Guilty Reads: Can you Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella and The Fame Game by Lauren Conrad

Everyone has those books that are just a bit too much ridiculous fun.  I will never turn down a Gossip Girl style story and realistic fiction teenage chick lit is also irresistible for me.  A couple weeks ago I had the good fortune to read a pair of these books back to back.  Reading something so light and fun was completely necessary to keep up my spirits for a pair of hectic weeks.  Sometimes you just need a book that makes you drain your kindle battery with the same voracity that other people eat potato chips.

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella has been on my must-read list for years.  Literally years.  Ever since I read my first Confessions of a Shopaholic novel I was interested in this stand alone volume.  The concept is brilliant: a woman spills all her secrets to a random man on a plane.  He turns out to work for the same company as she does.  As he permeates her life, he shakes things up by slowly revealing her truth to her friends and family.  While I’ve written about how some of Kinsella’s main characters drive me up a wall, I found Emma — the heroine of this novel — quite enjoyable.  The tone was much less frantic than her other stories.  You could enjoy the plot, enjoy the suspense and enjoy the ridiculousness without wanting to yell at Emma for her foolish choices.  The plot itself was also unique and something that is food for thought.  Are you living in your truth?  Are you lying and say that you like jazz and you hate it?  It was a fun read but made me think about living authentically; something I always need a reminder for!

The Fame Game is theoretically by Lauren Conrad.  It’s like if Gossip Girl was a reality tv show in LA.  It’s like you are watching an episode of The Hills, for better or for worse.  It’s surprisingly not badly written and so compulsively readable.  If you have seen even one episode of The Hills — or know anything about the show — you will immediately see that the book is simply supposed to be a rehashing of the show in a different way.  It’s fun to read and that’s about it.  There’s not much to reflect on here (I guess we could talk about fame, but that would be pushing it).  Just read it in a couple days as a way to unwind.  Much more enjoyable than it seems.

The plot follows four girls — two who have previously been on a reality show together, one celebrity offspring and one hoping to make it in LA — as they begin to film a new reality show together entitled The Fame Game.  The book sees them meeting each other and trying to establish power relations amongst themselves.  While the characters aren’t the most realistic, it’s interesting to get a peek into the head of someone who may want to be a reality television star.  You forget that Madison, essentially the main character, is supposed to be bad and fame hungry.  Instead, you understand her story and background and begin to empathize with her.  I read this book in three days.

And then I decided to go a more intellectual route and downloaded At Home by Bill Bryson.  I may be enjoying it even more than I enjoyed my brief fling with fiction.

What kind of books do you choose when you want to relax?  Are you a light fiction kind of person or do you prefer literary styles?


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