One of my goals for October was to read three new novels. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months immersed in non-fiction, career development related books my brain wanted a break! I really do love reading and was excited to get started on my “goal” right away.
Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
Everybody Rise had been on my radar since it popped up all over the blog world, newspapers and magazines. The author, Stephanie Clifford, certainly did a great job building a platform for herself-my boyfriend even heard about the book on NPR. Needless to say I had hopes for the novel. The basic premise of the book revolves around Evelyn, a mid twenty-something living in New York City and attempting to pave her way in the marketing and recruitment department of a small social media start-up. In the process Evelyn must reunite with her prep-school classmates to recruit for the social media channel (aimed at the elite). Evelyn comes from a wealthy background but her family is relatively “new money”, while Evelyn pushes herself into the lives of socialites and trust-fund babies, her family has their own share of difficulties placing their financial status at stake. Evelyn faces the challenge of keeping up (financially) with her socialite friends, masking her family difficulties and navigating the waters of a new relationship.
My perception of the book was a little bit disappointing, not to say I didn’t enjoy it…I did (well sort of) but with all of the attention the book received I expected it to be better. Everybody Rise was compared to The Great Gatsby and I just can’t see the parallel. The book says little about humanity or society or America-it simple speaks to a relatively unlikeable main character. I don’t expect every book I read to offer literary merit but I do want to feel invested in the characters or the story. This book was decent but definitely overhyped, interesting but not gripping. I wouldn’t say “don’t read it” but I think many other books are much better. Overall, I wouldn’t describe Everybody Rise as memorable or thought provoking.
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced is the story of a young girl living with her family in Yemen. I haven’t talked about this much on my blog but I am very interested in Islamic culture and literature (a subject that deserves a post or two of its own). Naturally, I saw this book at Barnes & Noble and knew I had to read it. The reading level is clearly aimed at a middle school level (it was written by a ten year old) which made the book a very quick read. Nujood simply tells the story of her life, how drastically it changed when she was married off to a man triple her age (at age ten) and the steps of bravery she took to obtain a divorce. I read this book in just a few hours; it was intriguing, super easy to follow and honestly a little bit horrifying (in a way that makes you want to keep reading).
I think Nujood’s story is incredibly inspirational. I am huge proponent of women’s rights around the world which made this book eye-opening and fascinating. If Nujood’s story peaks your interest I would definitely recommend the story, it is such a quick read though it definitely isn’t light hearted.
Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
Meg Cabot’s Royal Wedding caught my attention as soon as I heard it was being released. I read The Princess Diaries series growing up (the books clearly had an impact on me, hehe) so I knew I had to read the book written for adults as an extension of the series. The story follows Princess Mia five years after college graduation. At age 26 Mia is living in New York City, still dating her high school boyfriend Michael, hiding from paparazzi and struggling to keep the royal family’s reputation intact while fulfilling her duties as the Princess of Genovia. The entire book is written in diary format, filled with pop culture references, and the sort of cutesy side tangents one would expect a girl to go off on in her diary. Though the book may be a bit confusing for someone who hadn’t read the young adult series (I read them so long ago I forgot most of the details), I think it is still a fun read for new audiences.
Once I started The Royal Wedding I simply could NOT put it down. The book was filled with drama from page one and was definitely a great bath (or beach read). Sometimes I want to read a book with complex themes and motifs and quotable passages, other times I want to fantasize about what life would be like as a feminist princess living in New York City dealing with the press and her boyfriend and a weird eye twitch that won’t heal. This book was a great carefree read for anyone looking to give their mind a break and enjoy a bubbly read with a bowl of ice cream and glass of champagne.
Did you read anything wonderful this month? I am quite pleased with my October reads (yay for finally making time for novels again). I’m definitely hoping to continue with my fiction streak for November (something about cooler weather begs me to curl up with a fuzzy blanket and a page-turner). Please feel free to send me your book recommendations, I love hearing about what you like.