What I’m Reading: The End of Men

32319738From the bookjacket:
Isabel, Anna, Beth, and Maggie are women who aren’t afraid to take it all. Whether spearheading a pregnancy lingerie company, conspiring to return a husband to his ex-wife, lusting after an old lover while in a satisfying marriage, or trying to balance motherhood and work—they are sexy, determined, and not looking for a simple happily ever after. Through punchy, hilarious, and insightful storytelling, The End of Men shatters the confines of society, and more importantly, those we impose upon ourselves. 

My review:
It took me so long to finish reading this book that I honestly don’t even remember when I started it. I even thought about abandoning it on more than one occasion because the story line just was NOT picking up like I thought it would. Alas, I persevered thinking it would get better, but sadly it did not.

Anyway, the book sounded promising from the description, so I took advantage of the free download onto my Kobo thinking it would be a fun, light read after the heaviness of Into the Water. As it turned out, the storylines were rather anti-climatic and it seemed like a lot of them hit dead ends. I mean, the character who’s “conspiring to return a husband to his ex-wife” doesn’t actually conspire anything until the last 15% of the book. And the huge “riot” at the beginning? You’d think more emphasis would be made of that throughout the story but not so much. Highlighter guy … meh.

It almost seemed as though Rinaldi had 100 ideas floating around in her head for the storyline but couldn’t pick just one or two, so she jammed as many as her publisher would allow in.

In a nutshell? I’m glad I didn’t cough up the dough for this book and am giving it 2 stars out of 5 based solely on the fact that I didn’t completely abandon it.

 

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What I’m Reading: Into the Water

From the bookjacket:
In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help.

Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.

But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.

And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool …

My review:
This book had been on my “to-read” list for a while when I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift for Christmas! I was excited to jump into it as I heard a lot of great things about it and really loved Hawkins’ previous hit, The Girl on the Trainso my hopes were high for Into the Water.

While it was slightly predicable and somethings didn’t surprise me, I still quiet enjoyed reading this book and couldn’t put it down. I found myself drawn to the storyline, desperately wanting to know what exactly happened and what was going to happen to the characters in the book – even though there was a lot of them.

I wasn’t so keen on was the pure volume of characters and I found myself flipping back to the beginning of the chapter to remind myself of who was narrating. A few of the character’s storylines I found to be unnecessary, like Josh and Nickie, and they probably could have been omitted or absorbed into another storyline with ease and to save confusion. There were characters whose storylines I preferred to read over others as well; I felt that Lena and Jules’ characters were more interesting and developed than the rest, rightfully so really since the main subject of the story involves their mother/sister. I couldn’t help but want to know more about either of them.

I’m going to give Into the Water 4 stars out of 5. I’m not sure if it’s better than The Girl on the Train, but it wasn’t worse. I enjoyed more of the characters and if there was such thing  it would get another .25 stars. (Although this is my blog and I suppose I can install such a rating system if I please.) #winkyface

Have you read either of Hawkins’ books? Which did you prefer?

What I’m Reading: Rich People Problems

From the bookjacket:
When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside–but he’s not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. 

With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. 

As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife–a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette.

My review: (Which may contain spoilers!)
I’m not going to lie – I was pretty stoked when I first heard that Rich People Problems was going the third instalment of the Crazy Rich Asians “series.” I read the first two books and really enjoyed them, so I was curious to see if the Rich People Problems would be just as over the top.

This book definitely did not disappoint when it came to the ludicrous spending and name-dropped that this fictional family is capable of, but at some points it almost seems to be a little too over-the-top. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole series, it’s that money (an absurd amount of money) makes people unable to see clearly. Every action is driven by jealousy and the desire to one-up your competition.

But back to the book – regardless of self-absorbed nature of most of the characters, it was still just as enjoyable to read as Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend. While at times it was hard to keep track of all the different characters, (which I personally think assists in showing how huge Asian families actually are) I still found myself completely absorbed in the story and rapidly reading through each chapter wanting to find out what kind of insanity was going to happen next.

I also couldn’t help but notice how well Rich People Problems demonstrates how the death of a beloved family member – especially a matriarch – can both bring people together can tear them apart at the same time. Grief can do unbelievable things to a person and Kwan demonstrates this not only with the passing of Su Yi, but also in the collapse of marriage.

If you’ve read the other two books in the series, or even just the first one, I highly encourage you to press on and complete the trifecta with Rich People Problems. I felt that it brought a lot of closure to the main character’s storylines, and it was still a great read. Overall, I’m giving it 4.5 stars out of 5.