Review: It’s Always The Husband

It’s Always the Husband was part of BookSparks summer reading challenge for the month of May. Continue reading “Review: It’s Always The Husband”


Review: The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo

While debating my selection for the June Book of the Month, I kept circling back to The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo despite its surface of being yet another summer beach read that would be forgotten by end of the season. I eventually chose it because it was a part of BookSparks SRC17. I’m glad I did. Continue reading “Review: The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo”

Book Review: Rich People Problems

I might be one of the only people who has never read Crazy Rich Asians or China Rich Girlfriend, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan which was a part of BookSparks summer reading challenge for the month of May.

What the book jacket says: When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her side—but he’s not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim to their matriarch’s massive fortune.

First things first: if you’re battling a cold, hangover or generally not feeling well, Rich People Problems might be difficult to follow—the expansive family tree prior to the first chapter should serve as a warning. There’s a lot of characters to keep track of—not as many as the Game of Thrones series—each with their own distinctive quirks and connections with Su Yi. 

With this being my introduction to Kevin Kwan’s writing, I can easily see why his other books are highly recommended by so many people. Every character has their own individuality and speaking style, which doesn’t always happen with novels with this many memorable characters. There are no fluff characters, and each serves some sort of purpose in propelling the plot forward, which was probably my favorite thing about this book.

The book read like a movie, complete with characters who behave so badly you’re embarrassed for their significant other and/or children. Having never been to Asia, I really felt like I got a sense of what it’s like.  The phrases in Malay, Cantonese, Hokkien, Singlish, and Mandarin were not only purposeful but added to the richness of the story. At first, because I wasn’t feeling 100%, the sporadic use of use languages was confusing and I continuously lost my place between where I had read and the explanation or translation in the footnotes.

Even though I read the series out of order (Rich People Problems is the third book in the series), I didn’t feel it was necessary to put the book down and read the previous two in order to figure out who these people were and why they’re an important part of the story.

Like so many other’s, I recommend Rich People Problems and will no doubt be checking the first two books of the series out from my local library.

Books coming up: The Night The Lights Went Out, The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo, and The Best of Adam Sharp.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve Lost My Mind: Summer School Edition

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, work slows down just enough to trick me into thinking I have time for extracurricular activities.  Some people might plant a fresh summer garden filled with tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and zucchini or simply plant some new, beautiful flowers in hopes of attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

Me? I’ve enrolled in a creative writing class. The instructor is intending for each of us to be inspired enough to participate in NaNoWriMo this fall, and she’s giving us the tools and techniques to get us to the starting line. In fact, this 10-week course is more or less focusing on the start of the plot and how to keep it going. We’ll be reading Writing the Breakout Novel and The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction, which is new to me.

I thought over the course of summer, I’d share some of the tricks, tips, and techniques learned in class as I’m sure there’s someone out there looking for helpful advice in getting the story from inside their head and onto the computer screen.

Way back when I was in college, I took a creative writing class after I was unable to get into a mandatory English class. While an avid reader, I was never a confident writer (the curse of dyslexia) and was positive I would hate the class. Armed with the books Bird by Bird, The Elements of Style, and On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, I remember being terrified at the prospect of having to turn in a 100-page novella at the end of the quarter. While my novella was horrid (I found it several years ago while unpacking boxes I had forgotten about, I discovered that creative writing provided me with an outlet where I could be creative without having to be perfect.


Review: Woman No. 17

An ideal book that doesn’t quite live up to the expectations but great for an light afternoon of reading.

Following BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge, I recently read Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki. I received the book in my May Book of The Month box along with Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, which I will read after I fish Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan.  

What the jacket cover says: A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles…

Lady Daniels and “S” are two women in very different stages of life. Lady Daniels is recently separated from her husband, while S is a recent college graduate looking to leave her mark in the art world (even if she won’t admit it). There’s a mute son, an absent father, plenty of mother issues and a whole lot of complaining.

I generally don’t mind reading books with unlikeable characters, but the two narrators of Woman No. 17 were just too much. Lady Daniels and S were both incredibly self-centered, petty, and forgettable. 

Lady Daniels posts a Craigslist ad looking for a nanny to help look after her youngest son while she writes her memoir about the trials and tribulations of raising a mute son. We soon learn that Lady Daniels enjoys drinking bubbly wine and stalking her son via his Twitter account in an attempt to keep an eye on him.

Esther, who now wants to be called “S” answers Lady’s Craigslist ad and shows up slightly intoxicated and dressed in a poorly fitting dress and a horrid dye job. Being “S” is an elaborate art project—she’s pretending to be her mother, with whom she has a rocky relationship. She drinks too much, says and behaves the way her mother would have at her age and even begins an affair with Lady’s 18-year-old mute son, Seth. 

Both women have secrets they’re desperate to keep buried, yet they are both victims of their own choices. 

What could have been a great book, ended up being a so-so book that’ll be perfect to read poolside or on a plane to faraway places. 

Check it out from the library instead of purchasing.