Amanda Reads: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky

I’m breaking my MFA thesis hiatus to write a quick review of the super fun romance novel I managed to find time to read this weekend: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock.

Title for Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer HeacockI got an arc of The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky via NetGalley back in the summer months when I had time for things like pleasure reading and not wringing my hands over the essays in my thesis. This weekend, I realized I needed to read something not thesis related, so I dug up my copy and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

If someone had been writing specifically to an audience of Amanda, they couldn’t have done much better than this book. Cupcakes! Awkward issues preventing successful sexy times! Banter! More cupcakes!

Now, I read romance fairly irregularly because it takes a very specific level of awkwardness for me to enjoy it, so I could be off base here, but I’ve never personally encountered a book that deals so deeply with physical issues in the bedroom while also somehow providing steamy sexual tension.

Main character Kat has somehow forgotten to make time to deal with some physical issues preventing successful sexy times with her longterm boyfriend and as the two year mark approaches, she gets a little bit desperate to find a way to reignite her spark.

While Kat was sometimes oblivious to her own emotions and behaviors, it was still fun being along for the ride. Plus, the side characters each had their own fleshed-out backstories and personalities, which lent her girl gang of cupcakery coworkers some authenticity–even if one of them is named Butter, which seemed a bit far fetched. The love interest was also adorably nervous and nerdy, which is more or less catnip for me, so I was 100% head over heels for this story.

As is often the case for me when I read romance, I felt that the plot pacing was a bit odd at times, with everything speeding along after a given point. But as someone who likes a good slow simmer (see: Jim and Pam in The Office) that’s probably just personal preference speaking.

All in all, spending my weekend with this book was a delightful way to reset and refresh. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks sexy times can be a bit awkward or who loves some good banter. Or cupcakes, for that matter.


Amanda Reads: Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud

I don’t know why I can’t seem to get enough of books that make me kind of angry at the world, but… I’m definitely on a binge through. It’s certainly important, in my opinion, to think about these issues and challenge our own ways of thinking about the world. This week’s pick, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women definitely gave me a lot to think about.

Too Fat Too Slutty Too LoudThis book takes one unruly woman as the focus of each chapter, with each chapter named for that woman’s primary “offense” in terms of being too much of something. Of course, each woman is accused of unruliness across many sectors, because sexism is complicated and widespread.

Chapters such as “Too Fat: Melissa McCarthy” or “Too Loud: Jennifer Weiner” shed light not only on their title public figures, but on the offenses lobbied against them and what those actually represent in society. To be too fat is to refuse to exercise the demanded control over your body, curtailing it to behave. To be too loud is to have opinions as publicly as men do–especially if those opinions go against the status quo.

One thing that I liked best about this book was that it really, really challenged me and my own perceptions of the world. Figures like Hillary Clinton, Caitlyn Jenner, and Lena Dunham are complicated in the public eye, and seeing their stories through the lens of why we label women as unruly helped me re-examine my opinions of these women an how they’re portrayed in the media. This book made me sit and think about things I hadn’t thought about before, like what it means for Serena and Venus Williams to take center stage in the world of tennis, or whether Lena Dunham should be shamed for saying she doesn’t like “airport chick lit.”

I recommend the hell out of this book. It made me uncomfortable and a little bit angry in the best of ways. I think I’ll be diving back in to this one time and time again as I continue to think about how I think about other women.