Monday, October 4, 2010

Review — Bachelor Boys by Kate Saunders

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Cassie is determined to grant the dying Phoebe her last wish and see her two sons Fritz and Ben safely married off. Yet, entertaining as they were as children, they make terrible adults. Surely no intelligent woman could be persuaded to take one on?
Review:  A few months ago I was lamenting the current state of chick lit.  It seems like a genre that was once exploding with great reads, died quickly with little to no forewarning.  Emily shared my dismay and made a great recommendation of If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend, which I listed as one of my unexpected treasures of the Book Blogger Appreciation Week.  When she recommended another chick lit title, Bachelor Boys I immediately set out to find it (which ended in a semi-embarrassing moment at the library when I couldn’t remember the title and the aging male librarian boomed “Bachelor Boys!?” and I could only meekly say “yes, that’s it.”  Why do chick lit titles always have cheesy titles??)
Anyway, I devoured this book on one perfect rainy evening with a glass of wine (and possibly a few's sad, okay?!).  Bachelor Boys has everything I want in my chick lit:  a sympathetic, slightly neurotic protagonist, non-romance drama, discovery of self and self-worth, and, of course, a guy.  (Plus, in my book, anything set in Britain makes it just a little bit better...)

I planned on only reading a few chapters, but was hooked from page one and may or may not have been reading wearing a goofy smile at certain points, just because I was so excited to have a new fun, smart chick lit novel.  After I finished Bachelor Boys, I realized it was slightly similar to Marian Keyes’ Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, but with the roles reversed and let me tell you, it’s infinitely more frustrating to have be looking at the story from Daniel’s point of view.  You just want to scream at Lucy, “what are you doing!?!”

I loved every single character in this book (okay, I kind of hated Felicity, but that's what she was there for).  Cassie sometimes makes stupid decisions and, at times, is so transparent, but you can't help but love her.  She's smart and endearing, and I loved every scenes where she interacted with the Darling family.  There was a real sense of long-time affection and vibrancy to the Darlings.  I kind of wanted them as my next door neighbors.
I think what I really loved about Saunders’ book is the story of family and dealing with loss.  While Cassie is dealing with losing the woman who is the only real maternal figure she knows, she gets to know her own mother better.  The development of the relationship between Cassie and her mother was slow, but realistic and complex.  Her mom, a shrink and too smart for her own good, really reminded me of Brennan from Bones in her analytical approach to social and emotional situations.  She's difficult to understand at first, but as you peel away the layers you see that she feels as much as anyone else.
Yes, Bachelor Boys was slightly predictable, a little gender-biased, and convenient at times, but having been starved for some good chick lit I really loved this book and will probably pick it up at the bookstore sometime soon so, like Lucy Sullivan, it can be there when I need a good chick lit book after a long day.  
Lit Snit Verdict: A-

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