Review: Babyville by Jane Green

Title: Babyville
Author: Jane Green
Obtained: borrowed from library
Publisher: Broadway
Format: paperback
Rating: 3/5
Read for: 2011 Chick-Lit Challenge

Meet Julia, a wildly successful television producer who appears to have the picture-perfect life. But beneath the surface, things are not as perfect as they seem. Stuck in a loveless relationship with her boyfriend, Mark, Julia thinks a baby is the answer . . . but she may want a baby more than she wants her boyfriend. Will a trip to New York City with a jet-setting friend—and all the glittering energy and eligible men the city brings—help her discover what she really needs?
Maeve, on the other hand, is allergic to commitment. A feisty, red-haired, high-power career girl, she cherishes her ability to do just as she pleases and breaks out in a rash every time she passes a stroller. But when her no-strings-attached nightlife leads to an unexpected pregnancy, her reaction may be just as unexpected.And then there’s Samantha—happily married and eager to be the perfect June Cleaveresque mother. But baby George brings only exhaustion, extra pounds, and marital strife to her once tidy life. Is having an affair with a friend’s incredibly sexy husband the answer? (goodreads.com)

My Thoughts

The book is broken into three parts: Julia’s story, Maeve’s story, and Sam’s story.

I’ll admit that I got a little frustrated with Julia, whose only focus is having a baby in order to save her relationship. I kept wishing that she would just take a step back and realize that a baby would have probably caused more problems between herself and Mark, but instead she just becomes more and more obsessed until her friend suggests she go to New York for vacation. I was so glad that she went to New York, if only because it was a little rough reading about how jealous Julia was getting when she happened to run into someone at a coffee shop or on the street that had a baby when she couldn’t have one. It was such a relief to see her having fun and not thinking about having a baby.

Maeve’s story overlaps with Julia’s, because when Julia leaves her company to go on an extended vacation in New York, Maeve takes Julia’s place at the company. The summary is a little harsh towards Maeve, who is not necessarily so drastically opposed to having a baby but is just not interested. She is career-driven and a refreshing change from Julia’s baby-obsessed ramblings.

Of course, Maeve doesn’t just take Julia’s place at the office, but seemingly in her old house (in which it is repeatedly said that Julia was not comfortable in such a large house and much preferred a tiny flat) with her old boyfriend. Oh, Maeve. Maeve’s section ends with her in labor, and then it switches.

Sam is the classic over-stressed, bored, stay-at-home mom who wants to go back to work but at the same time doesn’t want to leave her little one with anyone else. She is bored with play dates with other moms with children the same age as little George, and she is frustrated because her husband doesn’t seem to want to help her with their son.

Sam sees an opening when she and her husband agree to have dinner with his co-worker and her husband. He flirts openly with her, and Sam finds herself attracted. I wondered sometimes if it was simply her attraction to the attention, and less to the man himself, that had her worked up into a tizzy. It’s a little heartbreaking to see Sam realize that he is just leading her on, but I was also glad to see that she returns her sights to her husband when she realizes that a fling isn’t what she needs after all.

I sometimes enjoyed the book, and sometimes I didn’t. Maeve’s section is the only one written in first person, and it went by really quickly. I got bogged down in both Julia’s and Sam’s sections, but Sam’s was at least a little more interesting because she learns that she can have a job and be a stay-at-home mom all at once, and she has the extra dilemma of being one of Julia’s best friends and befriending Maeve, whom she initially sees as the enemy but is later glad to have as a friend.

Overall, I’m a little torn about it, but it’s a fun read none-the-less.

Review: Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie

Title: Crazy for You
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Obtained: purchased
Publisher: St. Martin’s paperbacks
Rating: 5/5
Read for: 2011 Chick-Lit Challenge

Blurb (from back cover)

On Wednesday, Quinn McKenzie changes her life. On Thursday, she tries to get somebody to notice. On Thursday night, somebody does.
Quinn McKenzie has always lived what she calls a “beige” life. She’s dating the world’s nicest guy, she has a good job as a high school art teacher, she’s surrounded by family and friends who rely on her, and she’s bored to the point of insanity. But when Quinn decides to change her life by adopting a stray dog over everyone’s objections, everything begins to spiral out of control. Now she’s coping with dog-napping, breaking and entering, seduction, sabotage, stalking, more secrets than she really wants to know, and two men who are suddenly crazy… for her.

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Review: Love @ First Site by Jane Moore

Title: Love @ First Site
Author: Jane Moore
Obtained: borrowed from library
Publisher: Broadway Books
Format: paperback
Rating: 4/5
Read for: 2011 Chick Lit Challenge

Blurb (from back cover)

Spunky, sweet-natured Jessica Monroe is thirty-four years old and perfectly happy being single. Her girlfriends, however, disapprove. And when they secretly place a personal ad on a hot singles Web site on her behalf, Jess is reluctantly hurtled into the topsy-turvy world of online dating. A laugh-out-loud whirlwind of disastrous dates ensues, from Simon, who seems dreamy over e-mail but ditches her at the dinner table, leaving her with the bill, to Graham, a self-described “Ferrari driver” who turns out to be a car salesman–with several (old, fat, bald, creepy, cheap, stuck-up) men in between. When an unforeseen event turns her world upside down, Jess starts to wonder if the qualities she thinks she wants in a man–gorgeous, wildly successful, with a taste for fun and finer things–really are what she ultimately needs…and whether, as a new mystery suitor appears in her e-mail inbox, Cupid has other possibilities up his sleeve.

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Review: Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

Title: Baby Proof
Author: Emily Giffin
Obtained: borrowed from library
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: paperback
Rating: 3/5
Read for: 2011 Chick Lit Challenge

Blurb (from goodreads.com)

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes…a baby carriage? Isn’t that what all women want? Not so for Claudia Parr. And just as she gives up on finding a man who feels the same way, she meets warm, wonderful Ben. Things seem too good to be true when they fall in love and agree to buck tradition with a satisfying, child-free marriage. Then the unexpected occurs: one of them has a change of heart. One of them wants children after all.
This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things. It’s about feeling that your life is set and then realizing that nothing is as you thought it was–and that there is no possible compromise. It’s about deciding what is most important in life, and taking chances to get it. But most of all, it’s about the things we will do–and won’t do–for love.

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Review: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Title: Bet Me
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Obtained: purchased
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Format: paperback
Rating: 4/5
Read for: 2011 Chick-Lit Challenge

Blurb (from back cover)

Minerva Dobbs knows how to work the odds. Calvin Morrisey always plays to win. But when they face off, neither one is prepared because when real life meets true love, all bets are off.

Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.

But Fate has other plans and it’s not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they’re dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all–true love.

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Review: The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

Title: The Cinderella Deal
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Obtained: Purchased
Publisher: Bantam Books
Format: paperback
Rating: 3/5
Read for: 2011 Chick-Lit Challenge

Blurb (from back cover)

Daisy Flattery is a free spirit with a soft spot for strays and a weakness for a good story. Why else would she agree to the outrageous charade offered by her buttoned-down workaholic neighbor, Linc Blaise? The history professor needs to have a fiancee in order to capture his dream job, and Daisy is game to play the role. But something funny happens on their way to the altar that changes everything. Now, with the proverbial midnight hour approaching, will Daisy lose her prince, or will opposites not only attract but live happily ever after?

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Review: Fourplay by Jane Moore

Title: Fourplay
Author: Jane Moore
Obtained: borrowed from library
Publisher: Broadway Books
Format: paperback
Rating: 3/5
Read for: 2011 Chick Lit Challenge

Blurb (from the back cover)

At age thirty-three, Josephine Miles is forced to come up with a brand-new life when her husband leaves her for “the cliche” — his very young, very pretty secretary. Suddenly Jo’s single again and back in the dating game, with the added complication of children in tow. But she’s no wallflower and soon finds herself with not one but four eligible bachelors vying for her time and affections. Add her two kids and her now booming interior design business to the mix, and she winds up with a nightmarish schedule, but a dreamy love life.

And now on to the contestants. There’s Sean, the sexy photojournalist who sweeps Jo off her feet and proves to be masterful in bed; Martin, the music industry mogul who offers luxury, stability, and a glamorous lifestyle; Conor, Jo’s trusted confidant who knows just what to say to make her smile (why hasn’t she noticed his irresistible smile until now?); and finally Jeff, her ex-husband. She wouldn’t consider hooking up with him again, would she? It could happen — especially when Jeff’s romance with the sweet young thing sours and he launches a full-scale campaign to win Jo back.

Fourplay — what a position to be in…

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