Thursday, June 26, 2008

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

I had bought P.S. I Love You with a collection of other chick lit novels on Ebay before the movie had come out yet. So I figured I would just read the book first for once and see what I thought of the movie after. Now that I've done that, I have to say I really enjoyed the book so much more. The two were vastly different and many things were left out of the movie, but I guess with 512 pages, there's a lot of story you have to cut. I just didn't expect them to change SO MUCH of it. Like Holly's sister as a character in the book, is so much more developed and I had really liked her.

Though its a very touching and emotional story, almost to the point where it freaks me out a little bit (I mean what young married woman wants to imagine her husband dying!), I still couldn't put the book down to see what the next letter he wrote to her said. It was just so romantic and beautiful. But the grieving process that Holly goes through isn't altogether too realistic in my opinion. I mean packing up her husband's things only months after he's passed - no way could I do that! At least the book portrays the grief as more of a struggle and process than I felt the movie did, which was good.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. Though maybe read it after you've seen the movie, so you have a basis to start from and maybe won't be as disappointed in the movie as I was. And for being Cecilia Ahern's first novel, I thought the concept was great. I look forward to checking out some of her other novels, for I'm sure she'll only grow as an author.

Rating: ****

Recommend: Definitely.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Keeper and Kid: A Novel by Edward Hardy

With a cover like that, how could you go wrong, right? Wrong. This book started out great, but quickly lost steam for me. It completely had the potential for a very sweet story, but after getting through 2/3rd of this book and the father still always frustrated with raising his 3 year old son that he never knew he had, the story started to get old. I had hoped to see more touching moments and growth between the two's relationship.

There was a lot of back story on Keeper (the father) and the boys mother that was completely unnecessary and took up a lot of time. I kept thinking the author was sharing history with me as part of a direction the story would take, but then it would just go right back to how difficult this father's life had become dealing with the unexpected surprise of his 3 year old son.

When it was over, I was left with the thought - "is that it!?" I wanted a little more closure than the deflated feeling I had at the end. The plot left much to be desired in my opinion and I'm surprised that so many others on Goodreads found the story so touching. What was touching about it? - hearing the father complain every time he had to change his sons pants when he peed them or when the son hid something from him or threw a tantrum?? I understand the circumstances surrounding how these two came to pass was very difficult, but again, it was a total roller coaster that never did show the father and son really bonding or growing together. And I quite honestly thought the father was a bit too self involved and selfish to play any role as this child's father whatsoever. Bummer.

Thankfully, every now and then something would happen that would keep my attention to continue on, but I wasn't very attached to the characters and didn't find myself emotionally involved. Not a bad idea for a story, but I think Nicholas Sparks could have taken these characters and brought hope and love into their lives.

Description: Eight years ago, James Keeper fell in love with his upstairs neighbor in Boston, a sassy pastry chef with gray eyes and a fierce attitude. They got married, found a dog, and shopped for cilantro. But conflicting schedules and a real estate deal gone bad took its toll on the twenty-somethings in love. One divorce later, the hand-me-down chairs were separated, the potato masher custody settled, and Keeper moved to Providence to work with his best friend selling antiques at a quirky shop called Love and Death. A new job, a new love, and a new life now in place, Keeper is in a comfortable situation. Business is steady, Leah (the new love) is intriguing and passionate, and Keeper's friends always turn up for Sunday evening Card Night. But one phone call from his former mother-in-law changes everything. And so days later, Keeper comes away with a son he never knew he had, and life all of a sudden takes on a new meaning. Leo, the precocious three-year-old who sports Keeper's square chin, is more than a handful - he eats only round foods, refuses to bathe, thinks he's a bear, and refers to Leah as "that man." For a guy who never thought he'd be a parent, Keeper is thrown headfirst into fatherhood - and has no idea what to do. As Keeper and Leo adjust to the shock of each other and their suddenly very different lives, Keeper begins to let the people in his life in, in turns strange and heartwarming, funny and painful. But some, like Leah, aren't so eager for change. In this humorous and poignant novel, Edward Hardy explores the depths of modern love, parenthood, and compromise. "Keeper and Kid" is the story of how a normal guy receives an unexpected gift and in turn must learn to ask more of others and himself. A coming-of-age story for the guy who thought he had already grown up, "Keeper and Kid" is a sharp and witty account of what we do for love.

Rating: ***

Recommend: sure, but I suggest keeping low expectations.

Monday, June 23, 2008

To Spare My Loved Ones Of All My Geekiness...

I'm a geek, I can accept that. I love to read, bake, sew....oh and shop! That should count for something against my geekiness! But alas, even the shopping has been quite curtailed since married life began ;-)

Yes, I was the little girl that you often see sitting away from the rest of the group, watching and observing the others or with my nose buried deep in a book (*sniff sniff*). My mom would beg me to go outside and play in the sunshine with the kids in the neighborhood and all I wanted to do was be left alone in my room with my books. Unfortunately I don't share the passion of reading with many others. There are a few of us out there and for that reason, I began this blog so as not to drive away my usual family and friend readers of "A First For Everything" as I delve into detail of books I'm currently reading.

So here we go - my first book review is:

"Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense" by N.T. Wright.

Not exactly a "simple" book on Christianity. I'm not as comfortable devouring anything I read on someone's take of who God is and how they interpret the Bible. I started this book because our small group at church decided to read it together and discuss what we thought chapter by chapter when we met on Tuesday nights. Even as a group we quickly lost interest maybe halfway through. But being as how I feel compelled to always finish a book, I finished it anyway. I'm not saying that N.T. Wright's teachings are right or wrong in this book, I'm just not as open to take everything I read as truth, unless its from the Word of God itself.

Rating: **

Recommend: Nope