Review: Where She Went

Where She Went Book Cover Where She Went
If I Stay
Gayle Foreman
YA
Penguin
2011
Paperback
260
Purchased

 

From the back cover:

"It's been three years since the devastating accident... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

"Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is a rising star at Juilliard and Adam in a bona fide rock star, complete with tabloid headlines and a celebrity girlfriend.

"Then chance brings them together again, for one night.

"As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future- and to each other."

 

After Mia makes her decision in If I Stay, life takes a very different direction for her and for Adam. After recovery, Mia pursues her dream of going to Juilliard, leaving Adam behind. Three years later, she is on the brink of a great new career, and Adam is floundering in his fame.

Told through Adam’s voice, we learn of the pain, fear and anxiety that he has experienced in his new life as a rock star. We learn of the steps he has taken to get over Mia, and to forgive himself for making her stay. He figures that life without Mia is his penance.

Meanwhile Mia has been putting her life back together again and coming to terms with a life without her family. When the opportunity to spend time with Adam presents itself to her, she grabs it, hoping to make him understand why she left.

I loved getting a look at what happened to Mia and Adam after Mia woke up in the hospital. It broke my heart to read Adam’s description of his life and how he has coped since Mia left him. Even though he has moved on, he hasn’t stopped loving her. I was truly moved throughout the story as both Mia and Adam reveal their scars and try to help each other heal. And I was so happy with the ending! A chance for something new for both of them without the heartache.

Favorite Authors~ Sylvia Day

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 I love sharing my favorite authors and the books that made me fall in love with them. This week I wanted to talk about Sylvia Day, whose Crossfire series is one of my all time favorites (I still have not read the last book yet, will have to wait until I can get my hands on it).

Bared to You (Crossfire, #1)     Reflected in You (Crossfire...     Entwined with You (Crossfir...     Captivated by You (Crossfir...     One with You (Crossfire, #5)

Ms. Day writes great characters with lots of inner turmoil, and also includes lots of heat and passion. She isn’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects and knows that even after the “I love yous” have been said, not everything will be rosy. She pushes her characters to the limits, where they either rise to the occasion or go down in flames.

“I’ve always seen you, angel. From the moment you found me, I’ve seen nothing but you.”
Sylvia Day, Bared to You

While her subject matter may not be everyone’s cup of tea {childhood sexual abuse; multiple sexual partners; explicit sex scenes}, her level of writing is top notch.

I eagerly await all of Ms. Day’s new releases!

Page vs Screen #3: Eat Pray Love

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The Book:
Eat, Pray, Love
Eat Pray Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Penguin

The Movie:
Eat Pray Love Poster
Eat Pray Love
Screenplay: Ryan Murphy & Jennifer Salt
Producer: Dede Gardner
Director: Ryan Murphy
Starring: Julia Roberts

The Comparison:
The book and movie both tell of Ms. Gilbert’s life during a messy divorce, a breakup, and finally a trip through Italy, India and Bali on a journey to find herself.

While the movie hits all of the high points in the story: the divorce, the new relationship and breakup, the trip to Italy to explore passion in the form of food and language, the trip to an ashram in India to explore spirituality and self, and the trip to Bali to explore balance and work with a healer she had met on a previous trip, meeting and falling in love with Felipe; the content of these high points is changed.

While discussed frequently in the book, Ms. Gilbert’s family is completely left out of the movie. She has numerous conversations with her family, and her sister even comes to stay with her in Italy for a while, but this is left out of the movie. Also left out of the movie is her return home to the US between Italy and India. While you expect some things to be left out or altered in a movie adaptation, there were completely new scenes created for the movie, such as a wedding for an Indian friend while at the ashram; and other things that were completely left out, like the language school in Italy or the American-style road trip while in Bali.

The biggest deviation comes in the supporting people in Ms. Gilbert’s life. Aside from her family, the people who play the biggest roles (her ex-husband, David, Felipe, Richard from Texas, Wayan, Ketut) are intact. However the friends she meets on her journey, and the friends from home, are either coalesced into one character or are left out entirely. All of her separate friends from home (and her sister) are combined into one friend and the people in Italy that she meets are meshed into a few different people, leaving only Luca Spaghetti intact. The people Liz meets in the ashram are all combined into one or two characters; even Richard from Texas has a bit of the Irish dairy farmer Sean mixed into his movie version. And a key character in Bali does not even exist in the movie.

The Bottom Line:
Based on everything I said above, you might think that I was disappointed in the movie, but that is definitely not the case. I enjoyed the movie and like to watch it again from time to time, but this is definitely one of those cases where the book is infinitely better, at least in my opinion.

I found the book to be transformational in my life. It opened me up to my own abilities to change and grow and had such a deep impact on my life that I wanted to movie to capture all of that as well. While the movie does not  create that same sense of revelation, it is still an enjoyable movie to watch and very well acted.

 * Cover links to Goodreads/IMDB; Title links to Amazon {affiliate}

Top Ten Tuesday #2: Childhood Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

This week’s topic is the top 10 childhood characters I would love to revisit as an adult. I had to think really hard on this one to come up with 10 {childhood was a great many years ago}, but found the more characters and books I revisited, the more nostalgic I became! Here are 10 of my all time childhood favorites:

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph S. Mouse, #1)  Ralph from The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Stuart Little  Stuart from Stuart Little

Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #2)  Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie

Charlotte's Web  Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1)  Fudge from Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  Huck Finn from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Summer of the Swans  Sara from Summer of the Swans

The Rescuers (The Rescuers, #1)  Bianca from The Rescuers

Flowers for Algernon  Charlie from Flowers for Algernon

  • Covers link to Goodreads; Titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Who is your favorite childhood character? And is it weird that 3 of my favorite characters are mice?

Monday Update #3

There are several books that I am currently reading that are part of a year-long project that I am working on. As these books will remain on my currently reading list throughout the rest of the year, I am moving them to a separate category. I think this will give a little bit more of an accurate picture of what I’ m reading right now.

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Currently Reading:
Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny S. Ditzler
Shelter for the Spirit by Victoria Moran
Beautiful Beginning by Christina Lauren
The Best Year of Your Life by Debbie Ford
Being Single in a Couples’ World by Xavier Amador, PhD & Judith Kiersky, PhD
Choose to Be Happy by Rima Rudner
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Run Like A Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives by Mina Samuels
French Toast by Harriet Welty Rochefort
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Under the Wire by Cindy Gerard
The MacKade Brothers: Devin & Shane by Nora Roberts
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling {re-read}
This Year I Will… by M.J. Ryan
Reinventing Yourself by Steve Chandler

2016 Project Books:
Every Day is a Blessing by Aaron Zerah {re-read; 1 short reading per day}
365 Health and Happiness Boosters by M.J. Ryan {1 short reading per day}
52 Week Life Passion Project by Barrie Davenport {1 chapter per week}
52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal {1 chapter per week}
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin {re-read, 1 chapter per month}
One Year to a Writing Life by Susan M. Tiberghien {1 chapter per month}

Recently Added:
None this week

Recently Completed:

The Girl on the Train  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Grey (Fifty Shades, #4)  Grey by E L James

Organizing Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You  Organizing Your Day by Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims

  • Title links to Amazon {affiliate}, cover links to Goodreads

Sunday Post #2: Solo Weekend

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

Happenings in my Life:
This week was a little different than normal. My parents decided to take a trip to visit my aunt & uncle for a few days {I’m staying with them until I find work here}, so I had the house to myself. As someone who is used to living alone {aside from the cats}, this was a welcome little respite for me. I took advantage of the time on my own to get a lot of reading and blog work done uninterrupted…. I held my own personal 24 hour read-a-thon {to prove to myself I could do it} and I fit in a movie marathon with all 4 of the Hunger Games movies.

Last Week on the Blog:
Sunday Post #1 4/24
Monday Update #2: Shrinking the Stack 4/25
Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 4/25
Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things 4/26
Review: A Life Without Limits 4/26
Page vs Screen #2: The Perks of Being a Wallflower 4/27
Review: No Opportunity Wasted 4/27
Favorite Authors: Elizabeth Gilbert 4/28
Review: If I Stay 4/28
Happy Birthday Cheshire! 4/29

This Week on the Blog:
Sunday Post #2: Solo Weekend 5/1
Monday Update #3 5/2
Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Characters 5/3
Page vs Screen #3: Eat, Pray, Love 5/4
Favorite Authors: Sylvia Day 5/5
My Favorite Bookish Quotes 5/6

Reviews This Week:
Relentless 5/2
Yes Please 5/3
Bloggers Boot Camp 5/4
Where She Went 5/5

Book of the Week:

This Year I Will...: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True

Quote of the Week:
“…When you comfort yourself with a walk instead of reaching for a cigarette, a candy bar, or a drink; when you ask yourself, ‘what could be right about this?’ instead of responding in your usual negative fashion; when you turn the computer off and turn to your spouse or child to have some quality time, that’s when you are actually bringing the new options into being in your brain.”
This Year I Will… page 70

Notable Posts from the Blog World:
Why I Leave Good Reviews Whenever I Can from The Art of Simple
How I Stopped Faking It and Embraced my Introversion from Introvert, Dear
On Reading Harry Potter for the First Time at 30 from The Perpetual Page-Turner
Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy from The Self Help Hipster
Falling Out of Love with Books from Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Book List
Observations from Reading Multiple Books at Once from Reading is My Treasure
Morning Meanderings… Books in the Mail from Book Journey
The More of Less and 10 Other Books that Changed My Life from Be More With Less
Success, Failures, and Complications of the Past from Gretchen In-Between
Discussion: On Book Slumps from The Book Addicts Guide
A Definitive Ranking of Harry Potter Novels from The Quiet People

 

Happy Birthday Cheshire!!!

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Today my baby boy turns 3!

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When a co-worker told me that she had a mama cat and asked if I wanted one of the kittens, I answered with a resounding yes! I had recently moved back out on my own and Disney was feeling lonely after having my roommate’s cats for company, so bringing home a sibling to keep her company was perfect.

Cheshire sitting lip

While originally being named for his markings, making it look like he was grinning, Cheshire has definitely lived up to his name. As he has grown up he has gotten into all kinds of mischief, including locking himself in the bathroom as a kitten {I had to call maintenance for help getting into the bathroom}.

Cheshire&Eeyore

Hi antics and loving nature have worked their way deeply into my heart, and earned him the nickname monkey. I adore him from the tips of his ears to the tip of his tail.

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In the months since Disney has passed, Cheshire and I have bonded even more, comforting each other in her absence. My favorite moments are when he is curled up in my lap while I read.

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Happy 3rd birthday Cheshire Frederick!! Mommy loves you!

Favorite Authors~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Favorite Authors

While Elizabeth Gilbert writes both fiction and nonfiction, she is best known for her nonfiction works, specifically my two favorites: Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic.

Eat, Pray, Love                     Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Ms. Gilbert writes from a personal place, which I love. She openly shares her life and experiences in her memoirs and creativity books, imbuing them with a sense of humor as well. In reading her works, I feel like I am right there along with her.

“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

The memoir Eat,Pray, Love had a profound effect on my life in many ways. It was one of the first memoirs I ever read and endeared the genre to me. It also opened me up to the possibility of  change and allowed me to break out of some of the patterns in my life. It was after reading this book that I became a blogger and moved 1300 miles away from my home, being truly on my own for the first time ever.

I feel a kinship to many of Ms. Gilbert’s works, securing her place among my favorite authors.

Page vs Screen #2 The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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The Book:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: Gallery Books

The Movie:

Product Details
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky
Producer: Lianne Halfon, Russell Smith & John Malkovich for Summit Entertainment
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson & Ezra Miller

The Comparison:
Having the author write, direct, and act as an executive producer of the film made this film one of the closest adaptations I have ever seen. That being said, there are still plot and character variances between the book and the film.

The book is told entirely from Charlie’s POV  during his freshman year in high school and is told through letters sent to an anonymous friend that Charlie himself does not know. We are only privy to the information Charlie is told, observes, or infers.

The film includes moments of Charlie writing to his “friend” and we generally {with a few exceptions} see scenes which Charlie is in. The film also allows the audience to make their own inferences regarding the behavior of those around Charlie, namely his family, Sam, and Patrick.

The two biggest differences in the plot between the book and the movie involve Charlie’s sister. The first is her relationship with her boyfriend which is nothing like the book. The other is the climax point where everything comes to a head for Charlie; in the film his sister plays a pivotal role in this scene, whereas in the book she is not present.

There are of course some omissions in order to fit the story to film length. In this case, almost all of the deleted scenes are gatherings with Charlie’s extended family, which are not pivotal plot points. The other deleted scenes are either no essential to the plot line or involve the sister’s relationship, which was rewritten for the movie.

There are also some characterization changes, like Charlie’s freshman English teacher. And some characters play a much bigger role in the movie than the book, like Alice.

Bottom Line:
As previously stated, this is one of the closest adaptations that I have seen in my opinion. While there are some variances between the book and the film, the story still holds and the changes to not affect the plot line. If you loved the book, watch the film. If you loved the film, read the book.

* Cover links to Goodreads/IMDB; Title links to Amazon {affiliate}

Top Ten Tuesday #1: Bookish Things

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by the folks at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they provide a topic around which to create a list.

This week we are talking about our top 10 favorite bookish things. And since I love pretty much all things bookish, it was hard to narrow my list down to just 10 things!

Person Sitting While Open the Book

That “New Book” Smell
I absolutely love the look, feel, and smell of a new book. I love the way the pages feel in my hands. I even love the way my hand gets tired after holding a book for so long while reading. I am a huge proponent of physical books over e-books. At this time, I don’t even own an e-reader, though I have finally admitted to myself that I do need to get one as some titles are only coming out in e-formats {plus packing 6-10 books to take when I visit Cheshire every other week is getting excessive}.

Bookmarks
In a pinch, I can {and have} use anything to mark my page in a book. But if I have a choice, I’m always going to go for a “fancy” bookmark. I love bookmarks with pretty tassels and ribbons {though these tend to meet untimely ends since kitties think they are toys}. I love bookmarks with cute pictures. I love bookmarks with sweet quotes. I’ve even started making my own bookmarks with scrapbook paper.

Red heart on a old opened book

Characters, Characters, Characters
While some people may say the best part of a story is the plot, for me it is the characters. I can overlook a sub-par plot if the characters are written well. I love to try to get inside the head of the main characters, and often the secondary characters as well. And when a story ends, I tend to keep the characters in me heart as I carry on through life.

Creating a “Bed Nest”
My favorite place to read is my bed. Every day I create a little nest in my bed for myself to settle into with my books. First, I make the bed , then pile a back rest and pillows against the wall. Next I pile all {or some} of the books I am reading on the bed. I’ll add a snack and beverage on the side table and some music in the background, then settle in for hours content in my little nest. On cooler days I add a throw to cover up with.

Grey Tabby Cat Laying Next to Book

Kitty Lap
I cannot think of two things that go better together {except maybe peanut butter and chocolate} than cats and books. When I am with my kitty, he curls up into my bed nest with me and settles into my lap in a little ball. I am never happier than when I have a book in my hand and a kitty in my lap {unless you add in some of the previously mentioned chocolate and peanut butter}.

Books in a Series
I love series books. I love getting to know the characters a little bit more with each book in the series. I love immersing myself into the world within the story. I feel like the characters become my friends and family, and I always feel like a piece of my heart breaks whenever I finish a series.

Great architects book - wooden shelf

Bookshelf Art
Bookshelves are amazing because they can be arranged in so many different ways and become little works of art within themselves. I have seen shelves arranged by book height, by color, by some system known only to the owner {usually what I do}, and each shelf is beautiful in its own way. I especially love adding other bits and decor to bookshelves- candles, pictures in frames, figurines, etc; as long as the books themselves remain the stars.

Instant Community
When you meet someone who also loves to read, you know that you have met a kindred soul, even if you read completely different genres. When you find someone who reads the same genre and loves the same books, you’ve pretty much found a friend for life.

Free stock photo of camera, notebook, notes, travel

Travel Anywhere from Your Chair {or Bed}
Books open new worlds. While travel around the world is more possible today than ever before, there are still those of us who can’t travel {or some who don’t want to}. Reading books brings the world to our chair, and creates new worlds that live only in the imagination of the authors. Through reading, I have spent time in the jungle, lived in a temple, explored space and fought in arenas. There are countless more adventures awaiting me inside the pages of a book.

Continued Learning
Through books I am able to continue learning every day. Nonfiction books bring information about any topic imaginable, but they aren’t the only books that teach us. Fiction brings a wealth of knowledge about places, people, morals, religions, historical periods, professions, etc. Every book has something to teach, even as it entertains.

What is your favorite bookish thing?