January 31, 2008 I Do (But I Don't) by Cara Lockwood
Well, a couple days after I posted the last entry, The Strand emailed me to say that they didn't have this book in stock any more, but they could send it to me if they got it in the next six weeks or so. Um, yeah, no. So, after much looking, I finally found a copy at the Borders next to Penn Station last weekend when I was in NYC. Yay!

I first heard about this book when I watched the movie on Lifetime starring Dean Cain and Denise Richards. Now, normally, I don't like Denise Richards, but she was endearing in this little TV movie. And Dean Cain plays a firefighter, so yeah, pretty good flick.

The book was really good as well. I liked the first person narrative and the main character was easy to like, right off the bat. Of course, the only problem was that the main character's description is NOTHING like Denise Richards, so I had a bit of a hard time throwing out the mental images I already had for this book and going where the author was taking me. Nonetheless, it was a great, fast read and really enjoyable. The movie stayed pretty true to the book, which was nice, except for the setting of the end scene - and I have to say, I really liked the setting in the movie better. Is that wrong? Meh, in any case, another great, light read and I slipped one more book into January's count!

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January 10, 2008 Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
I expected my local library to have a copy of I Do (But I Don't), but it didn't. So now I'm waiting for my shipment from The Strand to wing its way here.

In the meantime, I figured I'd go ahead and read the latest installment of the Shopaholic series. I try not to read the same author back-to-back, but oh well.

It was surprisingly good. In the beginning, I was rolling my eyes as hard as I've ever done with this character because it seemed like she STILL DOESN'T GET IT and that's SO BLOODY ANNOYING. And while I think my natural response to pregnancy would also be shopping, hopefully, my purchases would be 10 onesies instead of 5 strollers. I'm just saying.

It was light and towards the end, it really started to make me laugh. I liked that some of Becky's suspicions were true because I hate when she's always flying off the handle for no reason. I hate the name they picked, but that often happens to me.

I did like that she finally didn't get something she wanted and they finally didn't end up rolling in it like usual. It was a happy ending, but a more realistic happy that really sat well with me.

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January 09, 2008 Upcoming Releases
Several of my favorite authors have new books coming out this spring, but I'll never remember to get these if I don't write it down!

02/26/08 - Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
04/08/08 - Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
05/27/08 - Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger
06/24/08 - Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot

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January 08, 2008 Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham
I spent another evening with the TV off tonight and managed to polish off another book. I had started this one last night, but I finished the last 200 pages this afternoon after an eventful trip to the library.

Though the cover boasts this book is by the same author as the Shopaholic series, it's a completely different feel. These women feel very real, like you might actually work with them or run into them in a pub. I liked how relateable these women were, that none of them became a caricature of themselves. I wasn't screaming at any of them and I really genuinely wanted them to work out their problems.

I loved the bond they had and continued to keep, even as life circumstances changed. They are the kind of friendships that I hope I have cultivated with my closest friends (even if our Chinese food and cocktail nights are a little sparser than once a month). This book really left me with a warm feeling in my heart.

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January 07, 2008 The First Assistant by Clare Naylor & Mimi Hare
So, when I passed by a Borders yesterday, the evil book-buying part of my brain took over and I ended up picking this up (as well as Shopaholic & Baby). I proceeded to devour the entire thing yesterday evening, which is the first time I've spent the evening just reading a book in a long, long time.

I didn't like this one as well as the first one. The character didn't seem to have the same grounding or something. It could be my own bias from my own experience fighting my way up in the industry, but it just really started pushing the lines of believability and just never came back from it. Even the ending - I just couldn't get behind it. Again, it could be my own experience coloring the narrative since I didn't anywhere near her level of achievement in two years in my three years. I know, I know, fiction. But still. Meh.

I also had a little trouble with the fact that one of her best friends (and sometimes love interest) shares a first name with my best friend (and sometimes love interest) in my LA story. Made me miss him more than I'd like to admit, even all these years later.

Overall, it was a fast, good read, but I still liked the first one better.

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posted by Jenn at 10:41 AM 0 comments

January 04, 2008 The Second Assistant by Clare Naylor & Mimi Hare
I just finished my first book of the year and I really liked it. This one had been on my wishlist for some time, probably from my days in LA, if you can believe it. I think I either saw it in Borders or read about it in a magazine. Now, that I have the "appropriate" distance from my entertainment career and since I'm considering diving back into that world, I thought I'd finally read it.

At first, I was a bit put off by what I perceived to be a condescending tone, explaining things about the industry and how it works. But I quickly realized that it was my own inner bias and not the authors with the tone. Most people don't know how things work, so it makes sense to explain the "obvious" choices and rationales behind decisions and actions. I guess some things never leave you. ;)

I was also a little bit leery of how similar the main character and I are (both political scientists, worked on the Hill, got our first Hollywood job through connections, constantly afraid of being fired, etc.), but in the end, it actually made it more enjoyable. I really liked the evolution of Lizzie and how she realizes that there is *some* merit in what she does, even if it seems crazy.

Sometimes the men were a little hard to follow and it seemed like some plotlines got dropped halfway through, but overall, I really liked. Unlike other novels about real life things, this book didn't seem to be skewering anyone or trying to get back at the evil bosses who screwed them. I'm excited to grab the sequel in the next few weeks.

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