Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review: A Girl Like You

By Melissa Amster

Did you get a déjà vu feeling from the heading of this post? If you were here in the beginning of 2011, you might be asking yourself, “didn’t she review a book with this title before?” And you would be correct! So I was a bit hesitant to read another book with the same title, given that the cover art didn’t really stand out for me (I like people on covers as opposed to designs). However, when I read the summary, I just had a feeling that this would be something I’d enjoy. And I would be correct on that belief!

Emma Frazier is a journalist for a Florida lifestyle magazine and tends to second-guess her writing talents, no matter how much praise she receives. She also second guesses her appearance, and after being called the “ugly friend,” she questions whether she’ll stand a chance at potentially dating her boss, Ben Gallagher. In an impulsive move to capture his interest, she promises an exclusive interview with a NASCAR legend from her hometown, Trip Monroe. In order to connect with Trip, she takes a journey to her past by spending more time in Catfish Cove. However, getting access to him is proving to be a challenge. While she’s back home, she learns new truths about her family and love and realizes the importance of staying true to oneself.

As I started getting into Maria Geraci's latest novel, “A Girl Like You,” I couldn’t help but recommend it to my friends. I had no idea what the outcome of the story would be, but I just knew I’d love it the whole way through. Emma’s voice was so comfortable and easygoing. She felt like a close friend and I could easily see myself spending time with her. Emma was kind to her friends, family and co-workers. Did this make her a bit of a doormat? Yes, but a lovable doormat! When she did stand up for herself, well, watch out world! She had a strong sense of integrity and felt she owed it to herself and others to do the right thing. I loved watching her interact with the people in her life…her mothers with their sandwich hug approach, her two closest girlfriends, her romantic interests, and the people she worked with on a daily basis, including her crush object of a boss. The dialogue was genuine throughout the story and never became stale. There were lots of surprises and the story would go in a direction I wasn’t expecting several times, which kept me on my toes. I probably could have done without the imagery of Cow Chip Bingo, but to each their own!

“A Girl Like You” had an Ugly Betty feel to it overall. I loved that show and Maria Geraci was able to access the warm, fuzzy, “comfort food” feelings I got from watching it every week and put them into a book. I couldn’t help but make comparisons between Emma and Betty. They are both attractive, even though they don’t come off that way all the time and usually become self conscious; they both work for a magazine and want to focus on important stories instead of the fluff; they both are kind-hearted and good to everyone in their lives; they both have hot bosses and manage to snag other attractive guys, etc. I even pictured America Ferrera playing Emma in a movie version of this novel, just based on some descriptive clues.

If you’re looking for an intense drama, I hate to disappoint you, but you won’t find it in “A Girl Like You.” It’s a sweet, happy-go-lucky piece that was a pleasure to read and had me grinning from beginning to end. I definitely recommend it, especially if you want a feel-good chick lit novel to chill with during these hot summer days (or any other time of the year).

Thanks to BookSparks PR for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Maria will be visiting Chick Lit Central next week and we'll be giving away a copy of "A Girl Like You" to a lucky US reader!

More by Maria Geraci:

1 comment:

susieqlaw said...

Your review makes me want to read this book. Thank you for the recommendation.