Most helpful critical review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
"Everything's blowing up right in front of your eyes"
on April 13, 2014
That's what a mysterious blonde keeps telling Allie Crawford, a frazzled thirty-something Manhattan wife and mother, a career woman who dreams of becoming a screenwriter. Perhaps author Holly Peterson hoped to whip up some drama and excitement, but by that point, alas, she simply managed to render me still more confused -- so confused, indeed, that I never managed to really recover to the point where I could figure out what kind of novel I was reading. Was it a classic chick lit book about a woman trying to get through a mid-life/mid-career slump? Trying to forge a new path? Discovering unpleasant things about her husband? What role will an old boyfriend and the hunky new guy in her screenwriting class play? When all of these possibilities are still murky halfway through the book, I knew I was in trouble. Even more so, because I discovered I simply didn't care all that much. Yup, I was bored.
Everything is exaggerated for effect, from the too-glamorous Jackie Malone, who keeps dropping ominous warnings in Allie's ears about what her husband and the men around her are up to, but somehow fails to give her enough details to put two and two together -- while giving her plenty of reasons not to trust her. Allie's actions from this point on struck me as downright inexplicable as she gyrates between being uber-tough Manhattan PR girl extraordinaire and then hysterical female being trampled on and victimized.
And frankly, the details of the alleged shenanigans didn't make sense, when we finally got to the point where they were revealed.
At least some of this wouldn't have mattered had I cared about the characters, but most of them were too two-dimensional for that to happen: they were there to fill some requirement in the plot, and that was it.
This is the kind of novel I'll normally polish off in a day or two (I read Peterson's debut, "The Manny", on a single airplane ride...) This specific book, however, took five full days to finish: I kept picking it up with reluctance and putting it down with relief. I had been looking for a lightweight, frivolous and entertaining book to read to follow some heavier books I'd been making my way through, but while this certainly fills the first category, I think it might actually be trying to take itself seriously, and it certainly didn't qualify as entertaining for me, alas.