Tuesday, July 12, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Declaring Spinsterhood by Jamie Lynn Braziel

Release Date: May 3rd, 2011
Publisher: AmazonEncore
Page Count: 227
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Emma Bailey is fed up with the dating scene, and if she hears her mother nag one more time about getting married... well, she's had it, and she wants everyone to know it. In a moment of clarity (or insanity?), she announces to the world that she will never marry.

No husband and no kids, no worries about diapers, driving lessons, or divorce. Her friends are there for her, but they're also involved in their own lives and loves, so off she goes into a world of casual dating. But what happens when the avowed spinster, the woman who has supposedly tucked her heart into a safe little space, suddenly realizes that her best friend, Brian, means more than a casual relationship?

Jamie Lynn Braziel's Declaring Spinsterhood delivers with this enjoyable romp through dating, friendship, and passion.
What Stephanie Thinks: Braziel's debut is a comedic, light, and relatable summer read I adore. The pickle Emma gets herself into makes me laugh and wince at the same time. Granted, the situation is a bit dramatic, but it still makes for great chick-lit! And fiction isn't supposed to 100% realistic anyway; readers always long for the happy ending she gets.

The plot flows deliciously. Even though it is highly predictable, I held onto the book because it was fun to read. Even the secondary issues, not including Emma and Brian's complicated relationship, are predictable, but they're still fun all the same. Emma's voice is klutzy (like me!) and entertaining, but also shamelessly truthful. She is both a cynic and a hopeless romantic, which makes for a likable protagonist. What I don't like is how immature she is. The way she acts towards her parents and her friends establishes a rather whiney, grumpy teenager persona, rather than the thirty-year-old unmarried loner she is. But I guess that's what makes her a bit of an odd ball; overall, I appreciated her and her cute humor.

Another problem I have is with her relationship with Brian, her supposed best friend. Halfway into the book, Emma suddenly admits to having feelings for him; a lot of these feelings seem to be yielded because of the fact that he is always there for her, and that he is breathtakingly handsome. This is a bit confusing because Brian has always had Emma's back, and I assume he's always been attractive, so why is she just now beginning to like him? Either way, the manner in which they act towards each other tells me they never were "just friends" to begin with. Do just friends sleep together (in the same bed) and kiss each other just for show? I don't do that with my guy friends.

Emma acts indecisive, also; her declared spinsterhood doesn't last long, and as expected, she ends up with her best-friend-who-she never-considered-boyfriend-material-until-he-is-unavailable. Despite these little annoying quirks Braziel doesn't clear up within the novel, I really enjoyed this easy, breezy book. It is surprisingly entertaining and hits close to home in terms of the search for true love and satisfaction.

Stephanie Loves: "He sighed in exasperation. 'If you keep finding something wrong with every man you date, you'll never get married.' He wagged his finger at me. 'Only one man walked on water, Emma, and that was Jesus.' The old adage. 'He's not available, so I suggest you find someone else.'"

Radical Rating: 9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥