Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison
Shoe Addicts Anonymous is a group of women who are all self-confessed shoe addicts. One of the characters, Lorna, places an advert on the internet to find a way of bringing new shoes into her life - a crafty way to overcome her spending ban as she struggles to tackle her finances. To begin with, they share only the same shoe size, but as the book goes on they become more and more close. Obviously the subject matter appealed to me; I enjoyed the background stories of Lorna, who struck me as a similar character to Sophie Kinsella's 'shopaholic', Becky.
In fact, I also drew a few comparisons to the Shopaholic series with Harbison's writing style with the descriptions of Helene's blackmail, or Lorna's meetings with her bank manager, and which were in my opinion a little far-fetched and fairytale, in that way that only a chick-lit book can be.
I liked the way the lives of the women overlapped, it seemed to 'tie the ends in' nicely after a long first section devoted to learning the backgrounds and issues of the four characters, particularly with the references to the womens' various visits to their local department store. Also, throwing together four women from different levels of society (Helene is a politician's wife, whilst Joss works as a nanny doing over and above what she thought her meagre wages paid her for)..
Yes, in true chick-lit style, the ending was a crescendo of everyone's problems being solved in a slightly unrealistically fabulous way, but overall and enjoyable read to while away an afternoon.
Also, as I was searching the title to find a link to amazon, I came across the IMDB entry, which would suggest that Shoe Addicts Anonymous will be a film in the not too distant future..
Love The One You're With tells of Ellen, who after breaking up with the man she thought was "the one", ended up marrying the brother of her best friend. Ellen and Andy have the perfect marriage, and Ellen has never had any doubts about her decision..Until one day she is crossing the street and sees the ex, Leo. The one who got away.
I have to admit that from the start I didn't really like Ellen. She struck me as a whinger, seemed to have a tendency to overthink things. It also frustrated me, the frequency with which she referred to the fact that her mother had died when she and her sister had been young. Perhaps I'm being insensitive, but once it had been mentioned a couple of times, I could have remembered that - I didn't really need to be reminded, nor did I think it very believable to have Ellen consider it every single time she made a decision throughout the course of the book, which came across as a little obsessive.
The whole book really centred around the "will she, won't she" factor surrounding Ellen and Leo - would they get back together, would Ellen leave her apparently perfect husband, would she cheat on him, would he find out..? A lot of questions, and a lot of tension I guess, but it just seemed that the whole thing was a little too drawn out..I'm not convinced that in life, people would take months and months to make that kind of an impulsive decision. She struck me as a little too "nice girl" to be in that situation anyway.
Not one of my favourite reads recently, but equally I didn't have to force myself to finish it, I was just left thinking "meh".