Title: Love or Something Like It
Author: Deirdre Shaw
Release Date: April 14, 2009
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
When Lacey Brennan meets Toby, a sweet and talented comedian, she impulsively moves across the country to be with him in Los Angeles. Lacey is unsure of what she is looking for out west–love? a new career? an escape from her fractured family?–but is reassured when Toby proposes on her thirtieth birthday. “I was thirty and I finally knew what I was doing,” she says.
In California, which Lacey calls “the edge of the earth,” she has the giddy, anticipatory feeling that anything can happen–opportunity looms large, and her life may yet turn out the way she wants it to. But soon in her marriage with Toby, from their awkward honeymoon in Paris to their desperate attempts to build careers, Lacey knows that something is wrong. Toby, unemployed, becomes a permanent fixture on the couch, and things are no better at Lacey’s TV job, where a pit bull stalks her, colleagues tyrannize her, and her boss hits on her. Meanwhile, her twin brother has dropped off the face of the earth, and Lacey begins to wonder whether she and Toby should start a family if she can’t even figure out her own. It is only after Lacey has given up on both L.A. and love that she gets an unexpected shot at happiness.
I love the direction that chick lit has going recently. With authors like Marisa de los Santos and Julie Buxbaum, it has been taking on a more literary quality. While it’s no longer a fluff genre that people can write off, it retains the lightness and spirit that fans of chick lit have always loved. Love or Something Like It is a wonderful addition to this newly evolving genre.
I loved the character of Lacey. She is so honest throughout the novel and I felt a connection with her from the beginning (after the confusing first chapter – more on this later). I read the novel because I wanted to know what would happen to her and wanted to make sure she would be okay. I really cared about her. Toby, on the other hand, was not so endearing. I really just wanted to give him a swift kick in the rear end.
Deirdre Shaw’s writing in Love or Something Like It is simply beautiful. Her prose is simple and stark, conveying emotion with every word she chose to put on the page. It really takes the novel to the next level.
The book gets off to a very rocky start. Throughout the first chapter, I honestly wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into with Love or Something Like It. It’s out of character with the rest of the book. It presents a shallow main character whose concerns are very much on the surface; only after reading a good portion of the novel did I understand that first part. If you read the book and view the first chapter with disdain, give Love or Something Like It another chance and keep reading.
I thoroughly enjoyed Love or Something Like It and definitely recommend it to any fan of chick lit. If you aren’t a chick lit fan, the literary quality of this novel might still appeal to you. It’s a well-written and insightful book about one woman’s journey through life.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review!