08. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The One by Kiera Cass, 323 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/08/2014

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I’m not sure why I went ahead and read The One since I thoroughly disliked The Elite. It was a bad choice. The One is basically a repeat of books one and two of this series. America is still unsure about her relationship with the prince, the castle is still constantly attacked by rebels, and character development is still awkward and stilted. This series was such a bore/snore/waste of my time!

06. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The Elite by Kiera Cass, 336 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/05/2014

16248068While the Selection was fun and fluffy and romantic, The Elite was just annoying. America is one of the few Selected left, and she is trying to figure out whether she would be a good princess. She goes back and forth about this and about her love for both Prince Maxon and Aspen roughly a billion times. If one doesn’t give her attention, she gets huffy and falls into the arms of the other. She is wishy washy about pretty much everything. The plot was slow and boring, and nothing really happened except a few of the Selected got booted. Her rotten attitude in this novel made me very much dislike America.

06. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kristy, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

Landline by Rainbow Rowell, 310 pages, read by Kristy, on 07/14/2014

Landline is a typical story about a parent, Georgie McCool, who spends more time at work than at home. She opts to stay at work over Christmas rather than going with her husband and kids on their trip to Omaha. While fretting about her broken marriage, Georgie discovers a magical phone that allows her to talk to her husband from the past.

I absolutely love Rainbow, but this book was a flop for me. It had great description and dialogue, but the plot wasn’t great. The magic phone took away from the otherwise extremely realistic book, giving me a feeling of disconnect and disbelief. I much prefer Rainbow’s teen novels to her adult novels so far.

27. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen, 334 pages, read by Kira, on 03/24/2014

What a delightful wonderful tale!   Sarah Addison Allen’s writing is a bit like Anne Tyler’s, but with a little magical realism and and little more optimism thrown in.  I liked how you got to know each character’s back story, how they became who they are.  I liked the ending though pLost lakeersonally, I could see it coming.  And the book had a positive impact lost lon my bodlake losty  cypress kneeslo lk  devons wingslots lake lot lakeimage.    lost lkeLost lake fwaking Kate

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Helen, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

A Grown-up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson, 336 pages, read by Helen, on 06/30/2012

A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it’s there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey’s strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women’s shared past–and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Helen, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The Botox Diaries by Lynn Schnurnberger, Janice Kaplan, 296 pages, read by Helen, on 02/28/2012

In a world where plastic surgery is as popular as a pair of sexy Manolo Blahniks, suburban single mom Jessica Taylor is trying to make it past forty with nothing more than moisturizer and a swipe of mascara. Her glamorous best friend, TV producer Lucy Baldor, has a different idea of aging gracefully. “My body is a temple,” Lucy explains. “I just don’t want it to crumble like St. John the Divine.”
Jess and Lucy’s friendship has weathered the trials of marriage, the births of children, and the transition from itty-bitty bikinis to “Kindest Cut” one-piece suits. Now the women are discovering that midlife crises aren’t just for men—they’re equal-opportunity dilemmas.
To Jess’s dismay, Lucy announces that she’s taken a lover. A very famous lover. Her husband, Dan, is bound to find out (especially after a picture of the amorous duo appears on Page Six of the New York Post), but Lucy’s too wrapped up in the joys of expensive lingerie and romantic retreats to care. Jess finds herself in the midst of her own romantic predicament when, after ten years of silence, her sexy French ex-husband, Jacques, ends up back in her life—and in her bed.

Whether navigating bake sales, bicoastal affairs, or bagels-and-Botox parties, these wise and witty women know that their friendship will remain the one true thing they can count on. Well, that and a good push-up bra, of course. And their bond withstands everything—from an orgy in Willie Nelson’s trailer to a reality TV-show bachelor named Boulder.
Funny, brazen, and often poignant, this irresistible novel offers an unexpected and entertaining look at two women’s midlife adventures. From Thai massage to tantric sex, who would have thought forty could be so much fun?

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Helen, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

Mine are Spectacular! by Janice Kaplan, 289 pages, read by Helen, on 02/28/2012

In the wealthy New York suburb of Hadley Farms, divorced mom Sara Turner is juggling a new fiancé, a new TV career, and a Newcomer’s Club that throws sex-toy parties. Her oldest friend, Kate Steele, is Manhattan’s “Derm Darling”–a successful Park Avenue skin doctor whose office is always packed with the city’s crème de la thin . . . and whose bedroom is frequented by a real estate mogul who has his own plane–and his own very big problem. Meanwhile, Sara’s new neighbor, Berni Davis, has just quit her career as a wildly successful Hollywood talent agent: pregnant with twins, she’s leaving behind her A-list parties and high-profile pals, trading in the fast track for the cul-de-sac. Will heating formula be as thrilling as creating the formula for the next box-office blockbuster?

At an age when women expect to find doors closing, forty-one-year-old Sara and her friends are all on the brink of new beginnings. For these three savvy and spirited friends, facing new options at midlife brings unexpected twists–a baby shower starring a male stripper, the latest Brazilian anticellulite treatment, and a day at a doggie spa that features lipo. Complications arise when a long-gone husband returns from Patagonia, a seductive ex-wife fights to win back Sara’s fiancé, and a hunky soap star stands waiting in the wings. But in a world where women spend their forties trying to look thirty, and girls as young as four use alpha-hydroxy to keep their skin baby smooth, these best friends help one another keep their priorities straight. Most of the time.

A fresh, funny novel about starting over, Mine Are Spectacular! will delight readers with the exploits of these irresistibly witty women. By turns touching and laugh-aloud funny, this is a must read for every woman who knows you’re always the right age for new adventures.

From the author of the delightful “Grecian Holiday” comes this ideal summer novel. Just when Laura thinks her vacation in Spain can’t get any worse, she and her traveling companions stumble upon a perfect villa–with a perfectly gorgeous guy living next door.

This book was mehhh. However, I am not the biggest fan of romances and this book is a teenage romance. It was sweet and gave me itchy feet to travel. This would be a good poolside read.

25. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tracy, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy, 704 pages, read by Tracy, on 11/14/2013

Kit MacMahon, growing up in the lakeside village of Loughshee, seems to lead a charmed life. She is the loved daughter of Martin MacMahon, the kindly local pharmacist, and Helen, his beautiful wife. She has a little brother, Emmett; a best friend, Clio, and a host of other friends.

But Kit worries about her mother. Helen MacMahon does not fit in with the people and the ways of Loughshee. She wanders alone by the lake night after night—until the dark windy night when she disappears and only her overturned rowboat is found near Loughshee’s shore.

Kit grows up in the small village without the mother she has loved and so staunchly defended, determined to carry out her mother’s last wishes that she should make something of her life. Though she moves to the city, Kit is constantly drawn back to Loughshee and the people who live there—Clio Kelly and their love/hate relationship; Clio’s father, Dr. Kelly, whose sister-in-law Maura has her eyes on Kit’s father; Philip O’Brien, who has loved Kit since childhood; and roguish Stevie Sullivan, who runs the garage and rules the affections of every woman for miles around.

28. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela, Romance, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

Yankee Doodle Dixie by Lisa Patton, 294 pages, read by Pamela, on 10/24/2013

YankeeIn “Yankee Doodle Dixie” Leelee Satterfield returns to Memphis, Tennessee, hoping to start life over after the Vermont debacle of a year ago with ex-husband Baker.  After landing a job she thought she’d fit right into and oohing and aahing over a rock star, as well as going to New York to spend a weekend with him, Leelee finally decides to do what made her a success in Vermont.  She rejuvenates the Peach Blossom Inn.  And, just in time, she finds the ‘perfect’ chef to make her Memphis restaurant a Yankee Doodle Dixie success.

This sequel to “Whistlin’ Dixie in a nor’easter” does not disappoint.  The southern dialogue, Leelee’s best girlfriends, and the situations they get into keep up the drama that the first installment of this series delivered with wit and charm.  It’s a light and entertaining read with laughs throughout.

30. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Kira, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg, 804 pages, read by Kira, on 09/27/2013

standingrainbstandrainbow  A slice of Americana, specifically here in Missouri. Flagg tells her story through multiple vignettes.  Its a charming story of small-town America, of radio announcer Neighbor Dorothy, and her family and neighbors.  Next time someone asks for a gentle read, I need to remember Fannie Flagg, though there are some sad parts 80% of the way through.   Its an engaging stanrnbowstndrnbfannieread.

09. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Historical Fiction, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed, 400 pages, read by Courtney, on 03/29/2013

Lady Ava Averley, her sister and father are all finally returning to England after living in India for years. While Ava looks forward to seeing her beloved Somerton again, she is worried about reentering society in the aftermath of a rumored scandal involving their father. Ava doesn’t believe the rumors, but is beginning to realize that life in society may not be the right thing for her, in spite of the fact that her season is about to begin. It’s time for her to find a respectable husband. Unfortunately, marriage conflicts with her true wishes. She has dreams of going to Oxford to study and is starting to fall head over heels for a young Indian man who is also on his way to England.
Rose Cliffe has been working for the Averley family for as long as she can remember. Her mother has always been in the employ of the family and Rose was brought up within Somerton’s walls. As a child, she had played with Ava and her sister, but now worries whether societal strictures will prevent them from being friends. Rose is a diligent employee, yet still has to fight the desire to “rise above” her place.
Things are complicated enough with the family returning after such a long absence, but an announcement arrives just days before the family is due to return: Sir Averley is getting remarried to a wealthy widowed socialite. A socialite whose daughter is also set to come out to society and is none too happy to have Ava around.
Here’s a novel for those who couldn’t get enough of Downton Abbey or the Luxe series by Anna Godberson. The setting is very, very similar to that of Downton Abbey and the machinations of some of the characters are reminiscent of those in the Luxe books. Love, politics, manners and wealth collide in this society drama. It’s not nearly as addictive or memorable as either of the afore-mentioned series, but it’s an entertaining, if predictable, romp all the same

03. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Tammy, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen, 307 pages, read by Tammy, on 03/30/2013

This story of two sisters growing up in the harsh environment of a Canadian fishing/farming town started out well. You meet Idella and Avis in 1916 as children surrounded by their close knit fishing community, mom, dad and an older mother. Their older brother is always distant and prefers being out on the boat to helping around the farm and dad’s mood depends on how much he’s been drinking leaving mom to be the center of their world. Shortly into the book she dies in childbirth and now young Idella must step-up and take over the household duties and raising her caring but wild younger sister. After several missteps with hiring girls in their teens to help raise the girls and take care of the household chores dad sends the girls off to live with their aunt and uncle on a farm in Maine. Both girls love going to school and are amazed at how deep dark and rich the earth of their aunt’s farm is compared to the dust brown, dry, rocky dirt of home.

But then their dad is injured in a hunting accident and the girls must return home to take care of him and “the place.” Their brother leaves the house as soon as the girls arrive, not able to stand their father’s moods any longer. Still by this time I was invested in the characters and wanted to see how Idella and Avis managed.

Then it felt like the author didn’t know how to continue the story and decides to jump ahead to when the girls are adults and living in America. Idella and Avis continue to make one poor decision after another especially with men. Then the book switches into each character telling their memories of life as an adult and Idella’s children and husband sharing memories of what it was like to live with her.

I discovered after reading the book that it is a compilation of short stories about the same family written by the author who died unpublished at the age of 49. This explains so much! The first part of the book was published as “Gone” and the chapters dealing with Idella and Avis returning home to bury their father was published as “Wake.” The beginning was the best part of the book I thought and I wonder what the author could have accomplished if she’d live to weave all her stories into one cohesive novel.

29. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fantasy, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal, 319 pages, read by Courtney, on 03/12/2013

Nalia has spent the better part of her 16 years preparing to become the Queen of her country. Shortly after her 16th birthday, she is informed that, due to an ominous prophecy, she was switched at birth and is, in fact, a false princess. The real princess has been living in a convent and is equally clueless as to her own identity. The prophecy only indicated death for the princess prior to her turning sixteen, so now that the deadline has passed, the real princess can be crowned. Nalia, now called Sinda, is sent to her aunt’s cottage in a country village. After failing at the wool dyeing trade and accidentally discovering that she possesses magic, Sinda decided to head back to the capitol. An attempt to join the Wizardry school fails on account of her “common” ancestry and Sinda finds herself being taken under the wing of an eccentric witch who offers to teach her control in exchange for scribe work. In the capitol, Sinda uncovers evidence that may suggest there is more to the official royal story than anyone suspects, even the royal family. In order to figure out her place in the world, Sinda feels compelled to set everything straight in spite of the danger it may cause her.
This is a lovely stand-alone fantasy. The plot moves exceedingly fast and covers a lot of ground, something that seems rare in a publishing world focused on series. Sinda feels like a genuine person; she is flawed, she second-guesses herself, she works hard to figure out who she is and how she fits into things. The concept of a character being forced to completely redefine themselves is fascinating. The use of magic in the book adds to the overall flavor without being the centerpiece of the action. Elements of faith, trust, corruption, love and friendship round out this story that is largely appropriate for all ages.

29. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer, 387 pages, read by Courtney, on 03/03/2013

Cinder is a cyborg living in New Beijing in the distant future. The man who paid for her surgeries and brought her back to China is long-dead and Cinder has been living with his wife, Adri, and his daughters, Pearl and Peony. Cinder, being a cyborg, has no rights as a human being and is considered (and treated as) property by Adri. Cinder’s only friends are an android named Iko and the youngest of her “stepsisters”, Peony. One day, Cinder is surprised to find Prince Kai visiting her little mechanic shop to repair one of the royal androids. Cinder does have, after all, the reputation for being one of the best mechanics in the country. Nonetheless, she is completely stupefied that the Prince would even deign talk to her. In the meantime, the city is being faced with an outbreak of a deadly plague. Even the king cannot escape its clutches. After Peony falls ill with the dreaded disease, Adri sells Cinder off to the royal lab for plague research (which no “volunteer” has yet been able to survive). When Cinder fails to contract the disease, it is realized that she may be more valuable than anyone, especially Cinder, thought possible. There are, however, a few more surprises in store for Cinder when the Lunar Queen comes down to earth to attempt a marriage treaty with Prince Kai.
Overall, I enjoyed this adaptation of Cinderella. It was not as direct an adaptation as many I’ve read, but the main characters and plot points all seem to be in place. I did find parts of the world-building either lacking or problematic, which I can only hope will be addressed in the rest of this series. It’s fast-paced and engaging, with some unusual twists. The main reveal, however, is very predictable – I had it figured out within a few chapters and spent the rest of the book testing my theories. Sometimes it’s fun to be correct; sometimes it’s a bit disappointing. In this case, it fell more on the disappointing side since it was simply too easy to guess at the biggest plot point. Still, an entertaining read with plenty to discuss thematically.

29. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Janet, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

Death and the Walking Stick by Linda Berry, 263 pages, read by Janet, on 03/28/2013

Death and the Walking StickThis is a delightful tale of a small town police force solving the death of an old woman.  Her regular walking stick was not near the body, but a different one was against the wall – odd placement that provided good clues as the case progressed.  The person telling the story is a female police officer who grew up in the town.  As the three membered police force know everyone in town and their past history, many stories and personalities work together to solve the crime.

21. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Kim, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by Fannie Flagg, 467 pages, read by Kim, on 03/21/2013

I absolutely loved this book! Fannie Flagg knows how to write, she knows what readers want and she delivers! Her characters are so hilarious! Anyone from Missouri reading this book will recognize someone they know in Flagg’s pages!!!! And yet, the author does not shield us from the pain that a person goes through. But she also teaches us how to get through it with a dose of humor, faith, and common sense. I highly recommend it! it is definitely a “feel-good” book!

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber, 412 pages, read by Pamela, on 03/18/2013

hannahs list

On the anniversary of his beloved wife’s death, Michael receives a letter Hannah had written him. She makes one final request– she’s chosen three women, and asks him to consider them as a new wife. He’s a man who needs the completeness only love can offer– and the list leads him to a woman who can help him find it.

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Janet, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

The Laughter of Dead Kings by Elizabeth Peters, 324 pages, read by Janet, on 03/17/2013

http://origin.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780061246241/LC.gif&client=mirip&type=hw7Who would imagine that the protection of bodies in Egypt’s Valley of Kings would involve several people being killed because of their knowledge of the artifacts?  Elizabeth Peters always give a full description of the people involved, the surroundings, and enough past information to connect the incidents to the present.  One learns a lot of history and an appreciation of those who uncover and take care of these ancient items. In this story, the bones of King Tut had been stolen and were being held for ransom. A hand was sent for proof.  It takes good detectives to be able to identify the thieves, locate the rest of the body, and move it to a safe place.  Good reading (and lots of eating by the participants).

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Romance, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

Savannah breeze by Mary Kay Andrews, 434 pages, read by Kira, on 03/19/2013

savannah-breeze-mary-kay-andrewsThe book opens with the protagonist B.B. falling for a rich, good-looking man, with a yacht.  They do boring stuff, like hang out on the deck, and he buys her expensive jewelry.  In addition he does listen to her and fix some of her troubles.  Despite this, it was very difficult to see what the attraction was, surely people are Not that shallow, that they only see the gleam of wealth.  The man  turns out to be a con man, and fleeces B.B.,it was difficult to empathize with her.  Then although he steals/defrauds her of $4mill! they cannot follow him into another state, because she signed a Power of Attorney, to him in the middle of the night, and the law won’t go after him, BECAUSE HE IS IN ANOTHER STATE! seriously?

By the end of the book protagonist BB is making life changing to commitments to with another guy Harry, who is physically attracted to her, but that’s all, oh and he is grouchy.

Is all chick lit this bad?  I chose this author because, she was supposed to be funny, I did Not laugh, nor chuckle, maybe it contained this new-fangled cringe-humor.