- Save Karyn by Karyn Bosnak
Very readable. Also very scary in a way. Every girl has probably done the whole shopping rationalization hurdling: "Ooh, I'll own it longer if I buy it now at retail and from a daily cost point of view, that's really saving money!" KB took it to an absurd level, but I felt her pain. Well, when I wasn't being turned off by her utter lack of self control. The excessiveness didn't totally work against her, though. She gets points for being honest...and funny! Her writing is a little unpolished and valley-girl-ish, but it improves as the book goes on (and the bills start piling up). I identified with her on shopping on a basic level, but the second half is what earned this little memoir its stars. She struggled through joblessness, depression, 9/11, massive criticism, but came out of it all a better person for it. The old Karyn was cute, fun chick like any number I have known, but it's the new one that is worth knowing.
- Splendid by Julia Quinn
This is JQ's first novel. The infamous one she started a month after graduating from Hahvaaahd. And it shows. Though it's fairly good for a debut, her grasp of the Regency era's language and customs is a bit shaky. Actually, the dialogue is terrible. It kept throwing me off to hear/read, too often, contemporary expressions. The story arc (damsel in distress interlude) isn't my favorite either, although the author definitely kept it plausible, for which I thank her. What saves this book is its foundations. The plot is pretty good and there are some very memorable characters - ones I would look forward to seeing/reading about again. Stay tuned for more retro JQ.