Thursday, April 29, 2010

Girls In Trucks

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So last week I went on a cruise and I was in the mood for sitting in the sun drinking a Pina Colada and reading a brainless hunk of chick lit.  And that is precisely what I did.  The sun was wonderful, the Pina Colada was delicious but the book... Meh...  I tend to like my chick lit a little more funny, a lot more steamy, and a little less of a downer.  Girls In Trucks just didn't bring that to the table, and I finished it with a sun tan, a fabulous Pina Colada induced buzz, and a real need to fling the book into the ocean (I didn't do that by the way).  The writing was beautiful and the cover was swoonable, but the story was inconsistent and it felt like a bunch of episodes of a sitcom that weren't in order.  

Sarah is a d├ębutante in Charleston and she just doesn't feel like she belongs.  Her high society family is all about Southern appearance and Sarah tries to go against the grain whenever humanly possible.  After she graduates from high school and has her coming out party she heads to New York where she slaves away at a job she isn't happy with while she searches for Mr. Right the whole time sleeping with a football teams worth of Mr. Wrongs.  She falls in love hard with Max and he is alright for a little while until he wants her to have very rough sex with him and at first she thinks it is scary and weird and then she kinda likes it because it makes him happy.  Pretty much she needs a good kick in the butt to get her out of that very unhealthy relationship and he needs some meds because he is one twist short of a Slinky.  There is a lot of booze and a lot more sex with a lot more men and a lot more self pity and nothing really gets resolved... ever.  The one thing Sarah has going for her are her dysfunctional group of friends, they are interesting at least, but they are just as big of a mess as she is.

I wasn't expecting the next great american novel here but I was expecting a little laugh like that hilarious Shopaholic gal or at least the Southern charm of the YaYa Sisterhood, but I didn't get any of that.  Unfortunately this book just sort of fizzled out for me and I don't think I would recommend it to anyone.

BOOK vs. MOVIE: Nope.

RATING: 2 Star

3 More Reviews on Girls In Trucks:    

Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch
(given to me by my Sister-in-law)
ISBN 0316002119
Pages: 256

If you liked Girls in Trucks then read: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

Friday, April 23, 2010

Little Bee

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I think Little Bee by Chris Cleave was a classic case of over expectations for me.  I saw this book in Borders a few months ago and loved the cover.  When I turned the book over to read the summery I was very intrigued by what it said and so it went directly on the top of my TBR list.  Then my book club decided that it would be the book for April and I was SO excited to sink my teeth into it.  I devoured it and after I was finished I was just like "eh".  The story is interesting, and the writing is extraordinarily well done but I think I hyped myself up so much and then I felt a little let down in the end.  I also really couldn't find a character that I connected with very well.  The book is written in 2 voices and I did enjoy the chapters written by Little Bee best but I really couldn't connect with her, and the other characters just annoyed me.  Another thing that might have kept me from falling in love with this book is the fact that this one was right on the heels of The Road and I was kinda obsessed with that book so Little Bee might not even had a snowballs chance in hell with me at that point..

I have never given y'all a summery before that wasn't in my very own words but I feel with this book I am going to have to give you the back of the book.  So here it goes... 
We don't want to tell you what happens in this book.  It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it.  Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this:  This a the story of two women.  Their lives collide on fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face.  Two year later, they meet again - the story starts there... Once you've read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it.  When you do, please don't tell them what happens.  The magic is in how the story unfolds. 
Are you intrigued like I was?  How can you not be?  It really was a decent read but I just didn't really feel it after it was all said and done.  Like The Story of Edgar Sawtelle I would highly recommend the book to a Book Club (even though I didn't love the book) because there is a TON that you can discuss.  But if you are looking for a light read DON'T go here as the subject matter is pretty heavy.  If you are looking for unique then go for it because it is quite a unique story.  I am sorry I couldn't give it a better review because I really really really wanted to love this book when I saw it in the book store.       

BOOK vs. MOVIE: There is a movie coming out next year it looks like and it will be staring Nicole Kidman. I will probably see it because I feel it maybe a story that should have been told on film.  I think Nicole Kidman was a good choice for the roll of Sarah O'Rourke.

RATING: 3 Stars

3 More Reviews of Little Bee:

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
ISBN 1416589635
Pages: 288

If you liked Little Bee than read: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Hour I First Believed

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Hello everyone!  I am sorry I have been absent for a few weeks but seriously The Road blew me away so much that I just couldn't get into another book and so I was in a little bit of a rut.  And The Hour I First Believed was SOOOOO long that it took me a while to listen to the whole darn thing during my work commute.  But I finished it and so now I must tell you all about it! 

I don't really know what to think about Wally Lamb sometimes honestly.  I like him, I have read all his books, but I always have a moment in all his stories that I ask my self "where in the hell is this going" or "what the hell did I just read".  First of all his books are chunksters and The Hour I First Believed came in at 750 pages (or 20 HOURS on the audio book) so you have to like a hefty read to enjoy any of his tomes.   The writing was beautiful and the stories are poignant and he always tackles hard issues and very heavy topics.  Something that I really enjoy about Wally Lambs fiction is that all his stories take place in the fictional town of Three Rivers Connecticut, and because Three Rivers isn't a very large town apparently, some of the characters from each book kinda make cameo appearance in the other books but by no means do the stories go together as a series.  The other thing that these books have in common are their page count and the fact that Lamb likes to write about disturbed people with a collection of psychological disorders such as schizophrenia (I Know This Much is True), Eating disorders (She's Come Undone), and post traumatic stress disorder (The Hour I First Believed).  And almost all the time there is someone getting committed to some sort of "retreat" to get their act together.  But all in all the books are interesting and SO full of layers that you start to wonder if you are reading an onion and how in the crap are all the layers going to come together in the end.

The Hour I First Believe is about a man named Caelum Quirk, a literary teacher that has an issue with intimacy (he is on wife number 3).  After Caelum's third wife, Maureen, has an affair, they decide to move away from Three Rivers Connecticut and start fresh in Littleton Colorado.  The year is 1999 and I am sure you can see where all this is going (and you are just screaming for it not to go there).  While Caelum is back home in Connecticut making arrangements for his Aunts funeral he turns on the TV to see Columbine High School (the school where he teaches and his wife is a nurse) being shot up by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.  He rushes back to Colorado that night not knowing if his wife is alive or dead.  When he finds her alive he is relieved beyond words but over the next few days he realizes that life as they know it is over for them.  Maureen is suffering from a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Eventually they choose to move back to Three Rivers and move into the Quirk family farm but though things get better for a while Maureen's life starts to spiral out of control as does Caelum's as they deal with this terrible disorder, family secrets, and complicated relationships with each other and their loved ones.

I can't really describe to you exactly what the book is about because the PTSD and Columbine High School and Maureen's issues are only a very small part of this story yet they are the catalyst for everything else in this multi layered book.  There is so much more that you would just have to read it for yourself to understand exactly what I am saying.  I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in psychology, sociology, or anthropology.  I would also recommend this book (and anything by Wally Lamb) to those who like a challenge, as Lamb provides his readers with meaty books not fluff.  On a side note (and one just about the audio version) I LOVED the reader George Guidall.  He brought each character alive so well it was amazing! I will search out other audio books he has read just to hear him again!

BOOK vs. MOVIE:  I don't really think books by Lamb are really movie quality.  You can't get into the dimensions that are in his writing in a 2 hour movie.  Also, I think even though it was so many years ago the Columbine presence in this book would be very disturbing for people to watch.

RATING: 4 Stars

Three More Reviews of The Hour I First Believed:

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
ISBN 9780061703034
20 Discs (20 Hours 15 Minutes)
Narrated by George Guidall

If you liked The Hour I First Believed then try reading: I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb