Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cool Beans by Erynn Mangum

Summary: Maya Davis is happy with her life as a barista. She has great friends and a solid family (even if she doesn't measure up to her doctor brother). Her life is turned upside down when her ex-boyfriend shows up in town, doesn't recognize her, and begins dating her roommate Jen! To further complicate things, her "perfect" brother moves back to town, and Jack, her best friend, seems to want more than friendship. Maya begins to struggle with the truth: that she may not be over the past relationship, which affects her relationship with Jesus and her roommate. Will Maya stick her head in the sand and ignore the past that is now glaring her in the face, or will she embrace the truth that God gives? Add coffee and sticky note lists to the mix, and you have a wonderful tale of love, friendship, and family.

What I loved: When you read as much as I do, it's hard to find an author who has a fresh, unique voice. Erynn Mangum has that voice. I loved her style in the Lauren Holbrook series, and that style was definitely in Cool Beans as well. Second, few authors can weave spiritual truths into their novels without sounding preachy. Erynn is good at this. She delved into the topic of honesty in this book, and I felt like I was learning with Maya, not hearing a lecture or sermon. Finally, the book is funny. While the topic of ex-boyfriends, first loves, and being honest are serious topics, this book is balanced with funny coffee jokes, an annoying Parrot, and the flirtations of a romance in the making.

What I didn't like: There was only one thing that I didn't like about this book. One night, Maya is at home waiting for Jen to get home. The book says Maya gets home from work at 11:03 p.m. She then gets annoyed on the next page because it's 10:30 and Jen isn't home. Then it's 12:07 (pm, should be am), and Jen isn't home. I was confused because then I thought Jen hadn't come home all night...then the next page mentions the morning. So, I think it was just typos, but it confused me. This is something an editor should have caught. Again, if this is the biggest problem in a book, then the book is great.

Recommendation: I recommend this book to anyone who loves books like Kristin Billerbeck or Robin Jones Gunn. It's a fun read that also makes you think about the Bible some. I also think it's a great book for a high school or college aged girl.

I can't wait to read book two in this series.

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