Category Archives: chick lit

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

(Finished December 22, 2011)

Easily the second-funniest book I read in 2011. (Behind Bossypants of course — a fact which Mindy states in the book that she is more than happy to admit.)

I saw a lot of myself in Mindy’s book. Awkward kid, trying to fit in. Wants a career to love. Wants to eventually find love but not worth being in relationships that suck. Wants to be skinny but finding that’s just not possible (but still trying sporadically anyway). Yeah, I like to think we’d be tight.

Obviously there are things that we don’t have in common: she’s hilarious, clever, daring, Indian…I am none of those things.

One of my fave parts of Mindy’s book is when she talks about husbands and how she does want one someday. But from her time in Hollywood, she’s seen how bad marriages can get. “You gotta be friends, y’all,” she’d say. She gave the example of a great marriage: Amy Poehler and Will Arnett. I hope I’m remembering this anecdote correctly, but I think she was at a party with the two of them. Amy came up to the group Mindy was with and was like, “Hey have you seen Arnett?” Adorable. They love each other. They’re friends. They hang out. There’s respect there, too, obviously. I so agree that the best person to marry would be someone like that. Here’s hoping! (For myself and for Mindy!)

I would recommend this book to any teen or twenty-something. Funny, clever, full of advice, full of jokes. It has a little something for everyone. And you’ll feel a little better about people in Hollywood being real people.

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Forget About It by Caprice Crane

(Finished July 1, 2011)

So my second between-Outlander-chick-lit read was Forget About It, once again suggested to me by Ms. Recob.

My favorite thing about this book was that, even though it was still cheesy, it was witty. I didn’t feel like I was reading a dumb girl book. The main character, Jordon, is clever and sarcastic. Even the recollection of her childhood and the introduction to her crummy current life at the beginning of the book had me hooked and chuckling.

Jordanis a pushover. She has always let people step all over her – at work, at school, with her friends and family. She is a people pleaser. She kind of reminded me of…me.

The thing is, she is also really awesome. People in her life just don’t see that all the time because she doesn’t stand up for what she wants and, really, what she deserves. She doesn’t deserve to get passed over for a promotion by the guy who started only a few months ago but is sleeping with her boss. She doesn’t deserve a crappy boyfriend who treats her like a dog, takes advantage of her, and is cheating on her. She doesn’t deserve a mother who constantly ostracizes her about her weight and hair and life, or a slacker sister who dumps her pet bird on her to watch while she goes toMexico.

One day asJordanis riding her mediocre bike to her mediocre job, she’s hit. By a car. And thrown into the street. Head injury. You can probably tell from the title of the book what happens…

Or can you? Turns outJordanknows what’s going on when she wakes up. But doesn’t want to. So she fakes amnesia. Awesome.

Her best friend Todd is the only one who is in on it. The amnesiaJordanstands up for herself. She rocks it at work. She also rocks it with the fellas. She has a better relationship with her family, (even though her sister suspects she is faking it.) Things are looking good.

But then she starts to feel guilty. There’s this new, kind of awesome guy…who she doesn’t like lying to…

Right when she has decided to fake coming out of amnesia, she actually gets amnesia. She is hit in the head with a baseball aaaaaaaaaaaaaand voila. Her actual memories are gone.Jordancan’t even remember her name.

Old ratty jerk of a boyfriend comes back into the picture. He treats her like a queen – a big change from his former behavior. (She broke up with him while she was faking amnesia and was with awesome guy, Travis. Jerk boyfriend seems to forget all about the break-up.)

Let’s just say it gets reaaaaaally serious between jerk boyfriend and real amnesiaJordan…and she doesn’t get her memory back until BAM, the last minute. It is stressful.

Good things happen with awesome Travis, and the end of the book is pretty cheesy, but wonderful.

Forget About It was a fun and witty read – and made me more determined to be ME, stand up for myself, and NOT be such a pushover.

Forget About ItForget About It by Caprice Crane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Something Blue by Emily Griffin

(Finished this book June 20, 2011)

Yes, this is a sequel. No, I did not see the first book. But I did see the movie. And it had John Krasinski in it. And in this second book, his character has a major role. So am I hopeful that they will make a second movie? Yes, yes I am.

I’m typically not one to NOT want to read a book when it’s made into a movie. Usually I try to read the book before I see the movie. (Hence why I have yet to see any Jane Eyre movie ever made. I have GOT to finish that beast of a novel!) But I saw Something Borrowed because I am a huge fan of John Krasinski. (And Kate Hudson and that other brunette girl who plays Rachel…Ginnifer Goodwin, pre-pixie cut.) I also saw it because my friend and I were really in chick flick mode. The movie did not disappoint. It was incredibly cheesy, but it was cute. Also, it was enough; I felt no need to read the book version. Maybe I will one day, but I wanted to know what happened next.
So I read Something Blue. When I started reading and discovered that it focused on Darcy, (Kate Hudson’s frivolous and superficial character in the movie), I was a little sad. But I kept going. And I’m glad I did. Because Ethan showed up. InLondon.

I have to say I am SO glad I read this book after seeing the movie because I could imagine Ethan as John Krasinski while I was reading. And let’s face it, that was nice.

Spoiler alert: Darcy ends up with Ethan. Sorry to put that out there, but I warned you. I saw this coming throughout the entire book, but I hoped it wouldn’t actually happen. It did. But not before Darcy (on advice from Ethan) really takes a look at her life and what matters. I was glad she did that, but that slight chance in personality still didn’t make me dislike her any less.

Okay, so maybe seeing Ethan as John Krasinski didn’t help. Because Darcy getting Ethan probably wouldn’t have made me so mad if I wasn’t as attached to his character…Is this sounding ridiculous? Yes, probably. But it makes sense to me. But then again, maybe it would have made me just as angry no matter what? Ethan is a writer, lives inLondon, is super nice…those are all awesome things. And things that girls like Darcy wouldn’t go for. At all.

I did enjoy this book – don’t get me wrong. The fact that most of it took place inLondonwas great. I liked that Rachel and Darcy’s friendship took time to heal. It was realistic and made sense. I didn’t like that Darcy’s baby daddy turned into such an idiot, but I totally saw that coming. You have to give Darcy props for having the guts to move toLondon, pregnant, with no job. She’s brave, if a bit naïve. But at least she tried!

I can’t wait for the cheesy movie version. Here’s hoping it is actually made…

Something Blue (Darcy & Rachel, #2)Something Blue by Emily Giffin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Love, Rosie was chick lit to a T. But I loved it. Why? Why do we love stories like this one? It is so incredibly cheesy and unrealistic and ridiculous. There’s your answer. I guess one could make the argument that Love, Rosie isn’t exactly your run-of-the-mill chick lit. Its format is actually fairly unique. It’s an epistolary novel consisting of letters, emails, newspaper clippings, and instant message conversations spanning about 50 years in the life of Rosie and Alex. It left me thinking: If my life were “read” through my letters, emails and IMs, what in the world would anyone get out of it? I don’t think I want to know. Then again, there isn’t some wonderful love story theme weaved through my conversations either. Maybe one day…

This book is centered in Dublin. Can’t seem to get away from the British Isles lately. I hope one day I can go to Ireland/Scotland and see all these places I’ve been reading about recently! But, I digress…

Love, Rosie begins with some adorable little notes passed between Rosie and Alex. Most consisted of little kid conversations about sleepovers, games, big nose smelly breath teachers, and birthday parties. (Rosie was not invited to Alex’s tenth birthday party because she was a girl. He was sorry because it was awful without her.) As they grew up, the notes became increasingly about relationships, future careers and the occasional party.

Then one day their friendship is tested. At 17, Alex learns he has to move to Boston because his dad got a job offer he just cannot refuse. Alex and Rosie are devastated but vow to do their best to stay in touch. Neither want to lose their best friend.

The story continues like this for years. Something great will happen to Alex, then something not-so-great to Rosie. Their lives seem to driving them apart, but they do their best to stay close. They serve as the “man of honor” and “best woman” at each other’s weddings and watch each other become parents. Neither particularly approves of the others’ spouse, of course, but they remain friends through thick and thin. (Although there are of course some times when they lose touch because of anger or circumstance.)

After a divorce from his college sweetheart, and a particularly tough spot in Rosie’s marriage, Alex composes THE letter. I knew from the placement in the book that there was no way this letter would change things. (There was still half of the book left, and it couldn’t all be about their life together…that HAD to come closer to the end of the book, right?) Right.

The letter is “lost”. (Yes, it does turn up later in the book!) Things continue on what seems a downward spiral for Rosie. She loses her job in a posh hotel, gets a divorce from her cheating slimeball of a husband, and finds a job working in the school her daughter attends. (Her boss is none other than the big nose smelly breath teacher she used to loathe.) In Boston, Alex reunites with his high school sweetheart, gets her pregnant, and marries her. (It seems fitting since her dad is a big cardio-surgical genius and that’s just the in Alex needs for his medical career.)

Eventually things get better. I don’t want to go into too much detail just incase someone reading this hasn’t read the book. But let’s just say, slowly, very slowly, a situation arises where both Alex and Rosie realize what was obvious to everyone around them for so long.

Cheesy, yes. Ridiculous, oh most definitely. But not necessarily a fairy tale. Again, like One Day, this “when Harry met Sally” nonsense is just tragic enough to stomach. Yes, they did end up together, but isn’t it sad that they couldn’t have realized they loved each other twenty years ago? I guess it’s all about timing.

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