Book Review: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones – Mad About the Boy: What it is about

From the publishers: “Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?

Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?

Pondering these, and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, tweeting, texting and redisovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and outdatedly call ‘middle age’.

The long-awaited return of a much-loved character, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is timely, tender, touching, witty, wise and bloody hilarious.”

Bridget Jones – Mad About the Boy: What I thought

I thought it would be a fun, light read and it was. Bridget is 50 years old and a widow. A widow! Darcy is no longer and (sit down before you read the next bit)… Bridget has a lover who is 30. That’s a twenty year gap! She’s just as uncertain about her relationship with him as she always was about men. Luckily, she’s got kids, so that takes away some time for obsessing.

I (at 50 myself) got a bit bored with Bridget going on about Roxster, her boyfriend. There is of course the school-mum’s trouble as well, where one bossy mum arranges everything that needs to be arranged by the parents and Bridget never gets her part right. Why can’t book mums just do what the PTA ask of them? Why are they so often the odd one out? Well, because they’re more interesting that way, of course. But it gets stale if you read as much as I do.

Anyway, a little boring at points, but also a light read that would be fun to take on holiday.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (okay to good)

Number of pages: 390

First published: 2013

I got this: Borrowed from a friend

Genre: contemporary fiction, chick-lit

 

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Book Review & Free Download: Weightless by Michelle Gorman

Weightless by Michelle Gorman

Because it’s Valentine’s Day this week, Notting Hill Press are offering Weightless, a short story by Michelle Gorman for free to readers of this blog. Read below how you can download it.

I read Michelle’s Christmas story, Christmas Carol, a few months ago, and that was good fun.

Weightless: What it is about

The publisher says: “Annabel’s not surprised when nobody recognises her at her 10-year reunion. The spotty fat teen nicknamed AnnaBall by the school bullies is long gone. But standing on the edge of the popular crowd, she still feels like that girl. That is, until Jack, her teen crush, starts flirting with her. Much to her amusement, he has mistaken her for Christy Blake, Annabel’s chief tormenter before she moved to France in their last year.

It’s just a bit of fun at first, letting Jack believe she’s Christy. After all, he was nuts about her before she said au revoir to England. And when he asks Annabel out, the fun becomes something even more interesting. The more they date the deeper they fall for each other. So what if Annabel has to fib a little to keep up the façade?

As the lies start compounding, and she realises that they’re falling in love, she has to tell him who she really is. But she’ll lose the love of her life if she does.

Weightless: What I thought

This is one of those stories where I am not happy with what the main character does, but neither can I blame her. I can’t see myself doing it, but pretending you’re that popular girl from high school, why not, if it means you can go out with that guy you had a crush on all your teenage years?

So, that’s what Annabel does. At first she can just talk around it, but when Jack starts to ask more direct questions about her past, it’s hard to keep up the pretense. So, this has to go wrong, doesn’t it? She can hardly end up married to the guy without revealing her real name!

I was going back and forth: she should tell him! Ah, let her have some fun! No, it’s not right! etc.

While this story has great potential, it was cut short at some point. That was a bit unfortunate. What came towards the end, came too soon. Still, it was a fun read.

I met up with my high school class at a reunion a few years ago. It was odd. I think I ended up speaking mostly to people that I wasn’t all that close with at school. Still, it was nice to see the people, and the school, which was to be demolished the next month.

Have you been to any reunions?


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 40

First published: 2014

I got this: from the publishers, Notting Hill Press

Genre: chick-lit


You can read this story for yourself. Here is the free book link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/400385. Click Buy and enter the coupon code ZH34Q (not case-sensitive) to download the book for free in any eBook format between February 11th and the 14th. The file downloads to your computer and you can send it to your kindle, Nook, iPad, etc from there.

After Feburary 14th, 2014 you can buuy it here, for just $0.99, £0.99:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1fei9jM
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1fehPS4
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/michele-gorman

Book Review: Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo HigashinoSalvation of a Saint : What it is about

The publisher says: “When a man is discovered dead by poisoning in his empty home his beautiful wife, Ayane, immediately falls under suspicion. All clues point to Ayane being the logical suspect, but how could she have committed the crime when she was hundreds of miles away?

As Tokyo police detective Kusanagi tries to unpick a seemingly unrelated sequence of events he finds himself falling for Ayane. When his judgement becomes dangerously clouded his assistant must call on an old friend for help; it will take a genius to unravel the most spectacular web of deceit they have ever faced…”

Salvation of a Saint : What I thought

I loved the first book I read by this author, The Devotion of Suspect X, so I was very keen to read this one, too.

I liked it slightly less than the earlier book, maybe because then it was all new to me: the setting, detective Kusanagi, his friend Yukawa and the level of the enquiries (very detailed). Also, the story was more interesting in The Devotion of Suspect X. But even so, this was still a very enjoyable read.

To begin with, there are only two suspects in this murder enquiry, but really, neither could have carried out the crime. The lover had no reason, the wife was too far away at the time of the murder.

It was fun to think along with the detectives and try to work out what could have happened, and who was the killer. At page 24 I thought I knew it all. But I was wrong. My idea was one that had been used in another mystery, so I was disappointed at first for the unoriginality, then glad when I found out I was barking up the wrong tree.

The eventual solution to the murder was very, very unlikely. While this was mentioned several times by Yukawa, it still took away from the believability of the story. On the other hand, it was quite a clever murder!

The investigation is goes into very great detail on certain aspects of the murder weapon. Not everyone will appreciate this – you have to enjoy a certain amount of science to not start to get bored by the proceedings.

In the previous book, the reader already knew how the crime was committed and we followed the detective in his attempt to solve the crime. I preferred that approach although it might not have worked with this new story.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 378

First published: 2012 (2008, original Japanese version)

I got this: bought it at a English bookstore

Genre: mystery

Book Review: The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

The Whole Golden World by Kristina RiggleThe Whole Golden World: What it is about

The publisher says: “Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.

Rain, TJ’s wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?

The Whole Golden World: What I thought

For a long time, I didn’t like this book. I didn’t get into the story. It seemed another of those family relationship-stories that I’ve just read too many of. But after about 100 pages, I started to become interested in the characters and I wanted to know more about them and what would happen in the story.

The whole sordid story, who enjoys that? A teacher and his pupil having a relationship, then, when it comes out, him denying it while she maintains they love each other. In the court room she sits with him, and everyone thinks she’s been manipulated by this man, who is not a great deal older than her, but married, and her teacher.

The story is told from the viewpoint of the girl, Morgan, her mother Dinah, and her lover’s wife Rain. I enjoyed seeing the story from the different perspectives, as these people all have prejudices about each other. It was easy to understand their approaches to the situation, although I didn’t identify with any of them.

In the end, this was a good read, but it started off really slow for me.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (It’s OK)

Number of pages: 448

First published: 2013

I got this: from William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins) for review

Genre: contemporary fiction

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