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Monday, July 10, 2006

***** Seven Ways to Lose Your Lover by Alesia Holliday. Chick lit.

Yes, another excellent book. There's at least one more, then maybe I'll get to something I can complain about.

Shane is "The Breakup Artist." That is, she helps people get out of relationships by telling them how to get the other person to break up with them. Theoretically, it'll prevent bad feelings on the part of the dumpee... provided, of course, that said dumpee doesn't know they've been conned. Which, of course, is what happens.

I was prepared to be skeptical about this, because, as is fairly evident in my relationship theories, I don't like the games people play in relationships. Shane, though, isn't advocating anything--in fact, she reluctantly takes her talent public first to help out her boss, then to earn the money to buy into the partnership and help her neighbor realize his dream. And she worries about how it'll affect her karma constantly, making her much more likeable than I'd expected from the cover blurb.

Her first assignment is to extricate her boss's niece Lizzie from Awful Ben. Unfortunately, Lizzie is impatient and Ben overhears her gloating about her success, and he and his friend Gleason decide to confront The Breakup Artist.

What follows is a nicely intertwining story of Shane's work breaking up her clients, her roommate Annie who wants help breaking up with too-perfect Nick, her gay neighbors' career and relationship problems, and Ben's dilemma between attraction and revenge.

The characters are all well-drawn and understandable: there are no stereotypes or cliches here, and everyone has believable motivations for their actions. There's snappy dialogue, and laugh-out-loud wit, including a hilarious parrot scene, and Shane's adopted stray sheep dog.

Once again, Alesia Holliday has written a witty, warm, and just-this-side-of-out-of-control story that's a joy to read.


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