Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Review: "The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs" by Matthew Dicks

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs Matthew Dicks
Published: September 8, 2015
ISBN: 9781250006301
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Netgalley

You might enjoy this book if you like: Stories with awkward heroines, mother/daughter novels, "going home" novels

Caroline Jacobs is a wimp, someone who specializes in the suffering of tiny indignities in silence. And the big ones, too. But when the twinset wearing president of the local Parent Teacher Organization steps out of line one too many times, Caroline musters the courage to assert herself. With a four-letter word, no less.

Caroline's outburst has awakened something in her. Not just gumption, but a realization that the roots of her tirade can be traced back to something that happened to her as a teenager, when her best friend very publicly betrayed her. So, with a little bit of bravery, Caroline decides to go back to her home town and tell off her childhood friend. She busts her daughter out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback . . . some twenty-five years later. But nothing goes as planned. Long buried secrets rise to the surface, and Caroline finds she has to face much more than one old, bad best friend.

My Thoughts: 
I'm the sort of person who can never, ever think up a witty comeback in the moment.  In fact, I usually have to sleep on it before something pops in my mind.  Caroline is even takes her decades to come up with someone.  This is a delightful book about self-empowerment.  Caroline is the mousy woman who is pushed too far.  Add into the mix a rebellious teen-aged daughter and haunting memories from her childhood, and Caroline is on her way.

I liked this book for a number of reasons.  I could relate to Caroline, which was good--maybe?  I mean, I wish I couldn't, but I did understand her motivations and her actions fell in the realm of reality for me.  I also felt that her daughter's reactions to Caroline were also realistic.  There were parts of the book that were not as believable, but they still fit into the world Dicks created: Caroline's mother's Pet Cemetery (with a c, not an s!) in her backyard, Caroline's husband's professional history...  Things like this add a bit of flair to the story

My main complaint with this book is that I felt it should be longer.  This is not because the book was just so charming that I couldn't put it down (it was quite charming...), but because I really felt Dicks should have fleshed it out a bit.  Things were just a little too simple and, at the end of the book, I just didn't feel as fulfilled as I thought I should.  I wish Dicks had gone deeper into Caroline's past and her relationships with her mother, her sister, and her best friend--but it just wasn't there.

I did enjoy this book--I wished there was more of it to enjoy--but I would still recommend it to someone looking for something light and sweet.

I received an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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