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Archive for the tag “Chick Lit”

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:

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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:

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:

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

statisticA few weeks ago, all I wanted to read was a nice, cute, straight forward YA love story. Do you ever get that urge? The cover of Jennifer E Smith’s Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight seemed to promise just what I wanted. At a slim 215 pages, it was a whirlwind affair: here’s what I thought.

Hadley’s never been to London before. She’s also never been a bridesmaid. You’d think she would be excited? You’d be wrong. This isn’t just any wedding. Hadley’s Dad is getting remarried, to a woman Hadley’s never met. Hadley hasn’t even seen much of her Dad since he left two years ago for a job and then never came home.

So, no. This isn’t exactly a dream come true for Hadley. Perhaps the only thing that convinced her to even get on the plane was the boy in the seat beside her. Because what are the chances that the person next to you is a cute British guy who’s interesting and funny and her age too? Oliver’s all that and more: and if Hadley’s not careful, she might end up not hating everything about this day after all. I Was Enchanted to Meet You:

Waiting on Wednesday: The Moon and More

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine, looking at upcoming books we bloggers are already obsessing about. This week I’m thinking about the upcoming Sarah Dessen novel, The Moon and More:

moon“Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Dessen’s stories are wonderful examinations of coming of age. They’re about the summer between Grade 12 (except that it’s America, so I guess I mean senior year) and the rest of your life. It’s a great time to explore, because it’s fraught with possibility, heavy with nostalgia, and always, inevitably, on the cusp of great changes.

Dessen uses different characters in similar settings to look at the ways in which people face this time, and does so very well. I’m definitely looking forward to reading her next novel!

Have you read any Sarah Dessen? Who’s your favourite growing-up author?

Tell me what you’re waitin’ on this fine Wednesday, why don’cha?

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