I remember having seen this book on the shelves many moons ago (it was published in 2004, but I don't think I saw it until about four years ago). I reI remember having seen this book on the shelves many moons ago (it was published in 2004, but I don't think I saw it until about four years ago). I read the back of the cover, saw that the bridesmaid and best friend to the bride sleeps with the fiance and I put it promptly back on the shelf. I have very strong feelings about cheating and I knew I would instantly side with the bride and hate the "heroine" of the story for doing that to her best friend. Not to mention the groom for being a spineless prick and cheating on his fiance.
I might have been transferring there. I was cheated on once and it sucked ass. Hence my very strong feelings on the matter.
Anyway, just a few weeks ago I saw the trailer for this movie starring Ginnifer Goodwin whom I love - she was great in "He's Just Not That Into You" and I even liked her in "Walk the Line". She's not the classic Hollywood starlet - all gorgeous and groomed and so perfect you want to puke. She looks wholesome and down to Earth and not at all pretentious. And then I saw who would be playing the bride-to-be. Kate Freaking Hudson. I HATE her! I used to like her until she nearly killed Owen Wilson and broke his heart not once but twice, and then started dating, then got engaged and is now having Matthew Bellamy's baby. Matthew Bellamy is the lead singer of Muse, my favorite band, and an absolute doll. I had visions of her doing to him what she did to Owen and completely Yoko-ing the band and I decided I HATED her.
As the preview unfolded and it was clear that the bride's character was a bitchy, self-centered pain in the ass - and probably not a stretch for Kate Hudson to play - I decided that not only did I want to see the movie, but I might want to read the book, too. All I had to do was picture Ginnifer Goodwin, that sweet, wholesome, girl next door type that I love, and take comfort in her sticking it to someone like Kate Hudson.
So, I got the book from the library and read it in two days.
I alternated between really enjoying the story and at times getting really frustrated with it. Or, more to the point, frustrated with Ginnifer's character, Rachel. Rachel lacks a backbone for 98% of the book and while I could relate to her because I've had the same bitchy friends that Rachel had in Darcy (Kate Hudson's character), and I have been known to "go with the flow" and not create waves because it is at times much easier to do, I also know that there comes a time when you have to put your foot down and stick up for yourself instead of just letting people walk all over you. I spent the majority of the book wanting Rachel to tell Darcy what was happening with Dex, the groom, and wanting her to end the affair with Dex until he could make the decision on whether he wanted to end things with Darcy or not.
Fish or cut bait, man.
The majority of the book is about Dex and Rachel sneaking around and having a full-fledged affair, Rachel alternating between feeling guilty over it and then when Darcy slights her or she remembers a slight from when they were growing up together, feeling justified in her affair with Dex. And then there is Dex who is incredibly sweet and romantic and just yum except for one problem: he's cheating on his fiance.
Now, we do learn that Rachel and Dex were friends from law school and that Rachel who thought she would never get a guy like Dex (he's gorgeous AND smart), puts out the "We're just going to be friends" vibe and when she finally introduces Dex and Darcy, she doesn't speak up and tell Darcy she'd really rather not Dex go out with her, she just lets it happen. But then you get the impression that Rachel lets go of her feelings for Dex and just settles into her life. She dates here and there, but you don’t get the feeling that Dex became a sore spot for her. Until, of course, she sleeps with him and then all those feelings she once had come rushing back.
You definitely get the sense that Dex had a thing for Rachel “back in the day” – which was a Wednesday by the way – but since she gave off the “We’re just going to be friends” vibe, he never went for it. But you can tell that he is much better suited for Rachel than flighty, self-centered Darcy. So, in essence, feelings he had long ago buried come rushing back once he and Rachel sleep together.
I could never really get very far away from my Very Strong Feelings about cheating so at times it was painful for me to read, especially when Rachel got jealous over seeing Dex and Darcy together or when Dex got jealous over Rachel kissing his bff, Marcus. I wanted to jump in the book and smack them both upside the head and say, “Really? You’re cheating on your significant other, do you really think you have a leg to stand on?” Hello, kettle, this is the pot. You’re black.
I wanted so many times for Rachel to give Dex and ultimatum. He keeps saying how he loves her and wants to be with her all the time and has these scenes where you can see that he is tortured by this because he really loves Rachel. But he does nothing. In fact, he breaks things off with Rachel because he can’t break off the engagement and hurt Darcy. Of whom he’s been with for seven years. SEVEN. Mighty long time to be with a bitch.
I won’t go into the ins and outs of the novel, but suffice it to say that I did enjoy it at times, and hated it at others. Again – they are cheaters and I have a hard time sympathizing with them completely no matter how awful Darcy is. I found myself thinking many times: If they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you and he says he loves her and she loves him, but look at how they are expressing it. By sneaking around behind someone’s back. Can you really trust a confession of love from someone who does that?
Later, it comes out that Darcy slept with Marcus and is pregnant with his kid. I wondered if the author threw that in there to justify even more what Dex and Rachel were doing. It is hinted at several times and shown several times that Darcy is a consummate flirt and you get the feeling from her that she would probably be the sort to have an affair on Dex, but I almost felt as though her having an affair was to make it all kosher in a doubting readers mind that Dex and Rachel were screwing Darcy over.
I wanted to enjoy the end of the story and how they end up together, obviously, but I still kept wondering: Would Dex and/or Rachel wonder if the other would cheat on them later? I would wonder. How could Dex go from being in a relationship from Darcy to Rachel so quickly with barely a moment to catch his breath after dumping Darcy? Would Rachel wonder if Dex was sure this is what he wanted? Would Dex have regrets, would he miss Darcy?
I think some of these questions could have been resolved if the story had not been all from Rachel’s POV. It was first person all the way, and I found I really wanted to crawl into Dex’s head and hear his side of the story. What was his relationship with Darcy like when they were alone? Had he thought of Rachel in that way for a while? Did he have regrets that he’d never asked her out? Was it just the pressure of having been with Darcy for so long that he decided to propose or did he truly love her at one point? What motivated the kiss and then the hooking up if he “wasn’t that drunk” when they slept together? What was going on in his head when he wasn’t with Rachel and was with Darcy? We hear that he and Darcy stopped having sex, but did she initiate and he maneuvered his way out of it?
Needless to say I was left wanting more and found myself considering how I would have written it differently.
All in all, I liked the book and I am wildly excited to see the movie and how it will all play out. I have already figured out that John Krasinki’s character, Ethan, will be in the movie quite a bit when in the book Ethan isn’t seen until near the end. He’s only on the phone with Rachel periodically through the book as her conscience. And I think his character is meshed with Rachel’s work friend, Hillary, her other conscience. Strangely though, neither of them tell her in the book not to keep seeing Dex. So maybe saying they are her conscience isn’t an adequate way to describe them. ...more
I am on page 27 and I am torn between wanting to laugh or cry...or possibly laugh and then toss this book at the wall. I won't though; it's not mine.I am on page 27 and I am torn between wanting to laugh or cry...or possibly laugh and then toss this book at the wall. I won't though; it's not mine. And since my boss was super-awesome and got this when I suggested it to her, I will refrain from hurting this book the way it's hurting me.
I have this image in my head of Jessica Wakefield, the girl I grew up wanting to be like when I was an impressionable pre-teen and thought Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High was high literature. Now I see her as one of those mall rats from the 80's who are fluent in Valley Girl. Yes, I get the obvious joke/pun/irony/what have you there - she's from Sweet Valley speaking Valley girl, but I swear to God I am expecting her to say "For sure!" and "That is so, like, grody!" and "I would so not, like, do that!" In fact, I think she did say that last one. Minus the like. Still equally as annoying.
All right I am guilty of using "like" a lot, but seriously, this is 80's Valley Girl. I wonder if she is wearing neon and chewing a wad of gum like a cow. I just read this passage where in one page she is talking about how Elizabeth is prettier than she is - um, yeah, you do remember that you're twins and look alike, right? And that unlike Prudey McPrude, Mayor of Prudey Town, Elizabeth Wakefield, you have better fashion sense than that boring cable knit sweater freak. Elizabeth should have been around in the 1800's. Or the Victorian era where you couldn't show an ankle lest some dude decided to get jiggy with it with you in his freakin' carriage.
So, Jessica says one page how much better looking Elizabeth is and then the freaking next page she is wondering why Elizabeth is being noticed by Bruce Patman and Todd Wilkins! You already went on for over a paragraph about how much better and prettier you think she is over you and now you're wondering why these high school tards are noticing her? Reaally?
The last sentence that had my head reeling..."And in pure Jessica form, there was like so no other choice." Valley girl. Neon. Rolled jeans. Big, frizzy hair. Snapping gum. Just sayin'.
So, the drinking game I saw the other day in regards to this book is getting another addition to it: Shot every time Jessica talks like a Valley Girl.
I am reeling right now from the party scene I just read that Todd and Jessicca go to and how Jessica is dreading it because she and Todd are such fodder for gossip. Due to that one time they slept together five years prior and a series of lunch dates that went on for a month. Eight months prior to the start of this book is when Elizabeth found out abouto their affair. And it's still fodder for gossip with these people? Really? Perhaps they should get out each others bums and live their own damn lives. Or realize that they're 27 now and not 16.
I'm 90 pages from the end. Jesus. This is terrible. What is with the random POV's thrown in from Steven and then Bruce Patman? I mean, we don't see them for 3/4 of the book, they are just mentioned, but then wa-la - there they are, taking up pages.
What in the hell would possess Jessica to tell Steven's wife he's gay? I mean, she knew when she saw her brother and the poster child for Anger Management Aaron Dallas that the reason he was pissed it was her and not Elizabeth was because Jessica has a big mouth. So, she decides to prove that by rushing right over to Cara and outing Steven to her. What the hell? Is she retarded?
And then Elizabeth asking Liam, the actor dude she literally had two conversations with to go with her to her grandmother's party in Sweet Valley. Granted at first she thought to use him as a way to make Jessica stray from Todd, but now she just wants back up. So she says. I don't buy it, and I am with Will on this. Revenge is not the answer. I defer to Seinfeld: The best revenge is living well. So, pull on your big girl panties, Elizabeth and suck it up. God, I am so sick of her!! My hatred sky-rocketed when Winston Egbert died and she goes to visit his father. Yeah, because her and Winston were just oh so close in high school. I am so sick of hearing how wonderful and extraordinary and perfect Elizabeth is! I'm glad Jessica and Todd slept together, I'm glad Elizabeth is hurting - I hate her!
And Jessica's ex can tell in two minutes by just looking at Todd and Jessica that they have feelings for each other. Really? You don't think he's standing next to her to protect her because, jackass, she did just leave you for a reason. And it had already been established that Regan is one of those uber jealous guy, BUT he can see it. Sure. WTF?
This book sucked the life out of me which is why I did not finish posting my final review of the book.
So, Liam, the Irish wannabe actor travels with Elizabeth to her grandmother’s 80th birthday party and gets a hard on for Jessica who is too concerned about Elizabeth and much too into dull as a doorknob Todd Wilkins. Then Elizabeth is all WTF? with Liam about practically salivating all over Jessica and he’s all “I know, right?” and that’s it. We don’t see or hear from him again. And then the rest of us are all, “And his whole point in the book was…?” Oh yeah. To show us how Jessica is so devoted to Todd that she doesn’t notice other men. There weren’t other ways to show this?
And Will the playwright. He was just Todd’s doppelganger that later screws Elizabeth and I really think that was his character in a nutshell. Pascal really wasted time on these new characters because why? I wanted to see Lila Fowler acting like a bitch and Enid like a pretentious know it all, dammit! I also wanted a lot less St. Elizabeth whom I sure is about to be canonized when she dies.
And Todd. Oh, Todd. You know, I really liked Todd in the SVH books. Sure he fit Elizabeth’s “I’m so wholesome and good I’ll give you a toothache”, but I liked him. I figured in this book if they are going to make him the guy Jessica betrays her sister for and Elizabeth moons over so much then he’d be really awesome, but no. He spends most of the book mopping up Jessica’s tears and trying to make himself feel better for hurting Elizabeth.
Oh, and by the way…we go from Jessica and Todd being outed to 8 months later where they’re engaged. If they felt like such shits how did they come to the conclusion to get engaged? How did they work it all out that they still felt like they were going to hell, but shit, let’s get married! I feel like I missed something there. Oh yes. Because we had to get to Elizabeth whining. *RME*
And again, I bring up Caroline Pearce. She has a gossip column that she writes online? About people she went to high school with? Really? Are you being serious right now? THIS IS NOT HIGH SCHOOL, PASCAL. REAL 27-YEAR OLDS DO NOT DO THAT CRAP!!
In a nutshell there were so many different ways this book could have been done. Better, for one. I feel like Pascal really has a big ol’ yen for Elizabeth and tried to make her as saintly as she could just to drive the point home that Jessica and Todd were bad, bad, bad. Except I didn’t care. I wanted her to wallow – I just didn’t want to have to read about it. I would have preferred much more Jessica.
So, calling upon the spirit of Jessica: Like, this book so totally sucked! ...more
There are so many things to this book that I am not sure even where to begin. It is well written, the symbolism and imagery is strong and I like how rThere are so many things to this book that I am not sure even where to begin. It is well written, the symbolism and imagery is strong and I like how religion and superstition go hand-in-hand.
I need to organize my thoughts for the review of the book because there is just so much going on in it and I had sometimes visceral reactions to events. There were times I had to put it down because a scene got intense and I was disturbed by what was happening.
A great read though, all in all. I would not say it's a favorite of mine because it's not that "feel good" kind of book that makes you want to go back to beloved characters again and again. There were gems, but there was also heartache in this book, a lot of it. ...more
I almost forgot to read the last ten pages of the book because I could not get over the fact that Cath and Levi from "Fangirl", my favorite Rainbow RoI almost forgot to read the last ten pages of the book because I could not get over the fact that Cath and Levi from "Fangirl", my favorite Rainbow Rowell book to date, made cameos. I could not get past the fact that they were ENGAGED, too. The fangirl in me was squealing and jumping up and down for joy. I even Googled it to make sure it was really them, and sure enough, it was.
Okay, now onto "Landline". I'm pretty sure that Rainbow Rowell is just going to be that author that I read no matter what the subject is. I just love her writing. I love her wit and her characters. While "Fangirl" is still my favorite, "Landline" is still a great book, though I must admit that there were times I didn't always necessarily like Neal for Georgie. In the beginning I really liked Seth for Georgie and there were plenty of times where I thought "That Seth is totes in love with her." But then, at the end, even when he was telling Georgie he loved her, he was still more in love with the magic they wove together with their writing than anything else. I think Seth loved her in the only way Seth knew how since he seemed rather shallow with moments of depth.
I figured that what I was supposed to take away - and what Georgie was supposed to take away - from the conversations with 1998 Neal was that he would never hate her, even when he seemed to. He would never give up on her, even when it seemed he had. It seemed that perhaps largely these things were in Georgie's head, but wasn't actually the reality. Yes, Neal got annoyed. Yes, he wanted her to think of him and the kids, but he also knew that her work was important to her and would not ask her to give that up.
I was left sort of feeling that I needed more to flesh it all out and make it feel concluded. I felt like maybe I needed a little more from Neal. More assurance. But I had gotten used to Georgie's voice who was largely unsure about everything but her love for Neal.
All in all, I really did enjoy this book. And did I mention that Cath and Levi make an appearance?!...more
It was a bit hoaky, as most things related to zombies are, but it was fun. Some of the jokes made me groan but in a good way. There was blood and gutsIt was a bit hoaky, as most things related to zombies are, but it was fun. Some of the jokes made me groan but in a good way. There was blood and guts, but that was to be expected, and I liked how Sarah was not at all a weak woman deferring to the guy to fight the zombies. Sarah actually took the lead quite a bit and kicked some serious zombie ass. ...more