"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review #19: You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs, by Laurie Graff

I'm not sure quite how to classify You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs. It reads like a memoir but I think it might be fiction. Either way, it's an interesting look at dating adventures.

The novel opens with our narrator Karrie Klein attending yet another bridal shower for yet another friend, enduring the questions about when it will be her turn to get married. She doesn't normally worry about her perpetually single status, but she's 45, her acting prospects are drying up, her dating prospects are even slimmer, and suddenly, she's awake in the middle of the night reevaluating her life and recounting her paramours.
As the title suggests, you have to kiss a lot frogs, and boy, does Karrie have a lot of frogs in her life. There's the "Famous Actor" who barks like a dog, the man who gets upset that he had to pay for her coffee, and the one who didn't love her nearly as much as his parents did. I laughed out loud at some of the stories and visibly cringed at others, while there were one or two that left me shaking my head at her willingness to turn a blind eye to things even as I recognized that I've done that at times, too. Anyone who has ever dated will recognize some of the characters here and they will either raise their eyes to the heavens to give thanks for not having to be in the scene any longer, or they will wholeheartedly sympathize with Karrie and wish that their stories didn't so closely parallel hers.
So many times, these types of books end up with the heroine meeting Prince Charming in the final chapters. We just can't seem to get away from that fairy tale ending, or at least the feeling that that is what happily ever after looks like. What I liked most about this book was that there was none of that. Karrie doesn't meet Prince Charming. What she does do, though, is fall in love with a sweet little dog, and the two of them lived happily ever after.

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