December 31, 20112011 was a bust! I stalled out last month when I picked up David McCullough's 1776, which is brilliant, but very dense. It's become my laundry day read, so it's been slow going. I plan to read Mindy Kaling's book on the plane in the morning, so that will be my first book of 2012. Then I'll finish up 1776 and see where the year takes me.
I only read 18 books this year, but that's more than double last year, so I'll take that as a win. Here's to 2012!
October 16, 2011The Last Year of Being Single by Sarah Tucker
Spoilers abound in this review, so scroll past if you don't want to know what happens (though I would not recommend to anyone to read this book!).
First of all, the title is a total misnomer because Ms. Sarah Giles (yes, that's right, the author named the main character after herself!) starts the book single (though coupled) and ends the book single (uncoupled).
Secondly, it seems like Ms. Tucker saw Bridget Jones's Diary, perhaps on a airplane, where they take all the good bits out, and thought, "I could do that." The diary format would be a nice change of pace of things weren't totally incomprehensible a lot of the time. Our heroine switches between first person and third person when talking about an event, quite interchangeably. Also, the inclusion of text messages may have seemed novel then (2002), but now it's just trite and does little to move the story along.
But really, my main problem with the book is that everyone sucks. The main character is terrible. She doesn't seem to like her boyfriend of five years, except when she spends pages talking about how much she loves him and they are soul mates. Even though she hates his friends, the way he's controlling, the fact that he won't have sex with her since she got an abortion during the first month of them dating, etc. She starts having an affair with another guy who is also controlling and sorta creepy and lies to him too. She's SO confused ALL of the time and doesn't know WHAT to do. Ugh.
I spent most of the book screaming at her to just dump Paul and leave John and get her damn life together. I skimmed the last third of the book, in the hopes that she was not actually the horrid human being she was for the first two-thirds of the book, but no, even after she is told on multiple occasions by multiple people that she really doesn't want to get married, she still dons the dress and walks down the aisle. On the next to last page, she actually says no and I think we're supposed to be happy for her. I was just happy the book was over.
September 10, 2011The Betrayl of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig
It's been over two years since I last dove into a Lauren Willig historical fiction and I think absence made the heart grow fonder. I didn't really remember Penelope or the circumstances of her marriage, but luckily for me, that didn't really matter. I didn't have to keep straight in which book Charlotte or Henrietta, etc were featured as Penelope and Freddy were largely on their own in this book. The detour to colonial India was also a nice change of pace.
Also, for the first time, I actually preferred the period romance to that of Colin and Eloise. It was quite interesting to see Penelope falling for Captain Reid and dealing with that attraction while maintaining (and not maintaining) her place in society. Definitely more interesting that Eloise trying to set up Colin's sister, now that she's part of a couple and wants everyone to be coupled up. I found Eloise actually quite insufferable whenever she appeared on the page and the air of "mystery" around Colin's family is bordering on dull at this point.
That said, I'm excited to catch up on the books that have come out in the years that have past and see what else lies in store for this group of characters.
September 05, 2011Jack With a Twist: Engaging Your Adversary and Other Things They Don't Teach You in Law School by Brenda Janowitz
I spent a lot of time angry at all the characters in the book as I read. First, I was pissed that our heroine wasn't taking her case seriously and/or was whining she was actually having to do her job instead of planning her wedding. But then she was doing her job and everyone else is giving her shit about it. And every time I was finally get back on Team Brooke, she'd do something else ridiculous (like hiring her wedding videographer to stalk her fiance to make sure he wasn't cheating on her with his new junior associate) and I'd want to shake her.
Everyone was behaving irrationally (I mean, serving her with motions "as a joke" and then seeming surprised she was taking them seriously? Please tell me actual lawyers don't act like this!) and it was very frustrating. Brooke also tries to rationalize her behavior to the reader, but instead of agreeing with her, I just wanted to scream at her. The ending was even more ridiculous and took any good feeling I had toward any of the characters with it. The epilogue again felt tacked on, but so far I haven't seen evidence that the author has made this a trilogy.