Friday, January 9, 2015

Nicholas Sparks Splits with Wife of 25 Years

It looks like the love story is over for Nicholas Sparks and his wife of 25 years. The author’s wife, Catherine, has officially purchased a 1.1 million dollar mansion down the street from the couple’s North Carolina home, which makes sense since they have five children together.

It is believed that many of Sparks’ famous plot lines were based on aspects of his relationship with Catherine – so what does this mean for the future of his writing? Will he continue to pump out charming, romantic novels now that his own love story has fallen apart? And if so, will his future projects come across as insincere since he was unable to make his own marriage work?

Not surprisingly, many fans (including me) were shocked by this recent news. How could a man who gave us some of the most romantic stories of the past few decades, including The Notebook, Dear John and A Walk to Remember, end up separated from the woman who inspired many of these stories?

I can’t help but wonder why Sparks’ didn’t take a helpful cue from one of his bestselling novels in order to save his marriage. He could have proved his love by taking Catherine on a boat ride through a pond of swans, or by lifting her up and kissing her in the middle of a torrential downpour. Or perhaps he could have climbed to the top of a Ferris wheel and professed his love for her that way. The possibilities could have been endless. But I guess in real life things don’t always work that way.

Sparks has written 17 romantic novels and nine of them have gone on to become hit movies – so it makes sense that audiences have become emotionally connected to his stories. Sparks may not have his storybook ending anymore, but that shouldn’t take anything away from the work he has done and will continue to do. There’s a difference between fantasy and reality – Sparks’ characters will continue to live happily ever after even though he and Catherine won’t. 

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Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Something Blue

A while back I posted a review of Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed. (Laura's Book Nook: Something Borrowed) It still holds up as one of my all time favourite books and I definitely love the sequel Something Blue just as much.

Just to recap, Something Borrowed tells the story of a young woman named Rachel as she goes through a secret affair with her best friend, Darcy’s, fiancĂ©. The realistic narrative of this novel made it relatable to me, even though I have never been (and never would want to be) in a similar situation to Rachel. It may sound silly, but I’m sure that all readers will find themselves rooting for Rachel. If you’re a chick lit lover and have somehow managed to avoid this book up until now, do yourself a favour and check it out.

Giffin’s follow up, Something Blue, takes a different approach by showcasing the affair’s aftermath from Darcy’s point of view.  This is interesting because throughout Something Borrowed readers tend to dislike Darcy because of her bossy and manipulative personality. Giffin's decision to have Darcy as the focal point of a sequel whose predecessor was based around a very likable narrator could have been seen as a risky decision. I questioned the decision initially because I assumed Something Blue would not have the same relatable and fun aspects that I loved so much about Something Borrowed.

I was wrong. Readers (just like me) who loved Something Borrowed will find very similar themes and qualities in its sequel. Although Darcy continues to come across as spoiled and controlling you get to see a lot more depth to her character in this book (and rightfully so since she is the narrator this time around). I was able to sympathize with her in this book – something I was unable to do throughout Something Borrowed – and I really got a feel for what she was going through.

After finding out about Dex (Darcy’s fiancĂ©) and Rachel’s affair, Darcy flees to London where she quickly learns that she can no longer get by on her charm and good looks alone. Something Blue showcases Darcy’s journey towards self-discovery, understanding and true love.

This book does a wonderful job of wrapping up an already fantastic story. It shows that there are always two sides to every story and that friendships and romantic relationships are not always as cookie cutter basic as other chick lit novels often make them out to be.  Something Borrowed is Rachel’s story and Something Blue is Darcy’s. They are two very different characters with two very different stories – each equally as fast passed and entertaining. 

I cannot say enough about how absolutely fantastic this two book series is. It’s fun and quirky with characters that feel like your best friends.

There is still no official word if Something Blue will be getting a movie adaptation to follow in the footsteps of 2011’s Something Borrowed Staring Gennifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson. I'd love to see it happen. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

I'm Back!

Oh hey 2015, what’s up? It may have been several years since I’ve posted on here, but I’m so happy to be back!

I started this blog back in 2011 while I was in the midst of my Post Graduate Public Relations Program at Niagara College. After graduation I quickly got swept up in many new experiences and I lost touch with the routine I was in with my blog posts. But now I’m back and ready to start the ball rolling here again.

Over the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world. After finishing my PR program I spent two months in Europe. I loved travelling and exploring before I took that trip; but I definitely came home with a serious case of the travel bug. I knew that I needed to find a job that would allow (and hopefully even require) me to travel. So I did just that. I spent a year working onboard cruise ships as an activity host/ coordinator. I got to visit amazing places including Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Central and South America, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Fiji, Australia and all over The Caribbean. I feel extremely grateful to have had this experience. I know I never would have had the opportunity to see even half of these places by the age of 26 if it wasn’t for that job.

I’m now spending a bit of time living in England and I can’t wait to get back into blogging. I’ve been keeping up with the latest and best chick lit and I’m eager to share my thoughts and suggestions with my friends and everyone else who shares my reading interests (or my travelling interests). I've always said that Chick Lit and traveling go hand in hand since it's an often humours light-hearted form of literary fiction - perfect for a bit of light reading on the beach or at the airport.

Be sure to check back weekly for my upcoming reviews.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Reads

For this post, I have decided to share with you one of my favourite websites. is a social networking site that allows users to:
• get book recommendations from their friends
• keep track of what books they’ve read and what they’d like to read
• form book clubs
• answer book trivia
• collect their favourite quotes

I love this site, and I’m sure that anyone who enjoys reading will find the services to be fun and rewarding. Over 4 million book fans currently use goodreads, and over 120, 000, 000 books have been added to the site. Creating an account works almost the same way as it does when you sign up for facebook of twitter. It is free and extremely easy to use.

Think of it as being an online library that you can browse through and explore. It’s exciting to find out what your friends are currently reading, and what their favourite books are. The book reviews and trivia are an added bonus.

I encourage all of you to check out this website. Regardless of what you like to read, you will find something that you like from goodreads.

Have any of you used this site before? If so, what do you think of it?

Happy Reading.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sophie Kinsella or Madeleine Wickham?

This week I have decided not to talk about a specific chick lit novel, but rather about a specific author. Last week I discussed Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl, and while doing some background research on her I discovered that she uses a pen name. Kinsella’s real name is actually Madeleine Wickham.
For those of you who might not know, a pen name is basically a fake name that an author adopts and uses when they publish a book. Using a pen name is not extremely popular, but there have been several well known authors who have followed this trend. Some of these authors include George Orwell (his real name was actually Eric Author Blair) and Mark Twain (his real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens).

Anyone who is a fan of chick lit has likely heard of Sophie Kinsella, most likely because of her widely successful Shopaholic series. What many people do not know is that Kinsella has also published several novels under her legal name, Madeleine Wickham. Some of these books include The Tennis Party, A Desirable Residence, Sleeping Arrangements, and The Wedding Girl. Although these books are supposedly written in a similar style to the books that she has published under her pen name “Sophie Kinsella,” I had not heard of any of them before doing this research. Kinsella has not published a book with her real name since 2001. This is because she decided to stick with her pen name after the Shopaholic books became so popular.

Have any of you read any of Kinsella's books that are published with her real name, Madeleine Wickham? If so, which one is your favourite? I am excited to read some of them since there are currently no new Kinsella books for me to look forward to. I encourage anyone who may be looking for a light, fun read to do the same.
Happy Reading.

Twenties Girl

Twenties Girl is Sophie Kinsella's latest novel. It was a fun, easy read and I really enjoyed it. I found it to be comparable to Kinsella's other novels because of its light-hearted and funny tone. Lara, the main character is easy to relate to, and has a charming personality. However, the plot of Twenties Girl is somewhat different from the typical plots of Kinsella's previous novels - it is a ghost story.
When I first found out that this book was about a ghost, I was sceptical. Chick Lit novels do not typically deal with ghosts or anything to do with fantasy. But since I loved everything else Kinsella had written, I decided to give it a chance.
The main idea is Lara visited by the ghost of her great-aunt Sadie, who believes that she is still alive and living in the 1920’s. When Sadie demands that Lara help her retrieve a lost necklace, the two begin a hilarious journey that helps Lara to learn a lot about her own family, and about herself. There are many twists and revelations throughout this novel that will keep you guessing all the way to the end. It is a definite page turner.
You will discover all of the typical romance and charm that would be found in any chick lit novel, but none of the creepiness that is often found in a ghost story (much to my relief). I encourage anyone who has read any of Kinsella's other books to check this one out too. If you liked the Shopaholic series, or my previous recommendation, The Undomestic Goddess, you will be sure to enjoy Twenties Girl too. It is unique chick lit novel that may even please someone who is not generally a fan of the genre.
Happy Reading.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Where Rainbows End

This week I decided to talk about the book Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern. It was recommended to me by a few people, and I absolutely loved it. However, I had a hard time actually finding the book in the first place because when I initially heard about it, it was called Rosie Dunne. After I did a bit of research, I found out that the book has a few different titles and it changes depending on where you live. I heard about several people who bought both Where Rainbows End and Rosie Dunne only to find out afterwards that they where the exact same book. I found it funny when I came across a package on that included both titles of this book. Make sure that if you have read one of these, do not get the other one, and do not order that amazon package.

Anyways, regardless of what this book is called, I loved it and I just couldn’t put it down. One thing that I found very interesting was that the book was written entirely though emails and letters between different characters. It tells the story of Rosie and Alex, who have been best friends for their whole lives. The book begins with an invitation from Rosie inviting Alex to her seventh birthday party. It then goes on to tell the story of their lives through their childhood, teenage years, careers and various relationships.

From the beginning is it clear that Rosie and Alex are meant to be together, so as a reader it is frustrating to see how they hide their feelings from each other. Readers see situations through both characters points of view, so it is easy to recognise all of the suspense and bad timing on both of their parts. However, this also adds to the overall humour of the novel.

This it is one of my favourite chick lit novels ever. It is suspenseful and keeps you guessing all the way to the end. I highly recommend this book, and I hope that some of you will check it out.

Happy Reading.