Review: The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

Christmas! And sisters! And Scotland! Could there be a better combo? I don’t think so. Ok actually there could be – if Morgan added in some cutie pie kiddos and an awesome set of grandparents and the perfect love interests for the sisters. Which she did. Sigh.

I really liked all the references to New York, Washington state, and then the European locations outside of Scotland. I felt like I was traveling from the comfort of my sofa. And the other thing I so enjoyed was Jason’s admission that being a stay at home parent is not all bon-bons and soap operas. Even though his realization and apology was a teensy bit out of character and not 100% realistic, it was gratifying to read it all the same.

Morgan did a fantastic job individualizing the three sisters, giving them different perspectives on the same childhood tragedy they all suffered, and writing a believable and heartwarming resolution. Love and forgiveness are powerful, especially when you have the support of those around you.

Morgan also added in comic relief in little Ruby, Martha the chicken, and Eric. Beautifully done!

-calliope

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Review: Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Loved this rom com with Harriet the dog-walker and Ethan the guy with the sterile, modern bachelor pad. They crossed paths more than once – and in totally meet-cute ways. I liked that Harriet could be a bit self deprecating without being annoying about it, and that she was well aware of both her strengths and her shortcomings. It was refreshing to get to know a character who made no apologies for herself while still recognizing she could be happier if she changed a few things here and there.

Ethan made a great foil for Harriet. He ostensibly had it all together, but underneath he knew he really needed to make some adjustments in life, too.

I had fun watching Harriet and Ethan together, figuring out themselves and each other … and one another together.

-calliope

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Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

When Kate unexpectedly gets a job in the admissions department of a Manhattan private school, she finally pulls out of a year-long slump caused by an emotional break-up. 

I loved the premise of a lost girl landing a high visibility position at a fancy prep school. The interaction between Kate and her superiors sort of reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada. For chick lit, the mood was a little gloomy for me, though. I like my rom coms light and fluffy… and this tended toward slightly dark and quite eccentric.  I liked Kate’s relationships with her besties, but not the constant worrying and correcting by her domineering older sister. I liked the idea of Kate’s academic, hippy-ish parents, but not their devil-may-care attitude toward their daughter’s welfare. 

I was totally annoyed with the italicized chapters written from Chloe’s point of view. They jarred me from the flow of the story- and I kept having to consciously tell myself whose point of view I was reading at the moment. 

I most enjoyed the interviews with prospective students and parents. Who wouldn’t like to be a fly on the wall in an admissions office?! I would have loved more of those entertaining, slice-of-adolescent-life clips that made me nod knowingly … or, astonished, bug my eyes out. 

-calliope

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