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Archive for the category “Chick Lit”

Fangirl – by Rainbow Rowell

ArthurRainbow Rowell’s in the midst of a surge to fame, taking the YA genre by storm. The effects ripple out further than YA, too, with John Green publicly commenting on how much he loved Eleanor & Park. Needless to say, I’ve been meaning to read her work for a while now. I started with Fangirl because even the name is something I identify with!

Cath’s always been the quiet one, overshadowed by her twin sister, Wren. Online, though, it’s a completely different story. Cath’s in love with the world of Simon Snow, a wildly successful series of books and movies about a teen wizard (yes, the echoes of Harry Potter are there for a reason). Like a lot of fans, Cath’s not satisfied with the limited look into Simon’s world she gets in the canon. Writing fanfiction about Simon Snow is a way to stay connected, and Cath and Wren are widely reputed as the best writing duo around.

When the twins go to college, Wren’s looking to break out of the virtual world and experience the ‘real world’; something Cath just can’t understand. Their writing is just as real and just as important as anything happening out there. She keeps posting updates to her fic, feeling more and more involved with her online fans (who number in the thousands), and less connected with Wren than ever. This whole college thing is certainly life changing. But no one mentioned that it can be a change for the worse. Engorgio! (Or, embiggen, more this way):

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Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy – by Helen Fielding

JonesBridget Jones is crazy. I mean that in the best possible way – I love her! I’m also a fan of Helen Fielding in general. Cause Celeb was good, and I LOVED Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination (and not even just for that phenomenal title). But Bridget is my first Fielding love, as it should be.

The books, brilliant. The movies? Amazing. (Colin Firth. Enough said.) Bridget’s world is full of panic, disasters, incredible friendships, and trying family members as well as a whole lot of love, and it’s magical.

This third book was quite a tricky customer, though, for one very important SPOILER FILLED NO SERIOUSLY YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THIS reason: Spoilers! Spoilers Ahoy! Abandon All Hope of a Spoiler-Free Review All Ye Who Enter:

Sensational Quote Sunday

Some books change your life. They change the way you see the world. They do this not only with the story as a whole, but sometimes with an idea, a beautiful phrase, or even a word, that resonates with you the way nothing has before.

Sensational Quote Sunday is my way of paying homage to those books that remind me every day why I love reading.

Today, a dip into the lighthearted, delicious world of Austenland. This was one of my favourite interactions in the novel, and was beautifully realised on the screen, too!

“What are you doing?”
“Ya!” said Jane, whirling around, her hands held up menacingly.
It was Mr. Nobley with coat, hat, and cane, watching her with wide eyes. Jane took several quick (but oh so casual) steps away from Martin’s window.
“Um, did I just say, ‘Ya’?”
“You just said ‘Ya,'” he confirmed. “If I am not mistaken, it was a battle cry, warning that you were about to attack me.
I, uh…” She stopped to laugh. “I wasn’t aware until this precise and awkward moment that when startled in a startled in a strange place, my instincts would have me pretend to be a ninja.”

Heh. Good banter. Have I mentioned how much fun this book and film were? Yes? Ah. Well, it’s true!

austeny

What’s your favourite adaptation of Austen’s work?

Austenland – by Shannon Hale

austenlandI love Jane Austen. Shocking, I’m sure. I love the novels (P&P, of course, being the favourite, but also a shout out to Persuasion), I love the BBC adaptations, I love the Hollywood Pride and Prejudice and Emma, and also sometimes love derivative works like Lost in Austen, that take Austen’s world or stories and play with them. It doesn’t always work, but when it’s done right, it’s a riot! See: Clueless, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

This was one of those rare books that I did the wrong way around – by which I mean I saw the movie before I read the book. I was hooked by this hysterical trailer, and went to the movie with a bunch of gals – a highly recommended venture. It was absolutely hilarious, and we were flailing with laughter the whole time! Naturally, I had to read the book. Will you judge me if I admit that I bought the movie tie-in edition?? Go ahead, if you must. I have no regrets. (And quite possibly, no shame.) It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged that Every Woman Loves Mr Darcy:

The Cinderella Moment – by Jennifer Kloester

cinderellaAngel’s dream has always been to become a fashion designer. But as the daughter of a housekeeper, it feels like that dream may never come true. When Angel’s best friend, Lily, begs Angel to pretend to be Lily in Paris for two weeks while Lily attends drama school in London, it seems like Angel’s chance may finally have arrived. Lily’s grandmother, the Comtesse de Tourney, is one of Paris’ most influential figures, with an invitation to one of the world’s most prestigious fashion events. What if Angel can use this chance to meet the right people, and start living her dream?

It’s a madcap setup that leads to all sorts of mayhem, as Angel quickly discovers that being Lily isn’t just a little white lie. People are going to get hurt – including Angel. But if she doesn’t take this opportunity while she can, will Angel miss her moment forever?

Okay. No summary is going to do justice to the several complicated concurrent story lines fighting for attention in this novel. There’s the Parent-Trap-esque swap. There’s a Teen Couture competition. There’s theft of fashion intellectual property and a bogus entry into said competition. An absent father (Lily’s). A sick mother (Angel’s). An evil almost-stepmother and  almost-stepsister. Two or three extremely convoluted back stories. And a boy (of course). Phew. You Don’t Even Know My Last Name:

Austensibly Ordinary – by Alyssa Goodnight

AustensiblyEnglish teacher Cate Kendall dreams of one day finding a good guy. An Austen-worthy guy. While she’s waiting, she decides her life needs little more excitement, so by night she adopts an alter ego – the far more daring Cat.

Her good friend and Scrabble partner, Ethan, doesn’t quite know what to make of Cate’s transformation into Cat. But then, Ethan’s got secrets of his own, and if he’s not willing to open up to Cate, why should she? Before you can say “What the…?” a mysterious old notebook that seems to have some connection to the spirit of the great Jane Austen herself is added into the mix. Cate’s life has officially become a whole lot more interesting.

I had a really difficult time describing this book, especially without anything spoilery – so be warned, here they come! Me, I Run Every Time:

White Lines – by Jennifer Banash

White LinesQueen of the downtown club scene, presiding over the door to some of NYC’s hottest venues, it seems like 17-year-old Cat has everything she could want. Her days are spent struggling to stay awake through classes and avoiding the stares of her classmates, who can tell she’s not like the rest of them. But her nights are spent as royalty – drink, drugs, dancing, and a few collected misfits who are closer to Cat than her family.

You don’t have to scrape very far down at all to find the grime hidden beneath the glamour of Cat’s life.

Actually, most people are closer to Cat than her family. She hasn’t seen her father in months – but at least he pays the rent on her one bedroom apartment. Cat’s mother keeps trying to contact her, but Cat’s been burnt too many times before by the abuse to listen when she calls. Mostly, anyway. Why is it Cat can’t stop wanting her parents to pay attention: even though they’ve proven time and again that they couldn’t care less about her? If You Got Bad News, Wanna Kick Those Blues:

The Book of Luke – by Jenny O’Connell

imageHoliday time – you know what that means! Beach reads. Vacation fare. Quintessential chick/YA books that are light, fluffy, and preferably not at all challenging! I was also looking for books I could leave behind on my travels when I finished with them, to lighten my luggage load. I read The Book of Luke on a train between Venice and Innsbruck for an easy holiday read – and here’s what that was like:
Emily’s always been the nice girl. The brain, who’s focused on getting into a great college, and hasn’t got time for any of that “Standing up for yourself” nonsense. But when her boyfriend dumps her on the SAME DAY her parents are moving the family out of town against her wishes, the same day, too, that her Dad announces he’s not coming with them, Emily starts thinking it might be time to stop being so nice.
Moving back to her old town means Emily reconnects with her old friends, and one of them has just been callously dumped by her boyfriend too – by email, no less. The girls hatch a scheme: to create a guidebook for future generations about what not to do when dating an awesome girl. Using the ex, Luke, as a guinea pig for research purposes, and getting to dump him as hard as he dumped Emily’s friend when they’re done with him? Well, call that a perk. Ew, As If!:

Between the Lines – by Tammara Webber

BetweenEmma Pierce just got it. Her big break. That one huge movie that can create a career. It’s a modernisation of Pride and Prejudice, set against the backdrop of an American high school. The reason this movie has the potential to make Emma a star is her co-star, Hollywood’s hottest commodity, Reid Alexander. The thing is, Emma’s not completely convinced that she wants the huge career. She loves acting, but it’s not about the fame. And she can’t help but feel there’s more to life than the glitz of the silver screen.

Reid always knows what he wants. And knows how to get it. Money? Yep. Fame? Uh-huh. Girls? Ha! Of course. And now Reid wants Emma. There’s something about her – maybe because she’s so close to his world and yet so far. Whatever the reason, he’s determined to tick Emma off his to do list. Everybody Wants to Be on TV:

The Duff – by Kody Keplinger

duffWritten by 19-year old Kody Keplinger, The Duff is a fast-paced YA novel about standing out for all the wrong reasons. I’ve read this book before but have been hankering for a re-read for the last few weeks. I finally gave in – and like the last time, I read this in one sitting, in less than a day. Here’s why:

Bianca calls herself a typical seventeen year old girl. (Personally, I think she’s a-typical in the best way.) She’s sarcastic, defensive and a little bit more grown up than people expect. And, so Wesley Rush kindly informs her one fateful evening, she’s the DUFF. The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Ouch.

Wesley blithely elaborates that this doesn’t mean Bianca’s ugly, per se – just that her friends are SO much hotter than she is that she might as well be an actual troll for all the attention she’ll get. Double freaking ouch. Wesley finally shuts up when he gets Bianca’s drink in his face, but that’s only the beginning. I Knew You Were Trouble:

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