Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Easily Amused

Author: Karen McQuestion
Genre: Chick Lit
Type: e-book (read on Kindle for iPhone)
Published: September 21, 2010
First Line: "When I saw a group of my neighbors clustered on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Cho's house, I was sure they were talking about me."

Synopsis: Lola Watson is content with her life. She has a good job, good friends and has recently inherited her great-aunt May's spacious Victorian home. Unfortunately, the home is on a street where neighbours are overly 'neighbourly' and love to get into each other's business ... including Lola's. Personally, Lola would love to be left alone which is probably why Lola still hasn't found Mr Right. When her best friend Hubert suddenly breaks up with his girlfriend and needs a place to stay Lola, grudgingly, allows him to stay with her until he gets back on his feet.

Lola's life is further in turmoil when her annoying and self-absorbed younger sister Mindy announces that she's changed her wedding date to take place on Lola's upcoming 30th birthday. Lola sees through Mindy's plan to embarass her at the wedding. Lola's friend Piper comes up with a plan for Lola to announce a fake engagement at the wedding to thwart Mindy's plans. Piper introduces Lola to Ryan Moriarty who seems like the perfect guy. Will Lola fall for Ryan and finally find someone to fall in love with? Is Ryan too good to be true? This is a book about taking the time to stop and look around you to see if what you've been looking for has been there the whole time (cue "Wizard of Oz" theme).

My Thoughts:
This is another book that I just happened upon (don't you just love that!?). I was perusing amazon.com's kindle selection and decided to buy this book. Am I ever glad I did. It's a great light read with a bit of romance and some humour thrown in too. It reminded me quite a bit of what it would be like to live on Wisteria Lane from "Desperate Housewives" but with less debachery and cleavage.

I enjoyed the characters as a whole and would have even loved to have seen more from the quirky assortment of nosy neighbours. The ending wasn't a big shocker and you could see it a mile away but it didn't distract from my overall enjoyment of the book.

Here's an interesting little trivia fact: When I went on Ms McQuestion's blog I was amazed to find out that she got herself published on Amazon.com after numerous tries the 'old fashioned way' of slogging it to publishers. Very cool! Kind of like those singers (Colbie Caillat) who put themselves on YouTube to get their big break.

This was also the first time that I found myself really connecting with the main character. I was surprised to find how many things Lola and I had in common. Like Lola I'm a self-proclaimed Type A person who doesn't do well with surprises and needs a lot of transition time when something new is introduced. I'm fairly sarcastic and usually a 'glass is half empty' kind of gal - sad but true. There were just certain phrases and thoughts that Lola had that I thought "I've said that exact thing!!" For example, I hate it when I call someone who has Caller ID and they just dive into the conversation. No 'hello' ... they just assume everyone has Caller ID and knows who's calling. Hate that! I also adore movie previews and judge people too quickly.

Unlike Lola, I have always seen the importance of getting to know neighbours. It makes your neighbourhood feel more like a home when you can walk outside and chat with someone or ask for help and know that others have your back.

I only have two Wee Moos (little baby beefs) about this book. First, I didn't love the name choice for Lola's best friend Hubert. So many other name choices out there. Why Hubert?? It just didn't jive with the best friend of Lola's that I was imagining in my head.

Secondly, the whole 'who is this Ryan guy really?' thing could have been played out more and had a much bigger 'aha' moment. It also would have been nice to have a more complete ending .... unless McQuestion is planning a sequel and left the reader hanging? I hope that's the case because I plan to read more from this author.

I recommend picking up this book if you want a light read. I enjoyed McQuestion's narrative voice and her humour comes through well. The romance was nice and not sickeningly sweet. A great way to pass a rainy afternoon.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

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