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Monday, October 01, 2007

Mr. Maybe

****½ Mr. Maybe by Jane Green. Chick lit.

I don't often buy used books, particularly since 99.5% of my book-buying these days is done online, and the difference in price between used and new really shrinks when you add in shipping costs (I always get enough new books to get free shipping). But when there's an out-of-print book I really, really want, I browse through the seller's other books to see if they have anything else I might want--in particular, some new-to-me author that I'm not yet ready to take a chance on buying new.
And that's how Mr. Maybe ended up in my TBR pile.

Libby Mason's Mr. Right is wealthy, gorgeous, and willing to support her in the style to which she'd like to become accustomed. So when she meets Nick, who is gorgeous, but who's also a struggling unemployed writer "on the dole" (why does that sound better than "welfare" or "unemployment"?), she knows he can't be The One. But he's so fun and sexy that she can't resist spending time with him. They embark on a relationship that they keep reassuring each other isn't serious, but it turns out to be such a great relationship that Libby's starting to reassess her criteria, and despite her denial, she's starting to fall in love with him.

And then Nick breaks up with her.

Out with her girlfriend in an attempt to cheer up, she meets Ed McMann (I know I'm not the only one taken aback by his name--the PW review spelled it McMahon!), who's everything she thought she wanted. Okay, so he's not gorgeous, but he is sweet, and one of Britain's most eligible bachelors, and he's definitely willing to spend money on her.

And so maybe he gets on her nerves, and the sex is terrible, but it'll get better over time, right?

I had such a difficult time with this book at first. Libby is unabashedly materialistic--wearing designer clothes, going to the best restaurants and clubs, all in the search of her wealthy Mr. Right. And Nick wasn't much better--blame my Puritan American background, but I had a very hard time sympathizing with a young, healthy, intelligent person choosing to go on welfare rather than work.

But along the way, they grew on me. Mostly because they grew--or Libby did, at least. Nick redeemed himself in the end. Eh--the story is about Libby, growing, changing, learning--that's why it's chick lit (or women's fiction--I still prefer the chick lit label) and not romance.

I loved how Libby changed while she was with Nick, and then I loved how she tried very hard to make the relationship with Ed work. The format was great--she grew in the relationship with Nick, and those changes were evident in her relationship with Ed. And boy, could I relate to her determination to make it work, as well as to her decision that since it didn't work out with the man she loved, she was going to settle for the one who met her old criteria.

And unlike other stories with this plot, Libby did care about Ed and worried about hurting him.

I believe I have another one of Green's books in my TBR pile. I look forward to reading it.


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Ed McMann. That's awesome.

This book looks pretty interesting, actually, and I'm not terribly partial to chick lit. I might give it a try.
I have seen this book around in bookstores but didn't pick it up. Anyway, I haven't been reading any chick lit books lately...and that reminds me I need to do so soon.

Glad you enjoyed it.
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