Tag Archive: chick-lit


You go Glen Coco!!

A staple of the teen movie phenomenon has always been the fish out of water. Some girl or boy who doesn’t fit in where they are, whether because of social standing, intelligence or the fact that they’ve just transferred in from some backwoods hole. Don’t believe me? I’ve got proof!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

I could go on. Trust me. But I think I’ve proved my point. Don’t you? πŸ˜‰

And that is exactly what this week’s book is about. A fish (in this case a girl) way, way, way out of water. So now that you know the basic plot… and have been dazzled by my endless cinematic references ;), let’s get to it shall we? πŸ™‚

Book cover of Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Summary:

16 year old Brooke Berlin has everything. Famous parents, an incredible home, designer everything, a first class private school education and popularity out the wazoo. Does she need a heretofore unknown sister showing up from out of nowhere and taking the spotlight off her? Clearly NOT!

Molly Dix, also 16, has just watched her mother die of cancer, and along the way found out that her father was a) not dead and b) not who she thought he was at all. Now she’s headed to LA (from Indiana) to live with movie star Brick Berlin, and she has no idea what is in store for her.

Is it possible for these two girls to get along? For things to go smoothly for either Molly or Brooke? Of course not!! The only question is, how bad will it actually get?

Review:

I was super pumped when I heard about this book. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a pop-culture junkie. And the authors of this book feed the fashion portion of my pop-culture needs. πŸ™‚ Their blog, Go Fug Yourself, satiates the fashion-crazed part of me that was created by watching far too much Fashion Television during the 80’s & 90’s. The fact that it’s filled with epic amounts of snark only tickles my fancy more.

I went into this book thinking that it would be fun, but likely on the brainless end of the Braincandy Scale of Book Evaluation. (This is the scale that I use to make snap judgements about whether or not I want to read something. Let me give you an example. When faced with the following two book covers, I would rate them based solely on appearance.

Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β 

The first book I would give a ‘YES, I’M READING THAT SUCKER’. And the second book would get a ‘Next‘.

They are both well written books. In fact, from a literary award standpoint, book two kicks book one’s ass. But the Braincandy Scale of Book Evaluation is about the finding immediately enjoyable, funny/fluffy/cuddly/awesome reads, not literature. Because that’s how I roll folks. πŸ˜‰ )

So here I am thinking this book is going to be fluff, and possibly not even well written fluff. Well boy was I wrong. This sucker lived up to theΒ aesthetics of it’s fabulously glam cover. Do you think maybe someone’s trying to tell me something? Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, perhaps? πŸ˜‰

Anyhoo, down to brass tacks. Firstly, you have to love a good fish out of water story. Especially when the fish, or, in this case, the girl, gets to move into a huge Hollywood mansion with a famous movie star. Who happens to be awesomely clueless. This dude is so into his own hype, that he really has no clue about what his daughters are up to, going through, or even where they might be at any given time on a typical day. But despite all of that, Heather and Jessica (yes, I’m going to call the authors by their first names… no judging) have created a genuinely likeable character in Brick Berlin. Yes, he’s dopey as the day is long, but his heart really seems to be in the right spot. And let’s be honest, if he managed to get Molly’s mom (who by all reports was a pretty awesome lady) to fall in love with him, he can’t be all bad right? At least he tries! And really, isn’t that what every kid wants? A parent who tries? And genuinely cares? I think so.

What else did I like about this book? The bad behaviour. You have to love it when your characters are awful to each other! πŸ˜‰ The plotting, the scheming, the absolute Dynasty-ness of it all was brilliant. (I suppose I should use tv references from the last ten years eh? Um how about The Hills? There was lots of drama on that show, right?) The best thing, to me anyway, was that both Brooke and Molly acted like mean girls at different times. Neither of them were cast as the total innocent in the situation. And really, isn’t that much more true to life? It’s hard being nice to people sometimes, espeically when you’re in high school and people are mean to you much of the time. It definitely doesn’t make it right… but we all remember that from Kindergarten don’t we? πŸ˜‰ Or was that Mean Girls…

So if you’re looking for a good read that doesn’t hammer home a message, but isn’t completely without morals… and is set in this world, not a post-apocalypse one, you should try Spoiled. And if you’re a pop-culture fan like me? Well this is practically required reading. Grab a latte, put on your Uggs and snuggle up with this book, it’s well worth it I swear! (Just so we’re clear, I neither drink lattes nor wear Uggs. Just want to make that clear. πŸ™‚ )

Rating: 4 out of 5 star rating

While I would say that Beauty Queens is by far the more original of the two, ‘Spoiled’ definitely rates highly on my radar for being a very good read. While I was drawn to both because of splashy packaging, I am definitely getting the message… don’t be so quick to judge a book by its cover! The universe is definitely trying to teach me a lesson. πŸ˜‰ I’m sure you’re much smarter than I, and will be quick to snap up Spoiled because it sounds like a good read, not because it’s pretty. πŸ™‚ I’m so happy to have such smart and discerning followers for my blog!

How to get this book:

  1. book

And to wrap this post up in a nice, tidy package… here are two clips from the best movie about mean girls ever… ENJOY!

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So I have a sister. Not all that surprising right? I’d either have a sister, a brother, both, or no siblings at all. It’s kinda how things work here. πŸ˜‰ Anyhoo, I’ve got a sister. She’s younger than me, which has really become pretty much irrelevant now that we’re both over the age of 20. However, I don’t want anyone to forget that I’m older. It’s an older sibling thing.

My sister isn’t as crazy-sauce for books as I am. Don’t get me wrong, she definitely reads, but she’s much less likely to be caught reading while doing everything it is at all possible to read and do at the same time as I am. I walk and read, brush my teeth and read, eat and read, take the cat out on a leash and read (Yeah, it’s embarrassing for both of us), and, if I could, I’d drive, sleep and shower while reading. It’s an addiction, I know this.

cat lying on back in garden wearing harnessSee, this is what I have to be seen outside with. It’s just easier to read while we’re outside and try and pretend that all the neighbours don’t think I’m nuts. But they do. They’ve mentioned it to me. Loudly. 😦

But my sister has done me several favours in our reading lives. She has allowed me to know the entire 1st Madeline book by heart (In an old house in Paris, all covered in vines…), has exposed me to the epic fantasy series Dragonlance, and introduced me to this week’s author. And for all of these things I have to thank her. Very much. But I should probably call her to do this because I don’t think she reads my blog. What a jerk eh? πŸ˜‰

So (while I call my sister and complain to her about how totally not supportive she is) I’m going to introduce you to our book of the week:

Book cover for Withering Tights

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Summary:

Tallulah Casey’s knees are located 4 feet off the ground (or so she says). Everyone else in her family is normal sized, but somehow she managed to get the giant gene. And to make matters more fearsome, she is heading off this summer to a theatre arts camp all by her lonesome.

Armed with her cousin Georgia’s comedy moustache and lots of hope about all of the boys she will meet, Tallulah heads off into the wilds of Yorkshire for a grand, and decidedly dramatic adventure!

Review:

Like I said, my first introduction to Louise Rennison came in the form of the first Georgia Nicholson book: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, that my sister had borrowed from a friend. I saw her reading it, thought ‘What the hell is up with that title?!?’ and decided that I HAD to read it. Like right away. So I stole it from her and read it. Good thing I am a fast reader, or that could have caused a bit of an issue. πŸ˜‰ And it was awesome. Lived up to its name 100%. Flash forward to now, and I have read most of the Georgia Nicholson series and love, Love, LOVE Louise Rennison’s writing style. And Georgia. She’s mad, and British and just completely mad, which is awesome. So needless to say (although you know me, I say a lot whether it’s needed or not!) I had very high expectations for this book. I also may have squealed when I saw it on the shelf.

This book, the first in a new series by Louise Rennison, is related to Georgia Nicholson and her series. And I really mean that, because the main character Tallulah is Georgia’s cousin.

Now I liked Tallulah, but not quite as much as I liked Georgia. Or maybe it is just that I didn’t love her instantly like I did Georgia. Because, now that I think about it, I did laugh within the first few pages after she kicked some old dude on a train by accident. (It’s her very long legs you see.) So yes, I’m going with no instant love for Tallulah. I had to get used to her, and our relationship needed to grow and blossom, which takes time.But I did come to like Tallulah very much, and had a great deal of fun with her on the moors of Yorkshire.

All of the supporting characters in this book, from the ridiculously dramatic staff at Tallulah’s drama camp thinger to the family that she lives with while in Yorkshire, were sensational. Quirky and memorable, which is exactly what I had expected from Louise. And I really liked that Tallulah narrated the book, but that she moved away from the diary style of the Georgia Nicholson series.

A good thing to know about this book before you read it is that you might want to at least brush up on your Bronte sisters, if not actually read Wuthering Heights. (Or the plot summary…) Not that it has much to do with the plot of this book, but they do refer to it a lot. Starting with the title. … You picked that up right? πŸ˜‰

Basically this is just a killer book about a girl who likes acting, is insecure about her knees, and wants to know what it’s like to kiss a boy. So pretty much every girl between the ages of 12 and 18. πŸ˜‰ Oh and for those of you who want to know if this is a ‘kissing book’? The answer is yes. But there is also a pie eating contest, squirrel slippers and owls. Clearly this is much more than just a ‘kissing book’. πŸ˜€

Rating: 3 of 5 star rating

I know what you’re thinking. 3 stars?? Why only 3?? And this is my reason: Had I not read all of the Georgia Nicholson books I bet you $1.50 that I would have loved, Loved, LOVED these books too! (I say $1.50 b/c I’ve been accused of exaggerating in the past and am trying to prove a point. It’s just no fun to use amounts of money you could actually afford to bet when trying to illustrate something in an emphatic manner. Fact.) But the fact remains that I did, and so Tallulah had to work harder to impress me.

Bottom line, this rating is not about the book as much as it is about me. πŸ˜‰ It is still a super quick and quirky read and I totally recommend you read it. There is fun to be had in this one people!

How to get this book:

  1. book

I know you’ll be relieved to know, we also have some of the Georgia Nicholson books. And what we don’t have, if you want it, we can get it. Bring your library card to me, and I’ll get ‘er done. πŸ™‚

And if this all sounds too wonderful and you can’t wait to get in here to borrow Withering Tights… here’s a wee short story from Louise’s website, starring both Georgia and Tallulah. Fun! Oh I love these books…

What it is about thieves? We certainly have a fascination about them that permeates western culture. Interestingly enough, what prompted me to do this book review this week was not the fact that I’d finished this book recently, but it was this news article about the Mona Lisa. This year marks the 100th anniversary of when the Mona Lisa was stolen. It is one of the more famous art thefts in history, but certainly not the only one.

But we’re not just intrigued by art thieves are we? No, we like the idea of people who steal anything. Case in point? Movies. We’ve got ‘To Catch a Thief’, ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’, ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’, ‘Snatch’, ‘Ocean’s 11’, ‘The Italian Job’, and ‘Fast Five’. And those were just the ones that I thought of in the 15 seconds I sat in front of YouTube today. πŸ˜‰

I doubt I’ll ever be able to answer the question … but I definitely fall into the category of people who loves the romanticized picture tv, movies and books paint of thieves. Real thieves… well not so much. But I don’t really have much worth stealing either… So I should be good!

Now it’s time for me to introduce to you a new thief on the block… star of this weeks’ book:

book cover for Hiest Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Summary:

Katarina Bishop is not like other girls. Her life thus far has been so far from ordinary most of us couldn’t manage to understand even if we tried. Katarina is a thief. A thief who comes from a very long line of thieves responsible for some of the most famous unsolved thefts in history.

But she’s had enough. Which is why she pulled the most elaborate con of her life to gain admission to the elite Colgan School. She figured it was the life she wanted, a normal life for a girl longing to be normal. She didn’t count on it being so boring.

But then, summoned to the headmaster’s office on totally false charges of theft and destruction of his prized Porsche, Katarina finds herself kicked out of Colgan, and immediately wrapped up again in the only world she’s ever known: the world of thieves. And no surprise, there’s danger and intrigue afoot.

Review:

So I must admit I did turn my nose up a wee bit when I saw that this book had been published by Disney. You know the folks responsible for Tinkerbell and this place:

The Castle at Disney

Them. They publish books. Oh good, because they needed another way to cash in on their movie and tv characters. *Head. Desk.*

But, as often happens when I’m being rather judgmental, I was proven wrong. This book was pretty darn good! I will take some points off, however, for it reading somewhat like a Disney movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with Disney movies really… I’ve seen many of them. Including (to my delight and shame) the HSM movies. But the book did feel a tad bit tidy and after school special at times… despite it’s appeal. I tend to like my books and my movies to be a bit messier. You know, like the original Degrassi?? No? Well I haven’t watched the new Degrassi, so I’m just going to assume they’ve stayed true to their roots there.

But I digress… hugely.

I really liked the characters in this book. All of them. Which is surprising, since I often find something I don’t like about at least one. But this was not the case with Kat and her friends. I also really enjoyed the idea of teens being able to pull off complex and challenging heists. It’s very true that you’re probably at your most daring while you’re a teen, so why not take advantage? (And no, I’m not telling you to go steal something for the thrill of it, so stop right there.) Clearly the number of teens with a heritage like Kat’s is as limited as the number of teens who have the funds available to her friend Hale, but that lends a sense of fun and unreality to the book that is great to escape with.

The plot moved well, and I liked how it was subdivided by location in the physical text. It broke the story into nice chunks, but wasn’t distracting and didn’t get in the way of the story. And who doesn’t love a good old fashioned story of kids pitting their wits against the evil adult villain. Now that I think about it, this book was also kinda like Scooby-Doo… but not at all in a bad way. πŸ˜‰

Rating: 3 of 5 star rating

I give this book 3 stars. Like I said, I took off points for being a little too sweet at times. But I’m definitely going to recommend it as a light, fun, fast read about stealing things because it’s what you were born to do baby. πŸ˜‰

How To Get This Book:

  1. book

Keep your eyes pealed for the sequel, Uncommon Criminals. It’s on order… I promise!!

Also of news about this book… it’s been optioned into a movie. IMDB says so. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, they’ve decided to age the characters into their 20’s… which I think is a stinker of an idea. Teens can too save the world… why doesn’t Hollywood get this???????????

πŸ™‚

I am a child of the 80’s. I even have a shirt to prove it.

t-shirt with Rainbow Bright image and "Made in the 80's" textIt’s not this one… but close enough. πŸ˜‰

This means that certain things resonate with me that might not resonate with you, despite the resurgence of 80’s inspired fashion. For example: He-Man, She-Ra, Fraggle Rock, The Muppet Show, Cookie Monster before they made cookies a sometime food… really the list goes on and on. There are things that you really did just have to be there to appreciate. 80’s fashion would be one. I saw it once, I don’t need to see it again. And yes, I know I sound like my mother… but trust me, you’ll end up feeling this way some day too. And then I will come and do the told you so dance for you. Again. πŸ˜‰

So I’m curious to see what you think of this week’s book. It resonated with me big time, but I want to know if that is because I was a teenager just like Jessica when Y2K happened and therefore this period in time feels homey to me.

So without further ado, here is this week’s offering:

image of book cover for 'Sloppy Firsts' by Megan McCafferty

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Summary: Jessica has lost one of the most important people in her teenaged life to tragedy. No, Hope (her best friend in the world) didn’t die. But Hope’s brother did. Causing her parents to go INSANE and separate Hope and Jessica by moving really really far away. All that is left for them is to keep in touch through phone calls and emails, but that really just isn’t enough to help keep Jessica from going nuts. So she starts a diary in order to keep a handle on her lonely and crazy life. And does it ever get crazy. High school. Always surprising isn’t it?

Review:

I love, love, LOVED Jessica Darling. She felt totally real and relateable. Had Jessica been a real girl and gone to my high school, I totally would have been her super good friend… or hated her guts. Hard to say. And I know what you’re thinking: ‘What does she mean she would have been her friend or hated her??? This makes no sense!!’ And you’re right. But what does make sense in high school I ask you? From what I recall, nothing makes sense AT ALL!!

So using this logic, I would have found Jessica to be totally in sync with how I was feeling and what I was thinking about our peers or I would have found her to be Jessica Not-So-Darling at all. I would have wondered what the heck her problem was and why she was so darn mopey all the freaking time. (This is why you could not pay me to go back to high school btw. It was a time of vast extremes… and I’m good just revisiting that world through books and movies from time to time. Much less painful. :D)

Anyhoo, clearly I felt that Megan McCafferty did a bang-up job on this book. Hence the gushing. πŸ˜‰ It’s written as emails and diary entries from Jessica to Hope … although along the way Jessica realizes that she’s put things in the journal she doesn’t want Hope to know about at all. There’s a boy that both repels and fascinates Jess, and then there are her ‘friends’… and I felt that all of these characters were very well written and believable. As was the plot.

Basically, it’s just a really great story about being in high school and all of the experiences and feelings that go along with that time in a person’s life.

Rating: 4 of 5 star rating

This book totally deserves a 4 out of 5. Thank you Megan McCafferty for Jessica Darling… and for having the same first name as me. πŸ™‚

How to get this book:

  1. e-book

This is the first book in Megan’s ‘Jessica Darling’ series. You’ve got access to the whole series through OverDrive… but I’ll link it up for you, just to make it easy. πŸ™‚

And, just because I can, here are some links to my fav high school movies. πŸ™‚ Let me know what I’ve missed and what your favourites are!

Man I like a lot of movies eh??Β  πŸ˜‰