Friday, December 5, 2008

Review: Flirting with Forty

Summary: He got the second home and the Porsche. She got the kids and a broken heart. Now Jackie, post-divorce and heading toward the big four-oh, is on vacation in sunny Hawaii and staring down her upcoming birthday-alone. But not for long. She's soon falling for Kai, her gorgeous, much younger surf instructor, and the wild passionate fling they have becomes the biggest surprise of Jackie's life.

Back home in Seattle, Jackie has to struggle with single parenthood...and memories of Kai. He hasn't forgotten her. Yet thousands of miles of ocean-not to mention an age difference that feels even wider-separate them. And, of course, her friends disapprove. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness? -- 5 Spot

When Miriam from Hachette Book Group USA announced that the book for the December Blog Tour was FLIRTING WITH FORTY by Jane Porter, I had to smile. I thought this novel sounded kind of cute, and I absolutely love that this is a type of "chick lit" book (but for us older gals.) And, I hate to admit this, but I am most definitely "flirting with the big 4-0" just like Jackie, the main character in this novel.

I will say that I enjoyed reading FLIRTING WITH FORTY a great deal. Every once in awhile, I really like to sit back and read a "girly" book. It was a light, fun read that made me laugh - especially the first scene where Jackie is getting the family Christmas tree. While I don't have a lot in common with Jackie since she's a recently divorced mother of two, I still found myself relating to her and where she's at in her life.

While I do consider this book "chick lit" (not that there's anything wrong with that), there were some really good messages in this story. Since I am nearing 40 myself, I could definitely understand some of her insecurities about her looks (especially the effects of gravity and childbirth.) I could also really relate to her relationship with her friends -- women can be so judgmental. I think many women will also understand Jackie's feelings about her career, being a wife and mother, and living life for everyone but herself.

This book is a lot of fun -- especially the chapters where Jackie is in Hawaii with her surfer boy Kai. Jackie falls for her very attracting surfing instructor who is ten years her junior. I enjoyed Ms. Porter's descriptions of the beauty of Hawaii; and I appreciated how she tied Jackie's learning to surf with her own self-discovery. There were many romantic scenes that take place between Jackie and Kai, and some of them were very hot! I also liked seeing Jackie "get her groove back," both in terms of her sexuality and her confidence. I really do think forty is a time where many women find themselves reflecting on who they really are and what they really want from life.

FLIRTING WITH FORTY is the first book that I've read by Jane Porter, and I most definitely agree that she's a major force in this genre. I have quite a few of her books on my bookshelf, and I can't wait to read all of them. I enjoyed not only the story in FLIRTING WITH FORTY, but I also appreciated Ms. Porter's writing style and how well the book flowed. One thing I really liked was the section in the back of the book where she explained how she came up with the idea for this novel. You can read more about it here. I also really enjoyed reading this essay about Ms. Porter's love of books -- I can so relate! Ms. Porter has a wonderful website with lots of pictures and information about her books -- both current and future releases. In addition, she maintains a blog where she "talks about everything on her mind."

FLIRTING WITH FORTY would be a very fun book club pick. My book club has read a few chick lit type novels and thoroughly enjoyed them as a break from the more serious (and sometimes depressing) selections. There is a reading guide available, and I think you might be surprised with some of the questions. There are definitely some thought-provoking issues in this book!

This afternoon, Jane Porter will be interviewed on BlogTalk Radio at 1:00 p.m. EST. You can listen to the show here, and you can even call in with your own questions at (646) 378-0039. I have participated in a few of these radio shows in the past few months, and I always find that they enhance my reading experience! Plus, I love to hear authors talk about their books in their own words.

As I read this book, I couldn't help but picture Heather Locklear as Jackie. That's probably because FLIRTING WITH FORTY has been made into a TV movie which will premiere on Lifetime tomorrow night (December 6th) at 9 PM/8c tonight. I already have my TiVo set, and I am very anxious to curl up with a glass of wine and watch it tomorrow night -- all by myself. Take a look at this movie preview:

If you'd like to see what others are saying about FLIRTING WITH FORTY, you can take a look a the other blog book tour participants:

Note: Today's BlogTalk Radio show was cancelled because Ms. Porter is under-the-weather.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the movie - I think Heather Locklear will be perfect as Jackie.

Luanne said...

I too really enjoyed the book. You'll have to let me know how the movie is - I don't get Lifetime!

Book Lover Lisa said...

Good review. I enjoyed the book, too.

Anonymous said...

You don't look CLOSE to flirting with 40, J. Not that that is a BAD thing. :)

Toni said...

Awesome Review! I enjoyed it and the Christmas Tree scene was comical and exhausting. I knew Jackie was going to be okay... if you can survive that......

Anna said...

Can't wait to get a chance to listen to the show. I don't read too much chick-lit, but this one sounds good.

Diary of an Eccentric

Ti said...

Thanks for the review. Since I hit the big 4-0 this past September, I bet I would find this pretty entertaining. Not my normal cup of tea but as you said, once in awhile I like a light read.

Allison said...

Great review...and looking forward to the movie...and reading more of the authors books!

Anonymous said...

I've read so many great reviews of this book. Even though chick lit isn't my typical pick, I'm adding it to my wish list.

My 40th birthday was the best ever - my husband and I went (alone) to San Francisco for a long weekend - wineries, the city, Alctraz, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge up to Tiberon ... all the fun touristy things. 40 is nothing to be wary of, hit it full on!

Anonymous said...

Gonna be a great movie