Jill Mansell’s Staying At Daisy’s
Where I stopped reading: Page 52
So I’m a huge Jill Mansell fan. Her wit always shines through in her fiction, which is decidedly (and gloriously) British chick lit. But Staying At Daisy’s, originally published in 2002 and now reprinted by the lovely folks at Sourcebooks, just wasn’t working for me.
Here we have Daisy, a young divorcee running the hotel owned by her father. Still smarting from the demise of her relationship, she’s thrown herself into her work and friendships — and that brings her to some steady hours at the hotel.
I guess that, with so many books lining my shelves, I was probably too quick to give up on this one in favor of another — especially considering how much I loved Mansell’s Millie’s Fling and Rumor Has It. Still, I found the opening pages to be a struggle and the length was daunting. Once I realized I hadn’t become invested and had the vast majority of the book to go, I threw in the towel. But I still love you, Jill — and will try again with one of her others.
If you’re new to Mansell, I highly recommend Millie’s Fling — nothing has dethroned it as one of my favorite chick lit novels of all time.
Matthew Sharpe’s You Were Wrong
Where I stopped reading: Page 40
From the opening paragraph informing me that Karl Floor “had had a hard life,” I had a sinking suspicion that the two of us wouldn’t be getting along well. Sharpe’s quirky novel is about a stifled, boring teacher and the beautiful “robber” who enters his home, informs him that she’s taking stuff — but can’t leave without chatting with him first.
I got about 40 pages into this one before flipping to the end, slightly annoyed by the pretentious writing style and seeming lack of plot. As I originally worried, Karl wasn’t a guy I liked, felt for or cheered on — and Sylvia, Karl’s robber, wasn’t any better.
I didn’t really know what to make of this one. It’s short, yes, and would probably be one read quickly. But I made nothing of it, putting it down in favor of something else. Didn’t work for me.