Tag Archives: rating 3.5 of 5

Shakespeare’s Storybook

Ryan, Patrick & Mayhew, James. Shakespeare’s Storybook: Folk Tales that Inspired the Bard (2001). 80 Pages. Barefoot Books. $19.99

We all know that it’s only recently that plagiarism really became “bad,” and that playwrights and novelists borrowed liberally from folk tales, novels, and reality to create a lot of their works. I’m sure any of us who have studied any of Shakespeare’s work are aware that he did not think up everything. Rather, he took what was available and adapted it into the very special plays which we know (and mostly love) today.

What this novel does is summarize the barest details of the play, and then introduce a folktale which it was likely (or is known to have been) based off of. It’s illustrated, and explained in terms that your average elementary schooler could understand. My sister Kim said “Hey, that’s cool, I guess.”* The illustrations aren’t bad, either. (They’re really done in a very nicely stylized way.)

We’ve got several stories: “The Devil’s Bet” for The Taming of the Shrew, “The Hill of Roses” for Romeo and Juliet, “A Bargain is a Bargain” for The Merchant of Venice, “Snowdrop” for As You Like It, “Ashboy” for Hamlet, “Cap-o-Rushes” for King Lear, and “The Flower Princess” for The Winter’s Tale.

The stories are nothing special, and most of them are at least passingly familiar. Several of them are Cinderella variations (something I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading) and a few are your standard folktales. A little is said about the origins of each of them, and it is a very cute book. (One which I will be donating to the library, since I don’t need to re-read a children’s book about Shakespeare when I have my massive Norton anthology of Shakespeare anyhow.)

I could explain the contents of the folk tales, but I’ll resist the urge. I’m sure most of you know most of them anyhow. The biggest issue I had with the book was the last story (“The Flower Princess”) in which a “wisest wise woman” calls a King and a Prince “You stupid idiots!” which just doesn’t seem very wise to me. Aside from the fact that her grammar is atrocious, and her vocabulary is hardly child appropriate, there is the fact that she just called two fairly powerful men “Stupid Idiots” to their faces. Before she leads them to “a painting” of their dead loves, only to find out that it’s not a painting when they start to sing. I mean, really. They couldn’t figure out they weren’t a painting? I realize that I’m obsessing over something which by fairy tale conventions I should be willing to ignore, but I’m just not sure I can ignore this one. (And Kim, said sister agreed with me.)

The Quick Version:

If you’re looking to introduce an elementary schooler to some Shakespeare, or want a light fluffy folk-tale read with some heavier literature relationships, then this is the book for you. It’s not terrible, actually. It gets a 3.5/5 and will be donated to the library when I have the time to drop it off.

_______________________________________

* She’s 10 next month, so “cool, I guess” is about as enthusiastic as she gets right now. She’s in her “whatever” phase.

5 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction

Scones and Sensibility

Eland, Lindsay. Scones and Sensibility (2009). 309 Pages. Egmont. $15.99

I came across Scones and Sensibility in someone’s blog, though I no longer remember where, exactly. They made it sound good, so I got it through Link+, which was definitely worthwhile. I’ve been cheap and broke recently, so the library has been my friend. Despite it taking over a week for me to finally get around to writing the review, I did really enjoy it.

Twelve year-old Polly Madassa longs for the perfect romance of her favorite novels– Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables. She longs to be a perfectly polished young lady like those in her novels. However, as a young girl who is expected to help out at her family’s bakery (by making deliveries), Polly cannot do things exactly the way she intended.

Chapter One: In Which My Family Is Introduced and I Contemplate the Less-Than-Desirable Traits of My Dear Sister’s Boyfriend*

It was upon turning the last delicate page of my leather-bound copy of Pride and Prejudice that my transformation into a delicate lady of quality was complete. (1)

Polly’s so-called transformation is the source of the entire plot. She tries hard to be a young lady of quality– she writes with a calligraphy set on old-fashioned stationery, she speaks in an “old fashioned” way, and she indulges in ladylike activities. She’s so blissful that she longs to help other people find her happiness– by setting them up for romance**. Her narration also follows this theme, lending her a lot of personality. Of course, as with all books which feature match-making, things don’t go the way she plans. (Especially not her own romance.) There’s a bit of self-realization, and Polly does seem to grow up a bit before the novel ends.

The biggest issue this book has is that it should probably have been 50 pages or so shorter. It sort of drags toward the middle. However, the story as a whole is cute, our main character is charming and well-meaning, even if she sort of messes things up. Her speech gets a little old sometimes, too. The moments where she breaks character are actually more meaningful than pages and pages of other characters inexplicably accepting her eccentricities.

The Quick Version:

With a cute plot, and endearing characters, this book is a winner– if you can get past the language. It takes a while to get used to Polly’s narration, which (as Jenn from Books at Midnight points out) may be too difficult for its target demographic. The title makes me long for baked goods,*** and the story made me want to curl up with an actual Austen novel and relax. It gets a 3.5 out of 5, because the language is a rather large barrier.

__________________________________________

* I noticed the chapter titles first, and they set the tone for the whole book. However, there was an error I noticed (Chapter 14 refers to events in Chapter 15, and those in 15 refer to 14’s title) which was momentarily distracting, but not really a big deal.

**Despite the title, which is reminiscent of Sense and Sensibility, this particular novel is much more closely related to Emma, as Polly spends far too much time match-making to be any other Austen heroine.

*** I went back to my home-town for the 4th of July, and longed for an orange-chocolate scone from Moody’s. Unfortunately, I never got around to buying one, and this book just compounded the longing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction

The Lonely Hearts Club

Eulberg, Elizabeth. The Lonely Hearts Club (2009). 290 Pages. Point. $17.99

I never did like the Beatles. Or rather, I may have liked them once, before I heard their music so much that it started to drive me a little crazy. When you live in a town with three radio stations (one was country except on Sundays when it was latin, one was classic rock except on Sundays when it turned into Beatles, and one was NPR) you end up hearing the Beatles so much that you get a lifetime’s worth in a few years. Regardless of my feelings for the Beatles, I did enjoy the premise of this book. I say premise, because there are some very, very large plot holes and points which should not have been glossed over.

Penny Lane Bloom was five years old when she decided she was going to marry Nate. They spent summers together, grew up together, and were best friends. The summer before her Junior year of High School is when it all changed. Nate was “sexy,” and interested in more than the innocent kissing which Penny was comfortable with. The night Penny decides to have sex with Nate in order to “keep” him, she walks in on him with another girl, breaking her heart and convincing her that boys are evil.

Penny is the youngest daughter of Beatles fanatics, and grew up surrounded by Beatles music and paraphernalia, so it’s hardly surprising that she turns to the Beatles for comfort. She creates the “Lonely Hearts Club,” a sort of support group for teenage girls. The rules for the club are:

  1. No dating boys during high school
  2. You have to go to all “couple events” together– Homecoming, Prom, etc.
  3. Saturday nights are for club events, and you must be at them.
  4. Friends first. Be supportive of them, even when they make bad choices.

Violators of the rules are subject to membership disqualification, public humiliation, vicious rumors, and possible beheading. (I loved this bit, it sounds like something I would write.)

Penny finds her first member in the form of her ex-best-friend Diane, who (having just broken up with Ryan) is trying to find herself again, after losing her identity as “Ryan’s Girlfriend.”* Penny’s current best-friend Tracy also joins in, and from there the club keeps growing. Todd and Ryan both spend a lot of time flirting with Penny (and complicating matters). The club grows, as does the drama surrounding it, which is where I really start to have a problem with some plot points.

1) Penny: We never get a physical description of her, except that she’s “hawt,” she eats anything and stays thin, has a thoughtless funky style, and she has big enough boobs to get guys looking. We know nothing of her appearance. Sure, this is a first-person novel, but something about her besides boobs would be good.

2) Penny’s friend Kara the Anorexic: “Kara shifted uncomfortably and fiddled with her apple as the rest of us dove into our lunches. It was hard not to notice the fact that she had lost even more weight over the summer — if that was even possible…” (34). Kara then disappears for a few chapters, showing up around page 90 or so before disappearing again. She turns up to join the club after the Homecoming dance, and she gets a lot of mentions, but not a lot of lines. She vanishes again, and gets mentioned on page 208 when Tracy tells Penny that she’s going to counseling for the eating disorder that her best friends seemingly never noticed.

3) Ryan & The Student Advisory Committee: In the early part of the book, we learn that Ryan is on a “Student Advisory Committee” which means that he talks to Principal Braddock a lot to “give him a better sense of the concerns of the student body” (62). When Braddock unprofessionally pulls Penny in, he mentions that he “received some troubling reports from [his] Student Advisory Committee” (191). There’s only one person we know of in the Committee, and she never really gets properly mad at him, and he never properly apologizes for reporting her (or explains that he’s not the one who did it).

4) Principal Braddock: He used to be a football star, and created his advisory committee to keep track of things, and to reminisce about his high school days. He calls Penny & her Parents in to discuss his problem: “Dr. and Mrs. Bloom, the problem is that Penny is using her unfortunate experiences to turn the rest of the female population against the males at this school” (189). Why the hell would a principal care? He then stops the girls basketball team from having their fund-raiser on school grounds because it’s “Lonely Hearts Club Event,” which would mean it can’t be on school property. I find this to be weak. And the drama with Braddock is never really resolved.

Aside from those bits, it’s not a bad book though, and I did like it.

The Quick Version:

The prose is strong, the premise is good, but there’s some major plot issues for me. Kara especially feels botched; there’s no real motivation for her to suddenly want help with  her eating disorder. I’m glad she gets it, but she feels like she was thrown in to help examine more issues, rather than being herself. I do like the idea that girls need to learn to be, and to love themselves. I also love that Penny is a strong narrator, who seems like she’s got some real emotions and thoughts going on. It gets a 3.5/5 for being enjoyable, but needing a bit more polish. I think Elizabeth Eulberg will continue to grow, and she does have a talent with her narrators, so I hope to read a bit more of her stuff evenually.

_________________________________________

* This particular aspect struck a chord with me; I was the girl who became the football player’s girlfriend, who was friends with his friends because of him, who lost track of her current friends, and who had to re-find herself after the relationship ended. I was a bit lost, and I was lucky enough to find that my friends were willing to forgive me, and that I did actually like myself.

This book is part of the Local Library Reading Challenge!

9 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Sword & Sorceress (Anthology, #22)

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress XXII (2007). 269 Pages. Norilana Books. $9.95

I don’t know if I mentioned that I come from a town with a one-room library. It was the first floor of an old victorian, and it didn’t really have much in the way of books. My school had a library, and in elementary school, I believe I managed to read their entire collection, and then some. It was my preferred place to spend lunchtime. I’ve never had a library card before. (Small towns, they just write down your name, because they know you.) When I moved to the Bay Area, I had a school-ID library card, and then I got my first non-school card from the San Leandro Public Library, which was very exciting. I discovered that you can put books on Hold, and when you come in, they’re waiting for you.

I have abused this power to no end. I have a 20-book-long hold list, and every time I come in to turn some in, I’ve got more waiting. It makes life more fun, I think. (It also means that when I go to the library, I can limit myself to the holds shelves so I don’t leave with more than I can read in 2 weeks.)

Oh, there was a point to all this. Because I get my books by putting them on hold, I don’t really get to know what format the book is going to be in when I get there. (Or what shape– there have been several books that I’ve wanted to repair quite badly, but when I left the library*, I lost my access to book-repair and book-binding supplies.) Every other Sword & Sorceress novel has been a mass market paperback, but apparently when they switched publishers, they switched formats. Sword & Sorceress XXII is edited by Elizabeth Waters**

Anyway, there are sixteen stories in this volume, so as I’ve done in the past, I’ll choose a few that really stood out.

I’m going to start at the back of the book with Sarah Dozier’s “The Menagerie.” It’s a good story, and it entertained me, except that it is so very, very similar to “Oulu” by Aimee Kratts, which was in volume XXI. It’s forgivable to use similar stories more than once in a series, but to do so in two volumes which are back-to-back is a problem. Yes, they do take very different approaches to a similar twist, but that does not make them sufficiently different from each other.

“Night Watches” by Catherine Soto re-introduces Biao Mei and Lin Mei– a pair of siblings who made their first appearance in Sword & Sorceress XXI (though, in a story I didn’t review). There was a hint of magic last time, but this time it becomes a bit more blatant; there are magical beings mincing around in this story. (And a bit of political intrigue.) In the first story, it was hinted that these siblings were seeking… something. We haven’t learned what by the end of this story, but it’s led us a little deeper into their world. I am very interested to see where they go, and what is going on with their world.

“Vanishing Village” by Margaret L. Carter has a little bit of a twist, and features a story that’s not quite what you expect. I don’t know how to say a whole lot more without saying too much, but there’s an interesting spell which made this town “vanish.”

Kimberly L. Maughan’s “The Ironwood Box” starts with a form of magic I’ve never read about, as well as a unique political system. It’s a little reminiscent of Robin McKinley’s Beauty or Rose Daughter in that there are three sisters living in a cottage in the forest. I suppose that’s not a very strong parallel, but one makes me think of the other. The characters are interesting, and their story intriguing, making this one of the hilights of the volume.

Dave Smeds has one of the more unique stories with “Bearing Shadows,” which I read while on BART. Aerise loses everything when her baby glows in her belly. It is a mark that she is carrying the child of a Cursed One, something which she is cast out of her village for. Not knowing what to do, and afraid for herself (and to a degree, the unwanted child she is carrying), she goes to the Cursed Ones for help. Slowly, she comes to understand why she was chosen, but she never quite forgives. It’s a very emotional story, with what I hesitate to call a happy ending, though it is hopeful.

When I was a kid, I had a book of short stories which included “The Lady, or the Tiger” which I found to be infuriating. When I later found its sequel, I was only more annoyed. To put it simply, “The Decisive Princess” by Catherine Mintz left me far, far more satisfied by the end of the story. I don’t want to say a lot more, because there isn’t a lot to say without spoiling it, but it’s a very good short story.

One of the darker stories in the series is “Tontine” by Robert E. Vardeman– a lone mercenary enters a bar, and proceeds to drink a very special bottle of wine. There are five glasses worth of wine, added to the bottle by herself and her four friends in their youth. With each glass, she not only remembers her fallen comrades, but relives their deaths through their eyes. Then, Jonna drinks her own glass, and without us ever knowing what she saw, she leaves the bar, off on journeys unknown. It’s brilliant, and unique, and like nothing I ever expected.

The Quick Version:

Elizabeth Waters is not Marion Zimmer Bradley, but she manages to continue the series with the same sort of spirit as her mentor. A lot of the stories were very good, though a few fell flat. It scores a 3.5/5, because there were some very, very good ones, but one too many were mediocre or forgettable enough that I don’t remember them today.

_________________________________________________

* During College, I worked in the Library, and was a Periodicals and Processing Student Assistant. (Long title, I know.) The very best part about this job was getting to repair the really old books. The coolest one ever was The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in large-format hard-back from the 19th century. It had the etchings in it. We got to re-do the binding, and it was the most amazing, satisfying, and fun thing I’ve ever done. Because when you’re done, you’ve helped preserve history, and while you’re doing it, you’re engaged– your mind, your hands, and all your skills. Ok, I think I should stop dorking out about book repair, because there aren’t a lot of people who share that passion with me.

** Elizabeth Waters was apparently Marion Zimmer Bradley’s editorial assistant from Sword & Sorceress II until she died. Ms Waters is about as close as you can get to MZB’s editorial style, so they chose her to continue the series. It works, I think.

This Book is part of the Local Library Reading Challenge! It is part of the Short Story Reading Challenge!

4 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Fantasy, High Fantasy

Up in Smoke

MacAlister, Katie. Up In Smoke (2008). 328 Pages. Signet. $7.99

The Silver Dragons: Book Two || Dragons Universe Book Six

This book did not have me laughing as much as others have in the past. In fact, a lot of the scenes which I think were meant to be funny were really just… painful. I’ve never really liked Jim- he annoyed me more often than he made me laugh. Magoth is just… too annoying to really be a scary villain.

May has been bound to Magoth since she was created, and it has caused her nothing but pain and frustration and trouble. Until she met Gabriel, however, she had managed to put up with it. But when Magoth tried to give her an order which would hurt Gabriel and the dragons, May refused it. The most creative punishment Magoth could come up with is giving May the role of Demon Lord’s Consort. (Perhaps because she loathes him so much that it’s actually punishment to spend time around him).

Gabriel surprises May when he tells her to go through with it, and actually become Magoth’s Consort. It would allow Magoth access to the human world, but it would also mean that May could be with Gabriel, fulfilling her duties as a Wyvern’s Mate.

That’s just the first few chapters. It moves quickly, and is full of drama. It was strange, because MacAlister’s books are usually funny, but I didn’t laugh more than a few times. The story is intense, and leaves you wanting more, but concludes at least reasonably well.

The Quick Version:

This book is awesome, but it’s not as funny as others. Certain characters remain annoying, a few new characters are annoying. The drama and suspense in this one are pretty impressive, and really make it a page turner. It only gets a 3.5 out of 5, because there’s a bit too much identity crisis.

If you want to read it, get it through Amazon or Swaptree.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

For the Love of Pete

Harper, Julia. For the Love of Pete (2009). 400 Pages. Forever. $6.99

“Things finally came to a head between Zoey Addler and Lips of Sin the afternoon he tried to steal her parking space.” With another solid first-line, Julia Harper drags us back into the world of FBI chases and romance. Some of you may remember Dante Torelli from Hot. It’s alright if you don’t though, because this book really stands alone. The references to Hot are there, but they are not key to the story.

Anyway, when the child of a key witness is kidnapped, Special Agent Dante Torelli (a.k.a. Lips of Sin) must find Pete (Zoey’s infant niece) in time for her father to testify on Monday. Of course, as difficult as finding a kidnapped baby in Chicago might have been, that’s not all that’s going on here. Pete is kidnapped from her kidnapper in a robbery-gone-wrong. Dante is framed for murder, and most everyone believes he’s a dirty cop. Zoey refuses to trust him, and will not just go home, or at least anywhere safe. Bullets fly, chases ensue, cat and mouse repeats itself.

Meanwhile, as with Hot, we get other points-of-view. Chapters may focus on Dante, Zoey, Mrs. Gupta & Mrs. Gupta, Neil Senior, and the “Senior FBI Agent”, to name a few. It could get a little confusing, but since it’s in third-person limited, the story stays reasonably clear. As with Hot, I feel that the bad-guy chapters can be a little too much sometimes, even if they are pretty funny (especially those which dealt with the Mrs. Guptas.) The story unfolds in an unexpected way, and the bad guys are defeated in some very surprising ways.

If you are surprised by romance novels featuring romance, do not read this paragraph, as it could spoil the book. If you are not surprised, hilight the text to read “spoilers”. Eventually the romance plot becomes primary; Dante is head over heels for Zoey. There are a few kisses which are badly handled; they act like the second kiss is the first, which it is not. They are equally as shocked by the third. By the time they’re truly involved with each other, you’re rolling your eyes and telling them to get it over with already.</ “spoiler”>

The Quick Version:

With a fun plot, an entertaining cat-and-mouse game, and a brief appearance by Mac, this book is nearly as entertaining as Hot. It does, unfortunately, fall a little short, and has a bit too much of the “uptight, structured man falls for free spirited hippie chick” which is not my favorite plot. It scores a solid 3.5 out of 5. I enjoyed it, but I won’t be re-reading it any time soon.

If you’re still interested, you can get it through Amazon or Swaptree.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Mystery & Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Light My Fire

MacAlister, Katie. Light My Fire (2006). 329 Pages. Signet. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book Three || Dragons Universe Book Three

Please be aware that there may be spoilers present as this is the third book in a series!

Having seemingly given up on being a courier (perhaps because uncle Damian has come to his senses), Aisling Grey once again stumbles through more danger than she even knows. What this girl needs is a whole series of How-to books; How to be a Demon Lord, How to be a Wyvern’s Mate, How to be a Guardian, and most of all How to Stop People from Trying to Kill You.

Despite having walked out on Drake again, Aisling finds herself face to face with her mate when he informs her that her presence is required at a gathering of the Green Dragons. She obliges, and quickly learns that she cannot keep her hands off him. The feeling is mutual. Once again, there are several steamy scenes that will have you blushing.

Unfortunately for Aisling, being reunited with Drake is perhaps the only good thing that happens. Drake is challenged, the Red Dragons are trying to eliminate Aisling, Fiat is up to something and Gabriel is seemingly complicit, and that’s just the dragons. Jim has eaten an Imp monarch and the Imps want Aisling’s blood, a Demon Prince wants Aisling’s vote, the Otherworld of Paris want Aisling to step up and be Venediger, Drake’s mother is scary, and she may or may not be pregnant.

Certain truths are revealed about characters, truths which explain occurrences from the last few books, and make things fall into place. More is set up for the future, and the fourth book promises to be quite a culmination. Many more laughs are to be had, and as a whole, the book is very enjoyable. The real trouble comes in the way that nothing is truly wrapped-up at the end, and it is very nearly a cliffhanger. It’s a good thing I thought to pick up the 4th book already, or I might be in bad shape.

The Quick Version:

Aside from the storylines which have been left open at the end, this book is as solid and funny as its predecessors. The thing which caused this to score lower is in fact the lack of wrap-up. I believe one storyline is concluded in the entirety of the book, and the rest are left hanging for what I suspect is the grand finale. It is still a good book, as long as you do not expect a standalone. It gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Want to check it out? Get it on Amazon or Swaptree.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

The Corset Diaries

MacAlister, Katie. The Corset Diaries (2004). 336 Pages. Penguin. $6.99

Cover: The Corset Diaries

Tessa is 39 years old, widowed, and “skinny challenged,” so when she is asked to take part in the A Month in the Life of a Victorian Duke reality show*, she thinks “with this body?” But she agrees, both for the $10,000 and the chance to get out and do something; her life has gone stagnant since her husband died. She rapidly finds herself transported to London, stripped of all modern accoutrements,  and strapped into a Victorian corset.

On the set she meets Max, a handsome man who is the epitome of the Victorian Duke. At first, she is not so thrilled by his daughter Melody, his sister Barbara, or his brother-in-law Henry, but she gets to know the family over the course of the month. Besides the “family,” there are the servants, who are constantly muttering about staging a coup, and the production crew, who are largely outside of the plot.

The gorgeous Max is almost immediately (and predictably) drawn in by Tessa- size 18 and 5 years older than him or not- and the two get caught up in a romance. Romance is hardly exclusive to our main characters though, as many of the “servants” are involved in an affair (or two, or three, or more). Amidst all of the romance on set, someone is trying to sabotage the show (and Max & Tessa’s romance). Things go wrong, filming is ambushed, and finally fish fill the ballroom.

There are things which make this a good book- it is funny, has a fun romance, and a great premise. However, the writing is mediocre, parts of the story seem forced, some parts too long, some too short, and there is a distinct lack of depth. However, if you are reading a romance novel for the “depth,” you are likely insane.

The Quick Version:

Perhaps this is not the most well written book I’ve ever read, and it’s certainly not the most intellectual, but it was incredibly funny (I actually laughed aloud), and downright enjoyable. It scores a 3.5 of 5, because it is entertaining, but it will not be getting any literary awards.

Want to read it? Trade for it on Swaptree or Buy it on Amazon

* A Month in the Life of a Victorian Duke is reminiscent of The 1900 House or any of the sequels it inspired.

2 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Romance

Goddess for Hire

Singh, Sonia. Goddess for Hire (2004). 305 Pages. HarperCollins. $13.95

Cover: Goddess for Hire

Our main character– Maya– is thirty years old, unemployed, single, and lives with her parents. She drinks a lot of Starbucks, drives a Hummer, and spends a lot of time shopping. She is, unfortunately, shallow, self-centered, and difficult to like. She has a major inferiority complex because, as she says “We’re all supposed to get married, have children, and be either a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, all by the time we’re twenty-five” (3) and while her cousins have all achieved this, Maya has made no progress at all.

This does not, however, mean that Maya attempts to make any progress toward pleasing her parents, or even getting a job. She whines constantly about the fact that she is a disappointment, yet does nothing to remedy it. To sum Maya up, she is the stereotypical spoiled, rich resident of Orange County, California.

Her Indian origin is all that makes Maya unique from every other spoiled rich girl in Newport Beach. This Indian heritage is what leads to her parents arranging a marriage with a man named Tahir from Delhi, which Maya– a truly Americanized girl– rejects on principle. “Maybe Tahir would find me unmarriageable? I quickly discarded that thought. I was gorgeous, possessed superb taste, and could make conversation at any cocktail party” (9). When Maya finally meets Tahir, planning to discourage him, she finds a gorgeous man who claims to have no interest in marrying her whatsoever. If you’ve read a single novel from the chick-lit genre, you know where this is going. Man and woman verbally spar, fall in love, have a torrid affair and live happily for at least a while.

Shortly after Tahir is introduced, the main plot comes into play; Maya is an incarnation of the goddess Kali and she’s been tasked with saving the world, or at least a small part of it. She learns to harness her powers and kick some ass. She stops far short of being a full on super-hero, instead being the bumbling anti-hero who manages to kick some ass, almost by accident.

It manages to be funny and for the most part light-hearted. It’s certainly not a deep, or terribly complex book. It’s an easy, quick read.

The Quick Version:

If you want a light book with a simple plot that will make you laugh at least a few times, this is a good choice. It scores a 3.5 of 5.

Interested? Trade for it on Swaptree or Buy it on Amazon

2 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Humor, Romance