Tag Archives: Laura Jensen Walker

Daring Chloe (Laura Jensen Walker)

Rating: [rate 3.5]

Daring Chloe (Laura Jensen Walker)When Chloe Adam’s fiance dumps her — the night before their wedding — two girlfriends from her book group decide a little adventure is in order for the three of them. After all, why let a perfectly good honeymoon cruise go to waste?

Adventure? Chloe Adams? No way! Chloe’s lived in one town her whole life. The closest she’s ever gotten to actual adventures is reading about them. But her girlfriends won’t take no for an answer.

One good adventure calls for another as Chloe’s friends try to coax her out of her post-dumping funk, and soon she finds herself living ut the adventures in her book club’s latest selections. Hiking. Sailing. River rafting. Traveling to new places and eating exotic food. The play-it-safe Chloe begins to blossom into a new, daring Chloe. A Chloe who just might be ready to take on her biggest adventure of all.

Laura Jensen Walker is one of my favorite authors, hands down. Her book, Dreaming in Black and White was the first Christian chicklit I read and I love reading it until now. She also has a knack for humor in her books, which I can see even in her more serious novels, like Reconstructing Natalie, which talks about breast cancer.

However, this one just didn’t really cut it for me.

The book did not have the same story flow that Reconstructing Natalie or Miss Invisible had that made me kind of not like it as much. The flow of the story was more or less fluid, almost like the Phoebe Grant series. However, the entire plot felt like it was lacking something. The premise was there and it’s really a big conflict but I felt like it wasn’t really delved into. Okay, so romance wasn’t really the main point of the book, but then the some sort of romance between Chloe and the other guy shouldn’t have been hinted.

Don’t get me wrong, the story was nice and it had a pretty nice lesson. It’s all about the great adventure that is life, and I’m still learning that. I just felt like the story lacked an overall conflict that is there in other Laura Jensen Walker novels.

But plus points on mentioning Switchfoot, though. :) And the book list and the mention of yummy food. This book makes me want to go to Paris too.

Apparently, this is a part of a series, and knowing me, I’d most likely get it. Probably. Seeing the blurb of the book from Amazon, I think there just might be more conflict there.

Miss Invisible (Laura Jensen Walker)

Rating: [rate 4.0]
Miss Invisible by Laura Jensen Walker

Convinced that her larger size relegates her to a wallflower status, Freddie Heinz hides behind wedding cakes she creates as a professional baker. But life is about to change for Miss Invisible.

First of all, Freddie’s found a new friend who encourages her to come out of her shell. Then, Hal, the cute veterinarian, starts showing interest in he woman behind the delightful cakes. And when Freddie decides to break every rule in the “big girl’s” book and finds out who she really is, life gets even more exciting — and hilarious.

Finally I got to read another one from one of my favorite authors, Laura Jensen Walker. It’s no secret that her Phoebe Grant novels are my favorites, and she was the first Christian chicklit author I read about. :) I saw this book from her website and finally got the chance to get a copy through my dad.

Now, I love how the protagonist of this novel is someone who’s not into fashion, but more into food. Although I am not invisible and there’s no too much stressing on figure from where I am, I can relate to her having a hard time shopping, to her loving food and having dessert at home. Heh. Deborah, the other character is fantastic as well — she even made me feel happy about my curves. :D

The message is good, but I’m not too thrilled about how the story went. Although I think the story is fine, there were some parts of it I really didn’t like. Like Freddie’s blogging. It didn’t seem to gel with the entire story; it felt kind of out of place. And how Freddie’s love life was tackled, especially since my reading eyes were already set on Hal, but that didn’t push through. The “climax” of the story didn’t seem too high as well; although it brought tears to my eyes. The last part of the story reminded me of how she wrote Reconstructing Natalie, where instead of a continuously flowing story, it felt like she was telling me the other highlights of the story instead. Not that that’s bad, it just felt a bit…I don’t know, disjointed?

Oh, but I loved two other things in the story. First is Deborah’s house, which when described seemed SO beautiful and homey. I bet her house beats all the other Condo Hotels out there. Also, there’s all those FOOD! All the cakes that Freddie baked and decorated, as well as the food that Deborah cooked for her catering business…yum yum!

This is a good book, and I recommend it for everyone, especially for those who feel insecure about their figures. :) We are fearfully and wonderfully made! :D

Kettle Corn and Chicklit

If Books were food...

Since I’m on this big reading project for this year, I thought I’d join Ate Toni‘s latest Blog Carnival. She asks this question: If books were food, what would they taste like?

I am an avid chicklit fan. I used to deny it by saying I like reading all sorts of books, but now I’m coming out in the open: I love chicklit. Some people may look down on chicklit as “fluffy” stuff with too little substance as compared to other genres, but chicklit has so much more to offer than what can be seen on those bright (usually pink) covers. Chicklit is about a woman’s (or even a man’s!) self-realization. It’s about her facing her fears, overcoming obstacles in her life and realizing that she is more than what she thinks she is, or more than what other people think of her. It’s not always about romance or shopping or superficial fluffy stuff. Chicklit is all about getting to know yourself in the midst of life’s trials. Yes it is fluffy, but it’s good fluff. :D

Dreaming in Black and White by Laura Jensen Walker Dreaming in Technicolor by Laura Jensen Walker

I’m picking my current favorite chicklit books right now, the Phoebe Grant series: Dreaming in Black and White and Dreaming in Technicolor by Laura Jensen Walker.

Dreaming in Black and White is the first Christian chicklit novel I got my hands on. By then, the only chicklit I knew of was the Shopaholic series, which I liked, but not really loved. When I bought this book, I was just getting introduced to other Christian authors besides Frank Peretti, plus I never knew this sub-genre existed. I read this book overnight, and if it were food, I’d liken it to Kettle Corn. As in kettle corn popcorn, one of my favorite snack food. Perfect to eat anytime or during a movie, be at the cinema or in a simple movie house decorated with home theater sconces. These books, just like kettle corn is three things: sweet, salty and crunchy.

It’s sweet because I couldn’t help falling in love with Phoebe Grant’s character. Her struggles weren’t that different from my struggles: finding the perfect job, family arguments and singlehood. She isn’t ashamed of her faith, and she rises out of the struggles quite beautifully. Phoebe is like someone who I would want to have as a friend.

It’s salty because of the struggles the author put in Phoebe’s life. Like I mentioned, Phoebe is not that different from any single woman out there. In Dreaming in Black and White she wanted a bigger job, and is devastated when she had to go back to her hometown to take care of her mother, then finds struggle with saving her hometown and her family. In Dreaming in Technicolor, Phoebe has a better job, and she enjoys her time with her family, but now she’s struggling about her singlehood. It’s all normal, and these struggles give more “taste” in our life — the salt that gives the flavor. :)

Finally it’s crunchy because the book is hardly ever boring at all. I love how Laura Jensen Walker peppered the books with yummy anecdotes, quotable quotes and words of wisdom that cannot be found in other chicklit books. :)

Interestingly, Phoebe Grant is a movie addict, and popcorn just fits these books, don’t you think? :)

Dreaming in Technicolor (Laura Jensen Walker)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

Dreaming in Technicolor by Laura Jensen Walker

Everyone’s favorite film geek Phoebe Grant heads off to Merrie Old England-and changes her cinematic dreams from black and white to living color.

Phoebe’s family has money troubles. Her spiritual life is dragging. She misses her long-distance best friend, Lindsey, terribly. But all that’s bearable because of Alex, the gorgeous man who shares her love of movies and actually likes women with a little meat on their bones. At last-someone to kiss on New Year’s Eve!

But by New Year’s Eve, Alex is in London, called home by a family emergency. Newly engaged Lindsey has turned into a long-distance Bridezilla, and the snooze button still sabotages Phoebe’s morning quiet times. She needs a break, which is why she jumps at the cheap off-season fare to England.

She’s not chasing Alex. Really. She just wants to broaden her horizons. But what awaits Phoebe in the land of Mrs. Miniver and Notting Hill is nothing short of disaster . . . and nothing less than a miracle.

In this sequel to Dreaming in Black and White, Phoebe wonders when will she ever get her kiss from Alex Spencer, the man who seemed to be destined for her. With her best friend almost engaged (and then engaged at the middle of the novel), she feels like she should hurry up and get her lips locked with Mr. Movie-buff Alex.

But things didn’t turn out the way she wants them, when Alex had to go back to England to care for his father. Phoebe is resolved to just wait, until a certain loss prods her to go to England with her Barley best friend Mary Jo. Why? Not to chase Alex, of course, but because she’s always wanted to go to Europe.

Oh, and she had to do a favor for a friend too.

And maybe see Alex in passing.

The author paints England in a way that you feel like you’re also with Phoebe and Mary Jo (or MJ, as Phoebe calls her in England) in their trip. You’d laugh at Phoebe’s mental notes and trips to dreamland, but then feel bad for her when she ends up being disappointed.

Phoebe feels like someone you’d want to have for a friend: always game, always making sure things are okay for you and sometimes even forgetting herself in the process. She can get into her dreamland quite often, until the end of the novel, that is.

I read this book after I read With This Ring I’m Confused by Kristin Billerbeck that’s why I had strong points of comparison. Ashley Stockingdale may seem normal but Phoebe is a different kind of character. The novel encourages the readers to be content with the gift of singlehood, as well as taking the leap when God gives you the chance to. :) It’s quite empowering for singles and sad to say, it doesn’t really have the same happily-ever-after ending like the Stockingdale series has. It’s still a happy ending, but not quite what the readers would expect. :)

Great book. :) I wish there’d be another one…but then what would the title be? Dreaming in 3D? I don’t think Phoebe’s up to that yet. ;)