Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Miss Invisible by Laura Jensen Walker

Miss Invisible by Laura Jensen Walker is a book about Freddie, and overweight cake baker, finding herself and finally living up to her potential. Freddie feels overlooked by society. She feels invisible and insignificant due to her size. It probably doesn't help that she works for a boss that puts Freddie down just to make herself feel more powerful and she has a crush on a VERY popular boy at her church who barely knows she is alive.

But Freddie meets a woman and friend that changes her life. She is in the "Big Girls Club" too but she is no where near invisible. She is full of life and commands a presence the minute she enters a room. With some gentle nudging from her new friend and interest from the cute new veterinarian in town, Freddie begins to come out her shell. By the end of the book Freddie has taken control of her life and learned that big girls aren't the only ones who feel like Miss Invisible, but all it takes is a little confidence and some encouragement and support from good friends to come out of the corner and really live.

It was a really cute chic lit book and a quick easy read. She also starts a blog in the book which I could relate to, although I think it is a little unrealistic to become a superstar blogger with your very first post. A good book for the beach or pool.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Come Back by Claire and Mia Fontaine

I'm not too far from my teenage years so I remember some of what it was like, but I have matured enough to recognize my sometimes crazy decisions and behavior during that time. Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back brought back some of those memories. It is the story of a mother trying her hardest to protect her daughter from herself as she goes through a painful and difficult time in her life.

The book is alternates narrating from the mother's perspective and the daughter's perspective. Mia, the daughter is going through a tough emotional time and trying to find her own way in life. She runs away from home and gets caught up in drugs. All the while this seems like a nightmare for her mother Claire as she tries to find her daughter and get back the Mia she knows.

I could relate to both the mother and the daughter's thoughts. When Claire does find Mia, she sends her to a "boot camp" type of school two continents away. Mia and Claire go through a rigorous program to find out how they wound up at this point and how to fix it.

It was a good story and one any mother or daughter should read.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

A friend had recommended Sarah Strohmeyer to me a few months ago. I went on PaperbackSwap and added some of her books to my wishlist. The first one I got in the mail was The Cinderella Pact.

When Nola Devlin is passed over for a position at the magazine she works for because she doesn't fit the "image" they are going for (i.e. thin, glamorous, etc.) she creates an alter ego- Belinda who does land the job. Around the same time another event prompts her and two friends to start following "The Cinderella Pact" written about by her alter ego- Belinda Apple. The three start on their own path towards becoming their most fabulous self.

Meanwhile Nola's double life starts to get her in all kinds a trouble. The magazine suspects something fishy about Belinda and launches a full on investigation. Her sister becomes fascinated with Belinda and give her the Maid of Honor position in her upcoming wedding.

Mix all of this in with a budding romance with the mysterious Chip, who she just can't seem to figure out and it makes for a very interesting story. Throughout the story you can't help but pulling for Nola and hoping that everything works out in her favor. I'd consider this first introduction to Sarah Strohmeyer a success and I look forward to reading her other books as well. Great chic lit author!

I give this 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Churched by Matthew Paul Turner

If you've ever thought some Christians can be a little crazy, this book will have you laughing out loud. Churched: One Kid's Journey Towards God Despite a Holy Mess is the story of a young boy growing up in a fundamentalist Christian household.

I discovered this book through Matthew Paul Turner's blog. I don't remember how I discovered the blog. I think it was in my Google Reader recommendations. I read almost every post and liked his writing style and wit and saw that he had this new book out, so I put it on my wish list at Paperback Swap.

Here are a few random quotes from the book to give you an idea what it's like:

"When I got older, I decided that upon arriving in heaven, I would ask God to do me a favor and not put my mansion close to Ally's."

"I was going to the barbershop because Jesus hated little boys who had long hair."

"But not even the ingredients in my mother's travel-sized hairspray could keep me from passing out on the pew."

"By the end of the evening it seemed that everybody in the music industry either worshiped Satan, was a prostitute, or their brand of hairspay supported a woman's right to choose."

"My biggest fear about the end was that Jesus would come back before I had the chance to have sex."

He tells so many hilarious stories from Barbie burnings to the annual Pastor Nolan vs. Satan boxing match, that the look at the events through a child's eye make it all sound that much more absurd. After five baptisms and asking Jesus in to his heart more times than you can count, he does find God, just not in the way everyone else seemed to want him to.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Beach House by Jane Green

The Beach House by Jane Green has a lot going on. It may also make you want to move to the beach. It is the story of Nan who opens her beach house one summer to boarders in an effort to raise enough money to save her house. The people who stay there are all random with their own issues going on in their lives but over the course of the book their stories and lives become intertwined.

This book has so many issues it is perfect if you love lots of drama. It has a divorced couple dealing with a moody teenage daughter, a wife whose marriage falls apart when her husband reveals a lifelong secret, a guy who has an affair with his married boss, and a shocker at the end that you probably won't see coming.

The story is set in beautiful Nantucket and the characters are all pretty well developed and likable. All the drama and story lines keep you coming back for more. Even though I read this a little too early for the beach or pool, it is the perfect waterside read.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Jane Green is a good chick lit author. Check out her website and other books here.
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