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Friday, March 18, 2011

Textual Healing by Eric Smith

Happy Friday…
….to you from me here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!


This has been quite the week what with all the celebrating (The Screaming Season book birthday), holidays (St. Patrick’s Day!), and prize winners (congrats!).  Next week promises to be busy (and fun…definitely fun) as well as we play host to not one but two blog tours along with a review or two…but let’s not rush things.  Take a moment to step back and relax….the weekend is here!

If you’re like me (and let’s face it, you probably are to some degree, right? ^_^), you’re looking to have a little fun, unwind…and for your next read.  WHEW…are YOU in luck!  Today’s featured title is stupendous phenomenal…um, let’s just say a read I’d highly recommend to one and all.  It’s a lot of fun and the perfect fit for a weekend grab and go.  Shall I introduce it to you?  (Or perhaps re-introduce it as it’s flying around the blogosphere now.)  Today’s book of choice is… 

By
Eric Smith

Andrew Edgar Conner, heretofore known as “Ace”, once upon a time was a fairly famous published author; now, not so much.  He just lost his girlfriend (or rather she left him, just don’t remind him too often as he doesn’t live on the first floor if you know what I mean), is waning from the public eye, and…he’s late for work.  Normally a catastrophe, for him it’s merely another speed bump in the day for you see, he’s the owner of the business…and not just any business.  (Can you guess?  I’ll give you three guesses and two of them are gone.)  He is the proud owner of…a bookshop.  Yep, that’s right!  Be still my bookish heart. 

Let’s take a quick run down on Ace.  He’s a once published author with loads of potential.  Owner of a bookshop with two typical employees full of snark, wit, and at the heart of it all, bookish souls with goodness to spare (despite “Pantera’s” boasts…hehe…still can’t say the nickname without laughing).  Let’s see, what’s not to like here?  Beats me, and it seems that Hannah is of the same opinion.  What starts out as an unwilling semi-blind date (as Hannah is actually the cousin of his best friend’s wife…did I lose ya?) turns into something bigger than either one of them could have expected.  A lot can happen in a second, let alone 10,080 of them.  The next week should be pretty interesting…

Okay, so I have a feeling that this review, no matter how long I ponder over what to say, is going to come off a bit fan-girlish.  Why?  Well, to put it simply, it was really good and that tends to put me in a situation where I don't know exactly what to say because you want to say everything...know what I mean?  *deep breath*  Here we go...

Let’s address the title first because to be honest that combined with the cover image have generated many a false impression about the book….much to my surprise too since I thought the title was quite catchy with its pun-filled humor, but I digress.  The title is just that…a pun…and despite whatever lewd or gutter dwelling images it may draw forth from some minds, it plays a relatively small role in the novel.  That’s right.  It actually appears in the novel.  Go figure…since so many titles today simply serve as a “name”, never to be seen again until such time as to quote from the book or recommend it to another reader.  There, that’s said…let’s move on…

Written from a male perspective…I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest.  I mean its not YA nor is it a crime/detective novel so I had nothing to base my initial character decisions on except a small excerpt and a feeling.  Sometimes those are the best things to rely upon when approaching a new read.  (Am I right?)  After reading the first page (which I generously over shared on this teaser post), I KNEW I had little to fear…or at the very least my bookish nature was going to be in good hands.

There’s not a character among the cast that I didn’t like, except maybe Daniela (the ex-girlfriend) but I mean seriously, there’s no real reason to like her even if you follow the motto that “females need to stick together”.  Trust me, she’s an exception.  *shakes head*  Ace is the star of the show but even though he plays narrator and his life is the main backdrop for the story, his friends and (quirky) neighbors (...hello, a “haiku-speaking, flower-shop-owning ninja?  Bet ya haven’t seen THAT before…) lives share the spotlight as well. 

Take Brian and Valerie, his fellow bookshop employees.  Between the three of them, I can’t tell you how many times I was laughing, or smiling despite my reading location (yeah, not so good to start laughing out loud in a quiet break room…nope…gets ya some crazy looks).  Can’t say that I don’t identify with Valerie …cuz I do…and let’s just say that Brian reminds me of a few bookish coworkers who shall remain nameless (but you know who you are).  Hannah on the other hand is no holds barred with her attitude and opinion, but that’s what makes her who she is.  She’s ready to have fun with Ace for all the right (not “write”) reasons but always at the ready to deliver a swift kick in the pants to move things along. 

You have the adventures of “the Pantera” (hehe), the secret online “love” connection made with Scrabble Girl, the sugar glider that wasn’t (demonic little critter that it was), and the wicked awesome (never thought I’d say/type that phrase) “Halloween-in-the-summer-birthday bash”.  Trust me, despite the prolific drinking, it is totally a party that anyone (*raises hand*) would love to be invited to.  The guests have to come dressed in costumes…CLEVER costumes; some of which are too funny and all of which are original (that’s all I shall say about that…leave it as a surprise for you to discover). 

Readers of a certain age (*raises hand*) will love the Zac Morris references (if you have to ask me who that is….don’t bother, there’s no hope; just smile and nod…) as well as other trips down entertainment past lane.  Writers will flinch at where Ace discovers his book in a local store…not on the top seller’s shelf either….as well as feel for the folks in the writer’s support group he ends up being roped into. 

The only drawback I found was the chapter length, but then I’m a habitual “finish this chapter THEN take a break” type reader. The events unfold over the course of nine days, not a lot of time, but enough for everything to play out at a satisfactory speed.  The problem?  The chapters are broken down into the days of the week.  So you have a 268 page book broken down into 9 chapters or approximately 30 pages each.  While not excruciatingly long, still lengthier than most; it works, especially with the story flow, but shorter ones make a book easier to digest (in my opinion).  But hey…I mean that was the only downside (to me), so I can totally live with that.

Shall we draw this to a close?  Let’s say we did because otherwise I’ll be inclined to spill the story to you in its entirety and I really want to leave that floodgate closed so you can enjoy it on your own reading time.  I summed it up to a friend on Twitter the other day like this…DEFINITELY made for those that know and love the adjective “bookish”…and I stand by that assessment.  It’s a great read for teen to adult readers who love a good story filled with everyday people that you’d be more than happy to call ‘friend’.  Don’t be surprised if you see yourself (or friends) in the characters…after all, most of us are bookish at heart.


Review copy received courtesy of author Eric Smith.  (THANKS!)  To find out more about the author and his current works, feel free to visit the book site, his blog, or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time…happy reading!

14 comments:

Misha said...

A male protagonist who is an author and a bookshop owner!! I need to get my hands on this book ASAP! I have been hearing great things about the book. Now your review convinced me that I must read the book! Moreover, I haven't read many books from male perspectives.

GMR said...

Misha: Yay! *high five* It really was a great read. THOROUGHLY enjoyed it...and I hope you will to. Would love to hear what you think. ^_^

dollycas aka Lori said...

I am so glad my husband fixed my computer to run faster, I actually have time to visit today, no blog hop, just dropping by to say hello!!

....Petty Witter said...

I love this title - what a great play on words.

Funny how it is sometimes easier to review a book we didn't enjoy rather than one we did. Still, you did a great job in reviewing this, thanks for sharing it.

Eric said...

Thanks for all the kind words! :D

<3 Eric

Teresa said...

I must read this, especially since I get the Zac Morris reference. Ah Zac...

Anyway, great review. I look forward to picking this one up!

Marcie said...

Sounds like a great read! I'm with you on the long chapter bit but if it's a good book I don't mind it so much. Thanks for the review. :D

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Thanks for a great review. It sounds like my type of read.

Thanks for stopping by my hop. Have a great weekend!

GMR said...

dollycas: Congrats on the speedier computer! Nice to see ya again. ^_^

Petty Witter: Agreed and definitely well said. Thanks for the kind words!

Eric: You are most welcome. Thanks for the chance to read and share this great read! ^_^

Teresa: Yay! Zac Morris rocked... ^_^ Can't wait to see what you think of the book! ^_^

Marcie: The story definitely beats any trepadation felt by the chapter length here. DEFINITELY. ^_^

Alexis: Cool...hope ya get a chance to check it out! Have a great weekend! ^_^

Alexia561 said...

Excellent review! Sounds like my type of book, and as soon as I read that there was a "haiku-speaking, flower-shop-owning ninja" I knew I had to add to my wishlist! :D

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This sounds fun! Great review!

GMR said...

Alexia561: Thanks! LOL...yeah, how can you NOT be curious about that character? ^_^

Juju: DEFINITELY was. ^_^

Tribute Books said...

Love when you get "fan-girlish" :)

I agree, Eric's great to follow on Twitter!

The1stdaughter said...

Okay, seriously, how could you go wrong with someone who names their site URL "ericsmithrocks"? LOL I love it!

How could you go wrong with authors, bookstores and a lot of humor thrown in? This sounds fantastic and based on your high recommendation I think I may have to pick it up!

Loved the review! :o)

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