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3rd December
2009
written by Steph
It's the return that possibly no one was waiting for!

My December review for BookPage

And now for something entirely different, head on over to BookPage and check out my review for the December issue, where I covered the sequel to The Nanny Diaries, Nanny Returns.  No, really, I did!  Can you tell December is slim pickings when it comes to new releases? Ok, but seriously, even though chick lit is really not a genre that I tend to kick back with if given my druthers, I will admit that I used to dig this stuff and even read the original Nanny Diaries way back when… and I’ve even seen the movie!  So how did the sequel hold up?  I think I nail it on the head when I say that if chick lit is your think and/or you really liked the first, then the sequel really isn’t all that shabby.  Not going to win a Pulitzer any time soon, but not all fiction strives to do that, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes you just want something fluffy and fun!  And I will say that it was an interesting exercise to read this and then to review it from the perspective of someone who is this book’s target reading audience and put my own biases aside… this book may not be in my wheelhouse, so to speak, but I’m actually quite happy with how the review turned out.  Take a look and let me know what you think! [P.S. If I were rating this on the site, I'd give it a 2 out of 5, simply because it just really isn't my kind of book, and all things considered, fluff may be fluff, but I'm still taking the writing and the plot into account when I'm evaluating a pleasure read... See above for this not winning the Pulitzer any time soon. Maybe it deserves something higher if I were grading on a "chick lit curve", but honestly I don't read enough of that genre to place this accurately on that curve, so we'll stick with my rating, which I bestow regardless of genre.] Oh, and since we're all disclaimer-y these days, I was given the book for free.

9 Comments

  1. 12/03/2009

    I had no idea they had a sequel! I read the first one and I even saw the movie and truth be told I did not like either. I actually enjoy chick lit, but it has to be good chick lit – like Marian Keyes or the Shopaholic books (which I know is not brilliant writing, but its pretty good writing and as far as chick lit goes, its better than most of the crap that gets produced and slapped with the chick lit title). Anyhow, thanks for the heads up on this book, I’m pretty sure I’ll pass it up. I just can’t believe they wrote a second book about the nanny. Crazy!

  2. 12/03/2009

    It’s always important to have some “fluffy and fun” books around for a break! Especially given the nature of the books in your “currently reading” box!

  3. My sister gave me the first book in this series to read for our sisters book club. I’m trying to remain open-minded about it because I normally don’t like chick lit, but we’ll see. I liked your review of this book — it is hard to think about how a target audience would react rather than yourself.

  4. 12/04/2009

    I’d probably be willing to try this since I did read The Nanny Diaries and actually enjoyed it during a time when I rarely read any fiction at all and really didn’t enjoy light fiction so there is something about the story that I must have connected with.

  5. 12/04/2009

    @ Nadia: I was surprised to hear they had written a sequel, too! I haven’t read any Keyes, but I did read many of the Shopaholic books back in the day (but did you see that movie? SO. BAD.)… I can’t honestly say whether I thought this was better or worse than the Shopaholic books, because it’s been so long since I’ve read anything from this genre, but I am guessing that if you didn’t like the first then you won’t like this one!
     
    @ rhapsody: Yes, fluffy and fun books can definitely be a boon when one is surrounding oneself with difficult and taxing reads. But I guess what we each consider fun and fluffy varies from person to person, and fun & fluffiness are not always completely linked… Some books are very fluffy but not all that fun to read!
     
    @ Kim: I will be interested to see how you deal with this for your sister bookclub (which I love, btw!). I do think that one of the fun parts of reviewing this book was in the challenge of pretending to be a different reader from who I am… It’s important to realize that our tastes and likes/dislikes are not going to be uniform across the bookworld, and so it was interesting to try to put myself into the mindset of someone who does predominantly read this type of fiction. Given that I expect they’d be much more discerning about the chick lit they do read (or what constitutes good/bad chick lit), it was definitely an interesting exercise.
     
    @ Kathleen: In a way, I felt like the authors did a good job of “maturing” the story, given that 10 years or so have passed. They don’t simply have Nan tackling the same old problems (even if the Xes continue to be the bane of her existence), but rather have her struggling with different questions and issues that are befitting of her older age and position. I do think that for people who enjoyed the first book, it is a satisfying second installment.

  6. Eva
    12/04/2009

    I’m a much bigger fan of ‘women’s fiction’ than chick lit. I can’t handle that bright, superficial ‘voice’ that seems to be the hallmark of books like Bridget Jones diary. I’m not saying the books themselves is superficial, just the narrative voices always sound a bit valley girl in my head.

  7. 12/07/2009

    I haven’t read the first Nanny book, but I did see the movie and thought the story was ok. It was funny, and I can imagine if I was into chick-lit it might be a fun read. I think I do have a copy of the first book on one of my shelves, maybe for one of those days when my reading gets to heavy and I want something lighter. I think I got it off a library table for less than a dollar, so it seemed like a good investment. I liked your review on this one, and I think it’s really cool that you put your reservations aside and were able to appreciate the story for what it was. I actually think that I have a friend who would really enjoy both of these books, so I will pass on the recommendation.

  8. Meg
    12/16/2009

    I actually loved Nanny Returns — and I’ve never read The Nanny Diaries (though did see the movie)! I thought it was an excellent blend of the humor and heartbreak you mentioned in your review, and I really couldn’t put it down. I’m grabbing the first one soon!

  9. 12/17/2009

    @ Meg: I read your review, and I’m glad that you enjoyed the book so much. I think that you will likely enjoy the first book just as much, as it’s very similar in tone and scope. This isn’t really the type of book I would normally read, but it’s certainly a book that will find an audience!

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