Category Archives: Chick Lit

The Job (Fox and O’Hare #3)

The Job

The third book by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, The Job continues the tales of con-man Nicholas Fox and FBI agent Kate O’Hare as they take on the world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons. Continue reading

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The Chase (Fox and O’Hare #2)

The chase Evanovich Goldberg

Following The Heist, this is the second book about con-artist Nicolas Fox and FBI agent Kate O’Hare by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.  Although I like Janet Evanovich, I have to say that this book is refreshing and I credit that all to Lee Goldberg.  Evanovich doesn’t vary much from her set themes in other books, or her stereotypical characters (like the funny old lady, the thirty-something feisty heroine, and the yummy-but-somehow-problematic love interest.  This book felt like it broke out of that mold a bit – thought not completely.

Kate is secretly working with master felon, Nicolas Fox, to bring down bigger names than he – the world’s most wanted but trickiest criminals.  This time, Carter Grove, ex-chief of staff at the White House and heartless leader of a private security agency, is their target.  Carter has in his possession a stolen and very rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, and one that needs to be recovered ASAP, to save relations between the U.S. and China.

Nick and Kate put together another random crew, including a few members of their previous con, and a few fresh faces including a Geek Squad techie and buddies of Kate’s dad.  Together they must pull off multiple scams, switches, heists, and robberies in order to nail Carter Grove.

My initial thoughts:

  • Fast, exciting, suspenseful.  It left me thinking “how are they going to pull this off??” several times, so of course it’s a bit unrealistic.
  • Kate is the epitome of a strong character.
  • Nick is charming and cunning. He clearly has a lot up his sleeve.
  • Jake (Kate’s Dad) is mysterious and awesome. He clearly is bored with retirement.
  • Just enough humour to get over the stereotypes.  I will admit that I love bad jokes and puns, so I probably fit the target audience.  Someone less tolerant might find the jokes inane.
  • Exactly what you’d expect – a clichéd action-packed good-guys-working-with-questionably-bad-guys-for-the-greater-good type of novel.  This is not a thinking book, it’s chick-lit mixed with action (but mostly a chick-lit).

I’d give it a 4/5 for being exactly what I was looking for in that kind of book.

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The Grand Sophy

The Grand Sophy

The Grand Sophy by Gorgette Heyer is not my usual Young Adult fiction read. I had a hankering for a humorous historical recency romance and that is exactly what I got!

When her father, Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy, travels to Brazil, Sophy invades her aunt’s house at Berkeley Square. Fresh from the Continent and an unusual upbringing, Miss Sophy seems cheerfully determined to set the somber Omsersley household – and the secret power behind it, Charles Rivenhall (the heir) – on it’s head.

The Ombersley family is in desperate need of Sophy’s intervention.  Lord Ombersley is useless, Charles is becoming tyrannical and is engaged to a grim and uptight fiancee, Cecelia is smitten with an unsuitable poet, and Hubert is stuck in dire financial straights. Who better to help than their dear cousin?

Sophy proves to have her father’s hand for diplomacy, a vibrant and cheerful disposition, and a knack for match-making and scheming.  Unconventional and blunt, Sophy is determined to set things right in the house in a manner only she is capable of. Socially savvy and smart, Sophy is a witty, charming heroine and I couldn’t help but cheer at her exploits and adventures.

This story fulfills my desires for a fun, clever female lead who knows how to tweak convention in the best ways.  I had two complaints.  One was an awful stereotypical description of a filthy criminal Jewish moneylender. (I got over that by pretending omitting the Jewish part in my head).  Two was the fact the cousin thing. (I got over that by accepting that inbreeding was a thing back then, as gross as that is).  Aside from that, I loved Sophy – she is so fun, lively, and full of mischief!  I love how she unabashedly takes the house by storm.

I also LOVE happy, feel-good endings.  Plus, the book is funny! I would very much recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a witty historical tale, vaguely reminiscent of  Pride and Prejudice (maybe just in era alone, as this has MUCH more fun and fluff and less social commentary).

5/5

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Historical Fiction, Romance

The Moon and More

The Moon and More

Emaline is a Colby girl – born and bred.  It’s the summer before college and things seem to be changing more in a few months than in her whole life.

Emaline has been dating Luke since Grade nine, and he seems perfect.  He’s Colby – along with her friends Daisy and Morris, her mom, grandma, (step)dad and sisters.

Theo is a summer resident – super-ambitious, and from New York, he wears designer jeans and takes life as Big Moments.  Emaline’s father – who hasn’t been around most of her life – is around for the summer too. Both think Emaline should dream bigger than beach-town Colby.

It’s a summer of discovering who she is, and who she wants to be.

I normally really like Sarah Dessen, and unfortunately this book didn’t resonate with me.  (Caution: some spoilers ahead).

  • I liked Emaline, though I didn’t really empathize with her as much as I would have hoped.  It REALLY annoyed me that she leaped so quickly from one relationship to another.  It frustrated me that she seemed to be pulling away from her friends and family a bit (though I did appreciate her new relationship with Benji, her half-brother).
  • I really disliked Theo – from the start and all the way through.  I found him vapid, arrogant, and annoying.  He seemed so full of himself and too wrapped up in Making Things Count to see what was really going on. I also felt leaving Ivy in the lurch was totally a Jerk Move.
  • I liked Luke – even when he made mistakes, which confused me.
  • There were a few heavy-hitting topics here: teenage pregnancy (a past issue, not a present one), parenting (in absentia), divorce.  Some not-so-heavy but definitely worthy topics: the transition to college and worries about the future. Nothing quite as deep as previous novels, however.
  • Since so many of her books seem to center around Summer in Colby, it was nice to get a new perspective on the town.
  • My favourite part was probably having Emaline get to know her half-brother, Benji.

Maybe I didn’t enjoy it enough because I had relatively high expectations, after previous books I’ve read.  Or maybe it’s because I have very little patience for protagonists who can’t seem to be single for any length of time (though admittedly Emaline did have a little bit of redemption in the end).

I’m sad that I didn’t enjoy this one as much.  3/5.

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The Bride Wore Size 12

The Bride Wore Size 12

Another Heather Well’s mystery! I finally came up on the library wait-list for The Bride Wore Size 12 and punctuated my day of errands with some very enjoyable book-time. (Sometimes there are advantages to long train rides!)

Heather Wells, former pop-star now Assistant Director of Fischer Hall (student residences for New York College), is back again.  She’s determined that this new school year will be a fresh start – and one devoid of student deaths. Unfortunately for Heather, “Death Dorm” earns it’s moniker before classes even start.  Heather has another mystery to solve PLUS a wedding to plan PLUS the unexpected (and very unwelcome) arrival of her mother to deal with. (You know, the mother who stole all of Heather’s money and fled the country?)

I quite enjoyed the added tension (i.e. “are they actually going to pull this wedding off??”) to this book.  I find Heather still fresh and interesting, and I love love love that she is a kick-ass character!

This one is definitely going on my list of “to-buy” favourites! (Although, for the simple fact that its mostly a fluffy chick-lit type of book, I can’t bring myself to give it a 5/5).

4/5!  I definitely enjoyed this one!

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Along for the ride

I just noticed that when you stare at the word “along” long enough, it looks really weird.  Though I guess that’s true of any word.

along for the ride

Auden is an insomniac.  She’s also a dedicated student and completely clueless socially, mostly because she just didn’t really hang out with other kids when growing up. Now, having just graduated from high school and waiting for College to start in the fall, Auden finds herself bored.  Tired of listening to her mother’s academic rants with grad students, Auden decides to spend the summer with her Dad, his new wife Heidi, and their brand new baby, Thisbe.

Turns out, this might be just what Auden needed: a chance.  There is another insomniac in town, Eli, who also needs a chance to move on.  With Eli’s help, Auden finally gets a chance to start living. 

I love Sarah Dessen’s books because they aren’t just meaningless fluff.  Although Y.A., she tackles real topics.  This one covers both divorce and the grief left over from losing a friend.  Auden reminds me in many ways of people I know – myself included.  Sometimes it is easier to avoid than to address issues head on, which is Auden’s modus operandi thus far.

I also appreciated the summer-time setting of this book, given that it’s sub-zero outside where I am right now!

I’ll rate this one a 4/5!

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The Husband List

The Husband List

Finally!!! Something NOT cookie-cutter from Janet Evanovich. I think that’s probably due to a co-author.

The husband list is a perfect historical romance, featuring a feisty American heiress whose mother I determined to see her wed. Unfortunately for Caroline, Lord Bremerton isn’t quite her type – or all that he seems. Fortunately, there may be an Irish-American bachelor who can add some excitement to her life.

New York City in 1894 is hopping!

If you’re looking for a light historical fiction / romance, this was a fun book.  I found it refreshing and witty – and not at all serious.

4 / 5

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Size 12 and Ready To Rock

Size 12 and Ready to Rock

Size 12 and Ready to Rock is book #4 in the Heather Wells series.  I read the first three ages ago (and own them all in fact) and only recently got around to reading the fourth installment.  This is a chick lit / mystery novel, featuring a former teen pop-star turned assistant residence hall director in what is now nicknamed “death dorm”.  Heather has a tendency to find herself in the middle of a murder mystery.

This time things revolve around pop sensation Tania Trace, who happens to be Heather’s ex-boyfriend Jordan Cartwright’s pregnant new wife.  Someone is trying to kill Tania. Unfortunately, the first victim is the producer of the first ever Tania Trace Teen Rock Camp. Which happens to be hosted by New York College, meaning Heather has a residence hall filled with Teen pop-star-wannabees, along with her summer staff and the basketball team.

Cooper Cartwright, Jordan’s brother and the black sheep of the Cartwright family, is hired as a bodyguard to Tania. Oh, and Cooper is of course Heather’s new (and secret) fiancé!  How could Heather NOT get involved?

My thoughts:

Tania – Someone is out to get her.  Yes, Heather broke up with Jordan after finding him and Tania in a compromising position.  Previously, Tania has just been this empty-headed skinny/beautiful pop star, but throughout the book you get to know her a bit and realize that she’s had a tough life.  You understand her choices, and you do end up liking her. And also hoping that she isn’t killed!

Jordan – Still annoying, though he seems to actually care about Tania in this one.

Cooper – Strong, sexy, perfect counterpart to Heather.

Heather – kick-ass, vulnerable in a realistic way, and a protective mama-bear to those she perceives as under her care.

I liked that the book dealt also with some real issues – abuse, infertility, and obviously murder. Good one!

4 / 5

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Avalon High

Avalon-High

I’d read Avalon High by Meg Cabot once before and thought it was okay but not amazing. Then the other day I happened to watch the movie and I was outraged by how TERRIBLE. The movie was and how they deviated horrendously from the plot of the book. So I decided to re-read the book as I couldn’t remember all the details of the story.

I enjoyed it much more the second go around! Though it is pretty predictable and hokey, I really liked Ellie (the main character) and I loved the writing style.

Basically, Ellie’s parents are both professors who are on Sabbatical. They’ve moved for the year to a new town and Ellie enrolls at Avalon high. There she is befriended by Will. The story follows the tales of King Arthur – complete with Lance (Lancelot) and Jennifer (Guinevere), Marco (Mordred), and Ellie herself. Dark vs. Evil, teenage love triangles and family drama abound. It gets pretty far fetched.

In case you are interested, the movie deviates on the identity of certain characters (namely the main one and Merlin) and although I appreciate the nod toward girl power, no. Just no.

Although I enjoyed the book, I still would give this one a 3 / 5.

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what happened to goodbye

What happened to goodbye

So, last weekend I had epic reading plans.  I had downloaded six books on my Kobo, because I was flying home for the weekend. I figured that between the airport time and the flights, I would get a lot of reading done. Being a bit scatter-brained before I left, I carefully packed everything – or so I thought.  Upon arriving at the airport, I discovered that, although I’d packed my kobo charging cord, I’d forgotten my kobo itself!  So frustrating!  I ended up buying two books at the airport bookstore and watching movies instead.  One of those books was what happened to goodbye by Sarah Dessen.

I’ve come to expect rather heavy topics from Sarah Dessen, and I felt this book had a lighter theme than most: Divorce.  Maybe I treat divorce too casually (my parents split when I was 14) since I experienced it myself.  I didn’t quite get to the point where I thought “Mclean, just get over it” but I came close.

Mclean Sweet is a high school senior who is onto her fourth town in two years.  After her parents divorced, she opted to stay with her dad, who works as a restaurant consultant.  This is a mobile job – he swoops in to revamp struggling restaurants and swoops out again when done. Mclean has used this as an opportunity to reinvent herself in each new town – using her middle name (Elizabeth) to provide different personas (Eliza, Lizbet, Beth) to mach her ‘new self’ each time.  This latest town, she figures, is just another temporary stop, but somehow Mclean ends up as herself – not the ‘Liz’ she’d planned to be here.  She makes friends, sets down some tentative roots, and gets to know the cute guy next door.  All while negotiating the emotional minefield that is her relationship with her mother.

What resonated the most with me, for this book, was the mother-daughter drama.  I would definitely classify my relationship with my mother as ‘rocky’ and there were a lot of parallels between my experiences dealing with mom drama and Mclean’s.

If you’re looking for a relatively light, pleasant read, I would recommend this book.  Nothing earth-shattering, but thoughtful, fun to read, and enjoyable. 4 / 5.

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