Book Review: Finding Lucas By Samantha Stroh Bailey

Blurb: Can you ever really go back to the past?

After five long years of living with Derek, her former bad-boy-turned-metrosexual boyfriend, Jamie Ross finally reaches her breaking point. She's had enough of his sneering disdain for her second hand wardrobe, unusual family and low-paying job as the associate producer of Chicago's sleaziest daytime talk show. When her new boss plans a segment on reuniting lost loves, Jamie remembers Lucas, her first love and the boy she'd lost ten years earlier. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, Jamie goes on a hilarious, disastrous and life changing hunt to track Lucas down. But are some loves best left behind?

He keeps squeezing my ass and sighing with pleasure.

Now he does it again, and says, "Never lose this. It is so goddamn sexy."


"Really." He assures me and flips me over so he can bite it.

"Ow!" I yell.

But, it feels so good.

...Oh my, Oh my, this book is very good. It's just so... quirky-sorry, queerky.

Samantha is very brazen. Draws in things that are not in your everyday chicklit. And she never ceases to dazzle as she keeps bringing in more and more of these strange things that might make you wish this book is fantasy. I wouldn't call this number light and fluffy. Quite dense and soulful, less than a mile away from Women's Fiction.

So Jamie is with her long-term boyfriend of five years who can't get her an orgasm (unless it's a price tag at Bergdorf) that she's now accustomed to spending more time in the shower (with the shower head) than she's known to. She has a job as an associate producer to a low-key talk show, lacks motivation and has a talent for staying glued to the boob-tube. I found her boring, and her lack of self-esteem annoying (despite her friends kept telling her she was gorgeous). I am hoping that's what Bailey was aiming for since she was vivid on these traits that ticked me off. It's no surprise Derek, the metrosexual and mummy's boy boyfriend wanted to transform her-into an image I wasn't fond of either (unless, being a housewife who raised kids and baked all day is a thrilling image to you).

Eventually, Jamie accepts the fact that, her then-Derek is way different from the now-Derek who would only get into the few sex positions that wouldn't muss up his hair and was so keen on her cutting the flab by undertaking extreme sports only him could endure. I was a fan of Derek wanting her to change, get-into-shape, but wasn't really crazy for the housewife image he wanted to impose on her. No wonder I was thrilled when she broke up with him.

But things get bad as Jamie isn't able to cater for herself with her measly income, being those kinds of women who allow their boyfriends who haven't spoken a word about marriage pay for everything. Ugh. Following the advice of her very, well, odd friends, she takes on the mission of finding Lucas-her high-school 'part-time friend, part-time you-know-what' (as they call a fuck buddy where I come from). It's clear to her she wants happiness, happiness only Lucas could give-No surprise there, because Derek wasn't as good as her shower head.

I think that's enough of the spoilers. Now to why, this book made my week.

I loved the cause. The whole Finding Lucas idea was very exhilarating. Yeah, everyone wants a second chance, we all wonder whether there would have even been a happy-ending if our crushes we fantasized about so much took a chance with us. And Samantha is one of the smartest writers to use this as a ploy in an attempt to get readers turning pages. Though I wasn't really a fan of Jamie, I was always on tenterhooks to find out if she ever will find Lucas. And if she ever did, would he be Mr. Right? Because following Alexandra Potter's You Are The One That I Don't Want you always know the obvious guy wouldn't be Mr. Right. I was praying, hoping this Lucas guy might just be (owing to some very enticing flashbacks Samantha brought up).

Secondly, I loved the cast of this book (excluding Jamie, of course). Leah and Katie-the mother and her equally hippy significant other were fun to read about. I was always raising brows to some of the acts Samantha was so brave to reveal. Like Lucy, the queer friend who isn't the least shy about her sexuality and contributed mostly to Jamie's quest to find Lucas. And Rachel-the sister who's teenage drama she'd relay to anyone whether or not they were interested. Hannah, the lingerie mogul-ess who's fierce personality got me wishing she'd slap some over to Jamie. To Giddy Amy and Silent Chris-the not-so-normal couple roommates who have some skeletons in their home "office". All these unusual characters made me have a blast.

Also, like any fantastic Chick-lit, this number has a lot of OMG moments, and ones that make you scream "Not HIM too!" It kept my excitement running non-stop for this book.

The introduction of one pestiferous co-worker and the final SHOWdown that led to Jamie's transformation from the Girl with Self-esteem issues to the girl with so much confidence that I was gob-smacked and kept asking myself, where was this side all along?!!

Don't blame me, I am not only a sucker for happy-endings, but I am a sucker for great/perfect endings. And this book had it.

Though I totally loved our lead girl towards the end, and instantly had a change of heart, there was one thing I couldn't overlook: Her constant dwelling on the past and failing to move on even after the breakup. I wasn't enamored with how she kept going back down memory lane to Derek wondering why he'd changed from the then-guy to the irritating dick-bag (new insult on the block) he had become. Why did she keep musing about Derek when I was expecting some action now that she was rid of him? I know being a guy, you ladies (at #ChicklitChat) might be thinking: Try getting out of a relationship you've invested five tedious years of your life, asshole. But, it just didn't sit right with me.

Overall, I compliment Samantha Stroh Bailey for going where no Chick-lit author dares-a very tricky attempt your average debut author wouldn't consider. Plus one to her ability to make her debut memorable-something not all best-selling authors now could do.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Samantha Stroh Bailey's spectacularly queerky and thrilling debut, can be found on Amazon in both kindle and paperback.

I recommend this hilarious title to anyone ready to read something out of the ordinary chicklit yet want to have a blast. Anyone who thinks their lives are full of shitty embarrassing circumstances would be appreciative of whatever they have after reading this. You should also pick up this title if you want a book rich in back story and not so light and fluffy but dense and, uh, intellectual (as Samantha puts it).

Certainly looking forward to Samantha Stroh Bailey's next.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for such an interesting, detailed and thoughtful review!