Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

January 19

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Recent Arrivals: Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson

by Ann-Katrina

Recent Arrivals chronicles the books that have made their way onto the Today, I Read… bookshelf. Here’s the latest arrival: Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson

Scarlett Fever Cover

First line: So let’s set the scene, shall we? Hamlet. In a hotel. But not one of the [...]

Initial thoughts:

When I saw the back cover of this book I laughed. It was adorable, but unfortunately, it cannot be properly rendered in words. Here’s the next best thing: a photo! (Click it for larger, more legible image.)

Scarlett Fever Back Cover

Now I have to admit something…I haven’t read the first book, Suite Scarlett, but I want to. I want to because I’m eager to read Scarlett Fever and don’t want to interrupt the flow by reading the books out of order. I’ve already purchased Suite Scarlett and now am waiting patiently…or not so.

Anyhoo, this book looks like it’s going to be a hoot!

Book description:

Faced with her family’s financial woes, Scarlett has taken on the job of assistant/indentured servant to a newly minted theatrical agent, professional eccentric Mrs. Amy Amberson. Scarlett ends up at the back and call of a Broadway star (her own age!), dealing with territorial doormen, and walking a small dog with insecurity issues–all while starting her sophomore year at one of New York’s most rigorous high schools.

It doesn’t help that Scarlett’s brain is clouded with thoughts of Eric, her former sort-of boyfriend. She has thousands of things to say to him, if only he would call. And then there’s her new lab partner, the impossible Max, who’s on a quest to destroy what little mind she has left.

Meanwhile, her older brother, Spencer, has become New York City’s most controversial TV villain; her ever-reliable older sister, Lola, is sliding off the rails; and her younger sister, Marlene, most worryingly, has suddenly become…nice

But somehow Scarlett will prevail…right?

Book Details: 352 pages; Point; Pub. February 1, 2010

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October 12

Comments: 17

Meet Belle Goose and Edwart Mullen in…Nightlight

by Ann-Katrina

I have nothing against Twilight (I admit, I did read the entire series and see its addictive qualities), but this made me laugh a little on the inside.

Nightlight Cover

According to the Vintage release, Nightlight follows a “pale and klutzy” girl named Belle Goose, who moves to Switchblade, Oregon, and meets Edwart Mullen, a “super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls.” The vampire-obsessed Belle becomes convinced Edwart is one of the undead after witnessing events she considers otherworldly (”Edwart leaves his Tater Tots™ untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!”). [EW]

Found via Jezebel: Sparkle-Vamp goes Geek in Twilight Spoof (hint: read the comments.)

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September 27

Comments: 4

Review: Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

by Ann-Katrina

Can You Keep a Secret? Cover

From the Back Cover of Can You Keep a Secret?

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:

Secrets from her boyfriend:
I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

Secrets from her mother:
I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur

Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger…. Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her…

Three Quick Points About Can You Keep a Secret?

  • Point 1: Emma Corrigan bears a striking resemblance to Bridget Jones–not necessarily in appearance, but personality, deed and sheer life circumstances.
  • Point 2: This book redefines the statement laugh out loud funny. From beginning to end, I found myself pausing to have a good belly laugh at some of the antics and situations in which Emma found herself.
  • Point 3: The British quips and expressions were rather charming from my Americanized viewpoint. Although I’m still not entirely certain what a jumper is, am still unsure whether snogging is kissing or having sex, and it took me a few pages to recognize that having a row meant having an argument, I found reading through it all added to the amusement.

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September 23

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Review: Literacy and Longing in L.A. by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack

by Ms. Bookish

From the back cover of Literacy and Longing in L.A.:

In a wickedly funny and sexy literary debut, we meet the beguiling, beautiful Dora, whose unique voice combines a wry wit and vulnerability as she navigates the road between reality and fiction. Dora, named for Eudora Welty, is an indiscriminate book junkie – from Tolstoy to Twin, from Flaubert to bodice rippers – whose life has fallen apart. She’s coping with a painful separation from her husband, scraping the bottom of a dwindling inheritance, and attracted to an aspiring playwright who seems to embody all that literature has to offer – intelligent ideas, romance, and an escape from her problems.

Joining Dora in her odyssey is an assortment of memorable characters, including an elderly society hair-brusher, a heartbroken young girl, a hilarious off-the-wall female teamster, and Dora’s apologetic mother, an ex-alcoholic now on the wagon, trying to make amends. Along the way, Dora faces some powerful choices. Between two irresistible men. Between idleness and work. And most of all between the joy of well-chosen words and the untidiness of real people and real life.”

Ms. Bookish’s Quick Take:

Shortly after I finished reading Literacy and Longing in L.A., as I was rummaging around in one of my to-be-read piles, I discovered another, pristine, copy of the book, which goes to show the idea behind it really appealed to me. My quick take? This is one of those books where I didn’t want the story to end – I wanted to follow Dora as she moved into a new era of her life. If you love books, feel like you’re in heaven the moment you step into a bookstore or a library, and you love funny, quirky and literate protagonists, this book is a Must Read, worth five stars here at Today I Read. Continue reading »

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