March Minireviews – Part 2

I realize that we are now several days into April, but I am trying to wrap up the backlog of March reads.  It always makes me sad when I have to reduce the pile this way, but life is just too busy to keep up on the blog, I’m afraid!

Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse

//published 1910//

I actually love the Psmith books, although many people find him rather obnoxious (he is).  This book had a whole new level of interesting since I read Mike at Wrykyn and Mike and Psmith.  In those books, we discover the foundation of the friendship that is at the heart of Psmith in the City, so that added much more depth to the overall story.  In many ways, Mike is actually the central character, with Psmith playing a bold supporting role.  Mike is such a steady, stolid character, which contrasts all the better with the rather pompous Psmith.  I also love how whenever Wodehouse has Mike refer to Psmith in conversation, Mike always says “Smith.”  Wodehouse’s subtle decisions to keep or drop the P are cleverly done.

Another favorite thing of mine is discovering connections between different books and events, so it was great fun to find a reference to Three Men in a Boatwhich I read last fall.  All in all, Psmith in the City is a delightful 4/5 (on the Wodehouse scale, where a 1/5 is the same as a 4/5 for normal books) and definitely recommended – although you’ll enjoy it even more if you read the Mike books first.

From Italy With Love by Jules Wake

//published 2015//

This books is actually a DNF, so I’m not sure why I’m bothering to mention it, other than to see if someone else has actually finished it and thinks that I should totally keep reading because it gets better later on.

I really liked the premise, where an eccentric uncle leaves his niece a rare antique car, but in order to inherit it she has to drive across Italy, following a specific route which he has laid out for her.  As part of an inheritance for this other guy, the uncle says that the guy has to go, too.  I always kind of enjoy crazy old meddling old people who set up the young’uns, especially from beyond the grave, so I was all for it.  However, so much of this book just didn’t make any kind of sense.  The uncle promised the dude, Cam, that he could have this special car, so Cam has already told his brother that they can use this car for some fancy car show where they’re going to make tons of money except they had to spend tons of money to get ready for it.  Except how did Cam know that the uncle was going to die???  (Maybe he actually knocked him off and the book turns into a mystery later?!)  So Cam is obnoxious the whole time, which also makes no sense because what he is actually going to inherit from this drive across Italy is the first chance to buy the car from the niece (Laurie).  So wouldn’t it make more sense for him to be buttering her up and trying to get on her good side?

Meanwhile, Laurie is actually engaged to this other guy, and it’s obvious from literally the first page that this guy is a total tool, and as the first couple of chapters progress, it’s painfully obvious that the dude is trying to get in on all the cash he thinks Laurie is going to inherit, but Laurie seems basically oblivious to the whole thing, and it really bothered me that she went off on this trip (and is presumably going to fall in love with) some other guy while still being engaged to the first guy, even if the first guy is a jerk.  I found it 100% impossible to believe that Laurie would inherit this car and not do any kind of research on it, even something as basic as finding out how much it’s worth.  I mean, seriously?

And honestly, I could have overlooked a lot of this if the story had been remotely interesting, but it wasn’t!  To top everything off, it was boring me out of my mind.  Plus, while as of around 30% through the book Wake hadn’t dragged me through any sexy times, she still kept hinting around at stuff, so I had to keep listening to Laurie get “flushed” and “flustered” a whole lot, and, even worse, be repeatedly exposed to the word “nipples.”  Please.  “Nipples” is not a word that engenders romance, so I don’t want to hear about them, or hear what some guy thinks about them, or even to really think about them within the context of a romantic encounter.  Ugh.

So yeah, a rambling DNF on this book, but at least it’s one off the list!

Nettle King by Katherine Harbour

//published 2016//

This is the third and final book in the Night & Nothing series.  Thorn Jack was engaging, Briar Queen was engrossing, and Nettle King was a solid finish.  Part of the problem was that there was just too much of a gap for me between Queen and King, so I had trouble getting into the groove of this story.  But overall – I really liked this trilogy, and definitely see myself reading it again.  In many ways it reminded me of the Lynburn Legacy books by Sarah Rees Brennan.  These weren’t as funny as those, but it had a similar world-building in the sense that it all took place in a small, isolated community.

I also found myself comparing it a lot to The Fourth Wishwhich I had just finished.  In both stories, girls find themselves in love with guys who, due to magic, are basically eternal beings who have been around for centuries.  But where Wish felt ridiculous and contrived, I 100% shipped Jack and Finn.  Both characters are constantly seeking to put the other person’s safety and needs above their own.  Plus, they are a bit older (in college), and had a strong support system of other characters around them.  There was so much more depth to relationship between Jack and Finn than there was between Margo and Oliver.  I felt like Jack and Finn would be friends and lovers forever, but that Oliver and Margo would get completely bored of each other within months.

Anyway, the overall conclusion to the Night & Nothing series was quite satisfying.  I definitely want to read these books again within a tighter time frame, because I felt like I lost a lot of the intrigue by waiting so long between the second and third books.  A solid 4/5 for Nettle King and for the series as a whole.  Recommended.

‘Pride & Prejudice’ Variations – Minireviews

I have confessed before that when my life gets  busy and stressed, my reading gets suuuuper fluffy, and, in most cases, takes on the form of terrible Pride & Prejudice variations.  I hate to admit it, but I find them endlessly entertaining, mostly because I love the concept of one thing being different, and suddenly the whole story changes.  While many of them are, admittedly, dreadful, some are still enjoyable.  I’m embarrassed to tell you all how many I’ve read lately, but here are a few, just as a sample…

The Houseguest by Elizabeth Adams

//published 2013//

This one was pretty low key, but still pleasant.  In this story, Darcy and Elizabeth meet at Netherfield per canon, but, after the assembly where Elizabeth becomes quite prejudiced against Darcy, Georgiana comes from London to stay at Netherfield as well, and she and Elizabeth become friends.  A few months later, when Darcy is away visiting a relative (and Jane is staying in London with the Gardiners), Georgiana invites Elizabeth to come and stay with her.  However, Darcy returns home early, so he and Elizabeth have an opportunity to know each other better.

Things I liked:  This was just a nice variation.  There weren’t all these crazy evil people trying to drive Darcy and Elizabeth apart, there weren’t loads of steamy sex scenes, and there was no violence or rape.  In short, it was a variation that I don’t think would have made Jane Austen twitch too much.  I liked the slowly developing friendship between Darcy and Elizabeth, and I liked how not all of Darcy’s relatives immediately disliked Elizabeth.  It was also nice to have Georgiana be nice, because some variations like to turn her into a selfish shrew.

Things I didn’t like:  There was this kind of random love triangle that was never a really serious love triangle, and I don’t even understand why authors bother with it in these stories because DUH the whole point is Darcy and Elizabeth end up together, so it doesn’t really seem fair to the other fellow, does it??  Also, this book had a ridiculously long epilogue that was so involved it felt like Adams should have just written a sequel.  Instead, we just got like a couple of paragraphs throwing everyone’s lives into disarray.

Conclusion:  3/5 for a pleasant story.  Nice for relaxing but not terribly thrilling.

Fate & Consequences by Linda Wells

//published 2009//

In this version, Darcy arrives at Ramsgate too late to stop Georgiana.  He pursues her (and Wickham, obviously), and manages to catch up with them at an inn in a small town called Meryton.  While Georgiana hasn’t actually stayed a night with Wickham, she is still ruined when word gets out of her attempted elopement.  While in Meryton, Darcy and his sister happened to run into Elizabeth, and a series of events leads to Elizabeth and Georgiana beginning a correspondence.  Darcy and Elizabeth also begin a clandestine correspondence, and fall in love through their letters.  Because Georgiana is ruined when Darcy and Elizabeth meet, Darcy has already been humbled in many ways, and is much more open to falling in love with Elizabeth in consequence.

Things I liked:  Again, I like stories where people are friends and then fall in love, and this version did that well.  Elizabeth and Darcy are just so good for each other in this story, always supporting and helping each other through difficult times.  There was a good secondary story about Elizabeth having an aunt that she never knew about because her aunt was also ruined as a young woman and sent off to Scotland in disgrace.  I also liked the way that Mr. Bennet and his wife began to work through their relationship and ended as a stronger couple in the end.

Things I didn’t like:  Mostly the ridiculous drama, like seriously Wickham is a bit over-the-top, and Lady Catherine definitely is.  Also, one of Elizabeth’s letters go missing and even though she and Darcy hardly know each other at this point, Darcy goes into this deep, dark depression and refuses to eat or sleep for days and it all just seemed a *tad* melodramatic for the situation.  Also, definitely too much sex.  Just please.  No.

Conclusion:  Still, 3/5 because there were a lot of good characterizations, and when Wells wasn’t going crazy with emotional turmoil, the story moved along well.

1932 by Karen M. Cox

//published 2010//

I really love versions where the actual setting is different.  In some ways, I think that illustrates how universal this love story really has become.  Here, Cox decided to set the story during the Great Depression.  Elizabeth’s family has lost most of their money and has to move to the small town where her mother grew up.  The Darcys of course were much better planners and have suffered minimal financial distress, and Darcy is one of the largest landowners around.

Things I liked:  I loved the concept and the setting, and I liked that Darcy and Elizabeth got married towards the middle of the story (in this version, it would be sort of the equivalent of Elizabeth accepting Darcy during the Hunsford proposal), and then grew towards love from there.  I also liked that Georgiana was likable and kind.

Things I didn’t like:  Overall, this story just felt rushed, like the author had this great idea and felt like she had to publish it before someone else beat her to the punch.  Consequently, the story felt choppy in bits.  The love story between Georgiana and the sheriff could have been much more interesting.  Darcy’s refusal to tell Elizabeth the truth of Georgiana’s past, even after Darcy and Elizabeth married, felt very unnatural, so I didn’t really buy their entire disagreement which was central the story – it seemed like Darcy would have told Elizabeth at least the basic gist.  Later, Darcy and Elizabeth have an argument and it felt like that dragged way too long – Elizabeth leaves her husband and returns home for weeks?!  

Conclusion:  3/5.  I wanted to like this story more than I did.  The author has written at least one more version with a unique setting, so I’ll probably give that one a try as well.

The Wicked Marquis // by Marnie Ellingson

Thrift stores are rather awesome, and not just because you can get gently used clothes and furniture on the cheap.  They also tend to have a corner devoted to various types of media, with books, VHS tapes, battered DVDs, and scratched CDs all piled together.  I love rummaging through thrift store books, because sometimes, under the Readers’ Digest condensed versions and scads of romance paperbacks with scantily clad heroes and heroines in fond embrace – I find a little treasure.  And one of those, purchased for a quarter a few years ago, is The Wicked Marquis.

//published 1982//

This isn’t a book of high adventure or intensity, but it’s a fabulous go-to for a happy, relaxing, funny little story.  This definitely has echoes of Georgette Heyer, with a strong-minded but lovable heroine who is determined to rescue her cousin from a marriage of convenience (but no love), and in doing so, embroils herself with the Wicked Marquis himself.  It’s one of those wonderful little stories where there isn’t really a villain, where misunderstandings are minimal, and where you know that everything will come together in the end for a happy ending.

Esme is a wonderful protagonist.  She is intelligent, interesting, and contented with her lot in life.  She isn’t afraid to stand up for the people she loves, but never comes across as obnoxious or ridiculous.  And despite the fact that she is adventurous and not particularly fussed about all of the societal regulations, she’s still feminine and even girly at times, enjoying a good chat about clothes and handsome young men.

All in all, I definitely recommend The Wicked Marquis, with a strong 4/5 rating.  And despite the fact that I’ve owned this book for several years and have read it several times, this was the first time that I bothered to find out if Ellingson wrote anything else.  I did find one of her books on eBay secondhand, and hope to read Unwilling Bride soon, although not in public, as the cover is absolutely ridiculous.

I mean seriously?!

February Minireviews

So I find that I not-infrequently read books that I just feel rather “meh” about and they don’t seem worth writing an entire post about.  However, since I also use this blog as a sort of book-review diary, I like to at least say something.  So I’ve started a monthly post with minireviews of all those books that just didn’t get more than a few paragraphs of feelings from me.

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World by E.L. Konigsburg

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//published 2007//

So growing up, Konigsburg’s The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was one of my favorite books.  As an adult, I discovered her book The View from Saturday and loved that one, too – a lot (I even read and reviewed it again!).  But for me, The Mysterious Edge just didn’t work the way her other two books did.  The plot is disjointed and strange, the characters inconsistent and unrealistic, and the entire premise centers around a lot of coincidences.

I really wanted to like this book – two kids becoming friends while helping an elderly lady clean out her house that’s full of interesting stuff – doesn’t that sound like fun??  But the old lady, Mrs. Zender, is really weird, and so are both of the boys – and not in the realistic, quirky way of some of Konigsburg’s characters in Saturday – just weird, weird: the kind of weird that leaves you scratching your head in puzzlement.

A lot of the story centers around a picture that one of the boys finds, a drawing of a naked woman.  Now we’re informed that this is art, so this is a “nude” which is different from just someone being naked.  But…  it still felt really inappropriate for the age of the characters and the intended readers, and, once again, was just kind of weird.  Like why does the picture have to be of a naked person??

There are almost some good discussions about how people perceive us and how we perceive ourselves, about people who are rich and people who aren’t, about whether or not a government should be able to decide what is or isn’t art.  But none of those conversations really go anywhere, so the whole book feels awkward and stunted.

All in all, 1/5 for a book that I wanted to like but just couldn’t.  I’m still planning to read some more of Konigsburg’s books because I have enjoyed a couple of them so very much, but I don’t see myself ever revisiting this one.

American Gardening Series: Container Gardening by Suzanne Frutig Bales

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//published 1993//

This is one of those random books that I picked up for a quarter at a library book sale at some point.  It’s not a terribly thick book, but it does have a lot of photographs and plenty of good information about choosing plants for container gardens and then keeping them alive after you’ve planted them!  Bales has a lot of enthusiasm for container gardening as it is very flexible and can be done in almost any amount of space.

I’ve been working through several gardening books this month, and I always glean some new tips and ideas.  This one is well worth the shelf space as a great reference book.  I especially enjoyed the chapters that focused on planning container gardens – I think that a lot of times people go into container gardening assuming that you just sort of jam some plants in and it will look great, but this book spends some time talking about not just the color of the plants you are planting, but texture, size, and growing requirements.  Definitely recommended if this is a topic you’re interested in learning more about.

The Princess by Lori Wick

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//published 1999//

This is a (multiple time) reread for me, and I have a more detailed review here.  Sometimes I just need some happy fluff, and this book always fits the bill.  It involves my favorite trope (marriage than love), and just is a happy, gentle little tale that I have read many times and yet always find enjoyable.  I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump here at the end of February, what with starting my new job and being super tired all the time, so The Princess helped get me through!

Love’s Haven // by Catherine Palmer

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//published 2005//

Catherine Palmer is one of those authors whose books I sometimes love and sometimes can’t stand.  She writes Christian fiction (although after reading this book I feel like I need to put “Christian” in quotation marks), and many of her stories are really full of likable, engaging characters who are wrestling with some great life lessons.  (For instance, I really loved the ‘Town Called Hope’ trilogy.)

This book is based on one of my favorite tropes – marriage first, love later.  But at one point while reading this, I was writing in my journal and said that I was reading a book that never would have been written if the two main characters had ever taken a basic course in interpersonal communication.  Basically, this entire book was based on two people not actually talking to each other and it was the most aggravating thing ever.  

Right off the bat I wasn’t sure about this book because in the first chapter the main character, Mara, is informed in no-uncertain terms by Brock that she will be marrying him.  In fact, “I’m going to marry you, Mara,” is the very first sentence of the book.  Now, one of the points of the story is that Brock is all about controlling everything in his life, and one of the things he learns is the importance of understanding that other people (and God) need to be able to do their own thing, but the whole situation leading up to when Brock and Mara actually get married had me gritting my teeth.  Brock is basically just a bully.

Mara’s husband died five months earlier in a rock climbing accident.  Brock was the only other person there (he and Mara’s husband were best friends), and Mara blames Brock for her husband’s death.  Mara was pregnant when her husband died, and now she is getting ready to have her baby.  Brock, who is super rich, has decided that the best thing for Mara, and Mara’s baby, is for Mara to marry Brock and let him take care of all her financial needs.

So basically he blackmails her into marrying him by pointing out how her only other option is to go on welfare and spend her entire life struggling, and is that really what she wants for her baby??  And like other than assuaging his guilt for the death of Mara’s husband, Brock isn’t really getting anything out of the deal (it’s not like he’s trying to force her into his bed or something), but he still just comes across as a major bully.  I absolutely never warmed up to Brock at all, even when he started getting “nicer.”

The so-called Christian themes throughout also aggravated me because they really weren’t Biblical at all.  Early in the book, Mara is discussing Brock’s “proposal” with her best friend –

“What about all those Scriptures that say Christians are to take care of widows and orphans?  How much more could I fit that picture?  Surely our church would help me out.”

“For a while…in some areas.  But church is basically a place of worship and teaching.  Our church is big on evangelism, but it’s not a charity service.  That’s the government’s job.  Do you really want to be homeless, Mara?  Do you want to live in a shelter?  Do you want to have supper in a soup kitchen every day?  Do you want your baby to grow up eating groceries bought with food stamps?”

I just.  Wow.  There are so many things wrong with those paragraphs from a Biblical perspective that I barely know where to start.  Suffice to say that the genuine, Biblical churches with which I am familiar – and there are many of them – actually believe all the Scriptures, including the ones that tell us we’re responsible for widows and orphans.  I can’t believe that Palmer would literally have one of characters say that their church would rather let Mara starve, homeless on the streets, than help her out, because they’re busy “evangelizing.”  Evangelizing for what?  Teaching people how they can be more selfish?  Sorry, Palmer, not actually Jesus-like even kind of.

The story  itself was really just quite dreadful, and I barely even skimmed the last half of the book.  The relationship is incredibly hot and cold in a nonsensical way.  Both Brock and Mara storm about like small children and pout when they don’t get their way.  When they get married, Mara moves to Brock’s huge ranch which is supposedly only twenty minutes from town, but she acts like she’s completely isolated and can never leave, and literally just sits around the ranch whining about how bored she is.  Eventually she starts working on a project that her husband was working on before he died, but by that time I just didn’t care any more.

Mara’s supposed best friend was another horrific character.  That paragraph I quoted earlier was pretty typical.  She literally is like “I’m single and getting married sounds really horrible so this is kind of your own fault for getting married to begin with.”  She isn’t remotely supportive or helpful.

I was also genuinely aggravated by the fact that Palmer couldn’t just have Mara and Brock fall in love – it had to be Mara realizing that she has always been attracted to Brock from the time she first met him – back when she was engaged to her first husband.  She realizing that her first marriage lacked “zing” and “magic” and now she has all those things from Brock, so actually isn’t kind of convenient that her husband died because they probably would have just eventually gotten bored of each other.  What.  Even.

Honestly 0/5 for this book.  Unlikable characters, a stupid situation, completely unbiblical statements being posed as Biblical, and just an overall story that aggravated me more with every page I turned.  Dreadful.

Book vs. Movie: Austenland

I’ve read Shannon Hale’s Austenland a few times in the past and found it to be an entertaining and lighthearted read, full of humor, fun, and likable characters.  Recently, my sister and I had a great time watching the movie version, which came out back in 2013.  Both the movie and the book focus on the story of Jane Hayes.  In her early 30’s, Jane knows that part of the reason she is still single is because she is not-so-secretly yearning for her own Mr. Darcy.  When Jane has the chance to go on a special vacation to a location that has all of its guests dress and act like they would have in the Regency era, Jane decides to get the whole Mr. Darcy business out of her system once and for all…

Like I said, it’s all in good fun.  Surprisingly, I enjoyed the movie as well as the book – below are some of my thoughts on which of them told the story better…  (note: there will be spoilers)

  • Jane Hayes  //  Winner:  Book – While the movie does a great job portraying Jane, the book focuses a lot of Jane’s internal dialogue and direction, and that’s hard to get to in a movie.  Even though the book is in third person, we still spend a lot of time knowing what Jane is thinking and wrestling with.  The actress who plays Jane in the movie, Kari Russell, does do a pretty fabulous job relaying a lot of those thoughts through Jane’s expressions and body language, but it’s pretty hard to beat having those thoughts written out in black and white.
  • Miss Charming  //  Winner:  Movie – Movie Miss Charming is so completely perfect in every way.  Jennifer Coolidge nails her character, managing to make her obnoxious, ridiculous, and completely loyal and warmhearted at the same time.
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    Seriously, how adorable is he?!

    Mr. Nobley  // Winner:  Toss-Up – I really like Nobley’s character in both the book and the movie.  Honestly, the movie gets an edge, but I think it’s mostly because JJ Feild is heart-stopping handsome in this one, plus has the perfect voice.  I shipped Jane and Nobley way more watching the movie than I did in the book.

  • Martin  //  Winner:  Movie – I think part of the reason that I liked the Jane/Nobley relationship better in the movie is because the movie didn’t work as hard to make Martin likable.  We get some hints much earlier on that Martin may not be everything he is pretending to be.  Also, the book leaves us a little ambiguous as to whether or not Martin really did like Jane on her own merits, so I couldn’t help but feel a smidge bad for him.  Movie Martin is way easier to dislike in the end (but Bret McKenzie is the perfect hottie for the role!).
  • Background Stuff  //  Winner:  Movie – One of the super fun things about the movie was that we got to see behind-the-scenes with the people who were working at Austenland, which meant that we knew Nobley, Martin, and the other guys a little more. It added a fun level to the characters.
  • Jane’s Mr. Darcy Obsession  //  Winner:  Book – The movie just took it a bit over-the-top.  Jane’s bedroom was completely unhealthy, and there is no way that her friends would have let her go so long without some kind of intervention.  Book Jane’s character really just wanted the romance and commitment of a Mr. Darcy – Movie Jane literally wanted Mr. Darcy himself, and it was a little too weird.
  • Jane’s Crazy Aunt  //  Winner:  Book – Mainly because her crazy aunt isn’t even IN the movie!  That was probably my biggest disappointment.  In the book, Jane’s crazy aunt is the one who leaves Jane the trip to Austenland in her (the aunt’s) will.  Even though the aunt only appears in the first chapter, I still thought she was a great character, and a perfect catalyst for Jane’s venture to England.  In the movie, Jane just decides to go to Austenland on her own, and spends her life-savings to get there, all of which just added to the weird level of Darcy obsession.
  • Ending/Epilogue  //  Winner:  Movie – The ending of the movie was A+ perfect and I loved it.  That like three minute ending was way better than the entirety of Midnight in Austenland.  I loved the way that we got a chance to see Jane and Nobley in their “regular” clothes, we got to see what happened to Miss Charming (fabulous), and just everything about the way it ended made me happy inside.

So, in the end, I’m really not sure which I liked, which is unusual – I generally way, way prefer either the movie or the book.  But in this case, I think that they both have a lot to offer.  It may be because Hale helped write the screenplay, so I think that she had a lot of influence to make sure that the movie didn’t stray too far from her original story.

There were definitely parts of the movie that just went a little too far into the “completely weird” direction, which I think the book never quite did.  But the casting for the movie was just completely perfect, and that, combined with a very satisfying ending, may mean that I ended up liking the movie just a little bit better…

Both are definitely recommended.

Signs Point to Yes // by Sandy Hall

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//published 2015//

I read Hall’s debut book last year, A Little Something Differentand actually found it surprisingly enjoyable.  It was relaxing fluff,  happy and funny without a lot of angst, swearing, or sex.  Plus A+ cover!  However, Hall’s second book, Signs Point to Yes, was, quite frankly, terrible.  The story made no sense, every time any of the characters did anything it just seemed like the most ridiculous and unnatural action to me ever, relationships between the main characters and their parental figures were pretty bad and never resolved – and speaking of never resolved, this book just sort of stopped without actually fixing any of the issues.

We start the book with Jane, our main character, being all angsty and annoyed because her mom has just landed her (Jane) and unpaid internship at the small college where Jane’s mom works.  Jane, we find out, doesn’t want to work near/with her mom, doesn’t want to go to college, and really appears to just not want to grow up.  In a desperate attempt to find a good reason to reject the internship, Jane agrees to work as a babysitter for her neighbor.  With a paying job lined up, her mom gives up in the internship.

The neighbors consist of three little girls, their parents, and their half-brother (conveniently close to Jane’s age).  Once Jane starts her job, it’s basically just this long boring story about her crushing on Teo, Teo crushing on  Jane, and Teo wanting to find his birth dad, whom he’s never met.

Okay, from here forward, there will definitely be spoilers to the story, because it’s impossible to get up a really good rant for this type of book without some spoilers.  Personally, I think I’m going with a 1/5 for incredibly poor plotting and irrational characters/actions.  Still, ironically, I actually liked Jane and Teo has a pair and thought their relationship was the only thing about this entire book that even kind of made sense – but it just wasn’t enough to redeem the “story”.

So.  I’m going to try and break down my reasons for thinking this story was ridiculous.  Spoilers below.

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