When you’re playing the match game what happens when everyone’s matched but you? It stinks to be a center square. I mean really. Did anyone ever aspire to be Alice when they watched the Brady Bunch? Yeah. I didn’t think so. You would think that Lauren Holbrook would be upset or lonely or bothered by the fact that all of her friends are married and she’s not. But really, she’s okay with where she is. She’s still got Ryan, her handsome construction worker boyfriend who takes her out for fabulous desserts and brings her coffee. The only thing she’s really worried about is that her singles Bible study isn’t really singles anymore and that soon she’s going to end up being the spinster babysitter for the crew.
Even that fear is miniscule compared to the discovery that she is now the big red shiny center of the bulls-eye for the combined match making talents and skills of all of her happily married friends and family members. That sends shivers of icy cold fear straight to the bottom of her tan coffee cup of happiness.
It’s not that she doesn’t love Ryan, but…does she love Ryan? She’s been so busy matching up friends for the past two books that she never stopped to consider how she actually feels about this man who has become such an important part of her life. So when her family and friends stage an intervention, she feels the overwhelming desires to hide and run hit her all at once. Though I knew exactly where the book was going when I picked it up (the big bouquet on the front cover made it pretty obvious – although I couldn’t quite figure out where Elvis fit into the picture….) the journey was still delightful and fun along the way. I laughed and scratched my head in several places as I was reading. I don’t even want to think about how geese could have begun to end up in a romantic marriage proposal. And Hershey bars down the aisle? Yeah. Erynn Mangum definitely hits the top of my delightfully creative and crazy list. Love reading the situations into which she completely submerges her characters and I also enjoy watching as they dig their way out of said situations.
Parts of the book felt rushed and a few of the situations had me scratching my head with more confusion than delight. I enjoyed the book, but I felt like it raced around a bit and seemed to get lost between the first and last sentences. It felt as if Erynn knew where she wanted the book to end, but she wasn’t sure how she wanted to get there. And in a couple of places, it felt like some of the situations were too contrived to be fun.
But none of this diminished the pleasure I had in reading how Lauren Holbrook’s story ended up with a diamond, a bouquet and Elvis. I love Mangum’s dialogue, crazy plot twists and the characters. These books are a delight and they’re fantastic reading for anyone from teens to adults. (Even my pre-teen daughter was laughing and enjoying some of the book as I read it aloud.)
Mangum is definitely a writer to watch for the future. If she continues on her path, she could rival Sophie Kinsella or Meg Cabot for fantastic chick lit.
*Rated G- nothing here to worry about!
** Review copy provided by NavPress. (Thank you Kris!)