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Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
The books I pulled for review are all on the girly side, though a few may have broader appeal.
Phone Calls by Ann Reit - I once bought a box of teen novels from eBay, mostly from the Wildfire series which was after my time in the '60s, but not current. This is one of them, dated 1983. Juliet has lots of friend-boys but no boyfriend. She starts getting phone calls from a mystery swain who quotes Shakespeare. Could he be the Romeo to her Juliet? This sounds creepy, but isn't. I'm really too old for this stuff.
Here's to You, Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume - Judy Blume is also after my time (this is from 1993), so I don't hold her in beloved esteem. Rachel is in seventh grade, and deals with perfectionism, family and friends, and that unattainable boy. Didn't grab me, but might have had a different effect if I were 12.
Jennifer Johnson Is Sick of Being Single by Heather Mcelhatton - Jennifer has hit 30, has an unsatisfying career as a copywriter for a family-owned Minneapolis department store and bad luck with men. When she meets the heir to her store's family, he seems too good to be true. Maybe I don't relate to the Minnesota setting, but I couldn't get into this or relate to Jennifer. There is a sequel where she is sick of being married (spoiler?), and I think I'll pass.
How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo - The author worked on Sex and the City and cowrote He's Just Not That Into You, but I just wasn't that into this book. Julie takes an international road trip to research singledom around the world, and has many adventures. The foreign settings and people just didn't do it for me.
Hot Property by Michele, Samantha and Sabrina Kleier - You'd think a novel set in the world of high-end NYC real estate would be up my alley. While there was plenty of real estate porn with sumptuous locations, there wasn't much plot and there was a faint air of privilege that turned me off. The authors have an actual real estate firm, and maybe I'd enjoy their HGTV show Selling New York more than the fictionalized version.
The Girlfriend Curse by Valerie Frankel - Peg's exes seem to settle down immediately after dating her. She decides to escape NYC for rural Vermont, but finds her new home infested with mice (ewww), so enrolls in a month-long relationship workshop the cute guy on the train was telling her about. Inward Bound is filled with psychobabble and quirky characters, and makes for a fun read.
Hollywood Girls Club by Maggie Marr - I read the second book in this series first and sometimes got the characters confused. I had the same problem in this first book. Maybe it's because these female Hollywood power players seem interchangeable, as they go through the ups and downs of getting a movie made. That may sound negative, but I enjoyed this book enough that I'm now reading the third installment in the series (all 3 books are packaged in a reasonably priced Kindle edition).
Spin by Catherine McKenzie - Kate shows up drunk to an interview for a dream job at an entertainment magazine, but gets another chance when they offer to send her to rehab if she'll write about a celebrity patient there. This undercover assignment gets complicated when she finds herself becoming friends with the celeb, and realizes that she may not be pretending to be an alcoholic but actually is one. It's a different sort of plot than the usual chick lit, and felt authentic. The author is from Montreal, but the atmosphere didn't seem especially Canadian (whatever that means).
L. A. Woman by Cathy Yardley - Sarah moves to LA ahead of her fiancé to set things up, and then he stalls and is soon no longer her fiancé. Stuck in a strange place, she soon meets Taylor, who becomes her new gay best friend. He in turn introduces her to party girl Martika, who moves in to help with the rent and schools her in the club scene. Not my thing, but interesting to read about.
Following Polly by Karen Bergreen - Alice loses her casting agency job and with nothing better to do, begins following her much more successful Harvard classmate Polly around Manhattan. When Polly ends up dead, Alice becomes a suspect and ends up hiding out with her school crush, Charlie. This sounds bizarre, but unfolds realistically and with great humor. Liked it a lot.