The Morning After Memoirs by Kate Michaels

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Helllllo readers, hope you’re well. I’m currently going through a quarter-life crisis which my best friend Dan says it utterly normal; he’s on his second. I feel like a real-life Bridget Jones I have no idea what I’m doing in my life or what I want to do or anything. Gah, I feel like a cliché but how do people get to stages in their lives where they know what they’re doing? Or do you just never get there. I loved this book but it fell a little close to home, either way a brilliant book to read over a glass of wine or two.

A smart, irreverent slant on modern dating, Kate Michaels’ sexy, laugh-out-loud debut reimagines the world of Sex And The City with the biting realism of Lena Dunham’s Girls.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess wakes up on New Year’s Day a touch hungover and a whole lot confused. The man in bed next to her is not her boyfriend, Ben. In fact, she doesn’t even remember Not-Ben’s name. It won’t be the first time she finds herself in a questionable situation in a year that proves her new single-in-the-city lifestyle is far from the glamorous, Sex And The City world she’s been promised on TV. Between hacking through last year’s leg hair, accidentally snogging someone who may well be her cousin, getting hit over the head with a sex toy that isn’t even hers, and ending the night with a walk of shame into her parent’s garage, Jess’s single life is turning out more cockroaches than cocktails.

The Morning After Memoirs is the story of one woman’s search for love, meaning, and a low-calorie alternative to wine. The Morning After Memoirs is a story essentially about Jess and her drunken antics.

I thought this book was a hell of a lot of fun – it’s one of those books that you can just dive into, have a good giggle over and relate so easily to the humour and the comedy feels. As the blurb suggests the book follows Jess as she struggles through a terrifying break-up with Ben. Moving on from the terrible event eating a Chinese for two in front of an exercise DVD we watch Jess in her newly single life and find that it’s not so much fun. Leg hair, fat jeans, a sex toy or two and her new neighbour it’s going to be a little nuts to say the least.

I immediately fell for Jess, probably because she reminds me so much of myself unfortunately; I loved the way that she named the people around her – Not-Ben, Tweedledum and Tweedledumber, Hot Waiter Number Two to name a few.) I wouldn’t say she’s a lot like Carrie Bradshaw, more a Bridget Jones character but that doesn’t make her any less amusing. She’s just like us; she eats, drinks, swears too much and gets herself in some seriously amusing situations. The book starts and ends at consecutive New Years so we get a whole year in the life of Jess. I also thought the fact that every time a new potential suitor is introduced he gets his own mini bio – Chris – 5ft 8″, brown eyes, likes pugs was really lovely. It just added a special touch.

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In terms of wobbles it didn’t have a big story line – it is very much a look at the life of a woman working and living in London. For me there wasn’t a hell of a lot more than that to a point. There is a lot of narration but just not quite enough action for me as a completed story and I struggled with that because it feel at times that things were being repeated just to get to a certain length of book. I also thought that relationship with Ben, after four years just kind of stopped. Apart from a couple of weeks where we see her lose herself she kind pulls it back together.

However, the writing is witty and fun, it shows a lot of style and I enjoyed the characters that were well built up throughout; even the supporting character got enough time in the spotlight and that helped to add depth to the book as a whole. For me  I would have enjoyed a more substantial plot line but overall a very fun and interesting read.

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Bridget Jones’s Diary: Helen Fielding

Happy 2015 you wonderful people; I can’t believe this is my first review of the New Year. I’ve been a little quiet over the last few weeks because of all the festivities, seeing friends and family and generally having a serious break from work. So today’s review comes after a very last minute trip back to Stoke-On-Trent due to problems with the train lines. So this morning at 4.45 I was stumbling round my room picking up dresses, shoes and jewellery and staggering around I picked a book from the shelf and it happened to be this one. I will be honest it wasn’t exactly what I was thinking of reading on the drizzly journey back to Stoke-on-Trent however it all turned out to be rather wonderful. Hope you enjoy, and of course, Happy New Year!

In the course of the year recorded in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget confides her hopes, her dreams, and her monstrously fluctuating poundage, not to mention her consumption of 5277 cigarettes and “Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideous in every way).” In 365 days, she gains 74 pounds. On the other hand, she loses 72! There is also the unspoken New Year’s resolution–the quest for the right man. Alas, here Bridget goes severely off course when she has an affair with her charming cad of a boss. But who would be without their e-mail flirtation focused on a short black skirt? The boss even contends that it is so short as to be nonexistent. Overall a charming book about the ups and downs of the single life for one wonderfully ditsy but exceptionally witty young woman.

Now, regular readers of my blog will know that once I have seen a film I often decide not to read the book. It’s not that I don’t think the book will be as good or that I don’t think it is worth reading, I just worry that I will overall be disappointed. Either that the book is better and I wish I read it first or that the book was ruined because I already knew the storyline. It all becomes a little difficult. However I was actually rather impressed by this quite famous and well liked chick-lit. The book as like the films follows the loveable Bridget Jones who just can’t seem to catch a break – both in her professional life, and her love life. Written in a diary format (as the title suggests,) the book is written in a quirky, honest and bumbling style that tells of all the trials and tribulations of the main character including the difficulty of her finding a man, her parents split and her mothers sudden change in life ambition. However it focuses on it a way that can only be described as distinctly droll and witty.

Although I have read reviews describing it as unbelievable due to the frankly awful things that happen to her through the year, the book moves with style and pace that helps to keep you moving through this damn right hilarious story. Sometimes diary style formats can come across a little boring and lack action but the peculiar events and the authors peculiar but funny way of describing it all (especially the description of Bridget’s weight, calorie intake and number cigarettes smoked) made it very fun to read. I also didn’t find that the film weighed heavily on my mind whilst reading the book because the style of the writing makes it different to the very popular film. I also didn’t find the ‘singleton’ story tiring or mundane because it focuses less on the men and more on the main character. Additionally I loved how grating and exhausting the additional minor characters are. As like the film they are just as infuriating and funny at the same time!

Overall this is a wonderfully British book full of humour, awkward encounters, chaos and overall a lovely lady trying to find her feet. It is entertaining, stylish, witty and just a little tongue in cheek and I hate to say but I loved it. The plot whilst not profound works because of the lovely writing style. A definite book to cheer you up on a cold winters morning.

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