Title: Love Unlisted
Author: Stephanie Haddad
Publisher: Stephanie Haddad, 2011
Grace makes lists. Lots of them. Lists for her favorite things, the pros and cons about certain decisions she makes, even about the men she dates. She has to be in control of situations, and the lists help her do that. But her life is beginning to get much more complicated when her brother invades her three-bedroom apartment that she shares with her best friend, Bernsie; she's got the chance to become a full-fledged event planner instead of just as assistant, but she needs to prove herself first; not to mention she keeps bumping into Colin Kilbourne, a sexy musician with the geek look Grace so loves (Pro) but with unfortunate facial hair (soul patch) and the tendency to spill coffee on her (Con). She needs to figure out a way to get a handle on things—or just lose control completely.
So let me start my review with a story. I walked into a local coffee shop with my fiance where Stephanie Haddad had set up a table with her books, selling and signing. I approached her just before we were about to leave and asked if she would consider giving me a book for an honest review, and she accepted my offer. I'm glad I went up to her—she definitely has talent as a writer and gives Grace a fun, quirky voice that won me over.
I enjoyed Love Unlisted for the most part. The story was nothing too crazy, just a twentysomething woman at a crucial moment in her life and trying to get through it (though her compulsion to list is a main part of how she deals with it, not something typical of most people). The plot itself was not really what kept me reading, since the only things happening were at Grace's job, the stuff going on with her brother moving in, and the relationships going on. Though it was fun to see all the ways things turned out wrong for Grace in the party planning stuff.
What I really liked was watching how Grace and Colin developed their relationship, and watching the secondary characters' going about their own business. Grace also really has to wrestle with her listing habit, especially when it gets in the way of not only her relationship Colin but the rest of her life, as well.
Being from Boston, I loved reading a book set in my city. I don't live in the city, but if I were to pick one to be mine, I'd definitely pick Boston. I've been to the places Haddad writes about, so it was just a little extra fun thing for me.
This is technically an adult book, and I would classify it as chick lit, but I could easily see teens reading this. There are no explicit scenes and I think the only obstacle for teens reading this would be the inability to relate to Grace's situation as a young woman in the workforce.
My biggest gripe about this book is all of the typos throughout. It wasn't enough to drive me crazy, but there were more than normal. Granted, this is a self-published title and the typos were mostly things a spell-check wouldn't catch, but they were there. But that's my biggest problem, and it wasn't really too big of a deal.
Overall, I liked this book. Not the greatest I've ever read, but it had a fresh feel, the language had some kick to it, and it was nice to just sit down with a fun book.
If you'd like to read this or any other books by Haddad, check out her website. She lives in my hometown, which is of course how I met her, so if you're in the Boston area check to see if she'll be anywhere nearby anytime soon. She's a nice lady.
If you'd like a copy of Love Unlisted, I'm going to pass on my (signed!) copy to one of you! To enter, just leave a comment on this post with a way to reach you (email would work just fine for that). I'll announce the winner on Friday, January 27. And also, her other book A Previous Engagement is available free right now in ebook form pretty much everywhere they sell ebooks. Here's a link if you have a nook, and here's one if you have a Kindle.
Disclosure: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.