15 March 2011

Chick-lit-week #1 'The Girls Guide to Homemaking'

Hello everybody,

You've probably all noted that I've been quite AWOL here this year. I haven't even posted a single review. I'm a bad bad girl *ashamed*. Well, I'll try to be better in the future.

I've started out this blog as a way for me to keep up with my reading, organize it, remember the books I've read and give ideas to others, what books to buy, where to find ideas of new books and so on. Let's face it, I was really lost back then (2.5 years ago), and I still am most of the time. I still have no idea what I'm doing, haha. Anyway, when I started this blog I was mostly if not only reading chick-lit. This has changed during the past 8 months, now I'm leaning more and more towards YA, contemporary and paranormal, fantasy and thus I read less and less chick-lit. Sometimes though I like to go back to my *roots* and read a pink, girly and flowery book again :). 

So, this week my focus will be on the few chick-lit books I've read during the past months, I probably won't write any long and thoughtful (when have I ever done that?) reviews, only some short recommendations and random ramblings about feelings and emotions (blaargh) because I'm all about those..haha

The Girl's Guide to Homemaking by Amy Bratley

'What makes you happy? What do you want from life?' I ran through a list of things that I supposed would make me sound cool. And then I told the truth. 'A home,' I said. 'A home with some people in it I love.' On a mission to have the perfect home, with tweeting bluebirds and a white picket fence, Juliet hits a major stumbling block - reality. On the first night with her boyfriend in their new flat, Juliet discovers that Simon has been sleeping with her best friend. After growing up in a dysfunctional family with secrets that haunt her, there's no way she is prepared to build her nest on a broken branch. Heartbroken and seeking an escape from her troubles, Juliet retreats into the comforting world of her grandmother's 1950s homemaking manuals, discovering tips like 'put a ribbon in your hair to brighten your husband's day' and though Juliet knows that won't get her anywhere, she discovers that craft and homemaking are back in style. Taking control of her life, Juliet is determined to get her home with a heart. But who will win hers?

Why did I pick this up?
I've seen this book mentioned on various book-blogs and chick-lit sites, but it didn't really *jump* at me, yelling buy me, buy me!!! I've dismissed it with a single glance, never to look back. Why did I do that? Well, firstly I don't like the cover, it's a bit old-fashioned (though cute!) but screamed 'old-lady' at me and secondly the title, what's up with that? I have to quote myself here (one of my earliest posts from 2009):
And I don't particular care for books with titles such as "A Singles Guide to...",. 

Well, that should say it all, but it doesn't. Homemaking - urrghh, not my thing, at all. Nope, I was never ever going pick up this book. And not because I judged the book by its cover, but because I wasn't the target-group for this book, simple as that.

But how did I end up with this book anyway, and reading it, and LOVING it? A few weeks back I had the privilege to be able to visit THE Bookshop in Zürich, The Orell Füssli English Bookshop. So when I was browsing their shelves I realised with horror that I've already had read every single book that looked interesting! So after a while, with that sinking feeling in my stomach that I had come all the way there for nothing, I started to randomly pick up books, read the blurb and put them pack. Then I saw The Girl's Guide to Homemaking, I recognized it and thought, well, it can't hurt, so I picked it up, read the blurb and bought it! (I later also found some books upstairs in the YA-section).

My thoughts about the book, why I liked it:

This from my Goodreads-account: 'Page 171, Yay - I finally have some spare time to read! I'm in LOVE with this book!!!!!'.  So, yeah, this book really surprised me. I was hooked from the first page, I wanted to know how Juliet would rise herself up again and start anew after hearing her boyfriend call out her best friends name in the first night at their new home. The home that was everything to Juliet.
What I most liked about this book is the contrast. The contrast of the inside from the outside. What's written in those pages doesn't match the cover or title. Amy Bratley managed to constantly surprise me, throwing curve-balls at me. I love the contrast of  Juliets 'homemaking' to how Juliet speaks and acts. I cried, I laughed, I couldn't put it down!

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