List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot (June 20, 2007)
Just a few months shy of her 30th birthday, Gus Curtis finally feels like she has it all: a strong career, great friends, and a wonderful boyfriend.
But all of this comes crashing down when Gus discovers Nate, her "Mr. Right," hooking up behind her back with her so-called "friend" Helen. Soon it seems like the life Gus has worked to make so adult looks a lot like the one she already had as a teenager, and Gus is left with more questions than answers: Can she win Nate back before she turns 30 alone? (And if so, does she really want him?) Is Helen really as devious and manipulative as she seems, or, worse, is Gus more like her frenemy than she ever imagined? And is she ever going to grow up? With the clock ticking down to her birthday, Gus discovers that sometimes the best thing about best-laid plans is trashing them altogether.
Everyone Else's Girl
List Price: $12.95
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot (October 21, 2005)
Meredith McKay has gone to a lot of trouble to create the picture-perfect life for herself—far away from her troublesome family, thank you. When her father's car accident forces her back to her hometown, however, she soon discovers that there's no running away from family issues—there's only delaying the inevitable. Can anyone sort out a lifetime of family drama in one hot summer? Throw in a hot guy from back in high school with an axe to grind, a best-friend turned enemy turned soon-to-be-sister-in-law, and, of course, the sometimes irritating/sometimes delightful members of her own family, and Meredith is on her way to figuring out that sometimes a little trip through the past is the best way to move forward.
Names My Sisters Call Me
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot (April 11, 2008)
Courtney, Norah and Raine Cassel are about as different as three sisters can get. Norah, the oldest, is a typical Type A obsessive who believes there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. She maintains a constantly-updated spreadsheet of slights and alliances, and six years later has not forgiven Raine, their middle sister, for ruining her wedding day. Raine is Norah’s opposite – wild child, performance artist, follow-your-bliss hippie chick who fled to California after the wedding fiasco. The only thing the two sisters have in common is their ability to drive Courtney, their youngest sister, crazy. When Courtney’s long time boyfriend proposes, she decides it’s finally time to call a family truce and bring the three sisters together. After all, they’re all grown ups now, right? But it turns out that family ghosts aren’t easily vanquished, and neither are first loves. Reconnecting the sisters also means re-examining every choice Courtney has made in the last six years, right down to the man she’s about to marry.
"Chick lit" is defined by Wikipedia as "a term used to denote genre fiction within women's fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties and thirties." Under that definition, I definitely do NOT qualify for the target audience for Chick Lit as I am not single and I'm closer to 40 than 20 or 30! However, I'm not a big fan of slapping some label on a good book either - good literature can be enjoyed by a wide spectrum audience. So don't be put off by the Chick Lit label often put on Megan Crane's prose...you'd definitely be missing out on some good reads!
I was sent all three of the above books to read and began with Names My Sisters Call Me because the core issue of the book - sisterly discord - is something I can definitely relate to. I found myself riveted to each page, seeking answers for my own dysfunctional sister relationship. Alas, the solution was not to be found within the pages of this engaging novel but it was an excellent read. Same for Frenemies (who needs enemies with friends like that, right?!) - so well written I seriously wanted to reach in and bitch slap that Helen, she was so real to me! And in Everyone Else's Girl, I wanted to shake some sense into Meredith quite often...and it got me to thinking just how much like Meredith I really am...that's probably why she infuriated me so...ha! Anyway, I can highly recommend ANY of these books and can't wait to get my hands on Ms. Crane's first novel, "English as a Second Language." Read them for yourself and find out what I'm talking about!
5 out of 5 binkies.
Bonus: read excerpts from all three of these books, and Megan Crane's premier novel "English as a Second Language" here!
About the Author: Megan Crane is a New Jersey native who had great plans to star on Broadway, preferably in Evita, just like Patti LuPone. Sadly, her inability to wow audiences with her singing voice required a back up plan. Accordingly, she graduated from Vassar College and got her MA and PhD in literature from the University of York in England. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on AIDS literature, mostly so she could wallow in her obsession with the remarkable multi-media artist David Wojnarowicz and her idol, the bitter and hilarious David Feinberg. After many years in the rain and subject to the whim of seasons, she followed the sun to Los Angeles, where she lives with a dog, a cat, two crazy kittens, and an artist named Jeff. She is still plotting her Broadway debut.
*WIN IT- Christine at Mothering Heights is giving one lucky reader TWO Megan Crane books: "English as a Second Language" and "Names My Sisters Call Me!" To win, head over to Megan's website and come back here and leave a comment with the name of one of the anthologies Megan has written for. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment if you are not a blogger or your email is not easily found on your blog. This giveaway is open until 11:59 p.m., EST, Wednesday, February 04, 2009. Good Luck!
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This review was sponsored by: Mothering Heights