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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: P.S. from Paris by Marc Levy, Translated by Sam Taylor



Blurb from Goodreads:
On the big screen, Mia plays a woman in love. But in real life, she’s an actress in need of a break from her real-life philandering husband—the megastar who plays her romantic interest in the movies. So she heads across the English Channel to hide in Paris behind a new haircut, fake eyeglasses, and a waitressing job at her best friend’s restaurant.

Paul is an American author hoping to recapture the fame of his first novel. When his best friend surreptitiously sets him up with Mia through a dating website, Paul and Mia’s relationship status is “complicated.”

Even though everything about Paris seems to be nudging them together, the two lonely ex-pats resist, concocting increasingly far-fetched strategies to stay “just friends.” A feat easier said than done, as fate has other plans in store. Is true love waiting for them in a postscript? 
My Review:
 
This book was apparently popular in France and translated from French but something was certainly lost in its translation because I can't help but feel that this book has no soul. It could have been written by anyone, anytime and it read like bad fanfiction inspired after seeing Roman Holiday or Notting Hill.  I made myself finish this and I'm not sure why - nothing about it was redeeming.  The writing was fine, if simple, but I didn't care for the stories nor did I feel that the author was able to successfully write from a woman's POV.  His misogyny and lack of understanding pervaded the book.  I can't say I'd recommend this one.

P.S. from Paris comes out next week on September 1, 2017, and you can purchase HERE. Hopefully you have better luck with this one than I did!
In the mornings, they ate breakfast at Moustache's cafe and chatted. In the afternoons, they strolled around Paris. Paul bought all sorts of useless objects--kitchen utensils, knickknacks, clothes he would never wear, books he would never read, and gifts for his godson. Arthur tried to curb his sudden shopaholic tendencies, but to no avail.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel



Blurb from Goodreads:
Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.

Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .
My Review:
 
I will read any book that labels itself as a Jane Austen retelling - especially a retelling of Persuasion! So I was excited for this one and it really just fell flat.  I suppose you could say the plot very loosely followed Persuasion but it was missing all of the emotion and spark from that book.  To me, that book is about yearning more than anything. This book was about . . . pettiness and little bit of reminiscing.  I didn't long for the characters to reignite, I was just bored while reading this one. The book is told between past and present and I don't think the author did a good job at those transitions. I found myself read for this to end rather than wanting to keep reading.  Overall, I would skip this and re-read Persuasion.

The One that Got Away comes out next week on August 22, 2017, and you can purchase HERE. I think there are way better JA retellings out there than this one but, if you do read this, hopefully you will have a better time!
I hadn't had white toast since Bush was in office--I'd forgotten how completely, utterly perfect it is. Definitely squats tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Ready to Run (I Do, I Don't #1) by Lauren Layne



Blurb from Goodreads:
The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.
My Review:
 
This is probably my least favorite LL that I've read so far but I still liked it because her books are just that good.  I'm trying to put my finger on what didn't quite work for me in this one and I think it was the chemistry, or lack thereof.  I am used to LL's books having insane chemistry between the love interests and the chemistry between Luke and Jordan wasn't what I expected. While there were flashes of LL's usual stellar chemistry created between Jordan and Luke, there was not enough of those although it could just be that I have very high expectations for LL's book after reading and loving quite a few of them  What did work for me were all the secondary characters and the setting.  LL is a genius at sidekicks, for lack of a better word.  You know that person that the MC can bounce all his or her thoughts and feeling off of and who's the most amazing friends? She excels at creating just such characters. I can't wait to see where this series goes next!
Ready to Run comes out next week on August 22, 2017, and you can purchase HERE.  
His fingers spread wide over her waist as his mouth opened over hers, and Jordan's fingers gripped his shirt, holding him close. 
It was a bit like being a teenager again, where you thought you'd die of the frantic want, where you didn't care that you were in a parking lot, pressed against a car, probably getting dirt on your blouse, because all that mattered was the boy.  
Except this was not a boy. 
The guy pinning her to the truck was all man, and his hands and mouth absolutely knew what they were doing. 
Someone whistled as he walked by, and Jordan broke away with a gasping laugh. "Is this how you got three women to agree to marry you? Kissing them against your truck?"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Review: Things That Happened Before the Earthquake by Chiara Barzini



Blurb from Goodreads:
Welcome to LA? Nineties' Hollywood gets an Italian makeover in this poignant and ruefully funny coming-of-age novel featuring a teenage girl who's on shaky ground in more ways than one.

Mere weeks after the 1992 riots that laid waste to Los Angeles, Eugenia, a typical Italian teenager, is rudely yanked from her privileged Roman milieu by her hippieish filmmaker parents and transplanted to the strange suburban world of the San Fernando Valley. With only the Virgin Mary to call on for guidance as her parents struggle to make it big, Hollywood fashion, she must navigate her huge new public high school, complete with Crips and Bloods and Persian gang members, and a car-based environment of 99-cent stores and obscure fast-food franchises and all-night raves. She forges friendships with Henry, who runs his mother's movie memorabilia store, and the bewitching Deva, who introduces her to the alternate cultural universe that is Topanga Canyon. And then the 1994 earthquake rocks the foundations not only of Eugenia's home but of the future she'd been imagining for herself.
My Review:
 
This book took me nearly a week.  I kept putting it down and had to force myself to pick it back up every time.  I did not want to finish it but I did so out of guilt.  It actually picked up about 75% in but it was never what I would term "enjoyable." It wasn't that the writing was bad or even the plot, really, but I never connected with this.  It was written in a narrative style and jumped around a lot. It was supposed to be linear but there were weird gaps of time that threw me off.  I appreciated the reflection of LA in the 90's and the fish out of water first person POV but that was about it.  The whole thing felt too fantastic to me even though every word could have been true.  This might really sing for some people, especially if you have a real nostalgia for the LA of the early 90s but it didn't quite come together for me.  One tip: throw your hopes for political correctness out the window if you do read this.
Things That Happened Before the Earthquake comes out next week on August 15, 2017, and you can purchase HERE.
When I told my Roman schoolmates we were moving to America they all gasped. I should refuse to move to an imperialist country. America was evil. That was the bottom line. Ours was a politically active institution. Every year students conducted a sit-in on the school grounds to protest government decisions about public education. The real activists printed pamphlets and screamed communist slogans into megaphones. The rest of us like the excuse of sleeping away from home. We camped in sleeping bags inside the freezing gym, smoked hash, and talked about "the system." Nobody washed for days. Halls were littered with cigarette butts, posters, and empty cartons of pizza-our only sustenance. Most of the boys had anxious Italian mothers who snuck home-cooked meals through the gates. They didn't want to look like mama's boys so they ate their food alone in the restrooms.
 
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