Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Nanny Diaries

I so loved this book. It was funny and sad and just plain enjoyable.

Nan is a nanny. Weird right, her name basically being her job? Anyway, she's hired to work part time for the X family watching 4 year old Grayer. Now, this is New York City, so naturally she's essentially a replacement parent because Mr. X works all the time and Mrs. X is too busy with her social engagements to watch her own son. So Nanny and Grayer begin to form a super strong bond. But Nanny struggles with her employers, particularly after discovering Mr. X's dirty little secret. But she tries to make things as normal as she can for Grayer.

I think I enjoyed this book so much because I was sitting there feeling the pain and frustration that Nanny went through while trying to get her charge's parents to understand that he needs them to take a more active role in his life. Grayer wants to spend all this time with his father, but really only sees him for a couple of hours every few months (really, that's what it seemed like). And every time Grayer tries to give his mother a hug or show some affection, she basically redirects him away from her. He is obviously a somewhat broken child because of how neglectful his parents are. At least he has Nanny.

Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would read it over and over. I hope that the second book in the series is as good.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Another Piece of My Heart

I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved it because, well, come on, chick lit. But it was a sweet book that had a lot of human nature in it.

Andi marries a man who is divorced and has two daughters. She desperately wants a baby of her own, but almost immediately after marrying Ethan, she begins to go through peri-menopause which makes conceiving almost impossible. The younger of Ethan's daughters, Sophia, loves her new stepmom. But the older, Emily, despises Andi for taking her father away from her. It's a serious mess because Ethan feeds into the teenagers temper tantrums and Emily knows it. Andi starts to resent her husband for not standing up for her against his daughter and for the fact that he does not seem to see how badly she wants to be a mother, not just a stepmother.

There are dramas and conflicts throughout this whole book. Ethan's ex-wife, Brooke, is an alcoholic that essentially pushed her entire family away. Emily is a toxic child who acts out for the attention she gets from her father. Then, Emily gets pregnant and this new drama causes the family to go into a tailspin.

It's a real book. The family may be fictional, but it could exist anywhere in this country. Andi has some crises that she has to work through. Ethan has to work through his relationship with Emily. And Emily really just needs to grow up.

I had some issues through it just because certain parts of the book made me roll my eyes because it was so implausible, but overall I found myself feeling for Andi as she struggled through her marriage and family, hoping that Emily would stop being a selfish brat and grow up, and hating that Ethan could be so manipulated by his child. I loved Sophia because she was so down-to-earth, and I didn't even really have a problem with Brooke. It was just another family going through the dramas that come from divorce and marriages.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Emerald City of Oz

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5**

This book was sort of fun, but Ozma's indifference kind of bothered me. The king of the Nomes is angry and resentful that Ozma and Dorothy stole his Magic Belt. So he plans to conquer Oz and take it back, while taking Ozma as his slave.

Dorothy decides to return to Oz to live permanently, and she brings Uncle Henry and Aunt Em with her. Now, her uncle and aunt are understandably unsure of what to do in Oz. They enter the country just to discover that they're expected to just laze around and do nothing, but neither of them is ok with this since they spent most of their lives working on a farm. So Ozma tries to come up with some ideas for them.

Dorothy goes on a tour of the country, visiting the various unusual people that live in Oz. I actually liked this section of the book simply because there are some odd characters in this country.

But once Ozma learns of the plot against her country by the Nomes, the Growleywogs, the Whimsies, and the Phanfasms, she just kind of resigns herself to it. When her friends try to talk to her about it, she just brushes it off, thinking that it's an inevitability. Although, there is a rather humorous ending to it.