Review: Happiness Is … 500 Ways to Be in the Moment by Lisa Swerling

This was exactly what I needed right now— a relaxing and quiet read that I will come back to time and again.

Some of my personal highlights in this book:

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Overall, a very quick and enchanting read.

3/5 stars

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Review: Talking Pictures by Ransom Riggs

“Sometimes a word is worth a thousand pictures.”

Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life.

“The best inscriptions make a snapshot feel current, no matter when it was taken.”

I absolutely loved the introduction to this story. In a short amount of pages Ransom Riggs managed to make me feel hopeful, fearful and, for a split second, tearful.

“Maybe the picture is blurred because she couldn’t stop her hands from shaking as she took it. We’ll never know, but thanks to the inscription on the back we can at least wonder. It lent the mutest of snapshots a voice.”

I personally love looking at old family pictures of mine to see what’s changed, so this was truly an insightful take on such an interesting subject.

And I have a feeling that the pictures included in this collection will stay with me for a very long time.

Here’s some of my personal favorites out of the collection:

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They’re true hidden gems that made me laugh and cry and contemplate, and I’m just really thankful that this book exists.

“Before you throw anything out, be sure to glance at the back.”

4/5 stars

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Review: Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz

“I’ve always had a fandom. I’ve always had characters who live in my head and mess with my heart and tell me stories, and I love it.”

This review contains *spoilers*.

The first half of this book pleasantly surprised me with how much I liked it. Reading it was so much fun, I’ve never read a book that contains blog posts, emails, texts and even fanfics with fanart. The format of this book was just altogether great.

This follows the online friendship between Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie), who share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a hilarious and devoted fan following.

I did get a bit confused at first about who Gena and who Finn was, but once I got that sorted the story unraveled smoothly.
And I just loved how natural their conversations felt at the beginning.

Another great highlight was when the two of them met up at the Up Below convention in Chicago. And Finn got to meet her favorite!!                                                                                                                        Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 16.05.10

And when they were sitting at the Zack and Toby panel (where the stars talk about the show and acting and answer questions from the audience), and Toby said, “In the back there. Isn’t that Genny Goldman?” my mouth opened so widely and even more so when Zack followed Genna. Turns out Genny Goldman played the little sister on Man of the House with Zack.

I really liked that he kept in touch with her after the convention and that they remained friends:

“from: Genevieve Goldman <genazeporah@gmail.com>
to: Zack Martocchio <zackm@upbelow.com>
date: Thursday, July 17 3:39 PM
subject: RE: 😀
you know what i wish? And it’s dumb as shit.

from: Zack Martocchio <zackm@upbelow.com>
to: Genevieve Goldman <genazeporah@gmail.com>
date: Thursday, July 17 3:42 PM
subject: >;)
Is it an autograph because I can make that happen.

from: Genevieve Goldman <genazeporah@gmail.com>
to: Zack Martocchio <zackm@upbelow.com>
date: Thursday, July 17 3:44 PM
subject: ○_○
dick.”

It was starting to feel like the perfect combination between Fangirl and Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, but then that ending happened…

It just felt completely out of place for me because everything was going so well for a time and then we got this terrible dead that I had no idea what to take from (I still don’t).
And, of course, everyone just decides to do a 180 without any explanation, which is one of my biggest pet peeves in novels— I was really close to DNFing this book, but I was holding on for that spark to return.

And it did return for the very last page— when Gena returned to blogging. And I was finally hopeful, only to turn to the next page and see that the story was over. Damn, this has happened just too many times.

Overall, this book was not what I was expecting, for better or worse.

3/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Gena/Finn, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!