Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: The Cell Phone Lot

By Jami Deise

I’m not the type of person to use the cell phone lot. I rarely end up having to pick up someone at the airport, and when I do I usually get there late and pull up right to the terminal. I know there are people who get to airports a half hour before their loved ones’ flights arrive, and those cell phone lots are life-savers. To them I say, “There’s no reason to get there so early! You’re doing them a favor! Let them wait!” But if you insist on being the good guy and getting to the airport early enough to catch a flight of your own, I recommend you take along Stephanie Elliot’s novella, "The Cell Phone Lot." It’s a short, quick read that will keep you entertained even if your passenger’s flight is delayed. And it may lead you to give a second or third look to those drivers parked around you. And why not? You already know they’re reliable enough to pick up people at the airport and get there early.

Set in snowy Chicago, the cell phone lot is inhabited by Grant, who’s there to pick up an online could-be girlfriend from LA (Melissa), and Bridge (not Bridget!), who’s there to pick up her sister. Everyone else in Chicago is much better at time management, so they have the lot to themselves. When Bridge’s phone dies – and then her car – Grant comes to her rescue. The two decide to trek up to the airport in Grant’s Jeep, and when they discover both flights have been delayed, proceed to get to know each other better. But with Melissa jetting her way across the country to meet Grant, do he and Bridge really have a chance?

I liked the story, although I found Bridge to be a little flaky and Grant a little too obvious. But in a novella, the writer doesn’t have the space to delve into her characters’ complexities. And Elliot does preview Grant’s misgivings about Melissa before he meets Bridge, so he doesn’t seem like a creep for hitting on one girl while another is flying in to meet him.

Elliot creates a feeling of destiny between the two characters that lends a movie-type feel to the story. Fans of movies like Sleepless in Seattle or Serendipity will definitely enjoy “The Cell Phone Lot.”

"The Cell Phone Lot" is 99 cents for Kindle. Stephanie Elliot can be found at her blog, "Booking with Manic," where she celebrates chick lit and does tons of giveaways. 

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