Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Still breathing, still reading

I have GOT to get better about posting. It's been a crazy last few weeks with family in town visiting and I just haven't had much time to read or get online. And I also am finding it increasingly difficult to stay motivated to read with it being absolutely gorgeous outside! We've started taking the puppies to the dog park and heading to the drive-in, taking long walks or drives, hanging out with friends and then a friend of mine recently had her baby.

Right now I'm in the middle of Precious by Sandra Novack and its been a struggle to get through. As intense as the storyline is, its really not grabbing me and the affair between the 17 year old girl Eva and her married, high school teacher is a huge deterrent. Ick. I really wish there was more focus on the missing 10 year old girl, Vicki Anderson rather than Eva's little rendezvous'.
But on to much more exciting news! I came home yesterday to a brown paper package (who doesn't love those?!) and discovered that Simon & Schuster had sent me a beautiful new copy of Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner!!! Whohooo!!!!!! Thank you Simon & Schuster, you rock my world!! I leave for CA in a week and a half and I can't wait to bring some reading material along with me and relax for 10 days straight! It's going to be heaven. And one of the books I really need to get started on next is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Its this month's book club pick and the first that I haven't actually read already. I LOVE my new book club and all the ladies that I'm getting to know better! We meet once a month and everyone brings tons of yummy treats and goodies. This next month we'll be meeting over at the Arrington Vineyards, which I've never been to before so I'm super pumped!

So that's about it for me, I hope you all are having a fabulous summer yourselves!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

Alright, so how many of you have one of those "lists" of celebrity's that are like your top 5? BE HONEST! I sure do and I know Jason has some lady celebrities that make him weak in the knees as well. He's a sucker for Ashley Judd and Lisa Hartman. My faves have always been Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey.

The Actor and the Housewife is a story that makes you think, what would you do if you had the chance to become best buds with one of those on your top lists? As a matter of fact, it really just brings up good questions in general of where a married woman or man should draw the lines in relationship to someone of the opposite sex, even as friends. I'm a big fan of boundaries. I think they are there for you and your spouse as a blessing and for the protection of your marriage. The author, Shannon Hale addresses the issue of "the appearance of evil" and I'm a believer that even the appearance of something suspicious is best to be avoided. I really don't agree that there should be two men in which you share your heart and your deepest thoughts with. Your best friend should be your husband and should be the first and only man you turn to when sharing your heart, your thoughts and your dreams. I wouldn't be surprised if some of you disagree with me on that one. But marriages today are not nearly respected and protected as much as they used to be and therefore its not surprising to see covenants and hearts broken over and over again.

As for the book itself, the dialogue was extremely witty and engaging and I looked forward to picking it back up and seeing what would happen next. Though it was similar to watching a scary movie, because you want to watch but yet your peeking through your fingers. I was so hoping that Becky would make good choices and establish boundaries, but unfortunately I didn't agree where she drew them. I was glad that at times Shannon conveyed how a situation such as this could cause pain and division in the marriage. But even still, they were playing with fire and it was a fantasy in my opinion to think that this could be a realistic relationship for any of them. I mean seriously, how many husbands are ok with their wife getting a phone call at 2am from their best guy friend? Maybe if he was gay? But even still?!

The ending came as a complete surprise, and concluded that God was instrumental in how it all played out, that He was the orchestrator of these relationships. Seriously. Seriously? For me, that was stretching it a bit far.

I wouldn't say this book is for everyone And even though I disagreed with some main principles and choices throughout the story, I think it would make for a very good book club discussion. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this became a motion picture, because it's an interesting storyline and I could totally picture Ginnifer Goodwin as Becky and Ryan Reynolds as Felix.

Thank you to Bloomsbury USA for sending me an ARC to review!

Description: From New York Times-bestselling author and Newbery Honor winner Shannon Hale comes an utterly satisfying new novel that asks the question: Can a seemingly normal, happily married Mormon mother-of-four be best friends with Hollywood's hottest (happily married) heartthrob.

Becky is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets her dream actor Felix Callahan by chance. Twelve hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later something has happened, though nothing has happened… it isn't sexual. It isn't even quite love. But soon Felix shows up in the Utah 'burbs to visit and before they know what's hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky's husband is pretty cool about it. Her children roll their eyes. Her best (girl)friend can't get her head around it. But Felix (think Colin Firth) and Becky have something special… something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it?

Shannon Hale's latest novel is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking, completely real, and utterly surreal too. One of those magical stories that explores all the permutations of what happens when your not-so-secret celebrity crush walks right into real life, and changes everything…

Rating: ****

Recommend: yes, I think it would make for a great book club discussion.