Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Review: Single in Southeast Texas

Gretchen Johnson
Started reading: July 15th 2020
Finished the book: July 19th 2020
Pages: 203
Genres: Humor, Romance
Published: August 14th 2017
Source: Physical copy from the author
Goodreads score: Not enough ratings
My score:

Gretchen Johnson gives a sensitive and humorous account of dating in Southeast Texas. Paige, the heroine of the novel, is a young, recently divorced transplant from Minnesota and a professor of English Literature at Lamar University. She's fascinated by the culture(s) of her adopted state and trying to find a suitable mate. Her "take" on singleness and the dating scene in Beaumont is alternately witty, hopeful, resigned, and philosophical. The dozen men Paige dates are as real as any of J.D. Vance's hillbillies and as individualized as the folks old Studs Terkel used to interview. Her attitude toward Texas is overall optimistic, though she's aware of the racism, sexism, and classism which her students, her would-be lovers, and at times she herself see as simply natural. Johnson has a poet's keen eye and ear, and something of Sarah Silverman's sense of humor.

My thoughts
I'm having the biggest backlog ever, and I received this review request in 2017. I swear to all the authors; I will read your book eventually! *shame*
Picking up this book, I had no idea what to expect. I jumped in, loved the writing style, story, humor and life lessons and just highly enjoyed it.

  • Paige: Such a likeable heroine, Paige is. She's not perfect and I love how authors can make their characters human in that way. Paige has lovely personality traits, but also has her fears and struggles.
  • Emotions: This book made me laugh, gasp, swoon. It made me feel shocked, embarrassed and joyful. It really was a rollercoaster book that made me feel these different emotions. Very well done by the author.
  • Light summer read: Lovely writing style; I was into it right away and I'm sure that the fast readers out there could finish this book in one sitting. This is a nice, light summer reader with loads of life lessons, beautiful quotes and good moments. The personal growth in Paige was beautiful and the ending was A-MA-ZING. It was nice to read a book with an ending like this book had. 
  • Cover: I don't know if I should even be talking about this, I never actually mention covers, except for my Coverlove badge. I don't want to hurt anybody or be rude, but this book is so different from the cover. It's just that I think the cover doesn't match the insides of this book. I gave the book 5 stars nonetheless, because I feel that a cover doesn't count, but I wanted to point this out anyway. Please, don't hate me!
This is definitely a book you should pick up this summer. The main character is lovely and the growth in her is an amazing journey you do not want to miss. The book has some embarrassing, shocking and hilarious moments. This was definitely a rollercoaster ride I would happily stand in line for again!

Memorable quotes from this book
"She didn't know that behind my smile I was walking wounded through the dark avenues of days, that under my clothes the deep lacerations of lost love stung and bled beneath the scarred skin, that the new job was helping to heal me."

"I wanted to tell him that the best moments in life are not associated with texts or Facebook or online shopping. These things are not cinematic enough to endure the future weeding out of memories. What will remain are those late night conversations in cars that last until dawn and end in kisses, trips to places that change the way we see the world, and sunsets seen in solitude when we realize the beauty of an ocean horizon."

Thanks for reading!
I'd love to talk books; please let me know what you think about this book review.


1 comment:

  1. I am really back logged on my reading too.

    I agree that even likable characters are better if they have a few flaws. It takes a good writer to pull it off.

    If a cover does not match the contents of a book it could lead to some disappointed readers.


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~ Esther