Grace Cavanaugh is a young, slightly overweight, insecure woman who is spending the summer in Pebble Beach, CA with her Great-Aunt Sophia, where she intends to research and write her dissertation for her Ph.D in Women's Studies. Her Great-Aunt Sophia is a former "B" movie-star and bombshell beauty who is on a mission to transform her Great-Niece into a younger version of herself.
There were so many times during the course of this book where I wanted to simply close it, put it away, and never pick it back up again. The plot was predictable. The characters were so stereotypical and some of the literary devices the author used were so awful it made me cringe to read them.
When I read, "...sex appeal wafted off him like cologne off a hot lightbulb. He steamed with it." on page 10 I wanted to close it right there and give up. That was simply awful use of simile and I was afraid the entire book was going to be that horrid. It wasn't. After approximately page 50 the weak literary devices like that were pretty much over and Lisa Cach focused more on building the characters and the plot. The problem remained however that both the characters and the plot were weak and stereotypical.
The characters are essentially a cantankerous personal assistant, a young hyper-active housemaid, a chauvinistic self-absorbed heartthrob, an environmentally conscious doctor, a lesbian best friend, and a hippie mother in addition to the main character, Grace, and her Great-Aunt Sophia (as described above). The plot was predictable and dreadfully boring. It was also slightly offensive. The story begins by implying that Grace will never attract, nor keep, a man unless she loses weight, wears make-up, dresses sexy, strokes their ego, and is all in very pleasant and never challenges their opinions or decisions. It embodies everything that is wrong with the way media is shaping the self-image of women everywhere. As the story progresses we learn that the man whose heart Grace was out to capture wished that she didn't lose the weight because he loved her curves, but the rest of her changes were for the best. It would make any single woman look in the mirror and wonder what was wrong with her and what changed she needed to make. I'm not a feminist by any means but this book definitely depicts feminist women in a negative light.
There were also two specific sex scenes which were more descript that I wanted to read. I could have done without them and they lent nothing to the story. It wasn't enough to warrant the book being described as erotica but it was beyond what I prefer to read. All in all it was a frivolous book that was quick to read and overall rather pointless. It is not memorable nor is there any true purpose or message to the story. It was simply a way to kill time, nothing more.