Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

By Jenny Colgan

I wasn’t trailing in the gutter. Yet somehow that was worse. When everything is as bad as it can possibly be at least you stand out for being a complete disaster. You’re still special, just special for being such an unbelievable fuckup. People speak about you in vaguely hushed tones all the time. Whereas when everything is patently going to be average and you’re just going to have to get through it—that, in a funny way, is much harder. I couldn’t throw my hands up in the air and go to bed for a week. I had to soldier on.

This was a cute book along the light lines of Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella. The plot intrigued me: Rich spoiled girl forced to make it on her own. I have seen movies with this trope, but can’t remember reading any other books with that plot line. I will probably try some more by this author because I did like her voice. A couple of things prevented me from loving it. I didn’t like the love interest. No matter how much he was redeemed in the end I didn’t like how he used women through most of the book. And, if he was so attracted to Sophie, why did he not try harder to repair the misunderstanding? I’m going to have to put a spoiler alert on this because part of the plot of this was who she was going to end up with. I liked Eck because he was the underdog, and didn’t like how the author besmirched his nice guy character in the end. Don’t like Bad Boys and don’t like when they end up with the girl usually. Also, the filth that her 4 male roommates lived in before she came was just disgusting. How could any guy that has any character at all live like that? Just didn’t understand it.
But I did like Sophie’s journey a lot. This was my second chance Jenny Colgan as I was not overwhelmed by the first book I read by her. I will proceed with caution.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

June 16, 2020

The Café by the Sea

by Jenny Colgan

And all round the room, people were nodding. People who she’d always thought, somehow, wanted to get away, dreaming of freedom. That wasn’t true, she realized. This place: it was freedom. Home and freedom, all at once.

This is well-written with a great sense of place and people. Good emphasis on character development, or an uncovering of true characters. However, I didn’t believe in the romance. Two such different lifestyles and careers, not to mention the long-distance aspect. I see it is the first of a trilogy, so I see lots of stormy waters ahead. And although I liked the characters and wish them well, I just don’t think I want to spend more time with them. 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

January 24, 2019

The Bookshop on the Corner

by Jenny Colgan

“The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.”

This was a very sweet romantic story. Almost a fairytale. A shy and timid librarian, Nina, loses her position in Birmingham. Through a series of small steps, one thing leads to another, and she ends up in a small town in Scotland establishing a mobile bookshop and comes into her own. Why the title is The Bookshop on the Corner I don’t know. The U.K. title was more apropos. also the cover art has nothing to do with Nina’s bookmobile. In the process, she attracts the attention of one romantical nice man and one grumpy man who become potential love interests. There were some happenstances that were just too good to be true. although she does have challenges to overcome (easily) good fortune just seems to fall into her lap time after time. But I was fine with that. It was a valentine to rural Scotland, and books, and people who love to read. The narrator was excellent and really captured Nina’s personality which I wasn’t always enthralled with, it must be said.

Oh and a word of warning. Don’t go trying to buy the series of books that play a part in the plot, Up on the Rooftops. It doesn’t really exist, Unfortunately.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

July 17, 2020