Yesterday was one of those days that came right between icky and totally sucky. Therefore I needed something light and perky to cheer me up and distract me from my thoughts. Most of the books I had in my TBR stack from the library did not fit that description except this one, Swoon at your own risk by Sydney Salter.
So at 10:10 p.m. last night (I remember because Last Holiday had just ended on TBS) I threw on my PJ's and grabbed this little baby and plopping my self, yet again, between the laundry basket and the ironing board dug in. Lucky for me I'd taken my quarterly nap that day so I was all rested for my late night read (which I have missed so much lately). It's a good thing too because at precisely 2:26 a.m. (I checked) I flipped page 356 which also happened to be the last page of the book.
This book was just what I needed, with hilarious retorts, gossip bloggers, fabulous quips, dense ex-boyfriends, origami and a wide variety of stuffed animals. Its rare that I laugh so hard over a book (with the exception of Gail Carriger's novels), but this one had tears springing to my eyes with laughter. Now maybe it was because of some kind of middle of the night delirium, but I'd like to think it was because it was actually funny and not because I have begun my slow descent into madness.
Now I keep trying to recall my high school years to see if I was truly as boy obsessed as our main character, Miss Polly Martin, but I've done a pretty good job of blocking out those years so who knows. Nonetheless, Polly cracks me up at every corner with her unusually large vocabulary and her ability to do just about anything, from memorizing car facts to running for student council to dealing with her dead beat father. [Dead beat fathers, now that I think about it, seem to be a reoccurring theme in many of these books, I wonder what that says for fathers as a whole. Hmm, that's food for thought.]
So, Polly and her infatuation with the opposite sex is what drives this novel forward. At first it was difficult for me to get into as that was all she kept talking about. Someone's eyes, someone's skin, someone's flip flop hairy feet... huh? Gross! But then we realize that maybe all that obsession with boys and with herself might possibly spawn from something greater than her age, but as she will never talk about it we don't know exactly what. I don't even think Polly could figure out what that greater thing was, she was too focused on the boys (not with the hairy feet... well maybe kinda). That would be where Miss Swoon relationship advice columnist aka Grandma comes into the picture.
Grandma may be a sexagenarian, but she gives excellent advice (well, maybe sub-par), too bad she doesn't take any of her own. Or is it too bad? She seems to be happy, why isn't Polly? What a predicament this is for Polly, this unhappiness accompanied with hating boys and loving boys and not knowing what to do with any of them, not even knowing what to do with herself. She was a very complicated character. I think it was her inability to be serious that made her thus.
Then there is her love interest and possibly my favorite character, Xander (enter hunk stage right). I do love a good guy, its not easy to find one nowadays as we all know. Still, all of it was fun for me, the whole book accomplished for me in four hours exactly what it was meant to - giving me some temporary joy. The characters were fun and entertaining and story flowed nicely. All over, it was a good choice for the end of a not so good day.
3.5 out of 5 stars