Review: The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Book: The Espressologist
Author: Kristina Springer
Publisher: Farrar Strauss Giroux
Release date: October 27, 2009
Source: Bought

Summary: (from 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?

With overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers.

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

Click the stars for a description of my rating system


Want a free copy of The Espressologist? Enter my July giveaway and a signed copy could be yours! Ends 7/31.



Amazingly beautiful and painstakingly crafted signature courtesy of Small Review

11 comments:

Stephanie (PoetrytoProse.com) said...

Oh my gosh, this book sounds too cute -- I must have it, haha. It's definitely what I'm in the mood for too, so I'm off to enter your giveaway. Thanks for the review and for bringing this charming book to my attention, Logan! :D

Missie said...

Art imitating Life. Interesting. LOL

What a cute concept, coffee and couple maker! Sounds like an addictive read. ;)

bibliophile brouhaha said...

This is not one of my normal reads, but I bet it would make a good day by the pool book - sounds like quite a bit of fun!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh this sounds so cute! I'm going to have to add it to my summer list!

Smash Attack! said...

Cool review! As a fellow coffee nut, I really want to read this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

This sounds cute. Fab review :)

Logan E. Turner said...

@Stephanie - I felt the same way. I just wanted something...easy (if that's the right word).

@Missie - And her last name is Turner! ;)

@Linds - Yes! That is the perfect situation for this book. :)

@Melissa - Do it! It can easily be read in a day.

@Smash - Reading about the coffee was satisfying enough!

@Alexis - Aw, thanks! Cute indeed.

Aylee said...

Oh, good grief, does this ever sound cute! Like mega cute. You're right, a good vacation read.

Small Review said...

Did you play matchmaker when you were a barista? :P I want a cute fun read with the fountain epiphany of true love. I like those duh moments.

Small Review said...

Oh my, and look at those gorgeous colored boxes! *mwah*

alt com said...

It's a light reading with all the fun about dating.

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