Once Upon A Book – Charlee Rae's Book Reviews

"Books Fall Open, You Fall In"

Life after Coffee by Virginia Franken


I rated this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

I won this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Amy O’Hara, coffee buyer, has just lost her job. It wouldn’t be se bad if she wasn’t the sole income of her family. Her husband, usually the one to take care of the kids and the house while Amy is away trekking through the Ethiopian cloud forest, has now holed himself up in the garage to write the next bestselling screenplay. Unfortunately he has already alienated all his Hollywood contacts so Amy isn’t sure who he plans on selling to. Meanwhile her days have now become consumed with dirty dishes, laundry, and children who seem bent on making her pay for all those times she was away. On the verge of facing financial devastation, her husband asks her to contact her movie mogul ex-boyfriend to see if he’d be interested in his screenplay. Turns out, not only is interested in the screenplay, he’s interested in rekindling his and Amy’s relationship….and she’s tempted.

Ok. So I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book. Having been a working mother, I figured I would be able to relate to Amy and her struggles. And at first, I did. The first half of the book, I got her. I liked her. I understood some of the things she went through. Being a mother is hard and Amy is just finding that out even though her kids are 3 and 5. I understood her frustrations with her children, other mothers, school, you name it. Somewhere around the middle of the book though, the story lost me. I partially blame that on her husband Peter. Him being home and taking care of the kids while she had to travel for her high paying job made sense to me. Once she lost her job though and their financial livelihood was being threatened, I didn’t understand his reluctance to getting a job. He didn’t seem to care that they were on the verge of losing everything. Even though it was blatantly clear at that point that he was not going to be the next big Hollywood thing, he refused to give up and assist his family through their financial crisis. I didn’t really care for him. This opinion was further cemented when he insisted on Amy contacting her ex-boyfriend. Had it not been for this, she would have never had a reason to reach out to him. Which is where we come to the part of the story I really didn’t like. Her ex was a total sleaze and Amy didn’t do as much as she should have to stop his advances. She more or less encouraged them to be honest. Sadly, there was nothing about him that would have made me understand her conflicting emotions. It was at this moment that I began to dislike her. Sigh. I hate it when I like a character, really enjoy them, only to dislike them later on. It’s frustrating.

As far as the rest of the story, it was well written and I did find it difficult to put down. There were moments where I laughed, cringed, and got teary eyed right along with Amy. So I did get invested. There was also lots of information about coffee, which I love btw. Not going to lie, it’s one of the reasons I entered the giveaway in the first place. It made me want to have a cup whenever I sat down to read the story. The characters were fully developed, believable, and for the first half of the book, relatable. It was only due to the second part of the book (mostly the middle) that this wasn’t a 4 or 5 star rating for me. The ending was fairly predictable but satisfying. It ended in a way that made me wonder why they didn’t consider something like that in the first place, but upon reflection, you realize they needed the journey to get them there. I will add Virginia Franken to my list of new up and coming authors to watch out for.

Total pages: 255, paperback

Available on Amazon at the link below:

Life after Coffee


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This entry was posted on September 28, 2016 by in Books I've read and tagged , , , .
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