by Eric Smith
Rating: R; 3 ½ stars
Summary: Andrew “Ace” Connor is struggling with life. His former best-seller is now in the clearance bin, his girlfriend is gone, and he hasn't been able to write in over 3 years. However, he does have friends on his side. His best friend, Brian, sets Ace up with his wife's cousin, Hannah. His writer neighbor convinces him to join a writer's group...that just happens to end up being a support group for writers who find themselves unable to write. Ok, so maybe that was a bit of a low move. But still, it was designed to help. And of course, Andrew still has to manage his bookstore, which includes dealing with the shop owner next door, mysterious ninja Brave Orchid. Despite all the issues, Andrew will strive to repair and create relationships and maybe, just maybe, get a little writing done.
Opinions: Regardless of how much I enjoyed this novel, here's a warning to readers: it's in need of some copy-edits. There's nothing major. It changes tenses every so often, once or twice the wrong “there” is used. I also noticed some really nit-picky visual things, but I'll keep those to myself. Still, if you're one to be irritated by such things, you'll definitely notice it.
It took me awhile to get into this book. Because of where the book picks up in Andrew's life, the beginning has a lot of whining in it. It also takes awhile for the book to get to character development. But, the second half really pulls its weight. The characters really start to develop; the plot really starts to unfold. In short, the book becomes much more enjoyable. I truly found myself laughing aloud at several points. The various romantic couples were absolutely adorable. At the climax, I nearly found myself in tears, and just pages after that, my jaw had dropped of its own accord.
So, ratings. The book is rated R solely for language. I do believe that movie ratings allow for one f*** in a PG-13 movie. This book had substantially more than that. However, if it weren't for the language, this would definitely be PG-13. There is some sexual content, but none of it is explicit. The 3 ½ stars is due to the fact that although the second half of the book is very enjoyable, a lot of readers won't ever get to it if they can't get through the first half. Also, until the book picks up, some of the copy-edit things are really distracting.
This book isn't a perfect book. However, there are a lot of really wonderful moments in the second half that I can't really specify for fear of spoiling the plot. So I guess my main consensus is that if you can through the first half of the book, the second half is a very enjoyable experience. I will be recommending this book to some close friends of mine.
This book was sent to me for review by the author.