Then Came You - Jennifer Weiner
My first book isThen Came Youby the fabulous Jennifer Weiner. I’ve been a big fan of Jennifer’s books for a long time, since I read her bookIn Her Shoesback in college. All of her books are absolutely fantastic, andThen Came Youis no exception.
Then Came Youtells the stories of Jules, Annie, Bettina and India. These four women could not be more different but one significant thing ties them together…a child. When India is unable to have her own child, she turns to surrogacy to help her dream of being a mother come true. With Jules’s egg and Annie’s womb, she is so close, until her step daughter Bettina uncovers her past which sets the lives off all the women on their ear. Jennifer Weiner weaves a beautiful story blending the stories of these women together in a way only she can.
Like I said, I love love love Jennifer’s style and work. Her words flow seamlessly and with ease, blending sharp wit and observations about the current world in which we live. These women are real live people, and leap off the page. All of Jen’s characters could be your best friend, your neighbor, or your sister. Though this is an overarching story of the love that can be found between a community of women, their personal relationships are also something to marvel. Each woman makes a journey to realize that not only is she capable of finding and maintaining love, she is deserving of it.
Basically, I can’t say enough good things about this book and it’s author. Jen Weiner kicks lots of ass and I totally love it.
And that was me re-stretching my blogging muscle. I have a few other books I’ll be putting in soon!
Catch Up Post (No reviews)
There are a few books that I read that I’m not particularly interested in reviewing. I think its because I read them so long ago that I don’t really remember how i felt about them. But I’m using this blog to also create an interactive book catalog so here they are.
The Boyfriend of the Month Club - Maria Geraci
The Little Lady Agency - Hester Browne
A Vintage Affair - Isabel Wolff
Now this means I’m almost caught up with my reviews. Only one old book and one new book left.
Heart of the Matter - Emily Giffin
I’ve decided to skip my original plan of reviewing books in order. This is the last book I read (I actually just finished it this afternoon) and I figured I should write about it while the thoughts are fresh.
Heart of the Matter tells the story of two women leading parallel lives. Tessa Russo, is a wife and mother, living a seemingly perfect life in the Boston suburbs. Valerie Anderson is a single mother who lives a less than picturesque life. One night, a horrific accident brings the two women together in ways they never thought possible.
I really enjoyed this book. I am a big fan of Emily Giffin, having read all of her previous books. There’s actually a tie in between this novel and her past novels; Tessa is the the younger sister of Dex from Something Borrowed. There are spoilers so I won’t say anything else. My biggest problem is that it’s hard to talk about this book because if I say too much I give away the whole book. This is what I can say…its hard to decide which of the women to feel more sympathy for. Both are caught in a situation that is complicated and while you begin to feel a certain way, I found myself changing my opinion multiple times. Go read it for yourself and we can discuss!!
Along for the Ride - Sarah Dessen
Okay, so theoretically this is where I left off with books. This was one of the two that I said I bought even though I didn’t really need to buy anymore. But I really love Sarah Dessen so I couldn’t resist buying one of her books. I have a few more that I read before so maybe I’ll go back and write about those too? We’ll see.
Along for the Ride tells the story of Auden (how cool is that name?) a young girl who has become an insomniac because of her parent’s divorce. When they began to fight, she tried to stay up all night to keep the fighting from happening. Eventually it got so extreme that she just stayed up all night. Of course, this made her become the model student and child but as a result, she had no real idea of what it was like to be a teenager.
The summer before she goes to college, Auden’s dad and his new wife have invited her to come spend the summer with them and their new baby in the small beach town where they live. At first Auden is hesitant to leave her college professor mother (who is also incredibly overbearing) but she soon realizes that her mom is having an affair with one of her grad students so Auden decides to go. When she gets there, she is swept into a world she never knew before…the world of a teenager. First, she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac who has a past he is trying to let go of. He begins to help Auden come out of her shell, along with the girls who she works with at her step-mom’s boutique. Auden finally gets to have the adolescence she missed and learns to confront her past and give herself the future she deserves.
I really like Sarah Dessen’s work. Like with most YA stories, her character has to overcome some past hurt to realize that she is deserving of the life that she secretly desires to have. While I find that Auden is a little too similar to other Sarah Dessen characters I’ve read about I still enjoyed the book. Eli is probably my favorite character because he has things about his past he’d like to change, the way he breaks down the walls he’s built around himself is refreshing and sweet.
Okay so I know I’ve fallen behind with updating. I have been reading and I’ve read quite a few books that I will be updating in the next few days. I’m excited to write my reviews and get back on track! I’m also working on some new stuff so maybe I’ll post something soon! Watch this space!
Something Like Fate - Susane Colasanti
Something Like Fate is a book I have been waiting to read for like a year. Last summer when I was working at the Crumbs in the East Village, I struck up a conversation with one of our frequent customers. After we talked for a bit, she told me that she wrote young adult novels. I instantly perked up. At this point I was already deep in the throes of working on my novel and I was desperately seeking someone I could ask for advice. Susane was just about to release Something Like Fate when we met.
Since I don’t like to buy books in hardcover, I bought Susane’s other books while I waited for this one to come out in paperback. As soon as I got wind of the book being released in paperback I knew I had to get it, despite still having so many books from my epic trip to Borders. The book was definitely worth the wait.
The thing that I love about Susane’s books is that her characters are so real and you can relate to them. I think it’s because Susane had been a high school teacher so she has a real understanding of teens. The problems faced by the main characters, Lani, Erin and Jason are definitely problems faced by teens all the time. High school is the ultimate time of love triangles and this novel is no exception. Erin thinks that Jason is perfect for her, that is until he meets Lani. While Erin is away for the summer, Lani and Jason can’t deny the obvious chemistry they have but is it really worth the pain that will be inflicted on Erin when she returns. Sometimes you just have to leave it up to fate.
I cannot express how enjoyable this book is. Young adult fiction is always something that I’ve enjoyed; obviously. Susane just really captures the angst and emotional turmoil of being a teenager. It’s not easy to do but I think she does it extremely well.
Life As I Know It - Melanie Rose
When I was shopping for books, Life As I Know It by Melanie Rose stuck out to me because of the cover.
Let me tell you, the cover is incredibly deceiving. It was still a great book but not quite as light as you would believe but its great none the less. Life As I Know It tells the story of Jessica Taylor, a young woman who lives a quiet yet seemingly fulfilling life. One day while taking her beloved dog Frankie on a walk, a thunderstorm hits. Just a Jessica meets a handsome stranger in the rain, she is struck by lightning and things are never going to be the same.
When Jessica wakes up in the hospital things are a little off. She has woken up in the body of Lauren Richardson, a mother of 4 small children who was struck by lightning at the exact same time as Jessica. Over the course of the week, Jessica begins to live simultaneous lives as herself and Lauren. She has to continue leading two very different lives and not let on to the people in either of them what is going on. This only proves to be more difficult as Jessica begins to fall in love with Dan, the man who rescued her while she has to sort out the mess of Lauren’s life. Lauren’s husband and children need her desperately and Jessica isn’t sure she can handle the responsibility. As time passes, Jessica begins to realize that maybe God had a bigger plan when the lightning struck. In the end, everything works out for everyone and they are better off for it.
There were times when I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book. Sometimes it is confusing and you don’t know how its going to all work out. But as you continue reading, you can’t help but feel things for these characters. Melanie Rose paints a beautiful picture and really makes you think about what you would do when faced with this kind of mortality. It’s hard to talk about because I don’t want to give too much away, but I would definitely recommend it. After a little research on Melanie Rose, it seems that all of her books carry a similar premise so I’m going to see if I can find more.
Short Story - That’s The Truth
That’s The Truth
Emily Kern stuck her head out of the open window and took a deep breath. She could tell that the rain would be coming literally any minute. And from the way the sky was rapidly darkening she could tell it was going to be one hell of a storm which made her really excited. Ever since she was a little girl she always loved thunderstorms. Danny had always loved them too. When they were still together, they’d sit by the window during thunderstorms and watch as the lightning streaked across the sky. Every time a thunderclap caught her off guard he was there to hold her and calm her down. It had been months since they last saw each other but every thunderstorm reminded her of him. Sometimes she wondered if she had been too hard on him. As their lives began to grow apart Emily just pulled away from Danny completely to avoid having her heart broken. She had been through too much with all the guys before him to let Danny hurt her. But that damn rain always made her think of him. There were times when she contemplated moving to place that didn’t have rain just to get away from all the memories. She heard a clap of thunder in the distance and sighed. As if on cue the thoughts flooded her mind the way the rain was about to flood the streets.
Across town Danny Jones heard the clap of thunder and jolted awake. He instantly got up to check and make sure his dogs were okay. They hated storms. Whenever it would begin to storm they would jump in his bed and refuse to leave even long after the thunder had stopped. As he padded through the empty house in his bare feet his thoughts drifted to Emily. As much as she loved storms he remembered how anxious they would make her. There were many times where she and the dogs would all curl up in the bed together with the telly volume on high just to drown out the sounds. As the rain began to patter against the closed window he let his thoughts drift to Emily. He hadn’t seen her in months and every day was harder than the next. Perhaps life was moving quickly but there was no reason for her to push him away the way she did. He knew that most of it was her fear of being hurt again but to him that was no excuse. He had loved Emily so much and she just let him go without even considering what she was doing to him.
Emily looked at her cell phone on the table next to the window. Thinking about Danny and the thunder outside was making her weary. Maybe she had been wrong to push him away. She loved him so much and her life just didn’t feel the same without him. She picked up the phone and looked at his number, debating on whether or not to call.
Danny looked across the room as his phone began to light up and buzz. He wondered who was calling so late at night. Without looking he picked up the phone.
“Danny? It’s me.”
“Emily? Is everything okay?”
“It’s raining. Can you hear the thunder?”
“I can…did you see the lightning?”
“I did. Scared me half to death. I miss you Danny. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay Em. It’s okay.”
I couldn’t help myself…
Even though I still have a ton of books at home, I bought two new ones today. Granted, they’re books I have been waiting for so it’s not awful but do I really need two more books? Oh well, lol. They are teen books and I realized that I don’t really have many of those in my new collection. Since I read/write young adult fiction I figure it needs to be represented on the blog. I was thinking…I have a ton of books I already read at my boyfriend’s apartment. Even though I’ve already read them, should I review them on here? Thoughts?
The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund - Jill Kargman
My latest entry is about The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund by Jill Kargman.
The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund tells the story of Holland “Holly” Talbott. She is married to Tim Talbott; founder of Comet Capital which is one of the most successful hedge funds on Wall Street. There is no limit to the luxury in Holly’s life; the chauffeured cars, expensive vacations and liquid lunches with other women of leisure. But despite the excess of her and her mainly her husband’s life style Holly is surprisingly grounded. Her husband is often gone on business trips and she is forced to be somewhat of a single mother to her young son Miles. She is determined to show her son the benefits of a warm and loving household even without the platinum credit cards. But one day Holly’s world is turned upside down when she and her best friend (and former sister-in-law) Kiki discover Tim making out with a younger woman on the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Holly decides to file for divorce despite the protestations of her mother-in-law Sherry Von and vows to start a new life for herself and Miles. Gone are the grand galas, the fancy trips and the unlimited charge cards but Holly is un-phased. She is more disturbed by the superficiality of her former “friends” in the Wall Street world. As soon as the ink is dry on the divorce papers, it’s like Holly never existed in that circle. With the help and support of Kiki, Holly begins her next journey; the journey to become a whole new woman. Her re-introduction to the dating game is equal parts funny and tragic but eventually she finds love and happiness.
I really enjoyed reading this book. At first I wasn’t sure if I would because I don’t really know anything about the world of luxury life in New York City. Of course I see it and have my own judgments but Kargman paints an interesting picture of the lifestyle of financial heavy weights. Holly views her peers with disdain but also a certain amount of love. Sometimes you feel like the outsider but then you can also sympathize with Holly’s inner circle. It is a lifestyle they’ve all grown accustomed to but everyone is not without their own flaws. Kargman creates a good balance of empathy and aggravation faced by Holly and Kiki of their former cohorts. Sherry Von is the perfect villain and example of the frivolity of people with money.
The best part really is Holly’s transformation from a women stuck in a life that she accepts but doesn’t always like to a woman who knows what she wants and goes out and gets it. Reading about her vulnerability while dating for the first time in ten years and getting her hopes up and then ending up heartbroken is so human and also when she finally finds love you feel the feelings just as she does. Kargman creates beautiful characters who make you feel a wide range of emotions. And while she is not always demonizing those with money, she shows that money can’t buy you everything.