Genre: Chick-Lit

Early Review + Giveaway! Landline by Rainbow Rowell

July 3, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Giveaways, Read in 2014 34 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review + Giveaway! Landline by Rainbow RowellLandline by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 8th 2014
Pages: 308
Genres: Chick-Lit, Magical Realism
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Attachments, Eleanor & Park

three-stars

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

‘ There’s a magic phone hidden in my closet. And I think it’s connected to the past. And I think I’m supposed to fix something. I think I’m supposed to make something right. ‘

Georgie McCool’s life revolves around her career as a TV show writer. She loves her job but when a Christmas trip with her family goes awry because of work complications, Georgie realizes her job is getting in the way of being there for her family. Her husband is still intent on taking the trip and leaves her home alone for Christmas. Staying with her mom one night, Georgia uses the old yellow landline from her childhood bedroom to call Neal one night. When he answers, she realizes the Neal she’s speaking to isn’t aware they’re married or have children because he’s the Neal she started dating back in 1998.

This seemingly simple story of a marriage on the rocks takes an expected magical realism turn. Georgie is able to take to her husband before he’s her husband and before all the issues that they’re currently dealing with rear their ugly head. Georgie can’t determine whether her ability to speak to him in the past is her chance to correct things in their relationship or her chance to end them before they even start. The ability to go back in time and change things is something I think everyone has wished for at some point or another but will changing things actually be for the better?

Landline is written solely from the point of view of Georgie and I did think the story would have benefited from having both sides of the marriage being told. I felt Neal was a slightly underdeveloped character and hearing his thoughts and feelings on things would have been a helpful addition to understanding it all. The reasoning behind leaving Neal underdeveloped seemed to be because it was meant to be clear that Georgie was solely in the wrong for their relationship issues and he didn’t need to change anything on his end. Georgie’s devotion to her career shouldn’t have been something she needed to feel guilty about and I felt Neal should have been slightly more understanding when Georgie decided to cancel their trip. This was after all a once in a lifetime opportunity for her and it was upsetting that he couldn’t understand that after all their years together.

The story focuses solely on the issues with their marriage and is only going to be understandable if they’re also relatable which I think will be problematic for Rowell’s YA readers that still wish to read anything by the author. The fact that Rowell took your typical chick-lit style novel and added a magical realism flair is really what’s going to set this novel apart from the rest and it’s worth reading just for that factor. The simple addition of a magic phone put a much-needed spin and uniqueness to a frequently told tale.

I was fortunate enough to receive an early copy of this book from St. Martins Press and now want to share this book with one of my readers! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below!

Since I’m covering shipping costs, this is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry international followers!

Giveaway ends July 24th, 2014!

 

Congratulations to Dani D.! Hope you enjoy Landline.

Thank you so much to everyone that entered!

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Book Review + Giveaway! Sweet Nothings by Janis Thomas

December 20, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Giveaways, Read in 2013 5 Comments

I received this book free from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review + Giveaway! Sweet Nothings by Janis ThomasSweet Nothings by Janis Thomas
Published by Berkley on July 2, 2013
Pages: 384
Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: FSB Associates
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Life’s sweetest moments happen when you least expect them . . .

When Ruby McMillan’s husband announces one morning that he’s dumping her for another woman, she’s unable to decide which indignity stings the most: the dissolution of their eighteen-year marriage or the deflation of her white-chocolate soufflé with raspberry Grand Marnier sauce. Without a good-bye to their two teenaged children, Walter leaves Ruby to cope with her ruined dessert, an unpaid mortgage, and her failing bakery.

With only royal icing holding her together, Ruby still manages to pick herself up and move on, subsidizing her income with an extra job as a baking instructor, getting a “my-husband’s-gone” makeover, and even flirting with her gorgeous mortgage broker, Jacob Salt. For as long as she can remember, Ruby has done what’s practical, eschewing far-fetched dreams and true love in favor of stability. But suddenly single again at the age of forty-four, she’s beginning to discover that life is most delicious when you stop following a recipe and just live.

About Janis Thomas

Janis Thomas is a graduate of UCLA who was actually born in the University’s Medical Center. Upon graduating, she moved to Manhattan to get a taste of city life, and so liked the flavor, she stayed for eleven years. While there, she performed in several plays, including the Off-Broadway production of Your Children, was cast in the National Tour of Forbidden Broadway, and played out in some of the hottest clubs in the city with her sister and their band she said. While bartending on the upper west side she met her now-husband. She made him a margarita and they’ve been together ever since. Janis has written over fifty songs and two children’s books (with her dad). When she is not writing or fulfilling her PTA duties, she likes to channel her inner Ace of Cakes to create fun and fabulous desserts. She currently resides in Orange County with her Jersey-transplant husband, their two beautiful children, and dog Ruby. Mom, Dad, siblings, and treasured loved ones live nearby.

‘So, too, have I gathered the ingredients of my life and carefully flavored them, patiently beat my whites, and lovingly folded together all the elements of my existence. Put my proverbial batter into the appropriately prepared ramekin and gently placed my world into the oven. And yet I must have done something wrong, made some false move or ignored an important step in the recipe, because my life has suddenly collapsed around me into a charred, inedible ruin.’

Ruby McMillan’s husband announces one day that he’s leaving her for another woman.  Their marriage had been slowly dissolving for the past years so it’s not as devastating emotionally, but she’s left scrambling for a hold on life while managing her failing bakery and trying to figure out how to inform her children that their father has left them. Things start looking up when Ruby moves her husbands stuff out of the house, gets a makeover and decides to take a chance on the unexpected by signing up to teach a cake class. She also meets Jacob Salt, a man that makes her feel something she hasn’t in years.

This was such a fun and light-hearted read despite the serious nature of the topic. It could have easily been a sob story about trust being shattered and hearts being broken but I found myself laughing out loud at times and reading with a smile on my face. It was so refreshing to read a book about a heroine that is faced with a devastating loss but is able to overcome it all while still maintaining her sense of humor. Ruby’s character was fantastically written and was quite the inspiration.

Obviously, my favorite aspect of this book is the foodie bits. I’ll read the occasional chick lit of course but foodie books? Anytime. Ruby is a baker and ends up being a teacher of a cooking class so we’re given all kinds of fabulous baking details that made me want to hop up and bake some muffins (because I couldn’t bake half of the amazing things Ruby could so I had to settle for muffins.) Not only were the details absorbing but she was constantly coming up with new recipes as a sort of coping mechanism. Every time she’d get overwhelmed or stressed about something, her creative subconscious would come up with something amazing sounding to try.

‘Homemade marshmallow cream and roasted almonds sandwiched between bite-size graham-cracker squares, enrobed with Callebaut milk chocolate.’

Mmmm..

I pretty much loved everything about this book and I read it during a time where I needed to be reminded that despite hardships in life it’s possible to remain strong and power through. It was the perfect book for my current mood and Ruby delivered the emotional boost I needed. This is my first book read by this author but I’ll definitely be picking up her other works. Highly suggested for those looking for a fun and entertaining (and inspirational) chick-lit type read.

1 copy of Sweet Nothings open to U.S. and Canada addresses only!
Giveaway ends January 3rd, 2014
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

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Book Tour Review + Giveaway! The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells Mysteries #5) by Meg Cabot

October 3, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2013, TLC Book Tours 0 Comments

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review + Giveaway! The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells Mysteries #5) by Meg CabotThe Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot
Series: Heather Wells Mysteries #5
Published by William Morrow on September 24th 2013
Pages: 400
Genres: Chick-Lit, Cozy, Mystery, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Heather Wells is used to having her cake and eating it too, but this time her cake just might be cooked. Her wedding cake, that is.

With her upcoming nuptials to PI Cooper Cartwright only weeks away, Heather's already stressed. And when a pretty junior turns up dead, Heather's sure things can't get worse—until every student in the dorm where she works is a possible suspect, and Heather's long-lost mother shows up.

Heather has no time for a tearful mother and bride reunion. She has a wedding to pull off and a murder to solve. Instead of wedding bells, she might be hearing wedding bullets, but she's determined to bring the bad guys to justice if it's the last thing she does . . . and this time, it just might be.

Heather Wells is set to marry Cooper Cartwright in a matter of weeks but is finding it next to impossible to plan when her life is no less hectic than normal. With freshmen orientation going on Heather has to deal with overly concerned parents and a new “Very Important Resident” that has moved in making things impossibly more chaotic. And then one of the buildings RA’s is found dead in her bed. As if things weren’t bad enough, Heather’s mom makes her first appearance ever since she stole her entire savings and fled the country.

What’s really funny about how much I loved this book was the other installments were only ‘meh’ for me. I received this for a book tour but because my brain refuses to comply when I start a series and the book is not #1 I figured it was best to go back and read them all in order. There’s always this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I’m missing out on important shit and I’m doing it all wrong. But books 1-4 failed to impress if and if I didn’t already sign up to read #5 I doubt I ever would have got there. I know tons of you have loved this series through and through but in my opinion? This installment is the best yet.

So what did I love so much about this one compared to the others? It’s possible that by book 5 all of the characters kookiness had finally grown on me because at first I found the vast majority of them to be slightly annoying. I also think it could be because I opted to listen to the first 4 installments on audio and I found the narrators voice to be no bueno. It’s also possible that this is simply a better written installment in general. Either way, I loved it.

The Bride Wore Size 12 chock-full of mystery and involves several storylines that may or may not all be linked. It could be said that there was possibly a bit ‘too much’ going on but I understand the purpose in giving that illusion of an easy answer to the chaos. I’d much rather have that than a mystery I guess from the very beginning. Existing storylines are also dredged up in order to be given proper closure, most significant of those is the re-emergence of her long lost mother. This isn’t given a picture perfect ending but it was sufficient enough to give satisfying conclusion.

This series possesses a cast of characters similar to what you would find in a cozy mystery and they’re the type that don’t always do things rationally but are always hilarious and entertaining nonetheless. Heather is a a fantastically imperfect leading character and despite being a teen pop-star, is now leading a somewhat normal yet happy life. She’s engaged to marry Cooper Cartwright who she pined for over the course of the first 3 installments only to realize he’s been doing the same. The two are a perfect pair and completely adorable and seeing them finally get their happy ending was the very best of endings. Despite the title though, the romance and wedding planning manages to not overwhelm the story at all and feels more like an anecdote than anything.

I’m extremely pleased at this series ending installment. A delightful and entertaining story with the perfect balance of mystery and romance.

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This post was a part of the The Bride Wore Size 12 blog tour.

Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.

Thanks to William Morrow I have a copy of The Bride Wore Size 12 to giveaway to one lucky winner. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. Sorry international followers!

Giveaway ends October 17th,2013
 
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below.
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Book Review – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

September 14, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 16 Comments

Book Review – Attachments by Rainbow RowellAttachments by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Dutton Adult on April 14th 2011
Length: 336
Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Landline, Eleanor & Park

five-stars

"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

This is not a genre that I typically jump for but I was in dire need of some serious fluff since I had finished The Book Thief and Rose Under Fire in the same day. Plus, I haven’t heard anything other than amazing things about Rainbow Rowell.

Attachments was an absolute treat and I really loved it. The chapters alternate between Jennifer and Beth’s conversations over e-mail which are written in the form of almost instant messages and then normally written chapters from the point of view of Lincoln. Lincoln was a charming character but Jennifer and Beth were the absolute frosting on the cake. Extremely witty and entertaining, Jennifer and Beth were two girls that I would love to be friends with. Jennifer is married and currently having issues dealing with a husband that wants to start having children while she’s still not sure. Beth is in a long-term relationship with a guitarist in an up and coming band and wants to settle down but she doesn’t think he’ll ever want to. Their conversations were constantly cracking me up. Here’s an example of how Jennifer and Beth’s chapters appear and a little snippet of the humor.

Jennifer to Beth
Now that I think about, we’ve known each other six years, and I’ve never seen you in a bathing suit. Or a tank top.
Beth to Jennifer
Not a coincidence, my friend. Iv’e got the arms of a Sicilian grandmother. Arms for picking olives and stirring hearty tomato sauces. Shoulders for carrying buckets of water from the stream to the farmhouse.
Jennifer to Beth
Has Chris seen your shoulders?
Beth to Jennifer
He’s seen them. But he hasn’t seen them.
Jennifer to Beth
I get it, but I don’t get it.
Beth to Jennifer
No sleeveless negligees. No direct sunlight. Sometimes when I’m getting out of the shower, I shout, “Hey, look, a bobcat!”
Jennifer to Beth
I bet he falls for that every time.
Beth to Jennifer
It’s Chris. So recreational drugs are a factor.

And my favorite, because I’m a total Jennifer.

Jennifer to Beth
Even construction workers don’t whistle at me.
Beth to Jennifer
That’s because you ooze preemptive leave-me-alone death rays.

Lincoln was an interesting main character since I can’t recall the last Chick-Lit type novel I read that featured a male character. It was a success though. Lincoln is in his late 20’s and has just graduated (again) from college and has moved back home to live with his mom. He plays Dungeons & Dragons on the weekend, doesn’t like to go out to bars and is terrible at connecting with females. He stumbles upon Jennifer and Beth’s emails in the course of his daily job duties and while they were clearly violating the personal email rule he never reported them. Instead, he continued reading about their lives that interested him in a way he couldn’t understand. While I was anxious to find out what happens when the two finally do meet, the ending was a bit overly mushy and leaned a bit too much towards ‘perfect’.

Attachments is a charming and adorable tale of finding love in the least expected ways and a touching story of female friendship.

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Release Day Feature + Giveaway! The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag

April 4, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013, Release Day Feature 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Release Day Feature + Giveaway! The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van PraagThe House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on April 4th 2013
Pages: 293
Genres: Chick-Lit, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

A magical debut about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need

Distraught that her academic career has stalled, Alba is walking through her hometown of Cambridge, England, when she finds herself in front of a house she’s never seen before, 11 Hope Street. A beautiful older woman named Peggy greets her and invites her to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around. With nothing left to lose, Alba takes a chance and moves in.

She soon discovers that this is no ordinary house. Past residents have included George Eliot and Beatrix Potter, who, after receiving the assistance they needed, hung around to help newcomers—literally, in talking portraits on the wall. As she escapes into this new world, Alba begins a journey that will heal her wounds—and maybe even save her life.

Filled with a colorful and unforgettable cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a charming, whimsical novel of hope and feminine wisdom that is sure to appeal to fans of Jasper Fforde and especially Sarah Addison Allen.

“If you stay I can promise you this. This house may not give you what you want, but it will give you what you need. And the even that brought you here, the thing you think is the worst thing that’s ever happened? When you leave, you’ll realize it was the very best thing of all.”

Alba, Carmen and Greer all recently experienced life-changing events that they never thought they could possibly persevere over, and that’s when they discovered the House on Hope Street.To me, magical realism is based in contemporary with subtle magical undertones. When well done, magical realism has the ability to absorb you so completely in the story that all of the magical elements become real and possible. With ‘Hope Street’ it was so magical and at times far-fetched in the belief department I would almost go so far as to consider it a lite-fantasy novel, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

From the very first page, I knew that this novel would require a suspension of disbelief when Alba walks into a strangers house and immediately accepts the offered invitation to stay for 99 days so she could get her life back on track. Alba had never been there before and had never seen the house before, yet had felt safer within those walls than she had in a long time. Hm. What I never quite understood was their complete acceptance of the ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ events that were taking place in the house. Like the talking pictures of deceased individuals or the letters that the ‘house’ would leave for them. I would’ve at least liked a moment of aw by these characters in regards to the amazement they felt towards the house rather than an immediate blind acceptance without question.

Much is disclosed about all of the characters, yet I had a hard time liking or ‘feeling’ anything for any of them. Alba is an intellectual prodigy and is fighting internal battles over a personal secret, Carmen is from Portugal and has run away from a bad situation but it always manages to follow her, and Greer is healing after heartbreak and trying to discover what she wants in life. In addition to the women, there are two incredibly tortured male characters that provided additional yet unnecessary drama. Albert had an affair with a woman two decades ago, fathered her child, yet she ended up returning to her husband and forcing him out of her life. He spent the rest of his life waiting and hoping she would come back to him. Blake has resolved to never marry and frequently cheats on whoever he’s with in order to avoid feeling anything for her. He says he does this because his mother left him when he was young. The amount of dramatic effect that was added to all the characters was in excess. It made them less realistic and made me less likely to empathize with them.

The frequently alternating POVs (I wasn’t even trying to keep track of the different POVs but I remember 9 just off the top of my head) was distracting at first but once you get a handle on the chaotic mess of characters it did become slightly easier to follow. I did think that each character section was far too short and ultimately created a jarring effect whenever the switch in POV was made. Also jarring, was the fact that it felt the story jumped around in time and I was always unclear how much time had passed.

I was hoping for a light, fluffy read, something that would fit that cutesy cover that drew me in to begin with. There were some good bits where I found myself really enjoying it but unfortunately, the chaotic mess of characters with a ridiculous amount of problems and the implausibility of the whole thing lessened my overall enjoyment.

Giveaway Details
1 copy of The House at the End of Hope Street open to U.S. and Canada addresses only!
Giveaway ends April 18th, 2013
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!
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Early Review – Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

March 28, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 0 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Wedding Night by Sophie KinsellaWedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
Published by The Dial Press on April 23rd 2013
Pages: 446
Genres: Chick-Lit, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Not So Perfect Life, Surprise Me

two-stars

Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose during lunch at one of London’s fanciest restaurants. But when his big question involves a trip abroad, not a trip down the aisle, she’s completely crushed. So when Ben, an old flame, calls her out of the blue and reminds Lottie of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. No formal dates—just a quick march to the altar and a honeymoon on Ikonos, the sun-drenched Greek island where they first met years ago.

Their family and friends are horrified. Fliss, Lottie’s older sister, knows that Lottie can be impulsive—but surely this is her worst decision yet. And Ben’s colleague Lorcan fears that this hasty marriage will ruin his friend’s career. To keep Lottie and Ben from making a terrible mistake, Fliss concocts an elaborate scheme to sabotage their wedding night. As she and Lorcan jet off to Ikonos in pursuit, Lottie and Ben are in for a honeymoon to remember, for better . . . or worse.

I know. It’s shocking. I can hardly believe it myself. ME. Giving a Sophie Kinsella a two star rating. Okay, yes, I know I gave Mini-Shopaholic 2 stars too but that book should have never happened as that series should have already been done. But this? Had such potential and actually started out highly entertaining (even though the character totally reminded me of Becky Brandon but instead of having a lack of control when it came to shopping, this main character had a lack of control for doing anything remotely smart.)

When I pick up a Sophie Kinsella novel I expect light-hearted entertainment with several giggles thrown in for good measure. Yes, there were a few giggles… at the beginning. And then all enjoyment I attained quickly began to deteriorate as the story took a steady downhill path.

The story is told from the point of view of sisters Lottie and Fliss. Lottie was under the impression that her boyfriend was about to propose and after he doesn’t she ends up breaking it off completely. After every heartbreak in her life, Lottie has always done something drastic and spontaneous including new tattoos, the purchasing of new property, and even joining a Cult. But this post-heartbreak decision really takes the cake: she decides to follow through on a pact made with an old boyfriend, and they both get married. (Even though she knows nothing about him and hasn’t even seen him since she was 18… which was 15 years ago.)

Fliss is determined to stop her sister from ruining her life and having to go through the painful divorce that she herself is currently going through. She comes up with a plan to intentionally sabotage their Wedding Night so they’re unable to consummate the marriage which will allow her to simply get an annulment. Because it can’t be possible that Lottie actually LOVES this man… is it?

I have a huge issue with people that take it upon themselves to take action in your life all because they think they know what’s best for you. Even if it’s family. And this story was one blaring example of that. Fliss did anything and everything to prevent them from consummating their marriage because she knew without a doubt in her mind that Lottie just wasn’t thinking clearing and that Fliss was the only one that could help her see the light of day.

All of the roadblocks that Lottie and her new husband Ben continued to run into were mildly humorous.. at first. The TV that blared The Teletubbies that for some reason couldn’t be turned off, when they were put into a suite with two twin beds instead of a king, and even when they were caught trying to complete the task in the airport bathroom. It was all fun and games… at first, but when Fliss advised the staff to give the couple peanut oil instead of massage oil which caused Lottie to break out as she’s allergic to peanuts? That was not funny. Maybe I personally have too many food allergies that are not humorous in the least but having her sister do that to her was not only far from funny but was quite upsetting.

Basically, we have two morals to this story:
Lottie needs to learn not to make such drastic decisions when life gets her down. Maybe if she had given it some thought she shouldn’t marry her boyfriend from when she was 18 because she knows next to nothing about him only a few days after breaking up with her boyfriend.
Fliss needs to learn that she can’t control everything in her life (or anyone else’s). She may currently be going through a hard and bitter divorce but that doesn’t mean that her sister is incapable of falling in love, or getting herself out of sticky situations.

Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors ever and despite my two-star review I still recommend this one to die-hard Sophie fans. Why? Because even if someone had told me this book was a massive time-waster you know what? I still would have read it. Because it’s by Sophie. So please, read this, I’m eager to discuss this with someone.

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Early Review – Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster

January 3, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 4 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Here I Go Again by Jen LancasterHere I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
Published by NAL on January 29th 2013
Pages: 320
Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Funny-ha-ha
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog

four-stars

Hilarious new fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of Bitter Is the New Black and If You Were Here .

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn't understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped...beloved...feared. Present day, not so much. She's been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she's struggling to start a business out of her parents' garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.

Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it's not like she can go back in time and change who she was...or can she?

Lissy Ryder is that kind of girl in school that is super popular and you can’t help but love/hate her. I know we all went to school with at least one Lissy-type. Her 20-year high school reunion is coming up and shortly before, everything about her life seems to falling apart at the seams. She’s kicked out of her swanky gym for not paying the fees, she gets fired from her job and her husband just asked her for a divorce.

Choosing not to wallow and instead pick herself up and go to her reunion she discovers that the people from high school don’t love her as much as they used. Actually? They pretty much hate everything about her. But what can she do? It’s not like she can change the past or anything… right?

I can’t help but love Jen Lancaster. I’ve followed her on Twitter and on her blog for years, I’ve read all of her memoirs, and she’s one seriously hilarious lady. But in ‘Here I Go Again’ I felt that her sense of humor really shined through in a whole new refreshing kind of way.

I loved pretty much everything about the book. 80’s references were strewn throughout (mainly regarding the big hair bands) and being a personal lover of the 80’s (and big hair bands) this was incredibly fun. I loved the cast of characters that were so completely hilarious, although Deva and her quirkiness was my favorite. But what made this most enjoyable was the fact that Lissy’s ‘change’ into a better person after realizing how wrong she was in the past was truly genuine. The time travel bit was goofy but completely intentional. Did it make a whole lot of sense? No. Was it supposed to? No. But was it entertaining? Absolutely.

Jen managed to write an extremely multi-layered story that was hilarious and incredibly enjoyable. Normally with these stories there’s always the picture perfect happy ending, but in ‘Here I Go Again’, well, as Lissy would say:

‘Karma really is a bitch.’

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Book Review – Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer

December 1, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie & Bob MayerAgnes and the Hitman by Bob Mayer, Jennifer Crusie
Published by St. Martin's Press on August 26, 2008
Pages: 430
Genres: Chick-Lit, Funny-ha-ha, Mystery, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

Take one food writer named Cranky Agnes, add a hitman named Shane, mix them together with a Southern mob wedding, a missing necklace, two annoyed flamingos, and a dog named Rhett and you've got a recipe for a sexy, hilarious novel about the disastrous side of true love…

Agnes Crandall's life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen one night, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that she's staked her entire net worth on. Then a hero climbs through her bedroom window. His name is Shane, no last name, just Shane, and he has his own problems: he's got a big hit scheduled, a rival trying to take him out, and an ex-mobster uncle asking him to protect some little kid named Agnes. When he finds out that Agnes isn't so little, his uncle has forgotten to mention a missing five million bucks he might have lost in Agnes's house, and his last hit was a miss, Shane's life isn't looking so good, either. Then a bunch of lowlifes come looking for the money, a string of hit men show up for Agnes, and some wedding guests gather with intent to throw more than rice. Agnes and Shane have their hands full with greed, florists, treachery, flamingos, mayhem, mothers of the bride, and--most dangerous of all--each other. Agnes and the Hitman is the perfect combination of sugar and spice, sweet and salty--a novel of delicious proportions.

The Storyline
Agnes is not your normal chick-lit heroine. The fact that she’s known as ‘Cranky Agnes’ could give you an idea. The fact that she’s used a frying pan in more ways than just cooking (I’ll give you a hint, one guy now has a metal plate in his head) could also give you another idea. There’s also an incident with a meat fork but I won’t spoil the fun for you. Or maybe it’s the mental conversations she has with her therapist.

”Fuck you,” Agnes said, bent over the edge of the cake.
Angry language, Agnes.
Fuck you, too, Dr. Garvin.

I think it’s a combination of everything, actually.

Agnes leads a quiet, simple, life as a food writer engaged to a quiet, simple man named Taylor. Her quiet, simple life takes a sharp 180° the day that she’s held at gunpoint for her dog. Yes, she’s held at gunpoint because they’re trying to steal her dog. Her life is soon thrown into even more upheaval when a hitman, Shane, is sent to protect her. People keep coming after Agnes, trying to steal her dog, trying to kill her, but who’s sending them? What follows is a rollercoaster ride that’s entirely way too much fun.

“Somebody might be coming to the house who might be dangerous.”
“Really?” Agnes said. “Because that almost never happens here. With advance notice. Should I get my frying pan?”

Final Thoughts
Agnes is going down as one of my favorite book characters of all time, definitely. She’s a single girl, who loves to cook for her friends, she’s preparing to hold a wedding at her house, and she’s a food writer… I mean, at face value she’s just a normal girl. Agnes cannot be taken at face value and that’s what I loved most, the fact that I was completely surprised at how crazy and lovable she was all at the same time.

This book was downright hilarious, was extremely enjoyable, the characters were all amazing (I especially loved Shane), and… why exactly have I never read anything by this author before? Will definitely be correcting this, pronto.

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Book Review – With a Little Luck by Caprice Crane

September 4, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from a Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – With a Little Luck by Caprice CraneWith a Little Luck by Caprice Crane
Published by Bantam on July 26, 2011
Pages: 308
Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Funny-ha-ha
Format: ARC
Source: a Giveaway
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

If love is in the cards, then somebody stacked the deck.

Los Angeles radio DJ Beryl “Berry” Lambert, whose name means luck, doesn’t much believe in it—although, thanks to her dear old gambling dad, she’s a bit superstitious, certain that everything happens for a reason. She keeps a four-leaf clover in her wallet, never takes off her horseshoe necklace, and won’t tempt fate by walking under a ladder or opening an umbrella indoors. Ever.

When it comes to love, though, she could use a little luck. Two disastrous relationships back-to-back can mean only one thing to a woman who knows that everything good or bad happens in threes: A third Mr. Wrong is imminent. But fellow DJ Ryan Riley goes against the odds. Their on-air battle of the sexes is a hit for the station and sparks some serious heat after hours. Ryan is funny and sexy, and he thinks Berry’s quirkiness is cute. Is their romance doomed by the numbers—or is a girl who leaves nothing to chance finally ready to gamble?

Caprice Crane’s witty, winsome novel about the game of modern romance proves that with a little luck and the right stakes, everybody wins.

This is the first Caprice Crane novel that I’ve read so I didn’t know what to expect; however, I follow her on twitter and she’s constantly cracking me up. I was hoping for the same humor in novel form but it didn’t hit the mark for me. For the first third of the book there was no apparent plot and I had no clue what the point of the book even was. At times I had to stop, shake myself, and continue reading when the words had turned into Charlie Brown’s teacher.

The heroine of the novel, Beryl ‘Berry’ Lambert was essentially completely unlikable, and oftentimes got so wrapped up in being funny that it’s almost as if she forgot about her audience and the story line entirely. She drove me absolutely nuts with her superstitions and the occasional reference to herself.

“This alone isn’t remarkable; believe it or not, Berry gets her share of the lookie-loos.”

Yes. She was talking about herself. Direct quote.

The rest of the characters failed to garner interest as well, including her gambling addict father who at one point has to ask if he can come live with her when his electricity is shut off. And then that other time when he has a friend call Berry asking for $500 for ‘bail money’ because he’s in jail… when he really wasn’t. Really sad situation because she really loved her dad, he was just a loser, and I was glad that she eventually stand up to him.

By the end it had garnered a few giggles, but the smattering of well-placed “Tweets” were too few and far between for it to be a successful book in my eyes.

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