Book Reviews: American Wife, Last Night at Chateau Marmont, and Something Blue

I read a lot of books over my vacation! Here are the reviews:

American WifeAmerican Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I pretty much loved this book, and, as with all books that I love, I’m finding it hard to write a review.

For starters, I love the way that Curtis Sittenfeld tells a story. She allows things to unfold, and we can learn a lot about her characters through how they react to situations.

Her characters always feel real to me. Alice Lindgren seemed like a real person (more so than just because I knew that she was loosely based on a real person), as did Charlie, and her grandmother, and Jadey, and Miss Ruby … the list goes on. I really believed in all of the characters, and I love how they can be flawed but still likeable. (Charlie in particular fit that mold.)

I was little disappointed with the ending, but only because it felt somewhat rushed. The first sections of the book had unfolded in more detail, and the last part, after Charlie is elected president, seemed to gloss over the little interactions and introspections that I had come to appreciate.

I was sad when I had to take this book back to the library. I’m going to start looking through the used bookstores for it; this is a book I’d like to have on my bookshelf to read again.

Books I enjoyed much less after the jump!

Last Night at Chateau MarmontLast Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I knew I wouldn’t like this book. (I didn’t like The Devil Wears Prada, also by Lauren Weisberger.) That said, I was in the Paris airport, facing an eight hour flight back to New York with nothing to read. It was the only book in English that wasn’t either Twilight, Janet Evanovich, or Dan Brown.

What it had going for it: I read the whole thing on the flight, so it’s a quick read, despite it being 422 pages. The story zipped along, which I appreciated.

What annoyed me: The name-dropping. omg, the name-dropping. And the relentless mentioning of luxury goods. Ugh. We get it, L. Weisberger. You’re cool. No need to bash us over the head with it. I was also annoyed by how sugary the ending was, but I kind of expected that going in.

Bottom line: Okay in a pinch, but nothing I would recommend.

Something Blue (Darcy & Rachel, #2)Something Blue by Emily Giffin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As someone who doesn’t read chicklit, I was pleasantly surprised by Something Borrowed. Something Blue, however, did not do it for me.

I knew going into it that it focused on Darcy Rhone, by all accounts a fairly unlikeable character. But, hey, I thought, I’m okay with unlikeable characters. (Lee Fiora from Prep, anyone?) I thought Emily Giffin did a good job with an unlikeable character by showing us, the reader, how warped and self-centered Darcy was even though Darcy was the narrator. (At one point, she refers to someone telling her that he loved her. The reader can see the conversation, though, and know that he never said that; it was only Darcy’s interpretation.)

Despite that, it was all just a little much for me. And ***SPOILER*** the fact that everything works out okay in the end? Gag. I know we’re supposed to think, “Oh, Darcy changed and grew, and that’s why things worked out for her,” but it just didn’t work for me.

Considering my poor review of this and my recent poor review of “Last Night at Chateau Marmont,” I guess chicklit is not my genre.

View all my reviews

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