Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding is definitely a great summer read. Bridget Jones has decided to improve her life this upcoming year. She vows to quit smoking, to drink less alcohol, to decrease her calorie intake, and not find herself involved with men who do not respect her.
Bridget hilariously chronicles her year, trying to survive her crazy parents, mostly her mum who, along with her friend Una, dangles her in front of one Mark Darcy who can only seem to ask her if she’s read any good books lately. She also has to deal with her quirky friends and their vile significant others. And don’t forget about the smug marrieds who want nothing more than to rub Bridget’s single status in her face at every opportunity.
And then there is Daniel Cleaver, Bridget’s boss and crush who likes to make flirty comments about her skirt and blouse…
I have seen the movie (who can resist Colin Firth?!) which I thought was hilarious but hadn’t yet read the book so when my friend offered to lend it to me, I was most pleased. Interestingly, I was looking at my bookshelf and noticed the sequel hanging out. Not quite sure when I bought it, or why as I obviously do not own the first. Oh well…
Almost every entry comes with a detailed list of her weight, number of cigarettes, alcohol units, and calories, along with a few other funny tidbits. Each number is followed by something along the lines of “v.g.” or “better” or “too shameful to smoke in presence of healthy young whippersnappers.”
I found myself often laughing at the hilarious situations Bridget found herself in while simultaneously wanting to hit her over the head when she did something incredibly stupid (especially when it had to do with a man). If you want a good laugh and a nice dose of British humor than this is the book for you!
Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal is the third book in the series and my favorite. After recovering from their adventure in Belgium, Jane and Vincent accept a commission in London and bring Jane’s sister Melody along in the hope of finding her an eligible husband.
They enter a London filled with unrest for as the spring months creep by, the snow continues to fall. The extensive winter weather is unfairly blamed on the coldmongers, glamourists who concentrate the practice with cooling things. Riots break out by the Luddites as well who have lost their weaving jobs to new, mechanized looms. Jane finds herself becoming increasingly suspicious of their employer’s son and worries ever the more when Melody seems to be making an attachment to her.
Throw in Vincent’s family whom he has not spoken to in years, and one has a very interesting book to read.
I loved this one much more than the other two. I think it was because I got to learn more about Vincent and how he came to be the way he is. His personality wasn’t nonexistent like in the first book or pretty deplorable like in the second. I thought the plot was a little more interesting. It definitely kept me reading.
I do enjoy Mary Robinette Kowal’s writing as well as at some times it was quite cheeky. The characters, Melody included, were much more rounded, and the plot was more intriguing. Wonderful!
Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal is the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey so if you have not read that one yet, it might be wiser not to read this review as it might contain spoilers. This novel picks up not long after Jane and Vincent are wed and follows them as they travel for their honeymoon to Binché, Belgium where Vincent’s good friend and fellow glamourist, M. Chastain, lives.
Once there, their honeymoon is anything but. Jane finds herself in a situation where she is unable to perform glamour and fears that her husband’s persistent absences and shortness with her are signs that he does not love her without her glamour ability. When Jane discovers the real reason for his actions, she learns that they are not safe with Napoleon on the march.
This was a nice sequel. I enjoyed getting to delve a little deeper into Vincent’s character even if I didn’t particularly like him in the first half of the story. I didn’t think he treated Jane well at all, no matter what secrets he was keeping from her. I did enjoy Jane’s growth as a character. The author put her in an interesting situation, and I liked watching Jane figure out how she would handle it.
I do enjoy the author’s writing. She able to seamlessly weave in just the right amount of humor to alleviate some of the more serious situations so that things do not become too heavy.
This is an extremely quick and easy read for those who want something a little lighter when just the right amount of magic mixed in!