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St. Martin’s Griffin
June 19, 2018
Rosie and Ben have spent the last ten years making hit movies together. Rosie is content with a simpler life, but Ben wants all that Hollywood has to offer, including the big house, expensive summer vacations, and lots of posh brunches with famous people. He’s so focused on his own ambition that he cheats on Rosie with a rich and successful hotshot movie producer in order to promote his own film. Rosie finds out and is devastated, but Ben expresses no remorse or hesitation when he tells her the relationship is over.
Crushed, Rosie decides she has to leave L.A. She drives up to beautiful Montecito, CA to try to figure out what she wants from herself and her life. While there, she meets a quirky and caring group of people who help her see how good life can be once she surrounds herself with kind and loyal friends.
I really wanted to love this book. It’s got all the good stuff: eccentric characters, an easily hate-able boyfriend, a beautiful setting, a saucy love interest, and a satisfying, happy ending. Unfortunately, though, the book almost has too much of all of it—to the point that the story isn’t even close to believable. I had trouble buying that Rosie was so blindly dedicated to such a self-serving a-hole like Ben. Her new love interest, Josh, isn’t much better when he states pretty much immediately that women are to blame for all of men’s problems. (It becomes Rosie’s mission to convince him to take another chance on love, and their relationship’s tortured ups and downs are definitely over the top.) I also didn’t buy that so many people would immediately open themselves up to Rosie or that her “second start on life” would come so easily—though I’ll admit that I did like all the quirky people she met…
My biggest gripe, unfortunately, was with Rosie herself. I was sympathetic to her hardships and really wanted her to get it together and make a better life for herself. But I grew tired of her reacting to every situation by giggling girlishly, blushing, or running away in a fit of tears when things got tough. I wanted her to have more of a backbone. I wanted to see strength and heart, grit. But she doesn’t show a lot of that, especially in the first half of the story.
Ultimately, this book is just okay. If you’re looking for something mindless and light, it still might be a fun read. Just don’t expect a lot of depth or believability.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the ARC!