Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Author: Brandi Megan Granett
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing
First Published: September 1, 2016
First Line: "Even at eleven years old, Miranda knew better than to dissuade her mother from orchestrating her own funeral."
Book Description from GoodReads: A poetry professor stumbles into fame and fortune as an anonymous online Scrabble(r) poet. Miranda lives a quiet life among books and letters as a poetry professor in a small upstate town. When two snap decisions turn up the volume on her life, she must decide whether or not her best laid plans actually lead to where her heart wants to go.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Review: This is a contemporary tale with a sweet romance and a board game thrown in for good measure. But it's more than just a 'girl + boy = true love' kind of read. Granett has included some rather bold choices by adding some tough current issues into her romantic mix. We still have a love triangle and the 'Will they? Won't they?' aspect (which is to be expected). But there's also illness, death, the often complicated and varied step-parent/step-child relationships as well as finding the personal strength to stand up for what you need in your life despite what others want for you.
The book centres around Miranda who lives a rather quiet and solitary life. She has a steady job as a poetry professor at a small New England college (albeit not as a lawyer like her parents), her love life has stalled and her best friend lives overseas. Her quiet life is thrown for a tailspin when she begins posting her poems online as pictures on a Scrabble board. Suddenly her site The Blocked Poet is going viral.
While I'm not typically a reader of romance, the social media aspect and, quite frankly the Scrabble angle intrigued me. I loved the idea of Miranda being a sudden online sensation with her Scrabble poetry. And while I liked that Miranda's journey wasn't easy and that she stumbled along the way, both personally and professionally, I found some of her choices and indecision rather grating after awhile. Her connection to Scott was sweet and believable and yet sometimes they'd blow up at each other for something that could have been solved easily with another sentence or two of explanation.
There are a few aspects in this book that I quite enjoyed. I loved seeing Miranda overcome her struggles, gain confidence and stick to her guns about what she wanted and needed in her life. I also loved being introduced to wee, spunky six year old Lynn. She shined in this book and it was heartening to witness how she brought the people around her together. This book also highlights the various roles women can play in children's lives, both negative and positive, and I think that Granett dealt with these relationships in a realistic way. She also added some twists that I thought I had sorted out only to find that, while I was close, I wasn't quite on the money. Well played Brandi, well played.
This is a sweet modern romance that shows that the path to love often isn't a straight line nor is it always clean-cut or obstacle free. It has a good story line with some tough situations thrown in to spice things up and the characters are quite a diverse lot. I think that readers will not only root for the main couple but may dust off the ol' Scrabble board for some friendly competition.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.