Book Review: After I Do – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Title: After I Do (2014)
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit
Extent: 353 pages
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage.

She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

Review

Taylor Jenkins Reid seems to have a penchant for taking my worst nightmares and turning them into brilliant, thought-provoking stories. While I didn’t love Forever, Interrupted or One True Loves for various reasons, After I Do finally hit (most of) the right notes with me, both in premise and execution. 🙆

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Book Review: One True Loves – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Title: One True Loves (2016)
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Extent: 352 pages
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Review

I’ve been curious about One True Loves ever since I discovered what it was about, well, two true loves. My past experience with Taylor Jenkins Reid was with Forever, Interrupted, which is a heartbreaking account of a woman who lost her husband soon after they wedded, and my expectations for this one were a bit higher given that it has a higher Goodreads rating. Are they met? Well…

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Book Review: Forever, Interrupted – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Reviews - Taylor Jenkins Reid - Forever Interrupted

Title: Forever, Interrupted
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Extent: 352 pages
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.

Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.

Review

Forever, Interrupted seeks to answer a question that most—if not all—of us really, really don’t want to answer: What do you do when you lose the love of your life… forever? I picked up this book dreading it a little bit because holy crap, that’s one of my worst fears ever.

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Book Looks: Nuts – Alice Clayton

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Bag | Sweater | Shorts | Necklace | Bracelet | Boots | Nail Polish | Phone Case

Title: Nuts (2015)
Series: Hudson Valley – Book 1
Author: Alice Clayton
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Description:

After losing almost all of her clients in one fell swoop following an accident involving whipped cream, private chef to Hollywood’s elite Roxie Callahan gets a call from her flighty mother, saying she’s needed home in upstate New York to run the family diner.

Once she’s back in the Hudson Valley, local organic farmer Leo delivers Roxie a lovely bunch of walnuts, and soon sparks—and clothing—begin to fly. Leo believes that everything worth doing is worth doing slowly…and how! But will Roxie stay upstate, or will the lure of West Coast redemption tempt her back to Tinseltown?

Read the first lines… 

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Book Review: A Window Opens – Elisabeth Egan

shelatitude_a-window-opens-cover A Window Opens

Title: A Window Opens (2015)
Author: Elisabeth Egan
Genre: Chick Lit, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Extent: 384 pages
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review: I picked up A Window Opens because of the cute cover (outfit here) and immediately got sucked into the fun, bookish world Egan has weaved for her main character, Alice Pearse.

Alice is a loving mother and wife in her thirties, a part-time editor at You magazine, and a loyal, excited book lover. When her husband makes a radical career change, Alice has to step up and become the breadwinner of her family—a challenge that she is up to, especially when she lands a job at Scroll, a start-up company that promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to first-edition classics. Alas, things are not always what they seem, and we soon spiral into a crazy journey as everything takes an unexpected turn.

Chick lit, especially good chick lit, can be hard to get right, but I think Egan is definitely on the right path. This novel, in a word, is real. It’s smart, it’s realistic, it’s heartfelt. The challenges that Alice finds herself in are real. Paying the bills, taking care of the children, performing well at work, caring for her sick parent, dealing with relationship troubles… these are all things we often find ourselves struggling with, and I felt sad and scared for Alice when things didn’t go right, and happy and relieved for her when things did go right.

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