Friday, March 17, 2017

By Your Side by Kasie West || My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella - Contemporary Mash-Up Reviews

MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE

My Rating: ★★

Synopsis: Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers. But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they? Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business. Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems. And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway? 

My Thoughts: Let me start by saying that I love Sophie Kinsella books. They are exactly the kind of book that leaves you in a good mood. They are funny, witty, and weirdly relatable. With that said, this book did not blow me away. I think I might be a bit fatigued with Sophie Kinsella. I am starting to feel like she writes the same lead character in all of her books. My other problem is that while I love watching all of the strange character hijinks ensue, I find some of them to be SO unrealistic. So many ridiculous things happens and yet, everything always end up perfect in the end. Please don't misinterpret my feelings about these flaws as dislike. Like I said previously, these books are so fun. I find myself literally laughing out loud and this book was no different. The main character, Katie, is hilarious and flawed. I always understood how she felt and why she was doing the things that she was doing. There were also parts of this book that reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada (which if you haven't read... you definitely should). Overall, this book was enjoyable, but it wasn't my favorite Sophie Kinsella book. It was a fun, quick read and that is always a breath of fresh air every once in a while.
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BY YOUR SIDE

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis: When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her. Only he doesn’t come. No one does. Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

My Thoughts: This book had what I can only admit to being a girl's biggest fantasy... getting locked inside of a library with a cute boy. Except Autumn didn't actually read any books while in the library. With that little personal flaw aside, this book was so adorable. I loved watching Autumn and Dax form a relationship and learning to trust each other. I mean they were locked inside of a library with little food and no interaction with anybody except each other. The other thing that this book had, which I have to admit to being surprised by, was the fantastic handling of a stress disorder. I haven't read too many books that deal with stress disorders and I thought that this book dealt with that topic in a realistic and respectable way. I have read one other book by Kasie West, P.S. I Like You, and that book was total fluff. It was a very enjoyable love story in every sense of the word. After the experience of reading that book, having an extra storyline about something other than falling in love very refreshing. I would highly recommend this book. It got me out of a reading slump and was thoroughly enjoyable the whole time. I plan on reading all of Kasie's books now. I think that she is one of the great YA contemporary authors, right up there with Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

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