Reviews: FOUR AUNTIES AND A WEDDING & LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY

 

Hey everyone, hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I’ve been a coach potato for the past two weekends, first binging season 2 of Bridgerton, followed by Emily in Paris, and finally Cruella on Disney Plus.  I’m blaming it on the cold/allergy funk I’ve been in almost ever since I got back from New York.  Whatever it is, it’s not Covid but has kept me ridiculously congested for two weeks now.  I’ve gone through so many tissues I feel like I should buy stock in Puffs, haha.  Anyway, not a lot of blogging happened but I have gotten a fair amount of reading done, including the two novels I’m reviewing today.  Both were exactly what I needed to take my mind off my illness, so I’m thrilled to share my thoughts on them with you today. 🙂

 

Reviews:  FOUR AUNTIES AND A WEDDING & LESSONS IN CHEMISTRYFour Aunties and a Wedding (Aunties, #2) Goodreads

Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto

Publication Date: March 29, 2022

Publisher:  Berkley Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

I read Dial A for Aunties, the first book in Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Aunties series back when much of the world was on lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  That book with its crazy and lovable Aunties delivered so many laughs and left me with a huge smile on my face at a time when I didn’t think there was much of anything that could cheer me up.  I therefore couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the second book, Four Aunties and a Wedding. I’m thrilled to report that the Aunties are back and are just as much of a hilarious delight as they were in the first book!

The wedding in question is of course Meddy Chan’s and her college sweetheart, Nathan, and the Aunties are going to do everything in their power to make sure their niece’s big day is picture perfect.  If you read the first book, you’ll remember Meddy. She’s a bit more traditional and conservative than her Aunties and sometimes wishes they would tone it down a bit, but no matter how over-the-top they are, Meddy ultimately knows that everything they do, they do out of love for her.  Whether it’s wearing hats with gigantic kimono dragons perched on them or taking secret lessons in British slang and speaking in fake British accents so that they’ll “fit in” better at the ceremony, which is taking place in Oxford, England, the Aunties’ goal is to make a good impression on Nathan and his parents. I lost track of how many times I laughed out loud, but the Aunties saying “bugger off” and calling people “tossers” was definitely a highlight, haha!

Even though humor is the main order of the day with this book, there are also a few lovely and more serious moments, both between Meddy and Nathan, and between Meddy and her Aunties.  There’s a lot of love and loyalty in this book and it really comes shining through.

The key to the Auntie books is that you really have to love over-the-top antics.  It’s non-stop craziness and hilarity, especially once Meddy and her Aunties uncover an assassination plot that is going to ruin Meddy’s wedding and the Aunties make it their mission to foil the plot and save the day.  If you’re expecting anything less than a zany good time, you might end up a bit disappointed.  But if you want to straight up laugh yourself silly, you’ll definitely want to check out Four Aunties and a Wedding4 STARS.

 

Reviews:  FOUR AUNTIES AND A WEDDING & LESSONS IN CHEMISTRYLessons in Chemistry Goodreads

Author: Bonnie Garmus

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Publisher: Doubleday Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

I wasn’t at all sure what to expect going into Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, but I was too intrigued by the unusual premise of a female scientist becoming the beloved star of a popular cooking show to pass up a chance to read and review this book.

The story is set in the 1960s and Elizabeth Zott is a woman ahead of her time.  She’s a brilliant scientist, by far smarter than every man she studied with or worked for, but the scientific community at that time was dominated by males and misogyny.  No one wants to give her the time of day and even worse, many of her colleagues seem to go out of their way to try to discredit and degrade her every step of the way.  I adored Elizabeth. Not only is she brilliant, but she’s also stubborn, resilient, and downright inspiring in the way she refuses to let these men hold her back.  I loved her strength and her belief that if she just worked hard enough and smart enough, that somehow she would get the recognition she deserves.

The one man who believes in Elizabeth’s brilliance is Calvin Edwards, a fellow scientist who Elizabeth falls in love with.  Their relationship is a bit nontraditional in the sense that Elizabeth doesn’t believe in marriage, but married or not, it’s clear the pair are soulmates, which makes it all the more devastating when Elizabeth ends up a single parent raising Calvin’s child by herself.  Again she finds herself belittled and demeaned by the men in her profession, and again Elizabeth is determined to succeed in spite of them, which is where the cooking show comes into play.

A TV producer, who happens to be a fellow parent at the school Elizabeth’s daughter attends, is fascinated by Elizabeth’s unique and quirky, no-nonsense personality.  He convinces her to host an afternoon cooking show geared towards housewives, and has no idea what he gets himself into because in true Elizabeth Zott fashion, she turns the show on its end.  I really loved what she did with this show and found myself rooting for her every step of the way because what she creates is an environment that educates, celebrates and empowers women, reminding them of their self-worth in what is often a thankless job, that of being a homemaker and raising children.

Lesson in Chemistry covers a wild variety of topics and while Elizabeth’s delightfully quirky personality makes for some hilarious moments, overall the story is a pretty serious one, tackling weighty issues such as misogyny and sexual abuse.  I found myself very passionate as I was reading about Elizabeth’s experiences, cheering her on but also just so angry on her behalf because of the way she is mistreated so badly by those who want to keep her in her place.

With its many layers and the unforgettable Elizabeth Zott, Lessons in Chemistry is an absolute gem of a book. 4.5 STARS

22 replies
  1. Mica - Away From The Blue
    Mica - Away From The Blue says:

    Oh Four Aunties and a Wedding does sound like a really fun book! I liked dial A for Aunties although I’m not a fan of crime books I’m glad I stuck with it as it was a good read – I’ll need to keep an eye out for this one turning up at the library! thanks for sharing!

    Hope you had a good weekend and your week is off to a nice start 🙂
    Mica – Away From The Blue recently posted…Purple Tees, Denim and Kimonos | Weekday Wear Link Up

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      These are definitely great books for people who aren’t the biggest fan of crime books. The humorous antics take center stage so that the crime aspect is secondary to the fun.

      Reply
  2. Verushka
    Verushka says:

    Everything about Elizabeth and /lessons in chemistry just speaks to me — i love her difference and how she makes the cooking show hers in an era when by all accounts she would not have been ‘allowed’ to do so by the men running it.

    Reply

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