I originally read The Spellman Files in 2007 and loved it. So, I decided to read it again since it's been three years. And it was just as hilarious, j...moreI originally read The Spellman Files in 2007 and loved it. So, I decided to read it again since it's been three years. And it was just as hilarious, just as zany, and just as all-around awesome as the first time I read it. Only that time I couldn't be bothered to write a review. Now, I am.
So, Izzy Spellman is basically a trainwreck-ish character, but that's why she's so loveable; because she has the POTENTIAL to be normal. Is she ACTUALLY normal? No. But that's okay. That's part of her all-around charm. In fact, I love the fact that she's far from perfect. It makes her more relateable. Plus, she's sarcastic and that's the language I'm most fluent in and therefore, love the most.
Now, the rest of the family...I mean, jeez. I seriously understand why Izzy had all of those angry and violent impulses. I would too if they were my family and I'm a pretty calm and zen-like person most of the time. But I think even I would want to repeatedly slam their heads against the wall. They were just so infuriating in that completely loveable and great way. The rest of the family was also really fun...in that dysfunctional sort of way.
So, I highly recommend The Spellman Files (and the subsequent sequels). It's extremely hilarious. I remember laughing within the first page when I first read it and laughing again while re-reading it. In fact, I think I've laughed more while re-reading just because I can't help but want to warn Izzy and tell her "You think THIS is bad? Your family gets sooo much more worse down the road much to my amusement." However, I should say that The Spellman Files isn't really much of a mystery. It's sort of mystery-lite and the mystery isn't a big deal in the book. Still, The Spellman Files is amazing, zany, wacky, and (it bears repeating) hilarious. Just an all-around entertaining read.(less)
Okay, so I've only read one Christmas book previously so obviously I'm not an expert on them, but am I the only one who finds them semi-annoying? Seri...moreOkay, so I've only read one Christmas book previously so obviously I'm not an expert on them, but am I the only one who finds them semi-annoying? Seriously, the first one I read was okay, but too sugary-sweet by the end. And Skipping Christmas? I sorta wished I would've skipped it (Bad pun, you say? I know...)
Every character in this book grated on my nerves heavily. The husband was a bit too smug and condescending for my liking. The wife complained incessantly. Seriously, it was whine after whine. And the neighbors, oh dear God, the neighbors...They must've been the most annoying. Okay, so your other neighbors don't want to celebrate Christmas. What's the big deal? That's their prerogative. It doesn't give you permission to judge them and generally be assholes about it.
The humorous parts were few and far between. There may have been a couple, but for a book that was about 170 pages, this took a bit too long to read. My current history in Christmas books explains why I read only one a year...(less)
I first read The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants four years ago after watching (and loving!) the movie. I've since then have re-read this book (and the...moreI first read The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants four years ago after watching (and loving!) the movie. I've since then have re-read this book (and the subsequent ones) once a year.
The book is about four girls: Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridget and their first summer apart. And they vow to stay together even while apart by sharing these pair of magical jeans. Why are they magical? Because they fit each one of the girls perfectly regardless of the fact that they all have different body shapes. I know it may seem a bit hokey to some people (magical pants? Pssh!), but there really is more to this book than that.
One of the things that I liked most about this book was that it wasn't just about guys, dates, clothes (not counting the magical pants of course), and makeup. There were guys in the story, but it wasn't really the main focus (except for maybe one of the girls). This book is about the girls and their problems. And the problems they have? Very real. You have Carmen who's dealing with her father's new relationship and how she fits into that; Bridget who is intense and has never really dealt with the death of her mother is; Tibby who is dealing with a younger friend with an even bigger problem; and Lena who's falling in love for the first time, but terrified of it.
Another thing that I liked about the story was how true and loyal the girls' friendship really was. In a society where most of the popular teen books are ones where there are back-stabbing best friends, this to me was really refreshing. What was also refreshing was the lack of violence, promiscuous sex, and drug-use in this book. As a lot of popular teen novels (that are series) seem to glorify that. Books like The Gossip Girl series. Don't get me wrong. I read those books and I enjoy them for what they are: trashy, mind-numbing reads. But sometimes, I just need to read a book that doesn't inundate me with these things. That being said, I don't think that The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants should be read by pre-teen girls due to the fact that some of the matters are a bit heavy.
So, if you're in the mood to read a teen book, but don't want a some-what trashy read, pick up The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants. You'll get characters you can relate to no matter your age, fun storylines, and just an all-around awesome novel. (less)
A couple of years ago, I was really into chick-lit. It was for a time all I would read. Now that I've branched out, I don't read as much chick-lit as...moreA couple of years ago, I was really into chick-lit. It was for a time all I would read. Now that I've branched out, I don't read as much chick-lit as I used to. That being said, I still enjoy a nice, easy read every once in a while. Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons was all that and more.
I found that I loved each one of the five leads. Yeah, sure all of them had their flaws that ranged from serious to not so serious, but because of their flaws, I was able to relate to each character just a little bit more. The thing about these characters were that they seemed real. Because of that it was easy for me to imagine them being friends. In a book about friendship, the worst thing that can happen is for the friendship not to ring true, but this did.
Being the booklover that I am, my favorite element of the novel was the setting of the bookclub and seeing each month's pick and which character picked it. That right there allowed me to have that much more insight to the characters. As I was reading, I was longing to create my own face-to-face bookclub with a couple of my other close, book-wormy friends.
Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons not only made me laugh and cry, but gave me this huge craving for pie, chocolate, and basically any other treat that mostly every woman loves. My advice, grab this book, some chocolate, and your closest friends and enter the story of a friendship with it's up and downs. A friendship with laughs and tears and solidarity. A friendship that can very well be just like yours.(less)
When I picked up Lost and Found, I had it pegged as chick-lit. You know, a kind of book that's not deep at all and just all fluffy and light, where yo...moreWhen I picked up Lost and Found, I had it pegged as chick-lit. You know, a kind of book that's not deep at all and just all fluffy and light, where you don't get all of those overwhelming feelings you usually get when you read a more "serious" novel. Well, I was wrong about this book. It was plenty fun, but it was also a fascinating (and sometimes heart-wrenching) character study.
I'm not a fan of reality tv (at all). I just don't watch it because most of the time I think it's fixed and watching people make complete fools out of themselves in front of billions of people (especially when it's done on purpose) just doesn't entertain me. So, if Lost and Found was focused solely on that, then I would've lost interest rather quickly. But it didn't and the characters were extremely different from each other and extremely flawed. The characters all have their own set of problems that run from very deep for some and from not even on the surface (or at least that we readers can see) for the others. The reality theme is really just a backdrop to all of the dramatic events that take place.
However, just because there moments of drama (which, let's face it, appear in every reality show even if it is fixed), Lost and Found also had its share of witty and often hilarious moments. While you're reading the book, it becomes obvious that the author, Carolyn Parkhurst, is mocking the whole "reality tv" thing by having the actual characters mock it as well. It can be by the mannerisms of the host to make every single thing seem full of suspense and dramatic or by the implausibility of some of the things that the characters do on camera, either way, every single point gets across and made me laugh out loud.
Even though the reality tv segment was mostly in the background (and even though I vastly dislike reality tv), I found myself enjoying all of the different tasks being given. I was reading mostly for the characters' interactions, but I'd be lying if I said that the outcome of the show didn't have me turning the pages just a little bit faster. I was so into it that I found myself thinking "This person better not win" or "Good! They're disqualified; no more screen time for them!" Lost and Found really was the equivalent to watching reality tv on an actual tv.
Lost and Found was just great! It's dramatic, humorous, and action-packed all in one neat little package. You have characters that you can root for and some that will sometimes get on your nerves (Ahem, Cassie, I'm sorry but I find myself disliking teens that feel that they're the only ones entitled to pain in literature), but overall, you just want to see what happens to all of them. You get a real sense of who a character is and what makes them tick by having them all narrate different chapters. Plus, this book did what reality tv fails to do and that is display the contestants/stars of the show as real people. Highly recommended!(less)
Let me just start out by saying that Happy Birthday or Whatever was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The author, Annie Choi, writes about her family with...moreLet me just start out by saying that Happy Birthday or Whatever was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The author, Annie Choi, writes about her family with wit and sarcasm and you just can't help but laugh at her somewhat tense relationship with her mother.
The thing that I loved most about this book was that it was heartwarming and humorous. There are a lot of memoirs out there written about a dysfunctional family that are depressing. "My mom was a bitch to me. My dad left and didn't care that we had no income. My brothers and sisters were homeless." Yes some of those types of memoirs tug at my heart strings, but it was refreshing to read one in where the family is dysfunctional but love each other while not really standing one another.
Even if you aren't Korean, you'll love this novel. It's relateable to anyone who has felt embarrased or annoyed at their family members or felt that they wouldn't live up to the expectations that were set by them by their family. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a memoir about a slighly dysfunctional family, yet want to laugh out loud. I read this book in about four hours and had to stay up late to finish it. I just couldn't put it down.(less)