Review: A Bright Red Ribbon

fernmichaels_images_cover-abrightredribbonThis was seriously the most terrible book I’ve read in a long time. It was definitely worse than the “bad” book that I read for this challenge. It was really short, and that is the only positive thing that I can say about it.

Morgan (“Mo” – yes, seriously) is an adult woman who has legit waited two years without hearing so much as an “I’m alive” from her former boyfriend. She spent these two years making herself over into a supermodel, curating a wardrobe of fancy clothes and working out to make herself super hot, so that IF Keith keeps his promise to meet her at her parents’ Christmas tree, they can get engaged and live happily ever after. Just, what? No, she isn’t certain that he will actually show up. It’s been two years! Anyways, her town gets hit with a ridiculous blizzard and because she is insane, she begins driving to her parents’ house anyway. Of course, she gets stranded. She decides to walk somewhere (???) and right when she is about to collapse from frostbite and exhaustion, a dog finds her and gets her to follow him by waving a red ribbon and biting her.

So she winds up at some guy’s cottage. He is in a wheelchair, and yells at her to take a shower and not fall asleep and die of hypothermia. She falls asleep after her shower and wakes the next day. They exchange weird dialogue that’s mostly antagonistic, but somehow get drunk and end up doing it on the floor in front of a roaring fire. Neither of them have been taught how to be grown-ups apparently, because they are super awkward the next day and even though one night of passion and barbs made them head over heels, they both pretend they feel nothing.

Mo (gosh I hate that nickname) breaks it off with Keith the next day when she realizes that he is a man child. But even then, she and Marcus dance around their feelings forever. One day, Marcus shows up at her doorstep with the dog and then disappears. She tries to contact him for ages, but can’t get in touch. She has to move to accommodate having a dog, so he can’t contact her either. So then, the next Christmas, she breaks into the cottage so that the dog can go home for Christmas. (Yep…) And then Marcus shows up – but now he can walk! They exchange some more flirtatious insults, and the book ends.


1 star.

The book fulfills the book set at Christmas and the book with a color in the title requirements for the challenge.


Review: As If!

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I found out about this book from one of the lovely people I follow on Twitter. I a9781476799087_custom-d38365a3d37179dc23f4b552ee7e1c02f02de262-s300-c15dore Clueless. It made me want to read Emma by Jane Austen, although I gave up on that several months ago. And this book mostly delivered some great stories about the creation, filming, and general pop culture relevance of Clueless. My only issue with it is that this book was only available as an audiobook from my library and it really did not translate well to this medium, which is unfortunate. It could have been great if they had used the actual voices of the people interviewed, but it was all read by one person, who tried valiantly to distinguish each person slightly in order to make it more understandable, but it was really a hard job.

The format of the book was somewhat chronological according to script-writing, the Jane Austen connection, casting, and then all the way through the filming process to the popular reception and current pop culture relevance, including a video tribute by Iggy Azalea that I had never heard of. Each section is a bunch of interview segments from the cast and crew, and other related people, and it is sewn together in a narrative.

There really isn’t much more to say about this book other than that. I really liked hearing all kinds of background information about certain scenes, locations, actors, and other things. It definitely made me want to watch the movie again!

3 stars.

This book fulfilled no requirements for the challenge.

Review: Wonder

Book-cover-Wonder-by-RJ-PalacioThis book was for my other book club. I only knew the blurb from it, but I quickly realized it was YA. YA fiction has a certain feel about it that distinguishes it from novels meant for adults. There’s a rhythm to the words, the phrasing, and some other je ne sais quoi that just makes it different, aside from just the main characters being younger.

Wonder is mostly about the first year that August, a 10 year old boy that suffers from a very rare facial abnormality, attends middle school after being home-schooled his entire life. The book changes perspectives from him a couple of times, letting us see things through his sister Via’s eyes, Justin (Via’s boyfriend), two of August’s new school friends, and a friend of Via’s that has somewhat drifted away in the past several months. The book tries to distinguish between the voices of the characters but since there are so many, it doesn’t succeed all that well. The most unique voice is Justin, since he barely uses punctuation.

The subject matter itself was interesting. Unfortunately, not a lot happens in the book. It isn’t really coming to a climax. It just details the trials over the year and peters out to a somewhat happy conclusion. The primary antagonist, Julian, pretty much disappears about halfway through the novel. He is conveniently whisked away and will not be attending that same school anymore. There is apparently a chapter from Julian’s viewpoint and I will probably read that one because when we discussed it in the book club, apparently that was the best chapter!

I feel like this book is great for YA, but kind of meh for adults. I hope that lots of kids read it and glean something from it.

4 stars

This book fulfills no requirements for the challenge.

Reading Challenge November Wrap Up

This post is a little later than normal, mostly because I completely forgot about it! Things have been so busy between Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up that even though I’ve still been reading, I have completely forgotten about this blog.

First this month, I completed Penelope, which started off terrible, got a little better, and then ended with a whimper. I honestly didn’t really get the humor. Maybe it was supposed to be satire. I’m not sure, either way – it wasn’t successful in its attempts at whatever it was. The bright pink cover caught my eye when I was following Ruby through Barnes & Noble. I’m also always somewhat drawn to things about Harvard for some reason (maybe due to Legally Blonde?) so the Harvard crest on the front was also eye-catching. I think I was expecting some light romantic comedy type stuff, and the book didn’t really deliver. Ok, let’s be real. I was expecting some form of Legally Blonde and got something completely different.

My next book was the November book club selection for my newest book club that I am not running. We read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I hadn’t read any of her books before, but now I think I will run out and read a bunch of them. It was really, really good. And as a bonus, it took place in Paris! I decided at the very beginning of the year that Paris would be my “place I’ve always wanted to visit” box, in order to avoid just reading a book with a lovely setting and thinking, oh I’ve always wanted to visit here, since five minutes ago. And Paris is kind of my thing – I’ve always wanted to go there. I’ve made it as far as Nice. Someday!!

For the play on the challenge list, I started with a play that I love – Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. I used WhatShouldIReadNext to figure out similar plays to that one. It spit out a whole bunch of them and a lot of them seemed really interesting, but I didn’t want to buy anything and the only one of the list that was at the library was Equus. Which I’d heard of, since Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) was in a recent staging of it. It was a short read, so I guess it had that going for it.

The last book I read in November was The Girl on The Train for my upcoming book club. I really enjoyed this book. I tried really hard to give nothing away in my review because I think that it’s most effective if you know nothing. One of the many podcasts that I enjoy, NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, recommended this book a few months ago and so I thought I would suggest it to the book club. I think the reactions were mixed, but I definitely feel positive about the book. Of course, it’s being made into a movie.

2 more boxes left!