By: Catherine McKenzie
Orig. Pub. Date: January 2011
Pub. Date: May 15, 2012
Formats: Paperback, Electronic and Audio
Age Group: 18+
Review: I’d like to thank TLC Book Tours for having me be a part of the tour and HarperCollins for sending me the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I’m in love with Catherine McKenzie’s writing. After reading SPIN, McKenzie was added to my list of favorite writers. In fact, SPIN is on my list for the Top Ten Books of 2012. So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw McKenzie’s latest book, ARRANGED, on TLC Book Tours.
ARRANGED is just as terrific as SPIN — I laughed, I cried, and I swooned. ARRANGED is fab! Why? Because it’s a story about a woman who’s having bad luck in the dating department. Anne Blythe — recognize the name Anne Blythe, Anne of Green Gables fans and it’s also the name of an actress popular in the 40s and 50s — has just been sacked by her latest boyfriend who cheated on her. And to top it off, her best friend is engaged! So, when Anne sees a flyer for a dating service she says…why not! That is until she interviews with the company and finds out it’s not a dating service but an arranged marriage service. Anne toys with the idea — she can’t find the right guy and she wants to get married. Anne is obsessed with marriage. She doesn’t want to be single. Apparently, Anne doesn’t know that there are tons of single men and women today. A lot of people aren’t getting married at a young age like they used to. I kept thinking, it’s okay to be single, Anne. I am and it’s not the end of the world!
Anyway, Anne decides to take the arranged marriage plunge. Sure, she holds back and doesn’t breathe a word of what she’s doing to her family or her friends. They might think she was crazy! After all, the service is expensive and so Anne digs into her savings. She fills out the required forms, including background checks and therapy sessions. Anne has no idea who she’s being set up with and there’s no going back…
The company quickly finds her a match and whisks all of its clients off to Mexico to meet their new spouses and get married. Anne is set up with a terrific guy…things are going great, they are getting along….until things start to change….and maybe this arranged marriage deal isn’t the best thing.
I love Anne’s sense of humor and determination. She’s lonely and desperate which makes her a solid character for fiction. She has strengths and weaknesses. Her match, Jack, is kind and good-looking, but not everything Anne is looking for. But they click and I really enjoyed reading how their rocky relationship unfolds. Jack is definitely not her type, but I am glad he is someone different for Anne. The concept for the story is unique and filled with laugh-out-loud moments. After reading ARRANGED, I had the same feeling I got from SPIN. McKenzie is fantastic at characterization and plotting. The story takes unexpected turns and I never knew where it was heading, especially the major twist in the story. ARRANGED has a heart-filled ending that will leave you wanting more.
Oh, and if you’ve read SPIN, the name of a character makes an appearance which I thought was pretty cool…and there’s even mention of something else that’s connected to McKenzie’s own writing toward the end of the novel. What is it? Intrigued? Well, you’ll have to read ARRANGED to find out!
I’m looking forward to reading McKenzie’s next novel, FORGOTTEN, which comes out later this year in the US.
I’m giving ARRANGED 5 “Mini Books” for being another hit for McKenzie!
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