Book Review

Book Review: The Rosie Project

As I’ve stated before, I don’t typically gravitate towards romance. However, I read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion for one of my book clubs and it was a very fun read.

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This book centers around a professor named Don Tillman who has decided that he is ready to find a wife. He is quite awkward socially since he is on the autism spectrum, and he creates very specific criteria for his ideal mate and systematically tries to find her. However, he finds himself falling for someone whimsical who doesn’t meet his criteria, and she challenges him in ways he didn’t even know he needed to be challenged.

This was an adorable romance with other fun subplots. Don is an interesting, quirky main character (kind of like Sheldon Cooper on the TV show The Big Bang Theory). Although it was an adjustment to read in his character’s perspective, the character does come across as endearing. The character of Rosie is also a perfect foil for Don, and watching their relationship progress was a lot of fun.

I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who loves both romance and psychology or genetics (both of those topics play a large role in the plot and are detailed well). This was a strong debut novel, although I was disappointed in the sequel The Rosie Effect. To me, this was a perfect stand-alone.

Book Review

Book Review: Me Before You

I don’t typically read romance. There’s just something that feels too artificial in a lot of books where romance is the main point. Still, I like romance as a sub-plot if it is done well, and I was very impressed by the book Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.

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This book centers around the main character Louisa Clark who finds employment taking care of a quadriplegic man. Throughout the book, Louisa not only falls in love but discovers a lot about herself. She is challenged in many aspects of her life, and she grows a lot throughout the course of the book. I found her to be a very engaging character, and I think a lot of readers will be able to identify with parts of her character.

I do not want to give away too much of the plot, but I will say that I thought the ending was very well done. It made me feel many complicated emotions. I won’t say more because anticipating the ending was one of the best parts of this book reading experience.

Overall, I would absolutely recommend this one to anyone who wants romance with much character development. It was a very fast read, and I can see it doing very well in a book club because there is a lot to discuss at the end (again, I don’t feel I can say more without giving important things away).

Book Review

Review: Stars of Fortune

With the holiday season, I have been wanting lighter things to read. The other day, I picked up a book at the library mostly because it had a beautiful cover: Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts.

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Before this book, I had never read a book by Nora Roberts except for two of her In Death series, which she writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb. I was a bit afraid that this book would be a bit too frothy and romantic for me, but it ended up being just what I needed to chill out and relax.

This book is hard to describe because it crosses so many genres. I think it’s apt to call is a contemporary magical realism romance. There are fantasy elements, but it takes place in our current world. There is also quite a bit of romance, but I thought it was offset nicely with the plot. I certainly don’t mine romance, but I dislike when it is the primary plot and there is little else in the story. Thankfully, this one had an exciting fantastical plot and a traditional quest often found in fantasy and magical realism. Also, while this was definitely plot-heavy rather than character-focused, I did find myself really liking the character of Sasha. I felt like I could see my own insecurities in her, and I was definitely rooting for her.

In this story, 6 strangers band together to find 3 mystical stars that have fallen in order to keep them out of the hands of a dark fairy who wants to destroy the moon. As you may have guessed from that sentence, this book does require more suspension of disbelief than most that I recommend on this blog. If you love intricate character development and detailed world-building, this probably isn’t the book for you. It’s imaginative and fun but it is very fluffy and a bit shallow. Still, I really enjoyed it and I’m excited to read more of Nora Robert’s works when I’m looking for pure escapism. I think I’ve found a new guilty pleasure!

Book Review

Book Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic

Title: Confessions of a Shopaholic

Author: Sophie Kinsella (the pen name of Madeleine Wickham)

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Quick Takeaway: This is the uproariously funny chick-lit novel that inspired the movie by the same title. The book and movie are very different but are equally charming.

Who Should Read This? This is definitely targeted towards chick-lit lovers who enjoy shopping at high-end brands. There is a lot of humor and romance, and the focus is absolutely plot over character development.

Review: I think this is a wonderful frothy, fun book. I do my fair share of reading character-driven literary fiction, but sometimes, I just want to relax and read something that makes me laugh and doesn’t require a ton of thinking. I am probably biased towards liking this book due to my potential shopping addiction. I have really enjoyed this series, especially the first three books.

The main character, Becky Bloomwood, is a very endearing main character. She is flawed and often makes terrible decisions, but she is also very relatable and she is good at heart. I loved listening to her train of thought. I also really enjoyed both the romantic and friendship aspects of this book. While the scenarios are larger than life, the ultimate core of the situations and the emotions behind them are easily recognizable. Sure, Becky is a bit flaky and she sometimes doesn’t seem to have much common sense, but I still liked her and was rooting for her.

This is a really fun series. For those who have seen the movie, there are lots of differences. For one, the character is British and she is living in England. Also, some of the things that happen in the movie actually take place in book two. The main “villain” Alicia is also very different in the book, though I don’t want to give too much away.

Final Thoughts: If you are turned off by consumerism, give this one a pass. But if you are looking for something lighthearted with a hilarious main character who is really struggling to grow up, give this one a try!