Thursday, July 25, 2013

Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)adventures of Waverly Bryson by Maria Murnane~★★★★1/2

Author: Maria Murnane
Title: Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)adventures of Waverly Bryson
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Publisher: AmazonEncore
Genre: Fiction

Book Cover: "Waverly Bryson is a successful businesswoman in her late 20s who almost has it all: a dream job in sports PR, two best friends, and a bar where everybody knows her name. What she doesn't have is a ring on her finger. And after being ditched at the alter, she's in no hurry to get one. Besides, plenty of other issues keep her busy, including her wayward father, a new rival at work, and an ever-nagging fear that her life is not turning out as she thought it would...or should. To stay sane, Waverly makes a habit of jotting down 'Honey Notes,' self-deprecating bits of single-girl humor that she hopes to one day develop into a line of greeting cards. (Can't face the dating scene after a bad breakup? Honey, hit the bar, and hit it hard. Beer goggles are the lonely girl's Cupid.). 
As Waverly stumbles back into the dating scene (no stalkers or jean shorts, please), her personal and professional lives threaten to collide. Perfect on Paper reminds readers that everyone has had a bad date (or twelve), and that everyone needs a best friend to tell them, 'Honey, you are not alone.'"

Taryn's Review: This book is my kind of beach-/sunny day-/lazy day-/easy-reading. I laughed out loud while reading the book. I enjoyed the relationship portrayed between Waverly and her two best friends. I could emphasize with Waverly about her dating (mis)adventures. Reading about Waverly felt like listening to your girlfriend tell you story while sipping margaritas as you all sit the sunshine.

I read some other reviews about this book and I laughed at a few of them. I'm not sure what some people think they are getting when they pick up a book of this sort? I don't expect this book nor do I believe this book should be compared to a book like A Farewell to Arms; they are different genres with different goals. People ripped apart the author for the subject and the actions of the characters. One review called the three friends alcoholics and claimed no one at age thirty lived such lives...what the? Yeah, the girls drink a lot and it's discussed in the book, along with hangovers. They also all hold jobs, even when unsatisfied by their careers, are successful as far as living goes, and they have fun while experiencing life together, both the good and bad times, drinking or not. In my opinion the women seemed, well, normal. I'm not sure why some people have such vendettas against this genre. To get the point: If you want to read hailed-over literature, no one is stopping you from picking up a Hemingway or a Tolstoy. But don't pick up a book like this and shred it to pieces for being exactly what it claimed to be!

For me, this book was exactly what I'm looking for when I pick up chic-lit. It's funny, it's touching, it's fun to read. I didn't give it five stars because I figured out the ending fairly quickly and what was transpiring in front of Waverly. It wasn't a bad ending by any means, just predictable in a way where even if what happened, happened, I wish it wouldn't have be so transparent so early on. I also felt like the storyline with Waverly's dad wasn't necessarily needed, or, at least, it didn't need as much attention as it received. I didn't love all the Honey Notes, but a few of them made me chuckle.

The book cover blurb says Waverly was left at the altar, but she wasn't. (Way to go AmazonEncore!) Waverly's fiancee canceled the wedding two weeks before the wedding date. An aspect of the book I really appreciated was Waverly's struggle to tell people the truth; instead, she claimed that she had called off the wedding. It's hard when relationships fail, especially when not done by your own hand, and I'm glad Murnane included that element. Per the timeline of the book, Waverly took well over a year to become confident enough to say that it wasn't her doing; I'm glad Murnane included the internal struggle the character experienced. 

I enjoyed Murnane's writing style. She included a lot of time-sensitive jokes that will be obsolete in a few years, but for now they are still relevant and many of them even induced a laugh. Is she a Hemingway-type writer? No, but she's a fantastic and fun chic-lit writer! This book is the first of a Waverly Bryson series, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next one, although I hope I read the next book by a pool with a drink! :)

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