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review 2016-12-23 00:00
The Making of Minty Malone
The Making of Minty Malone - Isabel Wolff Do you ever have those books that you realize are not really rocking your world, but you keep reading because you can't be bothered to get another book? This was my situation last night. I am fighting off something and right now just really want my flannel pjs and some hot tea. I tend to like to read more chick lit type books when I am under the weather because I know I am going to get a happy ending at least. However, this book one of the first written by Wolff was lacking something the whole way through. For me, it was already known based on the synopsis that Minty is going to be left at the altar. However, her reactions to this were so off (at least to me) it made no sense and I started to lose any sympathy for the main character. The other characters in this book were paper thin and I hated the new love interest who I would probably have shoved down a flight of stairs who also had his own issues that needed addressed.

"The Making of Minty Malone is told in the first person by ta dah, Minty Malone. After Minty is left at the altar by her fiancee Dominic (not her real name by the way, which she knows prior to marrying him) she is left wondering what has she done that made the thought of marriage so terrible. Running away on her honeymoon with a friend and then having a terrible meet-cute with a guy, we follow Minty back to London where she feels adrift and trying to fix things in her personal and professional life.

Minty is a doormat. And heck she stays a doormat pretty much through the whole book. You start off reading right away that Minty has turned herself into another person to make Dominic happy. And I didn't even get that she liked the guy much based on how she goes into him. But after being left at the altar and coming back home, Minty decides to keep the give away all of the wedding gifts (I don't care that people told you to keep them!) and she kind of shrugs after hearing that the policy she got on her wedding (apparently insurance for weddings is a thing) is not covered, that her father is going to be out $80,000 and she decides to not go after her fiancee to pay for at least half of it! She doesn't even offer to give the money to her parents. I don't think she does. I may have been too busy raging.

I also really hated the idea that so many people around Minty were pretty much telling her to just get over Dominic mere seconds after he jilts her. Does Dominic suck? Yup. But I am never a fan of chick lit novels which push some new guy on a character after some major relationship drama. I don't know why there can't be a slow build to romance. Minty deciding that she is in love with her love interest came out of left field to me because they barely interacted in this book and he treated her like a she-demon because he claims she has so much baggage and refuses to ever get involved with a woman again who has emotional baggage from a previous relationship.

The love interest is terrible. I don't even have words for how much this guy irked me. A struggling writer whose story sounded terrible, who sits around and judges Minty for everything that she does. I really wonder why he was interested in being her friend since based on his past he should have stayed away from her. Instead, he claims friendship (I claim BS) and then acts like she's no good to him until she declares herself really free of Dominic. I just wanted her to throw him face first into a wall. He was a sanctimonious ass.

Other characters are just as shallow. Minty's cousin worked my nerves. But I at least applauded Wolff for writing a character that didn't want children, and who refused to be cowed by her partner into having them. Until this cousin meets a new love interest, gets a kitten, sees kitten eventually have its own kittens, and now seems to be okay with kids.

Yeah that happened. As someone who was pretty iffy on kids her whole life, and got really tired of defending the decision to not have them (while lying about it others around me who acted like I had two heads because I am fine without marriage or kids) I was so happy that we had a character that did want to be in love, but didn't want kids, and was pretty okay with not marrying it looked like. To have her do this complete reversal because of a cat...I just sighed.

Don't get me started on the cousin's partner who leaves her because he realizes that he is wasting his time when he could be getting someone else pregnant. That whole storyline with that guy just made me roll my eyes. I also hated the woman he ends up getting with because the whole thing was so sketchy. In fact I am going to say that if this was real life, most of the couples in this book would end up divorced in a few years.

The only people I found interesting were people at Minty's work, but we don't get to spend much time with any of them besides the character of Jack. I was hoping for a different resolution with that character, but apparently yesterday was Obsidian Blue is not going to win day so I was left unsatisfied about everything.

The writing was all over the place and things were not clear at all. We find out at a certain point that Minty's mom is a twin, and she mentions her cousin's mother who apparently is not really around since why would her cousin need to move herself in with Minty. The whole book was like that. We would find out something that I would go and say to myself, well that's weird, that should maybe have been introduced earlier on or something since I just sat feeling confused for most of this book.

Minty and Joe's back and forth with their fun insults got tiresome as anything.

Having to read anything that the character of Miranda was saying with her lisp was also painful.

There just honestly seemed to be a lot of logic gaps for me while reading. I assume that Minty's family is rich since they never did go back and get money from Dominic after the wedding was over. But then Minty brings it up again like this is still a huge problem for her family. But then her father just plops down some money to get her mother out of trouble later in the book and I am back to thinking that they have money.

The flow was off from the entire book. I think starting with the stream of consciousnesses with Minty on her wedding day going into why her soon to be husband was perfect (but not really) really did not show her in the best light. Heck probably the only thing I did feel that was earned and right was everyone telling Minty that her being with Dominic was her fault too since no one forced her to stay with a guy that was clearly awful.

London doesn't really come alive for me in this book, and neither does Paris or LA. I was only really interested when the book transitioned to Minty doing her job or her place of work. I was really interested in how they do radio and go off and interview.

The ending was a foregone conclusion and I guess Minty gets her HEA.
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review 2015-04-08 23:38
A Vintage Affair - Isabel Wolff

Every dress has a history. And so does every woman. 
Phoebe Swift’s friends are stunned when she abruptly leaves a plum job to open her own vintage clothing shop in London—but to Phoebe, it’s the fulfillment of a dream, and her passion. Digging for finds in attics and wardrobes, Phoebe knows that when you buy a piece of vintage clothing, you’re not just buying fabric and thread—you’re buying a piece of someone’s past. But one particular article of clothing will soon unexpectedly change her life. Thérèse Bell, an elderly Frenchwoman, has an impressive clothing collection. But among the array of elegant suits and couture gowns, Phoebe finds a child’s sky-blue coat—an item with which Mrs. Bell is stubbornly reluctant to part. As the two women become friends, Phoebe will learn the poignant tale of that little blue coat. And she will discover an astonishing connection between herself and Thérèse Bell—one that will help her heal the pain of her own past and allow her to love again.





Phoebe Smith is a young Londoner with a nice paying job at Sotheby's auction house when she decides to walk away from it all and open her own vintage clothing shop. Phoebe's best friend from childhood, Emma, is now a designer of hats & fascinators for royalty and celebrities across the UK.. at least until tragedy befalls, costing Emma her life. Phoebe unwittingly plays a part in the tragedy, which ends gives her relentless guilt. Phoebe finds healing after being introduced to elderly Frenchwoman Therese Bell, who initially contacts Phoebe to sell her vintage wardrobe. There is one small coat in Therese's collection that she refuses to part with. The tragic WW2 era story that goes along with the coat has parallels to Phoebe and Emma's story, which ends up helping Phoebe process her emotional pain.


I like how this story looks at why people are drawn to the certain styles / historical periods of clothing they are and how people get attached to certain pieces as well as how simply getting the right outfit can give a person a lift in spirit, give them hope and strength to push past dark periods. I especially liked the story of one of Phoebe's customers in the shop -- how one amazing vintage party dress empowered her, not only giving her her sexy back but also giving her the courage to stand up to her douche-y, controlling boyfriend... not only dumping him but also providing information about his shady business dealings (arson, fraud) to the authorities.


I also got a laugh at Phoebe's mother. She doesn't really understand Phoebe's fascination with vintage items, often pointing out "someone could have died in that!"

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review 2015-03-28 21:28
Shadows Over Paradise by Isabel Wolff
Shadows Over Paradise - Isabel Wolff
Shadows Over Paradise (originally title Ghostwritten)
Isabel Wolff
Paperback, 384 pages
Pustory. But I found I liked Shadows Over Paradise better. Isabel Wolff's writing flowed better in regards with following the plot and the characters were more likable from the beginning of the novel. blished February 10th 2015 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2014)
0345533186 (ISBN13: 9780345533180)
I found myself liking Shadows Over Paradise with each chapter I read. Recently having read The Thirteenth Tale  by Diane Setterfield, I wasn't sure if reading about another "ghostwriter writing about someone with a past" story. But I found I liked Shadows Over Paradise better. Isabel Wolff's writing flowed better in regards with following the plot and the characters were more likable from the beginning of the novel.



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review 2015-03-09 23:39
Shadows Over Paradise
Shadows Over Paradise - Isabel Wolff

Shadows Over Paradise (also previously released as Ghostwritten) by Isabel Wolff is the story of two women, who have both endured heartbreaking loss in their life and who both feel the responsibility of that loss. Klara's story is so much stronger that Jenni's is overshadowed in comparison. The book connects too many of the dots of comparison, leaving Klara's as the more memorable story.


Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/03/shadows-over-paradise.html


Reviewed for LibraryThing Early Reviewers program


Source: www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/03/shadows-over-paradise.html
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review 2014-02-04 15:15

This is my first book review, so apologize for the awkwardness. This is a book review of the Trials of Tiffany by Isabel Wolff that I finished this past January. I have mixed feelings about the ending, which I talk about in the video.


Thanks for watching XX



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