Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley

Catherine West is forty-two and rich. From her father’s estate Catherine receives a huge monthly allowance, so money is never an issue. But she very much wants to be in love and get married. She meets William at an art show and can’t believe that he actually knows her family from when he was a kid. He had lived in Switzerland for years and is now back in New York. They start seeing each other and Catherine couldn’t be happier. He soon moves in with her and life is perfect. Except for Catherine’s family. Her dad died years ago, her mom has dementia and her sister is too needy.

When they become engaged, Catherine wants her mom to meet him. But every time Catherine mentions William, her mom doesn’t want to talk about him and when she does it is negative. Catherine tries to find out why her mom doesn’t like William, but she just won’t tell. And then Catherine finds out that the money from the estate has run out and she is about to lose it all. William assures her they will be fine but Catherine is still upset. And then she starts noticing things about William that are making her second guess this whole relationship. If only she can get her mom to tell her why she dislikes William. Is he her future or should she let him go?

This was just okay for me. I figured out the twist about halfway through so it was not a shocking ending for me. And I was not a big fan of the characters. I will try her next book, The Goddesses. Hope the characters are more likable and I don’t guess the ending.




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Everything, Everything

Maddy has just turned 18 and has never been outside. She has a rare disease were her immune system is basically non-existent.  Her dad and brother died in a car accident when Maddy was a baby, so it is just Maddy and her mom. But everything changes when Olly moves in next door.

This movie is based on the book by the same title by Nicola Yoon. I did not read the book but I did enjoy the movie. It was a good story with likable characters. Rated PG-13

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My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Katie Brenner works for a glamorous company in London. She is only slightly better than an intern but she doesn’t care. Her dream was always to get out of her little farming town and live in London. Her dream has come true. So what if she has to share a flat with two other people and her room is super tiny? Or that her commute is complicated and long. She is living her dream.

But before she knows it she is fired for something she didn’t do. She is forced to move back to Somerset and help her dad start his glamping business. He thinks she is just on a sabbatical to help him. When the glamping business become a big hit, Katie is surprised since none of her dad’s ideas every work out. While helping her dad, her ex-boss, Demeter,  shows up. Now she has to act happy in front of  Demeter and keep her dad from finding out her secret. As Katie continues her charade she realizes maybe Demeter doesn’t have the perfect life and that maybe Katie doesn’t have it so bad.

I love Sophie Kinsella books! This was a another great one with funny, cringe worthy moments and awkward but lovable characters. Can’t wait for her next one, Surprise Me, out in 2018.


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Emily (Amy Schumer) just got dumped by her boyfriend. They had planned on going on vacation to South America and the tickets are non-refundable. Emily tries to get any of her friends to come but no one can or will. Finally as a last resort, Emily asks her mom, Linda (Goldie Hawn). Reluctantly, she agrees. Soon they are enjoying their vacation or at least Emily is. Emily meets a man and he takes them sightseeing. The next thing they know, they have been kidnapped. Now they need to work together to survive and get away.

This movie was better than I thought it would be. My expectations were low but I did laugh a couple of times. Also starring, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, and Joan Cusack. Rated R

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The Circle

Mae (Emma Watson) is in a boring dead end job. Her best friend, Annie (Karen Gillan), works for a company in the tech world known as the Circle. Annie gets Mae an interview and the next thing she knows she has an exciting new job. At first she is overwhelmed, but she soon excels. She also agrees to transparency. She begins to live stream her entire life. But when a tragic death occurs, Mae starts to rethink everything she knew about this company.

This movie was just okay for me. I did not read the book so I cannot compare the two but I have heard the book is a whole lot better. I didn’t like the characters and there definitely wasn’t enough of John Boyega. Also starring, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Patton Oswalt. Rated PG-13

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The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green

Ronni Sunshine would never have won “Mother of the Year”. The narcissistic actress was far too busy with her career and various affairs to pay attention to her family. Her marriage crumbled and her 3 daughters were left to largely fend for themselves.  Now grown, Meredith, Lizzy, and Nell are estranged from their mother and all dealing with adult crises of their own.  When Ronni is diagnosed with a fatal disease, she reaches out to her daughters and tries to set things right with them, as the girls try to set things right with themselves.

This was not my favorite Jane Green book, but I enjoyed the story, even if some of the characters were immensely unlike-able.

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The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

I just read The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (author of Room). It takes place in Ireland (about 100 years ago). In a small town lives a young girl who hasn’t eaten in 40 days. She claims to be living on manna from Heaven. A committee has been formed to prove/disprove her claim. A nurse and a nun have been assigned to keep constant vigil over the girl to see if someone is sneaking her food. The nurse realizes 5 days into the watch that if people were sneaking her food before, they can’t possibly do so now. So the nurse realizes that she is watching this little girl actually starve.

Religious conviction plays heavily into the storyline. Very interesting read.