ARC Book Reviews: Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty, Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives and Love Match

This Book Review post, I’m covering some female centric ARC I received from Netgalley for review, that will come this semester.

Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger

Goodreads blurb: Peyton Marcus seems to have it all: She’s the co-anchor of a hit morning news show; her husband, Isaac, runs a successful business; and her daughter, Max, is headed to Dartmouth. Peyton’s sister, Skye, is about to finally achieve her mission to open a home for academically gifted, underprivileged young girls, with a little help from Isaac’s business associates. All seems to be going according to plan—until Isaac is arrested in an Ivy League admissions sting, jeopardizing everything the sisters have worked so hard for. But that’s not the whole story. When dark secrets in their posh world—rife with social landmines, barre classes, and Botox—come to light, Peyton and Skye are forced to reckon with the dreams they’d had when they were young and start to wonder if the compromises they made to get there were worth it. With her signature satirical style, sharp wit, and clear-eyed insights, Lauren Weisberger has written a timely, entertaining novel about what it means to have—and lose—everything. When the chips are down, can you count on your sister to stand by you? This book is out May 17th.

my take: 4 out of 5. I Love Lauren Weisberger so I jumped at a chance to read her new book early. I was hesitant at first, as the topic of the admissions scandals seemed like a ripped from the headlines when it was already over and done with story, however I really enjoyed it. It gives a new take on it, and it acknowledges it in the post scandal world so it felt relevant and not dated. As for the story, I was totally into it. Well developed, flawed and interesting female characters that made it interesting to read. I enjoyed how real the family relationships were. The intricacy of wanting to kill someone you share blood with but also how the links and bonds make a break hard and forgiveness, or whatever happens in the in between, a path to take. Her books usually have a great take on class structures, especially the pressures of fitting in and keeping up with the Jones of the 1% in NY and here she handles it beautifully. This is a highly recommended summer read after it comes out in May! On a lighter, but very important topic, how fabulous is the book name? As a G&R fan I absolutely love it!

Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller

Goodreads blurb: Mystery writer Brooke Davies is the new wife on the block. Her tech-billionaire husband, Jack, twenty-two years her senior, whisked her to the Bay Area via private jet and purchased a modest mansion on the same day. He demands perfection, and before now, Brooke has had no problem playing the role of a doting housewife. But as she befriends other wives on the street and spends considerable time away from Jack, he worries if he doesn’t control Brooke’s every move, she will reveal the truth behind their “perfect” marriage.

Erin King, famed news anchor and chair of the community board, is no stranger to maintaining an image–though being married to a plastic surgeon helps. But the skyrocketing success of her career has worn her love life thin, and her professional ambitions have pushed Mason away. Quitting her job is a Hail Mary attempt at keeping him interested, to steer him away from finding a young trophy wife. But is it enough, and is Mason truly the man she thought he was?

Georgia St. Claire allegedly cashed in on the deaths of her first two husbands, earning her the nickname “Black Widow”–and the stares and whispers of her curious neighbors. Rumored to have murdered both men for their fortunes, she claims to have found true love in her third marriage, yet her mysterious, captivating allure keeps everyone guessing. Then a tragic accident forces the residents of Presidio Terrace to ask: Has Georgia struck again? And what is she really capable of doing to protect her secrets?

My take: 3 out of 5. This is a hard one to define. Its a good book with a great epilogue. I kind of wish they didn’t wait until the epilogue to share a lot of what they did as now I have questions and want to know more! It is a great source material for a soap opera, It is fun, light and with enough skeletons in the closet to keep things interesting. Also we could have many chapters to get to know them and bring new characters in and out. But as a standalone book, the character development was a bit lacking. I still don’t understand half of why was done was done, some things really come out of left field. Also there are no redeeming characters here. Sometimes that’s fun, and especially in mysteries, everyone cold be flawed and to blame. However here it lead me more to the place of I really don’t care about any of them or what happens to them. Small caveat, why is Erin considered a Trophy wife? from what I can gather she’s more famous than her husband, and even though he is a doctor, I think a working at all hours, same age, Stanford educated wife should NOT be considered a Trophy wife, especially as a derogatory term that is used here. She is a catch! And if its because she was trying to avoid being replaced by a Trophy wife, then the title and her being a first person account doesn’t really add up. SPOILER ALERT (because i need to discuss it with some of you that have read it or who will read it) : I think i never understood the character of Erin or her motivation. what is going on there? all of the book is this whole show about wanting to be a better wife, and acting appalled about her husband cheating, yet she had hired a hit man all along… totally don’t get it.

Love Match by Laire McKinney

Goodreads blurb: Serena McAllister is devastated to find her fiancé has cheated on her—again. When she learns her newspaper is outsourcing jobs to freelance writers, she’s desperate to land the last remaining staff position. Unfortunately, her rival Jane Childers wants the coveted spot as well, and she’s just as determined. Vowing to do whatever it takes to get her life in order, Serena decides to join a modern-day harem and write a provocative article about the objectification of women across the world to land her dream job at the newspaper. When Serena arrives at the tiny tropical paradise known as Birin Island, she meets Prince Shailemon Sharma, who is dealing with his own issues of archaic customs in his homeland. As sparks begin to fly, they discover that attraction can lead to so much more—and that there are no barriers of culture or country when love is on the line. comes out June 3rd.

My take. 2 out of 5 It is a light and quick read which is great, read it in under 3 hours, if it had been longer it might have been a DNF for me. This just was not my cup of tea. For me this was a a lesson on not judging a book by its cover. I saw the cover and its description in Netgalley and thought it might be a cute story. First the cover does not match the story at all, this happens in a tropical island why is the cover or almost like a Taj mahal? Second this is a total romance disguised as a cute romance novel cover. I saw the authors other book alter and its cover clearly state that it is a more steamy romance that I was expecting. Not that its bad, it just did not fit the story for me here. The ending seemed just an unnecessary moment to throw extra steamy romance scenes when really the story was done and it just didn’t add anything to it. The concept is great and i was all for it, it might be far fetched but I was totally into it ( i love my hallmark movie style girl meets prince and fall in love in a day fantasy) yet somehow here it didn’t totally work for me. I don’t know if it was the writing or the characters but i never fully got into it. Also by the end of the book i still wasn’t clear as to the point of a coiterie and its difference to a harem. For it being the key point I think it glossed over it and involving some of the other female characters.

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