Got halfway through and asked myself why I was continuing the read this. Rare for me - out of 700 books I have on Good Reads, only a few fall into the...moreGot halfway through and asked myself why I was continuing the read this. Rare for me - out of 700 books I have on Good Reads, only a few fall into the "couldn't finish" category. The writing itself was superb but I just did not give a crap. Decided to quit torturing myself. But it seems I am in the minority. (less)
2.5 stars. I am certainly in the minority here - an over 4 star average rating? Wow. It was certainly a fast read. I realized a few hours before book...more2.5 stars. I am certainly in the minority here - an over 4 star average rating? Wow. It was certainly a fast read. I realized a few hours before book club I hadn't read it and was able to tear through it in one sitting. 30 year old Anna and the 16 year old kid she's tutoring are stranded on an island for years. Love ensues. I thought this was supposed to be kind of "hot" but the love scenes were pretty tame. Also, the dialogue was horrible. TJ uses Anna's name when he speaks to her at least 50 percent of the time, to the point it became totally distracting. (Hey, TJ, you're on a deserted island, I think we all know who you're talking to).
There's not a lot of plot here other than trying to survive via a cadre of lucky breaks, including the catching of a large man-eating shark with the assistance of a few plucky dolphins. But, again, it was a very fast read and sweetly predictable in the way of romantic comedies. The age difference was a little weird, but of course that was the point. Overall the characters are fairly likable, especially Anna. I liked how the "resolution" happened as well as the author's move of having this occur during some key historical events. Easy, fast read.(less)
This book had some definite bright spots - some nice writing and interesting characters, although none of the characters were particularly likeable. I...moreThis book had some definite bright spots - some nice writing and interesting characters, although none of the characters were particularly likeable. It was a fast read, though, despite the somewhat aggravating characters. I probably would've given this a 3 but I was really bothered by how the writer handled the "miscarriage" scene. When you're well into your third trimester, you don't just start bleeding and then have a D&C with no attempts to save the baby or even see if the heart is still beating. It was a very WTF kind of scene for me. I was so distracted by that, it was hard to finish the book.(less)
1.5 stars. This book is dreadful. I gave it an extra +0.5 because I managed to finish it and the writing was alright and not too cliché-ridden or chee...more1.5 stars. This book is dreadful. I gave it an extra +0.5 because I managed to finish it and the writing was alright and not too cliché-ridden or cheesy, minus the part where a character “tucks away” information like a transvestite “tucks away his penis.” There was context there but still… are you kidding me?
This is told through multiple viewpoints of folks living in and around Park Slope, Brooklyn. In my estimation this is a satire, which is all well and good, who doesn’t love a satire? The problem with such form is the characters are extreme and without nuance and, in this case, unlikeable. CC and Karen are alright I guess but god I just didn’t care what happened to any of these people. And the satire piece didn’t really offer any sharp insight. Not once did I nod my head and think, wow, so observant. Maybe I would appreciate it more if I lived in Brooklyn.
Then there’s this: “Rebecca noticed Sean Penn a few tables away…” I just opened a random page and found that sentence. At least 30% of the book consists of random name-dropping. From Jon Hamm to Scarlett Johansen to Blythe Danner. Someone with a lot of time really should count the number of celebrities mentioned. It has to be at least 500. No joke. I’m sure this is supposed to be “satirical” but Jesus it got old.
And I must address the character “Gottlieb” (of course from Brooklyn) who spends a lot of time surfing at Swami’s in Encinitas, where “Kelly Slater had paid him a compliment.” I live by Swami’s. I see Swami’s every day. There’s no way Gottlieb from Brooklyn is going to be surfing out there and double no way would Kelly Slater even acknowledge his existence. So ridiculous though Gottlieb gets in even more ridiculous scenarios. Ugh! Enough already! I can’t believe I finished this.(less)
Brooke Shields is a horrible writer. Maybe the blame lies on her ghost writer, if she had one, but the prose in this is almost unreadable. It is dorky...moreBrooke Shields is a horrible writer. Maybe the blame lies on her ghost writer, if she had one, but the prose in this is almost unreadable. It is dorky and lame and clunky and very tell-not-show. For such an emotionally charged topic (post partum depression) this book was not emotional at all. I expected to be heartbroken on her behalf and it all felt very flat. It’s interesting that her husband wondered aloud, early in her pregnancy, if she might eventually suffer from PPD. This is an telling tidbit, especially as she constantly says how she’s always so happy go lucky when not under the siege of PPD. In general I’m pretty sure dudes don’t think of these potential ailments unless it’s staring them in face. (And, honestly, Brooke seemed somewhat batshit insane in Andre Agassi’s memoir).
Also, she makes several references to her fame/paparazzi/having to hide her pregnancy, sneak out of the hospital, etc. All I could think was, really? You’re that famous that you have a pack of paparazzi trailing you at all times? She is certainly highly recognizable as she’s been in the business for her entire life. But she’s not really tabloid fodder is she? There’s Angelina Jolie on one end and former Bachelorette contestants on the other and I kind of thought Brooke Shields was more Bachelorette contestant (in terms of fame, not skills – I really liked her in Suddenly Susan). I don’t know, maybe there are enough photogs in the biz that everyone who's ever been on TV is fair game. But she lives most of the year in NYC. It seems the paparazzi is less present there. She takes a job as an extra in That 70s Show!
I do applaud her for speaking about this where so many people try to sweep it under the rug or feel shame or make others feel shameful about it. So in that sense I’m glad this was a bestseller and that it seeped out amongst the masses. It is an important topic and people need to be aware. But, gawd, this book is really bad. (less)
“Dark”? “Nightmarish”? “Chilling”? Sounds like a great novel. Sign me up! That is…sign me up if it’s not code for nonstop beating, raping, and pillagi...more“Dark”? “Nightmarish”? “Chilling”? Sounds like a great novel. Sign me up! That is…sign me up if it’s not code for nonstop beating, raping, and pillaging. There was no point to this book but to put the most horrific children imaginable all in the same village and have them rape and kill each other. No real plot, no redeeming characters, just endless abuse. As it turns out I like my darkness a little more subtle and less gratuitous. (less)
Total waste of money. Granted, I was expecting more of a cookbook than a lifestyle book so I'll admit the responsibility is partly mine. I *do* like B...moreTotal waste of money. Granted, I was expecting more of a cookbook than a lifestyle book so I'll admit the responsibility is partly mine. I *do* like Bethenny's approach to food and I agree with much of what she espouses. I loved her suggestion of just putting lemon with a little bit of EVOO and salt and pepper on a salad - I have that almost every day. I was expecting more of the same, easy recipes and suggestions to make cooking less intimidating (which it is for me). The recipes were certainly lacking (a couple for each meal) and it basically just had a lot of lists and repetition from her prior book. Blech. Mad at myself for this purchase.(less)
1.5 stars. This was a $0.99 Kindle read and as I’ve enjoyed the author’s previous works (for what they are) and because I’m a huge NFL fan I decided t...more1.5 stars. This was a $0.99 Kindle read and as I’ve enjoyed the author’s previous works (for what they are) and because I’m a huge NFL fan I decided to try this out. To say this book is lame is an understatement. Phoebe Sommerville (Sumerville? Who cares) inherits an NFL franchise from her deceased father. Now the author did lose me pretty early on when one character says to another “the AFC is dominated by the San Diego Chargers.” As a lifelong Chargers fan I just could not suspend my disbelief.
My ongoing Chargers misery notwithstanding there are other things that bothered me about this book, not the least of which is Phoebe herself who states she uses her sexuality to get ahead. I realize she grows from this viewpoint but it was hard to get on board with someone who purposefully portrays herself as a vapid bimbo when she’s not. This book is also extremely dated by its constant AIDS talk. Phoebe has a lot of gay friends and of course has watched so many die of AIDS. She has one instance of unprotected sex and everyone’s freaking out about AIDS like two seconds after it happens. I guess in 1994 this was a major hot button topic and of course it’s a very bad thing but it was so incredibly present in this book when there was exactly zero reason for it. No major character has AIDS, no one dies from AIDS. It was like this weird theme with no purpose.
I had other issues too, like one female character who routinely hits her husband and everyone jokes about it. Uh, still abuse. Also [semi-spoiler alert though for a very, very, very minor part of the book] a major crime is stopped by someone throwing a football a very long distance. Anyway, these are just a few reasons I disliked this book. Upgraded from 1 to 1.5 stars because I did in fact finish it. (less)
There were some clever moments, but overall this read was pretty dry. It's a memoir of a man, his wife, and son living abroad in Paris. They were ther...moreThere were some clever moments, but overall this read was pretty dry. It's a memoir of a man, his wife, and son living abroad in Paris. They were there a "half decade" the blurb tells us, trying to make it sound more salient than five years, which is a good metaphor for the tone of the book. In more than one chapter/vignette/riff I thought, “who gives a crap?” This is less a story than a collection of essays, which is how the book started. I didn’t really learn anything, I didn’t get a sense of what it might be like to live a “half decade” in Paris. It did confirm that soccer is a totally lame sport, which I already knew. That’s about what I got out of it.(less)
I used to love me some Maeve Binchy back in the day. I can't remember the last time I read something by her. Guess I was feeling nostalgic so I picked...moreI used to love me some Maeve Binchy back in the day. I can't remember the last time I read something by her. Guess I was feeling nostalgic so I picked up this book. I don't know if this book sucked more than her others (seems like that might be the case from the other reviews), but I just did not care about the characters or their storylines. The writing was horrible and the dialogue completely lame. (less)
This book almost got put into the "could not finish" category. I think the only reason I finished is because it's the 100th book I've read this year (...moreThis book almost got put into the "could not finish" category. I think the only reason I finished is because it's the 100th book I've read this year (feels like it should be more!) I figured I should actually read it. The set-up is interesting enough, three daughters realize after their father dies that their parents were never really married at all. Aside from that, I am unable to locate any positives. First of all, I could not get a hold of the writing style. It wasn't full of errors or too complex or anything like that. It was just very, very unreadable. Something about the way the author constructs sentences hurts my head, not because the words are challenging (they’re not, at all), but the way they’re put together felt like someone rubbing gravel in my brain. It was very uncomfortable to read. Also, all the characters suck. There is not a redeeming one amongst them. And if these characters do have redeeming qualities the author switches so quickly between them the reader doesn’t get to find out anything good. Ugh, just a colossal waste of time.(less)