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Emily Giffin’s books are as recognizable by their pastel hues as they are for covering topics you’d expect in chick-lit (I don’t mean this to be derogatory; is “women’s fiction” better?): weddings, babies, love, friendship, and now infidelity. After having read some deeper books, I was in the mood over the wintery weekend for an easy read and saw the purple spine on my bookshelf. I was ready to be lost in a world of chattering women and married suburbia… Instead, it was a love triangle with no easy way out.
Tessa is married to Dr. Nick Russo, a pediatric plastic surgeon dedicated to his work. Married for seven years with two young children, they have a seemingly happy life in a wealthy suburb of Boston. The short version is Nick gets overly attached to a patient and his single mom. Seemingly (inappropriately; unconvincingly) unsatisfied with his home life, he starts along the slippery slope of lying about working late; Halloween parties, etc. I won’t ruin the ending, but this was one of those books in which I didn’t really identify with any of the characters and found none of their actions to be totally reasonable/understandable.
“Moral” of my review: books focused on infidelity aren’t my thing. I don’t mind if it’s a plot point, but when infidelity is its own character I’m lost. I just like to think people are better than that – although my dad always says I’m too trusting. The silver lining is that it motivated me to update my blog! And y’all, this is a tenuous connection to my Southern list since the gorgeous Emily Giffin hails from Atlanta?!
Other books on infidelity that I haven’t loved include many of the Jennifer Weiner’s (I enjoyed the movie IN HER SHOES but was horrified that the sister slept with the others’ bf!), ADMISSION by Jean Hanff Korelitz (though I loved her WHITE ROSE novel), the one about the teacher and student with a green apple on the hardcover jacket (don’t remember the name of this one – anyone?)…
But I’m not a total prude: I have enjoyed many books for which infidelity takes place like Jonathan Tropper’s THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU (in fact, my literary-lovin’ pup just chewed this one up recently), Anita Shreve’s THE PILOT’S WIFE (though it was traumatizing and I will still not date a pilot… and have been disappointed by every Shreve novel since), Sue Miller’s THE SENATOR’S WIFE (infidelity was much less of a focus in this one) and I’m sure there are more, because for better or worse this seems to be a hot topic in our society.
This was a pretty boring review, sorry crew! I’m super excited for my Monday post on MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND – please come back then.
A story of NYC + Sisters seems like my type of novel, especially in these hot summer months when I need to escape the airlessness that can overtake my tiny NYC pad to go lie in a shady patch of green.
But even typing “patch of green” makes me cringe a bit, as I think of the Salon that this whole story is centered around. I’m not easily embarrassed – I’m way too clumsy to blush over the occasional trip or the bruises that consistently appear from things hopping right in my way – but WAXED details some “below the belt” happenings that I would have preferred remained un-detailed. I found myself to be rather distracted by the, er, unique setting that it was difficult to focus on the sisters.
From the publisher:
Waxed is the story of three relationship-challenged sisters working together at New York’s hottest waxing salon, catering to socialites, actresses, and regular folk alike.
Yank. On the surface, glamorous Carolina Impresario—big sister and owner of Impresarios—unapologetically wants it all, but secretly she is caught between her successful boyfriend and the only man she has ever truly loved.
Pluck. After a painful divorce, middle sister Anna reluctantly reenters the workforce and puts on a brave face while attempting to raise her children, one of whom is decidedly different.
Tear. Newlywed Sofia is a hybrid of her two older sisters: She loves the idea of a domestic life like Anna’s, but is entranced by New York nightlife and a new best friend, resulting in some major complications at home.
There was more than just hairless talk, as the three sisters had some complicated issues – I just wish I had been able to care more. This book was a quick read, so we didn’t get to go in-depth with any of the characters but just skimmed the surface. Carolina is a little too cold for comfort and I wish there had been a couple more cracks in her facade (and what happened with her “surprise” at the end). Anna was sweet enough, but nothing stellar (though I did like her interactions with JJ and the way she accepted her children unconditionally). Sofia was exploring herself and testing boundaries and was fun to follow along, though had some questionable behaviors that seemed to be in contradiction with other aspects of her described personality (which is totally allowed, just an observation… by far my favorite sister. And wow, what a twist – yes, that’s intended to hook you!).
The winning character award goes to JJ, the eccentric elderly widow who is determined to live out The New Yorker’s “List of Things To Do in NYC Before You Die” before her terminal illness takes her. Though Anna is written as the sidekick, the opposite is true – JJ was the highlight of this novel.
Side note – I tried to find this list, does anyone know if it really exists? The closest result Google delivered is the Facebook page called “New York Bucket List” here.
I’m more interested in the author than the characters, and I don’t really mean that as an insult. His official bio is “Former New York City publicist, Robert Rave, has worked on numerous public relations campaigns and high profile special events in the lifestyle, fashion, nightlife and entertainment industries. He is the author of SPiN and currently lives in Los Angeles.” But I suggest you visit his website at http://www.robertrave.com to learn more. It’s so curious to me that a man chose to set a book around a waxing salon. I enjoyed this book enough to want to pick up Robert’s SPiN when it comes out in paperback (which I think would be soon), as I think the public relations setting would appeal to my apparently prudish sensibilities more.
This book is the perfect pick for a beach read as it’s short enough to carry around without being weighed down and you can read it in one sitting – though be aware you may blush at some parts! You can pick it up on Amazon here.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for hosting this book tour! I invite you to take a look at the list of all blog hosts available here.
In case you weren’t aware, Romance is the most successful genre of books; it’s also the most popular/successful type of EBook purchase. Coincidence? I think not. This PostSecret “secret” really touches on the secretive nature of the new digital mediums that are allowing people to read whatever they want without anyone knowing. The conservative Christian reading Chelsea Handler? The heterosexual reading about being gay? The wife looking into divorce? Handheld devices have really returned reading to a private endeavor.
Interesting insight in an amusing/frivolous way. Now if I could just get someone to donate an EReader to me so I could explore what non-socially acceptable books I may enjoy…
Whimsical. Flippant. Frivolous. Fun. Light-Hearted. Carefree. Pointless. Irreverent. Humorous. Tongue-in-Cheek. Wishful.
“Remember Me?” is my latest guilty indulgence from Sophie Kinsella, British author of the omnipresent “Shopaholic” series, available now in a bookstore and movie theater near you.
The book follows Lexi, the lovable protagonist, through London, trying to patch together the past three years of which her memory is lost due to a car accident. Like the fairy-tale dream many a girl has (even if we choose not to admit it!), she wakes up in a hospital bed surrounded by luxury belongings, a glossy new appearance and a gorgeous husband, though she has no recollection how they came into her possession.
Though amnesia is a serious issue, Kinsella makes the whole thing a comedy from the marriage manual (including detailed foreplay instructions) drafted by her dreamy husband, to the klepto-sister. There are deeper issues twisting through the tale, from an emotionally distant mother, an affair that can’t be remembered and being the “bitch-boss” at work, that all lead up to a cute, if not memorable, ending.
Read this if: You enjoy escapism, and are seeking a light-hearted read to take you away from the happenings in your life. You’re looking for a book to entertain you, not change your life.
Avoid this if: You deal in reality and have no appreciation for the frivolous entertainment provided by a true “chick-lit” book.
- Title: Remember Me?
- Author: Sophie Kinsella
- Publisher: Dial Press
- NovelWhore’s Grade: B+