A Couple of Book Reviews...

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp

I thought I knew what this memoir would be about, but I was dead wrong. Karp, through a series of bad circumstances and with no familial support, finds herself homeless and living in a trailer in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Orange County.

While I thought much of this title would revolve around searching for work, making ends meet, and the challenges of homelessness, it become much more about her relationship with a man in Scotland, their struggles to see and be with each other, the crazy that ensues, and all the money that could have gone to living expenses instead going to dog boarding and plane trips.

I was sympathetic for the first quarter, and then kept reading because it was like a car crash - you couldn't look away. Less about homelessness, this should have been about a girl's guide to really poor choices and decision-making. I wanted to like it, and as a novel, maybe, but as a memoir? Yikes. This was definitely a misleading title...

Abandon by Meg Cabot

So, we all know I'm on Team Cabot, and I've always been fascinated by Greek mythology, so what happens when you combine Cabot and the myth of Persephone and Hades? A new young adult trilogy! An interesting reshaping of the story, though I must admit it was a little light on the character development and a little heavy on the teen angst, but hey, it's only the first one. I'll be reading more...

Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister

I sooo enjoyed Bauermeister's first novel (The School of Essential Ingredients), so I was looking forward to returning to her gentle words and kind storylines.

Six women gather to celebrate the remission of their friend Kate's cancer, and she gives them each a challenge - a thing they have to do that scares them. These six women, who are loosely connected throughout the book, each take on their challenge, and each woman is a separate vignette in the book, and the challenges vary from a 60 mile race to baking a loaf of bread.

As before, Bauermeister's words are lovely, her pace gentle and her characters and plot warm and comforting.

Naked Heat by Richard Castle

This is the second Richard Castle book, "written" by Castle, the star of the ABC series by the same name. Once again, intrepid NYPD cop Nikki Heat is on the case with journalist Jameson Rook at her side. This is another fun, fast-paced mystery with just the right amount of sexual tension, mystery and drama. I love the whole circularity of this series (show-book-show, etc.) Fun!

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Another day on the job with Stephanie Plum, and the bodies are already starting to stack up. This time, Stephanie has to deal with her two boyfriends, Lula's eating habits, a destroyed car, her mother meddling in her love life, and you know, crime. Just another day in the 'Burg, and I love them all! Fast, funny read!

Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg

I'm a Pegg girl, unabashedly. This is Pegg's memoir/original short story, and while I enjoyed reading about Pegg's upbringing and some pretty funny stories along the way, I was bummed not to learn more about his "Hollywood Life" - he focuses so much on his early life, that the parts we know best (making movies with his buds, his blockbuster movie parts, his geekdom, his screenplay writings) get largely left out. I wanted more Simon-and-Nick stories as well, but I enjoyed what I did read. Definitely for Pegg fans only - I fear non-fans would be largely lost.

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The Dowell Family said...

Hello! I stumbled upon your blog by accident and I am loving all your knowledge so far! My "to read" list has grown miles because of your reviews and I love that you have the same taste I do! I am daily visitor to your blog. I love to read, just like you. I love your honesty in the reviews and the mental pictures you can associate with them.

I hope you had fun in New Orleans (but I missed your posts :))

Marissa said...

Oh, that's so nice to hear! Welcome, and thanks for stopping by! I'm glad to hear my reviews are useful - you'll have to comment and let me know what you think of the books *you've* read as well! :-)