Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review: Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell

Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (January 13, 2015)

The creative minds behind the best-selling White Girl Problems are back with an all-new book, described as being the first true glimpse of "real" sorority life in all it's fucked up glory.  Co-creators Tanner and David Olivier Cohen have manged to write another hit book.

Rebecca Martinson, responsible for a very harsh email, pens the foreword, authenticating the book's depiction of what it means by "going Greek."  Her original email is included in the book.

To put it lightly, if Mean Girls were set in a college sorority instead of in high school, it would be this book.  Tom Rothman’s TriStar has optioned the film rights with Brownstone Productions’ Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman set to produce.

Author Taylor Bell gives us an account of her freshman year at Central Delaware University and gives us an unfiltered look at what goes on behind closed doors in Greek Life.  The Beta Zeta legacy has no interest in becoming the fifth member of her family to pledge the sorority but the BZ sisters aren't about to let her not join.  The sisters might drink, act crazy-cool, and come off as hilariously bitchy but they somehow are able to lure her in to the jacked-up world with one party after another.

She finds a way to deal with the fast-food ban and even some of the other rules imposed on her by Collette Winter but still finds herself having the time of her life.  Some of the BZ sisters turn out to be true friends.

During winter break, Taylor finds out what really happened to her sister in college and that paves the way for the final third of the book, where things start to become really interesting.  A sex tape is leaked and the girl looks like Taylor and shit--go figure--hits the fan.  Her boyfriend doesn't have her back.  Collette wants her to resign.  Taylor has to find a way to survive the scandal and she soon finds out which of her sisters are her true friends.

I'll be honest.  This book isn't really something that I would normally read but when I saw that Elizabeth Banks was set to produce a film adaption and the Mean Girls comparisons, I knew that I had to give it a chance.  I'm glad I did because it was one of those books that you just can't put down.  Call it a guilty pleasure but what Cohens did here is genius.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Book Review: Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Funny Girl: A Novel by Nick Hornby
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; Unabridged edition (February 3, 2015)

Acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Nick Hornby is back with a new novel.  This time, he takes us back to London in the 1960s.

Starring the intrepid Sophie Straw, Funny Girl is a charming tale of ambition, creativity, and self-identity with an interesting cast of characters including actor Clive Richardson, producer Dennis Maxwell-Bishop, and comedy writers Bill and Tony.

Straw, formerly Barbara, is the winner of Miss Blackpool but she quickly decides that she wants to move to London and become an actress.  She becomes a television comedienne and gets cast in a leading role on her first audition.  Crazy, right?

Hornby has given us a book with both humor and heart.  He has managed to endear us to a small cast of characters--flawed, funny, and unforgettable as they may be--by doing what he does best.

I don't know whether this book will be adapted into a movie or television series.  Given the amount of behind the scenes that take place over a period of a few years, it's really hard to see this as a movie.

Hornby's wit and storytelling has proven time and time again that he can do no wrong.  Funny Girl is no exception.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Book Review - Veronica Mars (2): An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: Mr. Kiss and Tell

Veronica Mars (2): An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Vintage; Mti edition (January 20, 2015)

Our favorite private investigator returns with a case that takes us into the Neptune Grand and exposes the hidden workings of the hotel.

The Neptune Grand is the ritziest hotel in Neptune, California even though there have been shady dealings and high-profile scandals that somehow seem to follow the hotel's guests.

When a women claims that a staff member assaulted her and left for her dead, the hotel hires Veronica Mars to disprove or prove her story.  It's a complicated case and not helping are those witnesses that refuse to cooperate.  The hotel doesn't want to turn over their reservation list and the victim refuses to say who she was meeting that night.

The attack happened months ago and the victim claims to have a fuzzy memory of the night.  The hotel's surveillance system doesn't really give us a complete idea of what happened.

It's a mess of a case for Veronica and she is consumed by it.  She knows that somebody is lying but doesn't know who.

I don't want to say too much.  After all, we're talking about a mystery here but it was a quick read for me.  I started on a Friday and finished on a Sunday.  Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham leave us waiting for more.