First impressions: A book about a barista in Chicago? As a former barista now living in Chicago, I was sold on the concept alone.
Lasting impressions: Just like a good cappuccino, this book is 1/3 bite (espresso), 1/3 mellow (milk), and 1/3 frothy fun (foam).
Conflicting impressions: Some of the characters confused me. The mean girl pulls a 180 that seems unjustified in the text. I couldn't tell if the love interest was telling the truth or not, and I didn't know if that was intentional.
Overall impressions: I had zero expectations going into this book, other than that I hoped it would be good. It did not disappoint. This is not intended to be anything other than what it is - a light, fun romance.
The summary hits the nail on the head with the Emma comparisons. Jane is a barista who for some time has been keeping a record of the personality types that order particular drinks from the coffee shop where she works. When a regular comes in and tells Jane about his recent break-up, she soon meets a girl who - based on her drink order, of course - seems perfect for him. She sets them up and they live happily ever after.
I may be exaggerating that last bit.
When Jane's manager finds out about her matchmaking success (after successfully pairing another couple), he runs with the idea and hosts weekly Friday night sessions with "the espressologist." As more and more people find love with Jane's help, the sessions quickly balloon into extravagant events receiving all kinds of press coverage. What started as an innocent experiment has now come with a whole host of expectations and pressures, and Jane isn't sure if she can handle it.
The main issue at the heart of this all is that Jane keeps winding up the one without love. Her crush at the coffee shop is blowing her off, the cute guy from school is getting along aggravatingly well with her best friend, and all the while she seems appropriately clueless as to who she is supposed to end up with. I kept waiting for Jane to wander around aimlessly, wondering why she was so upset, only to exclaim in front of an enormous fountain, "Wait a minute! I love Josh!"
I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a quick summer read. This one would be perfect for the Vacation Reads Challenge (because Chicago = awesome).
Rating: 4/5 stars
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