Tag Archives: Chick Lit

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Synopsis: Given the shot at producing her very own TV series, a young woman scarred in a childhood accident tries to remain to true to herself while succeeding at the Hollywood game. Review: I haven’t actually read any of Jennifer Weiner’s other books but I had a good idea what I was getting into when I started The Next Best Thing. I have a soft spot for frothy chick lit with dishy Hollywood atmosphere, and because some of her books have been made into movies…

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Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead by Christiana Miller

Synopsis: A down-on-her-luck Los Angeles witch comes into an unexpected inheritance, a house with a previous tenant who just won’t leave… even after death. Review: Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead was a tremendous amount of fun to read. Christiana Miller‘s background in the TV industry shows in her confident, imaginative plotting and idiosyncratic characters that leap off the page with the power of their intention within the story. The book is steeped in real witchcraft, of the Los Angeles Wiccan variety, and while the…

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Enchanted, Inc by Shanna Swendson (Katie Chandler, Book 1)

Synopsis: An ordinary New York City girl gets recruited by a magical agency precisely because she is immune to magic. Review: Cute, light, and fun, Enchanted, Inc. was exactly the palate cleanser I needed after gorging on A Dance With Dragons. I especially loved that Shanna Swendson didn’t feel the need to make Katie klutzy or ditsy. She wasn’t afraid to have Katie be outspoken and assertive. She was my kind of girl and I really enjoyed spending time in her head. Share on Facebook

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Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Synopsis: When a body is uncovered near a memorial site for a dead teen, her former best friend reflects on the events of a decade ago that culminated in tragedy. Review: Cold Light was tremendously depressing. Lola, the narrator was mopey, passive, and largely unappealing. Her best friend Chloe is described as having a charisma that draws people to her, but she just seemed angry and petulant to me. I think that was the point, though, and that I’m just in a place where these…

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Sherry and Narcotics by Nina-Marie Gardner

Synopsis: A young American woman who can’t stay sober moves to Manchester to live near the internet boyfriend who can only see her on Saturday nights. Review: I feel like I’ve read Sherry and Narcotics a million times, only with different names and in different cities. I’m not saying the book lacks literary merit, only that this particular kind of semi-autobiographical sexy self-destructiveness seems to have a perennial appeal. 10 years ago I read Morvern Callar and thought it was deep; now I just feel…

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Minding Ben by Victoria Brown

Synopsis: 18-year-old Grace is on her own, having left her native Trinidad for a new life in the US, but nannying for a wealthy family might not be the source of rescue she needs it to be. Review: Minding Ben‘s strength is in its depiction of the after-work lives of the Carribean women who take care of so many babies and toddlers in New York City. It’s weakness comes by hewing too closely to the Nanny Diaries dynamic of adorable kid with evil parents. I…

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Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Synopsis: After a divorce, Englishwoman Catherine moves to a cottage in the rural Cevennes mountains in France, facing challenges as an outsider at a crossroads in her life. Review: Tapestry of Love is a charming novel that makes you ache to visit the Cevennes mountains. The descriptions of the landscapes and the food and the culture are just so evocative. It’s a near-perfect example of this kind of book. Rosy Thornton’s storytelling is languid and endearing, making this a most relaxing read of the best…

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Jenny by Sigrid Undset

Synopsis: A young Norwegian woman pursues her painting in Rome, but when she gets swept up in a romance with a fellow countryman she finds her dreams derailed and her life shattered. Review: Jenny is a realist novel from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, one of my all-time favorite reads. It’s a somber story that reminded me of Theodore Dreiser and EM Forster, delving into the psychology of Jenny, an artist in her late 20s living a bohemian life and…

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She’s Gone Country by Jane Porter

Synopsis: After her husband leaves her for another man, a model with three teenage boys moves back home to Texas where she runs across the champion bullrider she loved as a teen. Review: I’ve previously enjoyed Jane Porter’s books as being a cut above the usual chick lit/romance genre entrants, but She’s Gone Country didn’t rise to the occasion. While Porter gave Shey a juicy family situation–dead schizophrenic brother, depressed son, gay ex-husband–she never really came to life on the page for me. I think…

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Just Like Me, Only Better by Carol Snow

Synopsis: Strapped for cash, a divorced mom and substitute teacher takes on a job as a celebrity double for a troubled young TV star. Review: Just Like Me, Only Better has a fresh premise and above-average execution. I enjoyed all the minutiae of the lookalike life, and it was enough to keep me engaged despite my lack of interest in Veronica’s love life difficulties, which felt a bit contrived. It’s not one that will stick with me, but I enjoyed the read. Many thanks to…

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