All Book Reviews by Genre: Chick Lit

Nine Perfect Strangers
Moriarty, Liane
2 stars = Meh
Review:

I usually like this author. I mean, she's not Harper Lee and it's not To Kill a Mockingbird lit, but generally entertaining. This book was an exception. Poor plot, unlikable characters, an unbelievable storyline (and not in a cool Harry Potter way), and a weak ending. Without giving away too much, it's about nine strangers (title spoiler alert) who go to a swanky health spa in rural Australia. That sounds kinda sweet, right? Well, the spa is run by a Russian psychopath who gives them illegal hallucinogenics and that's where the story jumps the shark. Skip this one and read one of her other novels instead.

Reviewer's Name: Laura
Genres:
Book Review: She's Come Undone
Lamb, Wally
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Goodreads synopsis for this book says the main character is the "most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years." That's a bunch of crap. The main character is flawed but not funny, just sad and hard to root for. Some parts of the book I loved, other parts I didn't. But overall the good parts won out.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Awards:
Book Review: Dear Mrs. Bird
Pearce, A.J.
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This book was pretty good. It was an easy and fun read. Very formulaic chick lit. The only real problem I had with it is it seemed the author was trying too hard to make the dialog match with the time period. The slang was heavy handed and made me feel as if it had been made by Mad Libs. I would recommend this book if you are looking for something easy and fun to read that takes place in WWII.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Nowhere But Home
Palmer, Liza
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Chef Queenie Wake can't keep a job because of her abrasive personality. Finally, she has no where to go but back to the small Texas town where her mother's reputation as a thieving, loose woman made life miserable for her and her sister. Queenie takes a job no one wants, cooking the last meal for death row inmates. Her search for making the inmates' last meal the perfect memory of the happiest time of their lives changes Queenie. She learns the importance of forgiveness, family and love. The story will make you cry and perhaps make you think differently about things that you thought were straight forward. It's a lovely book.

Reviewer's Name: Susan
Awards:
Genres:
Wanderlost
Malone, Jen
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wanderlost is about a girl named Aubree who is perfectly comfortable with living in laid back Ohio. It's predictable and she's fine with that. One night when her parents are gone, Aubree decides to throw a party where her perfect goody two shoes sister named Elizabeth unexpectedly shows up. She doesn't seem to mind and she promises to keep the party a secret. But then the cops show up at the house and when one of the cops knows Elizabeth, he is desperate to get her into trouble for "serving underage drinkers" even though she never did. The tour company Elizabeth was going to work for is her only way to get into the job that she's been dreaming about forever. But because Elizabeth gets arrested, she begs Bree to go do the tour and pretend to be Elizabeth. After lots of persuading, Bree reluctantly agrees. She never expected to spend her summer traveling across Europe to several different incredible sites with five elderly people. Bree then has phone conversations with a boy named Sam whom she can't help falling for. I bet every reader will fall for him too ;) I know I did. Eventually, Bree knows she needs to tell Sam the truth about who she is. Can she do it? This book is one of the best books I've ever read. The author is great at describing feelings and the characters were round. I hope you guys will fall in love with the characters and plot as much as I have.

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth P.
The Rejected Writers' Book Club
Kelman, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If you need a laugh-out-loud book with plenty of zany characters and a main character who happens to be a librarian, PICK UP THIS BOOK NOW!!! These are a wacky group of writers, and you will just have a good time following their adventures. Be sure to read the next two books in the series - "Rejected Writers Take the Stage", and "The Rejected Writers Christmas Wedding."

Reviewer's Name: Krista M.
Devos, Kelly
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Cookie Vonn is fat. And while she doesn’t want her weight to rule her life, she’s interested in fashion design. And in fashion, size is everything. Her dreams of getting out of Scottsdale, attending Parsons, an elite fashion design school, and becoming a fashion designer for women of all sizes might not work out if she can’t lose the weight.

Fast forward two years. Thanks to insane self-control, and the power of NutriMin (a stand in for Weight Watchers) Cookie has lost the weight. And the opportunities do start to roll in. She’s offered the chance to meet her idol and cover his fashion show for NutriMin. Better yet, after a breakfast meeting with him, she gets an offer to design a special plus size line that will be released as a preview for his upcoming Winter/Spring Collection. But even as Cookie’s life seems to be exactly what she wanted, she finds being skinny isn’t a panacea, and that somewhere along the way, she might have lost not only the weight, but herself.

This is a great new adult coming of age novel that I ate right up. It’s not my normal fare – I typically don’t read YA romances unless the protagonist is a person of color. While Cookie is white, she is fat, and that is definitely an underrepresented group of people in most modern literature, so I decided to take a chance on this one, and I’m really glad I did. I think some overweight readers will balk at the idea of this being a Cinderella story, but that’s not what this is – a lot of the book really centers on Cookie realizing that while her weight might be part of her identity, its not what makes her Cookie, and that realization is what makes this a strong coming of age tale.

The book switches back and forth between past and present Cookie (fat and skinny), a literary device that worked well here. We know Cookie gets skinny, but we learn why and how in the “fat” chapters, and we get to learn how she reaps the fruits of her labor in the “skinny” chapters. I wanted to know what happened to both versions of Cookies, and I found myself staying up way too late one night reading this. Cookie herself is a smart, resourceful young woman, and while she makes some seriously stupid decisions, they all seem in character and are the sort of decisions an inexperienced young woman might make – especially when the adults around her were sometimes giving her awful advice. I hated both of her relationships, but they seemed pretty realistic, and hopefully young women can learn from Cookie’s mistakes. I wish she had cut both guys out of her life as they were both toxic (one of them gets off way too easily), but that is my really my only major complaint.

I really liked this one, and I think new adults and older teens who enjoy contemporary reads will as well. If you like Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella or Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’, this book is definitely for you. 4 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the eARC, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Fat Girl on a Plane is available for purchase now, and you can put your copy on hold today!

Reviewer's Name: Britt
Book Review: Doubting Abbey
Tonge, Samantha
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Very stereotypical chick lit. Not particularly well-written but I finished it so it was okay.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Handle With Care
Picoult, Jodi
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, as her stories always involve a complex moral dilemma her well-developed characters are grappling with. This story in particular tugs at the heart strings of mothers who would do anything to protect their suffering child. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the deeper, melancholy moments of life.

Reviewer's Name: Bethany P.
'Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss'
Perkins, Stephanie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a teen romance placed at the academy of SOAP (School of America in Paris). The main character Anna is forced to go to SOAP by her parents, though she would rather stay in Atlanta and spend her Senior year with her friends and possible boyfriend (Toph). When she gets there, she instantly gets home sick, but later meets a great group of friends; St. Clair, Mer, Josh, and Rashmi. They help her get used to her new environment, but she has strange feelings for St. Clair, who has a girlfriend (Ellie). And it turns out Mer also likes him. How will Anna deal with a whole year at SOAP and deal with her feelings for St. Clair? Will she end up with Toph from Atlanta? I would rate this book a four out of five. It was interesting, dramatic, and an amazing love story, but I also got very frustrated with some of the decisions some of the characters made. One of my close friends recommended this book to me and I ended up reading more of Stephanie Perkins books afterward. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance stories and books placed in Paris.

Reviewer's Name: Gabrielle
By Your Side
West, Kasie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If you didn't already guess from the title yes, this is a romance book. It is realistic fiction and isn't part of a series. It is a pretty short read. With heartbreaks, lies, high school drama and some hospital visits this book will be hard to put down. The book is a little predictable but it isn't your typical love story. This is another great book I have read this year.

Reviewer grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth C.
On the Fence
West, Kasie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is a realistic fiction-romance novel. The book is a little predictable and doesn't have a cliffhanger. The book isn't part of a series and is a pretty short read. I recommend this book to any girl who enjoys realistic highschool love stories. I really liked this book and I think it is a great book to read.

Reviewer grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth C.
Safe Haven
Sparks, Nicholas
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Safe Haven is one of Nicholas Sparks's many romance novels. Main character Katie's status quo is quite somber and desperate, with an abusive husband and no independent life of her own. Safe Haven shows Katie's journey as she struggles to get away from her old life. Although I normally do not enjoy romances, this one was different. The storyline was gripping and thrilling. The writing was perfectly suited for the plot. I recommend this book to anyone, whether you like romances or not.

Reviewer's Name: Sabrina J.
Book Review: The Bright Side of Disaster
Center, Katherine
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Typical chick lit. Well written but very formulaic. That's okay, it is what it is. I enjoyed the respite from deeper waters.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Book Review: After You
Moyes, Jojo
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

See, here's the problem: I wasn't that enamored with the first book in this series (Me Before You). It just didn't wow me. So with that book as a jumping-off point, this book didn't stand a chance at getting above 3 stars. Still, it was pretty good. The ending was super cheesy, though, which tempts me to give it 2 stars. But hey, I'm feeling generous, so 3 stars it is.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: Me Before You
Moyes, Jojo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This was a good book. I found it engaging but not so good that I couldn't put it down. Actually, towards the end I found myself carving out time to read it. It's a romance with a twist. I'd like to see the movie. I'm going to read the second in the series, After You next, so that's saying something.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Reunited
Graham, Hilary Weisman
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Middle school best friends separate as high school approaches. Just as the girls broke up their favorite band does as well. The ex-best friends went their separate ways for high school. Alice hit the books studying for her dream college. Summer on the other hand takes up her social life becoming popular. Rebellious teen,Tieran ended up in boarding school for high school.

After graduating high school Level 3 reunite for one concert.When their favorite band comes back together will they? Reunited tells the story of a of three friends who go on a journey of changing friendship. The characters must overcome what tore them apart in the first place and make new memories along the way. This book is so much more than I expected. I thought Reunited would just be about ex-best friends becoming best friends again. However the author give you detailed descriptions and allows you to see a clear image in your mind. Which really made the book more than I expected. Before reading this book you should know the book changes perspective frequently so you have to figure out who's perspective it is. Overall I would recommend reading Reunited.
Reviewer Grade: 6

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie W.
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
Gilmore, Susan
2 stars = Meh
Review:

I could take or leave this book. I finished it at least. It was so slow paced and so obviously Southern that I just found myself annoyed by it. I wish it had been more lighthearted and catchy, as the title implied, but no luck.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
After You
Moyes, Jojo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

It’s been 2 years since Will Traynor’s death. Louisa Clark traveled for a while, but now she is stuck in a bad job and just treading water. Even surviving a fall from the rooftop of her apartment building doesn’t shock Louisa into wanting to experience more of life. Louisa joins a support group to deal with her grief and develops a relationship with the paramedic who saved her. However, it’s the arrival of teenage girl with a link to Louisa’s past that sets her life into a spin and changes it in more ways than she could ever have imagined. After You, Jojo Moyes’ sequel to Me Before You, is a well-written, realistic look at dealing with grief and all the curves life throws at a person. Fans of the first book will feel like they are catching up with an old friend. Be prepared to cry and laugh out loud as you spend more time with this loveable character.

Reviewer's Name: Milissa
Nine Women, One Dress
Rosen, Jane L.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I have to admit, I chose to read this book based on the title alone! I liked the title and I loved the book. Classic chick-lit. The main character of the book is the LBD (Little Black Dress) of the season. The dress that every woman, no matter her age or size, wants! The dress affects the lives of not only the nine women, but a few men too! If you are looking for an easy read, this book is for you! It made me laugh and smile. A fun read! I can't wait for Jane L. Rosen's next book.

Reviewer's Name: Melissa M.
Awards:

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