Sara's Reviews > Arranged

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
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Jul 08, 12

bookshelves: 2012, adult-fiction
Read from July 06 to 08, 2012

Anne Blythe (named after Anne of Green Gables by her obsessed mom) is 33 years old, single with a string of bad relationships because of her poor judgment, and jealous of her best friend's recent engagement. On a whim, she decides to call a dating service to see if perhaps they can help her find her perfect match, only the dating service she calls turns out to be an arranged marriage service. She decides that she may as well go with it, since she's having terrible luck on her own and thinks it might be better for someone else to find a compatible match so she wont just be attracted to a guy's looks. Things proceed, and as Anne's personal life changes and grows complicated, she learns a lot about herself and what she truly wants out of life.

I loved this book! I recently read the author's first book, Spin, and really enjoyed it, but this one was even better. I could probably start rereading it now - and I just finished it this afternoon. It has such a simple plot, especially at the beginning when the premise is being set up, but the author did an amazing job turning it into something that I couldn't put down. While the novel was somewhat predictable in how it'd end, the journey getting there was so fun and so interesting; I couldn't predict how specific scenes would end or certain problems resolved.

As the narrator, Anne kept me entertained, and I liked her immediately. I could understand why she'd been making so many poor choices while still hoping for a fairy tale outcome. She was funny, witty, and charming throughout - I even laughed out loud at some parts. The characters surrounding Anne were so well done as well; everyone played a supporting role in Anne's journey, and there was so much growth in the friendships and relationships throughout. Also, the romance plot was incredibly well done; I don't think all authors could create such a believable relationship out of nothing. I felt myself falling in love alongside Anne.

The story moved along at a great pace. Halfway through the book, I was thoroughly enjoying it but had no clue where else the plot would go, but the pace never slowed down! I wouldn't call the plot itself incredibly deep, but there were a number of insightful moments along the way, discussing friendships and relationships, self-realization through therapy, and so on. Anne made a great character transformation as she came to realize what she truly wanted out of life and what she'd have to do to get it, changing some of her old habits and basically turning into a new, improved version of herself.

Yes, this is chick lit and definitely not a book for everyone, but if you're looking for a sweet, romantic, funny, deeper-than-it-seems read, this is a novel to check out. Also, there are plenty of Anne of Green Gables references throughout the story, which was fun. The author did such a great job tying everything together, keeping me interested and continually wanting more. I feel like this novel has the potential for a sequel, but perhaps that's just me wanting more. At any rate, I'm very excited for the author's next book!
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather Funny, I didn't get an e-mail about this review and I was just thinking I should read "Anne of Green Gables" next. Now I have incentive. :)


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