The World's Wife, by Carol Anne Duffy

>> Friday, July 31, 2009

TITLE: The World's Wife
AUTHOR: Carol Anne Duffy

I confess I don't really get poetry. I don't dislike it, or anything, but I just don't have the skills or practice to appreciate it. The World's Wife, by Britain's new Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, was the book chosen this month for my book club, and I really had no idea how I would react to it.

"Poetry by Britain's Poet Laureate" sounds awfully stuffy, doesn't it? But stuffy is the very opposite of what this book is. Duffy is funny and irreverent, without sacrificing any depth.
How funny? This is one of the poems. Each of them is written by the wives of famous historical or mythical figures, and this one is by the wife of Icarus:

Mrs. Icarus

I'm not the first or the last
to stand on a hillock,
watching the man she married
prove to the world
he's a total, utter, absolute Grade A pillock.
I still wouldn't say I completely get poetry, but this was a very good place to start.



Life Skills, by Katie Fforde

>> Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TITLE: Life Skills
AUTHOR: Katie Fforde

PAGES: 343

SETTING: Contemporary England
TYPE: Straight romance / chick lit

REASON FOR READING: My library had tonnes of Fforde's books, and I wanted to try one

A combination of overwork and jet-lag had propelled Julia Fairfax into becoming engaged to Oscar. She then realised she had fonder feelings for his adorable Labrador than for Oscar himself and that something was drastically wrong. Ditching her fiancé and jacking in her job, she decides to revolutionise her life.

Her new career as a cook on a pair of hotel boats is certainly a departure, and teaches her more about life than how to get a couple of narrow boats through a lock. But even afloat Julia’s past catches up with her. Not only must she contend with the persistent Oscar (not to mention his frigthful mother and her own mother’s determined matchmaking), but also the arrival of her childhood enemy, the enigmatic Fergus Grindley.
I've been fascinated by narrow boats since I moved to England and first saw then slowly floating down the canals. When I decided to try a Katie Fforde and realised Life Skills was set in one, I knew where to start.

Julia Fairfax has a boring job, a pompous, patronising upper-class twit of a fiance and some serious dissatisfaction with her life. As the book starts, she has decided to change her life radically, and you can't get more radical than break up with your fiance, quit your job and get another one as chef in a narrow boat hotel.

Julia knows nothing about narrow boats, and neither does her new boss, Suzy. Suzy has always been under the thumb of her very rich father, and this venture is a way of proving her abilities both to him and to herself.

They set out in quite a flimsy position, depending on a surly and mysoginist crew member who's the only one who knows how to manage the boat. This flimsy position quickly becomes almost untenable when the bastard quits (surprising the hell out of me, actually, as I was convinced he and Suzy were going to get together), and Suzy and Julia get left short of both extra hands and all experience.

But to the rescue comes Fergus Grindley, sent by Julia's kooky mother. Fergus was Julia's nemesis when they were children and she's not ready to forgive and forget. She has no chioice but to accept his help, but she doesn't have to be nice to him, does she?

I really can't decide whether this was chick lit or romance. I think I'm leaning towards romance, but with some elements of chick lit, so it would be a book I'd recommend to romance readers.

It's a feel-good, funny book, with good characters, and I loved learning about narrow boats, including the long, labourious process of getting them through the locks, something which I had the chance to see close up soon after, during a visit to Chester (see below).

I really liked the romance. Julia's a great character, sensible and loveable, with very dry wit. Fergus was lovely, a non-perfect, vulnerable figure, and obviously crazy about Julia, and I'm a bit evil that I liked seeing him suffer. Although, I must say, Julia was a bit too insistent on cutting off her nose to spite her face there in the end.

I also really liked the secondary romance. Suzy and her love interest, Wayne, are both characters who are much stronger and all-around great people than they seemed on the surface. And I even developed a bit of a fondness for Oscar, actually. He was a pompous, sexist ass, sure, but there has to be something good about a man who has such a crush on a woman like Julia ;-)

The humour was quite interesting. Right before Life Skills I read Watching the English, a truly fascinating sort of sociological analysis of English culture, and had been thinking of what it had to say about humour with regards to British chick lit I'd read. I was thinking of authors like Sophie Kinsella, and how yes, their humour is very much based on embarrassment.

I was expecting something similar here, but it was nothing like it. It's strange, because the book has a lot of potential for disastrous, tremendously embarrassing situations. There are plenty of instances of characters stuck in situations they don't really have the skills to deal with yet (or those skills are a bit shaky). Say, when Suzy and Julia's unreliable crewmember leaves them on the lurch two hours before the first passengers were due to arrive. Clearly, potential for funny, funny disaster here. But nope, they cope. They work hard and tirelessly, and they cope. Same thing when the Health and Safety inspector (really great character, btw; Fforde gets it right here) arrives. There's potential for disaster, but everything turns out to be fine. So the book wasn't at all funny in this sense (although it did have a bit of a wry sense of humour), but this did mean that it turned out to be warm and comforting.

My only criticism would be that the book felt a bit disjointed, in that there's a radical change in what it's about at about the mid-point. Suddenly the story isn't about making a success of a pair of hotel narrow boats on the canal, but about the romance and a very unexpected development for Julia. And there were a couple of story threads that didn't really go anywhere... what was that about the missing papers at Julia's office and their suing her? It just suddenly disappeared.

Still, even with that, it was a very enjoyable read.



Magic, Cannibalism and Christmas

>> Monday, July 27, 2009

TITLE: Simply Magic
AUTHOR: Mary Balogh

This was a bit of a disappointment. It had nice characters and a sweet relationship, but frankly, it was also a little bit boring.

It's the third book of Balogh's Simply series, which tells the story of four teachers from a girls' school. Simply Magic is about Susannah, a former charity pupil of the school who's stayed on after she finished her schooling. On a visit to one of her former colleagues (heroine of an earlier book of the series, of course), Susannah meets Peter, Viscount Whitleaf. She's predisposed to dislike him, as another Whitleaf was responsible for her father's death, which left her destitute. However, Peter is such a lovely person that Susannah can't stay aloof towards him. Before long, friendship has led to something more, but is the social gulf between them too wide to do anything about it?

Now, I like Beta heroes and couldn't disagree more with those who think only an alpha can be interesting. I was ready to love Peter, and I should have. He really is nice, a guy who truly likes and respects women (especially appreciated in a genre where some authors seem to think that despising all women other than the heroine is an attractive trait in a hero). Unfortunately, this particular lovely beta is stuck in a romance that is quite blah. Not every book needs to be a page-turner, and I quite enjoyed the time I spent reading this quiet, sweet book, but I can't deny it was quite unmemorable.


TITLE: A History of Cannibalism: From Ancient Cultures to Survival Stories and Modern Psychopaths
AUTHOR: Nathan Constantine

Read when I was in a bit of a morbid mood.

"So why do people do it? Why .... have people done it? There are three essential reasons: duty, desperation and desire. Or, put another way, because they ought to, need to or want to." The book is basically Constantine exploring each of the three, as well as their overlaps.

Quite interesting stuff, but sometimes the balance between anthropological analysis and anecdote was a bit iffy. In the "because they want to" section, for instance, I got the feeling the author was taking a little bit too much pleasure on gorey detail.

Still, some good stuff.

MY GRADE: Another B-.

TITLE: His Christmas Bride
AUTHOR: Helen Brooks

Helen Brooks is one of the very few Presents authors I read (thanks to Jane's recs -and I think this particular book was actually one of them). His Christmas Bride pairs a heroine with trust issues with a hero who is determined to get through them.

Blossom is still recovering from a very bad marriage, one in which the husband she loved was just with her because of what she could do for him professional. It was clearly bad enough that her reluctance to trust another man again is perfectly understandable. Zak is her brother-in-law's boss, and when he meets Blossom he falls for her completely, deciding to do anything to show her he's different from the scum she married.

I liked it because Zak's tactics for winning Blossom are the opposite of the sledgehammer approach many alpha heroes seem to take. Rather than trying to steamroll her into anything, he determines to prove his character through his actions, and their courtship basically involves Zak being steadfast and not giving up, and them actually having conversations about things. It was just lovely, and this was one couple I truly thought would work.



Have You Seen Her?, by Karen Rose

>> Saturday, July 25, 2009

TITLE: Have You Seen Her?
AUTHOR: Karen Rose

PAGES: 499

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romantic suspense
SERIES: All of Rose's books are related to different degrees (see diagram here), but all but the last two stand alone fine (Have You Seen Her? does).

REASON FOR READING: Rose is one of the best romantic suspense authors out there.


One by one, the girls disappear from their beds at night. Each one is pretty, with long, dark hair. And each one is found brutally murdered.


Special Agent Steven Thatcher has sworn to find the serial killer preying on this small town. As the investigation pulls him one way, his family pulls him in another. A widower haunted by loss, he now worries about his son Brad slipping away. But there's a bright light in his life; his son's teacher, Jenna Marshall, has reached out to help. She's beautiful, kind, and considerate— and slowly, tentatively, she and Steven are starting to fall in love. But both have been hurt before— badly. And as the two try to find the courage to bare their souls, a murderer who has slain many looks for the real treasure he craves. He sets his traps. And waits. For Jenna . . .

This is quite an early Karen Rose. It's more of a typical romantic suspense than subsequent books, but it's still quite good and with plenty of glimmers of originality, as well as Rose's trademark excellent balance between suspense and romance.

We have a serial killer plot in a small town here. Special Agent Steven Thatcher is investigating the murders of several cheerleaders, while dealing with trouble at home. His eldest son has been doing badly at school, and single father Steven makes time in the midst of the investigation to meet with his chemistry teacher, Jenna Marshall. The chemistry (ha-ha) between them is immediately sizzling, and before long it's clear that Jenna might be in danger from the serial killer as well.

I enjoyed the characters most of all. They're all nicely complex and subtly drawn. Even the matchmaking auntie is well-done. She's not this motivation-free matchmaking monster, like so many secondary characters, who seem almost psychotic in their compulsion. Part of it is she wants Steven to be happy, yes, but also wants to go back to her own life, and can't in good conscience do so until Steven's situation is resolved (she's been living with them and taking care of the kids since S's wife died). The main characters are even better and unique. Steven, for instance, is quite religious, and while this is not really a big issue in the book, it's something that adds depth to him.

The suspense was all right, but unfortunately not as good as I'm used to from Rose. It was a bit frustrating, because the police felt a bit ineffectual, as if they weren't really taking all the logical steps and doing as much as they should have been doing. Usually Rose's investigations give me the same feeling as JD Robb's, that the police are smart, competent professionals. And as much as I enjoyed the romance, at times it felt as if Jenna was becoming a distraction to Steven and affecting his investigation.

All in all, though, Have You Seen Her? was well worth a read.



Vintage Fashion: Collecting and Wearing Designer Classics, by various authors

>> Thursday, July 23, 2009

TITLE: Vintage Fashion: Collecting and Wearing Designer Classics
AUTHOR: Emma Baxter-Wright, Sarah Kennedy & Kate Mulvey

PAGES: 211
PUBLISHER: Carlton Books

TYPE: Non Fiction

REASON FOR READING: Looked pretty :-)

Vintage Fashion is the ultimate guide to the most exemplary women's clothing from the turn of the twentieth century through the end of the 1980s. Along with a detailed, authoritative text, this gorgeous book offers more than 250 outstanding full-color photographs showcasing the quality fabrics, innovative techniques, silhouettes, shapes, and exquisite workmanship that are testimony to enduring and influential styles.
Ahh, being able to read big, expensive, coffee-table books with plenty of lovely photographs for free: reason number 634 why I love libraries.

Vintage Fashion: Collecting and Wearing Designer Classics has a bit of a deceptive title, as it's more a history of 20th century fashion than a practical guide to actually wearing vintage classics. There's a half-hearted attempt at tips on doing this at the end of the book (advice on which of the pieces you might find in good condition today, that sort of thing) but it had nothing to do with the rest of it.

Being a complete philistine in the area of fashion, I found it all really interesting, although I do have some comments. Chapters (one for each decade) are written by different authors, and there was quite a difference in writing quality. I thought the later chapters were better written, more readable. The images were really beautiful, although sometimes I felt a bit of a lack of coordination between them and the text. I would also have liked the images to illustrate the text more closely. Like, the Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress was mentioned tonnes of times, and yet there were no photos of it. Or, sometimes there would be a mention of a particular dress or style and a picture of it would be pages later.

On a purely personal taste note, from the mid 1970s on, I just hated the fashions shown. So ugly. Previous decades had some particular dresses and styles I didn't care for, but plenty of others that I did, and would actually wear very happily. In the 80s chapter, however, I think there was only a single dress I'd consider wearing these days (unfortunately, I was in my early teens at the end of the 80s, and fashion arrived a bit late to Uruguay, so I did wear some of the ugliest 80s fashions. Ugh). And if this makes me unsophisticated or bourgeoise, so be it.



Two books by Jeanette Baker

>> Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jeanette Baker was Author of the Month at my favourite romance book group a few months ago (I won't say how many months; it's embarrassing how behind I am with reviews). I hadn't heard of her before, but when I checked out her books, it turned out she writes several different things, all of which sounded very good to me. So I ended up getting two books: one a straight contemp set in Northern Ireland, one a contemp with paranormal overtones (past lives, etc.) set in Scotland.

Unfortunately, as good as the plots sounded, awkward characterisation and writing made reading them a disappointing experience, to varying degrees.

Blood Roses was the first, the Northern Ireland-set contemporary. Kate Nolan is a widow whose lawyer husband was murdered in front of her. He specialised in defending fellow Catholics. In the years since his death, Kate has become more politically involved, fighting for peace.

Her son hasn't recovered from his father's death, though, and when he gets involved with the drug trade and is arrested, the police use this to pressure him to become an informant, and about more than garden-variety drug dealing, too.

The man mainly responsible for leaning on Kevin is Neil Anderson, who is quite high up in British Special Services. Kate doesn't know this, so when she and Neil come into contact and an attraction develops, Neil knows he should keep far, far away from her. But of course, this being a romance, he can't resist.

It could have been a brilliant, angsty story, but the emotions never rang true to me, probably because the characters never did, either. Neil was nice enough, but he felt a bit generic. Pity, because his guilt about the effects of his placing pressure on Kate's son (something he still feels was necessary) could have been fascinating. As for Kate, she was very hard to warm up to. Maybe it was because she's a kind of woman I've never been able to understand, the sort who let her husband take care of everything and so when he died, she had no idea what to do. She's had to fight, but for all that, she remains too much of a martyr for my taste. I just couldn't get involved in the romance at all.

The only thing I liked and thought was interesting was Baker's portrayal of the political situation, which was a hell of a lot more nuanced than her main characters. I felt that it gave me some insight into what the troubles are all about. I won't say it helped me understand the issues better (I suppose my ignorance is such that I've no idea if the portrayal was accurate, really), but the thing is, I'm an agnostic raised in a country where religion is completely irrelevant. I've never been able to wrap my mind around why being Catholic or Protestant would be an issue at all, and what I got from this book is some inkling of why it might matter, and why it might actually be something with roots in religion, but that now goes pretty much beyond that.

Gaining this insight was actually worth the effort of reading the book (and it did take me some time), but between boring characters and a final action denouement featuring cartoonish villains, I can only give this a C+.

The second book was Catriona, another one with a heroine named Kate who irritated me. This particular Kate is Kate Sutherland, an American lawyer. Kate was actually born in Scotland, although she hasn't been able to find out much about her birth. The book starts as one of her cases takes her there, where a mysterious woman tells her going to this little island off the coast of Scotland will answer all her questions.

However, arriving there only sparks more questions, as Kate begins to have visions of herself living 500 years before. With her is historian Niall McCormack, whom she accidentally met only a few days before. Together they must investigate what the relationship is between Kate and this woman, who they suspect is Catriona, the first Countess of Bothwell, a woman caught up in the fight between England and Scotland.

It sounded great on the back cover, but again, the problem was in the execution. The book quickly settles into a pattern, with regular scenes telling the story of Catriona and her "courtship" by Patrick, one of the King of England's men, and Kate trying to make sense of things in between.

I was more or less all right with the present-day story (although Kate was a bit of a twit who persisted in not eating and then feeling faint), but I absolutely hated the story of Catriona and Patrick. It felt like the worst kind of bodice-ripper, with this awful attempt at a tempestuous courtship. It was a "taming" kind of relationship, and Patrick delighted in humiliating Catriona. He was despicable bastard, really, and to make matters worse, Cat was dumb as a rock, and "fiery" and "headstrong" to boot. She was hopelessly outmatched by Patrick, who could see her "cunning" plans a mile away. So boring and infuriating, I much prefer a competent kind of heroine, and an evener, more equal match.

I could only tolerate this (not to mention the awkward writing, with POV flying around and all telling and no showing) for so long, and gave up before the mid point. A DNF, then.


She's Got It Bad, by Sarah Mayberry

>> Sunday, July 19, 2009

TITLE: She's Got It Bad
AUTHOR: Sarah Mayberry

PAGES: 224
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Blaze

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Category romance


Twelve years ago Zoe Ford let Liam Masters break her heart. But now? There's not a chance. Zoe is as tough and wild as they come. So when Liam shows up at her tattoo parlor, she's more than ready to take him on again. That's not going to be a hardship, since he's hotter than he ever was.

This time she's staying in charge. And she's not going to consider their score settled until he's hot, bothered and begging for more! Then she'll move on as callously as he left her. Unless all that deliciously bad sex is just too good to give up….
I've been hearing great things about Mayberry's Harlequin Blazes, and my first try didn't disappoint.

She's Got It Bad tells the story of two characters with a history. After his mother's death, teenaged Liam was taken in by his best friend's family. The Fords treated him like part of the family, and he was happy with them. The only problem was his feelings for 15-year-old Zoe. Liam wanted her, but knew doing anything about it would be a betrayal of these people who'd done so much for him. Zoe, however, had just a big a crush on Liam and no problem with it. When one night she threw herself at him and they almost ended up in bed, Liam knew he had to leave, and did so the next morning.

Years later, Liam runs across a nude portrait of Zoe in an art gallery. Remembering the innocent 15-year-old he used to know, he's convinced she must be in trouble (why else would she be so desperate for money that she feels she has to pose naked, he thinks). He must help her.

However, he gets the surprise of his life when he manages to track her down. The grown-up Zoe is a tough tattoo artist (covered in tattoos herself, of course) , who plays in a trash band and is clearly very sexual and comfortable with it (her on-stage persona, Vixen, delights in sexually teasing her audience). This new Zoe wants nothing from Liam, other than possibly some no-strings-attached sex.

Mayberry walks a bit of a fine line with Liam. His attitude could come across as judgmental, if he wasn't so clearly focused on really helping Zoe and not at all interested on what he can get in return. Technically, of course, there is some judgment there, in his refusal to believe she could actually have chosen her life as it is, but you don't get the sense that he disapproves of her or thinks there is something wrong in her lifestyle. He just doesn't think the Zoe he used to know would have chosen it, and in a way, he is sort of right.

For Zoe, Liam's abrupt departure was the start of a couple of very traumatic years, which have left her psychologically scarred. It's clear to us that while many aspects of her persona are the real Zoe, others are defense mechanisms and a way of dealing with her belief that certains choices are not available to her. There's quite a lot of vulnerability under Zoe's very real toughness, and Liam brings it out. At the same time, Liam carries some baggage from his past himself, and just as he helps Zoe get over hers, she is able to help him right back.

This is a very engrossing 100% character driven romance. Mayberry's writing is smooth, and while this is not a particularly fast-paced book, the pace never drags and you just keep turning the pages. It would have been a solid B+ and only just misses because I didn't believe Liam's baggage as I did Zoe's.



Branded by Fire, by Nalini Singh

>> Monday, July 06, 2009

TITLE: Branded by Fire
AUTHOR: Nalini Singh

COPYRIGHT: 2009 (comes out tomorrow)
PAGES: 368

SETTING: Alternate reality version of future California
TYPE: Alternate reality romance
SERIES: Yes, latest in the Psy/Changeling series

REASON FOR READING: One of my top 3 ongoing series (the other 2, in case you were wondering, are Meljean Brook's Guardians and JD Robb's In Death series).

Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons; the problem is that he’s a wolf, she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.

But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together to track the young man—before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it’ll leave them both branded by fire.
THE PLOT: Mercy, a sentinel for the DarkRiver leopard pack, is none too fond of her counterpart in the SnowDancer wolf pack, Riley. Both packs have formed an alliance, so technically, they're not enemies, but that doesn't make working together any easier. Especially, that is, because for both of them, their adversarial relationship is just a way of sublimating their attraction.

When they finally give in to this attraction (no spoiler here, it happens really early in the book), this only opens an entirely different can of worms. Both Mercy and Riley are quite clearly dominants, and any giving in to the other won't be easy, for either of them.

MY THOUGHTS: So for the first time in the series, both hero and heroine are changelings. I've always loved how Singh doesn't simply portray her changelings as people who just happen to be able to shift into animals. Rather, the fact that a they are animals as well as humans influences her changelings even when they are in human form. "Their animal" is still there, and will react to events and feelings, giving changelings' emotional reactions a certain wildness which I love.

I've very much enjoyed seeing changelings with Psy or human, but in Branded by Fire, the fact that both Mercy and Riley were changelings made the dynamic of their relationship even more unique and interesting. It really reflected the issues underlying any relationship between two very strong individuals.

Mercy's struggles included issues any strong woman will identify with. She needs a mate who's also strong, as she'd walk all over a weak one, but it needs to be someone who won't be forever trying to establish dominance over her. In a way, I suppose Mercy being a changeling actually made more explicit some issues implicit in such a relationship. In order for two changelings to establish the emotional bond that a true union requires, they both need to consciously surrender to each other. That means that there can be no half-hearted relationship, where one of the couple holds something of him or herself apart. This is something that's right out there in their considerations, rather than something almost symbolic, as it would be normally.

It's a relationship that in the wrong hands, could have turned into an exhausting and dispiriting power struggle. The way Singh does it, though, it's affirming and results in something that made me very happy to see.

As ever in this series, the main romance is enriched by the cast of secondary characters, which includes the heroes and heroines from previous books. Singh does an excellent job of giving them all real roles in the action, and completely avoids pointless "look how happy we are!!" cameos. Not to mention, Hawke and Siena. Ohhh, I can't wait to see how that's going to develop!

You'll notice I haven't really talked much about the outside plot. That's not because there wasn't one. In fact, there are developments in the world-building, as the Human Alliance becomes a bigger player and a true threat. The thing is, all this felt quite external to Mercy and Riley's relationship. They were part of the changelings' reactions to all this that's happening, but it didn't really have a bearing on the issues they were facing as a couple, unlike in previous books. Still, I did enjoy the suspense and appreciated that this series is clearly going somewhere. Things will truly come to a head in a future book and with such great writing, I, for one, will definitely still be reading this series.

MY GRADE: A very strong B+.


Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

>> Saturday, July 04, 2009

TITLE: Remember Me?
AUTHOR: Sophie Kinsella

PAGES: 346

SETTING: Contemporary London
TYPE: Chick lit


When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed.

Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all.

Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?
Kinsella's non-shopaholic books are all fun, but with some depth to them, and this one's no different.

The premise is quite unique. Lexi Smart has a pretty sorry life, in typical chick-lit style: she's not good looking, she has a boring, meaningless job and bad luck with men, not to mention, her dad has just died.

After an awful night out with her friends, Lexi trips and hits her head. When she wakes up, as far as she's concerned, it's the very morning after and her life still sucks. She's astonished to hear that it's actually 3 years after that night, and that she's lost all memory of the time in between. Oh, and her life is now perfect. She looks perfect, she has the perfect boyfriend, she's become the boss at her old job and has become quite well off. Great, right? Except that in those 3 years, Lexi has become someone she's not sure she likes.

I enjoyed Lexi's discovery of who she really was. Did she change completely during those missing 3 years, or was "The Cobra", as she's now known in the office, inside the old Lexi all along? The answer is not at all straighforward.

On the way to it are extremely funny disasters, as Lexi tries to bluff her way through her new life, some very poignant moments, as she tries to salvage her relationship with her old friends (who are among the people at work who despise and fear The Cobra) and a really nice romance.

MY GRADE: A B+. Kinsella is chick lit for those readers who think they don't like chick lit.


Blog template by

Back to TOP