Thursday, 9 July 2015

REVIEWS: Kindle Ninja Reads More Chick Lit - Part 2


 


I wrote the first part of this 2-part Chick Lit review three months ago for International Women's Day.  I didn't provide an explanation on what brought this on, so, let me just do that now.

Chick Lit is a much-derided literary genre and yet it's embraced by millions of readers, largely the female kind. I don't pretend to know how the genre came into existence, but I vaguely remember the genre gaining prominence at the time of the publication of Helen Fielding's "Bridget Jones Diary". Since then, there were a multitude of writers who went the chick lit route; some were successful, while others disappeared into obscurity. The genre continues to be criticized for the perceived superficiality of the topics and themes. 

After reading these books (7 of them), I can safely say that, yes, there are recurring themes and situations that are common in these books. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's what makes chick lit book a chick lit book. But the books I've read show there's much more to chick lit than just finding Mr. Right, shopping for shoes, drinking martinis, or complaining about being single in their 30s. 

The stories have presented far more complex themes dealing with mental illness, death, cultural differences, abusive relationship, single parenthood, and disability. 

Here are my reviews.

The Dr. Pepper Prophecies by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

There are authors who can write funny stuff and there’s Jennifer Gilby Roberts who’s just downright hilarious. The Chick Lit elements are strong in this story, but it’s a shame that it chose to go the route of cookie-cutter plot. It’s a bit of a letdown if you want something more substantial. It’s predictable in the sense that you already know where the story is headed, but you stay for the morsels of hilarity that the author leaves on each chapter. What can I say, I like books that make me laugh. ★★★ 4/5



Face Time by S. J. Pajonas takes us into the challenging world of online dating, further complicated by cultural differences. It’s a relationship doomed to fail from the get go, with Laura living in New York and Lee in Seoul. Every problem imaginable is hurled at the  star-crossed lovers, thousand miles apart. The funny thing is that distance is the least of their worries. They had to contend with a disapproving mother, a persistent ex-girlfriend, and essentially a cultural divide.

It’s really a question of whether Laura and Lee could hurdle all these difficulties without straining their relationship. It’s an accurate portrayal of the struggles that cripple couples in a similar situation – a modern-day depiction of an age-old problem. It’s clever in its execution, but the ending feels “unfinished”.
★★★  4/5 (Note: Rating changed to 4 after reading the "Missing Epilogue"

In 'Killing Me Softly', Kathryn Biel's quirky, upbeat, and funny storytelling is back - this time with a bit more mystery and suspense. It's reminiscent of her second novel Hold Her Down but a little edgier and sexier. Sadie Perkins is a well drawn out character who appears to be the only 'normal' person in a hopelessly dysfunctional family (even though she's "causing" deaths left and right).

I expected this to be a hard-core-sexy-suspense-mystery-thriller, but it's more of a romantic comedy with a somewhat diabolical twist. There's abruptness in the way the mystery was "solved", but the author provided a convincing resolution. It's chock-full of laughter-inducing dialogues that really make it an absolutely enjoyable read.
★★★ 5/5

Demons & Pearls: A pulse-pounding, beard-curling, action-packed story

  

 DEMONS & PEARLS by PS Bartlett

A fearless female pirate fueled by adrenaline rush, stakes her claim to the Captain-less ship filled with grubby buccaneers out to get her and her cousins. It’s chaos! It’s madness! It’s freakin’ awesome! And that’s just the beginning!

There’s no situation too precarious and no man too dangerous for Ivory Shepard. She’s just one hell of a character. She’s a total firecracker!

This prequel to The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge is a pulse-pounding, beard-curling, action-packed story that has enough voltage to power up a Kindle device. It’s more than just a frenzied pirate tale. It brings to the fore controversial issues with tremendous passion, evident in the narrative style and tenor.

This is such a thrilling read; not encumbered by lengthy expositions and sappy romance talk. It just tells an electrifying story of love, murder, revenge, and survival – not necessarily in that order.

★★★ 5/5