Friday, March 29, 2013

An absurd romp through Paris

This is Life
by Dan Rhodes

Genre: Fiction

Review: An art student, Aurelie, finds herself steering a buggy complete with a baby for the craziest, most wonderful week of her life. When her ill-planned art project goes wrong, she finds herself caring for little Herbert and learning along the way, as she tries to sketch him and figure out what to do next.

We follow Aurelie and her friend Sylvie and a strange artist named Le Machine who is performing the essence of Life. Secrets, love, odd and funny moments, all acted out against the backdrop of Paris streets.

A breezy, joyful read with deeper meaning hidden inside.

Author website:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Arranged Marriage Rom-Com

by Catherine McKenzie

Genre: Women's Fiction

Review: Anne Blythe's life is not the perfect fairy tale of her namesake, Anne of Greene Gables. The book begins with a break-up from yet another handsome black-haired, blue-eyed loser who break Anne's heart, yet again. She is almost ready to give up on love, so she gets her own apartment and throws herself into her work (writing). Then her best friend gets engaged. Anne starts thinking about the business card for a dating service and enrolls, but it turns out to be an arranged marriage service. Enter Jack, another writer, who seems charming at first,  maybe even true love material, but then....

The premise is fun, the reading is fast and light. Towards the end it takes a real turn for formulaic rom-com, but it was a  cute, distracting read with funny moments and pretty good character development..

Link to Author Website:

Song to Read by: "Rock Scissors Paper" by Jaymay

Admission: Once a Book, Now a Movie!

by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Genre: Literary Fiction

Review: The movie just came out, so why not read the book?

Portia is trying to balance her job as an admissions officer at Princeton with her values, her relationships...well, with her life, and it isn't easy.  In-depth character development and an intimate relationship with the protagonist, with all of her flaws, hopes, and conflicts, make this book an engaging read. The book looks long, but it is absorbing, and you may find yourself surprised to be staying up late to read on, although the novel is not a thriller.

 However, there is a hint of mystery, a thread of romance, and most of all, you wonder what will happen to the nuanced, hurting, yet still optimistic Portia.

Link to Author website:

Link to movie trailer:

Flavia de Luce is on the Loose Again!

Speaking from Among the Bones
by Alan Bradley

Genre: Mystery series

Review: Flavia de Luce is back and we've definitely missed her. Our favorite child/chemist/sleuth is among the action again when a dead body is uncovered at her church. St. Tancred's tomb, a new friend, a mysterious old friend of her mother's, a creepy, decaying English manor, two diva singers, a graveyard at night...all of these characters and atmospheric settings come together in the latest installment of Bradley's mystery series.

This novel is not my favorite of the series; the first 200 pages were a bit slower than I'd like. However, stick with it until the end until a shocking revelation we've been awaiting is announced.

Monday, March 25, 2013


by Catherine McKenzie

Genre: Women's Fiction

Review: If you love music and pop culture, this light read might be for you.  Main character Kate is in arrested development, still acting like a grad student years after college graduation. In order to win her dream job, she takes a less than ethical mission to follow the latest pop starlet into rehab. Once there, she ends up evaluating her own life and maybe finding love. Then the novel takes a surprisingly serious, soul-searching turn. The pace slowed down near the end, and I got a bit bored. 

**Overall, I recommend her other books, Arranged or Forgotten, more than this one.

Song to Read by: "Anna Sun" by Walk the Moon

Sunday, March 3, 2013


by Catherine McKenzie

Genre: Women's Fiction

Review: What would you do if you were forgotten? Emma is an overworked lawyer up for partner, when her mother passes away. Her mother's dream was to visit Africa, and Emma goes on the trip in her stead, but she's waylaid by an illness and an earthquake. By the time she returns to America, her boyfriend has moved on, and a mysterious/hot photographer has moved into her apartment.

Should Emma try to recreate her old life, or start fresh and make some changes?

A witty, breezy fast read with a food-for-thought premise! What would you do?

Next week, I will be posting about Spin, also by Catherine McKenzie.

Song to Read by: "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons