Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Review: Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley

After her parents die in a plane crash, Emily has to move in with her aunt Jolie, a make-up artist to the stars in NYC. In addition to navigating a new life without her mother and father, she also has to figure out what her mother meant by “Please Forgive Me Emily” which she wrote in lipstick on her tray table before the plane went down.

The mystery aspect of the novel was what made me want to read this one – that a seemingly perfect mom would have a secret so pressing, she felt the need to absolve herself before she died. And the secret does turn out to be rather shocking (perhaps a bit mundane) although the way Emily goes about her sleuthing is…uneven.

In fact, uneven is how I would describe a lot of things here – from the tone (part hipster Gossip Girl, part histrionics & grieving) and the story (very creative but at times disorganized), to the pacing (some scenes, such as the Statue of Liberty visit, seem oddly truncated) and the use of characters (would have liked more of the fabulous Jolie, hairstylist Trent, and baker boy Anthony, less of….everyone else).

Even with all the unevenness, there are plenty of gems to be found, and that’s what kept me reading. One scene I especially liked was when Anthony takes Emily to Magnolia Bakery on Bleeker Street in the village and then they eat their cupcakes in the little park across the street. Why? Because I did the exact same thing, and it brought back fond memories of my birthday cupcake.

LIPSTICK APOLOGY comes out tomorrow in hardcover. Find out more about the book at the author’s website.

Here's me and Heather about to get in line for cupcakes at Magnolia's.

20 comments:

Care said...

This DOES sound like a fun read, well, maybe not 'fun' but good. I'll be watching for it. Thanks!

Gerb said...

Aw, you look so happy. : )

Kate at Read This Book! said...

Oooh great review of Lipstick Apology Lenore. =) I want to read Lipstick Apology even more! I have a feeling I'll like it a lot since you said it was part Gossip Girl. Woo hoo! Can't wait to buy it!

Diana Dang said...

Thanks for the great review! I want to read this one!

Staci said...

I'm not sure if I'll read this one or not but I did enjoy your thoughts on it!! Cupcakes sound great!

bermudaonion said...

I'm not sure about the book, but I do want a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery!

H said...

Whenever I see the cover I think the light is a candle in front of her face. This is the first actual review I've read for this so thanks.

Khy said...

I've read similar complaints in other reviews, but I'm still excited to read this one. :D

[and OM NOM NOM cupcakes!]

Jazz said...

I imagine my opinion of this book will be similar to yours. But oh how I hate anything that sounds like Gossip Girl. Still, I want to give it try.

~Mary said...

OH MY GOSH I WISH WE HAD A MAGNOLIAS HERE!!! YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!!YUM!!

Book looks good! looks fun!

B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

I like your review on this! :)

-Briana

Zibilee said...

Sorry this one was a bit uneven, but at least it wasn't a total loss. I really liked your review. Very succinct and truthful.

celi.a said...

Cute photo! And great review, too.

Amber said...

Two things - this book looks great...and I <3 cupcakes!

Dominique said...

yay! cupcakes!! yum :) lol
nice picture!

this book was a bit disappointing for me :/ It was a bit predictable at times

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Great review!
I'm curious about this one, and I'm glad to read that you liked it, mostly. I love the cover, too!
And you do look happy on that picture! Cupcakes = happiness

Lenore said...

Gerb and Kay - Yes! Cupcake anticipation makes me VERY happy!

S. Krishna said...

I have this one to review. Thanks for preparing me for the unevenness of the story!

Melanie said...

The premise of this novel sounds really interesting. Was whatever food you bought at Magnolia Bakery good?

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I've never been to Magnolia - it's on my list for the next time I'm in the city!