Review: The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory

My Rating: ★★★

Genre(s): Romance, Fiction, Chick Lit

Reading Challenge: 22 out of 35

Goodreads Synopsis —

When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn't come as a surprise--or happen in front of 45,000 people.

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans...

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes...

My Thoughts —

Okay, so I’m going to come out and say it… This was decidedly not my cup of tea.

Let’s get through the good first: This book was fun, which is a crucial component to a good Chick Lit. I often read terribly heavy novels with serious subject matter or they’re sad or whatever. So every now and then, I love me a good lighthearted romance novel. This one filled the quota. I liked that the female characters were presented as being strong and capable, especially the gym owner Natalie who was a real bad-ass. And there was some cutesy, fun banter throughout the novel.

But to be honest, that’s really where the ‘good’ ended for me.

Frankly, this book felt a little… immature? It's an adult novel that focuses on the lives of adults. But I just did not get that impression. I have never heard anyone over 17 speaking to their friends or boyfriends/girlfriends the way these thirty-something characters did. And then there was the sex scene… If you’ve read The Proposal, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. THE cringe-y sex scene. Oh my lord. I nearly had to skip the scene altogether, the dialogue was just so immature and weird.

I didn’t like how the female lead, Nik, was presented. The author kept on about how strong and independent she was, but really, she was just being childish most of the time and was unwilling to show any vulnerability. I don’t really see that being a sign of strength. I believe that a strong character can show their “weak” side and that doesn’t make them helpless, it makes them human. And the male lead, Carlos, showed a lot of signs of that gross “I’m not like other guys” personality in my opinion, especially in the last half of the novel during the plot’s conflict. Yuck.

All in all, the story just seemed rushed and as though there wasn’t a lot of thought put into it. Maybe I’m just as not into romantic novels as I thought I was? Or maybe this was just a miss for me? I’m not sure. But it definitely wasn’t a win in my books.

Thanks for reading!

Felicia x

Review: My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella


“I think I’ve finally worked out how to feel good about life. Every time you see someone’s bright-and-shiny, remember: They have their crappy truths too. Of course they do.”

My Rating: ★★★

Genre(s): Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Reading Challenge: 3 out of 50

Goodreads Synopsis —

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie's life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle--from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she's trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she's finding her feet--not to mention a possible new romance--the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family's farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away--until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie's future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.

My Thoughts —

So, this was my first-ever Sophie Kinsella novel. I’ve heard a ton about her novels before but just never really found one that grabbed my attention. This one was featured in a bunch of “must read” lists online, so I thought I’d give it a go! I went into this pretty unsure of what to expect, other than that it’d be a romantic read. With that, I thought it’d be up my alley. But sadly, My Not So Perfect Life didn’t really do it for me.

I enjoyed the overall storyline and, for the most part, the actual storytelling was well done. I just found that it was a tad overdramatic for my taste. Particularly it was the dialogue that I wasn’t much of a fan of. It seemed like every second or third line, there was an exclamation mark. It’s like the characters were constantly squealing at each other which was a bit annoying if I’m honest.

The plot was a bit off at times. The title itself says “not so perfect” in it, but honestly, Katie’s life wasn’t that awful to begin with. I mean, she wasn’t living a glamorous life by any means. But she wasn’t as downtrodden as she made herself out to be. She was a bit immature from the start and I think that was what bugged me the most. I couldn’t really feel sympathetic for her character because the fantasy she was living was a bit childish.

I also kind of hated Alex, the guy placed as Katie’s romantic interest. I hate when there’s the token bad boy character with severe commitment issues that the female character ~magically~ fixes. As if the right girl will stop someone from being an ass who uses and mistreats women. Yeah ok.

Overall, it was a good, fluffy read. Maybe I’m just not into these sorts of books anymore, and that’s why it didn’t sit well with me? Who knows! It hasn’t totally put me off of Sophie Kinsella’s books though, as I still want to someday read Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Have you ever read a Kinsella? Let me know which in the comments!

Felicia x

Review: Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding


Title: Bridget Jones’s Diary

Author: Helen Fielding

Publisher: Penguin Books

Release Date: June 1st 1999

Pages: 288

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Goodreads | Amazon | Chapters Indigo

“It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It’s like being Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting ‘Cathy’ and banging your head against a tree.”

Bridget Jones’s Diary is pretty much known as the epitome of chick-lit. Written in the way of a personal diary, you’re introduced to the life of Bridget Jones - a single, working woman in her thirties who writes openly about her day-to-day struggles with her turbulent love life, her parental drama, and her career.

Though I hate to start off on a sour note - and trust me, I really do hate it - I think I should just get my complaints out in the open right off the bat. My real issue with this novel is very simple: I watched the film before I read the book. Bad move on my part. And I didn’t just watch the film. No, I watched the film about a million times and formed a very deep undying love for it. Very bad of me, indeed. I have officially learned my lesson now. (Probably not).

Book Bridget, I’ve since learned, is just as relatable to the modern woman as Film Bridget. She’s a bit clumsy, quite awkward, very self-conscious. But also loveable and witty. I wouldn’t say that Book Bridget made me laugh-out-loud like most people who have read this book before say she made them laugh. But I definitely cracked a smile for sure. I also think it’s definitely worth mentioning that Book and Film Bridget are quite problematic characters. The book and film have really not aged very well, so I think noting that is a pretty important part of reading the book.

I quite liked the journal-style narration of this. I’ve had a thing for books where it’s told in journal entries for a while now - I think it adds a bit of realism to the story. You could honestly believe for a minute that you’re just reading an everyday woman’s journal. It also makes for a quick and easy read, which I sometimes prefer over lengthy, wordier novels. The daily tallies of vices (i.e. alcohol, cigarettes, weight) that Bridget kept were also a nice addition.

I did quite enjoy Bridget Jones’s Diary. It was just the sort of fun novel that I needed to follow-up a dark story like The Girls. It’s the kind of book that I would want to take on vacation to read by the pool or on the beach. However, as I am regrettably not on vacation, I enjoyed it just as much while wrapped up in a blanket by the fireplace on a rainy day. It makes for a good cosy read for dreary days.

Have you read Bridget Jones’s Diary? Did you like the book or film better?

Goodreads Challenge: 2 out of 50

Felicia x