Review: The Perfect Manhattan


The Perfect Manhattan
by Leanne Shear & Tracey Toomey
Broadway Books, June 28th 2005
reviewed by Rian Montgomery

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to bartend in New York City or the Hamptons? I know I have! The Perfect Manhattan will take you behind the bartending scenes and show you both the good and bad.

Meet Cassie, a fresh graduate from Columbia University who wants to be a writer but knows she needs to support herself in the meantime. No corporate slave-driven job for her! Instead she decides to become a bartender, telling herself it will only be temporary. After long hours of schmoozing customers and her boss, she ends up with a great opportunity to work in a bar in the Hamptons for the summer. Continue reading Review: The Perfect Manhattan

Review: Pounding The Pavement


There have been a slew of “working girl in the city” chick lit novels this summer so far, much to my delight. This latest debut novel by Jennifer van der Kwast features Sarah, a young woman who has been unemployed for over six months. Luckily she is scraping by with the odd freelance under-the-table manuscript-reading job (for her previous boss who had laid her off) and a string of unfortunate temp positions. However, at one such position she meets Jake – a gorgeous guy who had recently dumped his girlfriend after catching her cheating.

Sarah and Jake really hit it off and are very attracted to each other and share the same passion for movies, but Sara can’t help but wonder if Jake is merely on the rebound. After all, the break-up with his stunning ex girlfriend seems to have devastated him.

Continue reading Review: Pounding The Pavement

Review: How To Kill A Rock Star

The first book by this author, “God Shaped Hole”, was a wonderfully touching story with plenty of sadness along the way. This one is no different, except for being even more so.

Eliza, our complicated and interesting main heroine, manages to meet and interview the famous Doug Blackman. Fed up with Cleveland and her go-nowhere job, she scores a great job and apartment in New York City and decides to start over. She has many insecurities and fears, mainly being of flying, because of the fact that her parents died on an airplane when she was young.

She settles into an apartment with her new roommate Paul, who happens to be: 1. Very attractive. 2. In the same band as her brother. 3. Someone who goes through women like water, but deep down wants one special woman to call his own. The two of them manage to get together after some time passes, and they fall deeply, deeply in love with each other. Around the same time, Paul’s band gets “discovered”. What more could they ask for? They are in love, they now have money from his new contract, and they trust each other. Continue reading Review: How To Kill A Rock Star

Review: Chalking It Up

Working Girl Chick Lit is fast becoming one of my favorite sub-genres of chick lit. These novels usually feature women struggling to find their right career path, and in the process, go over a lot of bumps or end up having to claw their way up the ladder of success. This book is a wonderful example of such a novel.

Heather Hall, the main character, is what you would call a “corporate rebel”. She has been working for a large corporation called Commerce World, and along with her friend Regan, is testing just how far she could go without getting “laid off” or fired. Since the company had been doing layoffs for some time, she fears her turn is coming up soon. Sneaking away on two hour lunches, watching movies during company time, and coming in late every day, Heather knows her number will be up soon. And sure enough, it is one day. Continue reading Review: Chalking It Up

Review: The Twins Of Tribeca

There is nothing like a breathtakingly good book that simply will not let you put it down, regardless of what time you have to get up the next morning. Even better is when it is a debut novel. I found The Twins of Tribeca by Rachel Pine to be such a novel. It was so good, so gossipy, so dishy, and so well-written that I simply had no choice but to finish the book in one read.

Bored with her job at CNN, Karen Jacobs (our main heroine) jumps at the chance to work in the publicity department for Glorious Productions. Despite having heard terrible rumors about the working conditions there, she manages to get hired on as a junior publicist – assistant to the infamous Allegra Orecchi. Continue reading Review: The Twins Of Tribeca

Review: Off The Record


What would you do if you found out a childhood schoolmate had named a famous love song after you?

When Jane Marlowe, a highly organized lawyer about to be made partner at her firm, finds out from her brother that the kid that grew up across the street from them has written a song about her, she is confused. After all, she had never gone out with Teddy, the now-famous rock star in question. She doesn’t want to believe it. After all, she likes to keep her life organized and complication-free. She doesn’t have time for this.

But unfortunately her brother is determined to push her into the spotlight and shed light on the fact that yes, she is the “Janey” in the song. Jane meanwhile decides one night on a whim to live it up. After all, how often is a famous love song written for you? Her life quickly turns into talk shows and interviews. But are things what they really seem? And what about Drew, the guy at her office that seems sort-of interested in her? Continue reading Review: Off The Record

Review: Conversations With The Fat Girl

What happens when the childhood friend you grew up with moves on to seemingly greener pastures? This is the predicament our main character Maggie finds herself in when her best friend Olivia announces she is getting married and that Maggie is going to be the head bridesmaid.

Maggie and Olivia had both struggled with being overweight all through childhood, but Olivia had a successful gastric bypass surgery and is now nearing a size 2. Meanwhile Maggie is still the same. She is excited about being Olivia’s bridesmaid, but wonders why Olivia is settling for something less than what she deserves. Her new fiancé might be rich and extremely handsome, but he doesn’t seem very emotionally available. Continue reading Review: Conversations With The Fat Girl

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