Books Are Pretty

Thursday, October 16, 2008


As you may know, I have been consistently running about three months behind on putting up reviews for about two years. What you may not know, however, is that now I am four months behind. I rationalize this by telling myself that I will be the second wind, either encouraging you to go out and buy a book you may have missed when it first came out, or making you glad you didn't buy it when everyone else had their reviews out the first week of its release.

Unfortunately, with some books this excuse doesn't work as well as I would like it to. Some books like Sherri Rifkin's Lovehampton. Lovehampton is a book written to be read at the beach. Even more specifically, it is a book written to be read at the beach during the summer of 2008. Even more specifically, it is a book written to be read by upper middle class women in their late twenties-early thirties at the beach during the summer of 2008.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Here's your summer beach read review!

LoveHampton is yet another chick lit book about a woman, Tori Miller, who is supposed to represent you, the late-twenties/early thirties upper middle class white female reader, who can totally relate to Tori's struggle against...whatever it is she's struggling against. Tori is depressed from being dumped by Peter, who she thought was The One (And by one, I do not mean Barack Obama, but Mr. Right. Who you may also think is Barack Obama, but I can't help you. Please try to think of something other than the election. It's summer!) She is pulled back from the ledge by her friends Alice, Jerry, and Jimmy, who rope her into getting a reality-show makeover and shuttle her off to a summer in the Hamptons, where she will be spending the summer with a handful of total strangers.

All the stock characters are represented: Leah, the Mean Girl/Queen Bee who is in charge of the house and keeps referring to Tori by the wrong name, a British man who I keep wanting to call "Nigel" who is dry and reserved and has a stiff upper lip and generally keeps going all English on your ass, Cassie, the beauty editor from Elle who is cooler than you but totally nice, Stacy, the younger bubbly one who is in love with Michael, the loud New Yorker, and Andrew who is The! One!

But Tori doesn't realize at first that Andrew is The! One! because he seems like such a player. But it's only to disguise his broken heart, and so she dates this very rich man, George, instead, but he's a cad, and so on and so on, and I know you can probably write this book yourselves by now.

The only really good news I can report is that we seem to be winning the war against the legs-and-feet covers that we've been plagued with for so long. See the cover? The nice attractive beach and brightly colored beach towels draped over the driftwood fence? Much, much better. Well, done, cover artist Ralph Fowler.

Even though I found the book somewhat annoying - frequent references are made to the characters' "crackberries" - I still feel that I should have rolled this review out at the beginning of the summer. There are a million and one pop culture references in the book that became dated 3 months ago, so the shelf life here is pretty short.

Then I remembered: the Summer of 2008 is just starting in Australia and New Zealand. I'm not too late! I'm right on time! Fly! Fly, Aussies and Kiwis! Buy a copy now! Summer of '08 has just begun!


by Sherri Rifkin
May, 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin
310pp, Paperback
ISBN: 0-31238021-6

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