Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
Summary: Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose during lunch at one of London’s fanciest restaurants. But when his big question involves a trip abroad, not a trip down the aisle, she’s completely crushed. So when Ben, an old flame, calls her out of the blue and reminds Lottie of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. No formal dates—just a quick march to the altar and a honeymoon on Ikonos, the sun-drenched Greek island where they first met years ago.
Their family and friends are horrified. Fliss, Lottie’s older sister, knows that Lottie can be impulsive—but surely this is her worst decision yet. And Ben’s colleague Lorcan fears that this hasty marriage will ruin his friend’s career. To keep Lottie and Ben from making a terrible mistake, Fliss concocts an elaborate scheme to sabotage their wedding night. As she and Lorcan jet off to Ikonos in pursuit, Lottie and Ben are in for a honeymoon to remember, for better . . . or worse.
My Thoughts: I first read Sophie Kinsella's shopaholic books as a teen during a "chic lit" phase and loved them. Since then, I don't read chic lit quite as much, but I have continued to read (and enjoy!) Pretty much every book Kinsella has written since. When Wedding Night came out this spring, I immediately added it to my list. If you are a chic lit fan, this book will not disappoint. One thing that made this book unique from Kinsella's others (which are all fairly similar...), is that the chapters alternated between two characters' points of view. I LOVE this in books! Lottie is a Kinsella classic-character--super flighty, jumps into things without thinking, ends up making questionable albeit hilarious choices. Fliss, on the other hand, thinks things through a little too much, is a little too protective, and is completely meddlesome in her younger sister's life. Basically the whole book revolves around Fliss trying to keep her little sister Lottie and Lottie's new husband from consummating their marriage because she thinks it's a mistake and wants them to get an annulment. Hilarity ensues. Quick, easy, mindless read with plenty of laughs.
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Summary: "The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future."
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.
Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”
Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.
My Thoughts: Moon Over Manifest was recommended to me by a friend who is a teen/children's librarian. I've had this book on my list since it won the Newberry awhile back, and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it! Manifest takes place during the great depression in a small heartland town. Abilene is sent to Manifest by her father, and she spends a summer trying to discover the secrets of this town's past. At the same time, she learns to know and love the members of this unique community, until she finally feels at home in Manifest. I loved reading this book, but it might be a little tough for struggling readers as the chapters jump between time periods and also include letters, news columns, and advertisements. I love this in books, but I know some of my strugglers would have a tough time keeping it straight! Overall, this was a sweet, heart-warming story about love, friendship, finding who you are, and discovering how you fit into a community.