I’ve read a lot of LDS fluffy romance novels in my time (trust me, I’ve nearly bought out the bookstore), and in that time I’ve grown fairly picky with whose subsequent novels I’ll pick up. Thankfully, Melanie Jacobson does a pretty good job of her every time–and I figured it was high time I went back to read some of her oldest stuff. And although it may not have been the most life-changing few hours I’ve ever had, it was time well spent with a quirky cast, quirkier humor and a funky plotline.
K-Drama Equivalent: Sweet Stranger and Me (but better), mixed with a juuust dash of Taiwanese Murphy’s Law of Love.
Philosophy of the Page: Responsibility–originally a political term that has come to mean what a person has stewardship over, their duties and how they take care of them.
Perhaps a short synopsis is in order: Pepper broke up with her fledgling pop-star fiancee just over seven months ago. Now she’s picking away at the massive debt left to her by working at a sandwich shop instead of pursuing the journalism career of her dreams. But when her dad’s prodding gets her out of the door and living again, she winds up writing a dating column for a local hip magazine. Let the dates–and the articles–commence.
It’s certainly original, I’ll give it that. It’s also not terribly deep or well written… but when has that ever stopped me from liking something? I think it’s well paced, with enough balance between romance, family issues and other plot development to keep me interested throughout.
I don’t know if she does it on purpose, but I often cannot stand Melanie Jacobson’s female leads for the first 50-70 pages. Which is a shame, because I really grow to love them later on. Sometimes the growth is very evident and easy to follow, but this one seemed a bit abrupt. Still, every member of the cast has quirk, charm and a certain something that makes them shine. No angst buckets here except the heroine, and that only for… about 50-70 pages.
The OTP (one true pairing, or romantic relationship, for those unused to K-drama speak) is adorable, though. I absolutely love their relationship, and I’m relieved to report they communicate fairly well to each other, once they clear the air that “I like you”.
There were a few light themes in the book that I liked, ranging from gratitude to responsibility. One was definitely there on purpose (there are gratitude notes at every chapter’s beginning) and the other is more something I found, looking at her life decisions and a few others’ and what the book was really about. Specifically, taking responsibility for your own life. Not letting it be run by others, but not letting yourself get overrun by life, either. Accepting help when needed and being responsible enough to know when to quit. It helped me work through a few things myself, so I love it for that. The gratitude asides could have blended in better, especially in how they changed our heroine, but I loved that they were there.
Mostly, I find that this book has, if not spectacularly creative or timeless writing, at least a rather zippy, fun sense of style that kept me grinning (and hopping on the web to check it’s pop culture references). It’s not new, it’s not a record breaker, but it’s probably worth the $10 to get it off Amazon. Happy Reading!
Final Verdict: 6.5/10