What I’m Reading: Still Me

From the book jacket:
Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life. 

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she navigates how to stay true to herself, while pushing to live boldly in her brave new world.

My review:
I was quite happy when I learned there was a third book in the “Me Before You” series, even though the last instalment left me wanting a bit more from the storyline. I downloaded onto my Kobo and finished it in about a week.

I really enjoyed the storyline overall and thought it was well put together. I do love that Lou was “still Lou” and that she stayed true to who she was throughout the whole storyline, and that she “found” herself in the end. I thought for sure that there were going to be storylines that didn’t get wrapped up, but Moyes managed to do so in a way that wasn’t too drawn out or exasperating.

There were a few moments in the story though that I wasn’t too crazy about and thought were a bit over the top and cheesy, such as the horse carriage moment and the “fight” scene Lou witnessed when she first arrived in NYC. I don’t know if Moyes was setting things up for a movie script, but it all made me roll my eyes a little bit and I didn’t think it was necessary.

Overall, I enjoyed Still Me more than After You and thought it wrapped up the series nicely.

My rating: ★★★★/5

 

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What I’m Reading: When Life Gives You Lululemons

From the bookjacket:
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Weisberger returns with a novel starring one of her favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada—Emily Charlton, first assistant to Miranda Priestly, now a highly successful image consultant who’s just landed the client of a lifetime.
Welcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.

Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career. 

Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.

My thoughts:
I heard a lot of rave reviews about When Life Gives You Lululemons, and while I never read any of the other instalments of the Devil Wears Prada series I figured I’d give it a go. I’d only ever watched the movie version of The Devil Wears Prada, but I loved Emily’s character, so a book featuring her as one of the main characters couldn’t be bad!

When Life Gives You Lululemons was a fun and fast read, and I really enjoyed following the three women along on their journey together. Miriam was super relatable to me in many ways and I loved her relationship with Emily and Karolina. The trio kept one another in check wonderfully and their friendship is something every woman should strive to have. “I got your back but will call you out if you’re being an idiot” is definitely the kind of friendship I’m down to be in.

I never found the book to be overly predictable and found myself obsessively reading to find out what was going to happen next. My one and only gripe is that ending seemed a little rushed, as if Weisberger had a word-count to adhere to and needed to wrap things up before chapters got left out.

All in all, When Life Gives You Lululemons is a great summer read that is easy enough to follow along to without getting boring. I give it 4 stars out of 5.

What I’m Reading: The Hate U Give

From the book jacket:
The Hate U GiveSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

My review:
I’m probably late catching the hype train for this book, but I finally had the chance to read it after hearing rave reviews and I’m glad I took the time to do so.

The Hate U Give covers an important issue in our world today – racism, but more specifically, police brutality. The book jacket breaks down the plot of the story in a pretty clear manner, and there’s no specific sub-plot or drastic twists and turns to the story. Still, I think it’s an important read for the YA audience it was intended for, and it opens your eyes in sense. While fictional, Starr stands for every person seeking justice for a wrongful death. She stands for every teenager just trying to fit in and figure out who she is. Her situation is the situation of many of the minorities living all over the world. When Starr was angry, I was angry, and reading her story made me open my eyes and think a bit harder about the bigger picture.

Politics aside, I really did enjoy this book although various scenes were a bit predicable. On the other hand, I also wonder if the predicability and stereotypes were used on purpose by the author to emphasize how brainwashed we almost are to how we view other races and cultures. I also wonder if they were used in such a way to make it easier for the YA demographic to understand and see. These are deep thoughts, people.

So, based on that theory, I’m giving The Hate U Give 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s still an important read and makes to think hard about who you are as a person and where you stand in society.

Side note: It will be interesting to see how this is receipted once it hits theatres in the fall. I’m not 100% sure I’ll go out and watch it in theatre, but I’m curious to see how they adapted it. From the trailer, it seems pretty true to the book.