Monday, September 15

12x12: Never Have I Ever & Benjamin Button

Ok, so, before I get into my review, I should probably stipulate that neither of these books were actually on my 12x12 list. While they're still in the spirit of the 12x12 project, they don't technically count as my twelve books.

Never Have I Ever: My Life So Far Without a Date
Katie Heaney

I read this book for a book club this summer! I heard about it from a mutual friend/mentor/semi-famous guy I know who was best friends with Katie growing up, so I'd wanted an excuse to read it for about a year now!

What I Loved:
  • The first half of the book is HILARIOUS. I don't mean funny - I mean hilarious. I burst out laughing so many times reading this, and I probably made my mom listen to half the book as I read her the funniest parts out loud.
  • Katie's only a few years older than me, so reading about her childhood, elementary school, and middle school trials were spot on to what I went through.
  • She makes obscure and yet totally relatable references, like making her Sims cheat on each other and killing them off. I totally did that too.
  • I don't have a ton of experience in the "dating" world either, so it was funny to look back on my own life and laugh about things that seemed really upsetting at the time (like that one guy in middle school who you NEVER talked to and yet you were crushed that he never asked you out, haha)

What I Wasn't Crazy About:
  • About halfway through the book, it just kind of fizzles out. I stopped laughing out loud. At a certain point, she keeps not dating people and you realize this is what the rest of the book will be about... and there are still 100 pages left. Sigh. This was essentially the only thing I wasn't crazy about, but it's kind of a big one...

Would I Recommend This Book?
  • Strangely enough, I still would. If only for the first half of the book, you should read it. It's hilarious, adorable, SO relatable, and her writing is pretty fantastic - kind of in the vein of Tina Fey.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
F. Scott Fitzgerald

J bought this book for super cheap, and had been bugging me to read it for months, even though I TOLD HIM it wasn't on my 12x12 list, haha. Eventually, he won out!

What I Loved:
  • This book is SUPER short. I mean it. Like, between 25-40 pages.
  • I was absolutely crazy about the movie, so I was excited to see what the book was like. It was actually completely different than the movie, but great in its own right.
  • I guess people hated the story when it first came out because it was so weird, which I thought was hilarious.
  • While it was super dark, it was also strangely whimsical.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:
  • The book was a lot darker than the movie... which isn't necessarily bad, it's just not as romantic as I expected. Not by a long shot.

Would I Recommend This Book?
  • Absolutely. It's such a short book that there's really no excuse for not reading it. You win, J. ;)
  • Especially if you loved the movie, it's interesting to see what bits and pieces the writers of the movie took to create a two-hour-long film! You can definitely find bits that fit in stange ways - like, in the book, Benjamin was a "captain" in the military, and in the movie, he worked on a tugboat with a captain and eventually joins the military while on the ship. I love small details like that!

What's Left on My List?
  • Women, Food, and God
  • Breaking Through the Stained Glass Ceiling
  • Dating Jesus
I actually found my copy of Grimm Fairy Tales in my Concord apartment, even though I was SO SURE I brought it with me to Des Moines! I just finished it a few days ago, so there'll be another (actual) 12x12 post up soon!

    Have you ever read either of these books? Do you love the movie version of Benjamin Button? Would you recommend either of them?

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