When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

37712401This is the book I got 85% of the way through before my Kindle loan expired and I was SOL for the end of the book. Turns out about 5 pages later and my rage would have made me not care about reading the ending anyway. Who knew?!

My fav from the Devil books, Emily Charlton, is back for this novel, which is divided between three points of view. Her previously unmentioned bestie, Miriam, lives in Greenwich, CT, where most of the action takes place. Miriam has a bestie, Karolina, who’s a former model turned senator’s wife, who is having a bit of a scandal problem (through no fault of her own). Karolina hires Emily, who is now a celebrity fixer, to help her deal with her issues and get custody of her son back.

There’s a lot of probably deserving lampooning of Greenwich moms (probably similar to Marina moms in SF), but not living in that world, it just feels mean-spirited and obvious. These moms get plastic surgery. The kids grow up spoiled. Everyone is cheating on everyone else. Meh.

Miranda Priestly features only briefly in a couple of scenes, which seemed unnecessary the way the books turns up, but I guess it wouldn’t be a Prada book without “the Devil.” The news Emily gets at the end just enrages me as does her reaction, so I think I’m done with the series (if there are any other books). Just UGH.

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How to Sleep with a Movie Star by Kristin Harmel

9250257In preparation for an upcoming trip, I’ve started exploring ebooks from my local library. I haven’t wanted to take the plunge to buy a Kindle, but the thought of carrying multiple books for the trip seemed daunting. I started searching authors in the Libby app to find a good “starter” book to try out. It took a few tries to find a book that was actually available now, but since this book came out in 2006, there wasn’t much demand for it. I read it all in basically a day, staying up way too late last night to get through the last chapters. I liked how the Kindle app syncs with my phone and my laptop, so I could just pick up where I left off no matter where I was. I still love a real book, but I’m into this ebook thing.

As for the actual novel, I liked it a lot. After my “secret prince” trope, the “celebrity falls for a normal person” trope is my favorite! The protagonist feels very real, and most of the typical chick lit “misunderstandings” are believable. Her boyfriend sucks, and it seems pretty obvious why, but the payoff is still good. The fall out from finding out about her boyfriend and running into our celebrity hero felt like a romcom and I mean that in the best way. I could totally see this being made into a movie like Notting Hill.

The ending felt a little rushed and unearned, especially the epilogue. After all the build-up, I guess I wanted to see more about what it was like to be shoved into the public eye like that (or not cover it at all). Overall, it was a fun read and pretty much the last year when you could do this novel without iPhones, which would change EVERYTHING. So fun!

Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink by Kim Gruenenfelder

17286727I was eager to get this sequel from the library and dove in as soon as possible. It’s a different format from the original and I think it suffers in comparison.

The main difference is that we spend the book focused on Mel. She was my least favorite of the three from the original and that feeling doesn’t change much during the course of this book. She spent the original book flying off the handle at any perceived hardship after leaving her bad relationship, and she similar things in this book.

Those who know me know that I have no room to talk when it comes to crushes on bad-for-me men, but I’ve never hooked up with any of them years later, so it’s hard to know how I would act if placed in a similar situation. She hooks up with Seema’s brother at the wedding and then takes him up on the invite to visit him in Paris. Instead of enjoying great sex and freakin’ PARIS, she spends the whole time wondering if he’s into her, if he’s hooked up with any woman he talks to (spoiler alert, he probably has), and basically ruining the trip for herself. So, she goes on a backpacking trip across Europe that we don’t get to hear about before heading to Hawaii to stay with her gay best friend who owns a bar.

There’s a whole thing about her money tree charm from another charm pull, but it feels as pointless as the charm thing from the first time. Her bestie owns a bar and she loves working there instead of being a high school math teacher. She runs into a brief encounter from the airport and falls in love in like 30 seconds. All of this would be fine if it was happening anywhere except Hawaii because it feels all very much like she decided to stay on vacay forever after like two weeks. But she gets her happily ever after, even if she never sees her best gal pals again. Changed my mind about this author now, but I’m happy I got to read the sequel nonetheless.

The Art of French Kissing by Kristin Harmel

1013522I finished about half of this book while I was getting a pedicure yesterday and I seriously didn’t want to stop. I think I like this one better than the first novel I read by her, though this didn’t have the “heart” of Italian for Beginners.

Our heroine gets dumped by her fiance and downsized by her job in the same week. Her local friends suck, but her old friend from study abroad comes through with a PR job in Paris. Emma’s no fool, so she flies to Paris to manage a rising music star during his album release. It’s pre-iPhone era, which is always a fun time travel, without going all the way back to the 90s.

It’s never fully explained why Guillaume does the things that he does, but it does seem like he’s not a total asshole, which helps. Emma’s family sucks, but luckily, they are only there in the beginning and the end-ish. I really loved how Emma and Gabe kept coming together and while I hated their reconciliation (SO unrealistic, even for chick lit!), I was happy that things did work out. And of course, now I want to go to Paris!

There’s a Cake in my Future by Kim Gruenenfelder

8563495I got this book from the library last week and I couldn’t put it down. It starts with a weird premise of pulling cake charms from an engagement party cake. The bride-to-be sets it up so that everyone is supposed to get a certain charm, but the set up gets messed up and everyone gets a different one. Then things start to spiral.

I couldn’t really relate to Nicole’s story, she of the marrying a guy who has kids and a crappy ex-wife, but it was nice to see her evolve her thinking as the book went on. I like that all the women weren’t white, and I really enjoyed Seema’s plot, even if it ended up a little cliched. Mel was a lot to handle for much of the book since she kinda goes off the deep end, but I did really like how the other two friends kept their mouths shut when needed and kicked her butt when needed, like real friends do.

The three POVs were a lot at the beginning, but the author does a great job of making them all different people, not just different plots. And with the cliffhanger ending, I’ve ordered the next book in the series from the library, which I can’t wait to get!