I love words. I love a good play on words, a pun, a parody. I just love words.
Tracey Bateman always catches my eye with her chick lit because she just has a way with words. The second book in the Drama Queens series, "You Had Me At Goodbye" is a very clever way to describe this fun story (the first was titled "Catch A Rising Star").
But it isn't just Tracey's clever titles that make me adore her. She has a knack for telling an everywoman story that every time is fresh and new. Every series I've read by Tracey brings something new and intriguing.
From an author who suffers writer's block and ends up as a reluctant wife of a minister (The Claire series), to a Christian soap opera star who has to stand for her beliefs amidst the sensual soap life, Tracey just has a way with words that stick with you long after you've finished the book.
And in this novel we meet roommate number two, Dancy Ames; socialite born with a silver spoon that bears quite a bit of tarnish. Dancy is working hard to become senior editor of fiction at Lane Publishing.
She's also working hard to be the daughter her parents desire, the friend she thinks her roommates expect her to be, and everything else everyone else thinks she should be as well.
Can you say "burned out" with me?
When she loses her dream position and is fired by none other than her brother Kale's best childhood friend, that dreaded Englishman Jack Quinn--over a dinner date, no less--it would seem that Dancy's dream of being the perfect everything is falling apart piece by piece.
But a verse in her grandmother's Bible calls out to her time and time again in this fun and powerful novel: "Trust not on your own understanding..." Will Dancy ever learn what that verse really means? When life continues to throw curve ball after curve ball at her, will she ever turn to the One who can handle the game for her?
I love these three women; all so diverse and yet so similar. There's a quality in each of them that I can quickly identify with, even though I've never been a soap star or an editor (but I have been a clown--but that doesn't really matter, now, does it??).
There were moments I wanted to shake Dancy til her teeth rattled, urging her to stand up for herself and to finally love herself the way God created her. And then the Holy Spirit would gently whisper in my ear, "You mean the way YOU do it, Deena?" Then I would mentally apologize to Dancy and keep on reading.
Remarkably, she isn't even real. But when you want to pick up the phone and have a heart to heart with a fictional character...now that's good writing! I'm giving "You Had Me At Goodbye" five out of five bookmarks, with an apron stained with mochas and lattes as a charm.
Read the book when it releases February 2008 (Yeah, this is another pre-release review..doncha just LOVE'em??) to find out why the apron, and if Dancy ever learns to love Dancy...just the way she is.