’t the best blogger at that time, so please ignore the many mistakes included in it, okay?

Have you read the book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han yet? What were your thoughts about it? Which character is your favorite in the series?

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The Memory House

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Why is it about moving that is good for the soul, but it also feels like your heart being ripped into a million pieces at the same time?

In every house I’ve ever lived or much less stayed a few nights in, I usually remember maybe a couple of small details of it, it really just depends on whatever happened there. I don’t know why my mind allows me to be haunted by these things but it does. However, there was one house that has a lot of good memories attached to it, so much that it stings of the situation that bubbled up to the surface recently.

My grandparent’s house that has been in my family for decades. If you’ve read my earlier posts about “the aunts” as I’ve recently figured out they are my great-great aunts. They’re parents George and Olive lived there before them, and I think it was only Regina (Ra-kee-na), Lula, and Elsaleah that spent their entire lives there and then my grandparents moved in to help but after all of the aunts died, they were just left with the house. The only difference was instead of it having elderly people in the household, now there were grandchildren around and we began to spend our birthdays and holidays there as a family.

I’ve spent countless days there throughout my life. I’ve slept on the couches and floor, trying not to look up the dark staircase. I’m pretty sure this is where my paranoia really flourished because I remember my papaw saying that there was a ghost up there. When my sister got her first iPod, she had an app that told you whether a room was paranormal or not, well this always seemed to fire up their dog Casey and once Blondie would come into the kitchen they’d race off into the living room, a half dead iPod in head ready to find the ghosts! This did nothing for my anxiety over the years I have to say!

I would go into the living room every once in a while, I would never go in there by myself though. I always went when somebody else was in there with me. However, my papaw would like to play piano in the most random times of the day, mostly when everybody was talking the mouths off, so mostly me! I would stop the conversations sometimes because I would hear these noises and realize they were papaw upstairs probably either destroying something or like I said, playing some notes on the piano. I remember a few times that I just sat on the floor by the couch and listened to him play a few keys and then watched him leave without ever saying anything about how I got there. He knew though. Once he’d leave the room, I would debate whether or not to head back into the kitchen or not to join the rest of the hens.

As I got older the house started to represent something else entirely. Since our house was so wacky I was unable to do things for myself. I was also growing (weight wise), so my family has a difficult time getting me on and off the floor. I started to feel really restless I think, and I didn’t hit my breaking point until one Christmas. I was really wanting to create homemade gifts for my family and I thought it would be a good idea to do it with my dad but I later realized that it wasn’t… He bought everything and he ended doing it all, within four days later I asked my nana if she’d feel comfortable in helping me do the crafts next year because there was no way in heck I was allowing that to happen again. If you didn’t know the background story to the annual DIY Christmas gifts, now you do!

I think that was the same year that I was given the freedom to really do things for myself. I’m only so limited to things in my room because whenever I’m in my wheelchair, the room itself gets smaller! So when my nana was letting me do things for her, like clean and organize different areas of her office or kitchen – since that was our most popular place for our talks and had the most light and space in the entire house to work on our crafts I began to enjoy it more! And I even have memories from my days in preschool where it was time to clean up from recess and as everybody was cleaning up, I’d be cowering underneath the table! I hated cleaning as a child, but since I was allowed to do what I wanted like organize in whatever way I saw fit I began to fall in love with it. Of course, asking your parents if you could your room with no seatbelt so you could reach better does not do anything to calm their nervous, but it is fun to watch them squirm I’m not going to lie!

The last two or three years were spent on trying to decorate cakes and sugar cookies. Creating our first (and probably last) Christmas bark ever! I figured out how to put on a fairly large trash bag on the can itself and open up a pop can with my toes! Towards the last I finally figured out how to open the refrigerator and that took a lot longer than I wanted to honestly! Why do they have to make those doors so heavy is beyond me!

It’s strange one of the last memories of being in that house is of me cleaning out an area of papaw’s room that I was hoping would become my office. An act of freedom that I was given became something that I did not want to do, you know? It was only fairly small corner of the room that was full of things that would come to live in my room. It feels weird to have these pieces of furniture that belong in different places in that house that are no longer there, it’s an empty space now.

I’ll remember the large amounts of light green on the interior, from the walls to the shaggy, 70’s carpet that did not like push wheelchairs. Okay, so I won’t exactly miss the carpet itself but perhaps only the feel of it.

The pink (or peach, the exact color is debatable), white, and blue bathroom that in the beginning of time didn’t exist. George and Olive had an outhouse! It wasn’t until later that they added it in and made it the smallest room in the whole house! The closets had more room than this sucker! Sidenote: The doorways weren’t made for wheelchairs either!

Always calling the kitchen the front end of the house. Nana would say all the time to us that where the kitchen was places was really a back porch, when they put in the bathroom they redid the kitchen too and added on bigger cabinets and put in a cold linoleum floor that even in the hot summer you could sit on it and your butt would feel pretty nice. However, the winter it was just standard to wear blue jeans or just stay out of there because it was so damn cold!

One of the hardest memories that’s going to be difficult to cure is whenever we’d leave the house, they lived on a block so there was two ways you could leave (well, technically three if you could park into the driveway and go to the right line) and those paths there’s some distance but they could always hear us holler bye and they’d wave with their hands or do the symbol for “I love you” in sign language as we took off to go home.

Since this has happened I often wonder if there will be a house I will live in that will make feel these things ever again? Will I continue to collect memories from every house I enter? It’s a big possibility. You’re never fully ready to put your trust into anything or apparently leave everything behind but it’s part of life. You go on and parts of me think I will be back, back then I thought it was because I’m always coming back but then once the decision was made that the house would be sold I still had that feeling. I think it’s a form of denial but who knows, maybe God or some universal divine will take me back to the memory house.

snowflake

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I’m An Onomastic!

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Hi 🙂

There is something you can catch me doing on Sundays. No, I don’t lounge around, well maybe sometimes, but most of the time I’m asking for our local newspaper looking at the birth and obituaries sections. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those creepy people who look at who’s died looking for a date. I look up and down the two rows at the beautiful names of children who were born in the last two weeks or so. I can’t quite explain why I do it or how it got started, I’ve just been addicted to asking for the paper on that specific day. I’m not interested in the news articles, just this part.

I wish I could say it was my only outlet but it’s not.

When I started Pinterest back in 2012, I was searching other boards and one day I found a board full of names! I found so many good ones that I didn’t just want to “like” each one so I ended making them a board. And then a couple of years later I made up another (secret) board of names for characters that were stuck in the depths of my mind. Luckily for me, there is actually a big difference between these two boards. One has more modern and classic baby names whereas the second has forgotten and out of the box names.

Here are some examples:

Baby Name Board:

Hazel | Paige | Abigail | Otto | Leon | Lachlan

Character Name Board:

Oryn | Zachari | Leopold | Tarina | Isadora | Annika

After watching so many episodes of Jeopardy, I actually started to see more and more contestants say they’re also obsessed with names as well, but there is actually a name for it. It is onomastics.

I am into is where the names originated, like my name: “Meghan” is actually Greek, which shouldn’t had surprised me as much as it did but I thought it was pretty neat though! I tend to love names from different countries like Denmark, France, Ireland, Italian, and Sweden. I also love names that were made up from stories like Shakespeare (despite the fact I can’t read his stories for the life of me!). I had always heard that Mr. Shakespeare is the one who came up with “Jessica” I still don’t know if this is true, and then of course you have mythology! I love the Celtic, Egyptian, and Norse mythology names! I have contemplated about using the names “Seti” and “Ra” in my children’s names!

When I first started looking into the large branches of the British monarchy, I realized they had very long names. One time I saw where they had seven middle names–not counting their first and last names! This person was actually Mary of Teck or later known as Queen Mary who married King George V in the early 1900s. “Mary” is actually her first middle name while her first was “Victoria” but her family called her “May.” As I’ve found the middle names are usually driven from previous family names. Mary would have been a young girl when Queen Victoria was still queen, but I have no idea about the rest.

Where is it in time frame where they start adding onto the names? I haven’t exactly figured this out yet as I’ve just figured out of the century of the War Of The Roses! I’m also curious on how open were they to give their children different names too? I’ve just recently found the name “Susan” while researching a former duchess on Facebook. It was the first one I had seen dating back to the 1500’s.

Now when you look back further their the history books, around the time when you have the Plantagenet and Tudor families where they only had one name. For explain King Henry VIII’s first daughter Princess Mary, is just simply Mary Tudor. Same goes for Queen Elizabeth I, she was just referred to Elizabeth Tudor. If she hadn’t became queen, I think some people would have gotten confused while researching the Tudor dynasty as King Henry VIII also had a younger sisters by the name of Princess Mary and Elizabeth.

For this next part I thought I’d share some of my favorite names and explain that some belong in other categorize too! So maybe if you’re expecting or love names just as much as I do, they will become some of your favorites too!

Classic:  Isabella, Victoria, Eleanor, Anne, Theodora, Cecily, Naomi, Albert, Edgar, George, Louis, Michael, Nicholas, Philip, Richard, Samuel, and Vincent.

French Names: Blanche, Celeste, Camille, Agnes, Alexandrine, Augustine, Bastien, Claude, Emeric, and Ernest.

Irish Names:  Aoife, Bridget, Fiona, Eabha, Moira, Oona, Siobhan Ronan, Declan, Donal, Liam, Mahon, Owen.

Out Of The Box: Piera, Olympia, Wilhelmina, Evanna, Reverie, Atlas, Thompson, Calix, Hugo, Audric, Henrik, and Micah, 

Are you interested in names? What are some of your favorites? I really want to know, so please tell me some in the comments!

snowflake

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Anne Boleyn: More Than The “Second Wife”

Hi 🙂

Today is an interesting day and in ways kind of morbid too. Why? Because it is the anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s death. The second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I.

Since I am so into history, especially British royals I feel like Anne and Henry’s love story is probably the most interesting! I have over 7 different groups and like pages just on Tudor royals, whether they’re a bunch of authors and historians or actors who make their own Tudor dresses and parade around at fairs, it’s an exciting escape from the boredom I tend to find on my Facebook! I think for fans who love celebrities they either find the person from the end or in the middle of their careers. I have certain “obsessions” like that too, but Anne and Henry’s relationship is something totally different. I know how it got started, when they were finally married, when she was banished from court to finally her execution.

I feel conflicted when I play with the question if I were alive at the time of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII’s reign, how much would I support the marriage and future Queen of England. I also think that if I was transported there I would either be studied by the want-to-be-physicians or left for dead by my family because you know I’d be born with my disability! I just feel like I wouldn’t probably feel as I do about Anne, which sucks because I would believe all of the rumors than the woman that is our Queen. However, since I’m not, I get to show my support to this woman of power in her right.

She was one of the most influential women of that time period; some people would consider the amount of control she had over the king as witchcraft, but I think it was a partnership, between these two power houses. First you have, King Henry VIII being controlled by the Catholic church and the Pope, while Anne is part of the Reformation and is Anglican. As much as he found Anne attractive, she was of different religion and one that was unfavorable to the people of England. The fact that she broke him away from the Catholic way and his most trusted Cardinal Wolsey (he did that all on his own when he failed to get an annulment from Katherine) is amazing!

The second is that she never fully gave herself to him in the beginning and this is probably the most fascinating part of the whole thing considering while being married to Katherine of Aragon, he had multiple mistresses, not just Anne. She was the only bold one to tell him “no” whenever he offered more. We know that because he had a relationship with Lady Elizabeth Blount, while she was one of Katherine’s ladies in waiting, but she also gave him a living son. Despite the fact that she was already married and the child was considered a bastard, he was loved by his father, the King.

I think Anne Boleyn deserves an award for keeping her chastity during the relationship! For a man, who obviously didn’t have any control on his sexual appetite, I find this long wait to be almost frightening – I’m imagining this King who knows he can get anything he wants and can get bored easily with the ones he has relations with, as we see later in his life. I wonder how much confidence she truly had within herself to keep this relationship going. That’s something we’ll never really know, because I mean we know they “loved” each other, but he had six wives and two of those wives were beheaded!

She made a mistake shortly after giving birth, she gave birth to a girl: Princess Elizabeth, not a strong male heir like Henry had wanted from the get-go. This was another reasons why he wanted an divorce from his first wife Katherine of Aragon, mother to his other daughter Princess Mary. Katherine was previous married to his older brother Prince Arthur, but he died and Henry had married her but later feared that the first marriage was consummated, which he used against her to fight the Pope. Once Elizabeth was born, Anne would have miscarriages. She still wasn’t fulfilling the dream for the both of them. Shortly after that, he started seeking the affection from one of her own ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour. The theories are that the accusations of Anne convicting of adultery, incest and plotting to kill the king were enough to see a future with Jane, while Anne and the other unfortunate souls were arrested and sent to the Tower of London and they were all eventually beheaded in 1536,

As far as my opinions of her downfall, I think she was tricked. She wasn’t supported among the king’s people for the obvious reasons, so I think they were out to get her from the start of everything and once she wasn’t having any sons, people sort of put their plans in motion. However, as influential as she was with her husband, I have to keep an open mind of her making a mistake, I feel she might’ve gotten cocky in her role and panicked after when he became interested in Jane Seymour. I think she was desperate to give him a son an heir plus if she did this, she could be able to stay at court with her husband and children.

I often wonder if the Queens knew their husbands were sleeping with their ladies in waiting, why didn’t they just sent them away? If Katherine of Aragon had dome this to Anne, would she have been queen and given birth to Elizabeth? Again, another theory I’ve always had!

If I could get myself to sit down and write out a whole post or possibly multiple blog posts on the amount of history I have learned since I was a kid, I would do it in a heartbeat. After being able to share my knowledge about the vegan world, I would like to explore that side of myself with you, take you into what’s really stored inside my brain. You should feel thankful that I’m even considering this idea at all, but it is still early and you could not even like this post and then I wouldn’t have to say anything. I guess we’ll just have to find out what sort of information you would like to see more!

Would you like to read more historical posts on here? I would share how I got started on each one. I’ll also try to include some references as well! Let me know!

snowflake

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