I'm really, really, really close to giving this one five stars. It was such an awesome read. I liked both of the main characters, the plot was interesI'm really, really, really close to giving this one five stars. It was such an awesome read. I liked both of the main characters, the plot was interesting, the writing top-notch, and the author didn't shy away from the more controversial stuff (sex, drinking, drugs) that usually gets adults all worked up about.
So what the hell is my problem? I have two, actually:
1. Both of the characters' chapters are written in the first person. This bothers me a lot. Too often, you can't tell what character is narrating because the voices sound too similar. Elkeles handles it better than most, but there were still times when I was confused and had to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to see whose name was in the heading - not fun when you're reading an ebook.
2. The book is written in present tense. I hate, hate, hate present tense. To the point where, if I start reading a book and it's in present tense, 90% of the time I'll stop reading. Again, Elkeles is more adept at this writing style than most, but it still niggled at me throughout the story.
I'll definitely be reading the other two books in the series, and I've already started reading another book of hers (Leaving Paradise)....more
I'm wavering between 2 and 3 stars on this one. It was very fluffy, more than I even expected.
The best thing about the book was the narrator. She wasI'm wavering between 2 and 3 stars on this one. It was very fluffy, more than I even expected.
The best thing about the book was the narrator. She was cute and endearing, even when she made stupid mistakes.
Jeremy didn't appeal to me very much at all. It seemed like he was suffering from multiple personalities: sweet and teasing; total asshole; distant and aloof. I supposed the author was trying to make him a complex character, but it didn't work out. It seemed more like three different characters squeezed into one person.
The writing isn't the best. I saw that she knows Margaret Atwood and lists her as an inspiration, so I guess I was expecting some stellar writing. Many descriptions are cliched, and the author uses an annoying amount of commas. Seriously, if your sentence needs more than 10 commas, what it really needs is to become two sentences. (One of my main pet peeves about Virginia Woolf, actually.)
**SPOILER** I figured out the whole Jeremy's-not-really-related thing pretty quickly into the story because I saw he was being developed as a love interest. I get that he's not a blood relative, but it still creeped me out a little when they got together. He's still "family" even if it's through adoption. And since I already didn't care for his character, I wasn't very pleased with that development....more
Cute, quirky, and endearing. Those words describe the main character, Poppy, as well as almost every other character that graces the story. The book wCute, quirky, and endearing. Those words describe the main character, Poppy, as well as almost every other character that graces the story. The book was a delicious romp as Poppy seeks to rebuild her life after leaving her fiance on the morning of their wedding.
I expected the book to be about Poppy's efforts to track down Tom, but that played only a minor part in the story. I was surprised at numerous parts of the story, which isn't something you expect when reading chick lit. The British slang was distracting at first, but once I got into the swing of it, it wasn't noticeable at all.
It is the perfect beach read, and I will certainly be picking up other books from Jill Mansell.
***SPOILERS*** Rita discovers who Poppy's mother was, yet she never says anything to Poppy about it. Why? That bothered me. I was hoping (and expecting) her to mention it in the final scene, but alas, she did not. That was a bit disappointing....more
Bleh. Really, I should have known better than to read this. I loathe books where the entire plot revolves around some secret the main character can'tBleh. Really, I should have known better than to read this. I loathe books where the entire plot revolves around some secret the main character can't divulge, thus creating all sorts of complications. But I read it, partly because I had enjoyed a previous Jill Mansell book, and thought that this would be as fun and quirky, too. Nope. Instead, I slogged through 400 pages of a bad plot and obnoxious characters.
Lola was an immature, shallow, self-centered brat, plain and simple. She talks about how nice she is, but I really didn't see much of that. She follows Doug around, whining like a little kid about him not forgiving her. She picks on her mother's wardrobe mercilessly. (Who the hell cares what she dresses like?) She disparages her mother's choice in boyfriends - although Malcolm clearly makes her mother happy - simply because she doesn't like the way he looks. Time and again she ignores other people's wishes because they don't coincide with her own. And she briefly goes out with a wealthy man who she doesn't have feelings for, but she chides herself for her lack of lust because *gasp* he's rich, so she should feel something!
The worst thing is, most of the other characters are equally unlikable. Sally, who throws temper-tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants, and has ridiculous fantasies about men sweeping her off her feet. (As in, she just met someone, and she's imagining having his children.) Doug's mother, the ultimate cold-hearted bitch. Nick, who propositions Blythe by saying, "Let's have sex for old time's sake, no one has to know, including your current boyfriend." Ugh!! I can't remember the last time I read a book with such an unlikable cast of characters!
***SPOILERS*** Her one selfless act was giving the $12,000 to Alex. But then she proceeds to keep his promise, even after he's died. So she made a promise. Fine. But Alex, who supposedly loved her more than anything, would selfishly want her to keep his secret rather than sharing it with Doug a decade later? I doubt it. What father would want his daughter to miss out on being with the man she loves because she still feels like she has to keep his secret? Not telling Blythe is one thing. But Doug? That was just an annoying way to extend the plot.
The ending of the book was abrupt and ridiculous. After 400 pages of Doug not being interested in Lola, he suddenly does a 180 after a brief conversation with her father? How could he be so dim-witted not to wonder what his 17-year-old girlfriend needed 12k for when he first found out, rather than someone having to spell it out for him?...more
This was my least favorite of the series. I enjoyed seeing the many familiar characters again, but the story didn't grab me like the others did. I didThis was my least favorite of the series. I enjoyed seeing the many familiar characters again, but the story didn't grab me like the others did. I didn't care much for Jane or Xavier, and their relationship felt rushed and unbelievable to me. They are definitely my least favorite couple in the series....more
I really enjoyed seeing Ariane and Renard, as they are probably my two favorite characters in the series. I was also pleased that Martin finally got hI really enjoyed seeing Ariane and Renard, as they are probably my two favorite characters in the series. I was also pleased that Martin finally got his own story after chasing after Miri for so long! Cat was a great protagonist, strong-willed and loyal. The story dragged out a bit with neither of the main characters being able to admit their love for one another, but that is fairly typical in romance books....more
I saw that many reviewers said this was their favorite in the series, but I didn't agree. Maybe it was because I didn't like Miri as much as the otherI saw that many reviewers said this was their favorite in the series, but I didn't agree. Maybe it was because I didn't like Miri as much as the other sisters, or because I read them all in such quick succession that Carroll's writing started to grate on me.
The book seemed a bit repetitive. I got tired of the internal monologues or Miri and Simon where they went on for paragraphs at a time about how they knew they couldn't have one another, and how could they ever move past what had happened before. Additionally, Miri's eyes were described as being "fey eyes" so many times that I lost track. Carroll was really hitting us over the head with some of the descriptions. We get it already!
However, I did enjoy the plot. Although I wish the other Cheney sisters had made an appearance.
I've ordered the other two books in the series, although they don't focus on the Cheney sisters. I'm hoping that they are at least side characters, because I've gotten pretty attached to the family after reading the first three novels!...more
I'm just not starting to get into historical fiction, as it is a genre that I wasn't that interested in before. I think this book was a great intro foI'm just not starting to get into historical fiction, as it is a genre that I wasn't that interested in before. I think this book was a great intro for me because it had a bit of fantasy thrown in, which is something I enjoy.
The book had great characters and a strong plot. I loved seeing the relationship between Ariane and Renard grow throughout the novel; it seemed very realistic. I'm happy that the other two sisters have their own novels, because I am excited to continue following the Cheney girls.
One caveat: I hate female characters who think that being single is the only way to stay strong and independent. Ariane mentioned too many times how she couldn't marry because she was the Lady of Faire Isle. Ugh - get over it already!! It seems either the females are falling all over themselves for men, or trying to avoid them completely. Can authors stop using these extremes and take the middle ground ever?...more
I was nervous about reading this one because I didn't like Gabrielle very much in The Dark Queen A Novel because she seemed very shallow and self-invoI was nervous about reading this one because I didn't like Gabrielle very much in The Dark Queen A Novel because she seemed very shallow and self-involved. Thankfully, my opinion changed after reading this book.
It got off to a slow start - the first 100+ pages deal with the events of one night. But it picked up soon after that. I was pleased that Catherine wasn't the only villain in the story, and there were numerous plot twists I didn't see coming.
I really enjoyed the development of Gabrielle and Remy's relationship. They both grew throughout the novel and came to realize that loving and trusting one another was the most important things they could do.
Ah, love. *Sigh* Very emotional story (yes, I cried) about two young lovers torn about by class differences. The depiction of Alzheimer's was heart wrAh, love. *Sigh* Very emotional story (yes, I cried) about two young lovers torn about by class differences. The depiction of Alzheimer's was heart wrenching. I liked the way the narrative was set up, with Noah reading the story of their love to Allie, although it choked me up many times....more
I admit that it got off to a bit of a slow start, and I was impatient for it to get going. But once I settled down and got into the grove of the book,I admit that it got off to a bit of a slow start, and I was impatient for it to get going. But once I settled down and got into the grove of the book, I fell in love.
The narration switches between Blue, her old boyfriend Mitch, and Mitch's son Julian. It took me a while to warm up to Julian, but I liked him quite a bit by the end of the story.
***SPOILERS*** The ending felt rushed and left me feeling unfulfilled. He just shows up at her doorstep and suddenly they're in love and living happily ever after? There needed to be a stronger resolution, I think. And the epilogue was annoying. So is he going to seek out his mother or not? Ugh, I don't like ambivalent endings!...more
It would not be possible for me to praise this book highly enough. No, really! I loved it that much. Sarah Addison Allen has a way of completely immerIt would not be possible for me to praise this book highly enough. No, really! I loved it that much. Sarah Addison Allen has a way of completely immersing the reader into her story. The town and characters felt so real.
Her prose is beautiful. She uses such perfect descriptive language and metaphors in her writing. It took me quite some time to read this because I kept rereading my favorite passages and stopping to savor them.
I've heard the author describe her work as "Southern-fried magical realism" which I think is an awesome way of putting it! The world is quirky, charming, and just a bit magical, so that the overall flavor is fairytale-esque while still seeming completely believable.
I wish there were more authors who wrote like her, because I've fallen in love with her style. I plan on going back to reread her other two novels sometime soon....more
Wow - I really loved this book. I've recently read a string of really mediocre, disappointing books, so I was holding my breath, hoping this one wouldWow - I really loved this book. I've recently read a string of really mediocre, disappointing books, so I was holding my breath, hoping this one would live up to my high expectations. Not only did it live up to them - it blew them out of the water.
Honestly, this book was wonderful. The plot was engaging, with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing (and reading!). Pair that with interesting characters, an emotional back story, and a bit of magic, and you have the makings of a page turner. (Not to mention the romance that begins between two of the characters...Happy sigh.)
I can't say enough about this book. Nothing in this review will come close to capturing what a great story it is. Stop reading this and run out to buy a copy. :O)
In the words of Ogden Nash: "I love this more than a duck can swim, and more than a grapefruit squirts."...more