April 25, 2011

The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club by Jessica Morrison

A couple weeks ago at my daughter's ballet class I noticed one of the other mothers reading Perfect by Judith McNaught, a book I read to bits long ago. I am a book snob for the most part, but I have a weakness for formula romance, a weakness I tend to indulge when I'm going through stressful periods. I read nothing but Nora Roberts, Iris Johanssen, and Jude Devereaux the month following 9/11. Seeing that book with its pink floral tattered cover brought back a rush of fond memories, so I told the mother I'd enjoyed it and she'd be sure to as well.

The next time I saw her she handed me a book she was sure I'd like, and I couldn't help but cringe inwardly when I saw it. Chick Lit is so 2ooo and late! But it's been awhile since I've indulged (intentionally anyway, those things are so cleverly disguised as serious literature these days), so I poured myself a mojito and did exactly that.

The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club is the story of Cassie Moore, a successful web producer who'd been planning her perfect wedding to her perfect fiance when she walked in on him with someone else on the same day that she lost her job (reminded me of Sliding Doors here). Cassie is a planner, and a careful one at that, so she is rather surprised to wake up after a night out to find that under the influence of martinis and friends she'd booked herself a six month non-refundable trip to Buenos Aires.

Once in Buenos Aires she is very cautious, rarely venturing from her apartment. She decides to start a blog chronicling her experience (more 2000 and late) while she works on a color coded spreadsheet of her new life plan. But after she meets free-spirited Zoey in Spanish class, she starts to do things differently. Predictably, her blog gradually begins to accumulate a massive following as other broken hearted people around the world check in to find out whether Cassie will indulge in hedonism with Antonio, cookie cutter romance with the ideal but unexciting Dan, or true love with the elusive and sexy Mateo.

The blog situation was certainly an eye-roller, as anyone with any blogging experience can attest. Once does not merely jot down some quick thoughts each evening with no other effort whatsoever and somehow accumulate thousands of daily visitors. That's a minor point though, if these things didn't happen in books they wouldn't happen anywhere at all and hope would be dead.

Cassie's biggest problem is that she depends so much on her Plan that she often misses the good things that are right in front of her. With the help of Zoey and the other members of the Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club, she begins to see that.

This is what people often like to call a "beach read," but for those like myself who are not fond of getting sand in places it should never be, I think of it more as vicarious travel. A good bit of escapism, and when I give it back tomorrow I will be able to say honestly that I enjoyed it.

2 comments:

  1. love the way you wrote this review!... even though I'll probably pass on this one.

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