Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review: Peri in Progress by Cat Lavoie

Peri in Progress by Cat Lavoie   
Series: Standalone
Published: October 28th, 2015
Publisher: Marching Ink
206 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon Canada || Amazon US}                

You know what they say about best-laid plans…

After a disastrous thirty-first birthday party where she gets stood-up by a man she isn’t supposed to be dating, Peri McKenna decides it’s time to change what hasn’t been working—which is pretty much everything. Her love life is going nowhere fast, she’s bored to tears by a job that makes her the office pariah, and the lifelong junk food addiction that used to be somewhat quirky is now positively problematic. To top it all off, her newly-purchased home is falling apart and wishful thinking hasn’t done much to fix the leaky roof.

It’s time be an adult now that she’s officially ‘thirty-something.’ But when the first step of Peri’s self-improvement plan backfires, she starts to wonder if change might be overrated.

Enter Milo Preston, an up-and-coming chef who’s in town to take over a local restaurant. When Peri and Milo begin working together, she finds it hard to ignore his easy charm and captivating emerald-green eyes. Since Milo is her best friend’s estranged brother, Peri has to keep reminding herself that he is completely off-limits. As they grow closer, Milo introduces Peri to new foods, the joy (and pain) of jogging, and makes her think her luck might finally be turning.

But when the past catches up with them, Peri finds herself back at square one. Will she be able to sort herself out—or will the roof cave in on her once and for all?

I have a love-hate relationship with chick lit. Some of it is really funny and well-written, but unfortunately a lot of it has main characters who are vapid and do and say ridiculous things, get into unrealistic situations that they somehow fumble out of, and quite often the love interest is a jerk who makes you spend most of the book wondering what the heroine sees in him. I have to admit, Peri in Progress started out a bit like the latter to me. Peri seemed like a shallow character who I thought I wouldn’t be able to connect with. She was impulsive to the point of potentially ruining her own life, and I found myself getting impatient with her. I reached 30% of the book and set it aside with the intention to DNF. By the next morning, I decided to give it one more shot, and I’m really glad I did. Really glad. Even though it took me awhile longer to get into the story completely, when I finally did I ended up admiring Peri for her strength and growth.

Being around the same age as Peri, I understood that feeling of being stuck, along with her desire to change but the realization that change isn’t easy, especially when you’ve lived your life a certain way for a long time. What I ended up loving most about this book was how believable Peri’s growth was. It was slow, it was a process, and it didn’t happen overnight. She struggled to make changes, but she was willing to try, and keep trying even when she failed. Milo helped and encouraged her, but she didn’t change for or because of him, which I appreciated. I enjoyed the romance, but it was Peri I rooted for most - her self-discovery and the changes she went through inspired me and left me feeling satisfied. She was a believable, flawed character, and I loved that she realized she was a work in progress and that sometimes even when you’re open and willing to make changes, you still backslide and that’s okay.

If you’re looking for a quick, fun read with plenty of humour, romance, and a heroine you can cheer for, Peri in Progress is a must read.

Have you read Peri in Progress? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Do you have any favourite women's fiction/chick lit books?

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