What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know

What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya SonesWhat My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Simon & Schuster, 304 pages

My name is Robin.

This book is about me.
It tells the story of what happens
when after almost 15 pathetic years of loserdom,
the girl of my dreams finally falls for me.

That seems like it would be
a good thing, right?
Only it turns out to be
a lot more complicated than that
Because I’m not gonna lie to you –
there are naked women involved.
Four of them, to be exact.
Though not in the way you might think.

Don’t get me wrong — my girlfriend’s amazing.
But the way things have been going lately,
I’m starting to believe that the only thing worse
than not getting what you want,
is getting it.

I like reading novels in verse when I feel like I’m reading too slow, like how I have been doing lately. I figured reading this book right after I finish the chunkster that is Jane Eyre would help me cleanse the palate a bit and make me feel better because I read a book a bit faster than how I am currently doing. That’s probably just me, though, so don’t mind me with that quirk.

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones is the sequel to What My Mother Doesn’t Know, another novel in verse that I read and liked last year. Spoiler warning for the first novel starts here. This book is Robin’s story — Robin, the art geek who Sophie falls for at the end of the first book. Robin has always had a crush on Sophie, but he never thought she’d fall for him, until she does. He was ecstatic, of course, until he realizes that Sophie being his girlfriend wouldn’t change his life as much as him being Sophie’s boyfriend rocked her world — in a not so good way. Here the book tries to answer a question that fairy tales with their happily-ever-after’s don’t really get to answer: what happens next?

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know is both cute and painful. I know that’s a strange combination, but really, those are the two things I thought of while reading it. Robin is a cute narrator, sounding exactly like how I imagined a teenage guy would sound, with all the hormones and insecurities and girls and all that. He’s a good guy, really, but again, he’s also a guy, and the reactions and comments he had here with Sophie and their relationship, and yes, the naked women (with no scrub tops) were very…well, boyish. Robin is not just the art geek who fits the mythological perfect guy who never makes mistakes or never looks at other girls or women — he’s human, but he’s trying his best to be the best person he can be for his girlfriend, even if she doesn’t know so many things about what he’s going through.

And that’s the painful part. Robin and Sophie’s relationship isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Sophie’s reputation suffered because of Robin, and it was painful for Robin to see and hear the things people say about her because of him. I felt their pain, too, and it was just…sad because it wasn’t supposed to be that way. And it was messy, too, because Robin felt that it was all his fault, when really, it’s not. What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know showed that life goes on after the fairy tales end, and it’s not always “happily” ever after.

A favorite passage that pretty much summarizes the happiness and paint that I felt while reading this:

Maybe,
if we can just laugh
instead of shattering,

we can somehow
keep all of it
from mattering.

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know is cute and fun and sometimes painful, but it’s a very quick and readable novel in verse. I’d recommend reading What My Mother Doesn’t Know first before getting into this so you’d appreciate this more. This is a very teenage novel, though, so don’t expect deep, life changing, earth-shattering revelations to come to you while reading it. If anything, this book gave me a reason to look back at my own high school years with a smile, and then sigh with relief and say, “Thank goodness I’m over that already.”

Rating:

My copy: paperback, birthday gift from Grace

Reviews of other Sonya Sones’ books:
What My Mother Doesn’t Know

Other reviews:
Kirkus

In My Mailbox (23): Birthday Mailbox, Part 2

Happy 26th!

So today I turn 26. Last night I had a karaoke party with some of my friends and it was a bit crazy, and we all welcomed my birthday together with songs, drinks and stayed up until 3am talking about scifi things. Or they talked about scifi while I waited for the alcohol buzz to pass with coffee and cake.

Anyway, as expected, there would be a part 2 of my birthday mailbox. Some of my book club friends were there last night and of course, they got me books. :)

Birthday books!

  • What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones from Kai — to those who don’t know, Kai of Amaterasu Reads and I work together. It was kind of funny how she sneaked this book away from me when we were together almost all afternoon. I saw her carry it but I pretended not to see it. :P
  • Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson from Aaron – trust Aaron to give me my first Brandon Sanderson book. I read the first page of this and it reminded me of the feeling of reading a Kristin Cashore or an MWT book. Hmmm exciting.
  • The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston from KD – KD is our book club moderator, and I told him to give me a more mature book since I did turn a year older. He got me this lovely scrapbook like book. I have no idea what its about but it looks lovely. :)

There’s also this one book behind The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt that the photo didn’t quite get clearly. It’s a book about this local artist, Christian Bautista. Now, I’m not exactly a fan and I don’t know why I got this, but hey, a gift is a gift. LOL.

I got home at 3am, like I said and woke up at 9, and then headed to mass and lunch with my brother and sister-in-law. Awesome lunch, and lots of food, and then finally went home in the afternoon because I was just tired. Then I got home and there was a package waiting for me in my room!

Colorful package for me out of its courier plastic

And inside:

Yay tiny post-its!

Tiny post-its for noting pages and quotes in books so I won’t have to dog-ear anymore! :) Thanks so much, Monique!

So now, I am home and I am quite happy to be not out on my birthday. I guess I’m just exhausted from the past week, and I’m really just looking forward to spending the night at home with my family and reading. Must be signs of aging, not wanting to party all weekend. Before you know it, I’ll be needing walkers for seniors! But I hope not. Haha. Maybe next year my birthday gift to myself is to finally take that reading vacation/staycation I’ve been wanting for so long.

Happy 26th birthday to me. :)

Faves of TwentyEleven: The Books

I remember making my own set of best-of lists for last year, but this year I don’t have that same gimmick, so I’ll ride on other bloggers’ gimmicks instead. Ha. Here’s my first post for the Faves of Twenty Eleven hosted by Nomes of inkcrush! :)

Day One: The Books

Continue Reading →

All I Want for Christmas 2011 Is… (Book Edition)

Ohai?

November is halfway done, which means that December is just around the corner, which also means that Christmas is just around the corner! And in the spirit of gift-giving and all that (and to help my friends in picking out presents for me, y’know, in case they want to :P) here’s my wish list for 2011! :)

BOOK-RELATED STUFF (also known as possibly expensive book-related gifts):

  • Still waiting for that book seal. My brother was supposed to give me one, but I have to confirm. :P
  • Kindle Touch. I mean, come on, you know you want one too (also, I can dream. haha).

BOOKS:

  1. Pysch Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
  2. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
  3. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen  Thanks, Monique!
  4. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen Thanks Angus!
  5. Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
  6. Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
  7. What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  8. Heist Society by Ally Carter
  9. Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park (I don’t mind the ebook version!)
  10. Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver (UK edition, please?)
  11. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
  12. The Boy Book (Ruby Oliver # 2) by E. Lockhart (and the rest of the Ruby Oliver books) Thanks, Tricia! :)
  13. Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick
  14. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June by Robin Benway
  15. Nightspell by Leah Cypess
  16. Amplified by Tara Kelly
  17. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  18. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

I don’t really have much of a preference between books and ebooks but for books with illustrations (particularly #2, 9 and 10), I would want them in print. Because that’s really one of the things you’d pay for in print. :)

I’m also all for recommendations — if you think I’ll like the book, then I would gladly accept. it. :D

But if you’d rather be different, and decide to give me something non-book related…well:

  • Anything with sunflowers and/or stars
  • Gift certificates — not just bookstores, but other places too: Starbucks, Dashing Diva, CBTL, etc.
  • Pretty pens and notebooks :)

I’m pretty easy to please, so even a Christmas card would do, actually. Snail mail makes me happy too. :D

I’m also posting this because I joined this year’s Book Blogger Holiday Swap again. :) It’s so fun sending and receiving packages during the holiday season that even if I am a little tight on the budget this year, I didn’t mind signing up. Unfortunately, sign ups for this swap is already closed, but there are other book swaps, too, like the Book Geeks Book Exchange. :) Come join the book exchanging holiday fun!

Required Reading: August

And what do you know — another month has come and gone, and we’re now in August!

Now July. What a reading month it is. I think this is the month I’ve read the most books this year — a whopping 16. Plus this is also the first month in this entire year that I actually finished all of my Required Reading books way ahead of time. :) And that is 5 books to boot. Awesomeness. Now for the recap (reviews are linked to the titles!):

  • The God Box by Alex Sanchez – my first LGBT book, and it was pretty good. I liked how the Christian aspect was tackled, although I had some issues with the flatness of some of the characters.
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart – Oh, I loved this book. Frankie is so smart and witty that I want to be her. Or be friends with her. Definitely one of the good uns. :)
  • Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers – What an intense novel this one is. I liked it, but it’s definitely not for light reading.
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones - Now this one was also nice. I am really starting to like novels in verse, because they’re so quick to read and I feel like such a fast reader after I finish one in a few hours. Of course, who am I really fooling? Still, I will definitely pick up the sequel for this book.
  • Dark Blue by Melody Carlson – Ah, the only disappointment among these books I read. I wanted to like it, but it’s hard to like a book when the main character is so annoying.

I think July just goes to show how much of a contemporary reader I am. I practically breezed through these books, and I was surprised when I realized that I’m almost done and I had a full week ahead of me to read anything else. I will make a post about this in the future, but I think I can conclude that contemporary YA has always been my first love. :)

And now we head for August.

Required Reading: August

August is a very exciting month for me because I’ll be going on a major trip. For the benefit of those who don’t know me in person, or those who don’t follow my Twitter or my personal blog, I will be off to Europe for two weeks at the end of August. I’m joining the World Youth Day 2011 celebration in Madrid, Spain for a week, followed by some mission trips with my Catholic community for another week. It’s the first time I’ll be in Europe, so I figure that the best things to read for this month are those set in Europe as well. :) Like the following:

  1. Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto
  2. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
  3. No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

I’m only putting three books in the list this time because I’m quite sure there won’t be much reading time when I’m actually in Europe, except maybe for the flight and train rides. I’m also pretty sure I won’t be able to blog as much in the next weeks, and I’m not sure if I can bring my laptop (or even samsung netbooks) on my trip. Anyway, all three books has an element of Europe in them somewhere — let’s see if it will help me recognize those places in the books. :)

Oh, and I’m bending my rules here a bit — No and Me is also for the TwentyEleven challenge. :P Problem?

Happy August everyone! If you’re joining the challenge, leave a comment so I can include you in the round up! :)