This is the second book that I've reviewed for a blog tour and I'd like to thank Samantha at CLP Blog Tours and Chantel Simmons for letting me be a part of it! I also want to thank Chantel for the sweet handwritten note that sent with the book :)
As a former bookseller, I had seen Love Struck on the shelves and thought it looked pretty cute - come on, a pink umbrella with hearts on it? How could I not pick it up? But I just never got around to reading it because I wasn't sure if I would like it. When I got the chance to be a part of this blog tour, I thought it was as good a time as any to give it a shot.
Here's the synopsis from Chapters:
In the vein of her popular debut novel, Stuck in Downward Dog, author Chantel Simmons brings us a funny, heartfelt story about losing the perfect life-and finding a real one.
When twenty-seven-year-old image consultant Poppy Ross discovers that her handsome and seemingly devoted husband Parker is having an affair, she is dumbfounded. Before she has chance to confront him, however, he is struck by lightning. When he regains consciousness, he has lost his short-term memory-including that of the affair. Given a chance to erase history and possible save her marriage, Poppy decides to remake herself in the mistress's image, so that Parker might never be tempted to stray again. Her quest to become his perfect woman has disastrous and hilarious results-and might turn out to be the worst thing possible for her marriage.I have to be honest...I didn't love this book, but, I didn't hate it either. It was still one of those ones that I didn't want to put down because I needed to find out what was going to happen. I think I know why I wasn't a huge fan though, so let me explain that and then I'll give you reasons why other people would probably love this book and why I'd still recommend it.
I found this novel very similar to the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. I've read every single Shopaholic book and every time I want to strangle Becky because she's just so dumb when it comes to money. But, I keep reading them because things always turn out in the end. It was the same with Poppy. She decides to try and make herself over to look like the woman she believes is having an affair with her husband. I guess I can get that, but she doesn't even think about the fact that there might be an underlying issue with their marriage. Again, somewhat understandable because no one wants to admit when their relationship isn't as perfect as they'd like it to be, or they think it should be. Even though what Poppy was doing kind of made sense, I was almost constantly annoyed at her for being such a twit. Facebook stalking the mistress? Pretty much anyone would do that. Creating a whole new friend profile because you made up a fake name and profession? Um. A little out there.
I had realized about halfway through the book that I was comparing Poppy to Becky and looking at the similarities between Love Struck and Confessions of a Shopaholic. Then, near the end of the novel, there was one scene in Love Stuck that was just so incredibly similar to Shopaholic. At the end of the book, Poppy gets the chance to go on a morning show and show off her styling skills. The show is live, so of course this is when everything totally blows up for Poppy. For those of you that have read the first in Kinsella's series (or seen the movie), you will know the scene I'm comparing it to. Becky goes on a television show to talk about finance and that is when her debt collector guy (what is he actually called?? Can't for the life of me remember) calls her out as an imposter. I doubt Simmons intentionally wrote a similar scene, and it didn't really bother me at all, I just found it mildly amusing.
I did really like the uniqueness of the situation. I know I haven't read about someone being hit by lightening and not remembering anything from the previous three months. Anyone else? Books about temporary amnesia usually have a really good "journey" in them when the characters realize what is wrong in their lives and work to fix it. This novel was no different, and I think Simmons did a good job and really showing how and why Poppy went through this journey. It wasn't a stretch like some books are - none of Poppy's (or Parker's) fundamental characteristics really changed. Instead, it was more like they changed back to what they were really like when they were first together.
Of course, I also loved that Simmons is Canadian and there were little references that only Canadians would really get. Or maybe, only people who live around Toronto would understand. Right at the beginning of the novel there's a reference to the Blue Jays and later on we learn that Poppy's parents live in Muskoka. Parker actually goes to a baseball game at one point and I had no trouble imagining him sitting in the Skydome (ok, technically it's the Rogers Centre now but I still like to call it the Skydome) and watching the Jays play. It's a little thing but I really enjoy reading Canadian authors and am glad that many more people will be reading this one in the blog tour too. I'm interested to see if anyone comments on the fact that the book is based in Toronto or if anyone even cares.
Like I said, I didn't love this novel but I would recommend it to others, which I know may seem kind of strange. Everyone has different tastes and I liked the general idea of this book, it was just the characters that irked me. (Side-note, I think that is why I didn't like the novel One Day. I wanted to like it, I really did, but I just...couldn't. Anyone else read this book? Please let me know what you thought!) This was your typical chick lit book and I liked the little ways that Simmons made this one different and unique. Overall, I'd probably give this three stars and suggest finding it at a library or borrowing it from a friend. I know there are definitely people who would enjoy this novel and I wouldn't want to turn them off it. Summer's quickly approaching so I'd recommend it for a good beach read :)
Thanks again to Chantel Simmons and Samantha for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour!