Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book Review: Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart IsWhere the Heart Is by Billie Letts

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Pregnant 17-year-old Novalee Nation is on her way toward the bright lights of California, accompanied by her boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens. But Willy gets cold feet and abandons her at a Walmart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma. Novalee's life savings amount to less than ten dollars, so she moves into the Walmart, sleeping there at night and venturing out during the day. With the help of the eccentric Sister Husband, and Lexie Coop, a nurses' aide, Novalee tries to get her life in order for the sake of her expected child, Americus Nation.

I picked this book up mainly because I adored the movie, however if I ever thought the book would be better than the movie I was clearly mistaken. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed ready the book, I mean it didn't make me want to through it on the ground and start stomping in it but it definitely didn't inspire me to read it over and over again. I think the main thing the threw me off was that even when the character's were older they still sounded like naive teenagers and I can understand that for Novalee but not so much for Forney as he was suppose to have been from money and education. Another thing that just bothered me was that the author Billie Letts seemed to enjoy running away with her descriptions as if she was just trying to up her page count by telling you the same thing in multiple ways within the same paragraph.

If I was going to recommend anything to anyone it would be the movie, you get the better parts of the book without the headache that comes from banging your head against the wall while asking yourself why, why did I ever decide to read the book. The changes that were made for the film were clearly made for the better of the story. Just by tweaking a scene here or a conversation there gave the character's real growth while keeping with who they were meant to be.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review: The Pretend Wife

The Pretend WifeThe Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For Gwen Merchant, love has always been doled out in little packets—from her father, who lost himself in work after her mother’s death, and from her husband, Peter, who’s always been respectable and safe. But when an old college boyfriend, the irrepressible Elliot Hull, invites himself back into Gwen’s life with a surprising proposition, she suddenly starts questioning everything she’s ever expected from love. Elliot, it turns out, is in need of a pretend wife, just for the weekend, in order to fulfill his dying mother’s last wish. But as Gwen finds herself drawn into Elliot’s quirky, wonderful family—and uncovers a few secrets about her own—a pretend relationship just might turn out to be the most real thing she’s ever known.

I picked this book up because after reading the synopsis I couldn't help but wonder what happens in the end... because obviously it couldn't possibly end with everything being wrapped up pretty with a nice shinny bow. However, Bridget definitely tried her hardest, I mean the mother who had been on her death bed with cancer, doesn't actually die in the end. Instead she makes a complete turn around and is suddenly in remission.

I think the main reason I ended up actually enjoying the book is that it was filled with sentences that propelled you into deeper thoughts. Thoughts on life, the ups and downs of it but most of all the love that creates and surrounds are very existence. Also, I loved that even though the book was geared in a scientific world Bridget never said there wasn't a God, sure they talked around the subject but appropriately so I think. Staying true to who the characters are and how they'd been raised, but she never said it is absolutely impossible and I liked that because I know it isn't absolutely impossible.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012