God, I really need to get a life. I have read 2 books today. In their entirity. What the hell.
Got an ARC of this book, but it sat on my shelf for probGod, I really need to get a life. I have read 2 books today. In their entirity. What the hell.
Got an ARC of this book, but it sat on my shelf for probably a year. Not sure how I feel about it... it was cute, and reasonably fun to read, had some fun quirky characters - the usual for southern chicklit.
But you can certainly tell this is a new author. She pushes the "sugar" and "candy" metaphor a bit too far, especially at the beginning. Similarly, there's a lot of hints at mystical happenings without explanation. Fortunately, the book grows into some of this obnoxious tics, and the forced taste seems to fade.
A cute book, a quick read, heartwarming ending, a little twist at the end. ...more
I read this book awhile ago during the downward slope of its book club popularity. I don't think I would normally have picked it up, nor is the subjecI read this book awhile ago during the downward slope of its book club popularity. I don't think I would normally have picked it up, nor is the subject matter particularly interesting to me. But the cover is striking and I had heard people mention it as an enjoyable read.
Chicklit is chicklit, but this does do a reasonably good job of showing a unique situation. I don't know anything about boarding school, but most girls can relate to the coming of age story of a high school girl and all of its painful similarities.
The main character, Lee, is irritating and frustrating, but I think that is done by the author on purpose. You recognize the narrator's flaws, and that adds to the depth of the book, since it is written from the first person as a memoir of sorts. The reader isn't the only one that sees just how irritating Lee is, her older narrating self acknowledges it and often notes how she has grown since.
Lee's obsession with her crush is something that most girls had at one point or another, although hers becomes almost all consuming to the point of diminishing her personality. Unfortunately, that's probably something many women can relate to as well. It is nice to see some suprisingly good things emerge from Lee's four years - her friendship with Martha, eye-opening experiences, and a bit more self-esteem at the end of it.
There were many irritating things about the book - the main character being a big one, her frequent flashforwards being another - but it was an easy book to get through nonetheless. High school melodrama is frequently satisfying when you just want something to keep you occupied, and this book satisfies that craving. Towards the end it edges a bit far into the ridiculous, but I suppose the author felt she needed a climax in there somewhere.
I think I enjoyed the book much more the first time around, though I'm not sure why. For people who enjoy chicklit and high school nostalgia it's probably a worthwhile read and certainly less trashy than many of the other attempts out there....more
One complaint I have - the cover on my book clearly shows a NOT FAT girl with a piece of cake next to her (not the same edition as this one). GRRRRR.
TOne complaint I have - the cover on my book clearly shows a NOT FAT girl with a piece of cake next to her (not the same edition as this one). GRRRRR.
Though this book is about a size 16 woman, I think the feelings of being an ugly duckling are universal. Cannie is likeable and fun, and makes observations that I think we've all made at one time or another.
It is pretty clear that the book is the author's fantasy, but that isn't a terrible thing for a first book. I'm not sure how I feel about the way that the plot developed, but I didn't have the RAGE that some people seemed to about when Cannie finds herself thin after all.
The story isn't particularly realistic, but it's pretty clearly a Cinderella story. The famous actress as fairy godmother schtick was quite cute, and Prince Charming was as stereotypically perfect as you could expect. Though a bit of a prince in disguise himself.
My copy had a first chapter/preview of the sequel, and it piqued my interest. Sounds much less fairy tale and is perhaps a more realistic novel with the same characters. That could go well or could make it clear that the characters aren't quite as strong as expected. ...more
I devoured this book on Saturday, and basically read it all in one sitting. I found it difficult to identify with the narrator, but the descriptions oI devoured this book on Saturday, and basically read it all in one sitting. I found it difficult to identify with the narrator, but the descriptions of the setting were enough to keep me reading. This is one of those times when the setting - the surroundings and time period - are as much a character as anything else.
I enjoyed learning about the circuses of the Depression Era, and think this would be a good candidate for those 'illustrated editions' that they come out with now - like for the DaVinci Code. It seems like some of the scenes and characters would really pop off the page in photographs from the time.
The edition I have includes some comments from the author, and many of the more unlikely episodes were apparently based on stories told by carnies. Of course, you then have to decide how much of those stories you are going to believe......more
These are generally just trashy YA paranormal romance, but are GREAT for some brain candy. The main character, Zoey, is often rather obnoxious, but IThese are generally just trashy YA paranormal romance, but are GREAT for some brain candy. The main character, Zoey, is often rather obnoxious, but I feel like the teenage characters are pretty believable. None of the books have been quite as gleefully bad as the first with its explanations of 'vamp celebrities' and frequent 'we aren't goths' defensiveness. But they're quick, and these were free, and I continue to tear through them.
I DO take issue with the constant use of 'ho-ish' to describe various different behaviors. Zoey gets WAY caught up into slut-shaming, which is not really a habit I want to encourage in young girls. There are already some pretty harsh consequences of sexual behavior in the books, which annoys me. If you're writing racy scenes into your YA book, it seems disengenuous to try to 'scare' readers out of doing racy stuff themselves. At least 'there are consequences to your actions' is better than having the protagonist constantly refer to any sexual thought or action as ho-ish, including her own. It seems particularly annoying in a matriarchical society that explicitly treats its 'fledglings' as adults in other ways - allowing alcohol and being emancipated minors....more
Although I read about the lives of women several hundred years ago, or in far away countries, I tend to forget about the struggles of American women iAlthough I read about the lives of women several hundred years ago, or in far away countries, I tend to forget about the struggles of American women in this century.
The author's take on her situation and her deep-down patriotism were inspiring. More than that, I enjoyed reading a contemporary account that really shines. There is no contrived love story, no forced tragedy, it's a low-key account of 3 months spent building "big bombers."
The quirky illustrations were fun breaks in the narrative, and the writing style comes across as very true to the author. She writes as she spoke back then, and while some of her observations seem very dated now, they are clearly sincere.
A quick read from a perspective I'd never considered, I gained more respect for the contributions of the country as a whole during WWII.
Worth reading just for the interesting perspective of a woman of the period stepping out of her "respectable" high heels, and into the slacks and boots of a lower-class she'd never considered before....more
Having just lambasted a different book full of uncomfortable and unnecessary name dropping sex stories, I'm kind of out of words for this one...
JenniHaving just lambasted a different book full of uncomfortable and unnecessary name dropping sex stories, I'm kind of out of words for this one...
Jennifer Saginor is the daughter of 'Doctor Feelgood' and spends a goodly chunk of her young life at the Playboy mansion. The first 100ish pages of the book do enjoy the juxtaposition of childish naivete with the debauchery of the Playboy Mansion in the '70s. Naked hijinks ensue! I expected more of the same from the rest of the book and is, I assume, the only reason anyone picks this off a shelf.
Alas, Saginor grows up a bit and becomes a drugged up hussy suffering from a negligent, drugged up, and abusive father. She describes nameless celebs at the Mansion and then drops other names constantly along with the labels they're wearing and the EXACT SONG on the radio in every freaking scene... (I'm willing to grant people some artistic license with memoirs, but I find it unlikely that you remember the precise outfits and music after all the nose candy you've enjoyed, hon...)
Once she makes it to her teens, there's not a moment when I don't want to smack the silly thing, and that includes her annoying self-analysis in the final chapter in her 30s. Even the title of the book is misleading since much of the book isn't even at the Mansion. Most of her time is spent at her father's 'sloppy seconds' version where foreign models prance around naked hoping to "make it" to the Mansion.
The title itself makes it pretty clear the book is going to be trash, but I didn't expect it to be such poorly written self-centered trash. Ick.
Love, love, LOVED this book. The author is funny, self-revealing, and not afraid to laugh at herself.
The writing isn't great, and the story jumps aroLove, love, LOVED this book. The author is funny, self-revealing, and not afraid to laugh at herself.
The writing isn't great, and the story jumps around a little, but it's a fun read. A neat perspective that reveals a side of the sex industry I didn't know existed. Her experiences fulfill some stereotypes and shatter others, and it's fun to be along for the ride.
Or maybe I just wish I had a name as cool as Diablo Cody......more
Had I read this 30 years ago, I would have probably considered it trashy tabloid fiction. Reading it with the remove that I have and not being overlyHad I read this 30 years ago, I would have probably considered it trashy tabloid fiction. Reading it with the remove that I have and not being overly familiar with showbiz culture of the 40s-60s, it seemed to be a period piece capturing a moment in history that I don't know much about.
The book IS trashy. It's all affairs and crazy starlets and sex and drugs and obvious caricatures of stars I vaguely recognize. And I have to wonder how much of it is based on the tabloids and gossip of the day - these characters are clearly based on Garland, Monroe, Merman, Sinatra, and I'm sure there are others that I'm missing because of my age.
But Susann manages to write a book in which nearly ALL of the characters are unlikeable and yet I wanted to keep reading. She creates three women who are endearing in their youth and idealism and transforms them into monsters by the end. I was torn between wanting a happy ending for each of them and wanting to see them all crash and burn. Even Anne, the most likeable 'girl next door', is so pathetic and helpless that by the end I didn't have much sympathy for her.
I enjoyed the book, and while I might have turned my nose up at it when it was published, I think the book can now stand on its own. ...more