Book Reviews

Book Review: I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

I did not think I was going to enjoy this book after reading the first two chapters. My uncertainty had a lot to do with the fact that the MC, Lily Wilder, is immediately introduced as a lewd sexaholic drug user who repeatedly cheats (without remorse) on her seemingly perfect, unsuspecting fiancé Will. Another thing that bothered me was that Lily isn’t even sure she wants to marry Will. After all, they are polar opposites—Lily an outgoing, sharp-tongued lawyer with a wild side and Will an intellectual, laid-back archaeologist. But then, in chapter three, when I was introduced to Lily’s goofy patchwork family and found out that they were leery of the engagement because Lily has a big secret, I wanted to keep reading. And boy am I glad I did, because I Take You is laugh-out-loud funny, full of interesting characters and situations, and surprisingly thought-provoking.

Lily’s family is good for quite a few laughs. There’s her serial divorcee father (who just can’t seem to commit to anyone), her mom, two stepmothers and grandmother. Through this bunch, Kennedy provides some insight into why Lily struggles to figure out whether she really wants to marry Will. Another memorable character is Lily’s maid of honor Freddy. The conversations between Lily and Freddy are just what you’d expect from best friends—sarcastic, candid and funny.

“Do you really want my opinion? Freddy asks.

“Is it one I want to hear?”

“No,” she says.

“Then no,” I say.

“You should call off the wedding.”

“No way! We had the most incredible sex this morning.”

“Oh, then marry him, by all means,” she says lightly. “Wouldn’t want that to stop.”

I love that Kennedy made Freddy a true friend who supports Lily no matter what and without judgment. Hands down, Freddy was my favorite character.

In addition to all of the great characters (many more than the ones I’ve mentioned above), there are two very interesting subplots. One has to do with Lily’s big secret, which involves an old friend who makes several appearances. The other involves a case Freddy is working on. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the case was woven into the story. These subplots deepened Lily’s character, helping me to understand her better and making her more likeable, in my opinion.

Now onto the main storyline. Does Lily decide to marry Will? Does she confess all of her infidelities to him? Well, I can’t say because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone! But what I will divulge is that she comes to an important realization and that she is faced with a shocking discovery shortly after making that decision. I can also say that I had mixed feelings about the discovery, ranging from shock and anger to sadness and satisfaction. What a great twist!

My favorite quote from Lily:

“To say that I do not give two shits about this vastly overestimates the value I place on shits.”

If you enjoy laugh-out-loud chick lit and aren’t easily turned off by themes of sexual promiscuity and infidelity, then I recommend this book.

GOODREADS

AMAZON

 

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book via the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin

Something Borrowed has an attention-grabbing premise and is very well written. As a result, I wanted to keep reading even though the main character and her best friend annoyed me.

Here’s the gist of the story. On the night of Rachel’s thirtieth birthday party (which her best friend Darcy planned), she sleeps with Darcy’s fiance (Dex). But here’s the thing, Rachel was friends with Dex long before he even knew Darcy, and she’s the one who set the couple up. To make matters worse, Rachel realizes that she actually has feelings for Dex and vice versa.

At first, I was angry with Rachel for doing such an unforgivable thing to her best friend, but then Griffin reveals little by little what a poor excuse for a best friend Darcy really is. After learning about the pitfalls of their friendship, I no longer felt all that bad for Darcy, yet I continued to have lukewarm feelings for Rachel because of what she’d done. As a result, this book had my chest in knots because I just didn’t know who to root for!

Another irritating quality about Rachel is how down she always is on herself. Here’s a sample to illustrate what I mean. (It’s also a good example of how unlikeable Darcy is.)

In short, I have no real faith in my own happiness. And then there is Darcy. She is a woman who believes that things should fall into her lap, and consequently, they do. They always have. She wins because she expects to win. I do not expect to get what I want, so I don’t. And I don’t even try.

I couldn’t understand how Rachel put up with Darcy for so many years. Nor could I understand how someone could do what she did to her best friend. Yet, I was compelled to find out how everything turns out!

Let’s just say I have a love/hate relationship with this book. Love the concept. Couldn’t stand the main female characters for the most part. Something just isn’t right when you’re dying for the heroine to get what’s coming to her, but at the same time, you don’t much care for the other key players either!

AMAZON

GOODREADS

Book Reviews

Book Review: Of Mice and Money by Winifred Morris

Of Mice and Money tells the story of Kiva, a woman in her late thirties who wants to make a clean break from her drug-smuggling husband. After a decade of putting up with his “scary business” and being told things on a “need-to-know” basis, she decides to give up a life of luxury for one that is simpler, quieter, and much safer—or so she thinks. When she finds a place that seems perfect for a fresh start, chaos (and humor) ensues as new and familiar faces begin showing up on her doorstep.

Much of the first half of the book, which was a tad slow but packed with the hilarious inner dialogue of Kiva, is spent setting up the plot and introducing key characters. However, if the author hadn’t done such a thorough job of introducing each character, I’m not sure the second half would have flowed as well as it does. As soon as Kiva’s hippie parents show up, the story really takes off. I finished the book in one sitting from that point on. There were no loose ends by the end, and I felt thoroughly satisfied with how everything shakes out.

I really enjoyed getting to know Kiva, who is funny and likeable despite the mistakes she has made in the past, especially in regards to her daughter. When Amy shows up after not seeing Kiva for four years, their rocky relationship adds a layer of drama that any mother or daughter can probably relate to.

This book sort of reminds me of the popular TV series Weeds. Despite the seriousness of some of the themes in the story (drug dealing, drug use, mother/daughter drama, deadbeat parenting), it is still humorous and quite entertaining. No, Kiva is not a drug dealer like Nancy Botwin in Weeds, but their personalities are quite similar. If you were a fan of Weeds, then this book is right up your alley.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 STARS

Amazon | Goodreads

Book Reviews

Book Review: There Are No Men by Carol Maloney Scott

Claire is a thirty-something divorcee who has ventured back into the dating world. Complications arise due to the fact that she is unable to have children, which she feels eliminates the prospect of finding love with a younger man or anyone who wants children. The first couple of dates she goes on are a result of online dating – these dates offer many laughs and end horribly! On top of meeting men via the Internet, Claire is encouraged by her friend/co-worker to attend Meetup events (which don’t pan out much better than the online dating). Throughout the story, she is torn about her feelings for a younger co-worker as well as a new (also younger) neighbor – both she finds attractive and both are interested in her.

The first half of the story is quite funny. I love Scott’s snappy humor. She also includes a lot great visual language. For example: “He looks like a cross between a little boy who is afraid of the headmistress at the orphanage and a puppy who wants a belly rub.”

A few funny quotes:

“Claire, you’re going out partying when Jesus was nailed to the cross?” – Claire’s mother on going out before Easter.

“Barbie actually looks like a hooker in her hot pink mini dress and stiletto glitter boots…” – Claire’s thoughts on a neighbor girl’s Fashionista Barbie

While I enjoyed all of the humor and getting to know Claire during the first half of the book (although she cries way too much), I felt like the story moved slowly at times. There were several occasions when I skimmed unnecessary details, such as the description of the furniture and bedding in her sister’s apartment and the fact that she picks up a glass of wine and slowly moves to the kitchen to sit down at a table. There was quite a lot of extraneous information like this in the first half. However, as soon as Nathan the “perfect” doctor (yikes!) showed up, I couldn’t stop reading because I really wanted to find out how things would pan out with him. He was so unlikeable that I loved reading about him. Claire blindly focused on his outward appearance while ignoring his MANY controlling and snobbish behaviors, which had me wanting to shake some sense into her. This kept me reading, as well–after all, she had to wise up sooner or later! The introduction of Nathan and Brandon’s character development made me really enjoy the second half.

AMAZON

GOODREADS