Five Things I Can’t Live Without (Holly Shumas)

Five Things I Can't Live Without by Holly ShumasOn paper, Nora’s life looks perfect. She’s moving in with her boyfriend Dan, she has a stable job and a great group of friends. But she’s stuck in what she refers to as “meta-life,” the plight of overthinking and second guessing to the point of self-sabotage. One day at work, Nora decides to thwart her meta-life by following her instincts. In what feels like a moment of revelation, she quits her job. Immediately, her meta-life goes into overdrive: What on earth was she thinking–and what is she going to do now? Fortunately, when a friend asks Nora to rewrite her Internet dating profile, she realizes that not only is she good at it, but she really enjoys it. Billing herself as a Cyrano de Bergerac for the lovelorn, Nora finally begins to find professional success. But soon, Nora’s meta-life has latched onto the question she’s asked so many clients: What are the five things she can’t live without? Is her flourishing business one of them? Is Dan? With each new client and each step she takes in her own relationship, she must confront her biggest demon–her self-sabotaging “meta-life.” But will she be able to slay it forever?

A good chick-lit is always a thrill to read, but finding good chick-lit is a hit-or-miss, at least for me. I never really liked reading chick-lit with too much sex, so I was wary of picking up anything without checking its reviews and such.

The blurb of this book was interesting from the start, which caused me to get this book. I’m a lot like Nora, the main character of this book, who lives in “meta-life” half the time. There was a solid cast of characters behind Nora, not to mention all her “clients”.

It was a fun read really…but it didn’t really work for me.

I don’t know. It was interesting at first, but as I read the book, I started getting disinterested with the book. I wanted to get to the point of the book, and when I read the blurb again, that’s when I realized that the point of the book was for Nora to figure out what were the five things she couldn’t live without. Duh.

But that’s the thing. I didn’t feel the need for Nora to find out those five things. There wasn’t anything pressing in the story for Nora to find that, except that she was asking them to her clients — which didn’t really show in the story, really, except for the profiles. If anything, Nora was more concerned with her boredom with her “work”, and her relationship with Dan. I would have found some interest if Nora struggled with something else like her weight and wonder if she would need to take some weight loss supplements, but there wasn’t much. Nora seemed pretty normal and okay save for her job that it was almost boring…except for some fun with Nora’s friends, especially Larissa.

I liked the ending of the story, though, with all that Nora learned from her overthinking and her experiences. However, it just wasn’t life-changing or earth-shattering for me. It was a sort of enjoyable read, but not exactly something I’d like to re-read.

Rating:
→ A miss, unfortunately. I was hoping to relate to this one, but I didn’t feel too much sympathy for Nora in this story. Might be a good read for others, but not for me.

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 9 out of 100 for 2010

→ Get Five Things I Can’t Live Without by Holly Shumas on Amazon.com
→ Holly Shumas’ website

Teaser Tuesday: Five Things I Can’t Live Without by Holly Shumas

Sorry for the break from posts, I’ve been a bit busy for the past few days. I owe this blog a couple of posts, mostly reviews, but I don’t have the time to do them today yet. Maybe tomorrow.

But for now, here’s something new: my first Teaser Tuesday! Here’s how it works:

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

This week I’m reading Five Things I Can’t Live Without by Holly Shumas. The blurb:

Five Things I Can't Live Without by Holly ShumasOn paper, Nora’s life looks perfect. She’s moving in with her boyfriend Dan, she has a stable job and a great group of friends. But she’s stuck in what she refers to as “meta-life,” the plight of overthinking and second guessing to the point of self-sabotage. One day at work, Nora decides to thwart her meta-life by following her instincts. In what feels like a moment of revelation, she quits her job. Immediately, her meta-life goes into overdrive: What on earth was she thinking–and what is she going to do now? Fortunately, when a friend asks Nora to rewrite her Internet dating profile, she realizes that not only is she good at it, but she really enjoys it. Billing herself as a Cyrano de Bergerac for the lovelorn, Nora finally begins to find professional success. But soon, Nora’s meta-life has latched onto the question she’s asked so many clients: What are the five things she can’t live without? Is her flourishing business one of them? Is Dan? With each new client and each step she takes in her own relationship, she must confront her biggest demon–her self-sabotaging “meta-life.” But will she be able to slay it forever?

Ah, Nora sounds familiar. I think that could be me sometimes.

And the teaser:

“So I finally have my therapy goal. It’s been months in the making, many tears have been shed, but here it is.” Larissa made a trumpeting sound. “I am going to live more in the moment!”

I think I posted more than one line there. :P Oops. But that line’s definitely interesting…right?

It’s been a while since I read good chick-lit, and I missed that, including the times when the heroine asks “Do diet pills work?” Okay, the heroine hasn’t asked that here yet, and I don’t think she will. I do hope this book doesn’t disappoint. :D

A Little Ray of Sunsine (Lani Diane Rich)

A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich
NAL Trade, 304 pages

Emmy James is not the kind of girl who attracts angels. In fact, after she sent her life into a nosedive six years ago, she’s tried to attract as little as possible -attention, people, or responsibility. She skips from town to town in an Airstream trailer, working odd jobs and keeping to herself until a sudden whim lets her know it’s time to move again.

And this works just fine, until the day two unexpected visitors show up at the New Jersey trailer park she calls home. One is a childhood friend with news: her mother and his father are getting married, and they want EJ to be there. The other is a sweet but odd woman named Jess, who says she’s an angel specializing in cosmic relationship mending…and blueberry pancakes. Jess doesn’t think it’s any coincidence that this is all happening at once, but EJ would rather run herself over with her own Airstream before reconnecting with her neglectful, self-absorbed mother. When she wakes up to find her trailer cruising down the highway with a determined angel at the wheel, however, EJ realizes that sometimes what you want and what the Universe intends for you can be two very different things…

I am really starting to love Lani Diane Rich‘s works. There’s something about what she writes and the people she writes about that really piques my interests, and this one is no different. (Plus, don’t you just love that cover? :P)

EJ is a girl who’s been around for the past six years, going from one place to another, taking jobs as a cashier, using a receipt printer and just living on her own. What people don’t know about her is that she’s the daughter of Lilly Lorraine, a famous actress, and it’s something she doesn’t really want people to know. Frankly, she’d rather bury her past and just live the way she lives now — it’s less painful that way.

But one day brings her two unexpected surprises: one is a visit from an old friend telling her that her mother is getting married yet again to his father and probably the closest and most real parent he’d ever had. And she gets a visit from an angel — or someone who thinks she is. Jess, the angel, is convinced that the Universe wants her to help EJ, and would stop at nothing in doing so — even going as far as “kidnapping” EJ.

After much reluctance, EJ finally decides to go home just for the wedding, but what she saw when she got back was something she never expected. Oh, and her old friend and ex-fiancee was there too — with a lot of old hurts that she never thought she’d have to deal with all over again.

A Little Ray of Sunshine is exactly what the title says — it’s a little ray of sunshine in a book. It’s a really entertaining story, with a wacky cast of characters. EJ, with all her rudeness to her mother and the people around her and her need to go to be alone, is still very endearing. Jess is such a darling, and I almost thought she was a real angel until her own secrets were revealed. Lilly was annoying and lovable at the same time. The tension between the characters was the kind of thing that you’d see in real life, and the resolution was realistic enough that you know it’s just the right way for the story to go to.

It’s a really good book, and I’m sure I’d want to read more of Lani Diane Rich’s work. :)

Rating:

Cover & Blurb: Goodreads

→ Lani Diane Rich’s website

Note: Review originally posted at Refine Me