Tag: comedy

Book Review and Blog Tour: The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman, by Julietta Henderson

Image belongs to Harlequin/MIRA.

TitleThe Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
AuthorJulietta Henderson
Genre:  YA
Rating:  5 out of 5

Twelve-year-old Norman Foreman and his best friend, Jax, are a legendary comedic duo in waiting, with a plan to take their act all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe. But when Jax dies, Norman decides the only fitting tribute is to perform at the festival himself. The problem is, Norman’s not the funny one. Jax was.

There’s also another, far more colossal objective on Norman’s new plan that his single mom, Sadie, wasn’t ready for: he wants to find the father he’s never known. Determined to put a smile back on her boy’s face, Sadie resolves to face up to her own messy past, get Norman to the Fringe and help track down a man whose identity is a mystery, even to her.

I’ll be honest, initially, Sadie’s voice almost made me put this down. She just sounded so defeated. I am SO glad I didn’t! This ended up being a fantastic read! Norman is an awesome kid. I have no idea how he has such a positive attitude, considering everything, but he’s so uplifting and inspiring!

And, actually, Sadie is defeated when the book starts out. By life. By all the tragedy and hardship she’s experienced, by her own regrets, by her fears for Norman, and her grief. This story is as much her journey as Norman’s, and it ended up being such an enthralling story, with both laughter and tears, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Julietta Henderson is a full-time writer. The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman is her debut novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/MIRA in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: Maggie Finds Her Muse, by Dee Ernst

Image belongs to St. Martin’s Press.

TitleMaggie Finds Her Muse
AuthorDee Ernst
Genre:  Romantic comedy
Rating:  5 out of 5

All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?

But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside.

I loved this book! This is a quick, fun read with a totally relatable heroine who manages to stumble (and eat) her way through Paris as she finally figures out what she wants out of life—and love. Maggie isn’t the perfect young heroine, and her love interest isn’t a typical brawny male. She’s a bit older than me, which made her so easy for me to put myself in her shoes, and she’s still struggling to figure out things. Same, girl. This would make an excellent vacation read, or just savor it over the weekend!

Dee Ernst lives in New Jersey. Maggie Finds Her Muse is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: Crushing It, by Lorelei Parker

crushing it
Image belongs to Kensington Books.

Title:   Crushing It
Author:   Lorelei Parker
Genre:   Romantic comedy
Rating:   4 out of 5

To pitch her new role-playing game at a European conference, developer Sierra Reid needs to overcome her terror of public speaking. What better practice than competing in a local bar’s diary slam, regaling an audience with old journal entries about her completely humiliating college crush on gorgeous Tristan Spencer?

Until the moderator says, “Next up, Tristan Spencer . . .”

Sierra is mortified, but Tristan is flattered. Caught up in memories of her decade-old obsession as they reconnect, Sierra tries to dismiss her growing qualms about him. But it’s not so easy to ignore her deepening friendship with Alfie, the cute, supportive bar owner. She and Alfie were college classmates too, and little by little, Sierra is starting to wonder if she’s been focusing her moves on the wrong target all along, misreading every player’s motivations.

Maybe the only winning strategy is to start playing by her heart . . .

I felt a lot of second-hand embarrassment while reading this. I can’t even imagine how horrifying reading your college diary in front of a crowd would be…much less reading bits about your college crush and then realizing he’s in the audience. Kill me now. The voice in this novel was on point and had me laughing quite a bit, which definitely fits the tone of this book.

Sierra isn’t the deepest of characters, but she was fun to read and watching her grow and learn from her experiences was great. Tristan was just about what you’d expect from someone like him, but Alfie was fun to get to know. If you’re looking for something fun and funny to read, this is an excellent choice.

Lorelei Parker is a computer programmer. Crushing It is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review.)

A Whole Latte Murder, by Caroline Fardig

I do not own this image. Image belongs to Alibi.

Caroline Fardig is the author of the Java Jive Mysteries series. The newest novel, A Whole Latte Murder, hit shelves last week.

Juliet’s life has been looking up. Business at Java Jive, the coffee shop she runs, is booming. Her romance with hot cop Ryder is heating up. And she hasn’t found any dead bodies in weeks. Then Ryder gets promoted to homicide, and Juliet’s happiness turns to fear, as she contemplates his involvement with the worst kind of criminals.

Worse yet, girls are going missing in Nashville, and the city is on edge. Chelsea, Juliet’s neighbor, is especially nervous, and Juliet tries to calm her fears. But when Juliet finds Chelsea dead, she ends up right in the middle of Ryder’s first homicide investigation, a situation neither of them are happy about. Then Pete, Juliet’s best friend, winds up in the mix as one of the coffee shop employees goes missing. Now Juliet and Pete want to help find her, and all Ryder wants is Juliet to stay out of the way. What’s a girl to do when a killer’s on the loose?

The Java Jive books are a fantastic series of books. Light-hearted and funny, with plenty of pitfalls and antics, they are sure to have the reader laughing. A Whole Latte Murder is no exception, as Juliet continues to be a magnet for trouble and her curiosity keeps landing her in hot water. A fun, entertaining murder mystery!

(Galley provided by Alibi via NetGalley.)

Shizzle, Inc., by Ana Spoke

(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Ana Spoke.)
(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Ana Spoke.)

Ana Spoke is a writer/middle manager who promised herself she’d finish a novel, and started a blog to keep her motivated and follow through on her goal. Her first novel, Shizzle, Inc. is a comedy that just hit shelves.

Isa Maxwell is a (sort-of) typical young adult: she managed to graduate community college by some miracle, she’s broke, and her boyfriend just dumped her because his dreams of a NFL career require someone more than Isa at his side. Isa is determined to be discovered, be able to pay off her bills, and show Brad just what he’s missing so he realizes he still loves her. Despite a nasty hangover and having no idea what she’s doing, Isa manages to win a contest and land a job as the personal assistant of the Mr. Hue of Shizzle, Inc. Finally, her plans are falling into place!

Being a billionaire’s go-to girl is nothing like Isa imagined. Soon she has a handful of new love interests, a bitter enemy who thinks Isa is out to steal her spotlight, and even less idea what she’s doing as Mr. Hue piles insurmountable job expectations on her plate. Between the corporate espionage, someone out to get her, and her own ineptitude, Isa wonders if getting discovered was really worth it. Between her own disasters and her family’s drama, being a grownup really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Shizzle, Inc. is a comedy of errors, with Isa stumbling from one disaster to the next with no idea what’s going on. Her cluelessness is an accurate portrayal of the entrance to adulthood, and readers will relate to her fumbling and frustration. Perfect for readers looking for a laugh, wanting to feel better about themselves, or just escape from reality a bit, Shizzle, Inc. is a great comedy choice.

(Also posted to Examiner.com.)