I am trying to wrap up my 2014 reviews by posting some mini-reviews for things I neglected to review in full. This is the post for everything else that didn’t fit into the two previous posts, so I have a couple of chick lit titles and a fantasy series finale.
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Girls in White Dresses tells the interconnected stories of a group of friends in their 20s, post-college, living in New York City. It follow their various journeys through early adulthood– romantic relationships, starting out in a career, changing careers, never quite finding that real job you thought you’d have post-college, weddings of friends, friends having children, bad mothers-in-law, family stuff, etc.
What I liked: The stories were sharp and funny and all the stories and characters in this book felt familiar to me. This book really captures what it is like to be in your 20s in the 2000s/2010s (as a white middle class college graduate anyways). It was refreshing to get a more holistic view of these girls’ lives and I especially loved seeing them flounder in the area of career as that was the biggest struggle for me in my 20s.
What I felt meh about: I had some expectations coming into this book– the blurb made it sounds like it had a more cohesive plot structure, so I was initially bored and struggled to get into it. Once I let go of my expectations and got further into the book, it totally clicked for me and I was sad to see it end.
All in all: I highly recommend this book, especially if you liked The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing. I want to reread it some time and I have bought another book by this author since this one resonated so well with me.
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Lauren and Ryan have been married for about five years and have reached a breaking point in their relationship. They’re not really sure they love each other any more. So they decide to take a one year hiatus from their relationship and reevaluate after that break. This sets Lauren on a journey of self-discovery, as she tries to figure out how to fix her marriage and whether she even wants to fix it in the first place.
What I liked: I loved Lauren’s family. She is very close to her mother and two siblings and I loved to see the exploration of adult familial relationships along side the exploration of the meaning of love and marriage. Lauren learns that love and marriage and romance mean different things to different people and has to decide what it means for her.
What I felt meh about: I wasn’t keen on the ending– it was just a little too tidy for my preferences.
All in all: This is smart chick lit that is easy and fun to read. Loved it and highly recommend it.
The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
This is the final installment in The Magicians Trilogy. I read the other two books almost three years ago so coming to this one after a long distance was a bit tough. Quentin has been kicked out of Fillory and is trying to figure out what to do next. Mostly he wants to save Alice (who got turned into a nifkin way back in the first book). Meanwhile, in Fillory the world is ending. Quentin ends up landing a job in a magical heist. This heist gives him some tools to help in saving Alice, and maybe even Fillory.
What I liked: I like Grossman’s writing– he’s always smart and funny and clearly loves books as homages to authors and books abound in his books. I am glad to see an ending to this story, too, and to see how much all the characters have changed over the years.
What I felt meh about: This book was all over the place and encompassed so much, that it was really disjointed for me.
All in all: I’m happy I finished the trilogy, but this was my least favorite of the series.