Have you ever had a friend ask you to read their book and get maybe just a twinge of dread?
No? Just me? Liar.
It’s not that I necessarily expect the book to suck. My writer friends are pretty awesome writers so I expect what they send me to be at least decent. Maybe even awesome. But that dread? It’s from the anxiety the book just might suck. Then I’ll have to tell them it sucks. And that sucks.
In fact, the book is great.
It’s a quick read and though some might classify it as a “beach read” or even “chic lit” (if they are having a rude day), this isn’t a book just for women. Guys, you’ll dig this book, too. Unless you’re the type who only reads Clancy. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Aloha Also Means Goodbye probably ain’t for you.
No risk so no excuses!
Book description via Amazon.com:
Jo and Jordan tied the knot five years ago in a mud hut in the middle of Zambia far from all their friends and family. Now they’re in Hawaii for a big wedding vow renewal ceremony elaborately planned by Jo’s mother. There’s just one small issue, something’s wrong with the wedding license issued in Africa and only Jo knows that she wasn’t legally married in Zambia.
Enter her old flame, the man she was running from when she met Jordan. He’s on the island and with his two kids, both of whom are named after her. Coming face to face with her past, just as she’s trying to brave her future, forces Jo to make some big decisions. It might even force her to grow up. Luckily she doesn’t have to do any of it on her own; her two best friends are there to hold her hand and help her down the right path. But what path will she choose?
Despite all the upheaval and complications, Jo will eventually walk down the aisle to say “I do” to the man who completes her. But will the wedding be the one Jo’s mother planned? Or will it be something much, much better?
Now for the meat of the review.
This is a…different kind of review. In fact, I’m not quite sure I’ve ever seen one like it. What follows is actually an email I sent to Jessica right after I finished Aloha Also Means Goodbye so the book was very fresh on my mind.
For the record, I got Jessica’s permission before posting this. In fact, she had to forward it back to me since my email got all borked and I had no record of the original email.
Note: I’ve added a “spoiler” for this since, now that I’ve reread the email, it’s kinda spoilerish.
Remember I was providing my most awesome friend the feedback she asked for. Also note I was a little…honest at times. So don’t go thinking I’m feeding you a line of BS with this since shame on you if you think I’d do that. You’ve been well warned about the spoilerishness.
Read at your own risk.
Also, also note: what I read was basically an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of an ARC. Because of that, a professional editor hadn’t had at the manuscript. Just felt the need to explain the first part of the email/review as to not scare you away of a most awesome book.
Now to the “review.”
[su_spoiler title="Spoilerish Alert! Click if you DARE!" icon="arrow" class="my-custom-spoiler"]I was going to take all of these notes and then realized that the majority of what I would write down is copy editing stuff the editor is going to fix and there weren’t even that many of those.
You didn’t go too far into the Capitalist pig thing when dealing w/the Zambia part and for that I’m grateful.
My biggest thing is the first 40 pages or so–just about up until Jo meets Kona for the first time–drug for me. I had to keep making myself go back to the book.
Lord knows I’m glad I did.
Jo: She’s a believable character full of flaws and I dig that.
Andy: Dug him. He’s definitely atoned for the–assumed–sins of his past.
Jordan: You made him into such a boring tool at the beginning I almost didn’t want them to get back together. He didn’t become even a tiny bit likable until after his blow-up with Andy and then Andy talking Jordan down.
Having said that, I really dug his speech at Jo. Particularly this part: “…but everything is okay now because you saw the love of your life again, only he’s not really the lover of your life any more, I am?”
I’ve been both that selfish and self-absorbed and have also had to say close to the same thing to someone else so that fight definitely rang true.
For some reason I’d like to hear and/or see some of his relationship with his mom. Not sure why. Just piqued my interest when Jo, I think, mentioned something about his mom.
Sadie: Please write a book just about her? I enjoyed her immensely. And a whole bunch, too. She’s flawed in ways different from Jo and somehow feels both more whole and more broken. Not sure how to put that any other way. Maybe they’re just broken in different ways?
Kona: Yes, please. More. Right now. I was pretty sure you were going to jerk me around and make him a scumbag so I was expecting it and then you turned that expectation all around on me and I wanted to kick you in the shin since you executed it so well.
Roxie: I would have liked to have seen more character development with her. All the characters make her out to be a man-eater, but other than that brief episode w/Kona, I wasn’t picking up that vibe. And all the man-eaters I’ve ever know were heinous bitches and Roxie was actually quite nice.
So, maybe a bit more hoochie before she starts playing house with Andy? Or something? Or not. Trying to figure out how I would do that in this book and it kind of makes my head hurt.
Maryanne: I wanted to punch her several times during the book so obviously, you did your job. Enjoyed the way you worked some growth into her character and brought in the Richard dude.
Andy’s kids and Amber: Didn’t love or hate the kids. They were just an accessory for me to show me Andy’s growth and Amber just made me want to stab her in the neck.
I don’t do book reviews. I do impressions and I sure as hell don’t take the book out to go through the pages to look up quotes. SO I OBVIOUSLY very much, a whole lot, jump up and down on the bed, humping, singing, tweeting, Facebook sharing, pinning, Good Reads sharing and reviewing, Amazon and Barnes & Nobling loved this book.[/su_spoiler]
Oh! And, hey! The links in this post? They’re all Amazon affiliate links. If you end up clicking on one of those links and then you buy something? (You BUY JESSICA’S BOOK!!!) I’ll make some pennies off of that purchase. Unless you buy a car or a really big TV or something on Amazon.
Then I’d make dollars.