Sunday, 1 May 2011

Book Review - The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Macmillan Imprint)
Release Date: 27th October 2009
Genre: Young adult

Summary (Goodreads):

What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie.

Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

 I found this book because I was pondering if I should pre-order Just Your Average Princess by the same author, but having not read her other books yet, I thought I’d order her first one, The Espressologist, and then decide. When I saw the title and cover, I was already won over before I’d read the blurb, and then I saw that it had overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma and I was completely sold.

 It surprised me how small the book was when I got it, so everything went on hold so I could devour it. Now I read it quickly, but I didn’t necessarily devour it. I was a bit disappointed by it really. It was stilted and flat. Jane wasn’t relatable, and her friends were barely characters. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the story was cute and I didn’t completely hate it, but there was no…spark in the story.

The conversations were my main peeve. The speech wasn’t realistic and drawn out. The plot was predictable, certain aspects were too sweet and some parts felt forced to give the story friction, like an old school enemy coming in and trying to embarrass Jane whenever she could. Overall, it was not good but not many first novels are, so I'll probably still buy Kristina's other books at some point.

I’d recommend this book if you’re looking for something to fill out your reading list for the year, love coffee and don’t want to think about what you’re reading for a little while.

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