Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Barcelona Calling

SUMMARY:  How far will Annie go to become famous?
     Annie Shaw's dreams are far from simple:  become a famous author and fall in love.  But she's in trouble after quitting her day job to write full-time.  While her first novel was successful, her second novel tanked; and her new editor wants her to rewrite the ending of her latest work to ensure this one is more successful.  In order to pursue love, fame, and the elusive "bestseller," Annie relocates to Chicago, acquires a rambunctious dog, and participates in antics better suited to a television reality show than real life.
     Can Annie's best friends help her achieve her dreams of fame without destroying her future?  And what about the love she gave up in Barcelona who wants her to return to him?

REVIEW:  When I selected this book, the only information I had was the title and cover.  I was unable to find a description regarding what it was about.  That said, the title is a little misleading.  Thinking the book was about a woman who traveled to Barcelona and, maybe, fell in love, I selected it.  Instead, Barcelona is mentioned in reference to Annie's previous trip and the setting of her latest book.  The story is instead about Annie, who takes her friends advice to try to get her name and her latest book just published noticed by Oprah.  She does crazy (and stalkerish) type things like adopting a dog just so she can go to a dog salon once frequented by the talk show host; setting up sandwich boards and her car emblazoned with the mocked cover of her current book in progress outside of Oprah's gated estate; and getting a seat (with her dog) on a show staring Oprah's favorite chef.  Every time it turns out extremely bad for Annie: lawsuits for damages to the dog salon, tickets from the Chicago Police Department for violation of all kinds of laws; getting her face on television for setting herself on fire during the chef's show.
     It took a LONG time for me to get into this book.  At one point, I considered just skipping to the end because I felt like the author put in WAY too many details into the story.  Plus, I was bored stiff.  Well over halfway through the book (around the time she flies to Denver to talk to her publisher about her current book), it started to get a little more interesting.  The story seemed to move along better.  As for a recommendation, all I can honestly say is you may want to read this book yourself to see what you think about it.  It was not one of my favorites.  Sorry.

This book was provided by Zondervan for review without compensation.

Jane Kirkpatrick is the author of twenty books and is a two-time winner of the WILLA Literary Award. Her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the Western Heritage Wrangler Award, an honor given to writers such as Barbara Kingsolver and Larry McMurtry.  For twenty-six years she "homesteaded" with her husband Jerry, on a remote ranch in Eastern Oregon.  She now lives with Jerry and her two dogs and one cat on small acreage in Central Oregon, while she savors the value of friendships over fame.

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