This month I decided to read Forget Me Knot by Sue Margolis.
First, a synopsis, this one from the Chapters site:
Florist Abby Crompton has a knack for arranging the most exquisite bouquets for the hippest clientele. If only her personal life could run as smoothly. Although her fiancé, Toby, proposed a month ago, Abby's still waiting for the ring. An up-and-coming lawyer, Toby's been far too busy to shop-let alone muster the energy for romance. If that wasn't frustrating enough, the night she's supposed to meet her future mother-in-law, Abby gets stuck in an elevator-with a sexy stranger bearing fine wine. Needless to say, a tipsy Abby arrives late for dinner and doesn't make the best impression.I had passed by this book a few times at work until one day I finally decided to pick it up (I think it was in the last few weeks when I knew I would be leaving soon and wanted to get as many books with my discount as possible. Hey, don't judge. You would do the same thing!) I'm glad I did read it, even though it wasn't one of my favourites. Let me explain...
In the aftermath of the dinner disaster, Abby is thrilled to learn that a film studio wants to use her shop in an upcoming movie. But when she meets the director, Dan, she's shocked to discover that he's none other than the same man with whom she shared the elevator-and some highly personal information. Now, with Toby putting in more overtime, Abby's feeling even more neglected. And her attraction to Dan is growing daily-as her own life begins to mirror the romantic comedy he's shooting.
Featuring an irrepressible heroine, Forget Me Knot blooms with charm, wit, and fun.
I think the thing that bothered me the most was that there was so much going on! Let me show you what I mean with this oh so fantastical character web:
Here's an example. I picked up the book thinking the main story was Abby and her fiance Toby, and how they had hit a rough patch and she just happens to meet Dan while stuck in an elevator. Take another look at the synopsis. You think so too, right? Well, we're wrong. This story gets settled halfway through the book! I honestly wasn't sure what to expect after that, and I think that's where Margolis lost me. I felt like a lot of the second half of the book wasn't necessary. There's a whole other story going on with Abby's mum and dad (they're British, hence my use of "mum" instead of "mom") that, while I understand why it is important to Abby, didn't really see the point of. There was an intriguing twist with Dan, but I did see it coming (read it and let me know if you did too!)
I did love Abby, even though I thought she was a bit daft (still trying to be British while writing this review) by staying with Toby when it was so clearly not working out. She was a self made woman, who owned her own flower shop (so cool and different!) and the flat above it. She was even doing well enough to have an assistant, the prerequisite gay friend, Martin "Scoredaisy". The shop had been featured in several magazines and news articles and Abby was getting a lot of high end clients from these reviews. Way to go, girl! Her best friend Sophie is always there for her, as a best friend should be, and plays the "short, jelly bean shaped" card against the tall, slender, attractive Abby. Our heroine has a man who loves her, albeit one who always seems to be at the law office trying to make partner, but then she gets stuck in an elevator on the way to meet the future mother-in-law and it all goes to hell in a hand basket.
I won't give away all the extra story lines, some of which were cute, others were just excessive. I do recommend this book, even if it seems like I hated it. I didn't, honestly. And, if we're being honest, I finished it in the midst of one hell of a headache, so perhaps that coloured my judgement slightly. If you like cute and fun books, with pretty kick ass main characters, this is worth checking out. I have another of Margolis' sitting on my bookshelf, waiting patiently for its turn (Perfect Blend, in case you were wondering) and I look forward to reading that one too. If I were to rate Forget Me Knot with stars, I think I'd give it 3.5...just not quite at 4, very close though. Check it out from your library, and let me know what you think.
To close with this review, I want to include a quote that I thought was just perfect in describing romance and chick lit novels. Abby and Dan are talking about the plot of Dan's film and how it is a romance that follows a formula...
"But all the way through, you know it's going to work out for them in the end."I feel like that quote sums up how we all feel about these kinds of books and movies. We know how it'll end up, but we don't know how it's going to get there. And that's what we love.
He looked apologetic. "That tends to be how rom-coms work. They're like Greek tragedies. They always follow an identical pattern. You know the routine: man meets woman, usually after some kind of complicated mix-up. They begin a tentiative relationship. Smething happens to split them up. They either get back together or form new relationships."
"No, I get that - I really do. Everyboday adores those plots. You love knowing but not knowing."
I'm loving this Chick Lit Challenge so far and am really happy I signed up for it. It's given me the chance to read what others think about some of my favourite books, and learn about new books to read too. Now I have to put on my thinking cap and figure out what the next book will be. I think March will be a debut author month, and I think I have the perfect one picked out. Stay tuned...