New Spin On Wedding Wars. Fenton and Steinke manage to craft a new, much more dramatic yet still hilarious, spin on the Wedding Wars trope, this time by introducing quite a bit of explosive drama between three of the four parents involved. Yes, the drama itself takes up more of the pages than those who prefer a less dramatic romcom will probably like, but overall it works here to elevate the trope and provide a good bit of “meat” for those who are looking for something a bit sturdier than yet another vapid romcom whose details will be forgotten seconds after finishing it. Instead, this one will challenge you without putting *too* much pressure and will show you things you might not have otherwise considered – particularly if you’re one of the not-small population that can readily identify with much of the drama herein. And yet, ultimately this is more Lifetime meets Hallmark than anything *truly* dark and foreboding – it *is*, still, at its heart, a romantic comedy. Just one with a bit more bite than usual, which helps elevate it over so many of its genre siblings. Very much recommended.
This review of Forever Hold Your Peace by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke was originally written on December 23, 2022.
This week we’re looking at a strong book about (re)discovering yourself in mid-life. This week we’re looking at Crazy To Leave You by Marilyn Simon Rothstein.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Solid Tale Of Discovering Yourself In Mid-Life. There is an overarching theme through many of the lower-starred reviews (at least as I read Goodreads early on release day, just after finishing the book myself) that they “didn’t know where this tale was going”. To me… *this is the very point of the book*. Our main character suddenly finds herself directionless after what she thought she had in the bag collapses around her, and we get to watch as she picks up the shattered pieces and rediscovers herself – and discovers her voice for possibly the very first time – in the aftermath. In this, Rothstein does a truly tremendous job of having a solid combination of support and antagonism – often in the same supporting characters. Thus showing that *everyone* is flawed to some degree, but also that *everyone* is good to some degree as well. The banter is great, the emphasis on her time at summer camp as a teen is excellent nostalgia reminiscent of Wet Hot American Summer, the slow burn romance is well executed, and even the very serious issues discussed – workforce discrimination (though never truly fleshed out there), diet “culture”, overbearing but well intentioned parents, etc – are done well, with just enough weight to give substance without becoming truly overbearing. Very much recommended.
This week we’re looking at a book that has a slow start and a LOT of moving parts that ultimately all ties together into a satisfyingly suspenseful tale. This week we’re looking at The Lying Club by Annie Ward.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Slow Start Yet Overall Satisfying. This is one of those books that starts a bit slow and has a LOT of moving parts and thus can be a touch difficult to keep track of at times, even for those of us who like this type of setup. One where there is little action and it seems a touch pointless at times… until the back parts of the book where the action truly finally picks up steam and gets fairly suspenseful. And yet, by the end all is tied up neatly – perhaps a bit too neatly, and the epilogue is perhaps unneeded as well. Ultimately a strong book that arguably tries to do a bit too much – but still largely succeeds in telling its tale its way. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social and buy links.
Continue reading “Featured New Release Of The Week: The Lying Club by Annie Ward”
Blatant Racism Deeply Mars Otherwise Universal Story. This is, without a shred of a doubt, the most racist book I’ve seen published this Millenium, at minimum – and to think that the normally *very* solid Lake Union Publishing allowed it under their banner is very discouraging, indeed. While I would never say a book should not be published at all, this is one that no major company – particularly one so large as Amazon – that claims to stand for diversity, inclusion, and equity should ever stand behind. White / America is EVIL according to Shah, and everything wrong in Preeti’s life is because she had to try to fit in with “White America”. Bullcrap. You take the commentary about everything White and/ or American being so evil out of this tale and look at just the remaining elements of struggling to fit in, to find oneself despite parental desires, to have your parents accept you as an adult… and you’ve got a universal tale that applies no matter the race. *Everyone* goes through these struggles, even in cultures where it appears different. But no, Shah here had to go the racist route and destroy what would have otherwise been a solid, maybe even transcendental, work. While some might think I’m being a bit generous here with 3* based on this write-up, the univeral elements here were done quite well while examining their particulars within Indian culture, particularly looking at both the Indian Diaspora and Indians who never leave the subcontinent – nor want to. And that is where I am confident in still allowing it the three, despite such blatant and rampant racism. Recommended, begrudgingly.
This review of The Taste Of Ginger by Mansi Shah was originally written on December 29, 2021.