"Remember Me?" by Sophie Kinsella

Remember Me?Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Chick-Lit

At the beginning of Remember Me? Lexi Smart is your average 25 year-old woman living in London. She has an entry level job at a flooring company, lives in a small flat, has a crap boyfriend, and spends most of her time with her four best mates. However, all that changes one morning when Lexi wakes up in a hospital. She gets suspicious when the hospital staff begin treating her strangely. When she sees her reflection, she barely recognizes herself. She is two sizes smaller, her hair is a different colour, and her teeth are much straighter and whiter. There is something else different about herself that she can't quite put her finger on... Maybe she looks... a bit older somehow?


As it happens, Lexi has been in a car accident. In a Mercedes to be exact. That she was driving. Even though she can't drive and doesn't own a Mercedes. Or so she thought. It seems that Lexi hit her head and is now suffering from amnesia. She has lost three years of her life and has a lot to catch up on. The Mercedes for example. She has a gorgeous and wealthy husband that she can't remember meeting (let alone marrying), an important high paying job she doesn't remember having, and an incredibly luxurious flat she doesn't remember calling home.


It seems like she has the perfect life. But even perfect people have secrets, and it seems like Lexi has one that could ruin her "perfect" life.






As always, Kinsella delights with her novel Remember Me? Although, in my opinion, not as good as Can You Keep A Secret? I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.It was fun and light and funny--a perfect summer read.  It is kind of like the The Vow meets 13 Going on 30. Critics of Chick Lit--Yes, the premise of the novel is a bit implausible. However, you don't turn to chick lit for something wholly original. You turn to it for a good time, and in that regard, Kinsella has yet to disappoint me! If you have read and enjoyed any of Kinsella's other novels, you will probably enjoy this one, too! If you like chick lit, but haven't read any Kinsella, what are you waiting for?! She is one of the best writers of the genre in my opinion! 


Ugh

You know what, Charles Dickens? As much as I love you (which is a lot), I'm really just not in the mood to read about St Antoine, the Jacques, and the killing of aristocrats right now. I've had a bad day and I need Sophie Kinsella to make me laugh. Bring on Remember Me? 

"Promises to Keep" by Jane Green

Promises to KeepPromises to Keep by Jane Green
Chick Lit, Women's Fiction

Promises to Keep is a poignant tale that weaves together many lives. Callie is a photographer, cancer-survivor, wife, mother, sister, and daughter. Steffi, her sister, is a scatter-brained chef, a serial dater, and is in serious need of settling down. Honor and Walter, their parents, have been divorced for over thirty years and still cannot be in the same room together. Lila is Callie's best friend and ex-roommate. She has finally found the man for her--Ed. His fatal flaw, however, is a crazy ex-wife. They are all brought together under regrettable circumstances and must rise to the occasion.


I liked this book, but not as much as I liked Second Chance, the first novel I read by Jane Green. Although I found the characters of Steffi and Callie pretty interesting, the constant shifts in perspective in the novel made it a bit convoluted. Although I do enjoy seeing things from different perspectives, I found there were just too many characters, or, at least, too many shifts in POV. The storyline itself could also have been spiced up a bit more. Although I enjoyed the book, I found that overall the story was just too predictable.



What are you reading?

Hey friends! 

What are you guys reading lately? I would love to know! Leave a comment!


I just finished Promises to Keep by Jane Green (review coming soon), and just started the classic A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.


"'Classic'--A book people praise but don't read." -Mark Twain. 


This is often very true! Classic literature is sometimes harder to read because the characters are in settings and situations that don't seem immediately relevant to our lives. They also contain a different writing style than what many are used to reading, as well as older language that might not be familiar to us. However, classics are called classics for a reason! There is something special about them that we can enjoy and learn from if we truly give them a chance--rather than dismissing them, pretending to have read them, or only watching the movie. If you haven't read any classic fiction, I urge you to give it a chance. If you think you might find the language or the style confusing (because let's be honest, it often is), get a copy with explanatory notes in the back! They are super helpful (and interesting)!


Anyway, rant over. I'm off to bed--I am positively zonked. 


Cheers


Hey Friends!

I am currently at the library enjoying the atmosphere and the escape from the heat! On my way, I stopped in at Value Village and picked up a few books! I got:
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Promises to Keep and Dune Road by Jane Green
Paperwick Papers by Charles Dickens
AND
....something else but I can't remember at the moment, he he he. They are in the car!
I also just checked out Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl here at the library. I LOVE having lots of books to choose from! I hope I can get them (and all the others that I have at home) read by the end of the summer! Do you think I can do it? I hope so. Or at least get most of them read! 

Right now I am on the last few pages of Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner. It's good, but a little crass at times. I'll get back to you with my review shortly! 

Have a great day! Those of you in my area (and also those experiencing similar weather), enjoy the sunshine! 


Cheers

"The Black Prism (Lightbringer 1)" by Brent Weeks


The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks

High/Epic Fantasy
Hardcover, 629 pages
Published August 25th 2010 by Orbit


The Black Prism, simply put, is the story of a boy named Kip and his father, Gavin Guile.

Kip grows up in a place called Tyrea. He is poor, his mother is an addict, and he has never known his father. The latter is true of most of the other children as well. After the Prism's war sixteen years ago, the male population decreased significantly. Kip had always assumed his father died in the war.


Gavin Guile is the Prism. In this world, the Prism is something akin to emperor. However, at this point, the Prism has become mainly a religious figurehead. That being said, he is still one of, if not the, most powerful person in the world. Being Prism means that he can draft--or, make magic--out of any colour of light. Most drafters can only draft from one, two, or three colours--more than that is extremely rare. It is believed that the god Orholam grants the people with one Prism every generation to balance power.


Gavin recently found out that during the war, he fathered a son. He finds his son, Kip, in Tyrea, just outside of a village that was completely massacred by a rogue king.


War is coming. Kip must learn to wield his own powers and find the strength in himself as his world changes. As Prism, Gavin knows his life will soon come to an end. He must decide how far he will go to protect his family, and protect his secret.


I had to give this book a B because it took me so long to get into it. For the first hundred pages or so, I was confused and not really interested in the plot. Or the characters for that matter. However, with some determination, I managed to stick it out until it got my attention. When I finally go into it, however, I really got into it. It had its flaws, and was still confusing in parts, but I was hooked. I was especially hooked by the characters--their relationships and their secrets were so interesting and gripping to watch unfold. After awhile I also began to appreciate the interesting premise of using light as a source of magic. This put a limit to magic, which I appreciated. This made it seem more realistic--even if it is about magic, there should be limits to it, so no one can be all powerful. Everyone has weaknesses.


Overall, I though the book was generally well thought out and organized. However, I think it could have benefited from a brief prologue of some kind to help introduce readers to this fantasy world, instead of just tossing them in the deep end. Perhaps some sort of flashback to the Prism's War would have been helpful and interesting.


For the most part, this book was pretty great and I would recommend it to fantasy lovers! If you find the beginning hard to get into like I did, stick it out! It's worth it! I look forward to the other books in the series!

Hey friends!

What have you guys been reading lately? Right now I am immersed in The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. Just about 100 pages left! I wasn't sure I was going to like it a first, but I've gotten pretty into it. It's a neat idea--colours as magic! I'll get back to you with my review soon!

Toodles!

"City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, #2)" by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
YA Fantasy

This is the second book in a series. Therefore, this review contains spoilers for the first book.

In the second instalment of the Mortal Instruments series, Clary Fray is beginning to wish she was a mundane. Her mother is in a coma, the gorgeous Jace turned out to be her brother, and her father isn't dead but, rather, is the most infamous Shadowhunter of all time: Valentine. Trying to take her mind off all this, Clary begins to date her best friend Simon. However, she can't ignore reality forever.


Her issues with Jace and the health of her mother are not Clary's only problems. The Inquisitor from Idris has come to investigate Jace's connection to his father, Valentine, and has him on a short leash. Meanwhile, Valentine steals another of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul Sword, and begins murdering Downworlder children. This increases the Inquisitor's suspicions of Jace. How can Clary and her friends stop Valentine if even they are not sure of Jace's loyalties?



This book was just as fun as its predecessor for the most part. Clare invites readers further into the world of the Shadowhunters as Clary and company must battle Valentine to stop him from murdering and from gaining power over the demons. I still take issue with the use of the term Nephilim. I'm also not particularly fond of the change in relationship between Jace and Clary. I don't find incest particularly interesting, and the books would lose a great amount of their appeal without a love story between Jace and Clary. Hopefully there will be another "discovery" that will prove they are unrelated. However, if that is that case, then I'd find the whole brother/sister branch of the plot unnecessary and unenjoyable. However, this supernatural action/adventure is exciting, fun, and (generally) original. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to those who enjoy the genre! Clearly read the City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) first, though!




"Can You Keep a Secret?" by Sophie Kinsella

Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Chick Lit
Paperback, 218 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Dell Publishing Company

Emma Corrigan, a young Marketing Assistant, has many little secrets. One of them is that she is afraid of flying. During a particularly turbulent flight, Emma, who thinks she is going to die, confesses all her secrets to the man sitting next to her. As it turns out, no one dies, and Emma goes back to life as usual, believing she'll never see the stranger from the plane again.
Oh how wrong she is.


The next day at work, everyone is whispering about the visiting CEO and founder of the company. As luck would have it, he is none other than the man from the plane. Her boss' boss' boss knows all her secrets. Including the fact that she hates G-strings and has been slowly murdering her annoying colleague's plant with orange juice. Uh oh.


This was a welcome addition to my weekend at the cottage. Fun, lighthearted, and hilarious as ever, Kinsella does it again with "Can You Keep a Secret?" Generally speaking, chick lit is a happy-go-lucky, unrealistic, and predictable escape. However, Kinsella manages to hit all the traditional aspects of the genre without being too cliche. Emma is hilarious and relatable with her thrift store clothing and "ironic" Barbie bedspread. Her best mates Lissy and Jemima are equally insane and loveable. Even Emma's main love interest is flawed enough to possibly exist outside of a fairy tale. On top of it all, Kinsella still manages to pull off a satisfying happily-ever-after ending--the kind that keeps us coming back to chick lit in the first place.


"Can You Keep a Secret?" is chick lit at its finest--immensely entertaining and not quite as predicable as its counterparts. At times I honestly found myself laughing out loud. Emma reminded me of an older version of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson. I loved it! And, if you like chick lit, my sense is that you will, too.




"City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)" by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
YA Fantasy


If there was one thing she was learning from all this, it was how easy it was to lose everything you had always thought you'd have forever.


Clary Fray is just a normal girl with a normal best friend living a normal life in New York. Or so she thought. Everything changes one night at a club when she witnesses what could only be classified as a murder. However, Clary seems to be the only one who can see what happened. When the perpetrators are finished, there isn't even a body. The boy disappeared. Was he even there?


This is the first time that Clary comes in contact with the Shadowhunters. Shadowhunters part human part angel demon slayers. They are very surprised that Clary can even see them in the first place. Amongst those that killed the "boy," is Jace--an incredibly beautiful young Shadowhunter. Soon enough, Clary finds herself drawn into his world as she is attacked by a demon and her mother disappears. What would demons want with Clary and her mother? How can Clary even see the demons? All that Clary thought she knew gets turned on its head in this epic fantasy thriller.


To be honest, I was very hesitant to pick up this book. I hate to say it, but I do often judge a book by it's cover, and this book's cover, along with blurb, made it seem incredibly foolish. I only did pick it up because it was on sale at Wal-Mart and had surprisingly good ratings on GoodReads. When I got into the book, however, I was pleasantly surprised. The writing style was not bad, the characters were interesting, and the story was gripping. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. I really, really liked it.


That being said, I had one major complaint about it. The Shadowhunters are purported to be Nephilim. If you are familiar with the Bible, or an extra-biblical texts such as Enoch, this term will be familiar to you. Although yes, the Nephilim were half angel and half human, they were nowhere close to being good in any sense of the word. The angels who had created them by taking advantage of human women were cast from heaven, and their descendants, the Nephilim, were decidedly evil. Like, crazy evil. That, and they were also giants. They certainly were not concerned with the fate of humanity and would never be considered its protectors. I thought I could overlook this egregious error, but I found it increasingly annoying as I read. To most people this won't be an issue, but to me, it really was. I understand that Clare has artistic license, but in this case, she was just so incredibly inaccurate. I would have been fine with the whole thing if she had not insisted on calling them Nephilim. But she did. And often.


Overall, this book was a really good read, and I am looking forward to the film and the rest of the books in the series. I recommend this book to those who have read young adult fantasy in the past and enjoyed it.




"Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)" by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

YA Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural
Paperback, 563 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.


In the Southern town of Gatlin, things aren't always what they seem. To young Ethan Wate, Gatlin is a small-town prison he can't wait to get out of. Things are always unchanging. To him, Gatlin feels even smaller since the death of his mother. His father has shut himself up in his study, and Ethan finds himself going through the same mindless routines day after day with his basketball team buddies. Two more years, he tells himself. Then I can get out of here.


However, things soon change drastically for Ethan. He meets the girl of his dreams. Literally. Since his mother died, he had been having these strangely vivid dreams. In them, there is a girl he needs to save, but every time she slips out of him grasp. When he wakes up, remnants of the dream remain: her scent, and even the mud.


The girl from Ethan's dreams is Lena Duchannes, the niece of the current most infamous resident of Gatlin. This sets her out from the herd immediately as a pariah. Ethan, however, finds himself drawn to her. There is something different about her--she is unlike anyone Ethan has ever met. As he is drawn to her, Ethan find that there is an inexplicable connection between them, and he wants to figure out what it is.


I really enjoyed this book. At times, I found it a little exhaustive--perhaps some parts could have been shortened, but other than that it was a good read. Lately I have been drawn to fantasy novels, and this one definitely did the trick. A love story, a curse, monsters, and witches (or, "Casters")? What more could you want! Not exactly Pulitzer material, but definitely a good summer read. I found it to be pretty imaginative, although not entirely unique. I really appreciated that although it is a young adult novel, it lends itself well to older readers. I recommend it to those who have previously read and enjoyed young adult fiction and fantasy.

Hey!

Hey guys!
Did you have a good long weekend? That is, those of you who are Canadian :) I went to my cottage with my family and my boyfriend. Unfortunately, it rained every day. Every. Single. Day. Now that we are home it has stopped, so that is good. I hope it gets nice out!  Over the long weekend I read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and City of Bones by Cassandre Clare. Reviews are coming up!  Up next I am going to read one of the following, but I haven't decided yet. Let me know what you think!
- The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
- When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison
or
- City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Cheers!