Alexandra Plans




February 2014



Insta-Reads: Book Reviews for February

Written by , Posted in BOOKS

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that every couple of days I’ve been tackling a new read. I would much rather prefer reading a book then watching T.V. believe it or not, because since I was little, I always liked the idea of envisioning the story to my liking as I read and having my imagination come up with the details. In the past couple weeks, I’ve read three books and so I wanted to share my book reviews. You’ll notice I like lighthearted, comedic, yet thought-provoking books, with the main character having their cliche happy ending.

Book #1: Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink by Kim Gruenenfelder

photo-6I had picked up this book while I was shopping at Target and it was featured in their “Favorite Reads” section. Of course I was drawn to the girly cover and once I read the synopsis, I knew this was my kind of book. I was unaware that this was the sequel to “There’s a Cake in My Future”, but that did not matter. You did not need to read the first one to know what was going on. The book centers around Mel, the main character and her quest to find true happiness. It also deals with the priceless relationships of having your girlfriends by your side, in this case Mel’s friends, Seema and Nic and the new chapter their relationships embark on as their lives start to diverge. Nic is very pregnant, Seema is about to be married, and Mel is faced with having to move out and an unsteady job. On a whim, Mel finds herself traveling to Paris {how romantic} and Maui {made me want to go back and relive my honeymoon} and how these chain of events ultimately lead to her happiness. The characters are well-developed and totally relatable and the author does a great job in capturing the emotions that women face – the uncertainty in what the next step should be, wedding panic, newborn exhaustion but most importantly, the joy one faces when they step out of their comfort zone.  It was certainly a delightful read and SO funny! I could not put it down until I was finished. Great book!

Book #2: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple


After seeing this book all over the place with it’s eye-catching cover and it being a national bestseller, I decided to bite the bullet, pick up this book and start reading. I am so glad I did because I COULD NOT put it down. This book covers every emotion: it’s funny, dark, crazy, sad, heartwarming, etc. This book had a bunch of positives, well-developed characters, endearing moments, but most of all it was thought-provoking. This is a smart novel using different pieces of correspondence from e-mails, to emergency room bills, letters and even FBI documents to string together the story of the main character Bernadette and her husband Elgin and daughter, Bee. Bernadette can be described as agoraphobic, anti-social, wildly intelligent and a creative talent who has gotten off track. The story starts with Bernadette on the brink of a meltdown as she tries to plan a family trip to Antarctica, as a promise to her daughter Bee who has come home with excellent grades. The author, Maria Semple, is so cleverly able to string together all these documents to illustrate disaster after disaster that Bernadette manages to get herself into. When Bernadette disappears, Elgin and Bee are on a quest to find her. This is a story of a family accepting who they are, disfunction and all, and a daughter’s unconditional love for her mother. What would normally come across as a sad story, is rather comedic, witty and charming as well as a definite must to include on your book list. This is by far an excellent, excellent read!

Book #3: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty


I was intrigued by the premise of the book – the main character Alice losing the last 10 years of her memory after hitting her head in spin class and having no recollection of her 3 kids, her new life or the fact that she is divorcing her husband, Nick. She notices that her 39-year-old self is not as nice of a person and wonders where she lost her 29-year-old spirit and her love for her husband.  The story itself is very compelling but I did feel like it could have been 100 pages shorter. While they tell the story of Alice, which is told in the third person, you also have excerpts from letters that Alice’s “adoptive” grandmother Frannie writes to her dead fiancé, Phil, and excerpts of journal entries that Alice’s sister, Elizabeth writes to her psychiatrist, Dr. Hodges. In the beginning I found these excerpts to be confusing and distracting but it made more sense as I read. While I understand that these bits were included to add more depth to the characters, I felt that it greatly hindered the pace of the book. On the upside, I absolutely loved the ending and Alice ultimately becomes a better person from her bout of amnesia. As I was reading, I became a bit reflective myself. This book is a great reminder to hang on to the things that make you happy and let little annoyances go. Also, it can be amazing as far as what we choose to remember and what we want to forget. I would recommend this book with the caveat that it’s a slow read in the beginning and the excerpts are a little confusing but make more sense as you go along. Overall though, it’s a pretty good read.

What books are you reading now? I think my next choice is John Green’s, The Fault in Our Stars.

Happy Tuesday!


Leave a Reply

Need an acount, Register
- or -