September 20, 2009 Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
I had to get about halfway into this book before I was really hooked. But once I was hooked, I was sad to see it end.

Both main characters were absolutely insufferable at the beginning and I would have enjoyed a bit more delving into the family dynamics, given how much they play a part in the climax of the book. But once our heroine finally gets her shit together, she's plucky, funny and silly without being too unbelievably witty or together. Lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.

Good read from a good author.

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posted by Jenn at 7:48 PM 0 comments

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
Jennifer Weiner never fails to deliver a nuanced look at females, families, friendships and food. I started this book just after my own high school reunion and I think mine might have been a bit more interesting if it had ended like this book started.

I was a bit confused as to why our heroine went along with her crazy old friend, but as we went along I didn't mind it so much. I really enjoyed how the past was revealed, piece by piece instead of a ton of exposition. Weiner gives us the POV of almost every major character in the book, except for the crazy friend. I really would love to see how she sees herself. Perhaps Weiner's next book?

The ending was a little unbelievable and things seemed to wrap up a little to neatly for my taste. But it was a great ride up to that point, so I'll forgive her.

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posted by Jenn at 7:19 PM 0 comments

The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham
I've usually found the books she writes as Madeleine Wickham to have less obnoxious main character than those she writes as Sophie Kinsella. This is the case again with this book, but only by a little bit.

I was a bit frustrated at the "la la la, this isn't happening" approach to the problem by the main character, even as she panics about it. I found the older sister's quandary and mystery surrounding her situation much more interesting. The mother was completely unlikable until the very end. I enjoyed how each part of the main story, tracking down the first husband, was unraveled, catching up with the characters where they are now. However, the ending felt rushed and tacked on after all the lead up. Still enjoy the first book I read under this name the best - funny how that happens!

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posted by Jenn at 6:08 PM 0 comments

September 09, 2009 Girls' Night Out
I picked this one up at the Arlington County Fair a few weeks ago to support their public library. You know how I'm a sucker for libraries.

It was a solid collection of short stories, better than I remember its predecessor being. There were only one or two stories that I skipped or just didn't finished. Many more that I wished had been continue, if not into full novels, at least taken a bit further. I was shocked to discover that that one of the stories was by a woman who used to do the Gilmore Girls recaps on TWOP. I guess I should have put that together, but I never really paid that much attention.

It also got me thinking about a few short stories I have sitting on the hard drive. Perhaps I'll get the writing bug again this fall.

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posted by Jenn at 7:12 PM 0 comments

Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer
While I liked my first outing with Ms. Palmer, but it didn't prepare for how much I would LOVE this book. The title really has nothing to do with the book's content at all unless it's some kind of metaphor and even then, it's stretching it.

Our heroine seems to live in a parallel reality where her father is a Pulitzer prize-winning author and being the pastry chef at a hip LA restaurant is how she pays the bills. And yet, she's so incredibly likable right away that you get sucked into her world and everything seems normal. To me, it was more than chick lit and that's why I liked it. The characters had layers and there was a surprising amount of realistic family drama. Sure there was a juxtaposition of the bad boy and the good guy that our heroine must choose between, but even then, they weren't stereotypes or cliches. And I'll admit that the last chapter made me a little teary.

The title of Ms. Palmer's next book (out in December) makes me a little nervous, but I'm prepared to jump right in when the time comes.

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posted by Jenn at 4:31 PM 0 comments

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