Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I usually can't wait for a new Mary Kay Andrews to hit the shelves, but it took me a while to get around to reading Summer Rental. I looked forward to this read with anticipation. The book is basic chick lit. Three friends, Ellis, Julia, and Dorie, go to the beach to get away from their lives and find out what they really want from life... sort of.
Andrews usually writes with charm and wit and just a bit of attitude. Her stories are generally full of southernisms and over the top characterizations and just to the edge of belief situations, which is what makes an Andrews read so much fun. But I found this book flat. The characters were predictable, their lives were predictable, the ending was predictable, even the hot romance with the hot guy was predictable. And where were the slices of Southern Americana I was waiting for?
The introduction of a fourth character added the suspense element to the plot, but I found the telling of Maryn's story redundant. First Andrews tells the reader about Maryn and her woes though an information dump, and then she retells her story through lengthy dialogue chunks several chapters later. It would have been far better if Andrews had never added Maryn's POV, but rather told her story through the other characters's interaction with her. Or even better if Maryn's story had been one of the three main character's story, and her character omitted.
The most distracting element of the read was Andrews head-hopping. I'd just get settled into one character's point of view when she'd cut to another character's point of view mid-scene, and then switch back before the scene was over, sometimes bouncing between three points of view in one scene.
I found myself wanting to skip ahead to the end to see what happens because the narrative seemed to drag on and on. This is the first time I've had to talk myself into finishing an Andrews. Would I recommend this book? Well.. If you've never read an Andrews, I'd suggest reading Hissy Fit or Little Bitty Lies first.
View all my reviews