Blog Archives

[Book Review] The Happy Endings Book Club by Jane Tara @momentumbooks

book_info

20131211-125136.jpg

Title: The Happy Endings Book Club
Penulis: Jane Tara
Publisher: Momentum Books, Australia
Date of Published: 1 December 2013
Format: Ebook
No. of Pages: 182
ISBN: 9781760080587
Category: Fiction
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Family, Paranormal Romance
Received from: Momentum Books via Netgalley
Link: here
Opening sentence:
Paige flipped open sign on her bookshop door to closed.

book_blurb

This Christmas, the women of the Happy Endings Book Club are about to uncover a world of love and magic as they discover how to have their own happy ending or beginning, as they’re often the same thing.

Once a month, seven very different women come together to discuss books. They all love a happy ending, but have lost sight of how to get their own. Paige misses glimpsing the magic in the world. Sadie doesn’t see the beauty inside people. Amanda wonders what she ever saw in her ex husband. Tilda literally can’t see herself. Michi can’t bear looking at her family, while Clementine is blind to what’s right in front of her. And Eva looks for romance in all the wrong places.

But things are about to change …

Meet the women of the Happy Endings Book Club as they celebrate Christmas, and themselves, in London, Paris, Vienna, New York, Sydney and in love.

thoughtsI received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What can I say about this book? I love it. The Happy Endings Book Club is about a bunch of mid-age ladies finding their own happy endings, which is it (I want to spoil it a little bit).

Usually I love bitter-sweet ending or just simply bitter ending. But this book is too cute, too funny and heartwarming that I want to tell readers who love chicklit to go to Netgalley and request this title.

The Happy Endings Book Club tells about Paige, Clementine, Michi, Eva, Amanda, Tilda, and Sadie. They have their own issues and personal problems to solve, and it includes romance, as their favorite genre.

The story starts with Paige who owned a bookshop in London. Besides taking care of the business, she also ran a book club called The Happy Endings, named after the book shop. These 7 ladies had a special bond besides sharing their love on romance and happy endings.

Paige’s mom, Jean, was on her death bed. Before she died, she told Paige that her father’s still alive. And to Paige’s surprise, her father was a fairy. FAIRY. With the help of Jean’s physiotherapist, Arley, Paige was having a journey that she’d never forget.

And then Clementine, the naive girl who believed in cyber-romance. She decided to spend Christmas in New York with her love of her life that she never met, Sam. Sadly, she found out the truth about her cyber lover, but came a surprise that she’d treasure later on.

One of my favorite characters is Michi. She spent her Christmas holiday in Sydney, her hometown, a place where she hated the most. Her parents, Kayoko and Keith, were known as the celebrity sex therapists. Michi met Jake, a handsome guy who worked together with Michi’s brother, Greg. Michi avoided skinship, although she was attracted to Jake. One night, she opened up to Jake about what changed her about her past. Something that a little child should not see.

Tilda was having a symptom of insidious disorder. She could not see her hand, nose, and ear. After talking to a doctor, she went off to Paris and found herself completely. She also found her love back in London.

I love how the characters have flaws and have to deal with their problems. But in the end, love conquers the world. I think that’s what the writer wants to convey. It’s one of the best Christmas-themed novels I read this year.

Looking forward to reading other books from Jane Tara.

 

quotes

Respect where you’re standing (p. 57)

It’s extremely healthy to do what it takes to feel good about yourself. (p. 124)

Style is not about following trends, or even starting them. It’s about being yourself (p. 126)

Whenever my mum gets depressed about her age, she goes to Paris. (p. 128)

Sometimes it takes a while to see what’s right in front of us. (p. 160)

 

20131125-062111.jpg

Until next time ^^

20131128-083529.jpg

 

 

[Book Review] The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson

book_info

20131117-063534.jpg

Title: The Christmas Wedding
Author: James Patterson, Richard DiLallo
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: 2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-446-58543-9
No. of Pages: 266
Category: Fiction
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Bought at: Periplus.com Price: IDR 49,000
Opening Sentence:
ONLY TWENTY-FOUR DAYS until Christmas, and this Christmas is going to be one you won’t forget.

book_blurb

The tree is decorated, the cookies are baked, and the packages are wrapped, but the biggest celebration this Christmas is Gaby Summerhill’s wedding. Since her husband died three years ago, Gaby’s four children have drifted apart, each consumed by the turbulence of their own lives. They haven’t celebrated Christmas together since their father’s death, but when Gaby announces that she’s getting married–and that the groom will remain a secret until the wedding day–she may finally be able to bring them home for the holidays.

But the wedding isn’t Gaby’s only surprise–she has one more gift for her children, and it could change all their lives forever. With deeply affecting characters and the emotional twists of a James Patterson thriller, The Christmas Wedding is a fresh look at family and the magic of the season.

thoughts

I saw this book in Periplus, but somehow I didn’t pick it up. Then I remember that I wanted to read Christmas themed novels this month and, luckily, onread.com provides free copy to be read online. But, onread.com pissed me off. Every 3 pages there’s a sign “too many people are reading right now” and I had to go back to the beginning.
I decided to purchase this book online. Luckily, Periplus still had the copy. I’m so lucky that the cheap copies are sold out. I bought this book for IDR 49,000, so it’s like a small victory for me.
It’s a short, heartwarming novel about family reunion on Christmas eve.

Gaby, Summerhill, 44, a teacher, a mother of four, a widow for three years, sent a video message to all her children, announcing that she’d get married on Christmas. She didn’t reveal the groom, just expected her family to gather together on christmas. It’s been three years since their last reunion. Gaby wanted to do it again.

Claire, Gaby’s eldest daughter, had issues in her family. Hank was a pothead, and her son, Gus, was found drunk outside a mall. Hank slapped her face once when she said he’s an asshole. He was irresponsible and short-tempered, blaming it on the weed.
Gus did not do well at school. His grades are sliding down to the very bottom of the pit. He was getting friendly with the bad crowds. Claire taught remedial class. Sadly, Hank didn’t do anything to help.

Lizzie had to take care of Mike, her husband, due to serious illness. Emily’s a busy woman, and Seth was upset because his recent work was refused by his publisher, Knopf.

This book is sad and funny at the same time. I like Marty, Gaby’s brother in law. They had a thing. And there’s Jacob, a Jewish rabbi, who asked Gaby to marry him. Tom, who grew up with Gaby, was also interested to be Gaby’s second husband.

My favorite part is when Marty helped Gaby to teach remedial class. He taught the kids to love reading. I agree with Marty that we don’t have to like anything. Even the books that we hate can give something.

I love reading Christmas-themed books because they always give me a good feeling. I like this book, but I like Swimsuit better. I have tried reading other romance books by James Patterson. Not a huge fan though.

The Christmas Wedding is about one divorce and two weddings. The ending is sweet and touching.

quotes

If you don’t change, you’re stuck in a rut. (p. 8)

You can be the strongest person in the world and still make some bad decisions and have a pretty miserable life. (p. 27)

Be a giver, not a taker. (p. 34)

I read somewhere that cancer often disappears if you just sit very still. (p. 92)

Life is a temporary situation. (p. 116)

How can you read To Kill a Mockingbird or The Things They Carried and completely understand the book but not in any way feel the book? (p. 118)

If you’re not reading – with your heart as well as your brain – you will be one stupid grown-up. (p. 120)

20131119-085715.jpg

Need a second opinion?

Annette’s Book Spot here

Kuroneko Book Club here

Until next time

20130330-114856.jpg

[Book Review] A Virgin River Novel by Robyn Carr

book_info

20131118-074234.jpg

Judul: A Virgin River Christmas
Penulis: Robyn Carr
Penerjemah: Nicodemus Wuri K.
Penerbit: Violet Books – Kompas Gramedia Group
Terbit: 2011
Tebal: 400 halaman
ISBN: 9789790816572
Kategori: Novel Fiksi
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Beli di: Gramedia Plasa Semanggi, Harga: IDR 20,000
Kalimat pertama:
Marcie berdiri di samping Volkswagen hijau-limau miliknya, menggigil di tengah dinginnya udara November, mentari pagi hampir nyaris belum muncul di ufuk timur.

book_blurb

PADA NATAL TERAKHIR, MARCIE SULLIVAN MENGUCAPKAN SALAM TERAKHIR KEPADA SUAMINYA, BOBBY. NATAL TAHUN INI, IA DATANG KE VIRGIN RIVER UNTUK MENEMUI PRIA YANG TELAH MENYELAMATKAN SUAMINYA DAN YANG MEMBERINYA WAKTU TIGA TAHUN UNTUK MENCINTAI SUAMINYA.

Marinir Ian Buchanan membawa tubuh Bobby yang terluka ke ambulans di Fallujah empat tahun yang lalu, kemudian menghilang sesaat sebelum bantuan datang. Sejak saat itu, surat-surat yang Marcie kirimkan padanya tak pernah terbalas.

Marcie melacak keberadaan Ian di sebuah kota pegunungan kecil di Virgin River dan menemukan seorang pria yang terluka secara emosional, sama seperti Bobby yang terluka secara fisik. Tapi itu tak membuatnya lari dari tujuannya. Sejak Marcie memaksa masuk ke dalam kehidupan keras dan penyendiri pria ini, ia menemukan jiwa yang manis namun terluka dibalik sikap kasarnya.

Ian tak tahu apa yang membuat seorang janda muda itu begitu bersikeras memaksanya untuk menengok kembali masa lalunya dan, yang lebih buruk lagi, masa depannya yang tak pasti. Tapi inilah, setelah semuanya, masa-masa keajaiban dan mungkin, hanya sebuah kemungkinan, waktu untuk mengusir hantu masa lalu dan membuka hatinya.

thoughts

Saya biasanya menghindari buku-buku Harlequin dan novel yang unsur romance-nya kental. Namun, sepertinya saya harus mencoba membaca buku-buku not my cup of tea, apalagi novel tema Natal memang dikuasai oleh genre romance, jadi saya pikir ini saat yang tepat untuk membaca genre ini.

Novel A Virgin River Christmas saya temukan secara tidak sengaja di antara tumpukan buku obralan di Gramedia Plasa Semanggi. Setelah browsing, ternyata Virgin River itu serial namun bisa dibaca secara acak. Karena saya terlanjur membaca A Virgin River Christmas duluan, saya terpaksa menyelesaikannya sebelum membaca buku pertamanya terlebih dahulu.

Ceritanya tentang Marcie, janda muda mendiang Bobby yang meninggal setelah mengalami luka dan cacat karena perang Irak. Marcie ingin berterima kasih kepada Ian Buchanan yang telah menyelamatkan Bobby.
Erin dan Drew, saudara Marcie, melarang Marcie bepergian untuk mencari Ian karena cuaca musim dingin mulai memburuk. Namun Marcie yang keras kepala tidak bisa dilarang. Ia pergi ke arah pegunungan untuk mencari Ian.

Dalam perjalanannya, Marcie bertemu dengan Doc dan Mel, dokter dan perawat yang memiliki bar. Marcie yang mulai kehabisan uang dijamu dengan baik dan hangat oleh Doc. Bahkan Preacher, si koki, memberi Marcie bekal untuk dibawa dalam perjalanan.

Berkat bantuan seseorang, Marcie berhasil menemukan Ian yang penampilan dan perangainya berubah. Ian mengusir Marcie, namun Marcie berkeras. Ia tinggal di mobil Volkswagennya. Ian menemukan Marcie pingsan dan membopongnya ke dalam rumahnya. Setelah siuman, Marcie diminta istirahat dan dirawat dengan baik oleh Ian. Setelah ini bisa ketebak kemana arah cerita ini.

Saya nggak menyangka bakalan menyukai buku ini. Natal selalu membawa kehangatan dalam keluarga, itu yang saya rasakan. Dan ternyata, banyak penulis yang merasakan hal yang sama.

Ada beberapa dialog yang saya rasa agak berlebihan, seperti

Oh, Ian, kau perhatian.
Tetapi demi Tuhan, nyanyianmu seperti nyanyian dewa.

Saya palingan cuma nyengir setiap kali menemukan dialog semacam ini. Namun secara keseluruhan, cerita tentang Marcie dan Ian ini menarik dan membuat saya nggak mau berhenti baca. Saya malah jadi nagih ingin membaca semua novel seri Virgin River ini.

Novel ini membawa nostalgia natal dan membuat saya kangen ingin natalan di gereja.

quotes

Sebenarnya, jika kau tak makan sebanyak itu, kau takkan merasa makan sebanyak itu. (hal. 60)

Setiap hari ia selalu bertanya kepada dirinya sendiri mengapa ia harus mendapatkan medali untuk tindakannya menyelamatkan pri untuk hidup dalam tubuh yang lumouh. (hal. 71)

Aku bukan jemaat gereja atau anggota persekutuan atau apa pun namanya. Itu saja. Aku pergi ke gereja hanya untuk mendengar musiknya. (hal. 186)

Bintang itu adalah iman. Sebuah keyakinan bahwa ada suatu kuasa yang lebih besar daripada kita yang, jika diberi kesempatan, akan menuntun kita mencapai tujuan kita. Bintang itu adalah makna, tujuan, janji bahwa kita akan dikaruniai pencerahan kudus. (hal. 190)

20131119-085715.jpg

Need a second opinion?

Resensi Harlequin here
All About Romance here
Natuschan here

Until next time

20130330-114856.jpg

2013 Christmas Reads + Giveaway

37d7653a-fe65-4c22-a246-0f6fc56b0ebf_zps1767b592

Nggak kerasa udah mau Natal lagi. Salah satu liburan favorit saya adalah Natal. Selain menikmati kudapan manis-manis dan hangat, Natal juga suasananya suka bikin mellow. Walau Santa Claus itu fiktif, saya tetap percaya akan keajaiban Natal dan malaikat yang datang berbentuk Santa Claus atau siapa saja.

Untuk melengkapi kehangatan Natal, saya berniat untuk mengurangi timbunan dengan membaca buku-buku berikut:

1. He Sees You When You’re Sleeping – Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark | Goodreads
2. Silent Night – Mary Higgins Clark | Goodreads
3. Staying Away at Christmas – Katie Fforde | Goodreads
4. Pembunuhan di Malam Natal (Hercule Poirot’s Christmas) – Agatha Christie | Goodreads
5. The Christmas Wedding – James Patterson | Goodreads | My Review
6. Lakeshore Christmas – Susan Wiggs | Goodreads
7. The Gift – Cecelia Ahern | Goodreads

Yang ingin berpartisipasi ikutan baca buku bertema Natal, bisa klik button di atas. Ada hadiahnya lho.

Sampai jumpa bulan depan ^^

20131105-024143.jpg