June 27, 2007Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
It's been a few years since I've read a Maeve Binchy book, so I was excited to get back into one. Unlike every other book of hers that I have read, this one was not set in Ireland. And perhaps, that made all the difference.
I was intrigued by the four main characters and the vibrant Greek locals they met on the eve of a local tragedy. It felt different than previous books I've read by her, but I liked it all the same. Some of the parallels between the lives of the locals and that of the visitors felt a little too on the nose and with any other author, I'd roll my eyes. But Ms. Binchy rocks, so I'll give it a pass.
It didn't live up to my expectations, but it was a refreshing break from some of the chick lit I'd been reading, so I really can't complain.
June 17, 2007reading what *I* want So, back in September, I won the Chick Lit sweeps at Bookcrossing. I was excited to win because I love chick lit. However, I've since realized that other people's version of chick lit and mine are not the same. As I've been preparing to move, I've been trying to move on all the books with a Bookcrossing "past." I figured I should read them first since people were nice enough to send them to me.
But now, looking at the calendar, I realize that I'm not going to get through all the books that were sent to me before I move. And, in trying to list them in the forums, I've found that no one else is really interested in reading these books either. So, I've decided to start wild-releasing these novels and moving on to the books I want to read.
First up - one of my Maeve Binchy collection that has been collecting dust on my shelf for a couple of years :)
June 11, 2007Do You Remember The First Time? by Jenny Colgan
I have to say that the actual plot of this book hit me from out of left field. And for that reason alone, I kinda liked it. Once I got over the initial shock, I wasn't quite as impressed, but it was a quick read and ended up pretty tidy, so I can't complain.
The book is basically 13 Going On 30 in reverse, which is a nice enough concept if I hadn't seen the movie first. I was a bit confused by why some people switched and some people didn't. Ditto why sleeping with the little brother somehow made up for her not sleeping with the older brother when she had the chance. I saw the ending "plot twist" from a mile away, but it was still nice.
Overall, I probably wouldn't turn down another book by this author, but I wouldn't race out to pick one up either.
This book had the added perk of being set in Sactown, which I really think helped me get through it. Of all the characters introduced, the main character is the least likeable and I found myself wishing we were hearing more about the other love stories going on in the background.
In the beginning, I really understood the premise for the wedding because I've been there - where you just want a partner and you don't understand why you've been so resistant in the past. However, as it went on, I was far less sympathetic to the control-freak main character and wished she could read some of the omniscient narrator's psycho-analysis (also not a fan of this).
Dennis and the wedding planner felt a little Derek/Meredith to me, so I liked that, even if I sorta disagree with the premise. All in all, not a bad read, but I probably wouldn't have picked it up if it hadn't been sent to me.