Summer Blowout - Book Review

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Book Review of :  Summer Blowout


Bella Shaughnessy is addicted to lipstick with names like My Chihuahua Bites and Kiss My Lips, an occupational hazard, since she works as a stylist and makeup artist for her family's small chain of beauty salons in Marshbury, Massachusetts, along with her four half-brothers and -sisters. The owner is her father, Lucky Shaughnessy, a gregarious, three-times-divorced charmer with Donald Trump hair, who is obsessed with all things Italian and still carries a torch for his first wife, Bella's mother. After Bella's own marriage flames out spectacularly when her half-sister runs off with her husband, Bella decides she has seen enough of the damage love can do. She makes a vow: no more men.

Then Bella meets a cute entrepreneur at a college fair, and despite their bickering, they can't seem to stay away from each other. He also gives her a brilliant business idea, one that just might allow her to share her makeup expertise with the world. A small, well-dressed dog finds her way into her life, and her heart and she decides to change that, too. When the whole clan heads to Atlanta for a big Southern wedding, sparks fly--in a summer blowout, no one will ever forget.

This hilarious, rambunctious novel is pure Claire Cook: full of juicy conflict and unconditional love.

About Claire Cook

cook-claire.jpg Claire Cook is the national bestselling author of five novels, Summer Blowout, Life's a Beach, Multiple Choice, Ready to Fall, and Must Love Dogs, adapted for a major movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. Her sixth novel novel, The Wildwater Walking Club, will be published by Voice on May 5, 2009. "The exuberant and charming Claire Cook (ask anyone who saw her at this spring's Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival) is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women's fiction, said Susan Larson of the Times-Picayune. She added, "Summer Blowout is every bit as much fun as Must Love Dogs and Life's a Beach." Meg Cabot said, "Charming, engagingly quirky, and full of fun, Claire Cook just gets it. Summer Blowout is irresistible!" According to Booklist, "Summer Blowout is primed, like Cook's previous novel Must Love Dogs... to become a big-screen romantic comedy."    Life's a Beach was a Book Sense pick, as well as a Good Morning America and People magazine summer book pick. Redbook called it "gleefully quirky," Good Housekeeping said it was "laugh out loud," and The Boston Globe called it "a fun beach novel with moments of depth...a delightful and surprisingly compelling page turner." Adriana Trigiani said, "LIFE'S A BEACH is filled with hilarity, sister love and sister hate, juicy arguments and hard won reconciliations but most of all, heart," Mary Kay Andrews called it, "Tender, touching and terribly, terribly, funny!" and Jacquelyn Mitchard proclaimed, "Claire Cook is wicked good." Multiple Choice (Viking, 2004), Claire Cook's third novel, was the #2 BookSense 2005 summer paperback pick. It was also a BookSense pick in hardcover, a Book Club pick, a More Magazine Don't Miss selection, and a Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild selection. The Hartford Courant called it "very funny . . . with plenty of giggles" and The Orlando Sentinal said, "Her quirky voice and sense of humor are as strong as ever." Multiple Choice has been optioned for the screen by Working Title. Must Love Dogs (Viking, 2002) was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, a BookSense pick in both hardcover and paperback, and a Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild selection. The Chicago Tribune called it "funny and pitch-perfect" and Library Journal called it "utterly charming." Must Love Dogs has a second incarnation as a feature film written, directed and produced by Gary David Goldberg and starring Diane Lane, John Cusack, Christopher Plummer, Dermot Mulroney, Elizabeth Perkins and Stockard Channing, now available on Warner Bros. DVD. Claire Cook was born in Alexandria, Virginia, and is one of eight siblings. She graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University, with a dual major in film and creative writing. She wrote her first novel, Ready to Fall (2000), in her Ford Windstar outside her daughter's swim practice at five in the morning. Happily, she has left her minivan and writes in a home office now. A former teacher of physical fitness, including open ocean rowing, as well as creative writing, she also worked as continuity director of a radio station. She lives in Scituate, Massachusetts with her husband and dog, where her two borderline adult children and their laundry visit often. She has been a judge for the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Family Circle magazine fiction contest. She is a member of the Cape Cod Writers Center faculty.

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