Tag: 2 stars

I Owe You One

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: February 5, 2019
448 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 22- March 5, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

Jessica’s Review:

I adore Sophie Kinsella. In fact, it was her book, Can You Keep a Secret?  That got me reading again. Unfortunately the last couple of her books have not been for me.

The premise of I Owe You One had me intrigued, but the delivery failed.  For a start, I did not connect with the characters at all. Fixie’s name did not work for me and she constantly let everyone walk all over her.  Her siblings were very annoying and I did not like Ryan at all.  I suspected him of ill will.  All of the characters had issues of some kind, and the combination just did not work. 

Yes, the scene where the ‘certain disaster’ where Fixie saves the laptop is hilarious and left a lot of promise for the novel. This scene is classic Kinsella.   Despite I Owe You One not being for me, I will continue to read Kinsella novels, I just may need to stick to her older novels.  I think I might need to give Can You Keep a Secret a re-read this year. 

Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher  for granting me a copy to read and review. I wish I could have given it a favorable review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Gather Round the Sound (from Audible)

Gather Round the Sound: Holiday Stories from Beloved Authors and Great Performers Across the Globe
Reviewed By: Jessica

Date Listened to:  December 5, 2018
Length: 1 hour 12 minutes
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Audible’s 2017 holiday collection includes:

Zip Code 12345

This mini-documentary centers around a peculiar holiday tradition at General Electric’s headquarters in Schenectady, NY. For two decades, GE has been receiving thousands of letters from kids – children who think they’re reaching Santa Claus. And every year, a handful of GE employees give up their December lunchbreaks to respond to each and every letter.

An Aussie Night Before Christmas, by Yvonne Morrison, performed by Magda Szubanksi

This rollicking rewrite of the famous old poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas gives the original version a hilarious Aussie twist. Magda Szubanski, Australia’s most trusted personality, caries this incredibly fun romp. Kangaroos pulling the sleigh, a beer for Santa, and all the over-the-top Australian lingo, it’s everything you’d expect.

The Music Coming from the House, by Paulo Coehlo, performed by Daniel Frances-Berenson

In this magical story from the author of The Alchemist – the master of the modern parable – a disguised king visits a poor village, and what he sees through the window of a house changes his life, and those of the occupants.

The Signal-man, by Charles Dickens, performed by Simon Callow, Dan Starkey, and John Banks

For literature lovers, the holiday season needs a little Dickens. We dug up a story of his that you may not be familiar with, originally published in the Christmas edition of a Victorian short story periodical. Of course, ghosts are involved in this 19th century work told by Simon Callow (Outlander) and Dan Starkey (Dr. Who).

A Very Improvised Holiday Musical

What would the holidays be without some carols? Vern, a New York City-based improv troupe, performs a few improvised holiday songs

Jessica’s Review:

Gather Round the Sound was free on Audible and there was a good reason for that:  It really did not need to be made into a compilation of short stories/performances.  This one was a big miss for me.  The best short was Zip Code 12345: I really enjoyed it and wish it had been expanded. If this had been the whole ‘book’ that would have been fine with me! 

Apparently I am not a Dickens fan as The Signal-man wasn’t for me.  When it was over I had no idea what had happened. Maybe it was the narrators with their accents that ruined it for me.  The ‘musical chapters’ were also subpar. They were meant to be funny and entertaining, but were far from that. 

I cannot recommend this compilation: I say listen to the first chapter Zip Code 12345 and skip the rest. I hate saying this, but it just did not deliver.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 12-23, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

Jessica’s Review:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine or is she?  For me she was not.  I have heard many rave about this one and wanted to see what it was about.  It appears that I am in the minority when I say that Eleanor Oliphant was not for me.  Despite her rough childhood, I did not connect with the character.  It was a very difficult childhood that no one should go through. I was just curious enough to want to know what was going to happen and then we have that unexpected ending. I can’t discuss it as it would involve spoilers. I don’t really know what I think of this one other than it was a big miss for me.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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