Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken - Mari Passananti

Summary:  Zoe Clark thinks her world will implode when her fiance dumps her on the eve of their splashy wedding.  After nearly a decade with her college sweetheart, Zoe feels like a teenager about to be eaten alive by the New York dating scene.  And her problems don't end there.  Zoe works a less-than-ideal job, managing other people's careers while her own ambitions wither.

Enter Oscar Thornton.  He's handsome, charming, attentive, and rich--the perfect boyfriend.  But does he harbor a dark secret?  Or will Zoe torpedo her newfound happiness by indulging a far fetched suspicion?

The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken tells a story of a young woman who sets out to find a man to solve her problems.  Instead she finds herself facing her own shortcomings, testing her oldest friendships and realizing that she has the power to make herself happy.

Packed with snappy dialogue and playful wit, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken will strike a chord with any woman who's ever allowed herself to think, My life would be perfect, if I could just meet the right guy.  (Summary from back of the book and image from http://www.amusedbybooks.com/  Book given free for review.)

My Review: The writing was done well.  The plot was developed thoroughly.  The characters were explored and given real depth.  I just had a hard time wanting to keep reading.   I don't know if it's because I honestly couldn't relate to Zoe, or if it's that I have a drastically different view on relationships and intimacy.  I had this impending doom feeling all the way until the end.  The climax was definitely worth finishing the book, but I could have done without the constant sexual references. 

To me, Zoe was amazingly naive when it came to relationships -- at least she was in the beginning.  She does grow up and mature by the end of the story, which is refreshing, but it seemed so unbelievable that the red flags she saw going up weren't more of a deterrent.  Oscar Thornton was very scary to me, a man I would have dismissed quickly, although maybe that's simply my cautious personality or the way I was raised.  Either way, I was incredibly worried she was going to end up dead in the trunk of his car.  I left the story glad it was over and relieved with the outcome. 

I'm sure there is quite an audience for this book, plenty of people who relate to the dating world she describes, but it's just not mine.  If anything, this book did confirm to me that I made the right choice by not going to New York to try out my wings.  It is not a world I would have been happy in.

Rating:  3.5 stars

For the sensitive reader:  This is definitely an adult book: there are quite a few sections that allude to sex scenes.  While it was more than I wanted, it wasn't crass or detailed by any stretch.

Sum it up:  What I can only imagine love life in the Big Apple is now days.

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