Author: Dee DeTarsio
Genre: Fiction (Chick-Lit / Thriller)
Rating: Enthusiastic like!
Did I finish?: Couldn't stop myself!
One-sentence summary: American gets lost in Costa Rican jungle with sacred artifact and broken heart.
Why did I get this book?: The tagline: Romancing the Stone meets Survivor. I couldn't resist!
Source: The author.
Do I like the cover?: Yes, especially since it resembles what I suspect the locale looked like.
First line: If I could swap my moral compass out for a real one, instead of trying to rely on guidance from the stars, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Did... I look forward to reading this book?: YES. This last week was super grim, work-wise, and I couldn't wait for my commute home to hide out with our heroine.
Did... I embarrass myself on the subway?: YES. Laugh, chortle, chuckle, snicker, giggle - I did it all and I couldn't stop myself, even if I garnered a few bemused looks from other passengers.
Did... I thoroughly love the Reader's Guide?: YES. Short, but very fun.
Review: This breezy but thoroughly entertaining novel was the perfect escape for me this last week. Boston was gray and super cold; work was long and draining. But each night I couldn't wait for my twenty-minute escape to Costa Rica with Julie Fraser, the sarcastic heroine of this novel. I certainly didn't envy her situation, but DeTarsio plays out her plight with humor, action, and a hint of sexiness.
If we're considering The Scent of Jade's pop cultural lineage (parents being Romancing the Stone and Survivor) I would have to add Sex and the City as the inappropriate aunt. This novel is a bit like watching a romantic action movie with a sarcastic best friend -- when things get a little too improbable, the heroine Julie says just the right thing to make me howl. In fact, what I appreciated the most about this story was the realistic way DeTarsio portrayed Julie. She wasn't perfect; she wasn't insta-Action Heroine. She was the same woman in Costa Rica as she was at home and she simply had to pull herself together to survive. Some moments she fell apart; some moments she rocked her best Angelina Jolie. It gave me hope that should I find myself in a similar situation, I might not necessarily die in the first fifteen minutes!
*** *** ***
Check back on Wednesday for an interview with the author, Dee DeTarsio, and a chance to win an e-book copy of The Scent of Jade!