I’m feeling kind of glamorous lately. Know why? Because I know her:
Isn’t she lovely? And by “know her,” what I really mean is I’ve read her blog for a while and we’ve exchanged a few emails and stuff, so that totally makes us soul-sisters or something, right? Right? . . . . Whatever, you’re just jealous.
Her name is Melanie Jacobson. She is a wife, mom, shoe connoisseur, humorist, and AUTHOR. And she’s a Mormon. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) Her first novel was just published, and I was so lucky that Melanie sent me a copy of it. Look how cute it is:
Seriously, it’s almost as cute as she is. I know I said that I was going to take a break from blogging to work on a book of my own, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to be a part of Melanie’s blog tour for this new book. I’ll tell you why.
Melanie writes what she likes to call “LDS chick lit.” I dated for a full a decade before I met and married my husband, so I consider myself quite an expert in the LDS dating scene. Frankly, I felt like my life during those years was LDS chick lit, and perhaps that’s why I don’t read much of it now. Kind of like post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite my normal aversion to the genre, I was really excited to read Melanie’s book because I really like her. Surprisingly, I found myself enjoying the read and the ride down memory lane.
During that delightful dating decade of mine, I made a list. I really did. I listed the things I was going to do with my life since I was probably never going to get married. Somehow having a checklist of fun and fulfilling things to do made that possibility seem much less tragic. It included things like travel, and getting a Ph.D., and foster parenting, and kissing one boy from every continent. (I totally made that last one up right now, but why didn’t I think of that before?) Anyway, Ashley, the main character in The List, did the same thing, only she wasn’t quite as pathetic as I was. She wrote the list when she was 16 years old as a must-do collection of tasks to be completed before she got married. And as a free-spirited young adult, she is still committed to that list. I found myself quite attached to Ashley by the end of the book, and I decided that we could have totally been college roommates and friends. It would have been one of those friendships where I rolled my eyes at her a lot, but still stayed up late talking and laughing. I even would have shared my Pringles (a college dietary staple) with her. I loved watching her learn the lessons that I painfully learned myself during those dating years, not the least of which is this: Things don’t always go according to YOUR plan.
Melanie has a gift for writing fun dialogue full of clever, sarcastic banter that so genuinely embodies the nervous and flirtatious and awkward and exciting reality that I remember about that stage in my life. The way she wrote about Huntington Beach and the ocean made me really want to be on a lawn chair on the warm, sunshiney sand. As it was, I read the book from a lawn chair on the side of an indoor swimming pool while my children splashed and played. I read for a couple of hours, went home and read for a few more hours, and finished the book. In one day. ONE day, people. I read a whole chick lit book in one day, and I liked it.
Those of you who frequent my blog at all know that I am a bit of a self-proclaimed prude. Having said that, if you’re looking for a fun, light read that takes you back to the days of an open-canvas future and blossoming romance, and you want it to be totally clean and enjoyable, you ought to give The List a shot. I think it’s a perfect vacation book– either to take with you on vacation, or to sit down in the middle of your laundry pile at home and take a vacation of your own.
Since you’re almost as lucky as I am (though not nearly as famous since I “know” Melanie), here’s a chance for you to win your very own copy of The List:
Go here and just leave a comment. That’s it.
Melanie’s also doing a giveaway of cool beach-related items on her own blog, so go leave a little comment over there, too.
I hope you win. I really do, because you’ll like the book. If you don’t win it, go buy it (I think it’s on Amazon and even Kindle), then tuck your kids into bed, stay up late and read it until it’s done, roll over and kiss your hubby good night, thank your lucky stars that you survived your single years, and go to sleep. That’s what I did, and it made me happy. I like happy. Thanks, Melanie. 🙂