Month: July 2013

Book 28 of 52: Messy by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The Fug Girls are back!

Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan are the writers behind Go Fug Yourself, a funny fashion celebrity blog. They’re also YA authors and just published Messy, their second novel.

Messy is a modern day take on Cyrano de Bergerac (or Roxanne. I loved that movie). Much in the same way that Clueless turned Pride & Prejudice into a send up of rich kids living the Beverly Hills lifestyle, Messy is a send up of rich kids living in the shadow of Hollywood.

It’s also a sequel to Spoiledin which we met Brooke Berlin, the daughter of mega action star Brick Berlin. Spoiled had Brooke (and everyone via gossip blogs) learning that she had a half-sister, Molly, who came to live in the Berlin mansion after her mom died. Here, Brooke hires Molly’s green-haird friend Max to ghost write her blog as she tries to start her own acting and “it girl” career.

They’re an unlikely pair. Brooke is queen bee at Colby-Randall Prepatory School (acronym: CRAPS), and Max is the headmistress’ daughter who’s working minimum wage jobs to help pay her way to a summer NYU writing program. That’s the […]

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Book 27 of 52: Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand’s books have been featured twice on this blog: A Summer Affair was book 38 of 52 of cycle one of “Book a Week with Jen.” I then reviewed The Island in 2010 (it was not part of a specific book a week project). 

I’ll repeat here what I said back in 2010: “Full disclosure: a few years back, I wrote an article about Hilderbrand. She’s lovely, writes the first drafts of her novels in long hand, loves Bruce Springsteen and Philadelphia. Part of that interview is blurbed on one of her book jackets. Small thrill since I like and her books so much.”

I still do. She’s a talented novelist, and I’ve never taken more than a week to read one of her books.

Last year’s offering, Summerland, was a dark one: four kids going to a graduation party are in a horrific car accident – the driver dies and her brother is left in a coma. It’s a sad book – an enthralling one – […]

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Book 26 of 52: Whiskey Women by Fred Minnick

I’ve reviewed Fred Minnick’s Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskeyfor an airline magazine, so I can’t say too much about it here. But a little: it’s a fascinating look at the role that women had in creating the spirits world we have today. I was surprised the entire way. I breezed through the book, sometimes taking it with me to the gym so I could read on the stationary bicycle, and I said “oh” so many times on one ride that I think I annoyed the lady next to me (sorry).

It’ll be published in October.

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Book 25 of 52: The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

Finally! The Engagementsby J. Courtney Sullivan is one of the two books I’ve been waiting to read this summer. Why did hers come first? Because it was published first (and I just ordered the other, so that’ll be on the blog at some point this summer).

Glad to report that I loved it. The Engagements focuses on different generations and their attitudes around one thing: diamonds, specifically diamons used in engagement rings, which is a jumping off point for the roles of women in work and in marriage and child rearing in general.

Sullivan starts with Mary Frances Gerety, who works for the Ayer advertising agency in Philadelphia, starting in the 1940s. She comes up with the line “A Diamond is Forever” even though she is completely career focused and has no interset in romance or family. Copywriting is her job, and for De Beers it was to convince people that a diamond engagement ring is an absolutely necessity precursor to marriage where before only the wealthy did that, and not always with diamonds (my aunt’s antique engagement ring, for example, is an emerald). It’s easy to think that this […]

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