A few months ago, I reviewed a great novel called Wallflower Blooming (click to read my review). Wallflower Blooming was a charming little novel about Gwen, a young woman with political aspirations, who enlists her cousin, Val, to help run her campaign to make her the youngest mayor in the Cambria region of Colorado. During the process, they challenge the establishment, encounter and triumph over resistance, expose corruption and still make time for a little romance. I enjoyed reading that novel. So when I heard Amy Rivers had published a sequel and that I would have an opportunity to review it, I said, “Sign me up!” Gwen and Val’s adventures continue in book 2, entitled Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters.
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What The Book Is About
A year after she is elected mayor of a prosperous Colorado city, Gwen’s career and life are fully on track, all according to plan. So why is she in such a slump emotionally and physically? New conflicts keep boiling over in city government, and her earlier allies no longer support her. She and her boyfriend have an ideal relationship, which she finds inexplicably dissatisfying. Without telling her, he decides to take a new job that has him traveling out of state every week. Suddenly unexpected developments turn everything topsy-turvy, and Gwen is forced to re-examine her carefully-planned life.
What I Enjoyed About The Book
- The characters are easy to know and their motivations easy to understand.
- The story moves at a quick pace. Challenges get introduced and resolved quite easily.
- While the first book centered on Val’s story with Gwen playing a minor role, the sequel focused on Gwen’s relationship and political career, with Val making minor appearances. I enjoyed this other perspective.
- Best Laid Plans is written in 3rd person narrative so we got to follow other characters around and get a more complete view of the story as it happened.
- The author tackled several political issues, including gender equality and harassment, but dealt with them in what became a relaxed atmosphere.
- The story ended with a hint that there will be a follow-up book.
What I Didn’t Enjoy
- Some of the situations that were raised in the story didn’t yield much in the way of conflict, although that could just have been the author’s way of introducing suspense and uncertainty to the story.
- The narrative format meant that there was more telling instead of showing.
Would I Recommend This Book?
Absolutely. Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters is a quick read and while it follows the same characters from Wallflower Blooming, it is entirely possible to read and enjoy this book without having first read its prequel. The fun, fast pace is perfect for a long afternoon, and is the kind of story you can read with friends and use as a springboard to discuss some of the political topics the author broached. I hope to read more from this author, especially since she takes the time to sign each copy and include a handwritten note in the package. And… the bookmark she included in the book was pretty cool too.
- Title: Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224
- My Rating: 3/5 stars
- Author Details: Amy Rivers was born and raised in southern New Mexico and currently resides in Colorado with her husband and kids. She has a Master’s degree with concentrations in Psychology and Politics, two topics she loves to incorporate into her personal essays and novels. Amy has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses, Novelty Bride Magazine, ESME.com and Splice Today. Her first novel Wallflower Blooming, was published in August 2016.
Connect with Amy
Note: I received a free copy of this book from TLC Tours in order to complete this review. All opinions are my own.
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