Saturday, February 19, 2011

Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles

No spoilers.

Return to Paradise
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Year of Publication: 2010
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 291
First Line: "Some people are damn lucky."
Summary: Caleb Becker left Paradise eight months ago, taking with him the secret he promised to take to his grave. If the truth got out, it would ruin everything.

Maggie Armstrong tried to be strong after Caleb broke her heart and disappeared. Somehow, she managed to move on. She was determined to make a new life for herself.

But now Caleb and Maggie are forced together on a summer trip. They try ignoring their passion for each other, but buried feelings resurface. Caleb must face the truth about the night of Maggie's accident, or the secret that destroyed their relationship will forever stand between them.

Source: Back of book

Review: Although most of Elkeles' books have a basic formula to them, each of them manages to be individual. They are wonderful books and this one was just as good. Her characters are entertaining but also real and easy to relate to. I love her stories and plots and her dialogue is wonderful.

Worst part: This one was not long enough for me. I wanted more.

Best part: The characters.

Grade: A

Other Books by This Author: Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, Leaving Paradise, and others.

4 / 100 books. 4% done!

Fishbowl by Sarah Mlynowski

No spoilers.

Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Year of Publication: 2002
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 360
First Line: "Allison, Jodine and Emma are going to set their apartment on fire."
Summary: Allison can't wait for Jodine and Emma to move in to her apartment -- until she realizes having roommates means living in a fishbowl. You are never alone. When one small, sightly accidental fire leads to one big repair bill, all efforts to avoid each other are finally abandoned: They've got to raise money. . .fast ("Insurance? You mean you have to pay for that?"). This means joining forces. Bonding? Well, at least they're talking to each other!

Amazingly, they agree on a plan: shamelessly exploit their conbined expertise on the male species for hard cash. Tactics: sell tickets to their swanky soirees and How To Pick Up Women seminars. . . . But their grand scheme sweeps away any last shreds of privacy with startling consequences. Now that they're forced to take a long hard look at themselves, Allie, Jodine and Emma's lives -- and budding friendship -- are about to change in ways they never imagined.

Source: Back of book

Review: Just as with Milkrun, Mlynowski captures the 20-something female voice spectacularly, except this time her characters have a little more life and personality to them. Part of what makes this novel so interesting is her ability to show characters through the eyes of other characters. This totally changes your perspective on how you see each of them, and makes for an all-the-more interesting conflict. The story is hilarious and the boys are fantastic. A great book to share with friends!

Worst part: I think some of the characters (Jodine's boy, for example) were somewhat underdeveloped.

Best part: The general cleverness of the book. The last page blew me away, and the title does too, after you've read it.

Grade: A

Other Books by This Author: Milkrun

3 / 100 books. 3% done!

Milkrun by Sarah Mlynowski

No spoilers.

Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Year of Publication: 2001
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 281
First Line: "Jerk. Jerk, jerk, jerk."
Summary: Of all the ways to find myself Single Again, this has to be the worst. A "Dear Jackie" e-mail from my supposed boyfriend, who claimed to be "finding himself" in Thailand. Instead, he's found someone else. And dumped me.

But I, Jackie Norris, will bounce back! I will become Crazy Dating Girl and prove to Jilting Jeremy that I am over him! One snag: Why do all the guys I meet either have groping hands, lunatic tendencies or a worrying interest in putting up shelves? I need a man who wants to rip my clothes off, feed me pizza, then have stimulating, intelligent conversation.

Single in Boston -- c'mon, there has to be someone!

Source: Back of book

Review: I love Mlynowski's voice. She is great at capturing 20-something city girls and her stories are creative and memorable. I felt she left the end of the story (as in the tying up) a little too late in the book (like, last page late), but in general I like how she ended it. I would love to see a sequel of this one, although I don't expect one.

Worst part: I'm not sure how I felt about the room mate character. She could have been done better.

Best part: Mlynowski's voice!

Grade: A-

Other Books by This Author: Fishbowl

2 / 100 books. 2% done!

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Blog


I wanted to invite all readers and writers to take a look at my new blog, A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, or, More information can be found on the blog. I encourage you to read through it.

Also, I have read several books but simply have not had the time to review them. They will be up as soon as possible. Some of those books to be looking out for are. . .

The Collected Poetry of Sylvia Plath - Sylvia Plath (ed. Ted Hughes)
Milkrun - Sarah Mlynowski
Fishbowl - Sarah Mlynowski
Return to Paradise - Simone Elkeles

Keep an eye out for new posts soon!