Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sundays at Tiffany's

Sundays at Tiffany's, James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Jane is the daughter of the beautiful and uber successful Vivianne Margeaux.  They live in New York City where Jane is neglected, but privileged.  She also has an imaginary friend named Michael, who helps her cope with her loneliness and insecurity.

But imaginary friends can only stay with children until their 9th birthday, and on Jane's 9th birthday Michael says goodbye, promising that she won't remember anything about him the next morning.

23 years later and Jane is working for her mother's production company, and producing a movie about her imaginary friend Michael; whom she never forgot.  Michael finds himself back in New York on sabbatical while he's between charges (kids) and runs into Jane.

This book was really sweet.  It was just a simple fairy tale.  There was an unnecessary love scene that kind of threw me, and the resolution with the mother fell flat to me.  But I liked the magic of it all, and there were some cute scenes.  I'm glad I read it at Christmas because I'm a little more accepting of saccharine sweet this time of year.

All in, I'm glad I read it.  Though, on a side note, what the heck is up with the cover art?  Makes no sense, dark haired woman hugging a kid?  Who looks like a little boy?  What?  The women in the story (Jane and her mother) are blond.

Also, this is a James Patterson and book.  Which, when I see those, I always think the second person wrote most of it, but put the bigger novelists name on it to sell more books.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin

Rachael is turning 30 and is a single, working lawyer in New York.  By 30 she thought she'd be married with a baby, or two, living in the suburbs.  These are the thoughts she's having at her thirtieth birthday party which ends with her and her best friend's fiancee stumbling to her apartment and beginning a summer long affair.

All the while, he's still engaged.

I listened to this audiobook so I think that colors my opinion differently than if I had read it.  The narrators personal opinion of the characters comes through in how they read their voices.

My first problem?  How are these girls still friends?  I mean I have had relationships, even best friends, that are toxic and negative.  But not much past high school, and definitely not past college.  Sure, you do not have to like everything about a person to be their friend, and everyone is flawed, but how are Rachael and Darcy still friends when they so clearly do not think very highly of each other?

Since this is told from Rachael's perspective, it's her opinion that Darcy is selfish, bossy, super competitive with her, and shallow.  I'm sure in the next book (Something Blue) we will hear that Rachael is a no fun, boring, wuss.

In truth?  They are both awful people.  At the beginning I thought, okay, Dex knew Rachael first, he had fallen in love with her over time, that's why the cheating happened.  He'll break up with Darcy, and that will be that.  Surely they wont continue such a lurid affair.  Surely they won't plan to meet and sneak behind his fiancee's and her best friend's back.

But they did.  The more they did, the less I liked them.  And neither one showed much remorse.  Darcy was selfish and manipulative, but these two are supposed to love her inspite those things, not do this to her.  If they had changed toward her, the noble thing, the thing a good person (that they both profess to be) would do, is tell her.  But they don't.

Inspite of these things, I did not dislike this book.  It was funny at moments and I did like some of the supporting characters even though the lead three really are sort of awful.  They didn't start out that way, and until about the last two hours of the book (so last 200 pages, maybe?) I was pretty enthralled.  And I did go get through it quickly.

So I would give this a three out of 4.  Worth reading.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Almost Moon

The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold

Helen Knightley has killed her mother, and she's not sure how she feels about it.  The next 300 pages attempt to tell us how abused(?) Helen is at the hands of her mother, Clair, who was agoraphobic, and how traumatized she is after her father killed himself.

Sebold is a traumatized person herself, clearly, because statments made throughout the book - all children want to kill their parents, all girls fantasize about cutting up their mothers, etc - just sort of point to someone who has a disconnect from reality.  All children do not want to kill their parents.  I would say for most, that thought never enters their mind.  In fact, I would probably say one of my worst fears as a child was that one or both of my parents would not come home.

Sebold wrote "The Lovely Bones" and I read that and it was good.  I can't say I enjoyed it because it's dark and twisted and parts of it are dumb.  But it was infinitely perferable to this.  Not a single character in this novel is worth knowing or reading about.  They are all bad people.

And I grew weary of the way Sebold writes things.  She writes sentences that probably make perfect sense to her, but absolutely none to anyone else.  Probably because none of us fantasize about killing our parents, it's like an inside joke for the sociopathic.

In short, this book was awful.  It was sad, it was wierd, it was dark, and it didn't even end, really.  I'm assuming Helen decided not to kill herself and to do her stint in jail.  And I never appareciate authors that use the F word so often.  It's brash and harsh and feels mean and jarring.  I don't like it.  I'm glad I got this from the library and didn't pay good money for it.

There was not one good take away from this book.  Other than it ended, under 300 pages, thankfully.

PS - it's called The Almost Moon because her father tells her once that even if you can almost all of the moon, the rest of it is still there.  So you have to deal with what you have, the almost part, and keep remembering that the whole moon is there.  This is in reference to his mentally ill wife.  They can see almost all of her, but they keep going because she's whole somewhere.