Books & Reviews 📚

Book 121: Love is a Thief

Join the quest to take back what love stole!

Kate Winters is an ordinary girl, with a not-so-ordinary mission: take back what love stole!

Kate Winters might just be ‘that’ girl. You know the one. The girl who, for no particular reason, doesn’t get the guy, doesn’t have children, doesn’t get the romantic happy ever after. So she needs a plan. What does she like doing? What didn’t she get to do because she fell in love? What would she be happy spending the rest of her life doing if love never showed up again?

This is one girl’s journey to take back what love stole and maybe find love again along the way Feel-good, witty and addictive; Love is a Thief is the book everyone’s talking about.

I sort of just made some notes while reading and here they are:

^ Opening scene read like a Bollywood movie with Kate bawling her eyes out in the airport over the French boyfriend who left her for an upgrade.

^ British writers and their annoying footnotes. It’s not a textbook! However, the Tom Cruise footnote…

I have an obsession with Tom Cruise and his attitude to life. He is passionate about everything he does, enthusiastic, dedicated, committed. If you ask Tom Cruise to wash up dirty dishes, he’d wash them up so hard those plates would gleam. If he gets angry, he’s like a raging bull. Tom Cruise commits to everything 110% and I aspire to be more like that. So when questioning my own attitude to life or when facing its hurdles, obstacles, the odd broken heart, I ask myself the following: ‘What would Tom Cruise do?’ then I try to embody the spirit of Tom. More often than not life starts to feel pretty damn good. Try it. Say it. ‘What would Tom do?’ Feels good, doesn’t it? I love you, Tom! I actually love you!

…was unnecessary. It is the truth about TC’s commitment, but still, this footnote was never needed. Her love for TC could’ve been incorporated into the story. I love me some TC, but not in that way. 

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^ Maybe she should’ve tried asking ‘What would Jesus do?’

^ Annoying Chad! I couldn’t stop seeing him as Andy Serkis.

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^ So, I um, met Peter Parker and this was the result:

“Peter Parker, as in spider man?’ Federico asked.

“No silly,” Beatrice chortled, “although he was terribly serious…”

IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE! Peter Parker is obviously named after Spiderman and he doesn’t smile, but this PP is not Spiderman! Didn’t you have a childhood friend named Peter Parker, Federico? Some common sense! Are you that dense? Parker didn’t have any chemistry with Kate. I think I had more chemistry with him than Kate.

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^ I loved Gabriel 2.0! He was the best character in this messy story and I wish the story focused on him instead of boring Kate and the even more boring Parker.

^ The bold words were EXTREMELY annoying.

^ I love that plain old boring but good looking Peter was jealous of the even dreamier Frenchman, Gabriel. Why do most good looking Frenchmen get named Gabriel? Why do writers stereotype Frenchmen? Why can’t we get a Frenchman who is not dreamy for once? I write about Frenchmen and they’re not all dreamy. What was I saying about Frenchmen again? 

^ Kate is obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate, whiny, bratty, silly, downright annoying, childish… let’s get to the point: I hate her. 

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^ The story jumped around from here to there to over the cliff. Half of the time I didn’t know what the writer was talking about.

^ Federico, Kate’s friend, ties with her for being most irritating characters.

^ Instead of being funny, the story ends up being whiny and trashy. In a nutshell, this story is about a stupid grown woman who still acts like a child and whines whenever a boy breaks her heart. I’m glad Gabriel did. He should’ve stomped on it too. Stomp on it HARD and leave it in smithereens.

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^ Love was not a thief. Kate was just a selfish bore and this story just dragged. She should’ve just moved on with her life. I didn’t feel sorry for her and as far as I was concerned, Gabriel dodged a bullet.

COVER

Eh! I like the blue, though.

OPENING

The bog standard public display of being over your last relationship is when you get yourself into a new one. It’s like holding a giant banner in the air that reads:

VERDICT:

love coffee

Another book to set on fire!

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Books & Reviews 📚

Book #73: The Other Side of the Story

Image result for marian keyes the other side of the story

Jojo Harvey is a dead ringer for Jessica Rabbit and the most ferocious literary agent in town. A former NYPD cop, she now lives in London making million-dollar book deals while trying to make partner at her firm . . . all the while sleeping with the boss man.

Lily Wright is an author who believes in karma, and is waiting for the sky to fall after stealing her former best friend’s man. Though her first book failed to sell, her life turns upside down when her most recent book becomes a huge bestseller.

Gemma Hogan is an event designer extraordinaire, but her personal life is nonexistent after losing the love of her life and her best friend in one fell swoop. To make matters worse, her father has just left her mother. While taking care of her mother, she e-mails a close colleague about her frustrations, who in turn forwards the hilarious e-mails to a famous literary agent named Jojo Harvey, who just happens to represent her former friend, now enemy, Lily Wright. . . .

Written in the charming and chatty voice that has become Marian Keyes’s signature style, this hilarious and heartwarming novel proves there are three sides to every story . . . especially in the world of publishing!

Author: Marian Keyes
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 2006; Reprint edition)
Pages: 528

This story lacked substance and the characters were rather annoying, but I somewhat enjoyed it. The book could’ve been 250 pages shorter and it would have ended the same way, but the author just had to overwrite. 

Three protagonists are involved in the story. Gemma holds a grudge against her best friend for “stealing” her boyfriend… THREE YEARS AGO! Three years ago, Anton was not even in love with Gemma and with him moving to London from Dublin, they were going to break up anyway. I mean, move on, stop being so bitter, find someone else and settle down. Why do you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you in the first place? Gemma’s father leaves her mother for a younger woman (talk about the stereotypical midlife crisis!) and the mom becomes helpless and Gemma has to take care of her. Talk about selfishness!

Lily is the former best friend that Anton left Gemma for and they’re married and have a child. She wrote a book and sold it to Jojo who is a book agent. Gemma writes a book as well. It’s about her parents and wants Jojo to represent her because Jojo represents Lily and Gemma wants to bring Lily down because she stole Anton. 

Overwriting and fussy characters aside, it was not a great book, but it was worth reading.

VERDICT:

3

NEXT UP:

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To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #65: Rachel’s Holiday

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(old edition syp)

‘How did it end up like this? Twenty-seven, unemployed, mistaken for a drug addict, in a treatment centre in the back arse of nowhere with an empty Valium bottle in my knickers…’

Meet Rachel Walsh. She has a pair of size 8 feet and such a fondness for recreational drugs that her family has forked out the cash for a spell in Cloisters – Dublin’s answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She’s only agreed to her incarceration because she’s heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, gymnasiums and rock stars going tepid turkey – and it’s about time she had a holiday.

But what Rachel doesn’t count on are the toe-curling embarrassments heaped on her by family and group therapy, the dearth of sex, drugs  and rock’n’roll – and missing Luke, her ex. What kind of a new start in life is this?

Author: Marian Keyes
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (Arpil 2006)
Pages: 640
Series: Walsh Family #2

My first book about the Walsh family. I kind of liked how the story started with Rachel’s intervention. During her stay at the rehab, she encountered some addicts who were in denial just like her. She fell for the charming Mike – I immediately disliked him – and after leaving the rehab immediately hooked up with him.

Look, it’s a nice read and everything, but I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t get close to the characters and I struggled to read through some chapters. Nice plot and can learn something about life because the topic was a serious one (drug addiction) but I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore Keyes for a while. I really wished I could have liked this book, but I wasn’t feeling it.

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VERDICT:

2

NEXT UP:

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Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #52: A Summer Affair

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Meet Claire Crispin, best wife to a husband and mother to four kids… or so the residents of Nantucket thinks!

Claire has this friend, Daphne, who got into an accident and was never the same after. Daphne’s husband, Lock Dixon is a wealthy man and he’s fronting the Nantucket’s social event of the year. He asks Claire to be on the gala committee. She does not decline and her husband Jason is not too pleased. Claire finds herself falling for Lock and vice versa on Lock’s end. Then one night they kiss and things got out of hand and one thing led to another during the times they started spending together.

Claire is convinced that she’s in love with Lock.

Claire’s character did not hold my interest, but I found myself wanting her to not get caught in the storm of the affair. I was hoping that she will go back to her husband after learning that she could never have Lock and it predictably happened in the end. Claire was amoral.

Lock Dixon. I did not care anything for him. He did not seem to care/love/appreciate Claire as she did him (I guess the author wanted to glamorize affairs on Claire’s end). He seemed out of sorts. He did not stick up for her on the occasions he should have. Seems to me that the affair was just a one-sided fantasy on Claire’s part. Lock’s wife was unbearable and needy Claire was there for him to take advantage of.

Max West. This former childhood friend of Claire’s – not to mention, ex-boyfriend turned big shot rock star – is a delusional creep. He lives the life of a rock star but in his head, Claire is and will always be his. They shared a special connection and he wanted it back. Oh, the glory of those childhood days!

Siobhan. Claire’s best friend and sister-in-law loves her and resents her at the same time. A caterer married to Carter Crispin, Jason’s brother, she couldn’t get over the fact that Claire’s life was better than hers. That Claire was always the one ahead. The town’s gossip mouth. But she came through for Claire in the end.

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I did not care for any of the characters although I kept turning pages knowing that this a predictable story. However, the story would’ve been a little more interesting had the author wrote about the tools and techniques of glass blowing for not many people know about this art and the main protagonist was a glass blowing artist who had given up the art to raise her children.

And no, there is no full-blown steamy scenes. 

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VERDICT:

2

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Unbeweavable by Katrina Spencer

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #24: I’ve Got Your Number

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Dell (February 14th, 2012)
Pages: 448

BLURB:

I’ve lost it. 😦 The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive 🙂 !!

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.

review

…REVIEW!

UNPUTDOWNABLE!

I’ve read Confessions of a Shopaholic. It was basically my introduction to Sophie Kinsella, but I did not go back for seconds of the series. However, ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ was everything I’ve imagined it to be.  It was quite a funny read.

Okay, let’s see how I can do this without being Wikipedia. 🙂 

At the beginning of the story, we’re introduced to Poppy Wyatt, who just lost her engagement ring. And it’s not just any ring, it’s a family heirloom. A series of unfortunate incidents follow the newly engaged woman with most of them ending in mishaps. Thank God it was not me! I would have been too mortified to show my face in public ever again!

The lead up to the recovery of the ring was funnily embarrassing.

Poppy’s phone is stolen by a mugger, she discovers a phone in a bin and claims it, but here’s the twist: the phone belongs to Sam Roxton’s former PA. Hard to disagree with Poppy: ‘if it’s in a bin it’s public property’ although I’ve never found something valuable in a trashcan before… not that I go looking into trashcans! Poppy just can’t stop doing things that would make a hole volunteer to swallow her up. She’s constantly meddling in Sam’s life by reading his e-mails and because of this, she thinks she knows him. At one point, Poppy responded to an e-mail she thought was from Sam’s dad.

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via Google Search

I want to quote my favorite line – yes, line – of the book: ‘Mind your own Brazilian!’ I cracked up.

Okay, it’s not as funny as it sounded when I first read it. >.<

Poppy is a riot, a lovable hoot and I sort of identify with her in my mad love quest for unique characters – Dr. Spencer Reid is still #1. Sam. I liked Sam a lot. Sure, he seemed off-putting, cold and unfriendly, but I liked him more than Magnus Tavish. I met David, one of Sam’s friend, and I’m sorry, but despite his insecure life, I liked him as well. Did not like e-mail Willow and when I met her, I despised her more. I felt as if I was right there with Poppy. I was there when she was frantically searching for the ring, when she desperately wanted to prove herself at Scrabble and when she shimmied her way into Sam’s life.

The ending was weepingly sweet.

I loved everything about the book. The only annoying thing was the footnotes. I understand that the footnotes play a big role in the creative process, but I do not want to read annoying footnotes unless it’s in a history textbook.

VERDICT:

5

I don’t like recommending books because I don’t like forcing books on people, but I’ll actually recommend this book.

NEXT UP:

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Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey. Wish me luck in actually reading this book. >.<

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #7: Wedding Night

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Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Dell (April 23rd, 2013)
Pages: 446
Chapters: 36

BLURB:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella returns with her trademark blend of sparkling wit and playful romance in this page-turning story of a wedding to remember—and a honeymoon to forget.

Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose, but then his big question involves a trip abroad—not a trip down the aisle. Completely crushed, Lottie reconnects with an old flame, and they decide to take drastic action. No dates, no moving in together, they’ll just get married . . . right now. Her sister, Fliss, thinks Lottie is making a terrible mistake, and will do anything to stop her. But Lottie is determined to say “I do,” for better, or for worse.

review

…REVIEW!

Why does Sophie Kinsella hate her characters so much? It’s like she’s got nothing better to do than sit down and conjure up the evilest embarrassing things she could do to her characters and laugh like a maniac because she thinks it’s funny to have crazy characters.

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Anyway, the story starts off promising and quite entertaining. The momentum leading up to the so-call proposal was really funny and that’s just the first chapter. I was hoping that the author was going to keep in theme for the entire story, but boy was I wrong! I met some of the stupidest people I wish I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting.

Lottie rushes into marriage with a former teenage flame from 15 years ago – yes, that’s a rather long time, mind the gap – on the heels of a break-up, all because she assumed her boyfriend was going to propose to her (he didn’t). Then we have Lottie’s sister, Fliss (What kind of name is this? I wouldn’t even name my dog Fliss!). Fliss is hopelessly addicted to Google and is bitter, bitter, BITTER about her ex-husband. Floss, sorry, Fliss is also controlling and tries to stop her sister from getting married. What ensues is one bad decision after the other. Ben, the man whom Lottie hastily tied the knot with, turns out to be nothing like the Ben she knew 15 years ago. Ben only wants to get in her panties and can’t wait for their honeymoon night, which turns out to be a major disaster. Lorcan has issues, but he too is irritating. Richard. Poor, stupid Richard! The author ruined your character and this is wrong, this is very wrong, but I felt myself wanting to hit Noah so hard.

And he is only a child!

Things escalated too quickly in this book causing the story to go downhill. I couldn’t sympathize with any of the characters and there was no connection … apart from the old lady in the beginning and that was brief. I don’t think I’ll read this book again. I don’t even know why it was published in the first place. To quote a reviewer over on GoodReads, ‘it’s one of the worst Jen Aniston comedy you can imagine.’

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Kinsella is normally the Queen of mishaps, but this time around, she wrote a book based on stupid people. In short, this book fell flat which is too bad given that ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ was a major blockbuster. I can see why some people don’t waste money to buy books anymore and frankly, some of these books should be free downloadables.

Quotable:

“In my day, the men got married because they wanted sex. That was motivation all right!” The old woman gives a brisk laugh. “All you girls with your sleeping together and living together and then you want an engagement ring. It’s all back to front.”

– Chapter 1; Page 16

You tell ’em granny!

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RATING:

2

**GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

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