Saturday, April 30, 2016

seriously romantic: eligible by curtis sittenfeld

i've said before i'm not a purist. and to be honest the reasons i hesitated about reading eligible was because i wasn't sure about curtis sittenfeld because everyone and their mother loved prep and i hated it and since then i've been reluctant to read her novels. But this was a pride & prejudice update! and it's totally one of my all-time favorite books, so how could i not read this update from the austen project. 

and i'm glad i did. while sittenfeld's opening line doesn't match the iconic "it's a truth universally acknowledged..." she still manages to thoroughly update the story, while keeping both the lightness and piquancy of spirit of the original novel. 

i don't need to summarize the story, if you're reading this without having somehow come across p&p before i admire you even if you are not my people, and somehow think you must be a magical unicorn. if you don't like p&p, i'm pretty sure you won't like this. if you did, and you are familiar with the story, you will still find some surprises in this one. sittenfeld updates characters and the story, she excises some plot point that wouldn't fit the modern retelling, changes the roles for some characters--increasing the use of some while reducing the amount of time spent with others. it all works. 

even though this was a retelling it was still fresh and fun. you could tell that sittenfeld enjoyed putting her own spin on the source material. and i think that kind of joy an author has when they are telling a story they are enjoying makes it sparkle just a bit more. in the end, i really enjoyed this. i was predisposed to like it. but it's also the truth.

Friday, April 29, 2016

slightly silly: sleeping with other people

i was so bummed when sleeping with other people was originally released and i realized it wasn't coming to my city. limited release sucks y'all. so the dvd came out and i used an amazon gift card to buy it.

this movie stars jason sudeikis (jake) and alison brie (lainey), as two seriously damaged people who have no idea what it means to have a healthy relationship. he sleeps with any woman who lets him. and she is at the beck and call of her college crush (matthew)--adam scott playing against type--who is in a committed relationship with someone else.

having lost their virginity to each other back in college, lainey and jake reconnect and decide to keep things platonic while also making a pact to make better choices in their romantic lives, jake by not banging every girl he sees and lainey by breaking things off with awful matthew. what happens is pretty much what you expect in a romantic comedy. they act like boyfriend and girlfriend and fall in love. except they are both so damaged that they are incapable of admitting this or acting on it. they are each other's best friend and that friendship becomes the major obstacle in their happy ever after. because they are terrible at relationships, and they can't bear thinking that they'd lose one another if they pursued something romantic.

this is all good stuff. stuff i enjoy in my romantic comedies. what i don't understand is why this movie had about three different endings. it's like they ended it not together, which would have been a bold choice but not a bad choice, but test audiences hated it so they ended it again where it is implied the two characters reconnect, but test audiences still wanted something more explicit. so they ended it again where everyone basically gets their happy ever after. why?

grade: ♥♥♥ out of ♥♥♥♥♥♥

Thursday, April 28, 2016

something from the archives: after vegas - part 4

is a six year break too long? 

picking up where i left off, here's part 4 of after vegas. though you might want to catch up with parts 1, 2, and 3 before you hit the jump.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

seriously romantic: only beloved by mary balogh

only beloved is the conclusion to balogh's survivors' club series. in each of the previous outings, one of the lead characters was somehow involved with the napoleonic wars and suffered terrible injuries or ptsd from the experience. they formed the survivors' club while recuperating at the home of our hero, george, the duke of stanbrook. but this isn't the most interesting thing about our hero, what makes our hero unique is that he is pushing 50!

luckily balogh does not pair him with a teenager, something that probably did happen quite often in regency england. his heroine is also a woman of a certain age--though she has yet to hit her 40s. one wouldn't think that age is such a big deal in romance novels, but it is. and i'm here to tell you that even though the character's ages do matter in some respects to the plot, it's not a big deal for the reader.

dora and george are perfect for each other. their romance is mostly sweet, sometimes bittersweet. they ache and long for more from each other but don't know how to express this. the love scenes are not all that steamy, which suits the characters though i also kind of wanted more for them. like, so what if they were old, they could still have some excitement in the bedroom, right? this isn't a story where the two leads have to overcome obstacles to be together. the biggest issue here were the secrets george was keeping, and once he is able to tell the truth about his past everything resolves pretty quickly.

we do get to see all the other survivors and their assorted spouses throughout the novel, and then at the end we get to see their families at some point in the future in a sweet epilogue that ties a neat little bow on the series. as the closing novel to the series, it does a good job, though i think the others were better about building up romance. if you are going to pick up the series, i wouldn't start with this one. even though the novels are meant to stand alone, i think this one really does close things out and it would be a better read if you've already invested time in the characters before reading.

**this book is set to release on may 3, 2016. i was able to read an advance reader copy via the first to read program. i received a copy of the novel in exchange for my honest review. 

simply starting over

so let's try this again. i had good intentions back then, but i also had no time. now i still don't have time, but i've gotten better about making it. i aim to review shows and books primarily. perhaps the odd movie. and i'm going to take things slow. i don't want to overcommit. i've failed before, and that's no fun.