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review 2015-12-27 00:00
The Woman Who Stole My Life: A Novel
The Woman Who Stole My Life: A Novel - Marian Keyes I have been pretty hit or miss with Marian Keyes books the past few years. This one was a definite miss for me. I think I could have liked it better if the story had been told in a straight forward manner. Instead the plot line shifts back and forth between present day and then past (when the main character is first diagnosed with her condition) and then past (when the main character is a hit with her first ever self help book). The main character, Stella, and others in the book really weren't developed very well. I also had a lot of issues with how when the book shifted to New York City, it could have been any-town USA and it didn't feel like New York at all.

Stella Sweeney is home in Ireland after a whirlwind book tour touting her self-help book. Her book is about the things she thought about and blinked out to her neurologist at the time when she was stricken with an illness that left her unable to move or breathe on her own, all she could do was move her eyelids. The story takes a while to get going. Instead we are in the present day with Stella and we don't know what exactly has gone on, but that she is heartbroken and feels like a fraud. Living with her teenage son that despises her, and trying to keep her ex-husband from giving away all of his belongings, it seems like Stella has a lot to get through.

I wish that I could have gotten a handle on Stella. She just didn't feel real at all throughout the entire book. You understand that she is a mother of two. However, besides her being horrified by how normal her son is and wondering about her daughter's relationship with her fiancee, you don't really get the sense that she even likes her children. Her relationship with her sister and her family had some funny moments here and there, but other than that, I couldn't make a lick of sense of Stella. A former beautician and now failed self-help author, she seemed to have no interests at all. There are a lot of asides thrown out about how much she and her father love to read but Stella doesn't pick up one book and read it during the course of this book.

The other characters are not drawn very well either. Stella's ex husband is several times a fool, and you don't understand what she ever saw in him, especially since Stella doesn't paint him in a positive light..

Stella's love interest in this book, Dr. Taylor was all over the place. Figuring out how to communicate with Stella, they are both surprised that they feel something though Stella can't move and they are both married. When these two do start seeing each other, there is nothing really there besides hot sex. I had no idea what his interest were really. And it didn't help when the book moved them to New York City. Everyone kept saying how these two were not well suited. And seriously they were not. Things took the turn for the absurd when he gave up doctoring for a year to pretty much become Stella's agent.

We have another character who apparently watched All About Eve too many times. I saw that character coming from a mile away.

The writing wasn't that great. It didn't help because of the shifting timelines that it took me a few minutes each time to figure out what tie period we were in. Also the font sizes changed from when we were in the present day (with time stamps) to the past which had larger fonts and a saying from Stella's book at the top of each chapter ending. The flow was all over the place because of that. When readers finally figure out what happened to Stella you may have lost interest by then (I know that I did).

The setting of Ireland and New York were not very well done at all. I loved Keyes former books taking place in both of these places. She managed to breathe life into these places so that you felt like you were right there with the characters in her books feeling the heat and humidity (New York) or dealing with the changing face of the country (her books taking place in Ireland). I think the jumping around really didn't devote itself to showcasing these places. Though we do spend a lot of time on Stella's clothes and in particular her shoes.

The ending was definitely not earned at all. Everything got wrapped up in a tidy bow which made me laugh a bit. Based on what happened before, one wonders why in the world Stella would have blithely continued on with things.
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review 2015-11-02 13:15
Not a good starting point for Keyes I guess.
The Brightest Star in the Sky - Marian Keyes

I have heard of Keyes but hadn't read her before. I wanted something a little lighter after my reading-palooza over the weekend. Unfortunately this wasn't it. Another review on Amazon says that this isn't the book to start with Keyes if you haven't read her before and I agree.


It's a weird premise. A spirit roams around the apartment building and observes the lives of the tenants. There's a taxi driver, a married coupon, an older woman and her foster son, a professional career woman, her boyfriend, etc. They all have their interesting lives and the spirit observes them all.


Yet, the book was pretty dark for a supposed "chick lit" author. Everything from a rape scene to a death at the end to mental illness. It's not light and fluffy. And while it was nice to see a chick lit novel address such topics, I'm not really sure if it was addressed really well. The author gives a highlighted thanks to the Dublin Rape Crisis Center which made me cringe a bit.


I suppose if you like your chick lit with a supernatural element this might not be a bad borrow from the library. But it might be uncomfortable/triggering for some and overall I didn't think it was a good book. And while sometimes I'm willing to give the author another shot if there's another book by them that sounds interesting, I'm not really sure I want to read anything else by Keyes.

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review 2015-09-12 22:39
The Woman Who Stole My Life - Marian Keyes

4.5 stars! #WomanwhoStolemyLife  @_PenguinGroup  @MarianKeyes
Oh my goodness! I have not laughed so hard in a long time. This book was hilarious. I haven't read Marian Keyes in a long time and I have read most of her books. I think this one by far was her best. God, was it funny. I do have to agree with the other reviewer on Goodreads that the trip to the States just kind of drug the story out. There was absolutely nothing funny and it really added nothing to the story. Unless the author wanted to talk about the stress the tour put upon the characters and I seriously think that could have been done in about two or three paragraphs. While Jeremy was a little brat, he did have some pretty good one liners as well.

As for that eejit ex-husband Ryan, OMG, what a waste of oxygen that guy was. Talk about wrapped up in your own frivolous silly little life. I seriously can't believe she let him back in.

I really did want Stella to get that second book published but I guess all our fairy tales can't tales can't come true. Ha!!

Thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. This book was highly entertaining and I definitely and highly recommend it!!!

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review 2015-07-03 00:00
Mittelgroßes Superglück: Roman
Mittelgroßes Superglück: Roman - Marian Keyes,Susanne Höbel Cover
Es ist sehr lila. Da das leider überhaupt nicht meine Farbe ist, kann ich mit dem Cover nicht so viel anfangen. Auch das Feuerwerk macht es nicht mehr besser. Trotzdem muss ich sagen, dass ich schon wesentlich hässlichere Cover gesehen habe. Ob das allerdings jetzt viel darüber aussagt, kann ich ehrlich gesagt, überhaupt nicht sagen….

Meine Meinung
Es hat eine kleine Weile gedauert, bis ich mich komplett in dieses Buch hinein gefunden hatte. Stella erschien mir zu Beginn der Geschichte etwas anstrengend und auch ihre Kinder waren mehr als nur bedenklich. Doch umso mehr ich gelesen habe, um so spannender wurde es. Hier möchte ich bereits einfügen, dass dieses Buch sehr dick ist und ich mich ehrlich gefragt habe, wie man diese Geschichte auf so vielen Seiten breitschlagen kann. Allerdings sei hier dann auch gesagt, dass ich mich absolut gut unterhalten gefühlt habe beim Lesen.

Es wird abwechselnd aus der nicht so rosigen und schönen Gegenwart und der noch viel schlimmeren Vergangenheit erzählt. Die meiste Zeit gab diese Art der Kapitelaufteilung mir als Leser nur noch mehr Fragen mit auf den Weg, als was Fragen beantwortet wurden. Immer wieder fragte ich mich, ob bestimmte Informationen wirklich notwendig waren, um später festzustellen, ja sie waren wichtig.

Immer wieder habe ich mich auch gefragt, was es mit diesem Titel auf sich hat. Auch fand ich den Originaltitel bis zum Ende hin mehr als nur seltsam und erst am Schluss klärt sich auf, warum das Buch denn nun so hieß.

So nun aber zu den Charaktern:
Stella ist sehr durchschnittlich. Sie ist verheiratet, hat zwei Kinder und arbeitet im Beauty-Salon ihrer überehrgeizigen Schwester. Am Anfang hatte ich so meine Probleme mit ihr, doch während der 600 Seiten ist sie mir einfach ans Herz gewachsen und ich habe mit ihr gelitten wie ein geprügelter Hund. Stella muss einiges durchmachen. Sie erleidet eine schwere Krankheit, bei der ihre Nervenbahnen angegriffen werden und sie sogar künstlich beatmet werden muss. Ausschließlich über Blinzeln kann sie sich mit ihrer Umwelt verständigen und das auch nur dank Dr. Mannix Taylor, ihr behandelnder Arzt. Bei Mr. Taylor bin ich ins Schwärmen und Schmachten geraten. Ich finde ihn toll (das ist beabsichtigt…) Während mir Stellas Ehemann sehr schnell, sehr auf die nerven ging, konnte ich von Dr. Taylor gar nicht genug bekommen.

Doch während im Klappentext nur eine Hälfte der Geschichte beschrieben wird, gibt es hier noch einen kleinen Einblick in den zweiten Handlungsstrang. Er spielt in der Gegenwart und Stellas Leben hat sich komplett gewandelt. Um mehr als 180 Grad, weit mehr als das. Sie hatte unglaubliches Glück (man beachte die Vergangenheitsform). Mehr kann ich dazu leider nicht sagen, denn dann würde ich doch recht viel der Handlung verraten (was wahrscheinlich auch der Grund ist, warum dieser Teil des Buches nicht im Klappentext erwähnt wird). Stella lebt ein ganz anderes Leben als in ihrer Vergangenheit.

Wie oben schon erwähnt hat mich das Buch sehr unterhalten. Ich bin absolut gefesselt gewesen und saß wie gebannt davor. Es ist auch ziemlich schwer, was meine E-Reader verwöhnten Hände sehr schnell gemerkt haben (Luxusjammern). Ich konnte mit dem Lesen gar nicht mehr aufhören. Trotzdem hat dieses Buch mich verhältnismäßig Lange beschäftigt, denn es ist schwierig den Text nur zu überfliegen, dabei entgehen einem als Leser viele Details, die die Geschichte noch besser machen. Es ist definitiv etwas für einen tollen lange Leseurlaub. Ich könnte mir gut vorstellen mit dem Meer an der Nordsee zu liegen, dem Rauschen der Wellen zu lauschen und dabei in diesem Wälzer zu schmökern.
Für alle die es romantisch mögen ist dieses Buch definitiv eine Überlegung wert.

Wertung (4/5)
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review 2015-06-17 00:00
Last Chance Saloon
Last Chance Saloon - Marian Keyes Last Chance Saloon continues to speak to me and it has been almost six years since I have read it for the first time. I don't know why I re-read this constantly. Maybe it's because I keep thinking that the ending of the book will unexpectedly change. I fell in love with the main characters in this book and really just wanted them to have nothing but good things.

Even though this book is supposed to be about three best friends since child/teenage years Tara, Fintan, and Katherine. Most of the book devotes itself to Tara and Katherine's lives and how Fintan's health problems end up impacting both of them to do things that they never thought they would.

Last Chance Saloon comes from a saying that Tara always says when it is brought up that she should leave her horrible boyfriend Thomas. Thinking of herself as old and decrepit, she thinks that if she does eventually leave Thomas or she him, that she will have no further chance at love.

Katherine on the other hand is alone in between periods of when she dates a man and finds herself turning into a stage five clinger.

The only one of the trio that is in a happy and healthy relationship is Fintan with his boyfriend.

And life continues on it's way until Fintan is diagnosed with cancer. With everything becoming topsy/turvy we have all of them being affected by his illness. Fintain eventually calls his friends together to give them each a request that he wants them to do or he plans on dying just to spite them.

I think the character I found myself feeling more affinity with was definitely Katherine. You eventually find out why Katherine acts like she does, but at the time you don't get it. Being the most self assured of the trio (and most grownup) you don't think that things affect Katherine like it does everyone else. It was great to see Katherine starting to let other people in and have her learn from her mistakes.

Tara was maddening. I think that everyone has been in a relationship like Tara. You are dating someone awful. And you find yourself staying in it since the thought of being alone feels like a fate worse than death. Heck I am friends with some people who did this fairly recently and it gets tiring to listen to. I can't imagine dating someone like Thomas in real life. Bigoted, mean, cheap, and just a general asshole, Tara dating him made me dislike her since I was tired of her making excuses for the guy.

Though this book is set up as a trio with Fintan. You don't really get inside his head too much except for the parts where you find out how he met and fell in love with his now boyfriend. That is one reason why I could not give this a full five stars. I think it would have worked better if we had more insight into Fintan and his pain and fear due to his cancer diagnosis.

We instead flip/flop around with another character named Lorcan. At first you don't understand why Ms. Keyes included the guy and what he has to do with anything. If anything you start to realize that Ms. Keyes was leaving clues to why Lorcan was important throughout the book. You don't get to the payoff until almost the very end though. Lorcan was so horrible to not even feel real at times. Unfortunately I have met this guy's doppleganger in real life so I know that sometimes people like this do exist (womanizer, cheater, liar, etc.).

I do still wish that we had gotten less information involving Lorcan and more with Fintan.

I really don't have any complaints about Ms. Keyes writing or pacing. She writes very well and you don't have to worry about getting lost with which character is speaking. The entire book is told in the third person which allows you to keep track of who is speaking quite easily.
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