November 30, 2012

Waxed: Robert Rave

Carolina, is the oldest sister in her family and is determined to do better for herself then what they had growing up. She now owns and runs Impresario the waxing saloon to use in NYC for the high society ladies and socialites.  With her OCD taking over her life she feels caught between what she has built for herself and a part of her past that has come back to haunt her.

Anna, is separated from her husband after a bit of an identity crisis with one of her children. To continue to make ends meet Anna goes back to work for her sister at the salon. Stuck with the jobs that no one wants Anna is thrown back into having to prove herself again. While entering a new world of society that she is just being introduced too.

Sofia is the youngest of the sisters. A newly wed, who loves her domestic life, but her husband is starting to not be home very often and seems to have better things to do then be around for Sofia. When a new client invites her to go out and start hitting the club scene with them then things start to get even more complicated at home.

The three sisters all work together at the waxing salon and in supporting each other and in pushing each others boundaries too. They all work to improve themselves and their own situations even with how much it hurts to change.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read for me. I personally didn't think like I learned anything or that the I personally got vested in any of the characters, but it wasn't a bad plot. It flew quickly and was enjoyable, but I personally didn't get much more than that out of the book.

I would suggest this book to others who like books like this with a little peek into another how other parts of society live. I would give it 3 stars as an enjoyable read, but not one to go back to over and over.

November 23, 2012

The Happiness Project: Gretchen Rubin

    Again, late to the game here. This was published a few years ago and has gained momentum since though I know a lot of people who are just reading it now, so maybe not to far behind the curve. Besides, I can now go put and buy a used copy for a little less and still have it to refer to (this copy was from the library).

    Gretchen has a realization moment on the bus that life is just passing by and it's not that she is unhappy, but she could be happier.  She points out that she is not depressed, just that she could be happier. I actually appreciated that , in there are those (me at times) who really are depressed and you may needed help (prescriptions or something else) and that is a real illness. But, beyond depression we could all work on elements to just be happier with our lives. So, she made a list of things she wanted to work in goals to achieve and took a year to work on those items.

    Each chapter follows a month and what she worked on that month. She has commandments that she tries to remember as she works on her goals and figure out what she wants for herself.

    I personally enjoyed this book. I got it from the library and I am thinking of getting my own copy to mark up. I know there is some controversies about this book, many people have seem to have a problem with the authors personal life background and how she shouldn't be having issues with all the other stuff she has. Personally, I try not to judge books by the authors background. I enjoyed what was a written here and how I could relate to it. But, I am in my late 20's so maybe, it is something that I can relate to better than people at other parts of their lives.

    I personally found this book made me think. It made me think how I could use or how I react in some of the same situations and how my own situations are different. It stopped and made me think and I enjoyed that. I am going to keep thinking on things that I read here and may go back to review.

    This might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it and would give it 4 stars.  Plus it seems fitting to post this the day after Thanksgiving.

November 16, 2012

The Shopping Swap: Erin Brady (Novella)

Margaret Andrews is ready for some changes in her relationship. So, she buys some lingerie, makes dinner, and plans to subdue her commitment phobia boyfriend, Richard, into marriage. But, when she gets home she discovers that she doesn't have a bag with lingerie, but a house coat instead.
In trying to get her correct bag back she runs into Benjamin Sanders, who had been trying to get a house coat as a present for his Grandmother. Maggie and Ben strike up a conversation and become friends. With Richard being busier and busier at work temptation comes into play with this new friendship and Maggie might have some decisions to make that are harder then she thought.

I really enjoyed reading about Maggie and the internal struggle that she was going through in this plot. I do think that part of it just scratched the surface of the depth of the issues that she was dealing with and choices she had to make. But, that works for this novella in the short format. It did leave me wanting to know a little more about what was going on with the character which I actually appreciate here. Through out the plot Maggie felt real to me and not like a flat character that things just worked for. She had the emotional reaction to situations and conflict about them that you as a reader feel like you might respond or how a real person would react to situations.

I would suggest this novella to others and I think that others who enjoy this genre would enjoy this Novella. I would give it 4 stars in that I could relate to the characters. Also, I was kind of in a rut where I was having a hard time reading and found this really easy to get through and I enjoyed going back to it.

I was provided a copy of this Novella by Erin, and the review is posted at her request. The thoughts and opinions are mine though.

November 9, 2012

Where We Belong: Emily Giffin

Marian appears to have it all together. Living in NYC with her own TV show and a relationship that she is happy with. One evening after a rare fight with her boyfriend she comes home to find Kirby on her door step.
Kirby adopted has never really felt like she fit in with her family. At 18 she takes the opportunity to learn who her birth Mother is. Without telling her family, she leaves to find the family where maybe she belongs. But, things aren't always as easy as they might seem they could be at 18.

The story show the effects each of the women have on each other. Learning about themselves and each other as secrets and memories that have been pushed away have to be revisited.  Each of them learning and growing from each other.

The back story of Marian's past and what lead to Kirby is woven in with the story and Marian and Kirby getting to know each other and try to figure out where they fit into each other lives and really where they want to go with their own lives now.

The chapters her alternate in voices from Marian to Kirby's, with sections woven in of Marian at 18. The information is given to the reader as we need it and the characters remember, having the reader piece the present and past together and see how they relate to each other.

I enjoyed reading about Mariam and Kirby. Seeing them learn about theme selves as they got to know each other. I would give this book 3 stars as it was enjoyable. It is not my favorite Giffin book though. The characters were there and their was some depth to them, but I personally didn't feel connected to them, so the plot didn't speak to me as much as many of Giffin's other books do. I would still suggest it to other and think that if you had experience like these characters you might be enjoy the book more than I did. But, even without the emotional connection it is worth a read.

November 2, 2012

Ten Girls To Watch: Charity Shumway

Dawn is determined to make it in NYC and not go back to the small town that she left. Even if it means writing lawn care columns that she paid by the word to make ends meet. At a party that she is invited to by her ex boyfriend, that she can't seem to stop seeing and can't help but kind of like her his new girlfriend, she manages to land a job with Charm magazine working on their 10th anniversary of "Ten Girls to Watch" contest. It is short term gig, but she spends the next few months following up on each of the winners from the past ten years. She is just assigned to get basic info, but Dawn can't just find out contact and what they are doing now. She finds the women opening up her and learning from each of them. She is still trying to work out her personal life, but she is learning so much from these women maybe they are starting to effect her personal life. Maybe, she needs to follow the examples that she is seeing around her and accept what she wants.

I really felt like I could relate to Dawn. She made choices and faced with some personal things in her life that I could relate to. She was built to be real and would start to grow, but would come across more obstacles that would put her back and she would have to accept and/or learn from.

There were moments were I wish that we had been able to read more of Dawns writings. Have seen some of the profiles she was writing I think could have really helped or expanded the plot, more than just the short paragraphs at the start of chapters.

Overall I would give this book three stars in that the main character was really relatable. But, you couldn't get behind other characters besides the main one, even though she was really relatable. The plot was well developed and well wrapped up, though leaving you wanting just a little more about the characters. I would read more by Charity and would defiantly recommend this book to others.