Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner

They say the movie Hook came from an idle comment by some movie executive's wife: "What if Peter Pan grew up?" Julie Kenner's delightful book takes a spin on the idea of "what if Buffy the Vampire Slayer grew up...and became a housewife?" Of course the engaging, spunky and sometimes frazzled Kate isn't actually Buffy Summers, and for this I'm actually grateful. The premise, however, remains that of "if high school was hell" in Joss Whedon's remarkable series then "raising a toddler is actually easier than fighting demons, and raising a teenager is harder."

Carpe Demon introduces readers to the aforementioned Kate, who gets drawn back into the world of demons, vampires, and Vatican licensed Hunters of all things evil after a fourteen year "retirement". Kate struggles between her new (soccer mom) and old (Buffy!) lives. For example, demons attacking her kitchen are only part of the problem when her attorney husband announces a last minute dinner party. The results are hilarious. California Demon continues the tale and the fun. Both are written in the same delightful voice that will reminder readers of Sophie Kinsella orEmily Giffen.

Some of the reviews I read (after happening upon the author at the library) poo-poo Kenner's use of brand names as "product placement." I actually enjoyed the few things she mentions, as it put the character more firmly in my own middle class world of stay at home mom-dom. In fact, there's one scene where Kate is grooving to the Wiggles and realizes her son isn't in the car and she is actually allowed to change the channel. Not only could I hum a few bars of the song mentioned, I've had that happen to me on a regular basis! So let's hear it for name dropping when it has the desired effect.

Go forth. Seize the day...and the demon. You won't regret it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Real Simple

I'm not a big magazine fan. Yes, I read cover to cover through my Entertainment Weekly as it comes every Friday. While I was pregnant I devoured Parenting and Parents magazines, and any other preggers/baby lit I could get my nervous little paws on. I still have a subscription to Parents but after a year or two of reading it I've found that everything has pretty much already been covered. None of the magazines I see at the checkout in grocery stores have ever appealed to me until recently.

Real Simple is an incredibly useful little publication. I've never picked up a copy and not learned something handy that I could apply in my day to day life. They have great recipes, realistic tips on cooking, shopping and living easier and even on a budget. It's not about parenting, though as a stay at home mom there are plenty of articles on organization, saving money and saving time that I adapt and use regularly. It's not about being a woman, or a cook, or a wife or any other category. Instead its just...simple, I guess. Real Simple. Pick up a copy today.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sandcastles by Luanne Rice

Luanne Rice has done it again! Every year she provides the perfect novel for summer reading. Last year brought us the aptly titled Summer's Child and Summer of Roses. This year she gives us Sandcastles, which returns loyal readers to the shores of Blackhall/Hubbar'd Point and the Conneticut coastline. Reviews of this novel are panning it for being both melodramatic and shallow...this may or may not be the case, but if so I say that's not necessarily a bad thing in a summertime beach read. Sandcastles is not as memorable as some of the other Blackhall novels, but neither is it depressing like Cloud Nine or Stone Heart. Not only did I enjoy Sandcastles, but it made me want to go back to reread gems like Firefly Beach and True Blue. For any author, I say that's a job well done.