{Book Review} Practice Makes Perfect

When it comes to the laws of attraction, there are no rules–and the battle between the sexes is about to make two lawyers hot under the collar. Original.

Lately I’ve been really in the mood to read a lot of chick lit. Even though I’m still in the middle of 1984 by George Orwell and Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, I wanted to read something light and funny like I’ve Got Your Number. Plus, this book came to my possession after a friend gave me an ebook collection as a gift. All I had to do was transfer a copy to my phone and voila! I could go anywhere and have a book in my pocket. I have been looking for recommendations from Goodreads as well, and most of my friends have been marking Practice Makes Perfect as a to-read book. I have heard of Julie James, but I never got around to reading her books, and I suppose now is a good time to start as any. Anyhoo. On with the review.

Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson have hated each other almost a decade. Payton, a die-hard feminist, believes that J.D. is a spoiled rich kid who succeeds in his field because of old money and most particularly, his gender. J.D., on the other hand, believes that Payton gets ahead because she is a woman and several men-dominated industries are trying to add diversity by hiring more women. Always competing against each other, Payton and J.D.’s eight-year-long conflict escalates to war after their law firm announced that only one of them could be a partner. Suddenly, it is only one or the other. Who would it be?

This story is narrated in a he said, she said fashion, which is really appropriate since the readers can see from the man’s point of view as well, unlike the usual heroine perspective. From this viewpoint, we can see how wrong they could be in their assumptions as well as sense something more than hate brewing under the surface.

J.D. and Payton’s is a classic love-hate relationship, which is refreshing for me since I haven’t read really intense love-hate stories in a while. Both of them are sure they couldn’t hate the other any more than they already do, and as it turns out, they  really couldn’t… in a good way. You could really see their expertise in being lawyers. There were a lot of technical terms in their conversations that made me revel in how good Julie James was in researching what they did.. but then I found out she actually took up law! There goes why her other books involve justice and the law, which I find really cool. Just the Sexiest Man Alive, Something Like You, A Lot Like Love, and About That Night definitely go to my to-read list now. Besides, they all have such nice reader ratings in Goodreads.

I really liked how, as the book progresses, J.D. and Payton realize that all of their hating to a passion for the past eight years was actually because of another kind of passion. You know. And I absolutely love how they realize it, and how, despite hating each other’s guts, they begrudgingly admit the other’s best qualities with a reluctant sort of respect.  As the decision of who makes partner edges nearer, our hero and heroine, and the reader in turn, realizes that they are both well-matched and very much crazy about the other, which makes the ending very sweet indeed. (I hope I’m not spoiling anything by saying that. You know it does end happily, right?)

I found this a really entertaining book, and I still couldn’t believe I managed to finish this in six hours (from an hour before midnight till the wee hours of the morning, plus an hour during normal waking hours). It’s that addicting. So sue me for loving this book (pun intended). I recommend it for anyone who reads chick lit and contemporary romance, really. You can never go wrong with good ol’ love-hate chick lit.

In a nutshell…

Rating: 4/5
Author: Julie James
Original Language: English
Published: 3 March 2009 by Berkley Sensation
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance


{Book Review} I’ve Got Your Number

“I’ve lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!! 

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her ‘happy ever after’ begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! 

Well, perfect except the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. 

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents… she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.”*

I know it’s been ages since I last wrote something, and it’s been about a month since I last finished a book! I’ve been swamped in college stuff (still am) and this weekend is the most time I’ve had to myself in a while, so I instantly picked up this book the moment I saw it. I wanted to read something light and funny to contrast the depressing schoolwork I’ve had to deal with, and seeing as how I’ve always liked Sophie Kinsella’s witty writing style with the humor and attitude we could all relate to, I decided to read I’ve Got Your Number. This book has been on my radar since last December, when I heard that Sophie’s going to publish a new book. I even called up local bookstores in excitement, only to find out that they’re all releasing the book on February 14, Valentine’s Day. I totally forgot about it until I happened to walk by a Fully Booked store and it was on display! And once I started, I couldn’t put it down.

Poppy Wyatt is engaged to the man of her dreams – the famous academic Magnus Tavish, with his heartbreaking good looks and abundance of sex appeal – and he’s given her the perfect engagement ring, a family heirloom, to boot. Everything is going as planned, until Poppy loses the ring. In addition to that, her phone gets stolen. How could everything go so horribly wrong? But then she spies a phone in the bin – and it still works! Finders keepers. Poppy can now give out a new number in case the ring is found. All is well… until she meets the phone’s owner, Sam Roxton, who does NOT appreciate her going through all his messages. Poppy really needs the phone, though, so she strikes up a deal with the stoic businessman: she gets to keep the phone while the ring is missing, and she forwards all his text messages and emails to him on his other phone. Easy peasy. But as Poppy and Sam enter each other’s lives with a constant stream of text messages and email, with wedding preparations and strategic ways of making sure Magnus and his parents never find out about the ring, Poppy finds that out that though her life as she knows it could be destroyed, she is not alone; An unexpected person will come and help fix it.

Okay, about this book. Oh my goodness, this book. So much fluff and good vibes! Call me a sap, but the last few chapters really did me in. I know this is a standard romantic comedy, with a spunky heroine and an expressionless-but-somehow-finding-a-way-to-be-hot hero, with coincidences and misunderstandings that are too convenient for the plot, and there is no rational reason why I love these stories, but I LOVE IT. I don’t know, there’s something about the text messages Poppy and Sam send back and forth that seem real to me. I really know people who send one word messages like Sam, and people who vomit smileys and kisses like Poppy, and it all goes so well in this cyber era where most modes of communication through phone.

There’s also this quote at the end that really gets me all mushy everytime I read it.

“All I can say is, she’s the one I think about… All the time. She’s the voice I want to hear. She’s the face I hope to see.
…He’s the one I think about. All the time. He’s the voice I want to hear. When my phone bleeps, I hope it’s him.”
Come on, admit it. It’s cute.

Also, I think Poppy is a very relatable character. She tries her best to help, but doesn’t want to help herself because of all the fuss it would bring. I can understand that. And though other people might get annoyed at how heroines fuss about feelings, I don’t blame her for her doubts in this one. She is a genuine person, and I really enjoyed reading from her perspective.

One thing that irked me quite a bit was the footnotes thing. I know it was because Magnus and his family were all intellectuals who have published in academic journals, and it was Poppy’s way of mocking them, but I first read this from an ebook and it’s really tough trying to move back and forth between bookmarks to see what comment she added. It really irritated me in the beginning, but I got the hang of it and enjoyed it in the end.

I’ve been reflecting on the modern device as a way to forge and strengthen relationships. It’s still not the same as meeting face to face and having a good talk, but in the hustle and bustle of life nowadays, it’s quite an acceptable method of getting to know another person more. I like how Poppy and Sam first start getting to know each other through the phone Poppy nicked from the bin, and later on meet up, for some emergency or other until… you know. I think face-to-face bonding still couldn’t be substituted for anything, and I appreciate how Kinsella integrated that into this novel.

…And I still cannot get over how the book ended. It was very sweet and creative and so beautiful. I’d read the whole thing again just so I could get set up for that ending, that’s how much I love it.

I recommend this book for people who want a light and fun read! I somehow managed to read this in the middle of writing a lab report and answering an online exam for my Chemistry class, and it didn’t make me feel burdened at all. In fact, it got me so inspired to finish everything I need to do just so I could go back and relish the fun parts! Haha!

In a nutshell…

Rating: 4/5
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Original Language: English
Published: 14 February 2012 by the Dial Press
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance