A Review on Colleen Hoover’s Maybe Someday

I think Maybe Someday (MS) is the first real New Adult novel I’ve read. I’ve read really adult novels (not the kinky kind!). Damn, Revolutionary Road was heavy. I’ve also read young adult novels, because duh. If we define New Adult novels by merely the timeframe in which these take place, this would not be my first. Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Sandy Hall’s A Little Something Different would have gone first. Those were so fluffy, though. This was real.

This is my first Colleen Hoover novel. I haven’t really heard of her, but while I was browsing goodreads.com to find my next read, I came across Maybe Someday and liked the summary it provided. And so I thought, why not?

The story is about a girl named Sydney who finds herself practically homeless after finding out the truth between her roommate and boyfriend of two years. The guitar-playing boy she used to watch from their balcony takes her in with the condition that she helps him write lyrics for his band. He happens to be deaf, but so what?

From reading the synopsis alone, I did not think that Ridge would be deaf. Based on the first few chapters, I didn’t think he was deaf. And so, I was pleasantly surprised when it was later revealed to me that yup, he was.

I don’t know much about deaf culture. Most of it, I learned from Nyle DiMarco of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 22, and the groundbreaking ABC Family series, Switched at Birth (SAB). I love Switched at Birth. And so, because of how well Maybe Someday dealt with Ridge’s deafness, I loved it too.

Emmett Bledsoe from SAB – and the real deaf actor who plays him, Sean Berdy – is a master of the drums. How can that be when he can’t hear, you may ask. Well, he’s deaf. And so, he relies on the vibrations of the drums to tell him the beat he should be playing, the rhythm he should be following. Ridge plays the guitar in a similar way. These two characters are just living (fictional, but living) proof that you can’t really ‘dis abilities.

With that being said, I still had my problems with Ridge. In all honesty, I loved him. How could you not love someone who was that perfect? And there goes the very reason why I had my problems with him. He was too perfect. Throw in a tragic back story that would just make you love him even more.

I’ve read too many YA novels with boys who are just too perfect to be real. That’s precisely why they were in the novels and not in real life. I know, I must be skeptical. But still. What was Ridge’s fault? He was confused by his feelings for Sydney and his long-term girlfriend, Maggie?

I fell in love with SAB partly because of Bay (Vanessa Marano) and Emmett’s love story. I was expecting a Daphne (Katie Leclerc) and Emmett romance to blossom, but how naturally Bay and Emmett fell into each other was just too breathtaking for words. Of course, Emmett being deaf, and Bay not knowing any sign language at the beginning of their relationship was also a plus. It was amazing watching them learn how to communicate with one another.

Ridge in MS didn’t have verbal words to say, and so he relied on text messages, notes, laptops. I just have to wonder if any guy – or person even, in this day and age – would write as lengthily as Ridge (and also Sydney!) does. They both do it so fast, I couldn’t really believe it. Or maybe I’m just nitpicking.

But that was how they communicated. Poetically.

The romance between Ridge and Sydney felt slow at first, and then it became too quick for words. They’re attracted to each other, we get it. They connected over music and lyrics. Each songwriting session was nothing less than physical and emotional tension fighting each other.

Ridge and Sydney could have started a relationship the moment they laid eyes on each other. But then again, there won’t be any MS. What makes MS is the presence of Maggie, Ridge’s long-time girlfriend who has a secret of her own.

It felt so much like a Nicholas Sparks move to throw Maggie’s illness at the readers, but it was essential. I loved their love story even more than I did Ridge and Sydney’s. And so, I better understood why they had to break up in the end. I got where Maggie was coming from. I wouldn’t have wanted to be with Ridge either, no matter how much either of us loved each other.

The push-and-pull between Ridge and Sydney got tiring after a while. Just be together, please. Watching (reading!) you guys fight your urge got really annoying. But okay, they’re adults. They can’t just jump into a relationship because they feel like it. It doesn’t work that way. Such is life.

Spoiler alert! They do get together in the end, though. And it was satisfying, in every sense of the word. I watched Sydney pull a Bay and (FINALLY) learn sign language after the months she spent away from Ridge. In the end, Ridge something that Emmett never did for Bay in SAB. He spoke again. I don’t know if I would have done that for a girl I barely knew. I don’t think I would have even shared as much as I did to a girl I barely knew. But then again (and again and again and again), this is fiction.

I definitely recommend reading this novel! I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars. After having read the entire thing, I immediately tried to search for the songs that were featured in it, and thank God an angel named Griffin Peterson transposed it from lyrics in a novel to real music that you can watch on YouTube. I’ll leave some of it here for you to enjoy.

Maybe Someday

I’m In Trouble

Let It Begin

 

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Why I Read This Book — a review on Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

It’s no longer only a matter of what you’re saying. It’s a matter of how you’re saying it.

 

Now that I have a lot of time on my hands, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. It’s the kind of reading I haven’t been able to do in such a long time (it’s a long story). It’s the kind of reading I enjoy. High school! Romance! Discovering yourself!

I’m technically no longer within the ‘young adult’ age bracket, but it’s always been my favorite genre back when I had a lot of time on my hands. And – don’t get mad! – I’m actually reading more of it during this time to improve on my own writing (another long story!). It’s been surprising me how fast I’ve been going through all of them. And, because of that, I thought – why not write reviews about them? Oh, you know you have a lot of feelings.

Well, I do. So bear with me.

I just put down Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up. I started reading it Friday night in the bookstore. And then, I started reading it every spare moment I had. On the commute to work, while waiting for my friends, on the loo…

So here are my thoughts about Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up (WWBU).

I’ve been looking at the hard copy of WWBU on bookstands for AGES. Now, I’ve finally been able to take it home.

danielhandler18thannuallatimesfestivaloiy77v0tkullI caught Daniel Handler at the 2014 LA Times’ Festival of Books, and I fangirled over him so hard even though I never read A Series of Unfortunate Events (I’m sorry!). I’m an aspiring writer. He was like a god to me.

If his name hadn’t been on the cover, I would’ve never thought that Daniel Handler – this big, fuzzy guy I saw on the stage – wrote this book, and I mean it in the best way possible.

The story is about Min Green, Ed Slaterton, and – you guessed it – why they broke up. The premise of it goes a little like this. Min has dropped a box filled with memorabilia from her relationship with Ed on his doorstep. Each of these has notes on them, explaining why they broke up.

9780316127257-whywebrokeup_zoomThe story is told from Min’s point of view. Her voice is very much like that of a teenager. Albeit, a slightly obsessed one. Visually, it wouldn’t be pleasing to read run-on sentences and a lot of repeated words, but that’s how a teenager thinks. As a teenager, I never thought so articulately like the protagonists of my favorite YA novels. And so, to read a story from Min’s point of view was quite refreshing to me.

There have been a lot of YA novels who have tried to piece together the answer to a question by presenting its readers with evidence to unpack. Right off the top of my head, I remember Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. With that being said, the premise wasn’t entirely new.

The story isn’t new either. Min’s this ‘different’ kind of girl who falls into a relationship with the stereotypical jock with a soft side. The last YA novel I read – literally just days before I picked up WWBU – had the same plotline. (It’s To All the Boys I Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han by the way, which I both loved) And I’ve read a dozen more YA novels with the same idea.

With so much already being said, it’s no longer only a matter of what you’re saying. It’s a matter of how you’re saying it.

I enjoyed WWBU because I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories. I loved Min. I loved how she really wasn’t that different, and she really was just trying to find her place in this world. I knew from the very start that Al had feelings of her. It was obvious. It was a cliché. It was a trope. But that didn’t stop me from trying to bottle in all the feelings I had when Al tried to tell Min that.

Because the title of the book imposed it upon me, all throughout my experience of reading it, I kept asking myself, “So, why did they break up?” With every new chapter and every new item that passed by, I formed an idea in my head, and they kept being brought down.

I thought for sure that they would break up because they had sex, because Min just wasn’t ready. I also thought for a moment that they actually broke up because Min had feelings for Al. I didn’t want them to break up for the reasons that they really did.

Ed isn’t the best. He was a dick more than just a couple of times, and I liked that. I hated the idea YA novels have been trying to feed its readers for years. There are perfect guys out there. No. That’s just not true. Everyone has flaws, and Ed was full of them.

I honestly, honestly thought that he loved Min. But in the end, it was revealed – SPOILER ALERT! – that he was just a confused, horny teenager. Okay, maybe he cared for Min. But at the end of the day, they were both too young to know what love was. Hell, I’m still too young.

That revelation, though. It made everything ache. Reading through those few words Ed spurted out to defend himself after his secret’s been revealed made me go back to all those times he was charming, he was sweet. I felt like I was Min in that moment. I was deceived, and that was exactly what Daniel Handler wanted to make his audience feel.

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It’s a good read, I recommend it! Go along with the ride, and have your heart broken along with Min’s.

But I do wonder though – what else is there for YA novels? What else is there for YA romance?

I believe there is so much more. I would love to see a YA romance without a third party, without a love triangle. I would love to see one that embraces the reality of stereotypes rather than transcend them. I want a real YA romance. Because although this was very real – damn was Min’s heartbreak real – it wasn’t really. It was fiction.

No way would Ed read through everything Min wrote. I doubt he’d even look at it. And in all honesty, would a guy like Ed really look at a girl like Min?

We fawn over stories like these because of the likelihood of it happening in real life is very slim (but there is a possibility!). And so, I sincerely hope for a real contemporary YA romance. But until then, I’ll keep reading.

P.S. Kudos to Maira Kalman! I looked forward to every chapter because I knew a new illustration of hers would come along. And those flower petals? Falling and falling, page after page. It was magical.