Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Recent Reads: Twenties Girl and Beastly

Sophie Kinsella is the writer of the popular book Confessions of a Shopaholic, another book I really loved. Twenties Girl follows Lara as she is haunted by her great aunt Sadie who convinces her to find a necklace of high personal value.  In the process, Lara discovers much more about her deceased relative and about herself than she originally bargained for.

In Twenties Girl, Kinsella uses the same tone of a twenty-something woman that I really identified with in Shopaholic.  It made the book real and personable for me.  I'm pretty sure I'm the target demographic, so maybe it won't work as well for others.

It was a really good read - some fluff that I knocked out in a weekend.  I wasn't expecting the warm fuzzies after finishing it.  All the twenties gadgets and products used by women of the era to accomplish the unique style were quite intriguing.  Once Lara got over her complaining, her drive was quite admirable.

I would recommend this book to any woman who likes contemporary adult fiction. Try reading it while indulging in a bubble bath!

Beastly by Alex Flinn is a modern retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale, set in New York City and told from the Beast's perspective.  This young adult novel is another fast and easy read.

The plot is a given, so the book shows the Beast's metamorphosis as he deals with his infliction.  The Beast acquires the library that impresses the girl during his grieving process.  He spends hours a day reading in or watching passersby from the top floor of an isolated abode. Some of the titles that are mentioned feel more like name dropping than actual allusions - The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jane Eyre, The Count of Monte Cristo, etcetera, ad nauseum.  Roses become an obsession for the Beast to the point that he builds his own greenhouse so that he can have fresh flowers even in the winter.  Overall, a good read, but it immediately went into my "to donate" pile.

This retelling is being picked up for a film to release in March of next year.  It is set up for a new teen heart-throb to take center stage,  Alex Pettyfer.  In my opinion, Alex is much better looking and deserves the idealizing to come more than Robert Pattinson.  Mary-Kate Olsen stars as the witch, her first feature film since 2004.  Neil Patrick Harris also has a starring role as a blind live-in tutor.  The movie is on my radar and while I don't think I'll be knocking down the doors of a theater with screaming pre-teens, I will probably sneak into a late show.