Brief Description: Lincoln is an underachieving IT specialist working at a Midwestern newspaper. One of his primary tasks is to monitor company e-mailBrief Description: Lincoln is an underachieving IT specialist working at a Midwestern newspaper. One of his primary tasks is to monitor company e-mails and oversee the college kids who are working to prevent the Y2K meltdown (The book is set in 1999 when e-mail was still a bit of a novelty and we were all holding out breath for the end of the world when it became 2000.) Still living with his mom, Lincoln has just broken out of “permanent student” mode but is finding it hard to figure out what he wants to do in his life. One night, while monitoring e-mails, he comes across a series of exchanges between two employees, Beth and Jennifer. Beth and Jennifer are witty, honest and amusing (as only people in books seem to be), and Lincoln finds himself becoming more and more engrossed in their conversations and lives. However, when Lincoln realizes that he is beginning to fall in love with Beth and real life developments begin to intrude, he has some decisions to make about what to do next.
My Thoughts: Although Lincoln might sound a little creepy and stalkerish, I swear that he isn’t. Just like Lincoln, the reader begins to get involved in Beth and Jennifer’s lives, and you begin to root for Lincoln to make contact with them. This was a fun, fast read that was one of the better “fluff’ books I’ve read in quite some time. Recommended!...more
* Edward Middleton comes home one day to fi2 words that describe the book―Male chick-lit
3 settings or characters I met
* Brighton, England, Present Day
* Edward Middleton comes home one day to find his apartment empty. No, he hasn’t been robbed; his girlfriend of 10 years, Jane, has left him. In her note, she says “It’s not me—it’s you.” It seems that Edward’s increasing weight, sloppiness and lack of ambition has made Jane rethink things. So she’s off to Tibet and will be back in three months. Edward decides he has three months to make himself over from head to toe in an effort to win Jane back. Is that enough time to get in shape, learn how to dress, give up smoking, attain personal style, relearn romance, and jump-start his career? Good thing he has his best friend to help him out.
* Dan is Edward’s best friend. Handsome and lucky with the ladies, Dan is everything Edward is not—groomed, fit, well-dressed, and sexy. (His job as a TV presenter doesn’t hurt either.) When Jane leaves Edward, Dan takes it upon himself to oversee Edward’s makeover. Despite the intensity of the challenge, Dan is game—sharing information on everything from his dentist to his waxer. Too bad Dan isn’t quite the Romeo he makes himself out to be; after all, most of his relationships don’t last longer than one night.
4 things I liked or disliked about the book:
* I thought it would be fun to read what essentially seems like a chick-lit book but from the point-of-view of a man. It was nice to see a man have to make himself over for a woman for a change … and for the woman to do the leaving instead of the man.
* Yet at the same time, this book didn’t have as different a feel as I thought it would. In fact, Edward felt incredibly familiar to me; he felt like … the heroine in a chick-lit book!
* The book was a fast, light read. Although it didn’t really break any new ground (despite the flip on the gender of the author and hero), it was still amusing and enjoyable. And I admit to laughing out loud at one particular scene where Edward brings a date home after speed dating (he is practicing for Jane’s return) and has a rather unfortunate accident with a tea cup that leads a rather comic misunderstanding.
* Although none of the characters are particularly well-developed (after all, this is light comedy … not literary fiction), I still struggled with the Dan character, who was such a jerk that I wondered why Edward even tolerated him. In fact, my favorite character was Wendy, the barmaid at Dan and Edward’s local pub. She was one of the few women in the book who saw through Dan’s good looks and gave him crap about his behavior.
5 stars or less for my rating
I’m giving the book 3.5 stars. If you’re looking for a light, fluffy read in the chick-lit genre that has a little twist to it, this would be a good choice. It is a fun read, but I found myself wishing that Edward felt … well, more like a man! If you’re a fan of chick-lit books, my guess is you would enjoy this book. Because chick-lit isn’t really “my thing,” I didn’t fall in love with this book, but it was a perfectly pleasant read and a good one for when I wasn’t feeling well....more
This is the story of what happens when a girl from the city moves to a little town and finds out what happens when people stop being polStory Overview
This is the story of what happens when a girl from the city moves to a little town and finds out what happens when people stop being polite ... and start being real. (Oh wait ... that is the description of The Real World, isn't it?) But, essentially, this book is about how living in a small town can be a little like living in fish bowl. The town in question is Roxborough (located in the UK ... but I'm not sure if it is a real town or a Mansell creation). When Tilly Cole is left by her live-in boyfriend (who she secretly wished would leave her so she didn't have to do the dirty work of breaking up with him), she impulsively moves to Roxborough to work as a Girl Friday for an interior designer named Max. As she gets involved in town life, it turns out that almost everyone is the victim of a rumor or has a secret of some kind, including:
* Erin - Tilly's best friend who owns a dress shop and recently began a secret romance with a not quite yet divorced man
* Stella - the wife of Erin's new boyfriend, who attempts to get revenge for her husband leaving her by spreading nasty rumors about Erin
* Max - Tilly's new employer who is openly gay but knows a few secrets about other folks who may be gay (whether they know it or not)
* Lou (Louisa) - Max's daughter who has a secret of her own that she is keeping from her family ... but it isn't the one that Tilly and her mother think it is
* Kaye - Max's ex-wife and Lou's mom, who moved to America and became a TV star but who recently got blacklisted in Hollywood after falling victim to a nasty rumor started by the deranged wife of a producer on her show
* Jack Lucas -Roxborough's resident hottie and tragic widower, who seems to have slept with every woman in town (if you believe the rumors ... ) and now seems to want to add Tilly to his list of conquests.
The heart of the story is the relationship between Tilly and Jack, but all the characters get attention and a chance to work through their rumors, relationships and secrets. Although the book is light-hearted and fun, Mansell is careful to add grayer tones to the story as well.
This was a fun read that is perfect for the beach or summertime reading. Mansell populates Roxborough with a collection of fun characters who all have their own issues, secrets and rumors to deal with. Yet, at the same time, Mansell isn't afraid to add in more serious story lines as well, including cancer, homophobia and a tragic early death for Jack's first love. This helps ground the book and make it more than just a fluff piece. Yet, at the same time, you don't have to worry about things not working out or the story suddenly turning into a tragedy when you just wanted to have a happy little read.
The press release I got with the book describes Mansell as the "Brit-Chick-Lit Sensation" and later describes the books as "funny, sassy woman's novel." (Are women not "chicks" I wonder?) Now I personally have no problem with books labeled "chick lit," but I think they've gotten a bit of a bad reputation. According to the Source of All Knowledge (Wikipedia), chick lit is fiction that addresses issues of modern women often humorously and lightheartedly. When you think about that way, what is the matter with that? I know I don't always want to read heavy books; you need a light, humorous book every now and then to cleanse your palate.
My Final Recommendation
Don't be turned off by the "chick lit" label! If you're looking for a funny, light read that entertains, this books fits the bill nicely. Mansell has a breezy writing style that moves the story along nicely, and I appreciated that she took the time to develop the secondary story lines as much as the romance between Jack and Tilly. Mansell is a bestselling author in the UK, and I suspect she will be here in the US as well. I mean, how can you not want to support an author whose bio reads like this:
"Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums (gum drops), admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the Internet marveling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write."...more