Monday, February 15, 2016

Review: NOOKIETOWN by V.C. Chickering

 Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub. Date: February 23, 2016
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 3.5

Recently divorced, 40-something single-mom, Lucy, is lonely, bored and craving physical connection. So, when her trusted long-time married friend, Nancy, begs Lucy to sleep with her husband to save her marriage, Lucy goes for it. It's such a success, the two friends invent a town-wide underground barter system whereby Nancy's married girlfriends sub-contract Lucy's divorcee friends to sleep with their husbands so they don't have to as often. It's a win, win, win- for a while. Then it all goes to hell in a hand-basket.

Laugh-out-loud funny, emotionally provocative and at times racy, V. C. Chickering's Nookietown is a story of risk-taking, marriage, honesty and desire, and what one woman rationalizes in order to get what she wants.

Review: was everything I knew it could be but it was still able to surprise me in all sorts of ways. There were times when I truly had to dig deep and tell myself that this is just a book and to quit judging it. It was hard. How could anyone ever allow their husband to go and have sex with another woman. Even if it is just sex. I personally would never allow it but that's just me. Now coming from a fictional aspect, it's a good idea and funny at times. But in the end, I felt so much pity for these women.

After a failed marriage, Lucy is in no way shape or form ready to ever go down the aisle again. Once was enough. But even though she isn't ready for anything emotional, she misses the physical part of the relationship. One day, while she and her friends were talking, it gets joked around that maybe Lucy should sleep with a friend's husband because she's just too tired to do it all the time. It was a joke that turned into something so much more. and pretty soon, other wives have heard what the ladies are trying to do. It's just sex and sex only. Falling in love is completely against the rules and will cause for immediate disqualification. See, all the ladies wanting to do this program have to go through interviews. Lucy and co are truly serious and mean business!

And here lies where I am confused or disgusted. I truly feel bad for feeling this way because I knew exactly what I was getting into before the book. Hell, I requested it from the publisher directly. That's how much I wanted it. I'll tell you now, controversial topics don't scare me, in fact, I quite enjoy them. But I just couldn't get passed the fact that women were letting their husbands sleep with other women! How? Why? Could YOU ever do that? I wanted to like this more than I did. I don't know why, but I thought I would be getting something on the lines of Desperate Housewives or something. Alas, the book does have sex but this isn't erotica.

Overall, I think that if you want to read something entertaining, try this one. It may or may not be your cup of tea but you'll never know until you try!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy the Book!

About the Author:
V.C. Chickering has lived in New Jersey for most of her life, except for when she lived all over Manhattan, and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (when it was dirt cheap), also Boston, Paris, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and then back to New Jersey, so she wouldn’t have to pump her own gas. She wrote and directed plays in college at N.Y.U, then eventually spent ten years writing, directing and producing on-air promos for various television networks such as MTV, Comedy Central, Lifetime, and Oxygen. During this time she interviewed Judy Blume, Amy Poehler, and Joan Jett, among others, for BUST magazine. She also wrote two screenplays, articles for Cosmopolitan and The Washington Post magazines, and countless essays--a bunch of which ended up in a local newspaper column, "The Pith Monger," and the anthologies, The BUST Guide to The New Girl Order and A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World.

There was that delightfully bizarre-o music video, “Friend is a Four Letter Word,” she produced for the band CAKE, and the hilarious play, Sex, Wieners and Boobs, that V.C. produced for David Wain, Joe Lo Truglio and Mike Showalter. There was also the gritty and fascinating feature film, The Soul of Wit, she co-produced/directed with Matt Walsh about the alternative comedy scene on Manhattan's Lower East Side in the late 1990s. The film stars Walsh, Leo Allen and the Upright Citizens Brigade (with Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser), and highlights over a hundred comics performing in the “Night of a Hundred Stars” show at Luna Lounge. The documentary includes interviews with UCB, Marc Maron, Tom Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio, Michael Ian Black, David Wain, Artie Lang, Todd Barry, Janine Garofalo, Greg Fitzsimmons, and a gazillion others. Good stuff. Really funny.

Years later, V.C. decided to give novel writing a try while her kid was at summer camp. She read Chris Baty's No Plot, No Problem!, Stephen King’s On Writing, and Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, then wrote 1,700 words a day from July 1st to the 31st. And didn't stop there. Four years and 11 drafts later, here we are. Around the same time, V.C. began trying her hand at writing music and lyrics and found that she liked that, too. She started a band, Tori Erstwhile & The Montys, who play an entertaining and unpredictable mix of original songs and genres (alt. bluegrass/indie-pop/jazz/random Latin)--often witty, always charming--but that’s another story for another day.

She continues to write catchy songs and sing with her band of incredibly talented musicians--all named Monty--(actually most are named Dave) while at work on her second novel for St. Martin's Press. 

NOOKIETOWN will be published by St. Martin’s Press on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016. Warner Bros. Television won the option in a friendly bidding war. V.C. has written a spec pilot based on the book.

In a BOOK CLUB? This will be the book-club-bombshell of the season. Pre-order your copies then get in touch with me when you've all read it and I'll come visit your peeps if I can. You will have plenty to discuss, I assure you.

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