Review: Pursuing The Times by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Title: Pursuing The Times
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publication Date: August 24, 2012
All that popular Chick-Lit author Mercury Lauren wants is to have one of her books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review - just one - and she'll do almost anything to get it. In this contemporary romantic comedy, with a nod toward Pride and Prejudice she crosses swords and hearts with the Editor-in-Chief of the NYTBR in a madcap adventure that takes her from her home in Westport to a yoga retreat to a golf course in Florida. Will she get what she wants and will she finally be happy if she does? Only one thing's for certain: nothing will stop her from Pursuing the Times.
Mercury Lauren wants nothing more than to see one of her books reviewed in The New York Times. Even though she is a successful author, her books have somehow fallen into the "Chick Lit" category and for Mercury, this is not ok. She knows her books are so much more and all she needs is just one review in The Times to prove it. Only this isn't as easy as it seems, especially when you just so happen to meet the editor-in-chief and insult him repeatedly. Unfortunately, Mercury just doesn't know when to quit and she takes matters into her own hands. This, of course, leads to one disaster after another.
I'm just going to put it right out there: this book was HILARIOUS. Mercury has quickly made her way to my favorite book characters list. She is everything you could want in your leading lady: smart, witty, funny and more than a little crazy. When Mercury insults the editor-in-chief of The Times, Frank D'Arcangelo, she knows she has to make it right. How else will she talk him into reviewing her book? Only she doesn't make things right, she makes things worse. She emails him, stalks him and just doesn't want to leave the poor man alone. Not that we want her too, of course. What really got me is that even when she is spending thousands of dollars to follow this man around the country, she doesn't even realize that it might be slightly ridiculous. She has gone way over the top but you just can't help but want to see her succeed.
Other than her relationship with Frank, Mercury has few others. Her only friend is her agent and her family is not very supportive. Her brother refuses to read any of her books and treats her quite poorly. I don't know how she could tolerate him, I probably would have taken a gulf club to him long ago. And since we already know that Mercury is a little quirky, it comes as no surprise that she has created a nemesis for herself, fellow author John Nicklaus (aka Nick), who happens to share the same agent. Nick is actually quite a nice guy, his only fault being that his books are more popular and considered literary brilliance. These relationships also cause Mercury to bring out the crazy.
Aside from the characters and main plot, there is a lot of talk about the Chick Lit genre. I personally love Chick Lit, it is one of my favorite genres to read, but I can understand why some authors don't want their books to fall into this category. Why would you want your book to be labeled in a way that sounds like it's just for women? Who says men can't enjoy it just the same? I also think some people have preconceived ideas about what Chick Lit means. Probably something to do with shopping or babies. But all I can say is that when I think of Chick Lit, I think of strong heroines, relationships and laughter.
Overall, this book blew me away. Mercury is an incredibly crazy, yet endearing, character and the relationship between her and Frank is banter at its best. I would love to read an entire series about Mercury and her insanely hilarious antics. Honestly, I can't recommend this book enough. If you're looking for a new can't read it fast enough, never going to get any sleep kind of read, this is it.
For more about Lauren Baratz-Logsted, visit her website here.