Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Penny Pinchers Club by Sarah Strohmeyer~★★★1/2

Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
The Penny Pinchers Club
Release Date:
July 2nd, 2009
Dutton Adult

Book Jacket: "Living in New Jersey---the state that boasts the most malls per capita---Kat's favorite recreational activity is a no-brainer: shopping. But when she discovers that her husband, Griff, has been hiding a secret bank account and exchanging dubious emails with his attractive young assistant, her joyful consumerism suddenly loses its appeal. Are their fights about money more serious than she understood? Is he, as her friends suggest, preparing for a divorce? Just in case, Kat decides it's time to start saving. Unfortunately, having racked up tens of thousands of dollars in debt (of course she needed those tiki torches from Pier 1!), Kat finds herself in way over her head.
Drastic times call for drastic measures. Kat starts by canceling cable and kicking her $240 monthly Starbucks habit. But what starts out as a simple effort to cut costs soon becomes an over-the-top obsession when she joins an eclectic but lovable group of savers called the Penny Pinchers Club. Soon she is pumping her gas at dawn (when it is thicker) and serving dinner she retrieved at the grocery store Dumpster. Kat is saving money, to be sure, but what she's really saving is time---time she spends with Griff, their daughter...and an old flame, who resurfaces
at precisely the wrong moment, offering Kat a life where money is no object.
An irresistible and wonderfully warmhearted novel about the unexpected ways hardship can lead to happiness, The Penny Pinchers Club is the perfect pick-me-up for these troubled times."

Taryn's Review: This was a quick, fun read for me. I started before bed one night and was done the next afternoon. Strohmeyer wrote the book in such a way that it was really easy for me to get sucked into the plot I barely noticed how quickly the pages were being turned!

I think Kat, the main character, found herself in a situation where if one looked at all the evidence, the outcome appeared to be pretty grim. But rather than talking to her husband about the evidence, she took the worst-case-scenario mindset and met with a divorce lawyer at the urging of her sister. The divorce lawyer told Kat to buck up, save her money, and contact her once she had $15,000 saved for the divorce fee.

This is how Kat found the Penny Pinchers club via her cleaning lady. I really wanted to love the group, but none of the characters were very memorable. In fact, as much as I hate to say it, I think I would have liked this book more without them! Kat could have gotten some ideas from club, looked for ideas online, and taken the same route she did in the book. I truly did try to like the club members, but none were very likable to me, even now as I just finished the book.

I really liked how Strohmeyer made both Griff (Kat's husband) likable and Kat's old flame Liam likable, which conflicting the reader as to what Kat should do. I empathized Kat sometimes, thinking, "How can Griff be cheating? He acts like he loves her so much!" But then Liam swept in, with his money and open heart, and he was pretty tempting, too.

The end was a surprise for me. I thought it would be more predictable (and some parts were), but I was pleasantly shocked. This was a great book for when you're trapped inside on a cold snowy afternoon, or just want a chick lit book for a little getaway.

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