What do you think of starting a "book club" of sorts? I've been reading a ton lately, and I've found some really good ones from different genres. Let's try it out with this first one and see how it goes.
If you haven't seen Princess Bride... Well, I'll forgive you. But only if you go watch it right now. Princess Bride is my favourite movie ever, since I was a child. It's an absolute classic. It's a film that combines fairytales, action & adventure, and romance, all with a slight comedic twist that almost parodies each concept. There is a giant (played by André the Giant), a massive sword fight, castles, and an incredible cast that brings the whole thing to life. Naturally, I've always had a massive thing for the leading man, Westley, played by Cary Elwes. So when he announced that he was writing a tell-all book about his experience making the film, I could not wait to get my hands on it.
This book was everything I'd hoped for, and more. There's actually quite a bit of commentary placed in from other cast and crew members. The only thing that could've possibly made it better is André's input. Unfortunately he passed away, so the rest of the cast makes up for his missing moments with lots of great stories (my fave being when he drank so much that he fell asleep in a hotel lobby but was too big to move so they just put ropes around him so that no one would disturb him!). If you're a fan of the Princess Bride, or even if you've seen it just once, I would highly recommend giving this book a read. I've read a few books by various celebrities (Amy Phoeler, Mindy Kaling, etc) but I like that this one doesn't focus on the industry so much as his experience and friendships along the way. It's somehow relatable. Granted, we aren't all lucky enough to learn how to fence from professionals or make an insanely wonderful movie, but Cary brings familiarity to the experience with his stories of crushes and stupidity, nervousness and triumphs.
This is going to be a hard book to talk about without giving everything away. So please forgive my brief description. Everything Everything is about an 18 year old girl who has a condition which requires her to stay inside her house, in a literal bubble, to prevent her from getting sick. She lives with her mother, and a nurse who comes to visit every day. Other than those two women, her contact with the outside world is nearly nonexistent (save for her online friends). In the beginning of the book a family moves into the house next door. There's a boy around her age in the family, and she starts to develop and interest in this boy as she sees him going about his days from her window. The rest of the book is about her starting to want to be a part of the outside world, and the boy's role in this change as well as their relationship.
Halfway through the book I was crying every few pages. I've never cried from a book before! But don't worry, this isn't a sad book at all. Whenever I hear that someone was crying from a movie or a book I immediately turn the other way because I have enough things to be sad about already! But this was a funny, clever book that made me wish someone else was reading along with me so that I could talk to them about it! For the first time in a long time, I finished this book in one sitting. You'll never see the ending coming.
Back when the first of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series came out, I had read Book #1. But at that time, the second book hadn't been published, so it was kind of forgotten about until recently. Back when I worked at a library in my hometown, I had a list of books I wanted to read that I slowly worked through that summer on breaks and between patrons. I was going through that list more recently and the second book from the series was on my list. It reignited my interest, so I grabbed the first book from my library here.
If you're unfamiliar with the series, the first book was written around a group of old photographs borrowed from various collectors. It's such an interesting concept to see old photos of people from the past and write a story about them. It's also kind of neat to have visuals throughout the book that aren't illustrations. It's different than any other type of book I've read. The photographs are scattered throughout the book, when appropriate for the story. Each cover features one of the children from the book.
The story itself follows a boy whose grandfather used to tell him stories of "peculiar" children who he grew up with on an island off the coast of Wales. After the grandfather's death, the boy and his father go to the island to try and learn more about the grandfather's childhood. These books are such a wonderful combination of reality and fantasy. There's a lot of wonderful imagination that comes along with reading each book and the author does a wonderful job of vividly describing each scene so that you have a good picture in your mind's eye. I couldn't read these fast enough. After finishing the third, I was looking online to see if there would be a fourth, as it was left open enough that one could or could not be written. In my searches I found that Tim Burton is coming out with a film for the first book this autumn! So go read at least the first book now before the movie comes out. But trust me, you'll be wanting to read the next two straight away.
Comment below if you'd like to see more book club blog posts in the future. I could make this a monthly thing!