Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Book Review: Chill Out, Josey!

Chill Out, Josey! Chill Out, Josey!

Somehow I've gotten on the list of Christian book reviewers, which doesn't really bother me because I love getting free books to review, but it just gets a little difficult when review time comes around. I'm also new to the whole chick/mommy-lit genre (I'm more a Stephen King-type gal), so there's another road block I must get past. But I'm enjoying a whole new category of books that I can read in the tub and relax with, and it's a nice change to read something that doesn't start with "It was a dark and stormy night." (Peanuts excluded, as Charlie Brown is fairly popular around here).

Chill Out, Josey is the second book in the Josey series by author Susan May Warren. From what I gathered, in the first book (Everything's Coming Up Josey), protagonist Josey ran off to Russia to find love and adventure, only to have her childhood sweetheart chase after her and declare his undying love. In book two, Josey and Chase (yes, that's really his name) are living somewhat happily ever after back at home in Minnesota. Except happily ever after has a different definition for Chase than it does for Josey. She dreams of suburban bliss, with two little kids in the backyard of their house on the lake (FYI, Josey, it ain't always bliss...). Chase dreams of saving the world, of living his life with purpose. Josey compromises for the sake of her marriage, and before she knows it, they are settling down in Moscow. To complicate matters, she finds out she's pregnant days before their big move. It's silly, it's fun, and it's not deep, but tub reads never are.

It's interesting to read about Josey's struggles setting up their home in Moscow. Warren herself spent years in Khabarovsk, Far East Russia as a missionary for SEND International. Though she never gave birth in Russia, she spent two pregnancies there, and I'm sure many of Josey's triumphs were those of Warren's as well.

The hardest time I'm having with these small-press releases is the amount of errors that run the length of the story. (To capitalize, or not to capitalize the Cold War. You decide.) It seems they never make it past a final editor, and as a result, often have loose ends floating around the main story that never quite get resolved (not really a problem in this book) or just seem as if they should go through one last revision. I wouldn't place all the blame on the authors (though they probably should know better, but you know us writers...), I would simply chalk it up to a lack of staffing/funding at the publishing company. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad enough to detract from the book, it's just that I usually expect a certain level of, well, dare I say perfection, from a published work. A blog, for that matter, you never know what you're going to get...

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