Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movie Review: Fast and Furious

Last night Matt and I watched Fast and Furious.

I can't really give a review about it because I was so lost and asking questions the whole time about what was going on, haha. Seriously I only half know what the plot was and that's even a stretch. I do know that the driving stunts were still pretty awesome, the acting was pretty horrible and Paul Walker still looks mighty fine...

And that's all that really matters right? :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book Review: The Pact

Jodi oh Jodi. You've given me another amazing book. I don't remember who recommended The Pact to me but I am so glad they did. I read it all on my flights to and from Chicago and I could barely put it down. As usual it covered another difficult subject, suicide, and had me feeling sorry and wanting to hug each and every character at least once. Needless to say Jodi Picoult knows her stuff.

The Pact begins with the Hartes and the Golds, two families who have been best friends for eighteen years and their kids are almost sibling like yet they are dating. However the happy-go-lucky feel of the families is quickly shattered when both families receive a late night phone call that no parent ever wants to hear. From there, no one's lives are the same and both families are left with some many unanswered questions that slowly get answered as the story progresses. (more detailed synopsis can be found here)

I know this is a vague synopsis and review, but it's hard to talk about the story without giving much away. I had no idea what the story was about before I started and sometimes I think that's the best way to go into it. But then again I will say that if the idea of suicide touches close to home or isn't something you think you can handle, then I'd say step away from this book. I admit some of the conversations that came up really got to me and ugh, so sad and so deep and so Jodi.

So what did I think of it? I really liked it (definitely better than Handle With Care although it did have a similar theme of two close families being torn apart). Jodi seriously knows how to tear at someones heart strings and make you want to reach out to everyone you know and make sure they're okay. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Chris for wanting to help and not knowing what to do. And at the same time I wanted to hug Emily and tell her it would all be okay. All in all this book was incredibly emotional and I'm glad I read it and I know I'll probably read more books by Jodi in the future but I think for now my emotions need a break.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Food Review: Green Street Tavern

On Monday my mom called me up and asked if Matt and I wanted to join her, her best friend Debbie, and my dad for drinks and dessert's at their neighbor's restaurant and of course I said yes (as soon as she said the tab would be on them, haha).

Turns out their neighbor owns a sweet little place right in the midst of Old Town Pasadena on Green Street, so aptly called Green Street Tavern. And it was so cute! Okay maybe cute isn't the right word, chic? Styling? Cozy? Well I loved it. I'd never been there before, my parents had and loved the food there so of course our dessert was going to be amazing. And apparently the desserts were all fairly new to the menu and all were delicious.

Matt and I ordered the fried cookie dough which was by far my favorite dish of them all. It totally reminded me of funnel cake and man it was so crispy on the outside and chewy and divine on the inside. On top of that each cookie was different, one was chocolate chip, another was white chocolate chip and the third one was cranberry and pecan. It also helped that they were served on top of ice cream, yeah I may have been in heaven.

My parents ordered the Georgia peach dish that was basically a peach cobbler with cinnamon ice cream on top. I had a small bite and it was so good. And I think my parents can both attest to it's deliciousness too, definitely a hit with the table.

My mom's friend ordered the creme brule which was also quite tasty. I'm not usually a fan of creme brule but this one was just sweet enough and not too overly mushy that I really enjoyed it after all.

And lastly the table was treated to a special dish that is apparently a customer favorite (and was definitely loved at our table too). It was three puff cakes with chocolate on top, bananas at the bottom and cinnamon ice cream in between. In a word: Heavenly. I don't even love all that stuff together usually and it was just so delicious.

All in all it was a great night of desserts and wine and we all left completely stuffed because I don't think we left a plate uncleared. And that's how it's supposed to be anyways right?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Book Review: Bright Shiny Morning

I had already read A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard so I sort of had an idea of what James Frey's writing was like and what I could expect before I picked up Bright Shiny Morning. However, this story moved me in ways unlike his other two. Although clearly deemed fiction, so much of Bright Shiny Morning seemed so real and it was incredibly hard for me to even put it down.

So hard to put down in fact that I found myself reading it whenever I could (even during some downtime of the weekend) and I finished the 500 page book in four days. I almost don't even know where to start with this book besides how much I loved it and I'm glad I read it.

Bright Shiny Morning follows the lives of various characters with extremely different backgrounds with the one connection that they all live in Los Angeles county. However, the story not only follows a select few characters throughout the book but various characters appear and dissapear as quickly as they were written. Along with that the book is layered with an assortment of Los Angeles facts, statistics, historical trademarks and anything else Frey deems appropiate and necessary to share.

Like I said, I loved this book. By the end of it, I wanted more! I didn't want the stories to end, I wanted to know what happened to each and every character (specifically the young couple Maddie and Dylan) once I was at the last page. I feel like James Frey should write a follow up book just so we know exactly what happens, but I guess that was also the point, the keep us guessing, let us decide. And I sort of loved it.

I also loved all of the Los Angeles fun facts. True or not it was definitely entertaining to learn something new about my city. Actually I learned a lot about my city. I learned about laws from the past, natural disasters that had occurred, the number of museums in the city, how certain places came to be, and so much more. And it was all so interesting.

Needless to say, if you've read James Frey's other books and like his writing style you will definitely like this book. The stories are touching, the characters are almost real and everything about this book made me love it. Hopefully you will too.