For obvious reasons (like the title of the book is the same as my blog and the cover is irresistible) I had to read this one!
Book Title: Life’s a Beach
Author: Claire Cook
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Marshbury, MA and a brush across Cape Cod
Format: Hardcover, Library edition (but chatter on Amazon indicates it may be available for a free download)
Publication date: 2007
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Favorite Passage: <sorry, the bookmarks marking my favorite passages fell out and I wasn’t willing to reread the entire book to find them again. But there were a few times the author offered a great turn of the phrase.>>
Beach Read Rating: 3 out of 5 Beach Umbrellas
Flap Copy: Life's a bit of a beach these days for Ginger Walsh, who's single at forty-one and living back home in the family FROG (Finished Room Over Garage). She's hoping for a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist, but instead is babysitting her sister's kids and sharing overnights with Noah, her sexy artist boyfriend with commitment issues and a dog Ginger's cat isn't too crazy about. Geri, her BlackBerry-obsessed sister, is also nearly over the deep end about her pending fiftieth birthday (and might just drag Ginger with her). Toss in a dumpster-picking father, a Kama Sutra T-shirt-wearing mother, a movie crew come to town with a very cute gaffer, an on-again-off-again glassblower boyfriend, plus a couple of Red Hat realtors, and hilarity ensues. The perfect summer read, Life's a Beach is a warm, witty, and wise look at what it takes to move forward at any stage in life.
Review: Considering the author had a movie made out of one of her books <<Must Love Dogs with John Cuszak, 2005>> I expected a story with more meat on its bones. While the premise was great and the setting was right up my alley, I found the writing to be a bit choppy and the characters were quirky to the point of being irritating. I’m all for in medius res (that’s Latin for starting in the middle of the action) but sometimes scenes would start in the middle and it would take me a few pages to figure out what was going on, and I kept having to thumb back through pages to see if some had stuck together. Also, I found it to be a little bit heavy on the dialogue and a wee bit too light on the exposition. One of these problems would have been easy to dismiss, but in combination they gave the feel of sand trapped inside one’s bathing suit. This wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, not by a long shot, but it wasn’t the best either. But if you are looking for something that doesn’t require too much thought and has a beach setting, this one might be just the ticket.