I've been waiting for the follow up to Meredith Schorr's Blogger Girl basically since the moment I finished the book.Originally reviewed at Books Etc.
I've been waiting for the follow up to Meredith Schorr's Blogger Girl basically since the moment I finished the book. Needless to say, I was thrilled (THRILLED) when Meredith told me she was finally writing the sequel. Even though I love love love everything Meredith writes, there was still that niggling doubt in my mind...what if I don't like it as much as the first book about Kim? (And I'm sure she's worried about the same thing!) That feeling was completely unwarranted. I adored Novelista Girl. I read it last year (on vacation...best idea ever) so it's one of my favourites of 2015 even though it's just being published today. Congrats (and thank you) to Meredith for writing and publishing another of my favourite chick lit books!
Novelista Girl basically picks up right where Blogger Girl left off. Note: if you haven't read Blogger Girl yet, beware of teeny spoilers. And get your ass in gear and read it because it's one of my all time favourite books. That being said, you don't have to read Blogger Girl first...the new book stands on its own. I just think readers will have a better reading experience if they read both books.
In Novelista Girl, Nicholas and Kim have righted their relationship and, more importantly, Kim has finally decided to take the plunge and has submitted her novel to agents. Meredith does a really great job of balancing the romantic and career storylines in this novel. I love reading about love interests and swoony (and stressful) moments but the fact that Kim was also pursuing her dream of becoming a published author was SO important (and not just because the title of this book is Novelista Girl).
Kim continues to be a character that I want to be best friends with. She has her "what on earth is she thinking?" moments but, hey, we all have those moments. (We do. Do not try to deny it.) She's smart, passionate, driven, funny, and, most importantly to me, is a book person. :) I love books so much more when I want to be BFFs with the heroine and her group of friends. Can't I just hop into the book to hang with Kim, Bridget, and Caroline?
Blogger Girl focused more on, you guessed it, Kim's chick lit book blog. Part of why I loved the book so much is because it felt like it was a book about me. No one had ever written about my passion before so it was super cool. I think my main worry about going into Novelista Girl was that I might not identify as much with Kim because I'm not a blogger who wants to be an author (sometimes I think I'm an anomaly!). I shouldn't have been worried though because reading about Kim's publishing journey was equally interesting. I have many author friends and a lot of what they go through, Kim was going through too.
Novelista Girl is another winning novel from Meredith Schorr. Hanging out with Kim, reading as she went through the ups and downs of a twentysomething life, was just as amazing as when I read Blogger Girl. Kim's romantic, friend, hobby, and work relationships all come together in a well written and thoroughly enjoyable novel. You all know I love everything Meredith writes but, guys, her books about Kim are really that amazing. You'll love them as much as I do if you give them a chance. So what are you waiting for? Pink champagne flutes for everyone!...more
There was a moment after finishing my event management post-grad program that I considered getting into wedding plannOriginally reviewed at Books Etc.
There was a moment after finishing my event management post-grad program that I considered getting into wedding planning. It was a brief moment. I realized I just wasn't cut out for dealing with the brides nor did I want to give up every summer weekend. But that doesn't mean I'm not still interested in the whole wedding thing. So, when Laura Chapman asked if I would review her latest novel, The Marrying Type, I jumped at the chance to see what one of my favourite authors would do with the popular wedding planner story.
There is so much going on in this book but that is what makes it so good. Chapman expertly weaves together every storyline and everything flows and fits together perfectly. Yes, there is a drunk, out of control bridesmaid and a reality TV show and family drama and an ex who is back in town BUT The Marrying Type would not be the amazing novel that it is if any one of those elements had been left out. It's wedding season in the south. Of course it's crazy! :)
I loved Elliot. She's one of those characters who is just flawed enough at the beginning of the story that she's not annoying and you know she's going to get herself on the right path by the end. It's not that she was imperfect, exactly, it's just that she was totally realistic. She had her issues and hang ups like anyone else does and that was refreshing. I really enjoyed reading about her life and I was rooting for her throughout the entire novel.
I can't finish this review without mentioning the romance in this novel. Even though I knew Elliot's ex, Eric, would be showing up (thanks to the synopsis) I had no idea how or when he would arrive back in Elliot's life. I was constantly surprised by what happened in their relationship and I loved that. They had some major obstacles to overcome but I really wanted a Happily Ever After for the two of them because they just seemed so perfect together!
Fun fact: The Marrying Type is a bit of a modern take on Jane Austen's Persuasion. I absolutely loved that. It's a bit of a subtle homage but Chapman does an amazing job of updating the classic story while still making this novel all her own. And if you haven't read Persuasion yet, get on it. *makes note to reread the novel as soon as possible.*
I loved loved loved The Marrying Type. I actually read it while on vacation on a cruise ship and I hate that I couldn't tweet or message Laura to tell her how much I was loving it! It's such a great story about a twentysomething wedding planner trying to figure out her career and solve all her family's problems. Bonus, there's an amazingly sweet love story too! So far I've loved everything Laura Chapman has written and I absolutely cannot wait to see what she comes out with next!
*A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for review consideration. All reviews are honest and my own.*...more
I love Beth Kendrick and I'm always so excited when she publishes a new book. It should be no surprise then that I juOriginally reviewed at Books Etc.
I love Beth Kendrick and I'm always so excited when she publishes a new book. It should be no surprise then that I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel, New Uses For Old Boyfriends. The book was good and I enjoyed reading it...but...I found it a little lacking.
I think one of my issues is I found the characters to be somewhat two dimensional. Or maybe I just didn't get the connection I wanted with them. For example, Daphne, Lila's mom, drove me up the wall. I completely understand that she's been dealt a really hard hand in life but she wouldn't listen to her own daughter, who she seems quite close with. To be fair, this made Daphne's eventually transformation even more awesome. Not to give too much away, but she really shines once she finds her new path in life and gets her spark back.
This isn't the first time Kendrick has set a book in Black Dog Bay. A lot of the characters from Cure for the Common Breakup pop up in this story too. I felt like too many previous characters showed up and that took away from really getting to know Lila and Malcolm. Sure, I loved finding out what Summer and Ingrid were up to but, for example, Ingrid was such a secondary character and she shone far more than Malcolm, one of the love interests, did.
All that being said...I did like the book. I liked that the romance wasn't totally obvious and I really enjoyed seeing how Lila and Daphne grew as women. They had a lot of really tough stuff to deal with and they did it with class - not everyone would be able to do that. It was also fun to get a bit of a crash course in couture fashion history. Kendrick did a good job of sharing information without overloading the reader with unnecessary facts.
Maybe my expectations were too high for New Uses for Old Boyfriends. I do expect "ohmygod, I love this book to infinity and beyond" feelings when I dive into a new Beth Kendrick novel. Do I wish I had loved it more? Absolutely. Do I still think you should read it? Yep! This is a sweet novel, with depth!, that takes place in a small town everyone will want to visit. While it can stand on its own, I would recommend reading Cure for the Common Breakup first so you can get to know the characters and the town from the beginning.
*A copy of this book was provided by BookSparks via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*...more
I love Jane Austen (though I wouldn't call myself a Janeite, not yet anyway) and I love book covers (especially prettOriginally reviewed at Books Etc.
I love Jane Austen (though I wouldn't call myself a Janeite, not yet anyway) and I love book covers (especially pretty ones) so I was really excited for Margaret C. Sullivan's book, Jane Austen Cover to Cover: 200 Years of Classic Book Covers, published November 2014.
This book pretty much lived up to every expectation I had. It was set up in a really aesthetically pleasing way, which made the reading experience so much better. Each page had one cover and a write up. It was clean and allowed you to really absorb every cover individually.
The chapters were divided by years, which I really liked. Chapter One featured the books as they looked when Austen was still alive and it carried on until Chapter Four, which shared the covers up until 2013. Chapter Five featured the movie covers and Six was all about foreign covers.
In addition to talking about covers through the years, the book also shares background information about Austen's life and the book cover process. There were also quotes from the novels, letters from Austen to family members, and biographies. Some of the information was already known to me (I knew, for example, that Austen was not credited as the author on her novels; instead, "By a Lady" was used) but other new tidbits stood out to me. I learned that the binding of books in Austen's time was quite interesting. It was done all by hand and the printed papers were "bound in plain cardboard binding called 'boards'" and "a paper label with the book's title was pasted onto the spine." (page 19) If that sounds flimsy to you, that's because theses covers were not meant to be forever. Wealthy book buyers would recover their books so their library would have a distinctive style. Amazing.
This book is a really quick read since it's a lot of images and a smaller amount of text. You can flip through the book quickly to see all the different covers but I suggest really taking the time to read each description and learn more about why a cover was designed a certain way. The pretty pictures are great but that small bit of text is what elevates the book to the next level.
Margaret C. Sullivan's book is a great one to leave out on the coffee table for guests to peruse. You can even make a game out of it...which cover is each guest's favourite? Mine, for the record, is Random House's Modern Library redesign of Pride and Prejudice, found on page 135. (I love Penguin Threads, just not the one of Emma that's featured in the book.) If you're a Jane Austen fan and love pretty covers, like me, you're definitely going to want to pick up Jane Austen Cover to Cover.
*A copy of this book was provided by Chronicle Books in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*...more