By Melissa Amster
Ever since one of my friends from my neighborhood found out that I like chick lit, she and I have been giving each other book recommendations. We have similar tastes, so she told me that I'd love Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich. Well...she was right!
Holly Brennan used food to comfort herself through her husband’s illness and death. Now she’s alone at age thirty-two. And she weighs more than she ever has. When fate throws her in the path of Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to pro athletes, and he offers to train her, Holly concludes it must be a sign. Much as she dreads the thought of working out, Holly knows she needs to put on her big girl panties and see if she can sweat out some of her grief.
Soon, the easy intimacy and playful banter of their training sessions lead Logan and Holly to most intense and steamy workouts. But can Holly and Logan go the distance as a couple now that she’s met her goals—and other men are noticing? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)
Big Girl Panties was enjoyable throughout and I found it hard to put down once I got started. Holly was a very sympathetic character and I like that she had an edge to her personality. She had been through some hard times and was guarded, but her sense of humor shone through her tough facade. Logan was likable, as well. He came off as shallow at first, but he was also really sweet and just the kind of guy a girl would want in her corner. I think he was a product of what everyone else expected for him and he wasn't sure what to do when he became attracted to someone outside of that comfort zone. Really, the story was She's All That, but for adults. (Although, it also reminded me of Shallow Hal in some ways.) There were interesting messages about confidence and body image. Holly was always doubting herself, but then projecting that onto Logan without giving him the benefit of the doubt. It made for some misunderstandings throughout the story.
As you may already know, I'm all about novels with good "romantic" scenes. The more cigarettes I need after such scenes, the better. (And I don't even smoke!) Stephanie Evanovich didn't let me down one bit in that department! Also, her descriptions made it easy to visualize people and places. Then again, it took place in a town where I once lived, so I had some images in my head already. While I wish I didn't have to associate this book with that town, she did a good job not mentioning anything related to my experience living there. (Not like she'd know about my experience, but given that her characters weren't Jewish, that helped.)
The only thing that didn't work for me so well was the perspective shifts within a section. She should have separated out who was narrating. She'd be sharing Holly's thoughts on a situation, and then suddenly the perspective would shift to Logan without any warning. It became confusing at times. She also did this with secondary characters. Speaking of secondary characters though, I really liked Holly's friends, Amanda and Tina. They were each meddlesome in their own way, even though they had good intentions. The story even motivated me on my quest to finally shed the weight I've still kept on after giving birth almost three years ago. I'm currently trying out one of the techniques and it seemed to have an effect over the past week. I guess time will tell...
I could definitely see this as a movie and I already have a cast in mind.
Holly: Melissa McCarthy (She's the only one I pictured in this role from the moment I started this novel.)
Logan: Victor Webster (I originally had Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. "The Rock" in mind, but then I saw a picture of Victor on an article about guys from Sex and the City and he just totally fit the bill.)
Amanda: Eva Longoria
Chase: Josh Lucas
Tina: Kristen Wiig
You might also enjoy: