May I introduce....Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner
It's a very happy day indeed here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...at least for this reader. Why? Glad you asked. Well, for one....the Archvillain contest is coming to an end tonight...so I get to go through the entries this weekend and contact a winner! Have you entered yet? If so, yay! If not, what exactly are you waiting for....you're going to miss out (and trust me, you don't want that to happen)! Just check under the 'current contests' listed on the right hand sidebar for the appropriate link. Reason number two for a happy day....the book I am reviewing today! It was a fabulous read that took me by surprise. Today's book of choice is...
Going through life as a genius can't be that hard...can it? Carrie Pilby's been living that life for the past 19 years and frankly, she could use a change...or at least everyone else thinks she could. Not one to take others opinions that seriously without solid proof as back up, her weekly appointment with Dr. Petrov (psychologist) sets in motion a way by which this "proof" can be found. He intends to help Carrie extend herself more in social situations, though Carrie thinks he just wants to disprove her "rules to live by" already in place, through a 5 step plan.
1. List 10 things you love and do them
2. Join an org./club
3. Go on a date
4. Tell someone you care, no sarcasm allowed
5. Celebrate New Year's with other people
Will this be one "test" Carrie can't ace? Or will her brains, beauty, and inquisitive nature push her towards a break through in her social "handicap" and place her in the top of the class yet again? If I were you, I'd bet on the later....but getting there is half the fun!
Oh Carrie Pilby...how do I love thee (the book not a literal person..hehe), let me count the ways...and boy is that a lengthy list! Let's check them off as they come along....
1. I love your spunk and personality even though at times I found bits of myself in you. Why the "even though"? Well, sometimes finding yourself in a character to the extent that it makes you stop and think...whoa, that's almost me in a nutshell...can be disconcerting. I mean you're almost viewing yourself through the eyes of an outsider looking in; that inward look can be clarifying, enlightening and/or down right scary. (Hey, only Hannibal Lector liked to dissect people that directly...) Never the less, as I read this fabulous book I couldn't help but think how much alike Carrie and I were. Both (in our own ways) introverts, not particularly brilliant in social situations although on paper and in studies we kick some butt (okay, so she's an actual genius, but I'd like to think I am at least on the high end of relatively smart), bookish (though her MAIN choices were a bit weightier than my favorite genres), varied taste in music and movies, a dislike for coffee...need I go on? Like I said, self-recognition in most ways; certainly made it easy to connect with the main character and may have even given me a little insight to myself on page 182. *ponders*
From the little dissertation as to why she does not feel the need to disclose what book she is reading or what movie she recently watched just because someone asked (really, it is her business after all...and she presents some rather good points), to her slightly OCD nature when checking out the etymology of every day words, everything she does rings through as pure Carrie. Even the way a simple rain shower is described shows her pizzazz in its descriptive nature...."I lie there for an hour, listening to the rain type a soggy message on my windows." (from page 19)
2. I love your willingness to right wrongs no one else would touch. One of the things on her Petrov subscribed to-do list is to go on a date. With a lack of success in finding one on her own (not to mention lack of skills), she places a personal ad. Okay, I have to take a moment to say just how FUNNY yet truthful her ad truly was! Seriously, you can't believe someone would put that and yet as you get to know Carrie, you can totally see it happening. Through this adventure in the personals, she uncovers one person that needs to do a self check themselves....it seems they are engaged, but still wanting more. Needless to say, her mission to set the world right kicks into gear, leading to a rather interesting situation (which I shall NOT spoil).
3. I love your hermit like nature that grows to accept others in your own time and space. There's a quote on page 14 that sums this up rather well, it goes "Being smart doesn't mean being skilled at social interaction." That is so TRUE! There are many types of "smart". Some are more bookish, some are street, some are social, and some are a combination of several; finding the balance in them is where we find common ground. I DEFINITELY felt for her when she went to the one party, sat at an empty table since she knew no one, and by night's end....she was still at an empty table. Been there, done that. It's not that easy to put yourself out there in unfamiliar situations...heck for those with a shy streak in them (*raises hand*) it's even hard in somewhat familiar ones. Carrie's to-the-point, if at times, snarky insights put a fun spin on an otherwise awkward situation.
4. I love...the story OVERALL! From the quirky neighborhood guy Ronald to the mysterious "hat guy" she comes to know as Cy (believe me that's a better name than the really long clunker he's actually saddled with), there is not a character in the bunch that you can't connect with for better or worse. The story is entertaining and even educational on both intellectual (as she explores the origin of words and debates other issues with her new found friends) and emotional levels (self analysis put to good use). Though I could probably keep going and going and going like the fairly famous pink rabbit with the drum, I thought I'd sum up my elation for the book here. A great read from cover to cover...if her "personal ad" doesn't draw you in with its straight forward nature and humor to boot...you might want to check your pulse! Seriously, it was time well spent. A recommended read for girls of all ages, though for youngest I'd say mid to late teens (she does contemplate the "sex obsessed" others in the world from time to time and there are a few crude jokes thanks to Mr. Douglas P Winters....so just a caution)....definitely one to check out.
So, are you curious...no, convinced? Hope so....definitely a blast! This book is already out there in the bookish world so check your favorite retail outlet and grab a copy of your own. Copy for review read via egalley from NetGalley and Harlequin Teen. (THANKS!) To find out more about NetGalley and their available blogger friendly services, visit their website or follow along on Twitter! For more information on the publisher and their current body of works, check out their site or find them on Twitter.