For What It's Worth

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Minis


Furiously Happy: A Funny book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson “In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest” (Source: library)

I listened to this on audio and Lawson’s voice was so fast that I actually had to slow the speed down to 1x – something I never do. The narration is part David Sedaris (poignant and witty with an occasional gut punch), mixed with a little Jerry Seinfeld randomness – *Seinfeld voice* “Why don’t women’s pants have pockets?” It’s those comic tangents that go off in many different directions that kind of lost me along the way – even though I think that’s incredibly relevant to what Lawson is trying to say about mental illness and how your brain works.

Her style is much more of a dark humor approach that might not work for some but is something that I loved. And I loved the idea of being FURIOUSLY HAPPY.

Happy and positive mantras don’t really work for me. It’s like I don’t trust people who claim you can just positive energy your pain away. But saying – I will be furiously happy as an FU to depression – I get that.


Well Met by Jen DeLuca “All's faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.” (Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

I adored the tug of enemies – Emily and Simon - forced to come together for the local Renaissance Faire. Both Simon and Emily have baggage to work through and interact delightfully while in character for the Faire – out of  character though– things get messy. The small town folks were awesome and not the typical busy bodies.

The first half of Well Met was fun and flirty with a great setting. The second have dragged a bit for me when Emily seemingly faced her demons head on – kicked them to the curb – then willfully ignored what people where saying to her and slid backwards. I also thought the Faire setting was underplayed in the second part. But…still super cute and fun read. I can’t wait for her sisters book!! Which, sadly, is not next.


Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert –  “Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion.” (Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

Hibbert takes several familiar romance tropes (enemies to lovers and the bucket list to name a few) but puts a wonderful spin on it by giving us two marginalized characters that often aren't seen in romance novels (or allowed to have an HEA).

Chloe has Fibromyalgia and lives with chronic pain – while Red is recovering from an abusive relationship. Neither of these issues is glossed over or swept away by love or sex and that’s fabulous. But neither is this a story about pain. There are very few romances out there that acknowledge chronic conditions and show treatments while still showing sexy times and a healthy, positive romance without making it about overcoming tragedy.

A few readers have mentioned that this is a low stakes romance and yes... there are no big reveals or moments but getting over your inner demons can be tougher than any big blowout. The strength it takes for Chloe & Red to peel away years of self protection and lay themselves out to the other physically and emotionally wasn't easy.

This book is funny – as are most Hibbert books (& her heroines are always delightfully prickly) but the supporting characters and some situations were overly quirky for my tastes. I seem to have a *quirk reading scale* and if it goes too far over a 5 (out of 10) then I’m annoyed instead of charmed. lol But that’s a personal matter – this is still a great book that I would recommend.

22 comments:

  1. Quote: "there are no big reveals or moments but getting over your inner demons can be tougher than any big blowout".
    Though I don't read romance, from the reviews I've been reading it sounds like this is a new direction the genre is taking - addressing everyday problems instead of your usual drama-rama. Kudos to that!

    The "quirk reading scale" remark was a funny one.

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    1. It's been changing for a few years now. First it was about more body types and now it covers everything from careers, illnesses and income which is nice. not everything is cookie cutter perfect looking people/billionaires. And everyone can get an HEA.

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  2. I'm planning to read Jenny's books at some point. Both have been on my ereader for a couple of years now!

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    1. The audio was a little tough for me with how fast she talks and the stories are all over the place but good book!

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  3. I don't care that Chloe Brown was low stakes, because it was fabulous. I loved Chloe. I loved Red. I loved Chloe's family. And, it's great seeing more H/Hs with chronic illnesses featured in books. I loved those two together, and I also adored Well Met. I had so much fun reading it, and I am always there for a fun romance.

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    1. I loved how Chloe's illness was a factor (needing rest/how the meds effect her) but it wasn't ABOUT that.

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  4. I have the HIbbert coming up...one day ;)
    I hope I like those quirky sides then

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    1. They were fun people! I just seem to have a limit of how many characters are delightfully quirky in one book lol

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  5. Chloe Brown sounds great - I love that it focuses on some tough issues, and does it well. I need to read Furiously Happy!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It was really well done and I always enjoy her grumpy heroines lol

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  6. I really liked Well Met, and didn't know the sister was getting a book!! That's great news, can't wait!

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    1. I don't know that she is but I hope so!! She kind of had a moment with the kilt dude :-)

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  7. I read Jenny Lawson's first book and it was surprisingly touching and hilarious in equal parts. I could kind of see the tangents in audiobook being difficult to deal with, though. It does sound as if you get more of the same kind of humour, though.

    I'm excited to read Well Met, but it is good to read some things that aren't just rave reviews. It certainly sounds like you enjoyed it but I'm actually happy to read the second part dragged a little as it'll temper my expectations.

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    1. They were both delightful! But I just wished for a little more in the 2nd half of Well Met.

      And yes, I think I'll stick to print for Lawson because overall, I loved her humor.

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  8. Two books that I definitely want to read in November are Well Met and Chloe Brown!

    I felt the same way about Lauren Graham's books whenever she narrates them. I get irritated because I can't stop thinking I'm listening to Lorelei. *facepalm*

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    1. I feel like you would really love Chloe Brown.

      I already struggle keeping up with audio so that was a tough one for me. But I love her humor so I think I'll stick with print for her.

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  9. I really loved Jenny Lawson's books on audio. My brain is all over the place so I could relate, haha. I also love her morbid sense of humor.

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    1. I think my problem was more that I just struggle with audio in general lol but I loved her sense of humor too. I just *get it* more than relentless positivity.

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  10. I've heard so many good things about Jenny Lawson's book!

    Well Met had me a little curious with the Ren Faire element.

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    1. I wish they played the Ren Faire aspect up more besides just being there. What was there was fun.

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  11. Furiously Happy was great on audio. And Well Met was an absolute gem. I listened to it on audio, too, and it was so well done. I adored Emily and Simon and there was such a great cast of secondary characters.

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  12. I haven't read anything by Talia Hibbert and I'm mad at myself for that constantly because I love her twitter game! She seems awesome. I'll be rectifying this soon though as I want to have read some of her books before RARE 2020 as she's an attending author I want to meet (because of twitter patter but it would be good if it's because of her books too! lol)

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