Archive for January 2010

Julie & Julia – the movie

So…. this weekend, I broke down and watched the movie version of “Julie & Julia” (refer back to my post, “Julie & Julia” from a few weeks ago).  *Sigh*  I never like movies that are based on books.  Never.

As I had speculated in my blog post, Julia Child was so much more present in the movie than in the book, so that part was interesting.  You learn about how she moved to Paris and learned how to cook and got a book deal, etc.  I liked that.  However, it TOTALLY took away from poor Julie Powell!  If I were her, I’d feel totally gypped by the movie.  Maybe that doesn’t matter to her (or other people), but I felt like the movie barely paid any attention to her.  The movie showed her making maybe, what, 5 recipes out of 524?  Obviously, a movie can’t fit several hundred pages worth of words into  1 1/2 to 2 hours, but still.  Ugh.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a cute movie, but I am begging you, please, PLEASE, go out and read the book even if you have already seen the movie.  The movie does not give Julie Powell’s story justice at all.  Plus, the storyline bugged me: in the movie, she wants to start blogging and comes up with the Julia Child cookbook idea; in the book, she loves the cookbook but doesn’t even KNOW what a blog is until her husband explains it to her.  Annoying!  Just my thoughts.

P.S. I don’t plan on becoming a movie reviewer – I hate most movies – but I do feel that it is my job to tell you how much the movie versions of books suck.

Faking It & Ordinary World by Elisa Lorello

I ran across this author, Elisa Lorello, while browsing for books for my Kindle; both books were under $2 each (score!) and I realized that there are a TON of other chick books for the Kindle that are super cheap.  By the way, both of these books are based on the same characters (I love reading series books, even if they are just two books rather than four or five).

The first book I read is “Faking It“.  It’s about a lonely and single writing and rhetoric professor named Andi who meets a male escort named Devin.  It’s not exactly what you think… she asks for his services, but not in the same way that every other woman is.  She asks him to teach her how to attract a man, and in return, she gives him writing lessons.  During their weekly classes, Andi learns to be more comfortable with herself and accepts herself for who she is, but she also starts falling for Devin in the process (even though they had agreed that they would not engage in a personal relationship).  Fast forward a bit –  Andi meets another writer geek (her words, not mine) named Sam at a conference.  They fall madly in love, and Andi realizes that Devin is never going to be what she wants him to be.  The end.

Five years later in “Ordinary World“, Andi and Sam are celebrating their five year anniversary.  That night, Sam is killed in a car crash by a drunk driving college student.  After making significant changes in her life since she met both Devin and Sam, Andi goes back into her shell and can’t cope with the loss of Sam.  She almost gets herself fired from her teaching job after flipping out on her students who are talking about getting drunk during her class.  Several months later while going through her drawers, she finds tickets for a trip to Rome that Sam had bought for them.  She decides that a trip may be the thing to get her out of her funk.  Who does she happen to run into when in Rome?  Devin, the former escort, now going by his real name, David.  I actually haven’t finished this entire book yet (I’m 86% of the way through it – I love the “percentage read” count, Kindle!) but I can probably guess how it ends.

I liked these books because it wasn’t like the typical chick lit types of books where everything seems so superficial and fluffy and unrealistic.  Well, the male escort thing is maybe a little unrealistic because I’m sure not many people know one of those (not me!).  Other than that, the books went into deeper issues such as confidence and body issues that women have and dealing with the death of a loved one (in both books actually; in the first book, Devin’s father passes away).  I’m looking forward to reading the end of “Ordinary World” and wish that Elisa Lorello had more books for me to read!

Become my friend on Goodreads!

Do you see that little widget over there to the right that says “What I’m Reading”?  (There’s no book cover picture up there now because the book I’m reading,  ”Ordinary World” by Elisa Lorello, didn’t have a cover photo uploaded for some reason.)  I recently signed up with Goodreads.com to track the books that I read or want to read.  Don’t have much on there yet, but I like how I can link it up to my blog so you all can see what I’m into!  Feel free to add me as a friend by viewing my profile here: http://www.goodreads.com/fortheloveoflit.

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Twenties Girl” is the newest novel from Sophia Kinsella, author of the wildly popular “Shopaholic” series.  It came out last summer and of course, I had to get it right away.  I think I actually may have downloaded it on my Kindle the day it came out.  I’ve read all of her other books, including the ones published under her REAL name, Madeleine Wickham.

This is a cute story about a young British woman named Lara who unwillingly befriends the ghost of her recently-passed great aunt.  The ghost doesn’t come back as an old woman, instead she comes back as a wild partying flapper from back in her younger days in the 1920′s (hence the book title, “Twenties Girl”).  Of course, Lara is the only one who sees and hears Sadie (that’s the great aunt/ghost) so there are quite a few situations where Lara looks like a crazy person when she talks to Sadie in public.  At first, Lara resists Sadie, but then she understands that Sadie won’t leave her alone until she finds the pearl and dragonfly (I love dragonflies, by the way) necklace that Sadie lost before she passed.  This sends Lara on a crazy quest to track down the necklace in order to get Sadie to leave her alone… until she realizes that she has actually become friends with Sadie the ghost and doesn’t want her to leave.  She’s learned to rely on her for advice and companionship.

I liked this book because although it was a chick lit book and there was a romance involved, it had a different spin to it and I’ve never read another chick lit book about a ghost (at least that I can remember).

P.S. “Twenties Girl” made it onto the Chick Lit 100!  And pretty close to the top of the list, I might add.

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Dear John” has been on my radar for awhile but I never got around to buying it.  I’ve read almost every other Nicholas Sparks book except “Nights in Rodanthe” and maybe one or two others.  I decided to download this book and read it now because the movie is coming out and I figured that I should know what’s going on in the world.

I do enjoy Nicholas Sparks’ books, but something about this one… I don’t know.  Maybe I’m tired of unrealistic love stories.  I did like reading the book, but the story just seemed a little… fluffy (is that the word I’m looking for?).  The story is about a young man (John, duh) in the Army who meets an innocent, sweet girl named Savannah while he’s home from Germany on break.  They fall in love immediately and it’s the whole “opposites attract” thing: he used to be a rebel and a troublemaker (not anymore – the Army straightened him up), he drinks, has tattoos, etc,; she is young and naive, she’s a virgin and doesn’t drink, she likes volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in her free time.  They fall in love immediately but then John has to go back to being stationed in Germany and they lose touch, especially after he re-ups his service commitment after September 11th.  Needless to say, it doesn’t last.  There’s another part of the story that focuses on John’s relationship with his father and that part is sad.

The movie (although I haven’t seen it yet – is it even out yet?) kind of ruined the book for me because in the book, Savannah has brown hair, and Amanda Seyfried is a blonde.  Not like it makes a HUGE difference, but I like to imagine the characters in my own mind and hate when I keep thinking of the actors that they cast instead.  I have no desire to see the movie – I’m sure it could never beat “The Notebook” for me.  Plus, Amanda Seyfried’s eyes are distracting.  It was a sweet story and everything, but I’ve liked some of Sparks’ other stories better.  “The Guardian” was the first Nicholas Sparks book I ever read and although I don’t really remember the details because it was several years ago, it was one of my favorites of his.  If anyone sees “Dear John” the movie, let me know how you like it!

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.
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