Bookish Victoria

Bookish Victoria

I love reading and writing, vacations, and the ocean. I've written four YA novels: Seven on the Blue, Capturing the Sunset, Their Friend Scarlet, and Luisa Across the Bay.


All of my books are available on Scribd and Amazon.


I am currently working on my next novel.

5 Stars
Brooklyn's in my Heart

I was so impressed by this novel. I fell in love with the film version first, and I wasn't sure that the book could match it. I know... often the book is better than the movie, but sometimes it's the opposite. Who wouldn't rather watch The Notebook or Bridget Jones' Diary rather than read those books? So, while I was eager to read the book and delve more deeply into Eilis Lacey's story of immigration, love, grief, and growing up--and better understand her heart and mind--I was also hesitant since I didn't want to be disappointed. I was not disappointed.


The book had only minor differences from the film. In both, the story is a quiet but strong one. There are many endearing characters, and only a couple that you love to hate. There are a few laugh out loud moments.


What really stands out about the novel is the spare language. I think every word was chosen with care by the author. He isn't at all flowery in his descriptions of Ireland or New York; he doesn't go over board with inner monologues. But there are some passages that really capture a feeling. Like homesickness...


“She was nobody here. It was not just that she had no friends and family; it was rather that she was a ghost in this room, in the streets on the way to work, on the shop floor. Nothing meant anything. The rooms in the house on Friary Street belonged to her, she thought; when she moved in them she was really there. In the town, if she walked to the shop or to the Vocational School, the air, the light, the ground, it was all solid and part of her, even if she met no one familiar. Nothing here was part of her. It was false, empty, she thought. She closed her eyes and tried to think, as she had done so many times in her life, of something she was looking forward to, but there was nothing. Not the slightest thing. Not even Sunday. Nothing maybe except sleep, and she was not even certain she was looking forward to sleep. In any case, she could not sleep yet, since it was not yet nine o’clock. There was nothing she could do. It was as though she had been locked away.”


I hope to see more film versions of Toibin's work as I think his writing style lends itself well to screenplays. And I may just read another book by him, too!

5 Stars
L O L A Lola
Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins

So... I loved Anna and the French Kiss...a lot because j'aime Paris. I started reading Lola and the Boy Next Door really wanting to love it. And guess where it's set? My home sweet home, San of the greatest cities in the world! And whom do I meet there with Lola? Anna and Etienne! Joy! Can this book get any better???


If Etienne could be the love interest of all the books...


No, no, Stephanie Perkins did make me like a certain new boy.... Even though his name is Cricket. And I don't begrudge that.


But, 4.5 overall 'cause there were a tad too many Lola-tears.

5 Stars
Mr. Perfect - Linda Howard

Sexy, funny, thrilling

5 Stars
Love You Forever - Robert Munsch, Sheila McGraw

I dare you not to cry.

5 Stars
Bet Me - Jennifer Crusie

Best. Romantic Comedy. Ever.

5 Stars
The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

A beautiful and haunting image.

5 Stars
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

One of the most original first person narrations I've ever read!

5 Stars
The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin

This puzzle mystery is so much fun! I definitely reommend this to young readers. Try to figure out the Westing Game... if you dare.

5 Stars
The Shadow of the Wind - Lucia Graves, Carlos Ruiz Zafón



This is the kind of book you read and want to pick up again for the first time. When I see it in the bookstore, I want to buy it again. I have and had to give it away. I already own a copy! But it's just that good. Irresistible.

5 Stars
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great - Judy Blume

When I was a kid I wanted to be Sheila. She was afraid of dogs, reluctant to swim, and a brat to her family, but she saw the world in an original way. Her closet could become an elevator; she yearned for a rug that looked like a rose; she laughed at the world's stupidity. She was real and fun.


Sometimes I still want to be Sheila the Great.

5 Stars
Spellbound - Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike is the master of YA thrillers. I couldn't put his books down during the 90's; I read his entire catalog during my high school and college years. Now I lend his books to students and they love him. In my experience, he can turn nonreaders into readers.


Spellbound is one of his classics: a relatable protagonist, mystery, and romance. A real page turner!

0 Stars
Six Stars!
11/22/63 - Stephen King

I've read a lot of books. And I've given some five stars. Never before had I wished for a sixth star 'til I read this.

5 Stars
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls could rewrite the telephone book and make the information funny and interesting. She has VOICE, as my English teachers would say, and it's a voice I love to read.


It's interesting how a book that deals with so many disturbing, sad situations can be so funny! Walls certainly has a talent for putting an entertaining spin on any story.


I was reluctant to pick up this book. A few friends had read and liked it, so I didn't want to feel obligated. Surprise! I really liked it. It reminded me of Betty Smith's style. So instead of Brooklyn, it's like "A Tree Grows in the Southwest."


Great style!

5 Stars
Anna in a Truly Magical Place
Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Years ago, when everyone was reading the Harry Potter series, I didn't really get it. 


I didn't want to go to Hogwarts.

I wasn't curious about the taste of butter beer or Bertie Botts'.

Harry's scar wasn't particularly cool to me.

I didn't care if Harry ended up with Cho or Ginny.


While I could read and enjoy Rowling's world.... no magic for me. Now, Anna and the French Kiss. Stephanie Perkins. Magic.


I desperately want to attend SOAP in Paris.

I'd could eat salmon and ricotta sandwiches daily.

Anna makes a bold streak of bleach blonde cool again.

Anna and Etienne St. Clair *must* end up together!


Perfect, escapist fantasy!

5 Stars
Attachments Makes Me a Believer
Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

From: My friend
To: Me
Subject: Just try


You need to get a Kindle or a Nook or something. Prices are, like, $1.99! It's outrageous!

Me: I have an e-reader app on my tablet, and I have books on it, but it doesn't feel like reading. Like it's not real. So I keep buying cheap *real* books. Does that make sense?


My friend: Yeah. Still. You're missing out!!!!!!!


Me: But trading books is cheaper. Or I get one for like a buck or two at a thrift shop. It's okay, really! :)


My friend: But I get to read so much that I'd never find in a store, especially a thrift store. Mostly because it's BRAND new. Also, I love the idea of anything at my fingertips. I downloaded a lot this summer.


Me: I feel so disconnected to it. It's all so stark and obvious. When it's *within* a book it's different.



You know when a book is different? You know when it's not obvious how everything will work out, and you're dying to find out? You know when you actually connect to it, like, from the very first page?


When it's written by Rainbow Rowell.


I was ready for a really good read. I picked up a book on my to-read shelf and threw it in the to-trade pile after one chapter. Then I tried another. And another. The trade pile grew to half a dozen. I tried to remember the last books I loved: Eleanor and Park and Fangirl.


Great. If I wanted to read another book by that author, I'd have to make a trip to the bookstore in the morning. And it wouldn't be a thrift shop. Finding the books I want is hit or miss there. Great. I'd have to pay full price. I could buy it a bit cheaper maybe online, but shipping would take a couple days. I want it now! I thought, in my best Veruca Salt voice.


And there it was. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. $1.99. An e-book.


I spent the next few hours reading nonstop. I couldn't stop. I remembered that you--I--can connect with others just through reading their words, that you can connect with words whether on paper or screen.


Lincoln connects with Beth through words. Attachments is their love story.


Beth and Jennifer connect through the words of their emails. Attachments is also the story of their friendship.



Thanks, Rainbow. Thanks, e-reader. Thanks, my friend, for telling me to "just try."

5 Stars
Inspired by those inspired by Eleanor and Park
Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell



I read--and loved (okay, and became a little obsessed with)--Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. So much so that I Google and Google-image searched the novel a few times (honesty here again, more than a few times).


Oh, the fan art!


So, I needed to add to the conversation... 


Have you read E & P? Have you admired any images based on this book? What have you created lately? What or who inspires you?