Book Cover and Synopsis:
She moved to Sandwich,
Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle.
Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle,
the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care.
Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It's all
Reuben-the-Jerk's fault, and she's determined to make him right the
wrong. He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant,
The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the
restaurant, and Kyle's foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it
all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the
help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process. And
she'd rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.
Okay, who can honestly say they aren't intrigued by the title of this book?! It just screams that there is fun to be had, and I simply couldn't resist checking it out.
The back-and-forth bantering dialogue between Maddie and Reuben is perpetual and while amusing, it's often extremely snarky, due in part to the unfortunate circumstances of how they met. Reuben has a temper that often blows up, causing Maddie to privately think of him as "Reuben-the-jerk", a nickname that is often deserved. Many of the things Maddie says to Reuben in the course of their bantering are simply astonishing, I would never have the guts to talk to my boss that way... but then again, I've never had to work for "Reuben-the-jerk!" It's all very interesting and humorous to read, but I admit to initially having trouble imagining a relationship working out for them in the presence of all their snarky comments.
Maddie's hard past displays itself in her often sarcastic comments, but occasionally I felt her sarcasm was a bit forced, like she was trying just a bit too hard to be "funny". A few times her thought processes concerned me, as she seemed a bit irreverent towards God... now granted, she acknowledges this and says it's a deal she has with God to keep things "real", but it still bothered me somewhat.
This is Krista Phillips debut novel, and ultimately while I'm not sure it will be extremely memorable for me in the long run, it was a good diversion and definitely had a unique plot. The small issues I had certainly wouldn't stop me from picking up another one of her books in the future.
My Rating: 3.5, rounded up to 4 stars
Thanks to the publisher (Abingdon Press) for providing me with an e-arc via NetGalley for review.