Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nanny Returns

Nanny Returns, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus.

...these parents see the aforementioned fifty thousand as an investment in the brand their children will be wearing for life, trotted out at every job interview and cocktail party; it will buy them entree into colleges, clubs, and gated communities. For the reputation of the school to suffer, it would be as if they walked out of Bergdorf's with their ten-thousand-dollar bags dangling off their elbows, only to find them being sold on the street for twenty bucks.

This was the sequel to The Nanny Diaries, which I have read - however, I remember the movie version more. The novel kind of hopped all over the place, but it did have a concrete plot: Nanny and her husband "Harvard Hottie" (aka Ryan) from the previous novel have come back to New York after traveling everywhere for his job, and they are looking to raise a family. However, Nanny's old charge Grayer X soon is back in her life, and once again she is trying to fix his extremely broken home life.

The novel was good but I think the first book was more organized (or what I remember of it).

2.5 stars out of 5.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Winter Garden

Winter Garden, by Kristin Hannah.

I take the tiny scrap of her paper with her name on it and hold it in my hand. How long do I sit there in the snow, stroking my baby's coat, remembering her smile?


This is Kristin Hannah's newest book, and it might just be her best. She details a family who has recently been devastated by the death of their elderly father, and Meredith and Nina now have to deal with their mother, a woman who has never shown them much warmth. There is a reason for this, however, that has everything to do with her past, and throughout the novel, her past is shown in the guise of a fairy tale.

By the end of the book, I was practically in tears. The ending is very sad, but parts of it were happy, so I suppose you could call it bittersweet.

4 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Overnight Socialite

Sorry it's been so long since my last post! I have been blogging about movies over at my other blog, Yes/No Films, and between that and work, I haven't had much time to read.
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The Overnight Socialite, by Bridie Clark.

The game was changing; he couldn't deny it. Take Southampton, studded with McMansions, brand-new Bentleys, and various arrivistes waving their wealth like nautical flags - the place felt utterly transformed since his youth. Uproars in the economy had separated the bulls from the steers, and the bulls that survived were hardier, fiercer, tougher to ignore. The socialites were far worse.

This book was very cute. Wyatt bets his friend Trip that he can transform any young lady in Manhattan into the city's newest It-Girl; when he sees Lucy Jo shivering in the rain at a bus stop, he has found his lady. Lucy wants to be a fashion designer but just got fired at her minimum wage job at a designer's factory, and this is the perfect opportunity for her. At the end, of course, both Lucy and Wyatt get more than they bargained for, and the story moves on from there.

This was a chick lit book but the writing is more "serious" than other chick lit I have read - less fluffy, I suppose one would say. I could definitely relate to the characters, and Wyatt and Lucy make a lovely pair, even though he was "born to money" and she is just starting to realize what his world entails.

3.5 stars out of 5.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Italian for Beginners

Italian for Beginners, by Kristin Harmel.

But consistent was good, wasn't it? It was safe, reliable, predictable. I had always been proud of being that person everyone could count on, the one who would always be there, who security guards could set their watches by, who arrives at work early and stayed late, who held everything together while everyone around her fell apart.

This novel was a great piece of chick lit, and I had not previously heard of Kristin Harmel; now, however, I want to read all her books. Cat is thirty-four years old and her little sister, who is twenty-nine, is getting married. Their grandmother launches into a loud and quite embarrassing shpiel at the wedding, asking (as the semi-senile person she is) why it's Becky (the younger sister) getting married and not Cat. Cat recalls being at her most happiest when she was on study abroad in Italy, and after encouragement from her father, she goes back there, in an unprecedented (ie, last-minute) move for her. She thinks she knows what she wants to find there, but instead everything goes in a way different direction, and she finds that different - and taking risks - doesn't always have to be bad.

The prose flows very easily in this book, and I wanted to stay up the whole night to finish it (sadly, I had to get some sleep before work). Harmel is also the author of The Art of French Kissing, among other books, which takes place (you guessed it) in France, and I can't wait to read that novel next.

4 stars out of 5.

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