Monday, July 1, 2013

Crumbs Aren't Enough

Title: Crumbs Aren't Enough

Author: Raquel Whiting Gilmer

Date Read: June 27, 2013

ARC Book

Summary: With $80,000 in student loan debt, an alter ego named Crazy Charlie, and more than her fair share of hang-ups, Charlie Bennett is on a mission: a mission to feel better about herself.
By all accounts this shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, Charlie has graduated from the best universities, has good friends to keep her sane, and an impressive résumé to boot. But her poor choices in men (and therapists) have left Charlie feeling fat, fretful, and fed up. She knows something has to change—she’s just not sure what. When the elevator doors open and Jack Hudson appears with his perfect smile and perfect teeth, Charlie thinks she’s found her answer. A Taye Diggs lookalike who sees through Charlie’s imperfections, Jack could be The One—and not just because he can make strawberry shortcake from scratch.
But as their relationship develops without any sign of a commitment, Charlie is left grabbing for crumbs yet again. After a startling voicemail leaves her reeling with fresh uncertainties, she and her mission are put to the test: Can Charlie convince herself that she deserves the full meal? NetGalley

Review: This is a love story but in a non-traditional way. Yes, there are different relationships and the novel revolves around Charlie trying to find love, but when it comes down to it, this story is about Charlie finding the love she has for herself. Charlie has a lot to offer men in relationships but she does not see her self-worth so she finds herself settling for whatever she can get, i.e. the crumbs. This novel allows us to see all of the good traits Charlie possesses way before she sees them herself which at times, makes us want to shake her, but I think the author did a good job of telling the story this way. To the reader, sometimes it is obvious what the right choice should be but we forget that when we are in the situation, and our feelings are involved, it is much more difficult to see clearly. When we remember what it feels like to be stuck with a tough decision and how hard it can be to see the best answer, we can commiserate with Charlie and some of her not-so-good choices. We've all been there. The character development in this story was very well done. We see that Charlie is flawed (she is aware of it herself) but we want her to succeed because she is so easy to relate to. It is refreshing to hear that she has supportive, caring friends who look out for her best interest as well. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Charlie progress through different relationships and learn new things from each one while realizing that what you thought you want, is not always what you need.

"I broke things off with [him] because I didn't want to settle for good. I wanted great." -Charlie

The only issue I had with this book was the weird focus on various races. The author focused a lot on racial stereotypes which irked me. The therapist was Latina so Charlie inferred things based on that. She couldn't be with Michael because he was white and he couldn't want a black woman. I don't know, I thought it was poorly handled and wish the racial differences could have been addressed (if the author really wanted them to be) without the stereotyping and assumptions that happened in this book.

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