Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review: Perfect Timing by Laura Spinella

Berkley; November 2013
$15 list price / $11.98 on Amazon
I really enjoyed Laura Spinella's PERFECT TIMING (Berkley; November 2013). Spinella's second novel not only often made me giddy like a teenager-in-love, but it also kept me engaged with a plot chock-full of lovable characters and an excellent social statement to boot.

Isabel moves to Alabama from New Jersey following her parents' divorce. Her solace in the midst of this turmoil is a local boy named Aidan, who grows into an amazing singer-songwriter and, eventually, Isabel's crush. She doesn't realize the strength of her feelings, however, until Aidan is accused of a violent crime which forces them both to flee to Las Vegas. It is there that events are put into play that will change their lives forever--and tear them apart. 

Seven years later, Aiden has become an enormous rock star and Isabel has a serious boyfriend and a comfortable job at a New England radio station.. Aidan and Isabel have not spoken since they parted ways in Vegas; that is, until a change in the station's ownership has Isabel scrambling for a concert headliner. The only way to save the station is for Isabel to reach out to Aidan, but will the unfinished business in their past get in the way of the task at hand?

Welll, of course it does, but I won't give it away! What I will say is that Spinella has a talent for writing romantic scenes that evoke those "squee!" moments --and it's oh so much fun to read.

But this book isn't a romance novel--it's fiction--and the bulk of the novel is outside of the love scenes and is very engaging as well. The flashbacks to Aidan and Isabel's teenage years are coming-of-age great and Aidan's evil music agent is so fun to hate. I also can't tell you how much I enjoyed how Spinella wrote the relationship between Isabel's father and his husband, Patrick. It was a tender view into the lives of two soulmates--and I think the utter normality of it was truly a beautiful thing to read. 

My only tiny critiques? I got tired of all of the characters using the full name of the radio station when talking. It is a mouthful and people just don't talk like that. Also, one of the most anticipated love scenes is interrupted by a conversation about birth control! Is it a realistic conversation? Sure. But don't halt a big moment like that with a discussion about mechanics, please? 

Regardless of my nitpicking (sorry Laura!), I encourage you to go pick up a copy of PERFECT TIMING. It's a really great read from an author with a really promising future. Happy reading (and squee-ing!)

Penguin provided me with a review copy of this book, but the views are my own.


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