Thursday, June 18, 2015

Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen~★★

Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Title: Skipping a Beat
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Fiction

Book Cover: "Julia Dunhill, a thirtysomething party planner, seems to have it all: Married to her high school sweetheart and living in a gorgeous home in Washington, D.C., she imagines her future unfolding very much as it has for the past few years, since she and her husband, Michael, successfully launched their companies. There will be dinner parties to attend, operas to dress up for, and weddings and benefits to organize for her growing list of clients. There will be shopping sprees with her best friend, Isabelle, and inevitably those last five pounds to shed. In her darker moments, she worries that her marriage has dissolved from a true partnership into a facade, but she convinces herself it's due to the intensity of their careers and fast-paced lifestyle. 
So as she arranges the molten chocolate cupcakes for the annual opera benefit, how can she know that her carefully constructed world is about to fall apart? That her husband will stand up from the head of the table in his company's boardroom, open his mouth to speak, and crash to the carpeted floor . . . all in the amount of time it will take her to walk across a ballroom floor just a few miles away. Four minutes and eight seconds after his cardiac arrest, a portable defibrillator jump-starts Michael's heart. But in those lost minutes he becomes a different man, with an altered perspective on the rarefied life they've been living and a determination to regain the true intimacy they once shared. Now it is up to Julia to decide: Is it worth upending her comfortable world to try to find her way back to the husband she once adored, or should she walk away from this new Michael, who truthfully became a stranger to her long before his change of heart?"

Taryn's Review: It's summer time (at least it feels like it here in the South) and that means I'm ready for summer reading! For me, summer tends to bring out my desire to indulge in chic-lit, romances, and all of those other delicious books that can be easily devoured next to a pool or stretched out on a blanket. This year I did a quick online search to find some suggestions for what should be on my summer reading list, and when this book came up on one of the lists, I went for it without much thought.

I think the book initially had a great "hook" and I was absolutely drawn in. However, I found my interest quickly wane as the chapters went on. Julia came off as a money-hungry, shallow person and was really unlikeable. She apparently also had no capability to use a well-known form of interaction toward her husband known as "verbal communication." Julia would immediately fly off the handle when Michael would bring up his life changes  and Julia would fail to ask basic questions like, "What is your plan for the future, financially?" or "How will these changes directly affect my ability to pay bills?" or any other form of question that a sane person would ask. Julia instead ran off to cry to her trust-fund friend Isabelle, who only reinforced Julia's nonsense.

There were moments in this book were I literally rolled my eyes, which is a shame because the premise itself was interesting. That said, this book could be the poster-book for every cliche that I loathe in books, especially the bit where Michael "had a feeling" that he only had a short time left on Earth after his brush with death and all the following predictability that came with that storyline.

I read this book quickly but was rather annoyed with it by the end. After I closed the book, I literally said, "Come ON!" in a very Gob Bluth-esque way. If you've agreed with my book blog on most other book reviews, you'll want to skip this one. 

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