Amanda's Reviews > When in Doubt, Add Butter

When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison
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Apr 19, 12

bookshelves: first-reads, chick-lit
Read in April, 2012

I tend to have different expectations of books I read from the chick-lit genre. I like these books to be light and fluffy, expect to read about ridiculous and unrealistic situations, expect nothing truly bad to happen, and expect that everything will all turn out okay. Basically, I want to read them on the beach with a smile on my face and a willingness to set them down and do other vacation stuff. Based on these expectations I enjoyed When in Doubt, Add Butter.

Positives:
- I enjoyed reading about the cooking stuff (although I wish the cover had been different... it made me think she was a cupcake baker instead of a personal chef)
- I laughed frequently at the crazy descriptions of some of the families that Gemma cooked for.
- While I saw the love interest plot twist coming from very early on I still enjoyed reading about it.
- I felt warm and fuzzy while reading this book and smiled a lot.

Negatives:
- The book was hard to get into. The first several chapters seemed to drag on. The book did pick up about 1/4 of the way through and from there I found the reading to be really easy.
- The author tends to tell the reader stuff instead of showing the reader, particularly in the early chapters. The beginning just felt like such a back story lecture and sort of jumped around a little to much for me.
- The epilogue was ridiculous. I get that Harbison was trying to wrap up all the plot points by telling the reader what happened to everyone in the story but their outcomes were so unrealistic (particularly Angela's) that it really left me with a bad note when I had been enjoying the book.
- There is a teen pregnancy back story that I never understood the point of. I guess it was supposed to be character development and help explain Gemma's later decisions but it really didn't seem to serve a point to me. I think the book would have worked fine without this plot point and I think the writing would have felt a little less choppy with the teenage pregnancy story line removed.

Overall, I enjoyed When in Doubt, Add Butter and think it makes a nice beach read. I didn't love the book enough to seek out other books by the same author but I will certainly recommend the book to friends looking for a fun chick-lit read.

Note: I was provided with a free ARC of this book through the Goodreads' First Reads program but my opinions on the book are entirely my own.


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