Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: Knitting Under the Influence

unsolicited review

I loved this book!  I love to knit and love reading about people knitting ... yes, I do live an exciting life.  Here is a description of the book (thanks to Amazon.com):

When you're in your late twenties and nothing in your life seems to be falling into place, knitting is an awfully seductive way to spend your free time. After all, as long as you're following the instructions, you can knit row after row with the knowledge that the pattern will emerge and you'll end up with just what you wanted. Life, on the other hand, doesn't come with a stitch counter, so Kathleen, Sari, and Lucy, the heroines of KNITTING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, just have to figure things out as they go along.

 Their weekly Sunday knitting circle is the only thing holding them together as Kathleen is cut off financially by her family and forced to enter `the real world' for the very first time at the age of twenty-seven, Sari finds herself falling for the man who made her life a living hell in high school but who now desperately needs her help, and Lucy finds herself torn between emotion and reason when her lab and her boyfriend are assailed by an animal-rights group.

 At their club meetings, they discuss the really important questions: how bad is it, really, to marry for money if you like the guy a lot anyway? Can you ever forgive someone for something truly atrocious that they've done? Is it better to be unhappily coupled than happily alone? And the little ones: Can you wear a bra with a hand-knit tube top? Is it ever acceptable to knit something for a boyfriend? And why do your stitches become lopsided after your second martini?

 In Claire LaZebnik's hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking novel, Sari, Lucy, and Kathleen's lives intersect, overlap, unravel, and come back together-the result is an utterly satisfying read.

This was the first book by Claire LaZebnik that I read, but I just couldn't pass up a book with this cool of a title.  I mean it combines two favorite past times - cocktails and knitting.  This book just drew me in from the start.  I really liked and could imagine the characters as "real people" (i.e. people that my friends and I would hang out with).  It was almost "Sex and the City like" - I kept trying to figure out which character I liked the most.  Sari and Lucy are more reasonable, but Kathleen is a blast!

It's great to read about knitting from an author who ACTUALLY knits ... so that they really understand the process.  Another realness factor.  This author also has a son with autism, which is why the story line seems so real when read.  I found myself completely drawn into the clinic in the book and the world of autism and even though it was a fictional book, I came away feeling like I really learned something.

At the very end of the book are cocktail recipes.  How great is that?  With cool names like Pink String Bikini, The Glittery Scarf, etc.  You'll have to read the book to figure out where these names come into play :)  Happy Reading!

now for my current read

I finished the other book on Monday and immediately picked up another Claire LaZebnik book, "The Smart One and the Pretty One."

Ava is the smart sister, an L.A. lawyer who hasn’t dated in years. Lauren is the pretty sister, an unemployed New York stylist buried in debt. Lauren returns to L.A. when their mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. Between chauffeuring her to chemo appointments, Lauren finds an old “contract” betrothing Ava to Russell, the son of family friends, and decides a reunion is in order. Though Ava finds herself uncharacteristically falling for Russell, she can’t believe a man would choose her over her glamorous sister. She nearly lets her skepticism ruin her shot at love until Lauren meddles again. LaZebnik, author of Knitting under the Influence (2006), writes a funny and endearing novel that truly captures the devotion and rivalry between sisters. Whether they relate to the smart one or the pretty one (or both), readers will find this book irresistible. --Aleksandra Walker  (BOOKLIST)

I just started this book and like it already too.  I thought I'd use it to participate in the Teaser Tuesday, a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"I'm nothing like her," Lauren said.  "I've moved out of my mother's house and I've had plenty of boyfriends."

Page 21 - and so the drama begins between the sisters!

[don't forget my current giveaway, a $40 CSN gift card]

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