Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Book #2)

Links: Good Reads

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.


Despite having an incredibly serious subject that could get really dark and hopeless at times, it remains a somewhat light, relatable easy read. I finished this book over about four different reading sessions, but if I'd had my way, it would have been three. I was so engrossed in The Help for the last half of the book, I didn't want to put it down, I had to know what happened. This is the primary reason why I give this book 5/5 - I literally had to force myself to put it down, it didn't alienate me in a subject I (unfortunately) know very little of, and each character seemed to have a whole backstory that I was just itching to find out. I love it when you can tell that the author knows so much more about their characters than what's written in the novel, and that's how I felt about The Help.

Who would enjoy this book? I believe almost anyone would, but primarily women, as I just shortly realized after finishing it that the only main characters are women, every man is only a secondary character.

What type of read is it (one word!)? Engrossing.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!

Which character was my favourite? Skeeter

Will I read it again? Probably, I hope that if I read it again, I will find new details that I skimmed over before.

Review (in related to my reading style): This book is one of the best examples as to why I will sometimes blindly pick up a book to read based purely on buzz, I always figure that if there's buzz about a book, it must be good. I picked up this book based on the buzz and I wasn't disappointed!

Overall review: 5/5

This post got deleted somehow, it was originally posted back in June.

Update From My Mind: Books to read?

It is Sunday morning and I am settling in for a relaxing day of cleaning and preparing for the work week, I recently finished Web of Angels by Lilian Nattel and will be writing a review soon. I am debating whether or not to pick up Where We Belong by Emily Giffin as it is a novel that came out very recently and once I read it, I'll have basically no books of hers left unread (except for Baby Proof) Perhaps I should just go into my local Chapter's and pick something from the "Top Read" list....

In short, I do have books I want to read, but I am looking for some inspiration, so if you have any idea, please let me know!

How is your Sunday going? Hope you are well. 

Gossip Reader

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Something Blue by Emily Giffin (Book #8)

Something Blue by Emily Giffin
Link: Good Reads

Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm.  Her fiance, Dex. Her lifelong best friend, Rachel.  She never needed anything else. Or so she thinks until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply--and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love.

There was apparently a lot of people who were unsure if they could like a book from Darcy's perspective after reading Something Borrowed (which I read last year), I can completely understand but there's something in this book that just feels like there's a part missing, like the only reason why Darcy decides to change is because a book was written from her perspective and at some point she would need to. It's also incredibly frustrating that she doesn't move to London until about halfway through the book (or so it felt like), this isn't a spoiler, it's in the synopsis on the back of the book! Since you are completely aware that this will happen, everything before it seems like you're just waiting for it to happen, I wasn't rooting for Darcy before that. 

Maybe if I hadn't read the synopsis, I would have enjoyed this book but I was only really surprised once. The rest was just incredibly predictable. This book is probably the definition of "Beach Read", it's light, airy, doesn't require much concentration and you can just breeze through it. If you're looking for a book to read while you're lounging in the sun, and if you've read Something Borrowed, I recommend you pick up this book to absorb another one of Emily Giffin's addicting books.

What type of read is it (one word!) Easy

Who would enjoy reading this book?  Someone lounging on a beach

Will I read it again? No.

Do you prefer light easy reads over substance? I think light books have a place, not every novel has to change your perspective on life, sometimes they're just fun. I would never say that I'd completely scold either types of books, reading should cover all sides of the spectrum. 

Overall review: 3.5/5

  1. Did you read Something Blue? What about it did you like? Didn't like?
  2. Do you prefer light easy reads over deep important novels?
Do you have any recommendations for me to read next? Please send me a message if you do, I'm open to all suggestions.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks (Book #7)

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
Link: Good Reads

When U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the dirt during his third tour of duty in Iraq, his first instinct is to toss it aside. Instead, he brings it back to the base for someone to claim, but when no one does, he finds himself always carrying the photo in his pocket. Soon Thibault experiences a sudden streak of luck—winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat that kills two of his closest buddies. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph—his lucky charm.
Back home in Colorado, Thibault can’t seem to get the photo—and the woman in it—out of his mind. Believing that she somehow holds the key to his destiny, he sets out on a journey across the country to find her, never expecting the strong but vulnerable woman he encounters in Hampton, North Carolina—Elizabeth, a divorced mother with a young son—to be the girl he’s been waiting his whole life to meet. Caught off guard by the attraction he feels, Thibault keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate and all-consuming love affair, the secret he is keeping will soon threaten to tear them apart—destroying not only their love, but also their lives.
Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, The Lucky One is Nicholas Sparks at his best—an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.

The Lucky One was an entertaining, semi-predictable love story. I've read a few of Nicholas Sparks' novels and (honestly) always wound up sort of disappointed, I unfortunately find the stories to be predictable and I've yet to just fall in love with a story that I can't put it down. I feel like in all of Nicholas Sparks novels, he has characters that are one-dimensional and on the extreme side of the spectrum and The Lucky One is hardly any different. However, one thing that I can point out is that I actually really liked both Thibault & Elizabeth and was happy that they found each other.

Nicholas Sparks' can write incredibly loveable "perfect" men that you just easily fall in love with. It's the one thing I would say he can consistently do well because often I find that his female leading ladies are all waiting to be rescued and can be frustrating. This book was a quick, easy read, I flew through it, not because I could hardly put it down, but more because it was short and not complicated.

What type of read is it (one word!) LoveStory

Who would enjoy reading this book?  Anyone who enjoys a non-complicated love story a-la-Nicholas Sparks

Will I read it again? No.

Do you sacrifice other developments for the one "core" story (for Sparks: the love story)? When a novel does this, I just feel like it's unnecessary. The Time Traveler's Wife (one of my favourite novel) is also a love story but it has so much more to the story and characters, that they all felt like real people.

Overall review: 3.2/5

  1. Did you read The Lucky One? What about did you like? Didn't like?
  2. Are you a fan of Nicholas Sparks' Love stories? What is your favourite one? Which should I give a shot?
Do you have any recommendations for me to read next? Please send me a message if you do, I'm open to all suggestions.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Heart Of The Matter by Emily Giffin (Book #6)

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
Links: Goodreads

Tessa Russo is a stay-at-home mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie—a boy who has never known his father. Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, they are strangers to one another and have little in common, aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

This is the moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

I was completely conflicted while reading this book. The book is told by two women's points of view and I just found each one extremely likeable so it wasn't clear who I wanted be rooting for more. This book was really a testament to what real life is like, how no one's life is perfect, and how everybody has problems and issues and just wants what's best for the ones they care about most. And, like in life, I wanted everyone to get what they wanted, but when one person will clearly win and one will clearly lose, unfortunately, you can't have it both ways. 

Although I wasn't as "addicted" to this book as other ones I've read, this definitely had some of the most developed characters I've encountered in Emily Giffin's novels (and you get to re-visit some old favourite characters!), this book's subject matter was a bit more serious and a bit less, for lack of a better word, 'obvious'. Sometimes when you're reading books, you can see the end a hundred pages out, while with this book, I had no idea how it was going to end and I just wanted to spend more time with the characters. 

What type of read is it (one word!) Developed

Who would enjoy reading this book?  Everyone! 

Will I read it again? Absolutely! I could see myself re-reading this in a year or two.

(Book club question) Why do you think women judge each other so much when it comes to personal decisions about work, motherhood, relationships? I think women constantly judge each other because we are incredible competitive, when we judge each other, we are able to decide that we are the winner. 

Overall review: 4.5/5


  1. Did you read Heart of the Matter? What about did you like? Didn't like?
Do you have any recommendations for me to read next? Please send me a message if you do, I'm open to all suggestions.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Love The One You're With by Emily Giffin (Book #5)

Love The One You're With by Emily Griffin
Link: Goodreads

Ellen and Andy's first year of marriage doesn't just seem perfect, it is perfect. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo for the first time in eight years. Leo, the one who brought out the worst in her. Leo, the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation. Leo, the one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she's living is the one she's meant to live. 
Love the One You're With is a powerful story about one woman at the crossroads of true love and real life.

This book had me hot and cold towards the main character, at first, I just couldn't sympathize with her acting like an ex-boyfriend was more important than her husband (even though she was obviously conflicted), especially considering how nice and sweet her husband really was. So when I first started reading it, it just seemed like she was restless and I didn't appreciate what she had.

As the book goes on, I did start to provide more sympathy to her and the story became more and more interesting. If there's one thing Emily Giffin can do, it's write an amazing story that you just can't put down. I finished this book over a weekend and I became so absorbed in the story, that I just couldn't put it down. I finally finished it one morning by staying in bed and flying through the last 50 pages.

The ending of this book really redeemed itself from I felt about it at the beginning, and if there's one thing I have to say, it's that you should give this book a shot if you want to put it down after the first few chapters.

What Type of Read Was It (One Word)? Obsessive

Who would Enjoy this book? If someone enjoys reading and is out of things to read, they'd probably like this book.

Will I read it again? Probably not.

Overall Review: 3.5 out of 5.


  1. Have you read Love The One You're With? What about did you like/ didn't like?
  2. Can you persist through a book if you're frustrated with the main character or do you give up?

Last Comment: Are all of Emily Giffn's novels about people cheating??

Quick Update

Hello everyone! I realize that I seem to have neglected this blog, but just to let you know that I did keep reading. I read a few business development books and I wasn't quite sure how/if I wanted to blog a review on them....

But, to provide you some comfort, I have read/will write a review on the following:

  1. The Heart of The Matter by Emily Giffin
  2. Love The One You're With by Emily Giffin
  3. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
In addition to these, I read two business development books.

Thanks everyone, 

Gossip Reader