All posts by teachergirl73

Review of The Wedding Night and I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

GUEST REVIEWER teachergirl73

WNIf you are looking for a funny, romantic-comedy, that could very easily be translated into film, then you might want to check out Sophie Kinsella‘s most recent novel, The Wedding Night or last year’s publication I’ve Got Your Number. Both novels have the perfect combination of romance and comedy that I believe would make them easily transferable to the silver screen.  On the surface, both novels present as “light and fluffy” chic lit, but what I like the most about Kinsella’s writing style is that she is able to weave more complex themes that often deal with the dysfunctional side of families that is easily relatable for most readers, balancing the drama with some highly comedic moments. Throughout both stories, the reader gets to see just how flawed sibling or parent – child (especially adult children) relationships can be. Add to that a healthy dose of “rom-com” scenarios, I think both novels are great reads. The relationship themes are never allowed to get too serious thanks to the comedic hijinx that seem to follow the main characters wherever they go. Kinsella’s message that being true to oneself, and living life to the fullest is delivered in a most enjoyable way.

In The Wedding Night, we meet an ensemble cast of characters that include two sisters Lottie and Fliss, who are both suffering from the trauma of failed relationships. Lottie, recently rejected by the man that she thought she would live happily ever after, spirals out of control in a series of hilarious mishaps that absolutely go to the extreme, in the attempt to heal her broken heart. Fliss, Lottie’s older sister, is trying to come out the other side of a bitter divorce with a young son to raise. Fliss also feels responsible for saving her sister Lottie from herself, which is a role she has cast herself in time and time again.  Both women have some hard lessons to learn before they can move on, and Kinsella artfully takes us on an adventure that starts in London and ends in the beautiful Greek islands.  Her ultimate message that we can never go back and resurrect the past is crystal clear by the end.

In this excerpt from The Wedding Night, you get a little snapshot of Fliss’ reaction to Lottie’s latest drama:

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IGYNIn I’ve Got Your Number, Poppy Wyatt seems to have it all. She’s engaged to marry the very sophisticated (and rich), Magnus Tavish, who on the surface appears as if he will make “An Ideal Husband”, but you know pretty quickly on in the novel that Poppy’s path to happily ever after is in jeopardy. This first becomes apparent when the story begins with Poppy losing her engagement ring, which happens to be a precious family heirloom. Then to add insult to injury, she’s mugged and loses her phone which may have been as devastating to her as losing her ring! But just as she’s beginning to become completely undone, she spots a cell phone in the garbage bin, which seems to be kismet and the answer to her problems. Except for the fact that the real owner of the phone wants it back…and so begins the great adventure that is I’ve Got Your Number.

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Just as in The Wedding Night, Poppy’s got her fair share of troubled family relationships, and has a lot of ups and downs as she navigates her way through what society would say is the “perfect life”. But is it? Read it and find out for yourself.

TeacherGirlMy rating: 5 Stars                             

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Reviewer: teachergirl73

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The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

Amazon.ca Editors’ Pick: Best Books of 2012

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. http://www.amazon.ca/The-Fault-Stars-John-Green/dp/0525478817

the_fault_in_our_stars_cover_by_kaiasaurus-d3kr6bvWhen I started reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I was a little apprehensive because I knew that it would be an emotional read. It is because I am a complete sap when it comes to books, TV shows or movies that revolve around terminal illnesses and loss, I typically avoid such stories for fear of becoming a blubbering mess. After hearing so many good things about The Fault in Our Stars, I decided that this book needed to be an exception to my avoidance rule, and I cannot say enough about how glad I am that I read this book.

Well, thankfully, The Fault in Our Stars is one of those rare books that has managed to break free of the trends, and stand alone. It is a literary novel for adolescents that challenges the mainstream as it takes the reader on the rocky path of teens living with cancer and the realities that they face. The following excerpt from p.15 of The Fault in Our Stars, is a good example of the “irreverent” attitude, hinted at in the novel’s description, that is displayed by Hazel and her support group friends, Augustus and Isaac:

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This is also a story about love, not just that of first love, but also the relationships that parents have with their kids, and the strength of friendships in the face of tough circumstances that no child should ever have to face.  The following excerpt is from a conversation that Hazel has with her parents where she tries to explain why she’s afraid to build new friendships:

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Despite Hazel’s attempt to “minimize casualties”, she realizes that is just not going to be possible as she discovers soon enough, Augustus is a hard person to shake. As for my earlier fear that I would become a blubbering mess before the book was through, that did happen, (and pathetically, again as I searched for quotes to use in this review) but I also laughed quite a bit. I truly enjoyed the development of the main characters Grace and Augustus as they stumbled along their journey together, it was quite the ride.

My rating: 5 Stars                             

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Reviewer: teachergirl73

TeacherGirl