Uncommon Type: Some Stories Review


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If there’s one word to describe how I felt reading this book, it would be surprise.

When I borrowed the ebook from the library, I thought it would be a memoir of sorts—I adore Tom Hanks, so it seemed like a perfect fit. Little did I know that it was a book of short stories.

“Tom Hanks? Writing short stories?” I thought. “Okay, America’s Sweetheart—I’m in.”

It took me a little while to get into the first story, mainly because I went in completely blind. But soon I was sucked in to each individual story, frantically flipping pages on my iPad, ready for the next page. There were a few recurring characters who I adored, but most of the stories weren’t connected—again, not what I was expecting. However, I really enjoyed reading about such vastly different walks of life.

When I was in high school, I took a class called Writer’s Craft. We basically wrote a little bit of everything, fiction and nonfiction. When we got to the short story section, my teacher drilled into me that the short story needs to have a point, a meaning.

Initially I was looking for a meaning for each of these stories, but when I got to the second or third story, I realized that not everything has to have this big, deep, significant meaning. A slice of life, walking a mile in someone else’s shoes—that can be just as significant as any deep personal meaning. And that’s exactly what Tom Hanks accomplishes here.

He has surprisingly beautiful prose—I immediately understood what he wanted to convey with each passage, and I understood the characters quickly. This is a necessary skill when it comes to short stories—you don’t have as much time to get to a character’s motivation.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this collection of short stories. Tom Hanks drew me in, but the good writing and the characters made me stay. I hope he decides to come out with more short stories—or maybe even a novel—in the future.

Star Wars: A New Hope Cinestory Comic Review


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I don’t care how many times I read it or watch it—I’ll never get tired of the first Star Wars story. So when my friend told me about this Cinestory comic, I knew I had to get it.

This adaptation took stills from A New Hope and put them into comic book form, complete with speech text bubbles. It was a fun way to read one of my favourite stories—the editors made some interesting choices in what stills they used.

I flew through this book. When I flipped through the pages, I could hear the characters’ voices—it was like watching the movie all over again. It was like a fun escape from my life, wherever I was.

However, I have a hard time writing this review because there’s nothing really to say. It was a fun experience, but this adaptation didn’t really add anything to the overall story. With graphic novel and comic book adaptations, there’s usually extra nuances in the artwork that bring out another layer to the Star Wars story we all know and love. Reading this almost felt like a lower-quality version of the movie, as much as I enjoyed it.

Overall, it was a fun ride but nothing special. I don’t regret reading it, but I’m ready to move on to the next Star Wars adventure.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Film Review


When I heard To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was going to be made into a Netflix movie, my first thought was something along the lines of, “I need to get my act together and read this damn book.

Well, I did that—and now it’s time to watch the movie.

Oh, and this won’t be a spoiler-free review—if you haven’t seen the movie yet, leave now.

I think the movie was pretty faithful to the spirit of the book, if not the overall storyline. They changed a few details out of necessity—the plot was more streamlined to focus more on Peter and Lara Jean’s relationship. One of the downsides of film is there isn’t enough time to explore all the relationships between the characters and nuances behind their actions.

The casting choices were completely spot-on. Lana Condor is a perfect Lara Jean, and Margot and Kitty are just as I pictured them in my head. John Corbett was a surprising choice for me—when I first saw him on the screen, I thought he would be too much of a laid-back surfer dude for Dr. Covey. But he brought a sweetness and earnestness to him that I wasn’t expecting, and he ended up being the perfect choice.

As for Lara Jean’s love interests, I really liked Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky. I must say, I developed a bit of a crush on him as I watched—he reminded me of Mark Ruffalo. (Comment down below if you thought that too!)

Josh Sanderson was a bit of a disappointment for me. Israel Broussard did a fine job playing him, but he had a much smaller role in the film. I really wished there was more opportunity to explore Lara Jean’s growth through her relationship with Josh, but I understand there’s only so much plot you can shove into a movie before it becomes too much.

I think I would have enjoyed the first viewing more if I wasn’t constantly comparing it to the book. Of course Jenny Han’s novel is much better than the film really could be, but it’s still one of the best teen coming-of-age stories to come out in the last few years. I’m so happy it wasn’t white-washed—the film tells a truly realistic story of growing up and finding love.

Overall, I really enjoyed the film and I’d like to see it again—but only if I haven’t read the book first.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Review


NOTE: I’m part of the Amazon affiliate program, and the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. You can click on the link and purchase the item listed to support this blog at no additional cost to you—I make a (very small) commission from any purchase made. Thanks!

What a ride.

I’m a biracial woman—my mom is Chinese Jamaican, and my dad is about as white as they come. When I was younger, there weren’t a lot of biracial kids in school or in daycare. For the longest time (as far as I know), I was the only mixed-race child. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen more and more mixed-race kids out and about and with that comes more representation in the media.

However, I can count on a single hand the number of half-white, half-Asian actors that are decently high-profile—I can’t even recall seeing a half-Asian character in a movie until Emma Stone played one in the disastrous Aloha.

So seeing a young half-white, half-Asian female lead in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was groundbreaking for me.

As soon as I realized Lara Jean Song-Covey was half-white and half-Korean, I immediately texted my mom. She’d been bugging me to read this book for the past three years, but I never bothered with it because other books interested me. With the Netflix movie coming out soon, I decided to take the plunge and start reading.

After Mom finished her “I told you so” dance (I assume), I told her how this was the first YA book I’ve ever read with a half-Asian female lead—until that moment, I’d never read about a character who looked like me and shared some of my experiences. I could relate to Lara Jean on a level I couldn’t relate to my other favourite female characters, and I related to my mother on a level I hadn’t been able to before.

I don’t want this review to be entirely about Lara Jean’s race, but I wanted to mention it to highlight how important representation is in the media, especially in YA fiction. These are the books tweens and teens are reading right when they start to become their own person—showing different backgrounds can only help young people as they grow and develop. Exposing readers to diverse main characters broadens their horizons and expands the way they view the world.

Anyways, back to our regularly scheduled book review.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the first YA book I’ve read in a long time, and it made me remember why I love reading books in this genre. The characters were relatable and realistic (especially Jamie Fox-Pickle, who’s a Wheaten Terrier—just like my Shelby and Charlotte!), yet the situation was not something I’d ever experienced before. I’ve never been in love, and until I find that person, books like this are as close as I’m gonna get.

The thing I loved the most about this book is how unpredictable it was. I was sucked into the story right from page one—I wasn’t comparing it to other YA books as I read through Lara Jean’s coming-of-age tale. It was only as I started thinking about what I would write for this review when I realized I couldn’t have anticipated anything that happened. It was such a refreshing experience—I only cared about the story, not about when Lara Jean overcame the odds to date her crush.

It’s also worth mentioning that a lot of major points got resolved in the last 30 pages, and none of it felt rushed. As a reader I didn’t feel cheated, and that takes major skill—mad props, Jenny Han.

All the relationships between the main characters were painfully accurate—complex, but never over the top or unrealistic. Margot and Lara Jean’s relationship was beautifully developed, even though Margot was away for most of the book. Plus, I have a soft spot for Lara Jean’s sweet father.

Overall, this is easily one of my favourite books of all time. It’s fast-paced, beautifully written, and so relatable. Jenny Han has become a top author in my books—I’ll definitely have to check out her other books soon.

Now, Mom and I can watch the movie when it drops on Aug. 17!