GGG Book Club: Little Bee

Hi lovelies! Thank you all for your advice on how to cut a spaghetti squash yesterday! It looks like I need to invest in a sharp knife! Can you guys believe that it is already Thursday? I’m happy this week is flying by because I have a very special visitor arriving this weekend that I am anxious to see!

On a sad note, I want to take a moment to talk about Steve Job’s death. It’s such a tragedy for someone so gifted to have died so young. I was talking about it with my mom and she said something that resonated with me– although he had all the resources and money in the world, in the end, none of that mattered? I think it’s such a good reminder that our material possessions don’t mean a thing and it’s the moments that we spend with those we love that really matter.

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Switching gears here, I wanted to do a book review for a recent read, Little Bee. I realized that I never addressed how I choose my books! Some of the books that I review are for a book club that I do in SF with my sorority sisters. I love being in a book club for many reasons (girl time, wine & cheese) being three of them, but the other is that it  is always promoting me to pick up books that I usually wouldn’t gravitate towards. Because of that, I’ve found some amazing books like the one I’m discussing today! I often find my other books through other blogs, word of mouth, best seller lists and Amazon’s recommendations- the latter usually being spot on for my tastes. Let’s just say my Kindle wish list is very, very long!

Synopsis:

Usually I like to write my own synopsis for you, but in this case, I think I’d better just write what the back of the book says, lest I reveal too much…

“We don’t want to tell you what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this: This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again- the story starts there…”

Thoughts:

This New York Times best seller is truly an incredible read and I could not put it down. Told in two perspectives, which I love, the characters are so honest and vulnerable that they reveal their soul on every page. It is heart wrenching at times and hopeful at others and really makes you think about ‘what would you do’. That being said, this was not an easy novel to get through. It is violent at times and there are situations and discussions that may be disturbing to readers. I had to skip one section entirely. Usually, this would put me off a book completely, but when they say there is something special about this book- they mean it. And since the back cover also says “when you read it, you’ll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.” So I’ll leave it at that…

Questions:

-Thoughts on Steve Jobs?

-Have you read or heard of Little Bee?

-How do you choose the books you read?

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GGG Book Club: Then Came You

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Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a great Monday! Did anyone else catch the Bachelor Pad? I don’t want to reveal spoilers but if you have, let’s discuss via twitter!

Now it’s time for book club! Although I was an English minor and love Shakespeare, I also happen to love chick lit. There is something to be said for books that make you genuinely smile while reading them and desperate to pick up the book to find what happened to your romantic heroine. One of my favorite Chick Lit authors is Jennifer Weiner. She’s written many novels but some of my favorites were The Guy Not Taken, Best Friends Forever and Fly Away Home. So when I found out that she was coming out with a new book I immediately put it on my Kindle wish list.

Synopsis:

Then Came You tells the story of four different women who lead very separate lives. Jules Strauss is a Princeton senior who believes she has a chance of saving her father by donating her “pedigree eggs.” Annie Barrow is a young married mother of two who has grown frustrated with not having enough to provide for her family and finally thinks of a solution that could make things better. India Bishop has changed everything about herself so she can obtain the ultimate goal- landing a man that will take care of her. Bettina Croft is a junior appraiser at an impressive auction house that has all the money she could ever want someday… but is that enough?

Thoughts:

This was a book that I really wanted to love. I stuck with it the whole way through but never felt as into it as I had her other books. Although I enjoyed the story, I had a problem with the actual characters. Having four different female narrators felt confusing at times and hard to follow along. Also, the characters had substance but I didn’t find myself rooting for any of them and when you aren’t invested in the characters, it’s hard to truly get into the book. But despite my lack of connection with the characters, I did find myself enjoying the book towards the end and looking forward to the plot’s resolution.

Rating: (Out of 5 Lipsticks)

Questions:

-Have you read Then Came You or any other Jennifer Weiner books?

-Do you like Chick Lit? Favorite authors?

-What characters in books do you connect best with?

GGG Book Club: Sisterhood Everlasting

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After reading Room, I knew that I wanted the next book I read to be a little lighter for my trip to Dallas. When I spotted Sisterhood Everlasting on Chelsey’s blog, I immediately added to my kindle wishlist so I would remember to download it. I purchased the book the morning of my trip and stayed up until 3 AM that night to finish it…

Synopsis:

Sisterhood Everlasting is the most recent in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series and this book picks up as the girls approach their 30th birthdays. Free spirit Bridget or Bee, lives in San Francisco (!) with her boyfriend Eric and feels restless in any situation that feels too permenant. Carmen has finally made it as an actress on a hit tv show, lives in a fancy New York apartment with a fiance who’s in the ‘biz but she feels further from her roots than ever. Lena is a painter and teaches part time at a New England school, but often goes days without human interaction. And Tibby has moved to Australia with her boyfriend Brian and has barely spoken to the girls in two years. Then one day, they receive a letter from her inviting them all to Santorini, Greece. When the unexpected happens, they finally must come to terms with the problems they’ve been trying to avoid and are ultimately reminded of the deep-rooted bonds of sisterhood.

The book takes place 10 years after the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 movie.

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Thoughts:

I vaguely remember reading the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book years ago, but these characters are in my mind as they are in the movie. Sometimes I find this distracting when I read books, but in this case I think the actors fit the characters completely. However, if you aren’t familiar with the books or movies, this book gives a prologue that should give you enough background to enjoy the book.

Although this is definitely chicklit, I appreciated that author, Ann Brashares did not make this another young adult book but wrote it as a novel. There are twists and turns in this story and at times the heartbreak was so intense that I could barely remember that I wasn’t personally experiencing it. The saddness in this book took me by surprise but ultimately that was what kept me interested as I wanted to see these characters that I’d grown to care about find happiness! One thing that really resonated with me was how clearly Brashares was able to pinpoint the challenge of staying close with friends as your lives are growing apart. Distance, significant others and careers can all become roadblocks in friendships that you have to work to get around as you get older and I appreciated that Brashares focuses on that. But ultimately, the best part about this book was how Brashares makes you root for these girls and the challenges that they face. All in all, it was a sad, sweet book and the ideal vacation read.

Questions:

-Have you read Sisterhood Everlasting? If so, how did you think Brashares transitioned from young adult to novel?

-Do you like knowing the characters of a movie ahead of time so you can picture them or do you prefer to imagine them in your head?

-Have you read any good beach reads lately?

Want to read with me? I’m currently reading The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond and up next I’m finally reading The Help by Kathryn Sockett!

GGG Book Club: Room

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Last Friday I finished Room by Emma Donoghue after just starting it days earlier. It was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down! Since I love to read so much and read quite frequently, I thought it would be fun to share book reviews on the blog! Plus, once I finish a book I love to know what other people thought about it so this can be a forum for discussion too!

Synopsis:

Room is the story of a 5-year-old boy, Jack and his mother, “Ma” who are trapped in a small 11×11-foot room. Every night, Ma tucks Jack in just like any other mother would do for her son, except Jack is put to bed in the wardrobe so he will be out of sight when Old Nick comes around. Ma struggles to create a normal existence for her son and raise him as if they were on the outside, but soon realizes that they have to get out.

Thoughts

I’ll admit that I was not expecting to enjoy this book. When my co-workers were reading it and saying how great it was, I thought that it was going to be dark, depressing and a little scary. What I didn’t realize at the time was how reading the book in a child’s perspective was going to change the story that was told. What makes this book shine is how well Donoghue is able to embody Jack’s hopeful voice and make him both naive and insightful. Jack also has some great thoughts that really made me think about my own life and the importance we place on specific things. At times, this makes the book all the more heartbreaking and Donoghue crafts a book that is the perfect mix of sad, sweet and suspenseful. I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book and if you haven’t read it yet, I fully recommend it! And trust me- you won’t be able to put this one down!

Questions:

-Have you read Room? If so, what did you think about the story being told in Jack’s voice?

-What is your favorite genre of books?