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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

May 13, 2011

A Fun Chick-lit Novel: Twenties Girl

Cover of "Twenties Girl: A Novel"
Cover of Twenties Girl: A Novel
Twenties Girl: A Novel by Sohie Kinsella
audio book
Published July 2009 by Books on Tape
ISBN 9781415962978
Listened May 2011

Ok. I decided to give audio books another go. By listening to books, I can get more in during the week (because I can listen to it while at work). This book came up on a suggested read based on something else I read and also happened to be available at the digital download library. I have never read her Shopaholic series, nor saw the movie.

I liked this book from the start. I could so relate to Lara as she came to terms with her break up with Josh and trying to make her career a go. The jury is still out on whether I liked Sadie or not. When her character was introduced I was reminded of the paranormal romance I gave a try a month or so ago - Spirit Intervention. However, the things that irked me with that story were no where to be found in Twenties Girl. I always knew we were in England,  had a clear background story on Lara, and I couldn't necessarily guess what would happen next.

If you read my post of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you might remember that I said I had trouble paying attention. I had that problem again with this book. BUT this time it was work that I found myself distracted FROM as my attention was fully focused on the story. It had moments that were funny, times that were frustrating (Sadie acting like a petulant 5 year old grated on my nerves), occasions I could totally relate to ("There was the real Josh and then there was the Josh in my head"), and there was happy endings.

The scenes with Ed were almost always good for a chuckle. The whole "you didn't want to be my girlfriend, did you?" interactions between them had me rolling my eyes at times, because you just wanted to shout "WAKE UP". But at the same time, it was sweet and totally realistic as both had unresolved issues with past relationships. I was cheering for Lara when she finally grew a backbone and stood up for herself (or maybe she just grew up and the maturity lent itself to her new self-confidence). I love the 1920s era and often wished that I could have experienced it, particularly the clothing. So it was an added bonus for me that Sadie kept demanding Lara relive the era with her. Speaking of Sadie, I am not sure what I think about her. At times, she truly acted like a toddler (throwing a tantrum because Lara kissed Ed because Sadie wanted Ed to be her's - HELLOOOO! Sadie, you're dead) and at other times her acts brought around positive changes for Lara. You also feel a bit sad for Sadie (and like Lara, forgiving her childish outbursts). I don't know anyone that has lived to be 105, but Sadie probably is an accurate portrayal of those who have long outlived their heyday and are all but forgotten by family.

This was a light and fun listen, bit like Jennifer Crusie's Anyone but You. However, there is no described sex, though there is reference to Lara and Ed getting to know each other in the bedroom (that is almost word for word how Lara explained it). So I'm happy to find a light and fluffy author that doesn't see the need to include sex. I will definitely be adding Sophie Kinsella to my list of authors to turn to when my other reading has become to heavy.
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May 11, 2011

Upcoming Reviews

I'm really enjoying these two books and wanted to give you a preview of what will be coming up next on Girl Who Reads.

Buddy's TailBuddy's Tail by K. Anne Russell
Published April 2011 by Createspace

With my niece about to be a 4th grader, I decided to give this book a chance.

From Buddy Boutonniere, a big-hearted Standard Poodle, subsists in the bare backyard of a tract home in the desert city of Yucca Dunes. MacKenzie, a Border Collie, and Javier, a Chihuahua, provide Buddy with scraps when his neglectful owners forget. When Buddy's owners decide to move, Buddy meets a wonderful lady who visits his house with prospective buyers. The poodle's humans try to sell him and Buddy goes through a series of unsuitable situations. The final family returns Buddy not realizing his owners are out of town. His only lifeline, MacKenzie, is killed by an evil Hummer driver. Javier tries to support Buddy with the aid of Dumb Derek, a brain-damaged Rottweiler. The two are unable to help. Buddy dies, but is brought back to life by Sonny, the Good Shepherd. Sonny grants Buddy's wish to live with the lady, in return for his promise to go with Sonny when he comes back for him. Buddy has a happy life with the lady and her dog, Skootch. Together they rescue abandoned Leroy and abused Roxanne. Years later, during Skootch's fifteenth birthday party, Sonny comes for Buddy. Sonny takes Buddy to Haven, canine paradise, where he is reunited with MacKenzie. Sonny explains the rules; dogs acquire free will and give up caring for humans. Their only responsibility is to help guide other dogs to Haven. Buddy excels at guiding, but on a mission to bring back a bomb dog from Afghanistan, Buddy helps a human, the dog's Marine partner. The residents of Haven are furious and Buddy is exiled to the perimeter of paradise. There he meets a girl who has died of cancer and befriends her, another infraction. He is dragged before the communal tribunal, where MacKenzie defends him. With the help of the marine and the girl, she convinces the judges that Buddy is not an offender, but a hero.

Twenties Girl: A NovelTwenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella
Published July 2009 by Books on Tape

I'm giving audio books a second chance.

From Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.

Sadie, however, could care less.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

May 8, 2011

Leaving it all behind

The Rising: Antichrist Is Born (Before They Were Left Behind, Book 1)The Rising by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Hardcover, 380
Published March 2005 by Tyndale House Publishers
Read May 2011

This story has been going on forever it feels like. I started reading The Left Behind series when it first came out years ago. Every birthday and Christmas I could expect the latest release. At first my mom bought it in paperback, but soon I was too anxious to wait and it seemed the time between hardcover release and paperback release grew longer. So my collection switched to hardcover. Somewhere around the book that only covered 1 week I started to lose interest, however, I cannot stop reading a series once I start. I still remember the first series I purchased - The Babysitters Club. I had a ton of them. I am not a big shopper, but I loved going to the mall because it meant that I could go to the bookstore (B. Dalton) and purchase the latest release.

So I have continued to read The Left Behind series, though not rushing out to by the newest release as soon as it arrived on bookshelves. The last three have been purchased at charity book sales. I did really enjoy Glorious Appearing, but I think it was more because it was scripture and it was moving (kind of like when you watch The Ten Commandments or Passion of Christ).

I was at a charity book sale not too long ago and browsing through the books (though I don't need anymore nor have room to shelve them) and what did my little eye spy? That's right another Left Behind book. I knew that they had written a prequel and I debated whether I really wanted to read it (I thought I had finished the series). Then I looked at the bag of books I was already holding and realized it would only cost me a quarter so into the bag it went. At the time I thought I will read this and finally leave the series behind (I'm going to box up the ones I have to take to my library's restore).

It took me a while to get into the book. But once again I was sucked into the stories of the characters and have to admit I was a bit curious on how the antichrist came to be. Though this book is pure speculation (one of the draws to me for the rest of the series was how it was rooted in scripture and interpretation of Revelation and Daniel). It is kind of interesting that I finished the book last night and today at church the sermon was on the last days.

I am glad that I read The Rising, but I am still going to put the series in a box and drop off at the library. The series gave me a lot to think about. Though I hope for a pre-tribulation rapture, I wonder should I be around for the rise of the antichrist if I would recognize it. If you are curious as to what the end times will be like, but don't want to read an academic/theology heavy text then try this series. informed me this is book 1 in the Before They Were Left Behind so I am slightly afriad that I will again be sucked into this story at a future date, but this book has fulfilled all my curiosities about the characters.

Do you have a series that you aren't as in to anymore, but can't keep from picking up when you see a book you haven't read?