Title/Author: “One in a Million”, by Lindsey Kelk
Overall Rating: 4/5
Read it, or save your time? I randomly came across this one at the airport and had low expectations. Plot sounded pretty silly, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The writing is good and the characters were likable.
What’s it about?
Annie Higgins is working every waking hour to get her newly-founded, fledgling social marketing agency off the ground. With no time for a personal life, let alone a boyfriend, Annie has been out of the game for a while. Frustrated by the fact that no one seems to understand what exactly it is she does for a living, let alone see the importance of her work, when a guy who works down the hall bets her she can’t make anyone Instagram famous in 30 days, she jumps at the chance to prove him wrong.
However, when Dr. Samuel Page, a recluse who spends more time reading and writing about obscure historical figures than interacting with real humans, becomes the subject of the bet, Annie know she has her work cut out for her. How can she possibly get 20,000 Instagram followers for a guy with zero social graces and a beard reminiscent of a mountain man?
As Annie forges ahead, she learns there might be more to Dr. Samuel Page than she originally thought, and that winning isn’t always everything.
Reviewer’s Note: I love that it’s set in London and it feels very modern. Obviously there is a romance at play, and the end is pretty predictable, but I stayed up late to finish it and was never bored.
Title/Author: “What Alice Forgot”, by Liane Moriarty
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Read it, or save your time? Read it for sure. Accept it for what it is and you will enjoy it. This book is exactly what it seems: a cute, light read. However, it will also make you think about the person you once were, currently are, and may become in the future. It may also make you weary about having 3 kids. Just sayin’.
What’s it about?
Alice Love is a 39 year old stay at home mom with 3 children and is in the middle of a divorce, when one morning she falls and hits her head at the gym. When she comes to, she thinks she is 29, pregnant with her first child, and madly in love with her husband, Nick. She has no recollection of the last 10 years of her life. As Alice struggles to get her memory back, she comes to realize that she is NOT the same person that she remembers (aka her 29 year old self), and naturally has a hard time accepting the reality of what her life has become. She cannot understand why she is so thin and has a closet full of designer clothes, why she yells at her children and husband so often, and why her sister doesn’t seem to like her very much (the sister’s infertility and jealousy is a side story that honestly I could have done without but that’s just me).
Throughout the story she struggles to get her memory back, but as she finds out, and as we all know, some things in life are just easier to forget.
Reviewer’s Note: I found her internal struggles relatable, especially with regard to love and forgiveness.
Title/Author: “A Hundred Summers”, by Beatrize Williams
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Read it, or save your time? I highly recommend. This book is pure entertainment in any era, but that fact that it takes place in the 1930’s gives it a little something extra. It also has a surprising (if not a bit farfetched) ending.
What’s it about? There is a lot going on here, so I will just hit the highlights. The year is 1938. Lily Dane goes to Seaview, Rhode Island where she and her family have summered with other rich, yuppie families for years. All is well at first – she hangs out on the beach with her adorable little sister, her somewhat nagging mother, and hilarious Aunt. Then, her cousin and ex-best friend, Budgie Greenwald (Budgie is a great name), returns to town. Budgie is now married to Nick Greenwald, Lily’s ex-fiancee, which causes quite the gossip around town.
Budgie is beautiful, charming, and manipulative, and manages to worm her way back into Lily’s good graces and become her friend again. However, as the summer unfolds, the truth about Nick and Budgie’s marriage slowly starts to come to light, and the love that Nick and Lily once had becomes hard for everyone to ignore. Oh, while this is all happening, Lily is also hooking up with Nick’s best friend, a charming and gorgeous ex-football player. Add this all together and you get drama, drama, drama.
Reviewer’s Note: This novel is a hidden gem. It has a little bit of everything; a love story, a friendship so complex it will give you a newfound love for your own friends, and WASPY socialites, all set in 1938, when people still knew how to party.
Title/Author: “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LULU LEMONS”, by Lauren Weisgerber
Overall Rating: 5/5
Read it, or save your time? Love. Easy, entertaining, and funny. Although it’s clearly a light read, it also offers some interesting insights on the struggles of both working and stay-at-home moms.
What’s it about?
Emily Charlton, after leaving her job as Miranda Priestly’s assistant at Runway (yes, the same character from the Devil Wears Prada!), is a well respected and established stylist and image consultant to the stars (not as glam of a job as one would think). However, when she starts losing clients to much younger, more digitally savvy competitors, she knows she needs to step up her game. She didn’t bust her ass at Runway to end up obsolete!
Despite her disgust of the suburbs (borrrrinngggg), she ends up staying in affluent Greenwich, Connecticut with her best friend and mom of three, Miriam. Miriam used to be a high powered attorney in New York City, but has recently left her career to focus on her kids. She attempts to embrace the life of a wealthy, suburban housewife, but unsurprisingly struggles to fit in with the botoxed, Lululemon wearing crowd.
At the same time, Miriam’s friend Karolina, a beautiful, sweet ex-model, is in the middle of a nasty separation from her husband Graham, an overly ambitious US Senator, who has publicly humiliated her in order to further his career. Through Karolina, Emily sees a chance to simultaneously right two wrongs, and sets out to restore Karolina’s unfairly tarnished reputation (and show the world what an a-hole Senator Graham really is), and prove to Hollywood that tweeting millennials are no match for the seasoned, polished Emily Charlton.
This book is everything it was intended to be. I blew through it in a week, and so will you. Pack it for your next holiday. Emily Charlton continues to be a tough yet likable hilarious character who is not to be messed with. I heart her.
Title/Author: “ALL WE EVER WANTED”, by Emily Griffin
Overall Rating: 2/5
Read it, or save your time? Meh. Your time could be better spent…like cleaning out your fridge or doing laundry. A little harsh, but I just don’t think the plot was substantial enough to warrant a whole book. Read the ‘What’s it about’ below and decide for yourself. Disappointing especially since some of Griffin’s other books were so awesome.
What’s it about? Nina, her husband Kirk, and their son Finch, a high school senior, recently came into a lot of money and live privileged lives in a wealthy area of Nashville. Nina is clearly uncomfortable with their newfound wealth, and worries how it is affecting the attitudes and actions of her husband and son. When Finch is accused of taking a picture of a fellow classmate in a compromised state (think passed out with a little boob action) and sharing it with his friends, the mother is appalled, and it sets in motion a series of (uneventful) events.
Don’t get me wrong, obviously what Finch is accused of is dead wrong. However, I don’t think it is offensive enough, or interesting enough, to be the premise of an entire book. Nina comes across as very selfish-righteous, and I think HER actions are actually a little questionable. I kept waiting in vain for it to get good. DISAPPOINTING.