Thursday, August 16, 2012

REVIEW: Etiquette for the End of the World by Jeanne Martinet

Title: Etiquette for the End of the World
Author: Jeanne Martinet
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction/Humour
Publisher: Liza Dawson Associates
Release Date: July 31/2012
Acquired: E-arc provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD
Purchase: Amazon

A romantic comedy of post-millennial manners, apocalyptic career moves, and a woman's last chance to get life right...

RULE #1: DON'T PANIC—IT ONLY ATTRACTS THE SHARKS

It's not the end of the world. That's what 39-year-old Tess Eliot has to remind herself after losing her newspaper column ("Tess Knows Best") and being dumped by her boyfriend for a younger woman (a feng shui expert? Really?) Then Tess is hired to write an etiquette guide preparing readers for the Ancient Mayan doomsday of December 21, 2012, and she has to ask herself: Could the world really be coming to an end? At first, Tess fakes her way through chapters like "Boundaries in the Bunker" and "Cannibalism: Yes or No?" But after uncovering a secret plot for world destruction, she is forced to embark on a life-changing odyssey of her own—involving all-too-close encounters with touchy-feely survivalists, conspiracy theorists and one handsome guy who seems way too perfect.

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There has not been a book that's made me laugh out loud like this in a long time. A few pages in, and I was already completely taken by Tess Eliot and her slew of misfortunes. She was such an easy character to relate to. Throw in her love for writing and her job experience in multiple publishing houses, and she easily became one of my favourite female characters, not to mention one I envied! It was so refreshing to follow a female protagonist that was portrayed as strong, confident, and daring. So many books these days, or maybe the one's I've been reading, feature female leads that are weak and overly dependent. 

In terms of secondary characters, Jeanne wrote some of the most amazingly witty and hilarious ones I have had the pleasure of meeting in print. Ginny, Tess's best friend, was your classic skeptic and I loved so much of her dialogue:

"I don't know, Tess. I mean, they sound like a cult, and I just think, after all you've been through, it's like you've been thrown in the river and you're climbing on the back of a crocodile, just because it's the only thing that looks like land"

Harriet, her mentor, was hands-down my absolute favourite. I love me some bitter and cynical 80-year-old lady characters. I can't pick one particular quote of hers because I loved every second she was speaking.

The storyline in this book was exhilarating and SO out of the ordinary. Just when I thought it was going in one direction, it picked me up and threw me somewhere else entirely. At one point I found myself in Mexico City, where Tess's surroundings were described so beautifully and realistically that I literally felt the sea breeze on my face and saw every colour of those Monarch butterflies as they flew away:

"[...]They did indeed hang from the leaves of the trees, bending the limbs, so that all you could see was the flickering vibration of orange, like sparkling orange water. They would take off in waves as if they were moving on cue to music. And when they moved off a tree en masse, it was as if the tree had come to life[...]" Beautiful.

All the while, the idea of doomsday (December 21, 2012) looms over the characters (and the reader's) heads. However, both Tess and Jeanne manage to make the very idea feel light-hearted and humorous. I want to quote a hundred more lines, but I would definitely be here all night. This book was an absolute delight to read, and I can only hope that Miss Jeanne continues to entertain us with her fiction. What a great first delve into the genre!

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JEANNE MARTINET is the author of eight books, including THE ART OF MINGLING, (St. Martin’s Press) which has sold more than 150,000 copies and been published in ten countries. Known as “Miss Mingle,” she has been featured in such publications as: The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsweek, The U.S. News and World Report, Salon.com, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, TimeOut New York, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Playboy, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post. Jeanne has shared her humor and mingling know-how on hundreds of TV and radio shows, including “The Today Show,” “The CBS Early Show,” NPR’s “Morning Edition” and WNYC’s “The Leonard Lopate Show.”

In 2012, Jeanne published her first novel, ETIQUETTE FOR THE END OF THE WORLD (Liza Dawson Associates), which was selected as an Amazon Kindle Daily Deal and was #1 in Literature & Fiction/Humor.

Born in Baltimore, Jeanne Martinet has worked as an editor at E.P. Dutton and at St. Martin’s Press, and as a publicist for Workman Publishing Company. Since 1990 she has been a freelance writer and editor. A Huffington Post blogger, Jeanne lives, writes and mingles in New York City. She is available for speaking engagements.

CONTACT LINKS
Website - Twitter - Facebook

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Thank-you to Liza Dawson Associates for allowing me to access an e-arc via Netgalley for review!

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