Book Reviews: Lincoln Highway, Party Crasher and The Hating Game

Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

Goodreads blurb: The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future. Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles’s third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

My take: 4.5 out of 5. I grabbed this book as soon as it came out, as I was obsessed with A Gentleman in Moscow and had to read the new one from the author. The quick verdict: It’s not as good as GIM in my book, but that’s maybe because i related more to the subject matter/geography and characters of it, because this one is still an epic tale that should be read. A beautifully intertwined story narrated in multiple voices. In its own way it is quite insightful of the human condition. And as much as some of the character exasperated me (i really really disliked Duchess), his ridiculousness is what makes the story and sets us up for adventure. I guess there always has to be someone stirring the pot or life would get boring? I listened in audiobook and I really liked that each character had its own narrator, it was very well done.

Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella

Goodreads blurb: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Your Life comes a humorous and heartwarming novel about family, set against the backdrop of the most fabulous party you’ve ever snuck into. It’s been over two years since Effie’s beloved parents got divorced, destroying the image of the happy, loving childhood she thought she had. Since then, she’s become estranged from her father and embarked on a feud with his hot (and much younger) girlfriend, Krista. And now, more earth-shattering news: Greenoaks, the rambling Victorian country house Effie called home her whole life, has been sold. When Krista decides to throw a grand “house cooling” party, Effie is originally left off the guest list–and then receives a last-minute “anti-invitation” (maybe it’s because she called Krista a gold-digger, but Krista totally deserved it, and it was mostly a joke anyway). Effie declines, but then remembers a beloved childhood treasure is still hidden in the house. Her only chance to retrieve it is to break into Greenoaks while everyone is busy celebrating. As Effie sneaks around the house, hiding under tables and peeping through trapdoors, she realizes the secrets Greenoaks holds aren’t just in the dusty passageways and hidden attics she grew up exploring. Watching how her sister, brother, and dad behave when they think no one is looking, Effie overhears conversations, makes discoveries, and begins to see her family in a new light. Then she runs into Joe–the love of her life, who long ago broke her heart, and who’s still as handsome and funny as ever–and even more truths emerge. But will Effie act on these revelations? Will she stay hidden or step out into the party and take her place with her family? And truthfully, what did she really come back to Greenoaks for? Over the course of one blowout party, Effie realizes that she must be honest with herself and confront her past before she’ll ever be able to face her future.

My take: 4 out of 5. I love Sophie Kinsella, but her latests have left me really disappointed (i gave 2.5 stars to Love your life and Wedding Night). However, I’m always willing to give her a second (or third) chance and Im glad i did. This book was delightful. At the beginning i had my qualms, i thought it was going to go the terrible route and Effie was starting to get a bit grating. But no, how it develops! It’s a great all-around Chicklit book, it has romance, family drama, personal self discovery, the works. Can i also say how much i love when houses are almost like a character in a book. I felt like I could see the house in my mind so vividly. It’s also a really fast read, i read it in a short 3hr flight.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Goodreads blurb: Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual. Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking. If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong. Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

My take: 4 out of 5. Read this as a buddy group read with @thechicklitbookclub in preparation for the movie that comes out next month. I had never read it so was looking forward to it. And it is a great romance. The banter and chemistry between the two characters is awesome. There are some wonderful scenes: Elevator, paintball, the room color to name a few and their relationship was vey believable and had such a good build up. What was not believable was the business aspect of it. I had to do a bit of suspension of disbelieve as a business woman regarding the company dynamics. There is no way two assistants would be the ones betting for a COO job when there are a bunch of directors of departments, but then I think business dynamics was really not the point of the book.

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