CBR11 bingo – remix
I found this book in Bunnybean’s room – I had remembered that in 8th grade she had to do an assignment where she read a classic novel and then compared it to a modern retelling for a project. She chose Emma, and then found this book to pair with it.
Folks, I didn’t really like this book. But I’m not going to be too harsh on it. I’m clearly not the intended audience. And Bunnybean really enjoyed it, and saw it as a fun, relatable retelling of a classic. She enjoyed reading Emma as well, but found it a bit harder to get through. She appreciated the breezy nature of The Espressologist, and I get that.
But here’s my big issue:
If you are going to write a book where the main characters are 17 or 18 years old, please spend some time with real human beings who are that age. I spend a lot of time around teenagers, and I never hear any of them say things like:
“I think I am going to go to the mall. Do you want to go to the mall?”
“I do not want to go to the mall. Why do you want to go to the mall? I am going to go to the library.”
Call me crazy, but I don’t believe that human teens speak like that. That brief exchange includes way too many words, far too few contractions, and where are the abbreviations like “gonna” or “wanna”?
This drove me crazy here.
But I digress.
This book is about matchmaking, and the inability to see the perfect match for yourself, even when it might be standing right in front of you.
We have Jane (our Emma), who is about to maybe graduate from high school (there is a weird sub-plot about Jane cutting a ton of classes and not trying all that hard to graduate even though she wants to apply early to college? HUH?), and works at a coffee shop somewhere in Chicago. She has lots friends at the shop, both customers and other employees, but she doesn’t seem all that enamored with the job. She spends most of her time writing down what people order and trying to work out if their favorite coffee drink matches up with what she thinks their personality type is. She even uses her notebook to do a little matchmaking – she sees that one of her favorite customers and the best friend of another barista have coffee preferences that compliment each other, so she arranges a “meet cute” based on their orders and they fall in love.
I DON’T KNOW JUST GO WITH IT.
And then somehow she tricks her boss into making her Assistant Manager and her fabulous skills as a matchmaker, now called AN ESPRESSOLOGIST, are advertised in order to boost sales during the holiday season.
Hijinks ensue, of course.
And of course, she thinks she should match with an obnoxious frat boy named Will (Hello, Frank Churchill), but it turns out that Will likes a coffee drink that Jane doesn’t approve of SO HOW COULD THEY LIKE EACH OTHER IN REAL LIFE? Also, Will is a douche and gave her a fake number and ends up matching with Jane’s number-one enemy (I don’t care what her name is here but I guess she is Jane Fairfax?), a bitch of a bully from high school WHO THEN TURNS NICE AND PROMISES TO HELP JANE GET INTO FASHION SCHOOL BECAUSE REASONS.
Meanwhile, Jane sets her best friend Em (the Harriet of all of this) up on a match with her friend Cam (clearly Knightley) from school.
Guess what happens?
Yeah, nothing here is a surprise. Sure, the end is kind of cute, but still, this wasn’t great. It had a lot of loose threads and a lot of IM TELLING YOU THIS SO IT MUST BE TRUE plot devices. Eh.
My own fault for reading it, it clearly wasn’t for me.