Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Book:  The Espressologist
Author:  Kristina Springer
Publisher:  Square Fish
Year:  2009
The reason I read it:  This is my 3rd contemporary realistic for my presentation on chapter 4, Contemporary Realistic Fiction:  From Tragedies to Romance
My grade:  B

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.

My Review

I seem to be working on a Jane Austen theme here.  This book, like the publisher’s summary says, is slightly reminiscent of “Emma.”  So, when I saw this book a year ago, I knew that I had to read it.  

Much like poor Emma Woodhouse, Jane Taylor is so busy making matches for other people that she can’t see the perfect match sitting right under her nose.  Of course, Jane is a much more successful matchmaker than Miss Woodhouse, but the premise of the story is the same.

I found that “The Espressologist” was surprisingly as satisfying as Ms. Austen’s classic work as well.  I thought this book would be sort of like the coffee drinks it describes.  Honestly, I expected a creamy vanilla bean frapuccino.  You know, lots of cream and sugar without much else and no strong espresso to speak of!
It was really more like a cappuccino.  A little light and frothy on top, but with a couple shots of strong coffee to give it just a little kick! (Yes, I am a coffee addict.  I don’t know how people live without it!)

The story was cute and never too angst-y, although our Jane is a bit of a bad girl, skipping school all the time.  But the characters are fun, even if they don’t have a lot of depth.  The requisite mean girl is there, plus the totally shallow but totally hot guy.  There’s a grumpy boss and a spiteful co-worker, as well as the tried and true best friend.  So, the normal cast is all there.

What makes this book a little above average for me was the actual coffee matchmaking.  It was a lot of fun to see these people show up, watch Jane figure out their personalities based on those drinks and then see them happily matched up.  It was a riot!

Then, to top it all off, the author included recipes for the drinks at the end!

This is a great book if you’re looking for a quick read that’s light on issues and heavy on fun.  I would say it’s a beach read, but really, it makes me want to throw on a hoodie and curl up with a hot cup of coffee and read the night away.

I give this book a B.  I think it’s above the crowd, but it’s not the sort of book that will have me gushing to every person I meet.  Unless I’m in a coffee house, of course.

No comments:

Post a Comment