May 28, 2009

Review of: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP

Author: Lauren Lipton
ISBN: 9780446197977
Pages: 368
Published by: 5 Spot, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing (May 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Chick-lit
Grade: A
Challenge(s): 100+ Reading Challenge - Read 'n Review '09 - 2009 Pub Challenge

If not for my demanding 3yo, I could have easily finished Mating Rituals of the North American WASP in a day. Even still, I finished it in a day and a half; I stayed up late reading. =)

For me chick-lit and romance are a welcome break now and then. Mating Rituals of the North American WASP, a perfect gem of a book, is just such a book. Deep down I knew Peggy and Luke were meant to be and would end up together; man did they take their time realizing it! Luke and Peggy accidentally (and drunkenly) get married within hours of meeting in Las Vegas. This is just the beginning of their roller coaster relationship.

I hadn't heard of 5 Spot before Mating Rituals of the North American WASP, but I will definitely be on the look out for more of their titles.

Buy Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Amazon

May 25, 2009

Giveaway Winners: Testimony

I have picked my five (5) winners for Anita Shreve's TESTIMONY.

You can find the post on my other blog.

Review of: Behold, Here's Poison

Author: Georgette Heyer
ISBN: 9781402217982
Pages: 336
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark (February 2009 [first published 1969])
Genre(s): Fiction, Mystery, Cozy
Grade: B+
Challenge(s): 100+ Reading Challenge - Read 'n Review '09

I love these kinds of mysteries, English country cottage style. I even took notes this time, I jotted down bits that I thought might be important. I recorded who I thought was the guilty party; I changed my mind a few different times. I was wrong each time. It made sense in the end, but I never suspected this particular person.

Mr Matthews was not very well liked by many, repected but not liked. Practically everyone in the house had reason to want him dead. Later Mr Matthews' spinster sister, Harriette, dies as well. That really throws a wrench into the works; even for Scotland Yard!
It's no ordinary morning at the Poplars - the master is found dead in his bed and it turns out that his high blood pressure was not the cause of death. Heyer uses her attention to detail and brilliant characterizations to concoct a baffling crime for which every single member of the quarrelsome family has a motive, and none, of course, has an alibi. Heyer's sparkling dialogue is a master class in British wit, sarcasm and the intricacies of life above and below stairs.
Buy Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer:

May 13, 2009

Review of: Shanghai Girls

Author: Lisa See
ISBN: 9781400067114
Pages: 315
Published by: Random House (May 26, 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction
Grade: A
Challenge(s): 100+ Reading Challenge - Read 'n Review '09 - Spring Reading Thing 2009 - World Citizen Challenge - 2009 Pub Challenge

Pearl and May Chin grew up in Shanghai, China in the 1920s and '30s. When they are 21 and 19, respectively, they are 'sold' into arranged marriages with a pair of brother, to pay off their father's gambling debts. Pearl is already in love with an artist called ZG. May and Pearl are models, their faces sell everything from baby formula to tobacco. In the process of leaving China for America, after the bombing of Shanghai, many terrible tings happen to and around this pair of sisters.

I learned quite a bit reading Shanghai Girls. I'm not sure what it says about our education system that I'd never heard about Angel Island before. More tid-bits I found interesting:
  • In Chinese culture, white is the funeral color, the death color. (Imagine what it was like for immigrants from China that went to a hospital or to see a doctor!)
  • There were segments at least that were prejudiced toward the Japanese; calling them things like "monkey people" and "dwarf bandits".
I really found myself pulled in by Lisa See's words. I felt like I was right there with the sisters through their many struggles, fights, joys. I haven't read any of Lisa See's previous novels, but I am looking forward to reading more than Shanghai Girls.
From GoodReads: May and Pearl, two sisters living in Shanghai in the mid-1930s, are beautiful, sophisticated, and well-educated, but their family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl’s parents arrange for their daughters to marry “Gold Mountain men” who have come from Los Angeles to find brides.

But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel’s Island (the Ellis Island of the West)—where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months—they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she’s pregnant the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.

A novel about two sisters, two cultures, and the struggle to find a new life in America while bound to the old, Shanghai Girls is a fresh, fascinating adventure from beloved and bestselling author Lisa See.

(Full disclosure: I won this ARC of Shanghai Girls in a drawing on Random House's website. If you have any questions/concerns about how this may have affected how I feel about the book, please go here and read the last paragraph.)

Buy Shanghai Girls by Lisa See:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Amazon

May 8, 2009

GIVEAWAY: Testimony

I'm hosting a giveaway of Anita Shreve's Testimony.
Deets are after the jump!

If you'd like to see more about the book or to enter the giveaway, please visit my other blog.

May 6, 2009

Review of: Girls in Trucks

Author: Katie Crouch
ISBN: 9780316002127
Pages: 272
Published by: Back Bay Books (April 2009, paperback)
Genre(s): Fiction, ChickLit, Southern Fiction
Grade: B
Challenge(s): 100+ Reading Challenge - Read 'n Review '09 - Spring Reading Thing 2009

My review after the jump!

My First thought when I reached the end of Girls in Trucks was that it needed to be longer. Not in the way you might think. Not in the "I was so in love with the characters that I wanted it to go in forever" way. I wanted it to be longer because I didn't like way it ended. I tend to think of 'chick-lit' as all having an 'And they lived happily ever after' ending. After sitting with my thoughts for a couple of days I realized something. Books don't all have happy endings. Neither does life.

Girls in Trucks does not present us with an ending all wrapped up and decorated with a bow. But it's not a bad ending. Sarah and her man do not ride off into the sunset, but there is a happiness there. Is it a somewhat mindless, Scarlett O'Hara (I'm paraphrasing here.) "I'll think about it tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day ending? Maybe.

Girls in Trucks is in no way a bad book. I enjoyed the time I spent with Sarah, her sister Eloise and Sarah's friend Charlotte. Even if I did want to slap Sarah at times and tell her to get a clue.

Buy GIRLS IN TRUCKS by Katie Crouch:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Amazon

IMPORTANT: Kylee's Journal Disclosure

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kylee's Journal would like everyone to know that the books reviewed on my blog were either provided to me by the publisher/the author for free OR were purchased by me OR were borrowed from the library. Books recieved for free do not get special treatment, if I don't like something, I either will not finish it (DNF) or I will struggle through to the end; both get reviews posted here.