SLIDER

The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert


About the Book:
Publisher: Zondervan
Source: Publisher (BookLook)
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere:
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Series: Year of Weddings 2, #11
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Novella
Rating: 5 out of 5

As part of my mental exercise of expanding my reading palate, apparently part of my unspoken 2015 goal is to read more novellas. It seems like the past two months alone have involved paging through novellas, all of which have been amazing reads. My latest find is from the pen of Katie Ganshert and as per usual is one of the sweetest little stories I’ve yet to read. The story is simple: A young woman, Amelia meets Nate thanks to a serendipitous case of happenstance. Through a series of flubs, the pair wind up writing emails; letters that tell the other person much. When Nate eventually pursues a relationship that involves finding Amelia in person, she'll have to admit to the one thing that might drive him away before they’ve even had a chance to begin... 

Aside from the darling boy-meets-girl meet-cute (seriously, I loved this first meeting scene because, cute!), there is an even great advantage within these pages. The cozy sense of nostalgia you’re sure to enjoy while reading this is, in a word, priceless. The old-fashioned appeal of letting writing (in today’s modern era of technology, yes, I consider emails letter writing – at least there one isn’t limited to 140 characters) is not only beautifully explored, it’s also a sure way to make its reader swoon. As talented as Katie Ganshert is, she makes this story read effortlessly. Short or not, the concept flows beautifully and everything that needs to be gets said. This is what I admire most about a novella such as this (a well written exploration in half the page count); the ability to tell a complete and full story. 


What’s more, I loved the fact that our leading couple only begins falling in love versus being in love by the time the final page is turned. Given their incomplete courtship (this is the beginnings of a relationship rather than one established and rekindled), this element was very important to the story. This was – for me, a more complete ideal than one that would have painted the couple madly in love by the last swipe of the page. These characters really “pop” off the page because of their emotionally intimate connection. There is nothing but sunshine from opening to ending in this quaint novella; it’s got this perfect cozy nostalgic feel, enveloping its reader in the feeling of their favorite sweater. Anyone who appreciates the clichéd (I use this term only with the greatest of affection) albeit inordinately charming romantic-comedy is certain to fall head over heels for this stylistically “arranged” boy-meets-girl.
 
Synopsis: Amelia Woods is a small-town wallflower and the proud owner of Forget-Me-Nots, a quaint flower shop that once belonged to her mother. Despite her success in business, her love life has always been a bit lackluster. Until she spies on her ex-boyfriend's wedding and ends up in horrifyingly embarrassing fender-bender with handsome wedding guest, Nate Gallagher.

Meanwhile, Amelia's younger brother, William, has proposed to his girlfriend. Amelia would be excited except she has evidence that the fiancée is not who she says she is. How can she be supportive and yet be the protective big sister too? It seems Nate is the only one available for any advice-giving, and he's good at it--and pretty fun to talk to, too. Amelia and Nate strike up an online relationship, but always lingering in Amelia's mind is the fear that he'll realize she's not nearly as appealing in real life.

As Amelia works to craft the perfect flower arrangements for other people, she begins to wonder if real love is better than the dream. And if it is, will Nate still be interested when he learns who she is? - Amazon
 
Sincere thanks to the publisher (Book Look)  for providing a complimentary e-copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

12 comments

  1. Great review! Novellas are pretty amazing with the they convey so much story and characterisation within a certain number of words/pages :)

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    1. I agree, Lianne; because of the shortened length, novellas have an uphill battle to climb. But I thought Katie did an amazing job with this charmer! :) Thank you for reading.

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  2. Fabulous review! You totally captured what I loved so much about this story! It's definitely one of my favorites from the Year of Weddings.

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    1. I agree, Heidi: this is one of my favorites too! Although I'll admit, I've not read a lot in this series. ;)

      Thank YOU so much for reading. :)

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  3. Great review Rissi! I will definitely be reading this one!

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    1. Thank you, Titi! I enjoyed reading and reviewing this one! Hope you enjoy the story as well. :)

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  4. I LOVED this little story! I kept getting You've Got Mail vibes in all the best ways possible. And that DOES happen to be one of my fave movies.... :) And seriously. That meet cute? So adorable! As was their second one. :D

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    1. Definitely, Kara. There are some You've Got Mail vibes. I love that and the old-fashioned since of romance. The meet cute, the letters, the friendship... all of it was, aww inducing and then some! :)

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  5. First, I completely love your review of this book; everything you said was spot on, and so well-worded. Second, I agree wholeheartedly that this novella definitely has something special about it that makes it rise a cut above the rest.

    I don't know whether it's because of the adorable email subject headings, Amelia's hilarious emails with her best friend, George's sweet friendship, the spark which literally seems to jump off the pages between Amelia and Nate, or that it reminded me quite a bit of Echoes by Robin Jones Gunn (one of my favorite contemporary love stories), but I don't think there was a single thing I didn't enjoy about this charmer. In particular, that sense of nostalgia you talked about which does seem to permeate every page, the fact that I actually saw a lot of myself in Amelia, and that pitch-perfect ending.

    God Bless
    Eleanor Rose

    P.S.: Was I the only one that REALLY wanted to solve the mystery of 24 before the end?!

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    1. Thanks, Eleanor! It's always nice to know when something comes across how I intended - because sometimes I do wonder. :)

      I've not read Echoes, but am now curious. If it's anything like this I must read it. These characters really stood out to me as "real" and I loved that.

      PS: I guess - for whatever reason, I didn't even second guess it. Huh, maybe it's time for a re-read! :)

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    2. Echoes is definitely just as charming and old-fashioned-esque as Perfect Arrangement, although it is full-length, so the characters are able to have a little bit more depth given to them. I should also warn you that it is the third book in the Glenbrooke series, and all of the protagonists in each book are connected in some way. That's not so much a problem with Echoes as it is for others in the series, thankfully, but it is more fun if you read the previous two books first. Oh, and awesome side-note, Echoes is the book which really got me interested in Elizabeth Barrett Browning!

      God Bless
      Eleanor Rose

      PS: A re-read is always a good idea!

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    3. Good to know, Eleanor. I love old-fashioned charm. Oftentimes I discover novellas do feel really well rounded, but I know what you mean about a full length novel giving the characters more depth.

      I do like to read the entire series if I can.Partially because I'm book nerd, and also because I feel like I get to know the characters so much better when I do. Even if they aren't totally dependent on one another. Thanks for the heads up!

      Apologies, as always, for the reply delay. Why Blogger switched its layout on us, I will never know! :D

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