It has been a while since I have read any of the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, and I am glad that I treated myself to her writing once again...moreIt has been a while since I have read any of the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, and I am glad that I treated myself to her writing once again.
Like the other books of her Pink Carnation series, you have Eloise, in present day, tracking down any information she can get to help support her dissertation on the flowered spies during the Regency. Then you get to slip in to the world of Regency England, and discover what intrigue is next. We have Robert Landsdowne, the Duke of Dovesdale, recently returned from India in pursuit of Wrothan, the man who shot his mentor in the back during a battle. Robert wants nothing more than revenge, and he will do anything to get it, to include joining the Hellfire Club with that odious Sir Medmenham,
Charlotte Landsdowne, who lives at Girdings, the county seat of the Dovesdale dukedom is pleasantly surprised when her knight in shining armour arrives home after ten years, just in time for the holiday season. She swoons instantly due to her childhood crush on her cousin Robert. After a wonderful interlude of kisses under starlight skies, she is devastated when Robert leaves suddenly. However, she must carry on and take her turn at being one of the ladies-in-waiting to the Queen in London.
With monarchs going mad, suitors running away, and flowered spies running amuck, this story certainly pleased with well-written prose. It is always pleasant to get a snippet of Eloise and Colin amidst the skulduggery of ferreting out the spy who would try to harm the kingdom for those ill-mannered Frenchies. Lauren Willing weaves a wonderful story and is not hesitant to throw a few twists. Luckily the story does come to a happy conclusion, but spies are still lurking, so I am looking forward to the next installment in the series!(less)
Lacey Terwillinger found out the hard way that her husband was cheating on her with his new secretary...by receiving a bouquet that was intended for ‘...moreLacey Terwillinger found out the hard way that her husband was cheating on her with his new secretary...by receiving a bouquet that was intended for ‘Bumblebee’ from ‘The Stinger,’ all because the florist was a little drunk. After finding all of the things she saw as important in her house (not much), and having packed those up, she sat down to write her husband’s monthly business letter. One shouldn’t mix anger and business together, as it could lead to a libel lawsuit. This hilarious book was insightful into the character of Lacey, who thought she was the perfect wife.
Taking the advice of both her attorney and her mother, Lacey went to cool off in the family’s lakeside cabin. I found myself asking some of the same questions that Lacey did of herself (but luckily I didn’t ask them because I found my husband cheating). What does she really like? Who ARE her friends? What kind of person is she? What kind of people would she want to be friends with? But how exactly did a grown woman ask someone to be her friend? Was there an exchange of woven bracelets involved? I really appreciated how Ms Harper went into Lacey’s character and had her do some soul-searching. You get a sense of who Lacey is, and it was refreshing to read a book with a well-drawn heroine. It was also nice to see Lacey discover WHO she is and blossom.
There were many hilarious scenes in the book, that were sprinkled in between poignant moments of the main character discovering herself. I don’t want to spoil the book, but late-night swimming was involved in one of my favourite parts.
Staying next door to Lacey’s cabin was ‘Wolverine’ – a guy who doesn’t want to be bothered by another psycho divorcee. ‘Lefty’ Monroe helps Lacey discover more about herself, especially with her writing, as he is a famous author and gives her many tips and encouragement. Lacey’s writing helps to empower her, as evidenced by her scathing newsletter about her adulterous husband. Lacey needs to decide what type of writing to do, though, which type will help her to grow more. She had to fight the urge to truly speak her mind and be ‘adult’ about what she says, trying to change herself. I wasnt’ a bad wife. I had a bad husband....Whatever happened to sisterhood? Why can’t we just be honest and support each other? (pg 287)
I had only a few problems with the book. I think that there was almost too much with Monroe and not enough of the lawsuits, but it all gets wrapped up nice and neat in the end. I also thought that Lacey would do/say more about the pity she feels for the homewrecker, BeeBee (read the book, then you would understand why I made this statement). I have not had a chance to read anything else by Molly Harper, but I will keep my eye out for her now. I thought that the characters were whole – you really got a sense of who they were, and they were all different. (I think that Emmett, her brother, is my favourite.) I loved the humor and the pace of the story as well. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes their heroines who discover themselves, and also enjoys a good laugh. (less)
First off, I do have to mention that you need to know a little about John Hughes and his movies, particularly ‘Sixteen Candles.’ The only reason I men...moreFirst off, I do have to mention that you need to know a little about John Hughes and his movies, particularly ‘Sixteen Candles.’ The only reason I mention this is because it plays such a prominent part of the story. I loved the humor in this book, as it is quite over-the-top! Suspending reality helps to enjoy this story….as it is a story of home renovation gone WAY wrong!
Mia and Mac are tired of living in the city limits of Chicago, as they do not feel safe in the home they are renting from socialite Vienna Hyatt, a twenty-something heiress who wants to be the next Paris Hilton. Having a local gang member-wanna be living down the street, Mia fantasizes about John Hughes country…Abington Cambs. It was hilarious the various houses that they walked through before settling on the house that was featured in Sixteen Candles. Mia and Mac won the bid on the house, and the house was much more work than then had expected. Having watched years of HGTV, Mia and Mac felt that they were able to do any necessary repairs, but they had no idea what awaited them once they moved in!
I enjoyed this story, especially the digs in to Stephanie Meyers and her Twilight series (Mia writes a series on Zombie Amish Teens in Love), and the laugh-out-loud antics that Mac and Mia find themselves in quite frequently. It was nice to read a book that wasn’t rife with grammatical or syntax errors. The writing flowed well, and this was a very quick read. The story line was very much over the top, but it made for a fun summer read. The characters were quirky and likable or laughable, as the case was for Vienna. You found yourself routing for Mac, as well as wanting to smack him upside the head and wanting him to get a clue! (less)
I enjoyed the irreverence of this story. It was a good story that tells you to be who you are, not who your momma wants you to be! It was surprising,...moreI enjoyed the irreverence of this story. It was a good story that tells you to be who you are, not who your momma wants you to be! It was surprising, funny, and quite cheeky (as the British like to say). Beauty Queens is a story about a dozen or so survivors of a plane crash. The plane was on its way to a tropical paradise, owned by The Corporation (which seems to own just about everything), to hold the Miss Teen Dream Beauty Pageant, brought to you by The Corporation.
Once the survivors stumble out from the wreckage and gather whatever gowns and beauty supplies they can find, these teen girls try to figure out if survival or pageant twirls should be the order of the day. One contestant spent the whole story with a tray table stuck in her head!
There is no one central character. Each girl has her own ‘mishigas’ (Yiddish for craziness or nonsense) that she has to deal with. It is all a bit over the top, but fun nonetheless! You have the ‘team captain,’ Taylor, who is always trying to make sure everyone is practicing to the best of her abilities, as well as quoting Ladybird Hope any chance she gets! You have Adina, who wants nothing more than to expose the stupidity of a beauty pageant from the inside. There is Mary Lou who believes she is cursed. Girls who are not what they seem, like Petra. We also see many of the girls coming out…of their shells; regardless of being raised on Bipolar Bears.*
*The Corporation’s cuddly combination vitamin and mood-leveling drug marketed to tween and teen girls. Bipolar Bears banish bad moods and keep you beauty-queen perfect. Sold in a variety of signature bottles. Collect them all!
Throw in an international conspiracy, a few strange plot twists, the strength of girls who have a Miss Teen Dream Can-do attitude, and hunky British boy-toy pirates, and you have a rollicking ride.
I am glad that the whole book wasn’t overly campy; and mind you, you must read this tongue-in-cheek book with laughter at the ready. It is a bit over the top and silly, but a fun read nonetheless. It is also an excellent commentary on our society and how we think girls should be. We should just shut up and let the girls decide who they want to be – without having them stranded on a ‘deserted’ island!
NOTE: Even thought this is a Scholastic book (and I was a bit shocked by this), there is a lot of transgender, homosexual and heterosexual relationships in this story.
I love sassy Evie and how she deals with 'vamps' - my kind of paranormal book!
Evie, or Evelyn, has spent most of her life living in a center for the c...moreI love sassy Evie and how she deals with 'vamps' - my kind of paranormal book!
Evie, or Evelyn, has spent most of her life living in a center for the containment of paranormals, or the IPCA. Her best friend is a mermaid, and she is routinely sent out to ‘bag and tag’ various paranormals that are threatening society. Faeries transport her to where she needs to go, and werewolves provide protection, just in case her pink taser fails to take down a vampire. Evie wonders what it’s like to be a normal teenager. More than anything, she wants to be like the kids in Easton Heights – a tv show about teenagers in high school… all Evie wants is a locker!
No one knows why Evie is different, but she is a very important asset to the Internationl Paranormal Containment Agency in that she can see through ‘glamours.’ A glamour is a paranormal’s ability to appear like everyone else; Evie has the ‘joy’ of seeing through these and she is usually disgusted by what she sees. She is frequently sent out to identify various paranormals so they can be tagged and neutered, and the encounters she has can be rather amusing. (Love the scene with Steve the vampire!)
While I loved the first two-thirds of this book, the last part crumbled for me. Addison Blakely is hilarious and very much a teenage girl with a huge...moreWhile I loved the first two-thirds of this book, the last part crumbled for me. Addison Blakely is hilarious and very much a teenage girl with a huge crush on the bad boy. She’s lost her best friend from childhood, due to differences, her dad is dating her teacher, and she somehow volunteered to help run the school Talent Show. Then, it seemed, that the writer realized that she was writing a Christian novel for teens, and the last third of the book was all about that, tying things up with a neat little bow.
I fell in love with the story and Addison immediately! She is such a teenager, and the author got it perfectly. She was dealing with her conflicting feelings of being both a teenage girl with a crush on the bad boy and being the perfect daughter to the town’s preacher. I love the struggle that Addison goes through, and I love how human she is! She is funny, intelligent and trying to sort out her feelings. She is always daydreaming, she carries around Jane Austen in her bag at all times, and she is trying to figure out her place in the life that she lives.
I love Sarah Strohmeyer and how she can make me laugh! When I saw that this book was coming out, I really wanted to read it, as I wanted to see how Sm...moreI love Sarah Strohmeyer and how she can make me laugh! When I saw that this book was coming out, I really wanted to read it, as I wanted to see how Smart Girls got what they wanted. The story is of three best girl friends, who all happen to be smart and at the top of their class academically. It is told from Gigi’s point of view, and a very humourous point of view it is. “My parents broke up before I was born, though since they’re both scientists, I’ve long held suspicions that I’m indeed an alien.” One night, the three girls were at Neerja’s house and were checking out her older sister’s room, where they found Parad’s year book (which she claimed she never received) and after reading what other people wrote in her year book (“You seemed really nice,” or, “Who are you?”) these three girls decided to make something of themselves at school, besides being the super smart ones that nobody knew.
Events unfolded, and Neerja tried out for the school play, Bea joined the school’s ski team, and Gigi ran for Student Rep of the school board. This book is about facing your fears and getting what you want. These three sophomore students set out to make a name for themselves. While Gigi was the only one who was recognized by the majority of the student population because she ran for a school office, all three girls found what they wanted. Each girl was quirky in her own right and it was a pleasure to read.
I appreciated how each character was different from one another. Each person had his or her own voice, mannerisms and misconceptions about other people. It was nice to see Gigi learn, even though she’s a pretty smart cookie. This is a story about smart girls wanting to have more in their lives than just studying, and actually doing something about it – taking chances, and not necessarily getting exactly what they thought they wanted, but liking what they ended up with instead.
I hope that smart girls are smart enough to pick up this book! I hope that the title grabs their attention and they read this book about three friends who stick by one another to help them succeed, as well as go for what they want. One of our own smart girls read this, even though she wasn’t in to ‘modern’ stories – and she loved it. She mentioned that particularly liked how it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, and she also liked all of the twists in it. She read it reluctantly at first (is it just another teen book, Mom?) – and then couldn’t help herself! It was a pleasure to see her curled up on the couch with a small smile on her face (rare, indeed), reading Smart Girls and really enjoying it!
Jill Mansell’s characters are the British best friends I never had! They are real, quirky and a whole lot of fun! Millie’s Fling starts off with Milli...moreJill Mansell’s characters are the British best friends I never had! They are real, quirky and a whole lot of fun! Millie’s Fling starts off with Millie in a car with her boyfriend who is trying to ask her to move in with him, and all she can focus on is the person at the edge of the cliff who looks like she is contemplating throwing herself over the edge. Her boyfriend is asking her to move in with him, and all she thinks about is how little she cares for him as she throws open the car door to ‘rescue’ a damsel in distress. The boyfriend drives off, and Millie ends up convincing romance novelist Orla Hart that is isn’t worth it, considering that the cheating bastard would get all of her worldly goods.
Once back in town, and back to reality, Millie gets back to her little life in Newquay, Cornwall. She lives with her best friend, Hester, who has the love of her life who is currently in Scotland, and the lust of her school years in town. Seeing where her friend is headed while her boyfriend is away, Millie decides that they should make a Man-Free for- Summer pact, with a £200 wager. This shouldn’t be too hard as Millie had no love interest and Hester’s boyfriend was in another country….or so they thought!
The story is filled with late night crank phone calls, hot guys in leather pants, swanky parties, a roller-skating gorilla, a romance novelist, a neurotic couple who run a travel agency, a mum who can’t stop looking for love, and hilarity all along the way! There are times you want to smack the characters for being so obtuse, but it also makes them completely loveable and you want to get back to the story to find out what happens next.
One of the main reasons that I love Jill Mansell’s books is her characters. Not only are the main characters full of life and personality, anyone that walks onto the pages is a character unto themselves with their own personalities firmly in place. While you are reading (and especially when you are done) you wonder why this story hasn’t been made in to a Rom-Com as it would perfectly fit! While reading it, you feel as if you just watched a very good movie. Another wonderful thing about Jill Mansell’s books is that the people are so completely believable! These people just walked out of REAL life!
I would highly recommend this book. But you aren’t completely up on British mannerisms or slang, you might want to have a reference on hand. It won’t detract from the story one wit, but if you have any experience with living in England, you will feel right at home! Millie’s Fling is sweet, very funny, and quite amusing to boot!
One night when Clay was bored, he decided to create a 3-D image of...moreto read my full review, plus favorite quotes, please visit Musings of a Book Lover!
One night when Clay was bored, he decided to create a 3-D image of the bookstore, to include the “Waybacklist” area – the section of the bookstore (that was about 3 stories high) that no one bought from, but people borrowed books from – and all with bizarre titles. He slowly started to add titles to the 3-D model and found a pattern. Thus begins the true treasure hunt of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.
This was a very enjoyable read. The characters were fun and the hunt for knowledge was eventful with each character playing a part in discovering the secret of the clandestine group of eccentrics and their coded books. This book was a pleasure to read on many levels. Unlike many mysteries that are soaked in dark shadows, this one is full of dust motes and Googlers. There is definitely humor in this story, and perfect for anyone who likes to read, especially adventure stories that involve wizards. I appreciated the easy flow of the story that also captivated me enough to make me hurry up to find out how it will end. If you love books, nerds (and geeks!) and treasure hunts, this book it perfect! (less)
There are many points in the book that I highlighted and am looking forward to going over. However, I felt that some of the 'funny' things seemed a bi...moreThere are many points in the book that I highlighted and am looking forward to going over. However, I felt that some of the 'funny' things seemed a bit forced; or just maybe I am not a big fan of comedy! However, I really do think Steve Rizzo made good points towards Shifting your Attitude and getting a better life because of the Shift.
I have never laughed so much from a book, nor have I wan...moreFor the complete review, please visit Musings of a Book Lover - complete with favorite quotes.
I have never laughed so much from a book, nor have I wanted to have a workbook like the one Holly found. Holly was given assignments to discover who she truly is, along with challenges to try new things. She did many of these assignments half-hearted at first, but the moniker “Stylish, but Shallow” kept haunting her, and she was going to change if it killed her!
What was scary about this story of self-discovery was that the descriptions of Holly and her life sounded so familiar. I would read passages to my husband and we would sit there and laugh so hard, it was hard to catch our breath! But did I grab my own journal and start to answer some of the prompts that Holly was given? You bet your sweet Blessed Heart I did! I don’t know what woman would not relate to Holly. She is the typical woman who is unhappy with her wonderful life, and seeking to make it better. I truly enjoyed this story of a woman discovering her Inner Goddess – whom we all have inside of us.
This book was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review. (less)
What would you do if you could hear other people's thoughts? Would you use it to your advantage? Would you want the voices to stop? Would you change w...moreWhat would you do if you could hear other people's thoughts? Would you use it to your advantage? Would you want the voices to stop? Would you change who you are or what you do because of what people truly think about you? These are some of the questions that went through my head as I was reading this.
This was a very amusing story. A group of students had a bad batch of a vaccine and ended up being able to hear other people's thoughts. The ending was a bit of a surprise. (less)
I laughed out loud a few times throughout this book. It was also neat (as a former chef) to be in a kitchen once again with Clem and her crew. The cla...moreI laughed out loud a few times throughout this book. It was also neat (as a former chef) to be in a kitchen once again with Clem and her crew. The classic tale of vegan meets steakhouse owner who fall in love and overbearing soon-to-be mother(monster)-in-law takes over wedding planning. I had a few issues with the story, but for the most part, it was a fun read.(less)