Author: Kristina Springer
Published: 2008, Farrar Straus & Giroux
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Overall Grade: B
Summary: When seventeen year old barista Jane Turner is working at her local Wired Joe's coffee bar in Chicago, she's not just making drinks. She's matchmaking regular customers and her friends based off of their choice drinks without them knowing (for example, the personality of a small pumpkin spice latte drinker goes perfectly with that of a medium americano drinker). But when Jane's boss hears about her Espressology, he makes it a holiday store promotion, promising true love for the price of customers' favorite drinks. Jane's made countless matches, so why is so so freaked out? And shouldn't she be happy for her BFF Em, who she just set up with the super-cute Cam? Then why can't she stand to see them together?
My thoughts: I had high expectations for The Espressologist going in. How could you go wrong with coffee and romance? I liked a bunch of aspects of the book: Jane was a smart, sassy character with a realistic view on the world, and the idea of matchmaking based off of coffee choice was clever and fun, totally spicing up the plot and making it unique from other books in the genre.
However, there were quite a few flaws--the story felt too short, so that everything was rushed. Also, there wasn't enough depth in the whole Cam-Em-Jane relationship, so the events that went on between them didn't feel realistic at all. The end was super-predictable, but not terribly well-written. In fact, it was rather disappointing: all the action happened in the last few pages, and it was too simply described, so that the reader didn't feel immersed in the story. As well as this, the dialogue and inner thoughts of Jane were sometimes unnecessary, and made parts of the book drag.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a light, frothy read, The Espressologist is perfect for you. I hope to see more work from Ms. Springer in the future, this time a book with a longer, more detailed plot. Still, a good debut on her behalf!
Must-Read!! Check it out Don't Bother