Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Scarlett Fever

Scarlett Fever, by Maureen Johnson

"It's not always going to be like this," Scarlett said. "I've been useful to you, right?"

"Many times," Dakota said, leading her along. "Sometimes, we all get a little broken."

A little broken. Scarlett wondered about that. At what point do you get so broken that it's time to just get thrown away? She had a feeling she was going to find out.

This book was hilarious and I was surprised to find out that its actually a sequel - the first book, Suite Scarlett, is one that I have not yet read, but am now definitely planning on reading. The novel follows Scarlett as she is coping after the breakup of her and her "summer" boyfriend, Eric. She lives in a hotel in New York with her parents - but a falling-down hotel, not a fancy one - and her siblings Marlene, Lola, and Spencer. Spencer is a budding actor but has not been able to land a part recently, ever since the Day of the Sock (read it and you'll see what it is); Marlene is 11 and a cancer survivor; and Lola is eighteen and works instead of going to college. Scarlett works for a crazy agent who is constantly calling her on the phone to do things for her, and eventually she runs into Eric one day because he needs an agent, and she has to deal with her feelings all over again.

Maureen Johnson is a great writer - I've read a few of her other books, such as The Key to the Golden Firebird and 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Her prose is funny and smart, and the dialogue and narrative is definitely engaging. The book ended very abruptly, of which I was not a fan (and for which I am deducting a half-star!), but there will be a 3rd Scarlett book published sometime in the future.

3.5 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man

Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man, by Claudia Carroll.

"Sorry, but I happen to like getting drunk on a Saturday afternoon with my friends if I feel like it. I like smoking in bed. I like eating or not eating or living on take-outs, entirely depending on how I feel. The sad single is a marketing notion peddled to us by Hollywood, and it doesn't exist, and the sooner you realize that, the better. Living on your own is cool, and you know it."

This book was hilarious and is a must-read. Amelia Lockwood is 37 years old and still single, and she wants to find a husband; therefore, she enrolls in a night course called "How to Find a Husband over the Age of Thirty-Five," with interesting results. Her assignment each week for class is to re-visit each of her exes, see where they are now, and figure out the relationship didn't work out. She has four good friends, whom she calls the Lovely Girls (all are women, with the exception of her male gay friend), and they cheer her on throughout.

The book reminded me a lot of the movie "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," except it was a lot funnier. The ending was kind of vague, however, and I had hoped for something more concrete.

4 stars out of 5.

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