Monday, January 3, 2011

Arranged - Catherine McKenzie - Review & Giveaway

I adored Catherine McKenzie's first book Spin (review found here). An unexpected day off and my Christmas list done = a perfect time to tuck into my favourite chair with Arranged. (Loved the cover)

Anne Blythe has a pretty good life - a job she likes, great friends and she's just landed a book contract. It's just that she keeps picking the wrong guy, over and over again.

"Have you ever noticed how no story that begins, ' I read his emails' ever finished with, 'I was completely wrong, he wasn't cheating on me'?"

When she picks up a business card that reads Blythe & Company - Arrangements Made, she sees it as a sign. She'll give arranged dating a try. But, it's not dating...it's arranged marriages. Why would anyone..?? Why not...??

And so Anne does. I was frantically flipping pages at this point, eager to see who Blythe & Company had chosen for Anne. And the teaser from the back cover had me wondering ..."until Anne learns that Jack and the company that arranged their marriage are not what they seem at all." More frantic page flipping until the book was finished.

What a fun premise for a book. It's a great fairy tale idea - what if someone could help you find 'the one', the perfect match for you? Would you do it?  (There's a reading group guide that includes that very question).

I enjoyed the character of Anne -she was an interesting mix of confidence and uncertainty. I also enjoyed the supporting cast, especially Anne's brother Gilbert and his family. Anne's friends Sarah and William also rang true. But I wasn't enamoured with Jack. I just never found him as emotionally attractive as Anne did. There were a number of reasons for this, but I don't want to give the plot away. The ending is of the fairy tale variety, but isn't what I would have predicted or wanted. Arranged was an enjoyable read though - 4/5 for me.

Catherine McKenzie has firmly established herself in the chick lit genre. I'll be watching for her next book. Read an excerpt of Arranged.

Keep up with what's going on at Harper Collins Canada through their great website - The Savvy Reader.

And thanks to Harper Collins Canada, I have a copy of Arranged to giveaway. Open to Canadian addresses only. Ends Saturday Jan 22/11 at 6 pm EST. Simply comment to be entered.

35 comments:

Linda said...

Well, your review has certainly made me curious about this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

bermudaonion said...

This does sound cute and like a page turner. Don't enter me, since I don't live in Canada.

edmontonjb said...

I've never read this author and would love to give this a read.

dftrew(at)gmail(dot)Com

Janice Crespo said...

This definitely sounds like a great read - thanks for the chance - will have to check out her other books too! My daughter's birthday is the 22nd - lol - can I get a bonus entry? LOL Just kidding
janicecrespo@gmail.com

Alyce said...

The usage of the names "Anne Blythe" and "Gilbert" caught my eye. I wonder if there are any other nods to Green Gables.

Luanne said...

Kudos to you Alyce for catching those references! Yes, they are a nod to Anne of Green Gables!

fredamans said...

Please enter me, I would love to read this book! Thanks.

freda.mans[at]gmail.com

PoCoKat said...

Sounds great. Would love to win.

Canada

littleone AT shaw DOt ca

Lynz Pickles said...

I really like the idea of an arranged marriage, but now you've got me all worried about Jack! Now I want to see if I like him or not! Please enter me.

Meredith said...

Arranged marriages? Sounds like this matchmaking service doesn't mess around! Please enter me!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Charleydog said...

Please enter my name in the giveaway for the book. Thanks!

I live in eastern Ontario, CANADA.

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

Catherine said...

Thanks for the review Luanne!

rubynreba said...

Great interview - I'd love to read it.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Donna said...

I read the excerpt from I believe Catherine's facebook page and it has me intrigued, I can't wait to pick up (or win) my own copy. Admittedly I have been slightly off of chick lit for a while, since they all sound the same to be, but there is something about 'Arranged' and Catherine's writing intrigues me greatly and I hope it would bring me back to the genre.

donnaleaelliott@gmail.com

Sandra Antunovic said...

Sounds like a great book! Would love to read it. Please enter me in giveaway.
sandra.antunovic@sympatico.ca

Sugar__Mama said...

sounds like a great story...putting it on my to-read list

Anonymous said...

I have been counting the days until this book comes out, to get it for my birthday!Since spin, I have been wating for the next one!Thanks for the great read!catherine

Anonymous said...

p.s. if I get entered for your contest you can contact me catquebec@live.com would be fun for my birthday!thanks!

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this!

billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

Kim said...

I would love to win a copy! I am a huge fan of Catherine McKenzie's -- Spin was an awesome read! So please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

walker03@telus.net

Liz Koppes said...

Montreal Fan! I loved Spin, of course I loved the Story but I love the Artwork, it looks good sitting in my book collection, I cannot wait to get a copy of Arranged, it looks scrumptious!

Amy said...

I'm not entering this giveaway, just stopped to comment.

Loved your review and am putting this book on my TBR list. Several things about this book got my attention: I think Catherine McKenzie is awesome, I love the cover of Arranged and I noticed the names Anne Blythe & Gilbert figure in the book, a tribute to Anne of Green Gables perhaps, a fantastic series!

~ Amy
Aimala127@gmail.com

avalen said...

Thanks for the review and giveaway. Would like to read Arranged.

Shirley said...

You've written a very good review of "Arranged", making me eager to read it! Please enter me in the contest to win a copy.

Shirley
Edmonton, Alberta

mango said...

sound like a great book can wait add me in mango5008@gmail.com

Zoƫ said...

I would love to be entered, sounds really interesting,

strandedhero(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Heather Wardell said...

I would love to win this book and I do live in Canada.

thanks!
sapphireninja at gmail dot com

Jenna said...

Adorable cover... sounds like a good read!
(don't enter me- Im US)

Tiffany said...

YAY! I would LOVE to win a copy! I want to read this book so bad! Nice Review!

schlarmette[at]gmail[dot]com

StereoQueenBee said...

I would love to win this book. Been a fan of Catherine's since Spin and she's a fellow Montreal-er!!!

(queenofcrunk@gmail.com)

Maureen said...

It definitely sounds like an intriguing story.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Marjorie said...

The storyline of this book sounds good and I would like to read this book.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Ruthie said...

Sounds like an excellent read! Please enter me, thanks.

ruthiekb72ATyahooDOTcom

winnie said...

Thanks for the review and giveaway! Please count me in!

chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com