One botched florist delivery leads Lacey Terwillger to the discovery that she's become a cliché. Her husband, Mike, is cheating on her with his secret...moreOne botched florist delivery leads Lacey Terwillger to the discovery that she's become a cliché. Her husband, Mike, is cheating on her with his secretary. To top it off, it seems that she's just about the last person in town to find out. Even more humiliating is that everyone seems to have assumed that she knew because it “seemed so obvious.”
Outraged, Lacey decides to leave Mike, but not before she does one last thing. Using his company's monthly newsletter, Lacey writes down the details of her husband's affair and just how much of an asshat he is. Unfortunately, her bit of revenge backfires in her face. Yes, Mike is humiliated but he's also suing her for defamation. To make problems even worse, the newsletter has become an internet sensation making Lacey the most infamous woman in town.
In light of all the media attention and the negative reactions from the locals, Lacey slips off to her grandma's lake house. There she finds the quiet that she needs to recover from the 8 years of her life that she wasted trying to be the perfect corporate wife.
This was an interesting departure from Harper's paranormal romances. It has Harper’s usual humorous and light tone, but carries a more chick-lit vibe than romance. Yes, there is a romance between Lacey and her neighbor, Monroe, but it’s really a side plot to Lacey trying to navigate her life as she goes through the divorce.
Lacey was a strong narrator and I'm glad she didn't succumb to the urge to mope or bemoan her life. She was active in getting herself back on her feet and didn’t rely on others to pull her out of the divorce. I also liked that she didn’t immediately fall head over heels for her neighbor. It was a slow process that had them becoming friends first and even after that Lacey was hesitant about getting into another relationship. I also loved that Monroe was understanding and respectful of Lacey's decisions concerning their relationship.
What I really didn't like is how Lacey's husband was handled in the story. In the beginning, Mike was portrayed as a neglectful and cheating husband more concerned with his status in the community than his relationships with people. This was fine and more than enough reason for me to understand Lacey’s decision to leave him. But as the story progresses, Lacey has several flashback memories of Mike and recalls certain facts that paints him as a control freak and potential emotional abuser. A couple of examples: he monitors who she can and cannot be friends with, tries to cut her off from family members he deems unsuitable, and tells her that she can't get a job because it would "send the wrong impression" despite the fact that she clearly wanted to work. Yet, all this is brushed off by Lacey rationalizing it away which basically consists of her mostly blaming herself. Seriously? Not cool. This put a serious damper on the book for me. Yes, Lacey is happy at the end, but I really did not like her mental process while coming to terms with her relationship in contrast to these memories. I think Harper was trying to make it clear that Mike was a jerk, but she went a little too overboard for me. I would've much preferred it if she had just stuck with Mike just being a cheating status climber. (less)
1999. The year of Y2K craziness and before everyone and their mother had portable computers and almost constant access to the internet. With technolog...more1999. The year of Y2K craziness and before everyone and their mother had portable computers and almost constant access to the internet. With technology taking off, most companies began scrambling to find ways to monitor their employees' computer activity. Fear of slacking off at work and using company time for illicit things made many employers hire IT people to monitor the worker's online activity.
Lincoln is one of those IT people. His job consists of basically three things; reading red flagged e-mails, fixing the occasional computer problem, and being bored out of his mind. He hates his job. The late hours and reading other people's e-mails makes him feel like a voyeuristic troll. Despite his aversion to the job, he can't help but enjoy reading the red flagged e-mail exchanges between Jennifer and Beth.
Beth is a quick-witted movie critic and Jennifer is a paranoid editor who works at the local Iowa newspaper. They e-mail each other constantly throughout the work day about their personal lives and office gossip. The story alternates between Lincoln's story and the e-mails between Beth and Jennifer. Lincoln eventually develops a crush on Beth despite never having seen her and eventually travels topside in the company to try to figure out which of the reporters she is.
This is a pretty sweet story. I was a little leery about it at first since the plot sounded like it could venture into creepy stalker territory. However, luckily I never got that vibe from Lincoln. His interest in Beth always just felt like a crush you'd get on an oblivious co-worker. The e-mail reading was handled really well.
Lincoln was definitely the highlight of this story for me. Still reeling from his break-up with his longtime girlfriend, Lincoln took the job in the IT department thinking of it as something temporary until he figured out what to do with his life. Incredibly shy, Lincoln has a hard time branching out and meeting new people. He has his small group of friends and family that he keeps close, but otherwise isolates himself from the rest of the world. Throughout the novel, we get to see him build up his confidence and find direction in life.
In contrast to Lincoln, is Beth who is outgoing and doing a job she loves. We only get to know Beth through her e-mails with Jennifer. At times throughout the story, this annoyed me. While I enjoyed the e-mails, I wanted to know more about Beth and Jennifer than what you could get through their correspondence. Both of their characters were great and I got sucked into their individual stories. Beth with her emotionally unavailable musician boyfriend and Jennifer's paranoia about getting pregnant. I would have liked to have see a couple of chapters from their points of view interspersed throughout the novel.
I loved the plot of this book. A billionaire makes it so that his famous online game is to be brought into the real world after his death. The game es...moreI loved the plot of this book. A billionaire makes it so that his famous online game is to be brought into the real world after his death. The game essentially involves only three players, an assassin, a target, and a protector. The target is assigned a protector and is given a starting clue which leads to another clue and so on. The game doesn’t end until either the target is killed or solves the final clue. It sounds simple, but there are more rules to the game and it’s really fun to watch the characters run all over New York trying to stay ahead of the assassin. The book is fast paced and it manages to be believable as to why and how the characters got involved in the game. (less)
A bunch of short stories by Weiner. Some were okay and a few were great, but most of them seemed to just drop off. A lot of the stories felt like Wein...moreA bunch of short stories by Weiner. Some were okay and a few were great, but most of them seemed to just drop off. A lot of the stories felt like Weiner just didn’t have enough juices to sustain her for a whole book and just stopped writing.(less)