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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
What do you do when your roommate unknowingly starts dating your ex-boyfriend....your ONLY ex-boyfriend, the one that you (a. dated for 4 years, (b. looked at rings with, and (c. thought you'd marry? And what happens when the guy doesn't even recognize you? Sure, you broke up 5 years ago, but before that you had dated for FOUR YEARS! Do you announce it to your friend and the guy, risking the demise of the relationship before it even begins, or do you keep your mouth shut and act normal? This is the beginning of Maya's super-fantastic-amazingly-awesome story!

I have to admit: Before I started reading, I wasn't sure if I'd like Cool Beans or not. The synopsis on the back of the book makes it sound like just another take on an over-used sitcom plot. But to my incredible delight, as soon as I started reading I found that I was immediately hooked! The characters are so real and loveable, they truly became my friends, and I really felt for Maya and the awkward situation she got put in.

Maya in many ways reminded me of myself, at times I couldn't even believe it... she thinks so much like I do that if she were real, I feel like we'd be friends! Her sense of humor is awesome, and that allows her to have some amazingly great banter and dialogue with other characters. Jack is great as well; I couldn't help but be amused by his parrot problem! He is such a nice and fun guy, I loved his pet-names for Maya, and also the way he encourages her to do the right thing even when it's difficult. Of course I have to mention Maya's family: they are amusing and authentic, the dynamics between them all are realistically strange! Oh, and Calvin, Maya's pilates-loving beagle...I loved how she talked to him and he always responded with variations of "Roo?" or "Roo!" So funny!

If anyone saw me while I was reading Cool Beans, they must have wondered what was going on, because half the time I couldn't keep the grin off my face. It seems I have the same sense of humor that Erynn Mangum does, because Maya's banter with Jack, and also with Andrew (her pastor) had me cracking up; the fun-slightly-sarcastic tone is just awesome! There were several movies and tv shows mentioned, and I've seen almost all them so I was able to picture the exact scenes that were mentioned, which was really cool. (FYI: Don't worry, if you haven't seen any of the movies, it doesn't matter, it's just a bonus if you have. There were a couple mentioned that I hadn't seen, and I still thought Maya's comments about them were funny.)

I know this review is already running long, but I want to touch on the fact that this series seems to be marketed towards teens. (I actually had to go to the children's floor of my library to find it, because it's classified as "Young Adult"!) I don't quite understand this, because it technically isn't much different from other Christian Chick-Lit books... the only thing I can figure is that Maya is 24, which is a bit younger than most Christian Chick-Lit heroines. I definitely think teen girls would enjoy it, but the appeal doesn't stop there. I'm 24 and I loved it, and I'm certain that older gals would enjoy it, too. The writing, style, and dialogue do not seem young or simple, and honestly I feel like it should be grouped with the rest of the Christian fiction in the main adult section. So, to the Teens: you'll like this. And to the Adults: You'll like it too, don't let the "teen" marketing scare you away!

To wrap things up: This book is so fun, I loved it, and I'm anxious to find out what happens in the sequels. Another reviewer mentioned this, but I want to point it out again: As Maya goes through her difficulties and is seeking guidance, the spiritual truths she learns are embedded so masterfully that you actually learn these truths right along with Maya. Some of the stuff really does make you stop and think about things and the way you live your life. (One thing in particular that stood out to me is that we are a witness "all" the time, not "only" when we are sharing the gospel, which is a reminder we all need.) Yes, I'm serious, there's really some solid content here, and it's all contained in such an amusing and entertaining package. I highly, highly, highly recommend Cool Beans! It's just so "cool!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
One thing is for sure: Erynn Mangum must love coffee. And chocolate. And watching RUNAWAY BRIDE in pajamas. Because all three definitely appear in her new book, COOL BEANS: A MAYA DAVIS NOVEL. Maya Davis is twenty-four, single, working daily at the local coffee shop, Cool Beans, and loving life. That is until her roommate and best friend Jen starts dating. But she's not just dating anyone. She's dating Maya's ex-boyfriend, Travis, from five years before. And thus, Maya's perfect little world is flipped completely over. Can she deal with this new awkward relationship, her ever-annoying brother Zach moving back to town, and just sleeping through the night without her dog waking up the entire apartment complex?

Mangum returns after finishing her LAUREN HOLBROOK series with a new setting, new characters, and more humor and relationship drama. At times, Maya is very similar to Lauren from the previous series, with many of the same quirks and habits, and it was hard to distinguish the two characters from each other. The basic construct of Maya's world felt very similar to Lauren's, with single's group on Wednesday nights, a coffee shop, and church every Sunday. But that's about where the similarities in plot and character end. About a fourth of a way through, Maya begins to emerge as a character of her own.

The writing moves along swiftly. Most of the chapters are made up of dialogue between Maya and her friends, and Mangum uses these conversations to advance the story. A few of the ending "twists" are pretty easy to see coming, but the characters are so enjoyable that they make up for the weaker plot. The reason for Maya's breakup with Travis in the past is built up throughout the novel, but when the reality is revealed, it was almost a bit of a let-down, as we've been expecting something quite different from the truth. The drama never completely envelops the story, and things stay pretty light-hearted throughout.

Fans of Mangum's earlier books (MISS MATCH, REMATCH, and MATCH POINT) will enjoy a new outing with funny characters and hints of Robin Gunn Jones-esque drama. All said, reading COOL BEANS was often like sipping through a cup of coffee - warm and satisfying through to the end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I am a little too old and the wrong gender to be into Christian Chic-Lit, but I decided to give Cool Beans a try because I am an avid reader of a blog that Erynn regularly contributes to.([...]) I am soo glad I did. Great characters, plenty of twists and subplots, and a very satisfying ending that leaves a wide open door for the soon coming sequels. I recommend it to young women who desire a closer walk with God and who love well written books. I plan on purchasing Erynn's other books for my daughters. 5 stars!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Maya Davis is young, single, and happily thriving. But she soon discovers that life isn't all caffeine and sugar-highs. She has a few obstacles to maneuver through, and it isn't going to be easy. Working at a coffee shop and having nightmares about a world without chocolate now seems easy when compared to mending her not-so-great relationship with her brother, and figuring out how to explain to her best friend that the man she's falling hard for is Maya's ex. On top of everything, juggling life and her relationship with God is now harder than ever.

Review:
I love Erynn Mangum's writing! Although there were a few similarities between this book and the Lauren Holbrook series (my review), I didn't feel like it was overkill, the storyline was completely different so it still worked. Another great book by Erynn! Maya is in her early 20's but once again the age difference wasn't weird at all. Cool beans was very easy to relate to, fun, and exciting, I can't wait for the next book!

~Kit

Content:
Very clean, no cussing, LOTS of movies and books mentioned/quoted that are pg 13 (nothing bad in the quotes though.) Some dating and kissing.

[...]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was not disappointed in this new book from Erynn Mangum. She's got a great writing style that's easy to read. Her characters are so enjoyable and quirky. Mangum is definitely one of my favorite authors. The only problem is that her plot is a little bit similar to her last series...I would hope that she can change it up a little bit and not write stories that are close in their plotlines. She's very talented and I hope to see many more books from her. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed her previous ones.
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VINE VOICEon December 29, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Loved it, loved it, loved it! I've never read any Erynn Mangum books, and when this one was free for Kindle, I thought it looked entertaining. Maya Davis is a twenty-something who isn't perfectly secure in herself, yet she seems happily single. She's got great friends, but her choice of work in a coffee shop isn't up to the same standard of her perfect older brother who is a doctor. Plus, the one long-term relationship she had ended her freshman year in college, just when she thought things were going well. So when her best friend and also roommate, Jen, introduces Maya to her new boyfriend Travis, Maya's speechless when she recognizes him as the one man she's been trying to put behind her. The only thing is, he doesn't recognize Maya with a new hairdo and fitter physique. While Maya suffers with her decision of whether she should tell Jen about their past or not, she nearly misses her own chance at love.

Maya's other best friend, Jack, works at the coffee shop with her and they've been friends since second grade. Their continuous banter and lighthearted sarcasm makes their relationship work and makes the reader laugh.

I loved that this book is fresh and main character Maya Davis has a distinctive voice. I enjoyed that the book was written in first person. Maya's dog Calvin is hilarious and smart enough to participate in yoga videos. His "Roo, Roo" doggie talk to Maya is cute and anyone who loves dogs will fall in love with Calvin. Somehow, Maya and Jen stay slim by running and exercising despite their many late night ice cream and junk food binges. Lucky! You have to love a girl who things a Snickers bar provides protein in the peanuts and calcium in the milk chocolate.

Maya has a habit of writing things in top-5 lists on post-its, something that adds to the humor of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed Mangum's writing style and the witty dialogue. The only frustration I had in the book was in Mayas delay in telling Jen about her past with Travis. After a while I just felt like, "Tell her already and move on!"

All in all, this story of Maya's discoveries about life, love and faith is a heartwarming book and I look forward to more int he series.
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on March 1, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
A cute read from the first page! Maya had me laughing throughout, I soooo enjoyed her quirky sense of humor. One of the characters in the story even comments on how her sense of humor is a gift and it really is!! Whenever she is faced with a decision, she writes down pros and cons on sticky notepad paper. She loves God, coffee, her best friend/roommate, and her dog Calvin. Maya works hard as a barista at Cool Beans, but she also knows how to have a good time and the girl can eat junk food like a pro! It gets annoying in the story how everyone tells her to eat healthier and drink less coffee, but it's obvious that she's loved from her family and friends. It was frustrating that she constantly found reasons for NOT telling her best friend about Travis, but it keeps the plot interesting :) It kind of ends at a cliffhanger so I'm looking forward to reading the sequel. I have already read the entire Miss Match series and it's safe to say that if you're looking for an unconventionally light and laugh out loud book that speaks about faith in volumes and how to trust God more without preaching, Erynn Mangum is the author to seek out. *taking a breath* Mangum's books are a breath of fresh air, filled with chick flicks, cute animals, friendship, church, falling in love with the Word, and learning to be obedient to God with unexpectedly favorable results.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Cool Beans is vintage Erynn Mangum! If you loved the Lauren Holbrook series, you will be entranced with Maya Davis ~ expert barista, faithful friend and devoted dog owner. With witty and energetic prose, Erynn taps into the mind of a twenty something searching for her place in life while contending with an overachieving big brother, a former flame with an exceedingly short memory and Calvin, her Pilates obsessed beagle.

Peppered with references to Jane Austen and contemporary chick flicks, Cool Beans holds magnetic appeal for all ages and guarantees you will laugh, cry and sigh with heartfelt delight.

Blending brilliant characterisation with an infusion of spiritual truth and a shot of romance, Cool Beans is an experience to savour and will leave you with a little caffeine buzz all of its own!
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on April 11, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a great Christian novel and even though a Christian there's always the Devil to throw in a kink or two but Maya with a young heart that's been broken has to learn things the hard way. Maya works at a coffeeshop and is addicted to coffee, lol so what better place to work. She has good friends, good family but soon realizes that even the past can come back and bite you if you don't face the truth. It's funny, heartwarming and full of young mistakes and alot of growing up.
Thinking she's doing the right thing by not telling her friend about her new boyfriend could cause her to lose the trust of the one person she would never want to hurt.
Maya also learns to reach out to her annoying brother and sister in law and decides to quit taking things to heart.
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on February 6, 2015
Format: Paperback
I greatly enjoy Ms. Mangum’s books, chicklit for teenagers – but they appeal to this mom too. I also have two girls who love her books and can’t wait to read them.

I enjoyed Maya’s sense of humor and her sarcasm and the way she struggled to relate her life with God. The only thing I didn’t really like is that she went on and on about how she needs to tell her best friend she is dating an old boyfriend and she just doesn’t. . . and what was with the old boyfriend (dating something like five years) not recognizing her?

I have to say I loved Jack. Absolutely loved Jack. I can’t wait to read Latte Daze. If you like chicklit or first person/present tense books, you will love COOL BEANS. Highly recommended.
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