You Have Bewitched Me Body and Soul, Mr. Darcy

I wasn’t planning on making this post, but like with all the best things, Pride and Prejudice (2005) simply wouldn’t leave my mind until I wrote about it. Upon completing my first viewing, I have done nothing more than replaying the same scene over and over. When it’s not repeating on a loop in my headphones, it’s reverberating in my head. I’m talking about the unmatched dialogue within the clip titled “Last Man in the World.” The rapid tone of pace and delicate nuance put in the performance keep me utterly glued to the screen.

Tell me why I laugh out loud when I remember “Elizabeth Bennet needs to chill” from the After movie. I’ve never heard a funnier line, especially when I recall Tessa’s mocking accent.

Back to my original point, if I dare share my favorite lines I would include:

Mr. Darcy: “So this is your opinion of me. Thank you for explaining so fully.

The timbre in his voice when saying that phrase gets me every time. E V E R Y  T I M E.

And then, Elizabeth’s quiet rage summed up in one reply:

Mr. Darcy: Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your circumstances?
Elizabeth: And those are the words of a gentleman.

How have I lived so long without these two in my life? They completely reshaped my entire view on romance. Classics know how to make you pay attention to every little detail. Nothing can go unnoticed. The way the hands are placed, the glances that are shared or avoided, following them with your eyes, the longing, the yearning, the daydreaming… All of it! It’s everything I love.

I’ll admit that after completing the film, I went to the book and simply read all of the scenes with Mr. Darcy. It begs the question, does it count as reading when all you do is search for Mr. Darcy in the pages… The book gave me perfect clarity into his inner thoughts when on-screen he might appear passive. So when reading, I felt like Lizzie shouting “Oh, I was so wrong. He’s anything but unkind!” (When he realizes his wrongdoings and corrects them accordingly.)

Honestly, Mr. Darcy made me realize that you really need to pay attention when you develop feelings for someone. There are these tiny signals with certain people that if you don’t pay attention to you simply won’t catch. On the one hand, it’s exhausting to overanalyze their every move. On the other hand, it feels euphoric when you catch their eyes.

Plus, similar to what I paid attention to in Chekhov’s “The Kiss,” Classics made me realize just how timeless the topic of love appears. I can catch myself reading and thinking, “I do that!” For instance, the tug of war you have with yourself over their voice in your head… Or, vowing to move on: “If he does not come to me, then,” said she, “I shall give him up for ever.” Then the meme of pretend shock when he falls silent around you…

And then the overthinking consumes: is he intimidated or simply not interested? Do you never feel their eyes on you because they’re subtle when they look or because they simply don’t look? How frustrating, or in the words of Austen, “If he no longer cares for me, why silent? Teasing, teasing, man! I will think no more about him.”

I rejoiced in that particular moment after they’d confessed their feelings and could simply look back on all those times they were silent near each other and pick each other’s brain as to what they were thinking. It grants so much clarity… in hindsight. Oh, if only… Frankly, I don’t know what petrifies me more, being in a real relationship or the idea of never being in one.

“What made you so shy of me, when you first called, and afterwards dined here? Why, especially, when you called, did you look as if you did not care about me?”
“Because you were grave and silent, and gave me no encouragement.”
“But I was embarrassed.”
“And so was I.”
“You might have talked to me more when you came to dinner.”
“A man who had felt less, might.”

What a brilliant last line. How interesting that it’s harder to talk to people we’re keen on than people we aren’t into. That’s one theme I took constant comfort in within this book.

I’ve shared more of my favorite quotes on my twitter (@bookspoils), and I have to share them anew here:

I do hope this will quiet their colorful voices in my head in the meantime. If not, I need to fill up my brain with more of Austen’s words. Let me know what your favorite Jane Austen romance is. What are your recommendations?

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September 2018: All the Books I (Re-)Read this Month & Am I Joining BookTube?

The month of Tishri (or, September) was full of Jewish holidays, from Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot to the Fast of Gedaliah and Yom Kippur, granting me all the rest days to just sit down and devour these books in single sittings. Surprisingly enough, I delved mostly into rereads this month, save for three, given that those are all my physical copies of books. In total, I read and reviewed seven books:

Movies that made my month:

This was pretty much the month of being in Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before universe. From watching the Netflix film adaption and reviewing it in detail here, to rereading the trilogy after craving more and more of the same cute, contemporary vibe.

My Patreon:

patreon bookspoils

After much deliberation, and upon watching Ariel Bissett’s vulnerable video on the topic, I decided to create a Patreon with the goal in mind to start creating BookTube videos in the near future. I’ve had the thought circling in my head for the past year, and I’m hyped that the idea is starting to formulate itself into a more concrete shape. I’ve already started noting down any exciting book-related topics to feature that I personally haven’t seen discussed before (aka the Jewish side of BookTube).

Before all that can happen, however, I need help in making this a stable reality. If you would like to participate in this creation, join me on this exciting new road and make a pledge through my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/bookspoils

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That was my reading wrap-up for September, thank you for reading! Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments. How was your reading month?

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Rambling Thoughts after Watching To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

*rubs palms together * Where shall I start…

This adaptation of Jenny Han’s novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has been a long time in the making for 14-year-old me who was obsessed with the series. And I already have to note that the film was such a satisfying remake for me to experience on the big screen; I was grinning from ear to ear for the entirety of it. (My 14-year-old self would’ve definitely created a fan account for the film. That’s how good it was.)

When Lara Jean Song Covey’s love letters for every boy she’s ever loved are sent out, her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.
There’s so much I want to cover in my review, so I’ll settle for making a list à la Lara Jean:

(Spoilers from here.)

  • The icebreaker delivered in the opening scene of this movie settled my worries regarding the cliche rate it was going to settle for; there are zero to none.
  • Lana Condor, who stars as Lara Jean, channels in her character perfectly with the awkward fumbling, sweet and quiet nature. There’s one scene, in particular, where I could practically hear her thinking aloud simply by looking at her facial expressions that are so entirely Lara Jean. From stolen glances to her perfect comedic timing with delivering one-liners, she feels what Lara Jean feels.
  • The attention paid to details in this movie is beyond wholesome. From the aesthetic shots to the set design (there’s a red painting in LJ’s room to the far left that I was ogling the whole movie), and even the background matching Lara Jean’s outfits. It’s the tiny details that had me marveling me at how well they captured the tone of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
  • There hasn’t been a movie in a while that has enraptured me as strongly as this one. I zoomed through it, though, I had two excruciating (but necessary) breaks where I was practically on edge to return and complete my watching experience. This quote from my favorite book says it best: ‘Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.’ As I watched, I was reminded of all the films that evoked similar strong emotions out of me: Freaky Friday (2003), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), and The Last Song (2010). To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has been added to my list of favorites, for sure.
  • This might also be a fitting time to share my favorite quote from Jenny Han’s novel that I was hoping to be featured in the adaptation:

You’d rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.

The quote specifically wasn’t featured in the film, but the concept behind it sure was. LJ living this double life, where she walks around in a half-dream haze waiting to return to her ‘real life’ fantasy, is explored throughout her coming-of-age journey.

  • Which is where Peter Kavinsky comes in to save the day. His easy nature and confident ways always had me smiling like a fool in the first book. And it did the same old trick in this film, as well. Like I mentioned back in March when comparing him to Chris for my original Skam Book Tag: The Boy Squad.
    Though, now that I know of John Ambrose showing up, who stole my heart back in 2015 with P.S. I Still Love You, the jury is still out on my commitment to Covinsky. I willing to wait for more to be revealed in the sequel (she said, hoping the film received green light on continuing).
  • Back to the movie, though, I have to share some specifics that had me cackling, giggling, and squealing and everything in between:

#1 The horror music playing when the love letters were first revealed to be in the hand of the recipient. There’s no scary movie that will get your heart beating like that.

Those close-ups get me every time. It’s like there’s an ax in their hand for how dramatic the music made it.

#2 Jenny Han’s cameo, smiling so proudly at her own creations coming to life.

#3 Beautiful, cinematic movie shots. echo Shot Shot Shots vine

#4  The realness that is talking to yourself in your crush’s voice.

#5 Lara Jean’s shoes shown throughout the movie are show-stopping. They’re also the first thing Peter noticed about her, hence my choice of using the song ♪Fancy Shoes♪ by The Walters in my edit at the start of the review.

  • This movie also brilliantly covers specifics I didn’t even think about to make everyday interactions even more realistic. Like the scene where Peter and Lara Jean photograph each other to set as their phone background. This is like some modern HSM with Troy and Gabriella at the New Years party.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before excels at actually delving into Peter and Lara Jean’s interactions, wherein they actually get to know each other and listen intently to the stories they share. It’s quietly intimate moments like these that get me. Like Peter spending time with LJ and her little sister by staying in and watching movies:

I do have to say, though, that I’m low-key sad the movie didn’t feature the precious Halloween scene with Peter and Kitty bonding because my heart still gets weak whenever I think back to it.

Also: the couple completing domestic tasks together (like putting away the dishes) is my jam.Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 09.46.55

In short: I positively adored To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It’s a faithful adaption to Jenny Han’s novel, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe having the sequel confirmed…

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