Fluffy, syrupy sweet Christmas romance. David Levithan had his usual mix of hilariously quirky supporting characters and occasional poetic sentences.Fluffy, syrupy sweet Christmas romance. David Levithan had his usual mix of hilariously quirky supporting characters and occasional poetic sentences. Rachel Cohn... well, I can take or leave her. It didn't fill me with the Christmas spirit (or make me laugh) as much as Let it Snow did, but it was a perfectly serviceable YA holiday romance....more
This is a two star book, but it gets an extra star because fake relationships are my favorite ridiculous romance trope of all time. OF ALL TIME.
On caThis is a two star book, but it gets an extra star because fake relationships are my favorite ridiculous romance trope of all time. OF ALL TIME.
On camera, they’re Jenna and Jonah, high school friends who moonlight as rock stars on a Disney-channel-style TV show. Off camera, they’re Fielding and Charlie, who secretly despise each other, but date publicly because it’s good for the show and their careers. They’re trying to strong-arm the network into one more season of Jenna and Jonah when SHENANIGANS happen (Fielding is mistakenly outed) and they have to go into hiding. To keep them out of the public eye, their managers set them to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival to play Benedict and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.
They hate each other and they’re playing Benedict and Beatrice. Do I really need to explain what happens? ...more
During a family vacation in Michigan, Dan’s mother started pushing her son to marry his boyfriend of ten years. Dan was against the idea of marriage bDuring a family vacation in Michigan, Dan’s mother started pushing her son to marry his boyfriend of ten years. Dan was against the idea of marriage because it seemed like a sure-fire way to jinx a perfectly good relationship. His boyfriend, Terry, was against “acting like straight people” but was okay with getting matching tattoos. Their six-year old son was against the idea of two men getting married, but agreed to attend the wedding if there was cake. After debating marriage and tattoos for a while, they finally settle on a tenth anniversary party. The sort of party where formal invitations are sent, family flies in from out of town, and thousands of dollars are spent on custom-made cakes.
Here’s the thing with Dan Savage. There are a lot of things that drive me nuts, like his crazy paranoia about “red states”, or his compulsive over-sharing, or his every so often throwing out these vaguely misogynist statements that make me facepalm, or his rambling about politics when his personal anecdotes are more effective at making his point anyway, but he writes an entire book about why marriage is not a good idea, and then he gets married at the end anyway. And cries through the ceremony (while his boyfriend mocks him, which is my favorite thing ever.)
This is actually a four star book, but it gets an extra star just because the part where they’re stuck in traffic at the border made me laugh so hard. If you say Dan Savage isn’t as funny as David Sedaris, I will FIGHT YOU. ...more
Perhaps it's unfair to say that this is a terrible book. It was a terrible book for me, how about that? It was like a list of tropes I *don't* enjoy iPerhaps it's unfair to say that this is a terrible book. It was a terrible book for me, how about that? It was like a list of tropes I *don't* enjoy in rom-com/chick lit. Plus, the back and forth with dialogue between the male and female narrator on the audiobook was weirdly mixed.
But, I have to give it a star just for the Green Beret wishing he could just go back to "Manly men doing manly things with other manly men." I honestly don't know if it was supposed to be as funny as I thought it was, but I laughed pretty hard at that line. (And unfortunately, not at anything else.)...more
Step aside, Are We There Yet?, I have a new favorite David Levithan book. I love his short stories, and this was a uniformly good collection, spanningStep aside, Are We There Yet?, I have a new favorite David Levithan book. I love his short stories, and this was a uniformly good collection, spanning all different types of love stories – gay, straight, lesbian, or unrequited. Some of my favorites:
The Number of People Who Meet on Airplanes: a man tracks down a matchmaker flight attendant who seated him next to his wife.
Starbucks Boy: Boy accidentally roped into being a nanny for the summer flirts with the Starbucks Boy. Classic cute and adorable Levithan, possibly with a little too much cloyingly perfect little girl, but if that’s all I’ve got to complain about, whatever.
Princes: When the narrator announces he’s bringing Graham, his crush from dance class to his younger brother’s bar mitzvah, his parents are less than thrilled, but he wasn’t expecting his younger brother to take a stand for him.
What a Song Can Do: Free verse! Who knew that my favorite would be free verse about an emo guitar boy? Damn you, David Levithan, for making me like everything I thought I hated.
The Alumni Interview: Opening line, “It is never easy to have a college interview with your closeted boyfriend’s father.” ...more
My favorite Crazy Aunt Purl entry is the one about the bus catching fire. She took pictures of herself on the side of the 5, in front of a smoking busMy favorite Crazy Aunt Purl entry is the one about the bus catching fire. She took pictures of herself on the side of the 5, in front of a smoking bus.
Unfortunately, that entry is not in this book. There aren't any captioned pictures of her cats in the book either. The book is mostly just a collection of her early blog entries, strangely edited down so they're not as compelling. Most chapters (if one can call them that) are about a page and a half to three pages long, even when the same subject is spanning several of these little sections. It's feels like it's still one draft away from being a book with actual, cohesive chapters. The structure is there. The final draft just never happened.
She goes into more dating detail in the book than she has on the blog, and it was worth reading just for her adventures with Robert, the poor patient man at the hardware store, who built a flower bed for her before she foisted her phone number on him and fled the building in embarrassment. The rest of the book? Read the archives of her blog and get the original, it's better. ...more
Jubilee's parents are Flobie Village enthusiasts. They've collected all the ceramic pieces, including the special editions they have to wait outside FJubilee's parents are Flobie Village enthusiasts. They've collected all the ceramic pieces, including the special editions they have to wait outside Flobie headquarters to buy. They even named her after a Flobie piece -- Jubilee Village, where the Santa workshop is.
But then her parents are arrested during an altercation in the line outside Flobie headquarters, and Jubliee is loaded onto a train to visit her grandmother in Florida over Christmas. When a snowstorm strands her train overnight in Gracetown, North Carolina, Jubliee abandons the train for the Waffle House she can see by the side of the highway. That's when she meets Stuart.
Maureen Johnson's The Jubilee Express was the best story of the three, laugh out loud funny, fluffy and adorable.
John Green continues with a story about a trio of Gracetown teens trying to get to the Waffle House after their friend calls to announce that a train is stranded and there is an entire cheer squad camping out for the night. I normally like John Green, but he paled in comparison to Maureen Johnson this time around. Not as funny, and just a little too contrived, even for a marshmallow Christmas story.
The last story ties back to a boy Jubliee met on the train and his Starbucks barista girlfriend, but just wasn't as good as either of the first two. Mind you, I've never been a Lauren Myracle fan though. A little disappointing to end on such a blah note after things started off so well, but I'd still recommend it for at least the Maureen Johnson story. ...more
More wacky hijinks from Stephanie Plum and Co. after Lula accidentally witnesses the murder of celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle, the hitmen come afterMore wacky hijinks from Stephanie Plum and Co. after Lula accidentally witnesses the murder of celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle, the hitmen come after her. Unfortunately, they're not very good hitmen, and manage to blow up a couple cars, set Stephanie's apartment on fire and put some bullet holes in Lula's Firebird. That, plus working with Ranger to track down a mole in his security firm, plus Lula and Grandma Mazur's foray into BBQ (hint: it involves more explosions and fire) and Stephanie's got her hands full.
I don't know if I could handle reading the entire series, but one every once in a while in the background when I'm stuck in traffic is enjoyable. And then afterwards I just try to ignore that little nagging feeling that I'm not sure about a book where 80% of the comic relief comes from a loud, plus-sized, promicuious black woman who used to be a prostitute. Or that part where it's kind of a little creepy that Ranger tracks her every move. You know, other than those little details, it's fun. ...more
Jane is an almost-30 Manhattan graphic designer obsessed with Mr. Darcy. All her relationships end badly, because no real man can possibly live up toJane is an almost-30 Manhattan graphic designer obsessed with Mr. Darcy. All her relationships end badly, because no real man can possibly live up to Jane's ideal Mr. Darcy. (For instance, Mr. Darcy would never snort when he laughs.) When Jane's great aunt passes away, she leaves Jane a three week stay at Pembrooke Park, an English resort that recreates Austen-era England, complete with actors to play the Mr. Darcys and Sir Johns and Wickhams. I still haven't decided if this is fun or completely disturbing.
It's your standard two-guy set up, where one ends up being a jackass and the other is secretly Mr. Darcy, but there was a moment where I was hoping this would finally be the book where the girl realizes she doesn't need a man at all, but of course it wasn't. So then I was just annoyed.
The audiobook narrator is one of those who does voices and accents and forgets to stop the accent or voice when the person stops talking, which is a little distracting. It didn't help that her accent for Guy #1 was a spot on impression of Daphne from Frasier. With possibly a little Foghorn Leghorn and Sean Connery thrown in, just to really make it confusing. ...more
Jennifer Weiner readalike about a plus size girl from Memphis who auditions for a reality show, "From Fat to Fabulous" in an effort to become the sizeJennifer Weiner readalike about a plus size girl from Memphis who auditions for a reality show, "From Fat to Fabulous" in an effort to become the size four that her online boyfriend thinks she is. The usual stories-about-reality-shows hijinks follow, there's the requisite complaining about Lane Bryant, the discovery that the boyfriend is not who she thinks he is, so on and so forth. The main character is annoyingly whiny, but it turns out she's supposed to be, and as long as the book calls her on it, I guess I can live with it. It wasn't the best thing I've read this year, but I liked it enough to pick up one of Johanna Edwards other books. ...more
Marissa Jones had completed two tasks on her list of twenty things to do by her 25th birthday -- lose 100 pounds, and wear sexy shoes. June Parker wasMarissa Jones had completed two tasks on her list of twenty things to do by her 25th birthday -- lose 100 pounds, and wear sexy shoes. June Parker was driving during the car accident that killed Marissa, and feeling guilty even though it wasn't her fault, sets out to complete the other eighteen items on Marissa's list. Go on a blind date. Take her mother and grandmother to Vegas to see Wayne Newton. Oh, and change someone's life.
As morbid as that may sound, it's a fun and fluffy romance, complete with Bridge-Jones-style career disasters, quirky parents, pregnant teenagers, and June's crush on Marissa's hot, helicopter-flying brother.
It gets bonus points for not playing out *exactly* like I expected it to....more
Three new brides, disillusioned with the men they thought they wanted to marry, discover some critical paperwork wasn't filed and their marriages arenThree new brides, disillusioned with the men they thought they wanted to marry, discover some critical paperwork wasn't filed and their marriages aren't legal after all. Wacky chick-lit hijinks ensue. What makes this book is the mother-in-law of one of the women, who tries to poison her daughter-in-law, helps them buy a house, which she then uses as an excuse to move in with them, turns their date night into mother-son night and is generally the mother-in-law from hell. ...more
I'm not really sure what to say about this book. It was awesomely cheestastic, in that Cheaper by the Dozen meets every boy-crazed girl's ultimate fanI'm not really sure what to say about this book. It was awesomely cheestastic, in that Cheaper by the Dozen meets every boy-crazed girl's ultimate fantasy sort of way. Tomboy Army brat gets sent to live with family friends who have something like ten boys, including Older Vaguely Creepy Thug Boy, Perfect Jock Boy, Sensitive Artist Boy, Rapper Wannabe Boy, etc. Seriously, there's an entire house full of delightful stereotypes, and she either crushes on or becomes friends with all of them and possibly discovers she likes the color pink. WTF is up with tomboys discovering the color pink? ...more
Surprisingly entertaining story of a woman attempting to exact revenge on her high school crush/boyfriend -- now a world famous pop star. It's possiblSurprisingly entertaining story of a woman attempting to exact revenge on her high school crush/boyfriend -- now a world famous pop star. It's possible that the only reason I enjoyed it was seeing how the high school kids grew up, and because I have a soft spot for pop stars with four letter names and possibly evil mothers. ...more