Morning Glory by Diana Peterfreund

Desperately in need of a job, yet still full of boundless optimism, Becky vows to land on her feet and stumbles into an opportunity at Daybreak, a floundering network morning news program in New York City. Abysmal ratings are only the tip of the iceberg: Executive producers seldom survive beyond the next commercial break, and the outdated cameras belong in the Smithsonian.

Promising the head of the network that she can reverse the downward spiral, Becky makes legendary newscaster Mike Pomeroy an offer he can’t contractually refuse. She successfully adds Pomeroy to the team, but he refuses to participate in any Daybreak fluff pieces and morning show staples like celebrity gossip, weather, fashion, and crafts. What’s more, he takes an instant dislike to his equally difficult co-anchor, Colleen Peck, a former beauty queen.The only bright spot in Becky’s career is Adam Bennett, a gorgeous fellow producer, but Daybreak’s dysfunction spells trouble for their blossoming relationship. As Mike and Colleen’s on-air chemistry proves more explosive every day, Becky must scramble to save her love life, her reputation, her job, and, ultimately, Daybreak itself. – Goodreads

I saw this on sale and thought, why not? I’d recently watching the movie version and was in a rare mood for some fluffy chick lit.

Some background — this was a novelization of the movie. The movie came out in 2010 and starred Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton.

I liked the premise of the story — I wanted to be a journalist in college and am familiar with the news industry. However, Becky fell flat as a main character for me. Becky is tenacious and dedicated to her job — as a result, she’s obsessed with news and her BlackBerry. Becky mentions how her dating life is a flop because she’s so addicted to her BlackBerry. Look, I’m a millenial. I understand being addicted to my phone. Hell, I forgot my phone at home during a short afternoon of errands this week and felt as if I’d lost a limb. HOWEVER, constantly checking your phone on a first date and then getting upset because said date is fed up? Nah, girl.

The other characters also fell flat for me. Adam, the love interest, had potential. Mike was my favorite character — perhaps I was picturing Harrison Ford’s character from the movie, but I thought he was the most dimensional and least annoying. Which is confusing, because his character was supposed to be annoying.

In all, it wasn’t a terrible read. It was light, it was fluffy, it was predictable. Personally, I’d stick to the movie and skip the book. I rated it a 2/5 on Goodreads.


Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever. – Goodreads

I’m not quite sure how to feel about this one. Yes, I read it in a short amount of time because I was curious about what would happen next.

I thought the entire story was very…predictable. Though I have to give Lonsdale props for the unique storyline, many of the twists felt extremely convenient and I often found myself rolling my eyes. I obviously can’t provide any examples here, though, because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

The timeline of the book is also confusing. Sometimes months would go by from chapter to chapter, with the entire story spanning about 16-18 months. I don’t mind the span of time, but I think it could have been more clear how much time had passed and less jumpy.

Lastly, before I say some good things — I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. Aimee fell flat for me, as she was either the grieving widow or magically healed and in love. The only time her personality came through was when she talked about her cafe. Her friends were obviously only in the story as a way to connect her to Ian and push her to go to Mexico. I still don’t know who the F Lana is. Ian is a stage-five clinger. James was way too damn perfect. I just…couldn’t identify with anyone, and thus cared about no one.

The book was paced well, though, and despite it’s flaws, held my interest. This is a good beach read if you’re looking for something light.

I rated it a 2/5 on Goodreads.

Throwback Thursday: Stay by Allie Larkin

7348523In a post-breakup grab-the-chocolate-and-chick-lit stupor, I picked up Stay by Allie Larkin at my local Hastings. It was the spring of 2011, and to be honest, I was being dramatic—I didn’t even like the guy (incidentally, I met my now-husband several months after—but that’s a different story).

It was the dog on the cover that got me.

Savannah, or “Van”, has been in love with Peter since their first day of college. Too bad her best friend Janie is the one marrying him (it’s a little bit Something Borrowed, I know). So, in a post-wedding drunken-mistake-fest, she buys a German Shepherd puppy online and names him Joe.

She gets him and he is huge. Huge and only responds to Slovak.

I absolutely loved this book. I stayed up long after the Hershey’s were gone to finish reading it. I loved Van’s character, and I loved Joe. It was definitely a little bit Marley & Me meets Something Borrowed.

She meets Alex, Joe’s veterinarian, who is a very lovable love interest. I enjoyed the fact that their love story didn’t end up being the focal point of the story. In fact, the relationship between Van and her new pup was really the main storyline.

4/5 Goodreads stars for how obnoxiously in love with Peter the MC was…it was acceptable at first, but nauseating and annoying by the end.

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

16130307I bought this on impulse walking by a Bargain Books rack in my local Hastings…after all, is it really possible to walk past a Bargain Books rack and not purchase something? I digress.

This book was terrible. The first few chapters were about getting reacquainted with Andy, the protagonist from the Devil Wears Prada (one of my favorite books, I might add) and how much PTSD she still suffers 10 years later. I was down with that. It’s been years since I read the first, and though her “Miranda Priestly traumatized me” rants and flashbacks were a little bit obnoxious, I dealt.

I dealt with it for all 400 pages, actually. Why? Because I purchased a solid, hardback book. The first one in a very, very long time. It wasn’t just a measly digital copy on my Nook, purchased half-heartedly through Barnes & Noble—with those versions, it’s not personal. It’s easy to set down. With a hardback, paper-smelling book…it’s personal.

I rated this book 2/5 on Goodreads. Let’s get to why.

1. I read the whole thing. It wasn’t SO terrible that I had to put it down and never touch it again. I do enjoy Lauren Weisberger’s writing style, so that made it more bearable. That is the only reason it got two stars instead of one—her writing style.

2. Everything goes terribly wrong for Andy, but only because she is a negative beezy. She has the perfect guy, the perfect job—-but calamity! She finds out that her mother-in-law hates her, her then-fiance had a drink with his ex-girlfriend at his bachelor party, Andy finds out she is pregnant, Miranda Priestly offers to buy her business for millions (Andy doesn’t want to sell), and realizes she misses Alex, the poor soul she dumped in the first book.

3. Everyone is skinnier than Andy, with “coltish” legs. Andy is a size four, but everyone is skinnier than her—though she “doesn’t notice” or “isn’t jealous” or “doesn’t take offense”, it’s brought up every other page. Her best friend is thinner than her, and constantly makes jabs at Andy’s frumpy “fat rolls”. The celebrities Andy interviews always have “coltish legs”, which they are constantly “folding” under themselves. Andy can’t fit into her size small Spanx shorts after her pregnancy. She has to wear a maternity dress to a dinner and treats it like the end of the world. I miss Andy from the first book, who wore a six to eight, had terrible hair, zero fashion sense, and just wanted to be an international correspondence journalist.

4. The ending was the worst. Spoiler alert: Continue reading