Sometimes surreal, often hilarious, this book made me laugh out loud in a crowded café, and I gobbled it all up with total delight. I love, love, loveSometimes surreal, often hilarious, this book made me laugh out loud in a crowded café, and I gobbled it all up with total delight. I love, love, love this series! The Incorrigibles are wonderful, and the mad zaniness of this whole book is just delicious.
It is such a pleasure to read such a funny series, with so much heart underneath the humor.
My favorite Swanburne-ism from this book: "As Agatha Swanburne once said, 'To be kept waiting is unfortunate, but to be kept waiting with nothing interesting to read is a tragedy of Greek proportions.'"
Julia Quinn is one of my favorite Regency romantic-comedy authors. Her books might be a tad historically dubious, but they're so much frothy fun (withJulia Quinn is one of my favorite Regency romantic-comedy authors. Her books might be a tad historically dubious, but they're so much frothy fun (with real emotions to ground the frothiness) that for once, I just can't make myself care about historical accuracy.
This newest one feels a bit thin (in terms of plot) as compared to some of her earlier books (my favorite of hers is probably What Happens in London), but it made me laugh out loud several times, the romance was filled with real tenderness and sweetness, and at one point midway through the book I suddenly realized that there was a huge grin on my face, and there had been for a long time without me realizing it - the book was just making me that happy. And that's what Julia Quinn's books (from the second Bridgerton novel onwards, almost without exception) do for me - they just make me really happy.
I finished Just Like Heaven last night, but this morning when I was feeling stressed, I picked it back up again and reread the last few chapters. They made me feel happy again. And I love books that do that....more
Jasper Fforde uses so many writing techniques that would backfire in anyone else's hands and makes them work as if by magic. (There are pages and pageJasper Fforde uses so many writing techniques that would backfire in anyone else's hands and makes them work as if by magic. (There are pages and pages of conversation that's all info-dump - but it's so fun and funny and generally entertaining that it actually works perfectly!) The ending didn't quite work for me, but I enjoyed the book a lot and read it all in one evening....more
This was by far my favorite of all the Mary Quinn novels so far, which is saying a LOT - I love this series! Full of intense emotion, as Mary finallyThis was by far my favorite of all the Mary Quinn novels so far, which is saying a LOT - I love this series! Full of intense emotion, as Mary finally finds her long-lost father in the worst of all possible circumstances - and also full of some really fabulous chemistry between her and her great (flawed, imperfect, smart, funny and perfect for her) love interest come back into contact.
I loved it, and I can't wait to read Book 4, Rivals in the City!...more
Sweet and delicious - I enjoyed it SO much, and the moment I finished, I wanted to dive into ALL of Allen's other books immediately! (This was the firSweet and delicious - I enjoyed it SO much, and the moment I finished, I wanted to dive into ALL of Allen's other books immediately! (This was the first book by her that I've read, and I really fell in love with her voice and her storytelling.) This book is filled with wonderful characters I really loved, and while there are two romantic storylines, both of them fun, the main story is all about female friendship, which I also love.
I spent the first part of the book being struck by the similarities to Alice Hoffman's early books (that same tone of magic realism in a contemporary American setting), but I got over that pretty quickly, because Allen's storytelling is distinctly different - and much more optimistic, at least in this book, which made it a wonderful treat to sink into - both comforting and smart and filled with women and men I'd like to know. I can't wait to read more of her books. (This one is 4 stars instead of 5 because there were a couple of points in the book that felt to me like they resolved just a little too neatly to be believable, and because I thought one of the romances was much stronger than the other, although I did enjoy them both…but honestly, I enjoyed it all SO much, that rating is just me being picky. And although I read a library copy of this, I want to buy a copy to keep and re-read it, so keep that in mind when you look at the rating. :) )...more
I loved this book so, so much! Music and mystery, international adventure and a touch of magic...kids are going to eat this up. I read it as an e-gallI loved this book so, so much! Music and mystery, international adventure and a touch of magic...kids are going to eat this up. I read it as an e-galley but cannot wait to buy my own copy for lots of re-readings.
Eleven-year-old Neela, who lives near Boston and dreams of becoming a professional musician one day, loves playing the beautiful old veena (a traditional Indian instrument) that her grandmother has sent her from India. But there's a story behind that veena that the adults in her life have hidden from her, and when it's stolen from Neela, she discovers rumors of a curse laid upon the instrument. As she works to find her stolen veena, she makes new friendships, struggles with her changing relationship with her mother, and discovers the strength and confidence that had been hidden inside herself all along.
The story of VANISHED is fabulous and fun, but what I really loved most were all the little details of Neela's family life. All of her family members were real and believable, from four-year-old Sree to their parents and grandmother, and I recognized so many little details of family dynamics from when I was eleven - Neela's shifting relationship with her much-younger brother, her struggles to define herself against her mother and find a new balance in their relationship...one of my favorite bits was this little moment between the two of them:
"Mrs. Krishnan reached over to stroke the ends of Neela's hair. Neela had always loved this since she was small, but lately it had begun to annoy her, too, because it felt like her mother was secretly trying to arrange her hair at the same time."
It's such a perfect encapsulation of the shifting mother-daughter relationship near the teenage years, where even the most loving relationships can run into so much conflict and strain without anyone being a "bad guy". And that's true of the adventure in this book, too, which I admired so much - it's exciting, there's danger, there's deception and real menace - but it's all believably done by real people who think they're in the right.
Despite the fact that this isn't a fantasy novel, VANISHED felt truly magical to me, and it also had the classic tone of a children's novel that could last a long, long time. I absolutely loved it....more
I really wish this book had been available when I was a kid devouring Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie novels - I would have absolutely loved it. And asI really wish this book had been available when I was a kid devouring Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie novels - I would have absolutely loved it. And as an adult, I still adored the 11-year-old heroine, Suzanna Snow, who is brave and smart and curious and prone to getting lost in her own thoughts (and accidentally burning the food she's supposed to be cooking in her family's hotel kitchen). The 1904 New England setting is also beautifully done....more
Reading Women is the memoir of a writer who went back to her alma mater (Barnard College) in her early thirties to take a set of feminist t*4.5 stars*
Reading Women is the memoir of a writer who went back to her alma mater (Barnard College) in her early thirties to take a set of feminist theory classes for the second time around, this time as a wife and mother struggling to find a way to combine theoretical feminism with the practical reality of her adult life and relationships. Of course, I am pretty much the ideal target audience for this book, as a mom in her early thirties who also took feminist theory classes in college...and almost needless to say, I really, really enjoyed and identified with this book. I empathized with so many of the issues she brought up in the adjustment to parenthood, and recognized even more of them from discussions I've had with friends. This is definitely a book that will end up getting passed around between a lot of women - it's wonderful to find such an accessible mirror of a shared experience.
Staal doesn't offer any large-scale Life Answers, only her own personal interpretations and experiences - and the book works all the better for that. The only thing that would have made it even more satisfying narratively, for me as a reader, is something that I imagine would have been impossible for her as a wife: the inclusion of more clarity about the private details of her own marital arc in the last third of the book. I'm not being purely voyeuristic here - I did find that vagueness a tiny bit frustrating from a narrative point of view as I read, because it felt like a piece of the story she was telling was missing. On the other hand, though, I can certainly understand that that level of detail would have been an inappropriate breach of privacy for her marriage, and I probably would have made the same decision in her place.
I'm lending my copy to one friend now, and already have a list of other friends I think would love it. This is a book that begs to be shared and discussed....more