Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Greetings from the Flipside by Gutteridge & McKay

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Hope Landon has been rewriting other people’s greeting cards since she was six years old. There’s always a funnier caption in there somewhere. She’s ready to chase her creative dreams in New York City with her fiancé—until he leaves Hope at the altar.

That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears for the time that would have been the couple’s month-long honeymoon, and upon returning learns of her own funeral. Everyone concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it isn’t easy to rent a place when you’ve been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YMCA, Hope lands a job at an inspirational greeting card company assisting Jake, the guy who shut down his organization’s humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh again.

Fun and faithful, Greetings from the Flipside will keep turning over in your mind.

My source for book: Review Copy via NetGalley
My Thoughts:
Oh my, what a gem of a book! I had a complete blast reading this novel, and even though it was slightly different than I expected, I still loved it! I don't want to give any spoilers, but I think I can safely reveal that a large portion of the story actually takes place in a dream-like state. You might ask, "who cares what happens in a dream?", but I actually found it so entertaining that I didn't care in the least that it wasn't "real." The events themselves for the most part are realistic in nature, but there is just enough quirkiness to give it a dream-like, almost fairy tale feel. I absolutely loved the atmosphere of these portions of the book--rooted in the real world, but slightly funner!

Hope is a very likable character, with a fun sense of humor. I liked how she didn't wallow in self pity after being jilted at the altar, instead going out and seeking her dream of being a professional greeting card writer. Her ironic card greetings won't appeal to everyone, but what I was most tickled by was how humorous Hope herself thought her cards were. The dream world is written in first person from Hope's perspective, and she has a really fun voice that makes the story flow along effortlessly.

All of the other characters are great as well, but I want to specifically mention Jake, as I really enjoyed him. He is rather quiet, but as the story progresses, you really get to know him and sympathize with his past hurts. I liked him in both the dream and real world scenarios. As for Hope's mother... she is pretty humorous, in an over-the-top kind of way. In reality she would be too much, but on paper she is quite amusing.

Greetings From The Flipside has definitely earned a spot on my top fiction list for 2013. It's complete fun, but at the same time it really keeps you thinking. The collaboration between Gutteridge and McKay is perfect. (It makes me want to read their earlier novel, as well!) I've seen this story compared to the movie "While You Were Sleeping", and in many ways I think that's a very fair comparison. Fans of that movie will most likely find quite a few things in this novel to enjoy. I know I did! This is one that I highly, highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher (B&H) for providing me with a review copy via NetGalley.

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