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Archive for the tag “books: not YA”

Book Review: The Way Life Should Be

Review of The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline

thewaylifeshouldbeStarted: 9/17/13; finished: 9/22/13

Goodreads rating: 3/5 stars

my rating: OK

pages: 288 (hardcover)

found: library


In my quest to read more books with characters in my age bracket I picked up this book. The story is about Angela—a 30-something year old who has a flair for Italian cooking (thanks to her grandmother), a job she doesn’t like, and a love-life going nowhere. To say the least she is in a funk.

Then she clicks on the tiny link to a dating site. Scrolling through the profiles she finds MaineCatch—a guy completely unlike any she has dated. He runs a sailing school, lives on an island, fishes, and lives a simple life. Something Angela finds herself longing for.

When her job takes a nosedive thanks to a catastrophic mistake she makes she finds herself at a crossroads. Two roads are diverging, but which one will she take. Surprising herself and best friend she chooses to pack up and move to Maine. But things there don’t go as planned.

Now she’s stuck with no job, no friends and no direction in her life. Amazingly that might be just what she needs.


This book wasn’t bad. I liked the characters and the friendship between them as they learn to cook and deal with their lives. But it didn’t WOW me like the previous two adult books I read. It was a quick read, though, and enjoyable. I gave it three stars at Goodreads and an OK here.

Really, it’s not a bad story but it didn’t give me the tingly feeling I get with a real good book.

Book Review: Spin

Review of Spin by Catherine McKenzie

spinStarted: 9/16/13; finished: 9/17/13

Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars

my rating: awww

pages: 448 (paperback)

found: library


After reading Arranged I just had to pick up another book by Catherine McKenzie. I was not disappointed. Spin is a story about addictions, wants, needs and friendships that link it all together.

Kate shows up to the interview for her dream job still drunk from the night before. She does not make a good impression. But days later she gets a call from the magazine for a special assignment: they want her to go undercover at a rehab facility (fully paid by the magazine) to spy on the Hollywood starlet that has checked in.

Desperate for the job Kate agrees and the next thing she knows she’s thrown into the world of group therapy with people with problems. Kate doesn’t think she has a drinking problem but the longer she stays the more she realizes her perceptions aren’t always accurate.

After befriending her “prey”–an actress named Amber—she realizes her job is a lot more complicated than she thought. Add in funny, smart Henry, the handler for super gorgeous Connor—Amber’s ex—and things get even more insane.

Kate’s not sure she can pull it all off—deal with her obvious alcoholism, get the job of her dreams, keep Amber as a friend and maybe start something with Henry.

This book sucked me in just as much as Arranged which I read first. I loved the characters and the subject of alcoholism had me thinking about my mother (I remember her going to AA meetings) and my own growing drinking problem and where I might end up one day.

I loved the hilarious friendship between Kate and Amber. And the sweet flirting between Kate and Henry. Then I loved it even more when everything went to shit towards the end because ANGST! (have I mentioned my love of angst)

Totally recommend any of Catherine McKenzie’s books. Now I just need for our library to get the next one in: Forgotten.

Book Review: Arranged

Review of Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

arrangedStarted: 9/6/13; finished: 9/16/13

Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars

my rating: awww

pages: 416 (paperback)

found: library


Arranged is the story of Anne who has become a little jaded about love. None of her relationships turn out right and when her best friend announces her engagement Anne kind of loses it.

She decides to use a dating service except it turns out to be an arranged marriage service instead. After considering it she decides what the hell.

Enter Jack. He’s completely not Anne’s type but her type hasn’t been getting her very far relationshipwise. Maybe Jack is exactly what she needs. They hit it off after their first “date” and decide to go ahead with the marriage the next day.

Things seem to be going well but not everything is as it seems.

I normally stick to young adult novels so I was a little skeptical reading one written for adults. I’m not much with sex scenes and all that but I took a chance and I’m so glad I did. I loved Catherine McKenzie’s writing style, the book just sucked me in. The sex was fade to black (much more to my licking) with just enough sexiness to get the imagination going. I just loved this book.

My only complaint is the constant descriptions of everyone’s clothing. I’m not sure what that had to do with the plot but it seems to be how McKenzie writes and eventually I got used to it. The very end of the book is also mostly a rewrite of earlier chapters but from Jack’s POV. I found myself having to skip over big chunks of text to find Jack’s thoughts on the rehashed dialogue.

Other than those problems this book was nearly perfect for me. Lots of angst, fun banter/flirting, sweet romance and a happy ending.

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