Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs here https://barbtaub.com/
Barb has been reading Love In The Suburbs by D. E. Haggerty
When you’re looking for a great, funny, chick lit book that embraces almost every romance trope out there, you can count on author D. E. Haggerty to nail it every time.
- Heroine with high-powered job but crap love-life? Check. Violet enjoys her job as an event planner. She thinks she’s moving on with her life after finally getting over her disastrous breakup with Luke. But Luke is friends with her boss and colleagues, and openly hostile to her. When she realizes she can’t avoid him or live with his antagonism, Violet decides her only option is to leave the job, friendships, and new life she loves.
- Tries the Wrong Guy first? Check. The only problem is that she’s never gotten over the wrong guy. So she’s never gotten around to finding the right one.
- Thinks she’s ugly (but every guy she meets falls madly in love with her)? Check. Well, kinda… Violet hasn’t allowed herself to feel anything since the disastrous end to her relationship with Luke.
- Thinks she’s smart, but has the people-judging skills of the disposable blonde teen in a slasher movie? Sadly, Check. Violet has conquered her depression, finished her degree, and made a successful career with her best friends. Both she and Luke have jobs where their success depends on their ability to communicate with a variety of people. But somehow, they just can’t tell each other the most basic things.
- Parent issues? Check. After his single mother dies, Luke is raised by his grandmother, who has also died. Violet’s parents have moved away, so she doesn’t have family nearby either. But both Luke and Violet have been adopted by “Grandma”—the hilarious, sex-obsessed grandmother whose (other) hobby is epic-fail matchmaking.
- Posse? Check. Not only does Violet have her three best friends, but she has also inherited their partners—not to mention one extremely eccentric Grandma.
‘I had to ask the bartender for change,’ Grandma continues talking as if I hadn’t spoken.’
‘Change for what?’ I’m probably going to regret asking, but I have to know.
‘A vibrating penis ring. Never tried one of those.’
- Funny? Okay, Check! Both Violet and Luke’s observations at the start of each chapter are occasionally laugh out loud funny and often painfully amusing.
Stay in your lane? What kind of bs is that? Get over to the right and get out of my way. ~Violet’s Secret Thoughts she might have accidentally on purpose yelled out the car window.
When I’m reviewing a book, I often go down a little list of things to consider. In Knee Deep, the pacing is sure, a brisk march to an obvious finish. The writing is terrific, often funny and entertaining, and with a great balance between dialog, the snarky comments in Violet’s head, and Luke’s total bafflement with his feelings.
‘To my horror, she starts crying. ‘Stop being sweet to me.’
‘You want me to be mean?’ Women are the most confusing creatures on earth.
The problem is one shared by Luke and Violet. While each might have grown into a career and friendships, they are emotionally frozen in time as two high school students who can NOT tell each other the most fundamental, basic things. I remember thinking when I rewatched Die Hard, that if Bruce Willis had a cellphone, the movie would have been about ten minutes long. “Hello, 911-operator? I’m in the bathroom of the Nakatomi Plaza and Snape has my wife, well actually I’m not sure she’s still my wife because she’s gone back to using her maiden name and all, but I’m sure we can work on that and have a swell Christmas with our adorable children as soon as you have a few snipers pick off the terrorists who are conveniently sitting with their backs to large windows. Ciao.” Roll credits.
Ditto for Violet and Luke’s relationship. They claim to have been in love, but are incapable of telling each other the things they seem to have no problem sharing with friends, partners of friends, and Grandma. Of course, if everyone told the truth, the fields of romance, politics, and used car sales would collapse entirely. But even so, you have to suspend the urge to send both Violet and Luke to timeout until they pull on their big kid panties and just fess up.
But overall, I do recommend Knee Deep as a humorous, entertaining, and fast-paced if predictable romantic comedy. The amusing and entertaining banter—and the completely entertaining Grandma—makes it the perfect escape from pandemics and problems. I’d happily reach for another book by this author.
Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out – BOOM! – in walks trouble.
It’s taken me years, but my life is finally back on track – new job, new friends, a complete new Violet! I don’t even cry myself to sleep every night anymore. But then he walks through the front door of my new workplace. How dare he come in here and ruin everything for me – again!
Luke Freaking Bauer. Not the boy who got away. Nuh-uh. Not even close. The boy who tossed me aside when I needed him the most.
But when I look deep into those hurt eyes, I forget I’m the one who was wronged. Oh boy. I’m knee-deep in trouble and sinking fast.