Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity

A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity by Kathleen Gilles Seidel is the story of Lydia Meadows, who discovers on the eve of 6th grade that her daughter Erin and her 3 best friends are the most popular clique at school. Lydia is shocked, because she herself was never popular, and unsure how to deal with her daughter's new found popularity. All goes well for Lydia and Erin until a new girl moves to town and turns their lives upside down when she displaces Erin from her group of friends and creates drama and havoc in the school. Lydia and Erin navigate the world of teenage popularity and angst and discover in the end how much true friendship means and how unimportant popularity is compared to believing in and staying true to yourself. This was a very well written, interesting book. I enjoyed the story and found the world of teenage drama fascinating (but also scary to look forward to as a mother of a daughter!). It was a light, easy read and I recommend the book to anyone who likes mommy lit or who has a daughter. A very cute book! 4 stars.

The Manny

The Manny by Holly Peterson is the story of Jamie Whitfield, a working mother who is trying to navigate life through high society in New York City, while balancing a needy husband, 3 kids and a demanding job in the television industry. Jamie's husband, Phillip, works long hours and rarely spends time with their children, who are beginning to suffer for make attention, especially Dylan, Jamie's oldest son. Enter Peter, a male nanny, who is able to give the children a male role model and the father figure they crave. Jamie finds herself unhappy in her marriage and soon looks to Peter to fulfill her own needs as well. This book was a really easy, enjoyable read. I identified with Jamie's feelings as a mother and found myself pulling for her. The story was quick and all of the characters were believable. I look forward to reading the sequel. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read chick lit or mommy lit and is looking for a fun read. 4 stars.

Happiness Sold Separately

Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston is the story of Elinor and Ted, a married couple undergoing problems with infertility. Elinor discovers Ted is having an affair with his personal trainer, Gina, and is unsure of whether their marriage is worth saving. Their lives become even more complicated when Ted, unable to stay away from Gina, develops a friendship with her 8 year old son. Elinor and Ted separate and get back together numerous times over the course of the book. None of the characters are particularly likable, but they were all real and believable. They all have their flaws and I found myself torn over whether Ted and Elinor should stay together or separate. I was able to identify with the feelings of infertility and sadness of miscarriages and I thought those details were true and well written. I felt the end of the book kind of fizzled out and I wasn't really happy with the lack of closure, but overall it was a good book. 3 and a half stars.

Beyond The Blonde

Beyond the Blond by Kathleen Flynn-Hui is the story of Georgia Watkins, who grew up as the daughter of a hairdresser in a small town in New Jersey and went on to become a stylist to the rich and famous at a top salon in NYC. She runs into obstacles along her journey, from wacky clients to ticked off coworkers and eventually finds love and happiness. Georgia is a likable, refreshing depiction of a hairdresser who is smart and genuine. Her friends, coworkers and customers are also believable characters. The overall story was a light, easy read. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes chick lit. I look forward to further books by Flynn-Hui. 4 stars.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Recovering from Ike

We live in TX and have been without power/internet from damage caused by Hurricane Ike. I have 4 or 5 reviews to post though, so please bear with me! I'll post them in the next few days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bed Rest

Bed Rest by Sarah Bilston is the story of Q, an expectant mother who is put on bed rest after it is discovered the baby doesn't have enough fluid. The book is written from the point of view of Q writing in her diary about all her visitors (or lack there of), marital stress caused by her husband working too much, family and friend drama, and her worry about her baby. Despite the rather serious subject matter, Q is an endearing narrator and her story is funny, light and interesting. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and I identified well with Q. I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Sleepless Nights. This was a very good book and I recommend it to anyone who has ever been pregnant. 5 stars.

Sisters of Misery

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall is the story of a popular high school girl, Maddie, who belongs to the cool crowd at school and is forced to bend to the (sometimes evil) will of Kate, the leader of her clique. When Maddie's cousin Cordelia moves to town, Kate and her friends let their jealousy of beautiful Cordelia take hold until something awful happens to tear Maddie and her family apart. The mysteries abound when Cordelia disappears in this small town where whispers of witchcraft fill the air. I really enjoyed this book. The suspense and mystery had me chilled at times, but I could hardly put the book down. Although the book is written from the point of view of a teenager about her life, it did not read like young adult fiction. The mystery of Cordelia continues and I can not wait to read the sequel to this book. I recommend this book to anyone who likes books about high school mean girls and mystery all rolled into one. One of the best books I've read in a long time. 5 stars.

Confessions of a Contractor

Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy brings us into the world of a contractor. Henry is a contractor that sometimes gets involved with his female clients. This time he has gotten involved with two women at once, who happen to be former best friends. Drama ensues. I really enjoyed this book. I was fascinated by the details and hints on hiring and maintaining a good relationship with your contractor. The complex relationship between a contractor and his client is something I had never considered before. It was a very unique idea for a book and very entertaining. The romance aspect told from the man's point of view was refreshing. This was a fairly light read and I recommend it to anyone looking for a something different with a bit of romance. 4 stars.

First Daughter

First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader was not the kind of book that I normally read. I do like suspense and mystery at times though so I thought I'd try something different. The book is about a loner investigator, Jack, who had a hard life growing up and has the scars to prove it. He is called to help in the investigation of the president-elect's daughter's disappearance. This book has a lot of plot twists and many characters, which made it a little confusing to follow. It was a pretty good story, although I think it fizzled out at the end. Overall, it was a pretty good book and held my attention despite the many twists. I would recommend the book to anyone who likes suspenseful crime novels. 3.5 stars.