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"Fern is fun company, and possesses a lively, humorous, likably down-to-earth voice that keeps the tale moving briskly. Some lines are laugh-out-loud funny...Omasta also makes great use of her Florida location, adding lots of local culture and color...a good vacation read." - Kirkus Reviews.
"This is a hilarious, yet emotional sweet read." - The Kindle Book Review
About the Author
These bios are generally rather dry, so I thought I'd shake up the format a little bit. Here are ten not-so-interesting tidbits about me: 1. I despise whipped cream. There, I admitted it in writing. Let the ridiculing begin. 2. Even though I have lived as far south as Key Largo, Florida and as far north as Maine, I landed in the middle. 3. If I don't make a conscious effort not to, I will drink nothing but tea morning, noon, and night. Hot tea, sweet tea, green tea - I love it all. 4. There doesn't seem to be much in life that is better than coming home to a big dog who is overjoyed to see me. My other family members usually show significantly less enthusiasm about my return. 5. Singing in my bestest, loudest voice does not make my family put on their happy faces. This includes the big, loving dog referenced above. 6. Yes, I am aware that bestest is not a word. 7. Dorothy was right. There's no place like home. 8. All of the numerous bottles in my shower must be lined up with their labels facing out. It makes me feel a little like Julia Roberts' mean husband from the movie 'Sleeping with the Enemy,' but I can't seem to control this particular quirk. 9. I love, love, love finding a great bargain. 10. Did I mention that I hate whipped cream? It makes my stomach churn to look at it, touch it, smell it, or even think about it. Great - now I'm thinking about it. Ick!
Fern Burns is a 42-year-old who lives in Key Largo and works at a swanky beach club where millionaires and billionaires come to relax and unwind. She's been keeping a diary every year since she was a child. During her forty-second year, she has a few adventures coming her way.
I would have given this book a higher rating if this fictional diary had been written by someone who is 16-22, not 42. Fern is a bit happy-go-lucky, but more than that, she's completely shallow. Everything she thinks about the situations she writes about you could picture coming out of a sassy teen's mouth. For a woman who's embarking on middle age, I would have hoped she could see past many of the things that hang her up about other people, especially their physical attributes. And since Fern doesn't grow as a character (she's still pretty shallow by the last page) it's annoying that she gets to have a happy ending. All because she occasionally glances over at her copy of The Secret? Please.
In terms of other characters in the novel, there really aren't any. Yes, Fern talks about her coworkers, family and flings, but because it's all tell and no show considering the diary format, everyone else that appears in the book are just stock characters. A diary entry at the beginning of the chapter moving into a regular narrative would give the reader a better way to get to know other characters in the protagonist's life.
Overall, this book reminds me of sitting and listening to a friend tell a bunch of stories about people you don't know (and probably don't care about) and trying to stay awake for it all. Don't waste your time.
So I knew going in to this book it would've different because it is just reading Fern's diary entries, however, I was not prepared for how detached from the story that made me feel. There is no real interaction with any of the other characters, which was not something that I enjoyed. I also found Fern to be very immature for a 42 year old woman. She is flighty and somewhat annoying. I had a difficult time liking her, make this an especially tough read since the entire book was her journal entries. I also did not realize this is the beginning of a series, which I am assuming is the case based on the fact that the ending was left wide open.
This is one of the purest pieces of chick lit I have ever read. That's not a dis; I enjoyed it a lot, including Fern's voice.
As other reviewers have said, Fern does not present as 42 years old; maybe more like 25. I was quite curious about how she spent the intervening years between dropping out of college and taking this menial job at an exclusive country club in the Florida Keys.
Still, this is her diary, and I did enjoy her voice. The plot, such as it is, is pretty predictable but I didn't care. Fern came alive for me, even though in many ways she's shallow- she's still a nice person, and gets into predicaments because of that.
I didn't mind some of the grammatical errors- it's a diary, after all!- but using "queue" for "cue" several times was disconcerting.
Recommended for a very light, quick read with a fun voice.
A light fun read set in a diary format. You don't get much insight into the other characters but reading about Fern's take on her days was funny. Even her mom's visit which was short and could have been a complete disaster had some funny parts (really, 2 brownies? lol). Fern is 42 so that is a bit older than I typically read but it was a young 42 not a stuffy one. I feel that so many of the older women books tend to make them halfway to the grave. This one was trying new things and having adventures. The ending is a cliffhanger, so beware.
I live in Florida so am a sucker for any books that are set here, as we tend to be a hotbed of quirkiness. Ann Omasta captures that well in The Keys to My Diary, a fun and lighthearted look at her 42nd year of life in the Florida Keys. Living in Key Largo, working at a yacht club and in search of "Prince Charming", this is a fun and sometimes emotional look at the life of someone who knows how to have a good time yet still has some growing up to do. So hope that there are more diaries to come as I am now hooked.
OK, so others wrote that Fern is shallow and doesn't act like a 42 year old. Who cares? This is not meant to be a deep character study, just a light and interesting summer-fling type of book. And it is all that, and I enjoyed it!
I cannot stand this book and so far have not managed to finish it, despite my nagging eternal need to know how things end. This means I could be judging without knowing the end.
The cliché wish-fulfillment nature is so far absurd and I say this as someone who reads a lot of romance novels. The character is likable but not dimensional, the perfect millionaire character has so far lacked all complexity and nuance. And the sex scenes read with a kind of ludicrous heavy-handedness that removes any chance of sexiness (at least for me).
For the record, I am all for a good piece of fluff, but even with my fluff I like some sense of "this is worth believing in." Whereas this book feels like someone read the idea that dwelling on positive thoughts makes good things happen and then took it to its extreme and wrote that as a book.
This book is written in a diary format, as expected. But yet some of the diary entries seemed forced - they didn't always feel like what someone would actually write in a diary.
The main character, Fern, has a good voice thru her diary entries, but her character is unbelievable as a 42 year old single woman who has only had a couple of serious relationships in her entire life, and even those were very short. She works as basically a cabana-girl at her age? And that she had to dorm with much younger coworkers? And that she had basically no job skills? As another reviewer noted, it would all make much more sense if Fern had been 25-28 years old. She was also very shallow in her relationships with friends, coworkers and dates.
It was still an enjoyable book. One just needs to read past the implausibility of any part of the story.