The Bro Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

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I was sort of looking for more stuff to put into my new genre, Stag lit and felt this might be a good candidate for an American one, being more on the fun side than Drew in Blue.

The story opens with the man character, Johnny at a wedding, and his repeated speech which he’s used at several other weddings.  His singleness and dysfunction he claims are rooted in his mother having died at his birth.  Yet compared to Rob in Sex, love, Cava etc,  this guy is at first just such a looser, no confidence, best friend is a gay woman, and he genuinely has no idea about women, although kind.  So he meets a woman attorney, gets advice, etc etc. and begins to grow up.

It’s a great story if you want a longish wallow in the process of him sorting himself out. However, for me it was all too long-winded, too much was in dialogue, although it was well written. So it was a skip to the end for me and not read.

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Woman on the edge of reality by Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Woman On The Edge Of Reality

I can’t write this review without some spoilers, sorry!

This book just could not but fail to appeal to me, having read so many American books lately, this is set in Cornwall, familiar and lovely to me.  A single woman, Rosemary arrives at a holiday cottage to spend a week’s break.

There is virtually no dialogue, but the minute by minute details of how she spends her time. This could be tedious, but there is just the right balance of inner thought and action that you get drawn in. You wonder why she is there, and slowly you begin to get hints. She’s running from something and she’s carrying a load. She explores the village and meets people – it reads almost like she’s coming home as she makes acquaintances.  There is an instance where she finds an abandoned house, it really was like  you were being prepared for her to buy it and move to the village, but now, I think it’s a huge metaphor for her life. I could empathise with how she began to hear and feel nature around her as she wraps herself in silence.

She rashly goes swimming on her own, and nearly drowns, bringing more to the fore about her life, her marriage to James and the new person she is becoming. Rosemary has been becoming Rosie over the years as she realises how her marriage is based on lack of communication and avoidance of intimacy.  I didn’t see the twist at the end, I felt there was going to be a way to reconciliation, and that her mystery lover was her husband.  There is a little intrusion of the narrator spelling out Rosie’s perspective but it’s a light touch.

A gentle story but powerful as Rosie moves into her new self.  Loved it!

Drew in Blue by J.M. Kelley, May’s book of the month


 

Sorry this is a repeat from the old blog, but I’ve updated it!  This book makes it into my self defined Stag lit, for honestly showing the blokes side of chicklit!

I never read other book reviews or even about the author before I read a book, I want as few preconceptions as possible, and not to absorb other people’s ideas.  And sometimes  too much information isn’t needed! Its funny though, often when I go afterwards to learn more, others back up my views or I’ve guessed rightly about the author.

In this case, Drew, the main character had me wondering whether the author was male or female, because apart from  a few stereotypical bits, SHE had got the male viewpoint really well which is often difficult.

A single guy coping with a baby – and the picture you get of Drew at the starts bodes no good.  As you get to know him, his mother dying so  young, being in foster homes, makes you expect him to be a waster – he is of sorts but is also a painter.  His coping with his son Nick, is so well depicted, I was there as he tries to even feed the baby, and cope with the sleepless nights. I did half expect Nick’s mother to try to reclaim him but she didn’t and such an obvious device would have spoilt the book.

Like so many main characters, he is completely oblivious to his real feelings for Kris. This is such a common factor in main characters that I’m  beginning to see it as like the Shakespearean fatal flaw, over all humanity – take Ted in Ted’s Island for example, and throughout literature, the heroes eyes are opened to the true love/enemy at the last-minute.  So I guess I should just get used to it. 

Still, I loved this flawed man who through being a father moves to adulthood and maturity. Drew will be one of my favourite characters for quite a while!

Love, Sex and Tesco’s finest Cava by Steve Carter

Now,as I’ve said,I read as little as possible about a book before I try so I’m not influenced, so forgive me if I’m repeating something. Nice bit of product placement in the title! Another collaboration with a feminine editor – I wonder how much she had to tone it down!

Being a keen reader of Chick lit, especially UK stuff, this was so refreshing!  At last Chick lit about and by a bloke!  Maybe its the start of a whole new genre, it’s not for me to name but maybe the obvious c**k lit is not a good name, so I’m Christening it Stag lit!  The male mind to me is completely incomprehensible and this seemed to so honestly give me a vague clue!  No more lists of what designer clothes were worn, just Rob wearing his black outfits.  Rob has his fashion disasters too, especially with hair dye on a first date. Rob has a best mate as in all the other genre, the dysfunctional Steve, who when you compare such conversations with the other lot is hugely funny, beer, football and lack of sex. 

The plot follows the breakdown of Rob’s second marriage and his relationship with Jenny, which begins with Internet dating.  Maybe the plot lacks a little in pace but the outworking of the relationship is so well done, their insecurities -which for Rob involves the use of Viagra, and Jenny her own self-confidence in her figure (trying not to spoil here).  Rob even has a Vaesectomy which is hilarious, but what had me most was his relationship with Jenny’s kids, all so typical teenagers and especially Daniel who’s mildly autistic, the first time they meet and go for a Pizza – I was there with the embarrassment.

The plot pace does eventually does pick up,  and as in any love story reaches a great conclusion. Its well written, lifelike, but the only thing I don’t hang with is the Cava – give me a good Austrian Zweigelt any day!

Tuesday’s Child by Louise Bagshawe

Tuesday's Child

I’ve just joined Goodreads and am inspired to also review some of my favourite books here.  I’m not happy that this site doesn’t seem to take Kindle books, but also as I was too tight-fisted to pay for an IBAN, I can’t find Tom that way either!!!!!!  So many reviews seem to spend their time re-telling the story, I hope I don’t waste time on that, rather give some interesting insights!

I loved the energetic character of Lucy, and you can read her naivety  as she has to grow up and take on an adult job.I envied her running and ability to scoff chocolate with no ill effects! Her instincts are always right concerning Todd despite being caught up with the new image and career.  Like many Marian Keyes tales she has a secure family background, which gives hope in this shattered world.  Again the usual lack of awareness of who she really loves, along with a real comeuppance for the bitch in the tale. A thoroughly satisfying read!

Replica by Lexi Revellian

I thought at first I shouldn’t be reading this as a Christian, man making himself in the image of himself,hmmm, definitely not biblical. But I succumbed, knowing it implausible and as its ones of the few English books I’ve downloaded for free, I really couldn’t resist.

Beth has a  replica made of herself by a Government Scientist and the author very successfully deals with the two outlooks by making the perspective of the Replica in the first person and everyone else other.It works  well.

There’s a lot of running and nasty baddies and a baddy turns good guy and a twist at the end I didnt foresee, just when everything seems sold out.  The narrative suspension is good, and its so well written that I had to read it all in one session.  The London locations I enjoyed too and it actually gives you an idea of how terrible it is to be on the streets. It has the romantic interest too, with  slightly enigmatic ending. 

Great read, treat yourself!

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