Bookends Author: Jane Green Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5
Description: (Author Website) Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are...moreBookends Author: Jane Green Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5
Description: (Author Website) Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and — since she had her heart broken a few years back — emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London’s West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid.
All’s well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend — the stunningly beautiful Portia, who’s known for breaking hearts. Though they’ve grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome’s friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store.
Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia’s schemes — like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there’s James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath’s heart?
From My Point of View: This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I'm not the biggest Jane Green fan, so when I found I was actually enjoying this book, it was kind of shocking to me. I adored how real this book was. I felt like I was watching someone's life unfold.
My absolute favorite part was when Lucy and Cath were setting up Bookends. I am so JEALOUS! I have alwaysssss wanted my own bookshop and they were going for it! I was so happy to see this was a successful endevour for them. With so much going on in this novel, it would have been devistating if the results had turned out otherwise.
As much as I loved the Cath/Si relationship, I often felt irritated by how much it interferred with the Cath/James relationship. Undoubtably at the end, I would have NEVER had Cath behave any other way than to blow off James, but prior to that moment (and if you read the book, you will certainly know which moment I am referring to), I still felt Si was a bit in the way. And I HATED all the obstacles Cath and James had to overcome. I'm sure it essentially made the relationship that much stronger when they finally had time to form that relationship, but I kept waiting and waiting for it to happen! It seemed to take FOREVER!!
I was especially surprised to find myself crying at Si's revelation. I truly wasn't expecting to be so emotionally involved at that point.
Finally, I loved how everything worked out with Portia! I hated her and was dying for her to GO AWAY, but I think Green did a great job of including her in the book.
Overall, this was a good read. I wouldn't say it's the best book I've ever read, but it was heartfelt and an excellent reminder of the meaning of true friendship.(less)
Sleeping Arrangements Author: Madeleine Wickham (a.k.a. Sophie Kinsella) Characters: 3 out of 5 Plot: 2.5 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5
Description: (Publis...moreSleeping Arrangements Author: Madeleine Wickham (a.k.a. Sophie Kinsella) Characters: 3 out of 5 Plot: 2.5 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5
Description: (Publisher's Weekly) Wickham (The Gatecrasher; also, the Shopaholic series as Sophie Kinsella) spins a delightful story of British families forced to spend their vacation together after a mutual friend promises them the same week in his Spanish villa. Chloe Harding hopes that a holiday will soothe the strain between her and longtime partner Philip Murray, who is worried that a recent takeover of his company may cost him his job. Their hopes are dashed when they arrive and find another family already settled at the villa. To Chloe's disappointment, she'll be sharing the space with Hugh Stratton, the beau who broke her heart 15 years ago. Now married to high-maintenance Amanda and with two children, Hugh apologizes, and though Chloe initially expresses nothing but hurt and disdain (all the while keeping their past a secret from Philip), she eventually considers beginning life anew with Hugh. Wickham does a bangup job of creating believable characters—even Amanda is less vapid than she at first seems. Surprises abound as the plot unfolds, and the families begin to wonder whether their mutual friend made an innocent mistake in getting them together.
From My Point of View: I recently discovered something delightfully shocking: Sophie Kinsella is only a pseudonym! At first, I was rather disappointed, but, when I discovered that meant the same author, really named Madeleine Wickham, had loads of other books I haven't read yet, I was pretty excited! So I nabbed Sleeping Arrangements and dug right it. It wasn't exactly fabulous. I much prefer her other titles, but this was an OK read. There were lots of unexpected twists and turns to keep your attention. It held my attention and kept me wanting to read more, so it scores some bonus points for that, but I thought the characters were pretty bland and the plot a little boring. I don't forsee this as being one I'll pick up again any time soon.(less)
Killer in High Heels Author: Gemma Halliday Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5 Format: e-Book (on my Kindle) Source: Purchased by M...moreKiller in High Heels Author: Gemma Halliday Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5 Format: e-Book (on my Kindle) Source: Purchased by Myself
Book 2 in the High Heels Series
Description: (Author Website) L.A. shoe designer Maddie Springer hasn't seen her father since he reportedly ran off to Las Vegas with a showgirl named Lola. So she's shocked when he leaves a desperate plea for help on her answering machine - ending in a loud bang. Gunshot? Car backfire? Never one to leave her curiosity unsatisfied, Maddie straps on her stilettos and, along with her trigger-happy best friend, makes tracks for Sin City in search of her MIA dad.
Maddie hits the jackpot, all right. She finds not only her dad, but also a handful of aging drag queens, an organized crime ring smuggling fake Prada pumps, and one relentless killer. Plus, it seems the LAPD's sexiest cop is doing a little Vegas moonlighting of his own. In a town where odds are everything, Maddie bets it all on her ability to out-step a vicious murderer. She just hopes her gamble pays off before her own luck runs out.
From My Point of View: As opposed to the first book in this series, I really enjoyed this book. It had the same fun and quirky writing style as the first (with the same amount of show and clothing references).
Maddie still drove me nuts. How someone simply CANNOT listen is beyond me. She consistently disobeyed Ramirez (and I'm not talking little things, I'm talking she got arrested, he said don't leave this hotel room AFTER BAILING HER OUT and she does anyway). I'm not sure how I feel about Maddie, but she is not what keeps me reading these books.
The other characters, Ramirez (obviously!!), Maddie's Mom, Dana, and even Marco were all entertaining and easily lovable.
I also felt the plot in the book was MUCH better than the plot in the first book (no pregnancy test that refuses to be taken -- thank goodness).(less)
Spying in High Heels Author: Heather Webber Characters: 3 out of 5 Plot: 3 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5 Format: e-Book (on my Kindle) Source: Purchased by M...moreSpying in High Heels Author: Heather Webber Characters: 3 out of 5 Plot: 3 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5 Format: e-Book (on my Kindle) Source: Purchased by Myself
Book 1 in the High Heels Series
Description: (Author Website) L.A. shoe designer, Maddie Springer, lives her life by three rules: Fashion. Fashion. Fashion. But when she stumbles upon the work of a brutal killer, her life takes an unexpected turn from Manolos to murder. And things only get worse when her boyfriend disappears - along with $20 million in embezzled funds - and her every move is suddenly under scrutiny by the LAPD's sexiest cop. With the help of her post-menopausal bridezilla of a mother, a 300 pound psychic and one seriously oversexed best friend, Maddie finds herself stepping out of her stilettos and onto the trail of a murderer. But can she catch a killer before the killer catches up to her...
From My Point of View: Lesson Learned from this book? Attitude is everything. And I'm not talking about the characters. I'm talking about me. I started this book up at 9:30 on a night I was BEYOND tired and finished the second half. Badddd Idea. I was irritated and moody and it definitely hindered my feelings toward this book.
This is a fun and quirky book -- definitely a girly read. I would suggest being in the mood for a such a book when you pick this up. It's filled to the binding with shoes and clothing references, which on a normal day doesn't bug me, but in my sleep deprived haze, annoyed me to no end.
As far as the characters go, Maddie annoyed me -- and not just because of my attitude. She was very contradicting as a character. On the one hand, she'd put her life on the line -- literally -- to find Richard. On the other, she didn't have enough courage to pee on a fricken stick! I was SO annoyed about the pregnancy test. Not to mention it was drawn out entirely too long, what with them being expired, stepped on, or when the coke spilled. I was over it.
Ramirez is really what kept me going. He is the very definition of everything I look for in a book hunk. *swoon* If it weren't for him, this entire book would have been a waste of my time.
With all that being said, I honestly feel this series has potential. It's pretty evident this is the author's first book ever. I've actually finished the second one as I write this and it was a VAST improvement. I'm excited to keep going with this series in hopes that I continue to see improvement in each one. (less)