2.5 Million Delayed Reviews ~ #JNGReads

 

Hi Everyone!

This might be a bit of a boring post, as it’s going to be a collection of reviews that I recently posted on Goodreads. I’ve read quite a few books lately, but didn’t feel the urge at the time of finishing them to sit down and write reviews. The other day, though, I was feeling inspired to get back to review writing because it’s something I’ve always enjoyed so much, and so I decided to find some time to sit down and write down my thoughts about the books I’ve delved into over the past few weeks. It felt really good to do this, sort of like getting back a piece of myself after a rough reading start to the year, and I am definitely feeling encouraged to continue not only reading but also writing about one of my favourite things on the planet – BOOKS! – a lot more before (and hopefully, after) my baby arrives in the early Fall!

Roomies by Christina Lauren

This was the first book I read to get me back in the swing of things and out of the most serious reading slump I have ever experienced, and it was definitely exactly the kind of book I needed. Sweet and sexy all at once, this story about a sort of arranged marriage (or perhaps I should say a marriage of convenience) was very engrossing and full of Christina Lauren’s usual charm and wit. I’ve had bad luck with like one Christina Lauren book in the past, but every other one has been an absolute page-turner, and Roomies was no exception. It was fun, funny but also had these heartfelt moments that made me feel connected to the characters in surprising and unexpected ways. Highly recommend this one as a quick and addictive summer read!

❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

After my success picking up Roomies, I was definitely in the mood for another Christina Lauren love-fest, so I decided to delve into one of their most beloved series. I recently read the final installment, simply titled Beautiful, and I adored it, and that made me super intrigued to go back to the beginning and the story that started it all. I remembered that my mom read Beautiful Bastard way back when and REALLY liked it a lot, so I had a feeling I would too (my mom and I have surprisingly similar taste in romance novels, awkward as that may seem!), and I immediately fell in lust with Bennett. (Sidenote: Can we address what an awesome name Bennett is for a guy?! If I didn’t already have my soon-to-be-born baby boy’s name picked out, Bennett would be up for consideration!) I also seriously gravitated toward Chloe as a strong and assertive female character who is also in tune with her wants, needs and emotions, and pretty soon lust turned to love because I was flipping the pages of this book faster than one can say “F*** me against a boardroom window, please”! 😉 Everything about this novel is, in a word, scintillating and I immediately requested pretty much every other novel in this series from my library’s e-book app. Christina Lauren definitely = romance reading at its finest!

❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

I’m pretty sure I decided to read this novel because it was recommended by QUEEN Sarah J. Maas in one of her newsletters; I could be remembering this wrong, but regardless, The Deal did not disappoint as my first foray into Elle Kennedy’s catalogue. This novel has a lot to do with hockey, which was kind of interesting for the small-town girl in me who actually worked for over a year at a huge hockey equipment store in Canada, and I was thoroughly surprised that Garrett came across as a developed and deep male character. I was expecting him to be flat and a bit prick-ish, but he wasn’t, and his affection for Hannah and his willingness to help her through some really serious life events is very endearing. I also LOVED the fact that Hannah is a singer because it was super cool to read about, and her progression from being reluctant to get to know Garrett to fully trusting him with all of her secrets is really nice to witness. I was a fan of this book, and quickly put Elle Kennedy’s other novels on my To-Read List.

❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

Perfect Timing by Laura Spinella

This book was beautifully written! That’s what stood out the most for me: the fact that the prose felt almost poetic, and it gave me a warm, comforted feeling. The love story of Isabel and Aidan was definitely unexpected and unique in so many ways, and I felt instantly drawn into their story as the narrative took me into their past while simultaneously showing me their present. The sequences outlining their teenage relationship were so expertly woven into their adult lives that I never had too many questions lingering that prevented me from enjoying the story, and I felt that both Isabel and Aidan were really nicely fleshed out and complex characters. There were some seriously heartbreaking moments in this novel, but the ending is a very satisfying one, and I am extremely glad that I decided to pick this novel up on a whim at a local book sale. Definitely the sort of book to crack open on a gloomy day and get totally lost in!

❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

The Summer Without You by Karen Swan

Bless you, Karen Swan, you absolute marvel! If Karen Swan wasn’t one of my favourite authors before reading this novel (but, like, she kind of already was), then she was after I finished it. The Summer Without You is the perfect blend of suspense and romance, excitement and sheer enjoyment, and I was totally blown away by it! I wasn’t expecting to become so enraptured in the story of Rowena, a photographer spending her summer in the Hamptons, but I was immediately sucked in (as is the case with every Karen Swan novel I’ve ever read) and I just could not put the book down. I hadn’t felt this excited about a book in a really long time, and Karen Swan has such a way with words that you can’t help but be swept up in her narrative. I also love all of the details about fashion that she always infuses in her stories, but, more than that, I was blown away by the plot and how many layers there were to it, as well as how many genres it fit into. I would without doubt recommend Karen Swan to any romance lover, and this novel in particular is the PERFECT summer, beach read!

❥❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

Beautiful Bitch by Christina Lauren

Hello again, Bennett and Chloe! This was a super fun and quick read, detailing a bit about Bennett and Chloe’s relationship after the events of Beautiful Bastard and I LOVED it! I read it mostly in one sitting and it was the perfect companion to the first novel, giving me that extra taste of Bennett and Chloe’s love story that I was craving. I think this is definitely a must-read if you loved Beautiful Bastard and it is so short and sweet that it’s a no-brainer to pick up.

❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

This was a so-so adaptation of my favourite novel of all-time, Jane Eyre. Don’t get me wrong, the premise was absolutely unique and unlike anything I’ve encountered in an adaptation of a Victorian novel (it is, after all, set in space), but something about the novel just didn’t give me that warm and fuzzy feeling that I believe any retelling of Jane Eyre should. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that none of the characters are as memorable as the ones from the original, particularly Stella and Hugo who simply lack the chemistry and nuance that Jane and Rochester have. There felt like there was something missing throughout my reading of this novel, and I have to say that I was disappointed by it because I was so darn excited to read it when I first heard about it. That being said, it was entertaining enough, and I think if it wasn’t a retelling of a timeless classic, it might’ve been more successful as an original story in its own right.

❥❥❥ (out of 5)

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

So I pretty much loved Elle Kennedy’s novel The Deal so much that I had to put this one on hold on my library’s app immediately. While I don’t think I quite liked this story as much as The Deal, probably because a large portion of it sees the main characters separated, I really did like it and think it is a great companion to The Deal. It was nice to fleetingly see Garrett and Hannah again, but I also found myself really intrigued by Logan, and he ended up being a lot more likeable and adorable than I expected. I do think the ending was a bit rushed in that Logan’s main sources of stress were dealt with a bit unrealistically and too quickly, but considering that this is meant to be a light-hearted romance, it definitely succeeded in delivering everything it promises to. Definitely a must-read if you were a fan of The Deal because it does deliver as a “sequel”!

❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

My original, one-sentence review of this novel was: “Karen Swan is officially solidified as one of my favourite authors ever!” That sentence is even truer now than it was a few days ago when I wrote it. The Paris Secret, like Swan’s other novel The Summer Without You, is somehow the absolute PERFECT blend of suspense and romance, with a plot that is a true page-turner but also gives you that warm, emotional feeling inside. I loved the main character, Flora, because she has this sharp edge to her that is really nice to see in a female character, but she is also extremely sensitive and is not immune to her sometimes troubled relationships with the people around her. She is also a powerhouse in the art world which made for a really interesting and unlikely story, and when the romance finally did get going, I was already rooting for Flora in so many ways but also excited for her to finally let her guard down and fall in love for the first time. Combine Swan’s incredible and engrossing writing style with the fact that the novel takes place largely in Paris and I was hooked from page one! Karen Swan’s novels never cease to amaze me, and honestly, I feel like she is the exact sort of writer I have always wished I could be. I would love to be best friends with her and get first access to all of her new stories, and my plan is actually to read through her entire catalogue by summer’s end. BIG BIG FAN!!!

❥❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

Thanks for reading, as always! ❤

JNG

Girl with a Green Heart

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Stalking Jack the Ripper ~ #JNGReads

No one is more disappointed in this book, or in my reaction to it, than I am.

I desperately wanted to love Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, and really I should have. It is the exact sort of historical fiction novel that would normally be right up my alley: a look at Victorian London during the tumultuous time of Jack the Ripper’s reign, as told by a young woman struggling to break free of societal norms and pursue science, forensics and academia. Doesn’t that sound like something I would absolutely love, as the intense and passionate pseudo-Victorian I am? Shouldn’t I have felt a strong connection to the narrator and protagonist Audrey Rose Wadsworth, especially considering that I have often imagined myself living in the Victorian era and have fancied that I might be a bit of a badass amateur detective too? Well yeah, all of that is true…but for whatever reason, I could not connect to Audrey Rose (on the contrary, I found her extremely annoying – more on that to come), I was not at all attracted to or intrigued by her love interest Thomas Cresswell, and I found it very difficult to follow what little action there was in the plot. Argh, I am actually so frustrated because I feel that this novel had such potential considering the awesome premise, but it just totally failed on every account for me – to be perfectly honest, I could barely keep my mind from wandering as I read and Maniscalco’s writing style and Audrey Rose’s voice in no way captured my attention.

Honestly, what a mess – the novel probably isn’t that bad in theory and I know my opinion is really unpopular, so there are a ton of people who really loved this story, but I just could not get into it, no matter how hard I tried. And that makes me so sad! Reading Stalking Jack the Ripper was, for me, a very similar experience to reading Anna and the French Kiss earlier this year. Anna and the French Kiss is a novel that so many readers absolutely adore and rave about, and my expectations were so high when I picked it up. That’s what made it even more disappointing when I found myself getting seriously annoyed by Anna and hating her crush St. Clair. I wanted to love them, but that meant that I felt like I was constantly trying to force myself to find the story enjoyable. And I don’t think you should ever have to force yourself to love a book…that sort of excited feeling should come naturally!

If I’m being truthful, I disliked Stalking Jack the Ripper for the same reasons I disliked Anna and the French Kiss: I found the narrator and female lead to be insufferable and insipid, and I found her love interest to be flat and boring. That really is an unpopular opinion because I have read so many reviews where readers said Audrey Rose was fierce and inspiring and Thomas was swoon-worthy…but I’m just left thinking, Huh? What did I miss?

Allow me to go into why I disliked each of these characters so that you don’t think I’m an immature reader who just felt like hating on a popular novel. Let’s start with Thomas – he is the absolute most bland love interest I have ever encountered, except for the previously mentioned St. Clair. I truly do not get Thomas’ appeal whatsoever. He’s supposed to be this freakishly intelligent, Sherlock Holmes type character, but all of his deductions are seriously lame. It’s like he’s grasping at straws half the time when he deduces anything about Audrey Rose, like, for example, saying that her mother must have died and her relationship with her father must be strained because she plays with the ring she always wears. Like what? Or that she must’ve been visiting Bedlam Asylum because she has rust stains on her hands. I was seriously confused by Thomas’ train of thought for about 95% of the time he was present in the novel, and it felt like Maniscalco was trying desperately to make him resemble Sherlock Holmes but failing miserably because, let’s be honest, she isn’t Sherlock Holmes or Arthur Conan Doyle, so how could she possibly replicate those sorts of thought processes? I don’t know, it all felt like a poorly done parody to me, and I didn’t even find Thomas’ attempts at flirtation to be that intriguing because it felt like it was coming out of nowhere. One minute he’d be focused on his allegedly brilliant thoughts and then he’d come out with a very weak flirtatious line about Audrey Rose’s lips or something equally cliché. I mean, colour me bored and unimpressed…I read most of his dialogues with Audrey Rose with one eyebrow raised, thinking, Where on earth is this even going? In my opinion, Audrey Rose and Thomas had absolutely 0 chemistry, and I think the novel simply did not need a love interest for Audrey Rose because she would’ve had the exact same adventure in every way without Thomas. Why are love interests always gratuitously slipped into young adult novels for the sake of it? I’m done with it…make the love story interesting and productive or don’t put it in at all please!

Having said that, Thomas had one funny line in the novel that I actually liked…ONE line in 320+ pages. *sigh*

“‘It’s been as pleasant as a fast day in Lent, gentlemen.’” ~ Thomas

Okay, on to Audrey Rose, one of the most annoying and air-headed protagonists I have ever encountered. I’m not going to go into detail about how she literally stumbles on every clue toward solving her case without any actual effort or agency – other reviewers have done that better than me, so be sure to check out their reviews on Goodreads. What I will say is that everything about Audrey Rose seemed to be a huge contradiction. She is the actual definition of the whole “The lady doth protest too much” idea. Basically, Audrey Rose wants to study science, she wants to be part of the male dominated profession of forensic science, she wants to attend classes and make a name for herself. That is great, totally encouraged, go you, Audrey Rose, girl power! However, what irked me to no end is the fact that Audrey Rose goes on and on about how, despite being into science, she still loves the finer things in life while simultaneously criticizing others for loving those finer things. Don’t misunderstand me: I am all for Audrey Rose being a badass serial killer hunter and still wearing makeup and pretty dresses and drinking fine tea. Trust me, I am that person who likes wearing pink frilly blouses to hard rock concerts; if anyone gets having multiple layers to one’s personality and a variety of different passions and interests, it’s me. But what got to me is that Audrey Rose will talk about wanting to be able to wear makeup and pretty dresses while using her brain, but then go on to look down upon her female peers who wear makeup and pretty dresses. Audrey Rose is, quite frankly, a snob because she seems to have this idea that if a woman is going to be girly or prim and proper, she is wasting herself because she isn’t pursuing something seriously academic. But really, this is the exact same thing as people implying that Audrey Rose can’t be a beautiful woman and be a scientist: BOTH of these things are stereotypes and BOTH of these reactions are caused by prejudice and judgment. If a woman wants to use her brain to become the best party thrower in Victorian England, that is her right, but Audrey Rose seems to think this is not a worthwhile enterprise, so she criticizes it to no end. It would be one thing if Audrey Rose was totally against the luxuries of being of a higher class…maybe then it would make sense for her to criticize the women around her because she is doing everything in the name of science and intelligence…BUT this isn’t even the case because Audrey Rose herself states that she loves being of a higher class on multiple occasions, so it comes across as her being super conceited and thinking that only the way she goes about being of a higher class is the right way. It’s just pompous and came across as super annoying to me! I got to the point where I wanted to punch Audrey Rose in the face a few times for being so judgy – she was actually more of an asshole than characters like her Aunt Amelia who were supposed to be the old-fashioned, judgmental ones.

Anyway, I identified a few quotes where Audrey Rose was being particularly judgmental and stuck up, and I’m going to include them below, lest you all think I’m just being rude! Obviously, any text is open to interpretation, so maybe I’m just being touchy about all this, but it got to me and seriously hindered my reading experience.

  • “‘You speak as if you’d like to throw away your good name and swash the decks yourself.’” = So apparently, if science isn’t a person’s chosen profession, Audrey Rose is going to scorn it. Let’s say her brother Nathaniel did want to give up his high class to become a sailor…would that be so bad? Audrey Rose seems to think it’s worthy of mockery. And obviously she doesn’t like the idea of giving up lavish luxury very much herself.
  • “‘Their biscuits are my favourite for tea,’ I said.” = In the middle of a murder investigation, all Audrey Rose can think about is how good certain biscuits are when she has her tea. Talk about first world problems!
  • “I couldn’t control my lip from curling at his ability to ignore the cesspool of filth that had been wiped all around the glass. God only knew what kind of disease he was potentially being exposed to.” = When visiting a bar in the lower class area where many of Jack the Ripper’s victims were found, Audrey Rose can’t help but focus on how dirty and unsightly everything is…because that should really be the major concern of a detective who is meant to be helping the lower class people, not being disgusted by them!
  • “gathering my skirts like silent witnesses” = I’m sorry, but this is the worst simile ever! Does that idea even make sense?
  • “Her hair – somewhere between caramel and chocolate – was twisted into an intricate design about her crown. I’d love to fashion mine in a similar way.” = Oh, so you do love looking beautiful, eh Audrey Rose?
  • “If only life’s problems could be solved with a frilly dress and a pair of slippers. To hell with the world around us, so long as we looked our best.” = This is a great example of Audrey Rose being a pompous ass – her tone is so sarcastic and mocking, but this is only pages after she’s talking about how she wants to try out a hairstyle like her cousin’s. I mean, come on – can’t she be a little more accepting, the same way she’d like others to be? No, instead she is an actual snob!
  • “Here I was, playing dress-up while Uncle was in the asylum and a murderer was butchering innocent women.” = I don’t think you can have it both ways, Audrey Rose! Yes, you can be beautiful and smart, but you can’t criticize people for loving the finer things to the point of obliviousness and then do the exact same thing yourself…because it is ANNOYING!

Ugh, I am so over this novel! I am really mad that I didn’t like it, and I am 100% frustrated by the fact that I didn’t seem to get this novel. What an utter disappointment!

“‘There’s nothing better than a little danger dashed with some romance.’”

Agreed…but sadly, this book has NEITHER!

I’m really tempted to give it 1 star…but I’m not a heartless guttersnipe, so I’ll bump it to 2 because it was at least a quick, short read and Audrey Rose’s outfits sounded pretty. UGH!

Also, if you’re looking for a book that does everything Stalking Jack the Ripper attempts to do but better, read A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro!

❥❥ (out of 5)

JNG

Girl with a Green (and VERY Disappointed) Heart

A Thousand Pieces of You

I’ve finished reading my most recent foray into the Young Adult genre, A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

Let me start by saying what so many other readers have said before… The cover of this novel is gorgeous! The artistic, almost watercolour depiction of 2 cities merged is truly unique and mesmerizing. It is what drew me to the book originally and even several of my colleagues commented on how beautiful it was.

A Thousand Pieces of You

But, there is that age-old adage, Don’t judge a book by its cover, and unfortunately, I think it is true of A Thousand Pieces of You. The novel wasn’t bad by any means, but it wasn’t as totally intriguing and creative as the cover would suggest; it was an interesting and different storyline, but it still felt distinctly juvenile and that is a real shame to me.

The premise of the novel was very cool: Marguerite, the daughter of two brilliant scientists, travels between multiple dimensions, trying to catch her father’s murderer. Along the way, she gets to live some really different lives, some futuristic and others more rustic. She’s even a member of royalty in one. The cornerstone of any YA novel, a love triangle, is present, and Marguerite does get to develop a fascinating, multi-layered relationship with her parents’ student Paul. This all makes for a fun ride, and one that I did finish rather quickly because I found the writing style easy to get through and enjoyable.

However, there were moments when I felt that this novel was almost insulting to the reader’s intelligence a little. YA novels are often criticized for being simplistic, and I do NOT believe that is true or fair at all; I have read some brilliant and very powerful YA novels that really touched me. I do feel, though, that any time a book dabbles in science fiction, it can be tricky. There are just too many plotholes that can emerge and too many variables that are open to being left unexplained. That would be my one main criticism of A Thousand Pieces of You: it didn’t explain the science behind interdimensional travel thoroughly enough. Details about how it all happens logistically, why some memories linger and others don’t, were glossed over too quickly. For example, it didn’t make sense to me that when Marguerite awoke in Russia, she would be fluent in Russian; does a person’s knowledge of language remain in their original body even if their memories are overtaken by a different version of them? Furthermore, Paul and his fellow student Theo were able to too easily understand the science of very advanced dimensions, such as one where everyone lived underwater, almost as if they retained memories from the versions of themselves that lived in that dimension. But at the same time, some geographical knowledge and all memories were still missing for them. It also didn’t make sense to me that Marguerite could do a bunch of water-related scientific calculations seemingly at random, while simultaneously admitting that nothing about this new dimension was consciously familiar to her. I want to believe that all will be explained in the future novels in this series, and I do hope for that.

The novel did also end on a cliffhanger, with absolutely none of the major conflicts specific to this story resolved (such as whether or not Marguerite will confront Wyatt Conley). Again, I’m assuming this will be investigated in future novels.

Having said all that, I did enjoy A Thousand Pieces of You. It was a fun summer read and a perfect respite from the heavier literature (an Austen and an Atwood novel) I just finished. And there were some romantic moments which were lovely for the warmer summer days. I’ll leave you with one of my favourites…

“I meant it when I said I didn’t believe in love at first sight. It takes time to really, truly fall for someone. Yet I believe in a MOMENT. A moment when you glimpse the truth within you. In that moment, you don’t belong to yourself any long, not completely. Part of you belongs to him; part of him belongs to you. After that, you can’t take it back, no matter how much you want to, no matter how hard you try.”

❥❥ (out of 5)

JNG

Girl with a Green Heart

my green heart

The Power – #JNGWatches

Ahh, being off work during the holiday season has to be the most marvelous, glorious thing in the whole wide world! Having more than a week off is allowing me to do so many things I’ve been dying to do for months, like writing more blog posts (see how this is my second one in 2 days?!), catching up on reading the excellent Victorian novel, Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, that I’m currently obsessed with (review forthcoming), AND watching a whole bunch of movies that I’ve been eager to see!

One of these movies is the one that I just finished watching, Insurgent. (Sidenote: I’m writing this post at 9:30pm on Monday night, but I’ll be making it live sometime tomorrow/Tuesday.) It is the second movie in The Divergent Series, and I must’ve seen the first movie ages ago, but I have been super excited to see this sequel ever since. I have to preface this review by stating that I have not read any of the Divergent novels by Veronica Roth – and, unfortunately, I don’t intend to. This isn’t because I don’t find the story or the characters interesting – on the contrary, as I’m about to describe, I actually find the plot so so engrossing (it calls back to one of the first “real/adult” novels I ever read, 1984 by George Orwell), and Tris is such an inspiring and unique character. I just find it EXTREMELY difficult to read a novel once I’ve already seen the film adaptation of that same story. The only time I ever tried doing this was with Truman Capote’s novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and, let me tell you, it was a mistake! I could not get the image of the iconic Audrey Hepburn out of my mind the entire time I was reading the novella, even though Capote’s description of Holly Golightly is hardly like Hepburn at all. It was just far too difficult to get into the novella and properly accept and interpret everything its author had intended, and so I vowed to never “ruin” a novel again by reading it after seeing a film version of it. I’ve stayed true to my word ever since.

I also feel that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a story in film form for what it is, without feeling the urge to go back to the original story. There’s no reason why I can’t thoroughly enjoy the Divergent films without having read the novels, and sometimes I feel like this focus on viewing a film as a film, rather than as an adaptation of a written work, allows me to appreciate the film more without having high and unrealistic expectations. So, I’m happy to leave my experience of The Divergent Series to a cinematographic one.

Having said that, I really enjoyed Insurgent. Like I said, I saw Divergent a long time ago, so I can’t properly review it now, but I remember really enjoying it as well, which is why I was so excited to see Insurgent (and why I’m so eager to go watch the Allegiant trailer, which I just now found out exists!). Insurgent delivered on the high level of action and intensity I was expecting, and I found myself getting easily sucked into the story. I loved all the different fighting sequences, and I found the various simulations that Tris goes through super interesting and true to the character traits they were meant to convey. I found the entire story very engrossing and I had a fun time watching the movie.

What stuck out to me most, however, was just how strong and powerful Tris is. I haven’t seen any of The Hunger Games movies or read the books, so I don’t have any experience with that franchise – so when I say that Tris is the strongest female character I have come across in a young adult story in a very long time, I mean it. She is absolutely fierce, and I love it! In high school, I was a big fan of the Twilight series of books and movies (Kristen Stewart = definite girl crush = hugely unpopular opinion that I am NOT ashamed of in the least) – but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t often seriously annoyed by Bella Swan’s lack of confidence and strength. There were so many moments when I wanted Bella to stand up and fight for herself, and it made me really angry when I thought that she was being too weak and falling apart over a guy or a ridiculous situation that she easily could have stood up against. Not to criticize another young adult franchise, but I have to say that Tris is miles ahead of Bella in so many ways, and it is very refreshing to see a young woman who is powerful and who is not afraid of her powers. Tris embraces her strength and she never backs down – she is the one who “saves” the men in her life, and she gets the job done herself, without fear or hesitation. She is an incredibly brave character, and that’s something that I seriously appreciate. I think that society has come a long way, and I’m proud that young women are able to get to know female characters who accurately reflect the strong, capable women that already exist in the real world. And, of course, as a lover of the Victorian novel, I’m happy that these heroines of the young adult genre are starting to emulate some of my feistier friends like Jane Eyre, Margaret Hale and Elizabeth Bennet, those women who defied their 19th century society by speaking up and forcefully voicing their opinions. I highly recommend Insurgent as a movie that viewers of all ages can enjoy – but, if I was a mother, I would definitely be showing it to all of my kids, male and female, to encourage them to be as confident in their own abilities as Tris is!

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about a movie adaptation here on the blog, but when I did so most recently (in my blog post about the James Bond franchise), I mentioned that I was struggling with a way to tag any quotes I decided to post on my Twitter page from movies. Obviously, I couldn’t use the #JNGReads tag for these quotes, but I also didn’t think it made sense to use the #JNGListens tag either, which is more aligned with lyrics from music pieces. So, I’ve finally decided that, to get around this problem, I am going to introduce a new tag to the mix: #JNGWatches. I watch enough movies and TV shows that I think I will have a good number of quotes I want to share, and what better time than the (almost) New Year to make another subtle change to the blog?!

Thanks again Everyone for taking the time to visit me here!

🙂

JNG

Girl with a Green Heart

my green heart

Two…or More…just Many – #JNGReads

I’m going to start this post by immediately giving you the #JNGReads quote of the week…

“…man is not truly one, but truly two.” – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

This quote seems to me like it could be the motto or the slogan of this very blog.

Sure, in the context of Stevenson’s gothic, macabre story, Dr. Jekyll means that, although he specifically is being harassed and bombarded by his evil alter ego Mr. Hyde, every other human also has multiple personalities, multiple layers of self, including but not limited to the dichotomy of good and evil. Dr. Jekyll means what he says literally…but in a more metaphorical sense, this quote portrays exactly what I’ve been trying to do here on ~The World of my Green Heart~, especially in recent weeks.

I am the woman who is not just one, but two…who has not just one passion, but many. Like so many of you readers, I am interested in a million different things at once – a million different things that wouldn’t fit together in most people’s minds but do so perfectly in mine. Yes, I am that professor of English literature, that lover of the written word who cannot stop reading or talking about things she sees on a page. But, I am just as equally that girl who dreams of fighting crime, battling villains with her intellect and her power, all while standing alongside a man who looks an awful lot like Daniel Craig as James Bond. And then, I am the impassioned fan who cheers on her favourite wrestlers, who belts out the lyrics to her favourite artist’s songs at live shows. I am all those people at once…and by being all those people, I am 100% myself. And it is such a glorious, liberating thing!

So, some of you might wonder every now and then how a post you’re reading fits into the “scope” of this blog – but this post today is meant to explain that I hope you won’t think that any longer! Because this blog doesn’t really have a definitive scope, a particular aim or motive. It’s just an outlet for me to talk about everything I love, everything I do and everything I think you’d all be interested in hearing about…and so, it’s as eclectic and random and vast as my personality is!

Thank you all for coming along for the ride, and for being accepting of all the different girls who have this green heart!

JNG

Girl with MANY Green Hearts

my green heart

PS – Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to see more of the random, crazy, fun things I get up to during my days! ❤

How to Dress Like a Vampire

It’s Thursday everybody!  Do you know what this means?  The Vampire Diaries is on tonight, and the end of the week just got a whole lot brighter! Okay, I should qualify that last statement by explaining that I’ve been watching … Continue reading