Wednesday, February 28, 2007

To Have and To Hold by Jane Green

Another fluff book... maybe these aren't fluff books, maybe since I haven't wrote anything about any other kinds of books, they're actually all I read, eh?

Anyway, this one was about a woman who pretty much totally remade herself to please her husband. She goes from being mousy brown, curly haired and in love with her career (which is catering) to being blond, sleekly groomed, stylishly attired and in love with her husband (who guides all of these changes).

They get married and move from London to New York, where they buy a country home that once belonged to an author with somewhat of a sordid past. Really, I think maybe she just slept around during an age where that wasn't allowed.

Of course, said husband turns out to be a terrible womanizer. Alice looks the other way for much of their marriage but eventually becomes attracted to her best friend's beau (who her best friend really wasn't all that into anyway). Harry likes the new Alice, mousy brown hair and gardening clogs and all, which the reader knows is really the old Alice.

The tone of this book is not like modern day chic lit. It reminded me a lot of Valley of the Dolls, my all-time favorite guilty pleasure. But the book promised more than it delivered - I really wanted the author whose house she lives in to be relevant to the story, and maybe she was in an earlier draft, but she definitely wasn't in the final form.

All in all, an OK read. I guess it might raise some interesting questions about the loss of self in relationships, the ways in which women (especially one of Alice's husband's long-term mistresses, Josie) try to manipulate men to trap them into marriage. You know, if I thought much about it.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Game Over by Adele Parks

So this book was OK. It’s one of those chick lits that I am fond of as an escape and a way to really tune out and not think. Basic story is girls is a career driven mega-bitch who creates a reality show called Sex with the Ex where people who are about to get married test their fiancĂ©s by setting up situations where their old flame tries to tempt them into bed. Then she meets someone who refuses to be on the show and falls in love with him, even though she is uncapable of experiencing love because of abandonment issues regarding her father. She flees the relationship and makes plans to marry her safe best friend, who loves her more than she loves him and is, therefore, not a threat.

Of course, the reality show comes back to bite her in the ass when her fiancĂ© sets her up with… wait for it… the man she is secretly in love with. Good guy assumes she was involved and ditches her. She pines for him and they are eventually (and really abruptly) reunited. The end.

What I dislike about this story is that it confirms the stereotypical picture of women – they can either be competent, powerful and good at their jobs OR they can be warm. They can’t be both. Even though men can be both. Of course, why would I expect chick lit to fight stereotypes? Tee-hee.

I do like the cheeky British humour and slang.