The past few weeks have been super busy in my world, but I found time to fit in three great reads. And without further ado, my reviews!
I’ve Got Your Number
Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.
It took me a good while to get to reading this one from Sophie Kinsella because I was rather stubbornly avoiding the big bestselling Chick Lit authors in favor of supporting my fellow indie writers. But I’m so glad this one finally made it to the top of my queue! Kinsella is a master at making the predictable, pleasurable. We all know from the start how this book will end, but Kinsella masterfully weaves a story full of surprises and angst and twists and turns so that by the end you are practically begging for that predictable ending to come true. Full of humor, mix ups, and mishaps, this book is a pure joy to read from beginning to end. Quirky characters abound, but I especially adored the relationship between the two main characters as they spar against each other while at the same time slipping into an ease and comfort that only true friendship can bear. But lets not forget the many laugh out loud moments that pepper the story. I found myself smiling throughout the book while I was cheering on our heroine as she continually struggled against the many challenges that befell her. But most of all, I just fell in love with her. And you will too! So, if this tale has been lingering at the bottom of your TBR list, move it to the top and pronto!
Mad About the Boy
Bridget Jones is back!
Great comic writers are as rare as hen’s teeth. And Helen is one of a very select band who have created a character of whom the very thought makes you smile. Bridget Jones’ Diary, charting the life of a 30-something singleton in London in the 1990s was a huge international bestseller, published in 40 countries and selling over 15 million copies worldwide. Its sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, published soon after was also a major international bestseller. Both were made into films starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.
Set in the present, the new novel will explore a different phase in Bridget’s life with an entirely new scenario. As Helen Fielding has said: “If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it then we’ll all be very happy.”
It has been quite some time since the literary world enjoyed the particularly hilarious antics of one Miss Bridget Jones. And frankly, I think Ms. Fielding fast forwarded time about a decade because I simply could not believe that Bridget was 51! I mean, how can she possibly be older than me? And we all know the backlash she received when news hit that Mark Darcy was dead and Bridget was a widow. This didn’t bother me, though. I think it presented a wonderful opportunity for Bridget to grow and develop as a character. And it was handled well as Fielding explored the loss and its affect on Bridget and her children. However, what I felt was missing were the friendships that Bridget always fell back on to keep her spirits high in the first book. But, for the most part, those were missing from The Edge of Reason, too. However, I felt with Bridget’s widowhood, it would have been the perfect time to bring back the team of kooky characters to whisk her off for fabulous mini-breaks and fun nights out drinking too much and inciting minor riots. I guess what I’m saying is that I missed the old life Bridget led, and perhaps that has more to do with me than with the author’s choices. After all, I am still a single girl living the Hollywood life with my girlfriends and my guy friends as I search for my Mr. Darcy. All in all, however, this was a terrific read and I highly recommend it to Bridget fans and to those few who haven’t read the first 2 books. Bridget is still a girl, er woman, we can cheer and commiserate with. And I, for one, will always hold a place in my heart for the hapless heroine who first introduced me to Chick Lit and changed my life forever.
Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry.
Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
This was one of those books that I’d heard so much about that I simply had to read it. And it was, in fact, full of crazy, rich Asians. Thankfully, though, there were also a couple of down-to-earth people leading the action to keep my heart and my head fully engaged in the story. However, the cast of characters was vast, and I had trouble keeping many of them straight. There was also rampant “head-hopping” throughout the book, which often kept me from connecting as closely and deeply with the main characters as I would have liked to. But on the whole, it was an incredibly entertaining book with outrageous people with an equally outrageous amount of money. It offered a glimpse into a world that I probably wouldn’t much enjoy, despite my passion for fashion and all things that sparkle. In a world where haute couture, private jets, and massive real estate holdings is de rigueur, the lack of compassion and empathy for the rest of society left a sour feeling in my stomach – much like it did with Rachel, one of the main characters. Frankly, if not for her and her boyfriend, Nick, along with his cousin, Astrid, I would not have been able to endure the hedonistic, mean girl attitudes that permeated the story. There were times that I empathized with Rachel so much as she struggled to fit into Nick’s world that I truly felt the suffocating pressure and bullying as much as she did. And I can only imagine that had some of the cast been omitted or the head-hopping eliminated, I would have enjoyed it that much more. On the other hand, I think if this were a film, I would be raving about it. It was filled with gorgeous descriptions of amazing places, fashions, and events that it would make for a fabulous cinematic feast along the lines of Baz Luhrmann’s recent The Great Gatsby. So, if someone does decide to adapt this for the big screen, I will be there on opening night!