Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Book Review: In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

Goodreads synopsis: Rose is a thirty-year-old attorney with a secret passion for romance novels. She's going to start exercising next week, and she dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses and tell her she's beautiful. Maggie is twenty-eight and drop-dead gorgeous. Although her stardom hasn't progressed past her hip's appearance in a music video, she dreams of fame and fortune. These two sisters claim to have nothing in common but DNA, a childhood tragedy, and a shoe size, but when they're forced into cohabitation, they may just learn that they're more alike than they thought

421 pages
3.73 average rating on Goodreads
Published: 2002
Genre: Adult, Romance, Comedy, Contemporary

Rose is a quite relatable character for me - chubby, smart, plays by the rules, and just hopes that she won't die alone. Her younger sister Maggie likes to think she's a superstar, but Rose wishes she'd just grow up and make something of her life already.

When Maggie gets evicted from yet another apartment Rose is forced to let her sleep on her couch, much to both of their disdain. And so ensues the cycle of Maggie messes up, Rose gets angry, then ends up feeling sorry for Maggie and gets her out of her mess. This continues until Maggie makes a mistake of epic proportions and Rose kicks her to the curb.

Enter Ella Hirsch, a sad old lady who lives at Golden Acres Seniors Complex in Florida. We've seen sketches of her story throughout the book and know that she has lost a daughter and is estranged to her two granddaughters. Is it a coincidence that Rose and Maggie had a mother who died when they were little, and have never known their grandmother who so desperately tried to keep in touch with them? I think not. 

When Maggie's last ditch attempt to evade homelessness fails, she finds a box of letters in her stepmothers closet from the grandmother she never knew existed, and decides to contact her. Maggie hopes that with her grandmother's help she can finally do something with her life, and also make things right with Rose.

I found it interesting to read about the dynamics between these two sisters, a foreign concept to me as  an only child. I really enjoyed Rose's character and thought it was very well-developed. Although I didn't like Maggie, she was a very funny and fascinating character, and it was interesting to see inside her mind. Even the secondary characters (Amy, Sydelle, Ella) were developed and you came to feel as though these were real people that you knew.

Overall I give this book 4.5/5 stars, simply because I don't think I'll be reading it again, but I did thoroughly enjoy it while I was reading it.

If you've read this book or anything else by this author please feel free to share your thoughts :)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Books I've Read Lately

Because I'm so behind on book reviews, and honestly can't remember the in-depth details of some of these, I've decided to just do a quick little cumulative review of the books I've read recently:

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 

To be quite honest, I didn't get into this book until it was almost over. I know this book and The Lord of the Rings series are quite popular, but I just couldn't see what the hype was about. Perhaps if it were read as a children's bedtime story as Tolkien originally intended, it wouldn't be so bad, but I didn't enjoy it much at all. Now that I've finished it I don't think it was quite so bad, but for a book of its size it took me quite some time to get through simply because I wasn't interested in it. Definitely don't think I'll be reading this again unless I decide to someday attempt TLOTR series.

Overall rating: 2/5 Stars

2. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

This book was quite a fast read, and a typical cutesy, contemporary love story as I've come to expect from Nicholas Sparks. While maybe not one of my favorite books by this author, I did enjoy it and finished it pretty quickly.  It was well paced, the characters were relatable, and of course the dramatic twist near the end makes you think and put yourself in the situation. A few tears were shed over this book but not many.

Overall rating: 4/5 Stars

3. Sweet Misfortune by Kevin Alan Milne

I've actually had this book sitting in the bottom of my bookbag for the entire school year, untouched, and when I found it last week I considered not even reading it, as the premise sounded fairly predictable and nothing I'd be interested in anymore. That being said I decided to attempt it anyways, since it was fairly short, and ended up really liking it. Sophia Jones, the main character, comes Fran troubled past and is quite different from most characters I've read about lately. I found her blunt pessimism oddly refreshing, and the general cutesy plot of the book wasn't bad either, although I didn't particularly like the main male character. I probably won't read it again but it was a quick, easy and enjoyable read that I'd recommend for Summer simply because it's something slightly out of the ordinary. 

Overall rating: 4/5 Stars

If anyone has read or is planning to read either of these books I'd love to hear your opinion

Happy Reading! 

I'm Back!

Hello Everyone,

After a regrettably long break from book blogging due to a multitude of tests, a new job, and then final exams amongst other things, I am happy to announce that I am officially back! 

I wrote my last final exam this morning and I am excited to be starting a relaxing summer, with hopefully many blog posts! 

I have three book reviews that will hopefully be up in the next couple of days, as well as a book haul (yay!)

I hope everyone is well and has a nice relaxing summer of reading ahead of them as well.