Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Arranged

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
Genre: Chick Lit
Pages: 390 (Paperback)
Source: Author
Author's Website | Twitter | Facebook
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depo

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can't seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she's engaged, Anne can't help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn't a dating service; it's an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it-and the company's success rate-the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn't it work for her?
A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out-until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all

My Rating:

My Review:
After yet another breakup, Anne feels inundated with the great relationships of others.  Her brother is expecting his fourth child and her best friend is newly engaged.  Feeling a tad desperate, Anne decides to visit a dating service only to find that the service doesn't arrange dates but arranges marriages.  Anne is skeptical of the service but still seriously considers going through the process.

Arranged is full of surprises.  While there are moments of laughter, banter, and wit, Ms. McKenzie manages to create a thought-provoking story with few clich├ęs.  Anne is quirky and self-reflective.  We see a few side characters, but Anne is the star of this story.  I found myself identifying with her plight despite the fact that we  nothing in common.  The plot is fantastic and unpredictable.  The thought of an arranged marriage in this culture and times seems rather unbelievable and I expected some quirky fun.  Boy was I in for a surprise.  Somehow the conundrum of whether to participate in the service truly seemed like a difficult decision.  Ms. McKenzie did a great job making everything believable...and normal.  It's not the story that I expected, but I'm glad because it was so much better.

This is a story of self-reflection, going against the grain, and of course...romance.  If you love getting drawn into books with unique plots, Ms. McKenzie is a great author for you.

Have you read this one?  I read Spin first and I found that I surprisingly enjoyed it.  I got the same feeling from this one.  I'm curious enough to read it but not sure what to expect.  Any books make you feel that way about?
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  1. I'm curious about the arranged marriage trope, because I find it difficult to pull off in contemporary stories. But it sounds like a fun, quirky, original story. I'll have to check it out!

    1. You would think it would be difficult but it is done well here. It doesn't try to fit something in that doesn't belong. It isn't a cultural or a traditional thing. It really works.

  2. I also read Spin and really enjoyed it. I will have to look for this one at the library.

  3. I'm fascinated by this book. I should SO see if its on audio. Thanks for your review.

  4. I read this one a few months ago anad IW as surprised with how much I enjoyed it!!
    :) I got another book by this author in my TBR pile and I'm really looking forward to it.

    1. Yes! I know what you mean. It's something you wouldn't think would work but it really does.


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