Thursday, July 30

Jane Green: Dune Road

I promised a review on Jane Green's latest, Dune Road, and I am going to deliver finally- sorry for the delay... I just had to gush about 500 days of Summer last night, and I was tempted to stay up later and show pics of my new purple desk and some of the knick-knacks I got at Michael's yesterday on clearance to decorate it(I'll do that next week!).

First off, I just want to preface this post by saying that I LOVE Jane Green and everything she has written thus far (and trust me... I HAVE read all of it!). From Jemima J. to The Beach House (2 of my favorites) she has mastered the art of drawing an audience in with her unpredictable plot twists and lovably flawed leading ladies. Her stuff is chocolate for the soul- 1 part deliciousness, 1 part guilty pleasure, and 1 part pure comfort.

Dune Road tells the tale of Kit Hargrove, a recent divorcee whose relationship with her ex is interestingly amicable- enough so that you question throughout the novel whether these two should have split in the first place. She becomes the asst. to a high profile writer in her small town of Highfield, CT and the story unfolds as a series of ups and downs throughout her relationships with her friends, her ex-husband, her family, and her mysteriously perfect new man.

As usual I found myself enthralled and obsessed with the book, but I also took notice of something that set apart this novel from her previous books, or I was just too blissfully consumed by Green's stories before to notice. Maybe because I started reading J.Weiner only a few mintues after I had finished Dune Road, I found myself becoming quite the critic of Green's writing style. While her stories may be completely and utterly engrossing, her eloquence pales in comparison to J. Weiner. Maybe she was rushed in writing this story (out about a year after releasing The Beach House) and she didn't have the time to commit to the art of storytelling or maybe this just wasn't her best- which happens when you're an international bestseller a dozen times over- not every one can be a smash hit. What bothered me most were the redundant descriptions of Kit as this lost, confused woman who hadn't really found herself yet at mid-age. Regardless- there are some pretty mysterious plot twists that will hold your interest and keep you guessing.

Bottom line I will keep reading Jane Green because I do love her stories and they are always a fast & fun read. Do I think it is worth your time- YES! Do I think it is worth your money- Well, as much as I hate to say it I would advise you to check out Amazon or any other bookselling websites to get a cheaper copy- because I paid almost $30- and would have been much more satisfied paying about $20.

Ta Ta for now- I might be back this weekend to blog more about BFF (hint: it's getting good!)*

Wednesday, July 29

Chick *Flick*: 500 Days of Summer

Cause it's late & cause almost everyone has seen and/or given their 2 cents about this breakthrough indie chick flick, I'm going to make this post short & sweet.

Aside from the absolutely ADORABLE Joseph Gordon-Levitt (my friend and I realized his facial structure and deep dimples are hauntingly similar to Heath Ledger's) and the quirky, blue-eyed, ambiguously beautiful Zooey Deschanel- who are quite the entertaining, leading couple- the storyline manages to grab you with it's authenticity and sincerity. Even though I love me a good chick flick, this film strayed away from the mold of fantastical love stories that make you wallow in a stream of self pity because you haven't found the Noah to your Allie, and it actually tells the story of a real relationship and it's real derail.

We know it doesn't work out between Tom and Summer from the beginning (and from the trailers)- but rather than following a chronolgical model of where the relationship went wrong, the flick is a series of vignettes- shown through the various "days of (with) summer"- in which we see the rise and fall of their coupledom (or should I say coupledoom?).

We've all had those moments (whether we have just been broken up w/ or for some reason our crush just seems not to be that into us) when we mentally rewind through all the moments together and try to figure out where everything went wrong. And Tom (Levitt) totally hits on that feeling of helplessness as you search through the memories and can only reflect on all the good- leaving you even more mystified as to what the hell happened.

The saddest, and truest, part of the message this movie imparts is that even the most blissfuly beautiful relationships end.... and not necessarily because of anything specific- but just a series of little unfortunate events that make you realize you're not completely happy with your s.o.

This is a total MUST-SEE- and it will definitely make you crush on Mr. Levitt- I'm hoping that Hollywood will give him some more leading roles so I can see those dimples on the big screen again <3

p.s. am postponing Jane Green chat till tomorrow..don't think I forgot about her!

Tuesday, July 28

Orchid Inspiration

After a random walk to Michael's with my mom today - I am bursting with ideas for my room, and even some plans to spice up my desk at work. The problem is: can I execute something as beautiful as this floating orchid?

I'm going to do some research and see if I can do a faux floral spin on this elegant, tropical centerpiece (by the way, if you haven't noticed- am a tad obsessed with flowers!) The fake blooms at Michael's are pretty pricey (anywhere from $2 to $10 per flower), so I might have to clip some coupons to achieve a cheap, chic look.

Check out this faux orchid- pretty passable- yes?
I'll keep you posted on my experiment <3

P.S. Listening to a lovely "chick" song right now- Adele's "Best for Last". Discovered it on my "Chasing Pavements" station on Pandora today at work...if you're a chick- you might dig it...

thoughts on *BFF*

So, I'm starting to learn that J.Weiner's new book, Best Friends Forever, is quite the tear jerker- I was even a bit misty reading on my lunch break today. It's clear from the beginning that this story is not going to be some bubble gum, happy-go-lucky tale. If I had to pinpoint one primary recurring theme it would be loneliness and how empty life can be when you have no one to share your joys and sorrows with. Addie- the main character- goes through most of her life without any friends-paralyzed by her introversion and inability to connect with her peers.

We know at the very beginning that her childhood best friend, Valerie, abandons her once they become teenagers- I haven't found out exactly what caused their separation yet but Weiner hints throughout that it probably has something to do with Val becoming beautiful and popular in h.s. as Addie becomes more & more awkward and uncomfortable in her increasingly thicker skin.

As Weiner continuously paints a picture of Addie's past it seems as though any bad thing that can happen to her does, and you can't help but wonder- when will it end? I won't give away any of the plotlines, but I'm just gonna say that this is the quintessential portrayal of when bad things happening to good people-a theme that resonates with many of us.

Tomorrow I'm going to take a break from Jennifer Weiner to chat about Jane Green's new novel (which I quickly finished before BFF)- Dune Road! And you'll just have to stay tuned to see whether it was a must-read! <3

Monday, July 27

Decor Galore

For the past 3 years my house in the San Fernando Valley has been undergoing a massive remodel- leaving me and my OCD, decor-crazy self craving a clean, cool, tranquil space. As my room continues to be a work in progress, I have been constantly searching the internet and Ross/TJ Maxx/any other cheapy store with cute tchotchkes for anything purple, mauve, lavendar, cream, silver or with flowers, esp. hydrangeas (my absolute favorite bloom) to make my room a beautiful haven admist this half-finished house.

I found a purple desk on and it is cheap enough so that I can actually add it to my W.I.P. (work-in-progress) room at $49.

It's simple but it will really make my room pop with some unexpected color- and it has just enough room for my laptop, a notepad, and a beautiful vase of fresh hydrangeas. For storage- I am looking for chic cabinets or shelves to compliment this burst of color. Will let you know if I find anything .. <3

Oh - and here is the inspiration behind my decoration (minus the bear) :)

Jennifer Weiner: Best Friends Forever

One of my all time favorite authors, Jennifer Weiner, just came out with her new novel- Best Friends Forever- last week, and no wonder, with her fantastic slew of stories *Good in Bed* Certain Girls* Little Earthquakes* In Her Shoes* that speak to any woman on every level, it has already made it's way onto the New York Times Bestseller list.

Of course, I got it right away (thanks to my mom for spotting it for like 18 bucks at Target- pretty nice for a new hardcover!), and am already sucked in- to the point where I risked getting car sick on the loooong ride back home from Las Vegas yesterday to read on about Addie and the mysterious appearance of her childhood best friend, Valerie.

As Weiner dabbles into an uncharacterisitic literary switch from typical chick lit to chick mystery, her familiar wit and poetic eloquence are arguably at their best. Even if the plot was shit (which it isn't), I still think I would be transfixed by her writing style which is evocative of emotions only women can feel to their fullest- love, loss, the everpresent struggle of accepting who you are, complicated friendships, family struggles. She goes so deep it is impossible not to feel as though you know exactly how her characers feel.

And I swear, if she didn't make it as a wildly successful chick lit author, she could have been a food critic because her descriptions of food make my mouth water- almost more than watching Ina Garten's delectable dishes on the food network.

I'm on pg 120 of the novel (reading whenever I can- before bed, on my lunch break) and cannot wait to read more about Addie's complicated, troubled life and her unique relationship with her old & only best friend. I'll be keeping you in the know all the way through and am almost certain that it will be a novel to add to your "to-read" list! <3