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Adult fans of Sophie Blackall (think the Ivy & Bean series) will adore this romantic and artistic take on real life. A favorite!
on October 5, 2011
You know those times when you catch the eye of a random stranger and suddenly life stops for a moment? It's those times when connections are made and then lost, in the blink of an eye. Within seconds you could have met the love of your life or your worst enemy, but due to a lack of time or nerves the connection was missed. What if you could track them down? What if there was a place to reconnect? Even if it meant putting yourself out there for the whole world to see? This is what happens when people take a chance on a Missed Connections.
My purchase and subsequent reading of Missed Connections was more than my need to stick my nose into the private lives of other people, though I'm sure that played a large role. Primarily, I picked up Missed Connections because of the author, Sophie Blackall, who I normally read with my children in her Ivy & Bean series for younger readers. I'm a huge fan, not only of her writing but her illustrations as well. There's a quirkiness to her art that's incredibly endearing and it never fails to hit my "laugh-out-loud" button; Missed Connections was no exception to this.
What was incredible about this book was the fact that every bit of it was taken from actual accounts of real people and "missed connections" from Craigslist. Much like Sophie mentions in the beginning of the book, I'd never heard of this before and ended up spending hours aimlessly perusing not only her Missed Connections blog, but also Craigslist as well. It's just too much fun to imagine how these anonymous people end up. In the introduction Sophie goes into a pretty good sum-up of why exactly we love seeing these types of things:
"With this deluge of response came the realization that I was not alone in finding Missed Connections as seductive as a Hugh Grant movie, as addictive as Facebook. (Just five more minutes to look at photos of the girl-I-was-never-friends-with-in-highschool's baby shower...) I knew why I was glued to them, but I wondered if those reasons were universal: the voyeurism, the vicarious romance, the unintentional comedy, the angst, the imagery."
" ...Each individual collision is a fragment of a story containing great big familiar themes of love, loss, and regret and, ultimately, and most importantly, hope. It's a hopeless sort of hope, but it's very compelling. We want to know if the guy gets the girl, don't we?
I have a confession to make.
I don't really want to know. I like a happy ending as well as the next person, but I love the mystery and the uncertainty and the electric current of possibility."
p.9 and p.13-14, Missed Connections by Sophie Blackall)
What was wonderful about how she stated all of this was that I suddenly felt connected through her "Missed Connections". I've never been one to need a nicely wrapped up package to enjoy a story. Obviously I do like things to be relatively happy in the end, but I don't feel the need to have everything spelled out for me. What Missed Connections does is give you that little glimpse into what "could be" in a few short sentences with a very quirky yet beautiful illustrations. For a sneak peek into what's to be found in Sophie Blackall's fantastic book I'd highly recommend taking a look at her blog, it's delightful!
One of the truly fun aspects of the book is discovering just how romantic and hopeful men are over women. Sophie shares that the number of men's requests outnumbers the women in a clean 70/30 split. Surprising, right? What I discovered though was that I loved the way the men in the book told their stories of Missed Connections, particularly the one mentioned on page 90. A short snippet out of the life a man who's first and last kiss happens over a beluga whale. Unusual perhaps, but I promise you'll nearly be in tears by the end of his short story.
Yes, Missed Connections is an illustrated book by the lovely Sophie Blackall. No, perhaps it isn't your typical "Chick Lit" read, but then again...maybe it is. It's non-fiction fiction for the Chick Lit reader. Perfect for those of us with a bit of a voyeuristic heart on the lookout for love in very obscure places, Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found is the perfect book to devour in a quiet afternoon or savor for days as you imagine just how each couple ended their version of "happily ever after". This is a book I recommend wholeheartedly to every reader out their who loves to be swept away in the what-if's? Personally, I'm in love! This is a favorite read this year and I'll be passing it along to every romantic I know!
Originally reviewed and copyrighted at my site, Chick Lit Reviews.