Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review: Eight Days A Week by Amber L. Johnson (@whereisjakeryan)

Eight Days A Week by Amber L. Johnson
Publication Date: November 6, 2014
Published: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Source: The Writer's Coffee Shop

My Rating:

Gwen Stone has secrets she’s not ready to reveal. After a recent promotion at work, she needs a caretaker for her children. She’s frenzied and in a lurch and pretty much ready to hire the first person who comes along. So she does.

Andrew Lyons needs to get out of his sister’s apartment, and a Craigslist posting may be the answer to his prayers. But what he thought was an ad for a room rental turns into a job offer he can’t refuse. Accepting the nanny position could change his life, if only he had a clue how to be a grownup.

A working mother, a shirtless manny who looks good in a towel, two children who need more than than a babysitter, and hours of kids’ TV can only spell disaster for everyone involved.

Because a manny should always mind his own business.

And he definitely shouldn’t fall in love with his boss.
This was my third Amber L. Johnson read this year and she's rocketing her way to the top of my favorite authors list. Each story is different. So much that if I didn't know it, I wouldn't assume they were written by the same author. Somewhere, behind the characters, is an author voice, and I'm so glad it isn't one dimensional.

Written in the point-of-view of Andrew, the protagonist, Eight Days begins by showing us that he's unemployed and living with his sister, who's urging him to grow up and find work.

My initial thought was that he was a slacker and I guess that's accurate to an extent. But everyone has a story. As the story goes on we get to see Andrew evolve as a character. There was no lack of growth here. However, one of my favorite things about him (besides Don) was that he was a big kid, constantly pranking; he didn't feel like he had to fit into some adult stereotype, despite his family's desire for him to. Not to mention, he's sexy. From the first time he met Gwen I was chanting, "Pounce. Pounce. Pounce." All that breast gazing, and inner monologue... Yes.

Fairly quickly we meet Gwen, a single mom, in desperate need of some help around the house. (Did I mention that this was a story about a manny?)

It's true that New Adult females are usually my least favorite. There seems to be a formula to them that just grinds my gears, so you can imagine my surprise when I didn't immediately hate Gwen. Like Andrew, she had a story, and it was a tear-jerker. Her characterization was solid. She was a damsel in distress, but in a completely different sense than what I typically see. She was in over her head between two kids and work. I think most mom's can sympathize with that. There were a few things about her I found cliche, like clumsiness, hints of low esteem, but her love for Bree and Brady overpowered her weaknesses.

On the surface Eight Days a Week isn't a deep story. There's plenty of laughs, lemon-y goodness - yeah, I'm talking smut - drama, and friendship. There were characters I loved, like Ian, and characters I didn't particularly care for, like Andrew's sister. The writing style read effortlessly.

Some of my favorite scenes were ones involving the kids. Bree was wise for a seven year old and I wanted to snatch her into a big bear hug and tell her that it was alright to be a kid. Brady was absolutely adorable. He warmed my heart every time he spoke. Andrew's commentary on children's TV was laugh-out-loud funny. He hit the nail on the head when talking about the Yo Gabba Gabba characters.
I will say, if you're not a fan of New Adult this probably isn't the book for you. It isn't a YA tale disguised with sex, nor is it an adult read, constructed to make you ponder the meaning of life. It's simple storytelling, meant to entertain, and it works.

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