Tag: Chick Lit

Retro Review: Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot.

Posted August 23, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro Review: Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot.Reviewer: Rowena
Queen of Babble in the Big City (Queen of Babble #2) by Meg Cabot
Series: Queen of Babble #2
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: June 26th 2007
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Lizzie Nichols is back, pounding the New York City pavement and looking for a job, a place to live, and her proper place in the universe (not necessarily in that order).

When "Summer Fling" Luke uses the L word (Living Together), Lizzie is only too happy to give up her plan of being postgrad roomies with best friend, Shari, in a one-room walk-up in exchange for cohabitation with the love of her life in his mother's Fifth Avenue pied-à-terre, complete with doorman and resident Renoir.

But Lizzie's not as lucky in her employment search. As Shari finds the perfect job, Lizzie struggles through one humiliating interview after another, being judged overqualified for the jobs in her chosen field—vintage-gown rehab—and underqualified for everything else. It's Shari's boyfriend Chaz to the rescue when he recommends Lizzie for a receptionist's position at his father's posh law firm. The nonpaying gig at a local wedding-gown shop Lizzie manages to land all on her own.

But Lizzie's notoriously big mouth begins to get her into trouble at work and at home almost at once—first at the law firm, where she becomes too chummy with Jill Higgins, a New York society bride with a troublesome future mother-in-law, and then back on Fifth Avenue, when she makes the mistake of bringing up the M word (Marriage) with commitment-shy Luke.

Soon Lizzie finds herself jobless as well as homeless all over again. Can Lizzie save herself—and the hapless Jill—and find career security (not to mention a mutually satisfying committed relationship) at last?

****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.****

Rowena: Oh man, this series. I have fond memories of the first time that I read this series. It was at the recommendation of my friend Lexi (a friend that I haven’t spoken to in such a long time) and she was head over heels in love with Luke but me? I was Team Chaz. Hahahaha, I totally won that one because Chaz was awesome and so was this book.

This review was originally posted on March 12, 2008

Alright, this is the second book in the Queen of Babble series and I was not disappointed in the least.

Lizzie is back and she’s living in New York, almost going to really graduate from college and she’s living with her boyfriend from the first book, Luke Di Villiers, the very hot and very rich Luke Di Villiers. She’s jobless but determined to pay her part of the rent (and it doesn’t even matter that they don’t have to pay rent because it’s Luke’s Mom’s apartment.) She wants to work in the dress refurbishing business but she can’t get hired to save her life but then she does get a job at Monsieur Henri’s shop but she’s not getting paid to work there so she needs to find a paying job so that she can keep this non paying job that she really really wants.

And in true Lizzie fashion, she makes things happen.

Her and Luke are getting along and she’s loving her life..only not everyone in their life feels the same way. Chaz and Shari (Luke’s best friend and Lizzie’s best friend) are fighting all the time and on the verge of breaking up and then they do break up and things get crazy after all of that. I can’t say why everything gets crazy because you have to read for yourself but I will say that Meg Cabot delivers another winner for me to read through because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I loved the storyline, I loved seeing what happened to Luke and Lizzie after they left France, I loved seeing Lizzie make things happen for herself in the Big Apple and I loved seeing my new crush…Chaz.

My friend Lexi is madly in love with Luke Di Villiers and I love him too but I won’t fight her for him because my heart belongs to Charles Pendergrast who cleans up nicely in a monkey suit. Chaz has such a big heart and he’s got so much love to give that he just gives and gives and gives. He’s the perfect boyfriend and I want to see him with the lead in his own series, so Meg Cabot if by chance you’re reading this review, please make that happen…please let Chaz find his happy ending with …a brunette from the islands named Rowena, she’s got a sparkling personality and a love of reading and I’ll read and discuss any hot damn thing Chaz would like to discuss because I heart him…for real. =)

This book was well-written, at the end of the book, loose ends were tied and everything ended really neatly…well if you don’t count the way the book ends, but that just leaves questions for the next and sigh final book to answer.

I can’t wait to see what happens with Chaz, with Luke and Lizzie and with just about every hot damn body….this book was really good and I can’t wait to read the next one!

Must read next book NOW!

four-half-stars


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Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (+ Giveaway)

Posted January 10, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (+ Giveaway)Reviewer: Rowena
Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel
Published by Simon & Schuster, Atria Books, Emily Bestler Books
Publication Date: December 27th 2016
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.

This book made it onto my radar when it came through in my email and I immediately added it to my review pile. I took my time getting around to reading it but then Grace over at Rebel Mommy Book Blog reviewed the book and I was super excited to start the book and I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it.

Kate Pearson is our main character and the story follows her and the people in her life from her family, her friends and the people she comes across every day at her new job as an admissions director for Hudson, a private school in New York City. After a disastrous relationship, Kate falls into a deep depression that takes her out of commission for a while and when her sister sets up a job interview for her to kick her out of her funk, Kate goes along with it and is surprised when she finds so much more than a new job. She finds a purpose. She finds a new circle of people that come to mean the world to her.

The book follows quite a few different people. There is Kate, of course, but there is also her sister, her friends, her boss and some of the parents that are trying to get their kids into Hudson. This book was fun and it was interesting but I have to note that in the beginning, it was confusing as hell. At least it was for me. I couldn’t figure out why Chloe’s bit was in first person, while everyone else was in third person, including Kate’s bit since Kate is the main character. It was hard to keep everyone sorted in my head but I continued on and was glad for it because everything was sorted and the story really was a good time.

This book has a bit of everything to make it an enjoyable read. Crazy parents, bratty kids, bad friends, well meaning friends, supportive family members and a sister that thought she knew everything but made me want to smack her upside her head from time to time. Every time Victoria thought something bad about Kate, I wanted Kate to come out on top of something else that would drive Vicky crazy. Every time Silvia Blake came onto the scene, my eyes got bigger and bigger waiting to see what shenanigans she’d get herself into. Angela made me roll my eyes all over the place and Chloe frustrated me but I ended up really liking her. There was much to enjoy about this book. It made me laugh, it hurt my heart but in the end, everything worked out and I was entertained.

This was a good book and I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a fun chick lit book.

Giveaway Alert!

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About the Author

Amy Poeppel

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Amy Poeppel is a graduate of Wellesley College. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she lives with her husband and three sons in New York City, where she worked in the admissions department of an independent school. She workshopped a theatrical version of SMALL ADMISSIONS at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit. She later expanded it into a novel.

four-stars


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Review: Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell

Posted October 4, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Three Amazing Things About You by Jill MansellReviewer: Rowena
Three Amazing Things about You by Jill Mansell
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: October 1st 2016
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Jill Mansell's enchanting new novel will drive readers to seize life with both hands and make the most of every minute...Hallie has a secret. She's in love. He's perfect for her in every way, but he's seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren't going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn't have long to live. Time is running out...Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won't be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends - let alone anything more. Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she's afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong. THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she's about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Jill Mansell writes great contemporary stories that promote strong female characters and Three Amazing Things about You is no different. She also writes stories that will break your heart but mend it right back up by the end of the book.

Three Amazing Things about You follows Hallie, a young woman suffering from cystic fibrosis and Flo, a young woman who inherits a cat after her boss dies and who has to move into her boss’ house since the cat inherited a house and last but not least, Tasha, the serially single Tasha who falls in love with a man while she’s digging into a trash can looking for her credit card.

Each woman was as different as can be but over the course of the book, you see their lives come together through a shared connection and the book ends with all loose ends tied together and a great big smile on your face.

Each woman falls in love, gets their heart broken and then put back together again and each story wiggled its way right into my heart and stayed there. I think of the three women, Hallie’s story was the one that broke my heart the most. She’s in love with her doctor and he doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings she’s bogged down with this disease and just wants to live a normal life. Flo’s story also hurt my heart but I was thrilled to see her grow and count her blessings with each passing day. Tasha was probably my least favorite of the three women as I was a bit frustrated with fear of adventure. I was mostly frustrated with it because I didn’t understand it and I can’t even remember where those fears stemmed from but alls well that ends well. I was really happy with the way that this story came together and then the way that it ended was just great.

This is a heartwarming story of three women and the directions their lives take toward each other. It was another hit from Mansell for me and I’m looking forward to more from her.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Buddy Review: The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

Posted February 1, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

The Boy Next Door
Rowena and Tasha’s joint review of The Boy Next Door (Boy #1) by Meg Cabot.

Gossip columnist and single New York City girl Mel lives lives in the most exciting place in the world, yet she’s bored with her lovelife. But things get interesting fast when the old lady next door is nearly murdered. Mel starts paying closer attention to her neighbors—what exactly is going on with the cute boy next door? Has Mel found the love of her life—or a killer?

Rowena: I went to breakfast with my friend Tasha a couple of weeks ago and we spent most of our breakfast discussing the books we were reading. So because we read a lot of the same books and because Book Binge is never far from my mind, I asked Tasha to buddy review a book with me each month for Book Binge and just like that, we were off. Our first buddy review book was The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot. It’s a book that is near and dear to my heart (because duh, it’s Meg Cabot) but it was new read for Tasha. I thought it would be interesting to discuss this book with her so here we are.

Alright Tasha, it didn’t take me very long to read this book and when I finally finished it, I was reminded why I love Meg Cabot so much. She never fails to write those books that just entertain the socks off of you.

What were your first impressions of the book?

Tasha: My first impression, hmmm…well, after reading the first 5 to 6 emails, I began to wonder if I could actually finish this. I mean, a whole story read through emails, I wasn’t sure. But I got used to it and found myself REALLY liking the book. This was a first Meg Cabot read for me and I enjoyed it very much.

Rowena: I know what you mean. I first heard about Meg Cabot and this book told in all emails a few years ago by my friend from Australia, Grace. She came down to visit way back in I think 2005 and we were at the bookstore looking for books and this was the book that she was looking for. I had never read a book entirely written in emails but I completely embraced the idea and picked this book up as soon as I could (they didn’t have it in stock at the B&N that we went to). As soon as I read it, I was glad that I did because it was such a fun book.

This re-read didn’t take anything away from my previous enjoyment of this book. I loved it all over again (which I’m happy about since a lot of my favorite books from back in the day are not holding up for me) and seeing John and Mel get to know each other and then fall in love while Mel believes John to be someone else? It made for a great read. Meg Cabot sure knows how to entertain.

What were some of your favorite parts of the book?

Tasha: That’s hard to say. I like the relationship she has with her boss George. If only my boss was as cool as he was. I mean, he tried to sound like a big bad guy, but I think his “bark was worse than his bite”, lol. There was this one part in the book where Mel and Nadine were emailing back and forth about John (after she found out who he really is) and George was being nosey and trying to read Mel’s email. She had purposely wrote something about him because she knew he was reading it,

“ ‘Are ,you kidding? George Sanchez is the sexiest man alive. Any man with that much hair on his back has to be a veritable repository of testosterone…’ HA, GEORGE! CAUGHT YOU!!!!” (pg 164)

That was one of my LOL moments. The characters here were so likeable that it was easy to follow along with the emails and capture everyone’s different personalities. How could you not be sucked in by Mel’s personality. Her response to George and the HR representative, Amy Jenkins just has her character written all over it. And I really really like John. I only wish he was man enough to come clean much sooner and told Mel the truth. But of course, it that happened, then it would’ve been a SUPER SHORT story!

Being that you’ve read other books from Meg Cabot, what would you sets this particular story aside from the others?

Rowena: I agree. I loved Mel’s character. I loved the way that she dealt with everyone at work, her soft heart where her neighbor was concerned and how close she got to what was the dog’s name again? Paco? She was such a giving character, who didn’t let people walk all over her and her personality just rocked my socks. I think my favorite scenes in this book were her responses to Amy Jenkins. And well, her emails about Max aka John. LOL.

What were your thoughts on Max? What a loser that guy turned out to be. When he first comes onto the scene and he’s more concerned with spending a week with a model instead of his Aunt in a coma, I hated his guts. And that model chick he wanted to spend time with? Ugh, what a freaking airhead.

Oh, I forgot. One of my favorite emails was the one John sent to his brother telling him about his first meeting with Mel as Max.

To: Jason Trent <jason.trent@trentcapital.com>
From: John Trent <john.trent@thenychronicle.com>

Subject: How’d it Go?

She’s a redhead. Help.

Haha, oh man I adored John. The obvious affection he had with his brother Jason made me laugh and swoon because one guy is great but two hot brothers? Yum! I LOVED them.

Tasha: Oh yeah, you could tell the sincerity of Jason’s concern for his brother at the beginning of this whole fiasco. Its nice to see that brotherly love. But what about John’s sister-in-law Stacy (Jason’s wife), wasn’t she the BEST? I loved her and I loved the emails between her and John. Some of the CRAZY advice she gave him also had me LOL! I liked that she was pregnant during all of this because it made her more human…blaming all her crazy advice to her hormones, ha! I loved her even more when she forward that email to Mel explaining John’s true feelings for her and the situation.

As for stinking Max, he was a big ka-ka head!!! I mean, who does that…throw a fit because your rich aunt wouldn’t give you money and accidently knock her to the floor AND leave her there to bleed to death? I tell you who…Max Friedland! He got everything he deserved in the end. Broke and no chance of getting any of his aunts money, hehe! I felt sorry for Vivica. She seemed like she really liked that loser. And yeah, I think she was somewhat of an airhead but it wasn’t like she knew anything about what Max had done. Its funny, I pictured Max as some cheesy looking Don Johnson (Miami Vice days) wanna be. You know the type that thinks he’s a real lady’s man, and dresses himself like he’s got plenty of money to throw around, when really he’s nothing! That’s what I thought of Max.

Rowena: Yep. Don Johnson for sure, I mean he wanted John to wear tassles on his shoes during his first meeting with Mel. What the hell? LOL. But you’re right, Stacy was pretty awesome. All of the characters in this book were kind of awesome. What happened with Max made me laugh because that was what he got for being stupid…and selfish.

I loved the characters, the story and the pacing. The story moves at a fast pace so there isn’t time for you to become bored, which is something that I appreciated. Meg Cabot does well with the stories on the lighter side of the emotional train but she does it in a way that still tugs at your heart strings. This book was so full of win that I’d gladly read it over and over again. How about you?

This definitely gets a 4.75 out of 5 from me.

Tasha: I agree, the characters were ah-mazing! They made the story more interesting for me. The different emails back and forth, to different recipients, I was looking forward to ‘em. And I suppose it did make the story go by faster. Definitely a great read for me and I’ll be picking up more from this author.

This being my first Meg Cabot read, I’d give this a 4.5 out of 5.

Thanks for choosing a great book Rowena!

Rowena: …and I think we’re done! Thanks for reviewing this book with me, Tash. You rock! What’s our next book? Your turn to choose.

Tasha: This was fun! Thanks for inviting me to do this. It’s something different and I really enjoyed it 

My pick: Charade by Nyrae Dawn

Rowena: Thanks for doing this with me, I love talking books with my favorite book people!  Next month Tasha and I will be reading and discussing Charade by Nyrae Dawn on Book Binge. See you next month!

This book is available from William Morrow.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

Posted December 23, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Brooklyn Girls
Rowena’s review of Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess.

Fantastically funny, fresh and utterly relatable, Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess is the first novel in her brand new series about five twenty-something friends—Pia, Angie, Julia, Coco and Madeleine—sharing a brownstone in hip, downtown Brooklyn, and discovering the ups and downs and ins and outs of their “semi-adult” lives. The first story belongs to sophisticated, spoiled, and stylish Pia, who finds herself completely unemployed, unemployable, and broke. So what is a recent grad with an art history degree and an unfortunate history of Facebook topless photos to do? Start a food truck business of course! Pia takes on the surprisingly cutthroat Brooklyn world of hybrid lettuce growers, artisanal yogurt makers and homemade butter producers to start SkinnyWheels—all while dealing with hipster bees, one-night-stands, heartbreak, parental fury, wild parties, revenge, jail, loan sharks, playboys, karaoke, true love, and one adorable pink food truck. And that’s without counting her roommates’ problems, too. Gemma Burgess has captured the confusion, hilarity and excitement of the post-graduate years against a backdrop of the pressures and chaos of New York City life, with heartfelt empathy, fast humor and sharp honesty.

A charming debut series about five twenty-something girls and the humor, heartbreak, and drama that bring them together.

When I read the blurb for this book, I thought it was going to be a light and fluffy read. Something that will make laugh and it sounded like something I’m always in the mood for that’s not what I got with this book. I mean, sure it was funny and the characters got themselves into some pretty wild situations but there was a deeper feel to the book that I thought was interesting.

This book is what I assume will be a series, following each girl that was introduced in this book. A bunch of young housemates living in Brooklyn and living their lives…one mistake at a time. This book follows Pia. She’s the party girl, the girl that’s always down for a good time but doesn’t do commitments. She’s more of the friends with benefits type of girl and she’d like to keep it that way.

This book starts off with Pia waking up with one of her housemates brothers. The housemate that hates her guts. Not wanting to start drama so early in the morning, Pia tries to think of ways to get him out of the house without anyone seeing. Once she’s out of her room, real life starts intruding and the aftermath of her bad decisions from the night before hits her right smack in the face. She’s kind of the wild child of the house and things just aren’t going well for her. She loses her job, her parents call to yell at her and tell her to get her shit together or she’s moving back home with them and she’s got to deal with the irate neighbor that is completely disgusted with her so early in the morning.

In a nutshell, Pia is screwed.

Over the course of the book, you see the change slowly come over Pia and at first, she was such a dumbass that I wanted to smack her up and down the street. Over and over again. But she wasn’t a totally unlikable character. She was just imperfect. She had a lot to learn and I thought Burgess did a great job of telling Pia’s story. She stayed true to Pia’s age and Pia made a lot of mistakes that someone her age would do. They lived the lives that I was living when I was 22 (or as much as I could being a single mother and all) minus all of the drug use.

There were times when I got annoyed with the characters in this book but overall, I thought this was a solid read. It was interesting to read Pia’s story and I came to like and respect her in the end.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Griffin. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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