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Misery Loves Cabernet: A Novel Paperback – April 14, 2009
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The sequel to Gruenenfelder’s debut, A Total Waste of Makeup (2005), finds endearingly neurotic Los Angeles denizen Charlie Edwards facing a separation from her hunky boyfriend, Jordan. When Jordan announces that he’s going to Paris for several months to work on a film, Charlie suggests they take a break—a decision she regrets. Her best friends, Dawn and Kate, try to cheer her up, convincing her to go to a Halloween party where she runs into Liam, a handsome movie producer who wants Kate to convince her employer, megastar Drew Stanton, to star in his independent film. Eccentric Drew agrees, then starts making demands that include moving into Liam’s house, where the movie is being shot. This forces Liam to relocate to Charlie’s house, fanning the flames between them. Charlie is torn between wanting the gorgeous Liam and missing Jordan, who is never far from her thoughts. Gruenenfelder’s second novel provides plenty of laughs courtesy of its colorful cast of characters. --Kristine Huntley
“Delightfully funny... loaded with hilarious one-liners... [and] filled with tips for the heroine's future great-granddaughter that are insightful and witty.” ―Romantic Times (4 stars)
“A sweet tale of the Hollywood dating scene.” ―Chicago Sun-Times
“Gruenenfelder, a Hollywood screenwriter, knows her setting and her craft. Well-written characters and a wicked sense of humor help this debut stand above the usual chick-lit fare.” ―Library Journal
“The perfect love guide for every girl (and their granddaughters and grandnieces).” ―Cecilia Ahern, author of P.S. I Love You and Rosie Dunne
“A hilarious cast of characters and the funniest, coolest heroine since Stephanie Plum...you will not be able to put this one down.” ―MaryJanice Davidson, author of Undead and Unappreciated
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Top customer reviews
Gotta say, the title is what first caught my attention - I love it. But, I didn't want to purchase it just because it had a catchy title so I jumped down to the reviews. I don't typically read reviews that give away the story and this wasn't an exception but what I discovered was that an overwhelming majority of the reviewers loved the book. The only concern I had was that it appeared to be part of a series, and not the first one. If I know a book is part of a series, my preference is to read them in order. So, I checked into the first book. It didn't seem bad but it didn't intrigue me as much as Cabernet did. Kind of broke my own rule when I started with the second book.
Anyway, I really liked this book a lot. It's about a woman making it on her own. She's got quirky and interesting people in her life and ridiculously funny things happen to her. I've said before that the heroine may not know who the hero is but that I want it to be clear to the reader because if it's not clear to me, I don't enjoy the story as much.
Well, this book makes an exception to that theory because I had no idea who the hero was supposed to be but I didn't care. I was enjoying the journey Charlie (the heroine) was on and I was looking forward to seeing where it took her.
And I loved the characters in the book. In particular, I loved Drew - Charlie's boss. She's his assistant. He's like a little boy that doesn't know about "boundaries". Honestly, I was rooting for him to be the hero because they kind of complemented each other. She'd probably want to kill him in a year or two but the book doesn't take it that far so they would've been fine. ;)
Now, I've said I loved the book but there was something that bothered me from early on. Cabernet is what I'm going to call an independent book. I don't mean stand alone as in one of a series of books that continues the story but it stands on its own. I mean independent as in - in my opinion - the beginning and ending of the book don't allow for a satisfying story before or after the story in this book. To me, this book opened in the exact right place and had a satisfying ending. Thing is, what I know about the first book, it also had a satisfying ending. Had I read it first (and assuming it is as good as this one) I probably would've snatched this one up in a heartbeat, thinking it would be a continuation of the satisfying ending. Of course, that's making assumptions on my part but I just can't see myself reading the first book now without being annoyed by it. The same would go for a book that would follow this one. Sad too because I really did love this book.
So, bottom line is, I loved this book. Definitely will read other books by this author . . . just not necessarily ones that follow this same character's story. :)
What can I say about this book? It was a cheap indulgence that I kept reading through (yet strategically hid the cover from any onlooker's sight). If you're in the mood for a chick book, sure, why not? The main character, whose first person narration we follow, is fairly funny. I certainly had many "lol" moments throughout. Sometimes I would have a fit of laughter. And then others I was keenly aware that she was trying too hard to be funny. What I am most certainly aware of is that everyone in this book is a character. The personalities are, to me, very contrived. I found her girlfriends to be typical girls (maybe this is why everyone likes this book?). Personally, I would never hang out with any of them (except the main character) so I kind of found them to be annoying and dreaded the points at which they were part of the dialogue. I was annoyed when nobody called out the friend who cheated on their fiance (a moral issue for me). And then I felt like the hunky heart throb was just that--a figment of one's oh-so-hopeful imagination. The main character, Charlie, just tears and claws at her self-image in front of this man repeatedly and yet somehow he continues to stick around. Meh. Highly unlikely. (it's fiction, remember it's purely fiction)
So if you're looking for a mindless chick read, feeling down about your singleness (*ehem*) and don't have a ton of other options, I will say go for it. You have your main character, your unrequited love, zainy characters (whatever that means), some Hollywood glitz and glamor, and the suspense of wondering throughout "who will she end up with?". I won't tell you the ending. But I will say, after 358 pages of reading, I did not leave with any warm and fuzzy feelings. Nor did I feel enlightened. I felt like the author was trying to figure out how to wrap it up and threw the ending together so that she didn't have to write 500 pages.
But that's just my take.
And scene. That's a wrap.