When life hands you lemons, make lemonade—or, in Piper Brody’s case, make a Craigslist ad offering yourself up as a hired bridesmaid! A hilarious, touching, coming-of-age novel from debut author Anne Wagener.
Piper is a recent college grad who decides to sell her body on Craigslist—as a hired bridesmaid. Her airport bookseller job just isn’t bringing home the turkey bacon, and no one’s going to pay her to analyze Milton’s poetry. Turns out, having an English literature degree from an upstanding university isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Piper’s Craigslist endeavor soon picks up steam, netting her clients such as Southern peach Stacey, whose interracial marriage causes a family feud, and Alex, a bride-to-be who’s so type A she’s type A-plus. Between fighting off matching T-shirt–wearing teams of “bustle bitches” at gown sales and learning more about fondant than the Cake Boss, Piper falls for Charlie Bell, the brother of a client. A fellow aspiring writer, Charlie’s the only person recently who’s encouraged Piper to follow her dreams. Not to mention, he’s pretty darn cute.
But when Charlie turns out to be the groom in one of her gigs—and set to marry the craziest bridezilla of them all—Piper must band together with her newfound friends and stop Charlie from making the biggest mistake of his life.
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a wonderful debut romantic comedy novel,
Piper is living “The Dream” if that entails subsisting on PB&J, a dead end job pushing books to uninterested travelers at the airport, a car that is fast approaching the junkyard and a narcissistic ex who is now on the radio in heavy rotation with his band. With a bank balance that toes the line between not enough and zero, her roommates offhanded comment about selling herself leads her to list herself as a Bridesmaid for Hire.
All of the usual weirdness ensues: inappropriate responses to her advert, email addresses that hint (some more directly than others) to the personality of the bride, and desperation toss Piper into the bridal melee, and the story is off and running. Piper is funny, clever and empathetic, allowing her to be solidly supportive. She truly WANTS to be liked and accepted, which occasionally makes her appear spineless and her lack of a solid sense of her own worth: could have devolved into maudlin immature moments, but that humor and positive hope that she solidly grabs with both hands saved her from the emo cliché.
With brides that range from delightful to delirious, Piper navigates the demands and make friends, even as those demands lead her into an ‘insider’s perspective’ to save her first bride’s brother from a terrible mistake. A flirtation and tentative relationship that goes silently pear shaped, a leap from a balcony to escape a date gone horridly wrong and the wonderful interaction with her best friend / roommate Lin and his new love interest, the story moves forward quickly with plenty of humor and laughter. While you hope for a happy ending as Piper learns, grows and finds a love to call her own, it is the journey that wanders forward, circles and leaps about like a cat with catnip: always amusing and fun to watch, with a few moments of downtime to regroup.
Wagener’s sense of the absurd yet plausible situations, her humor and knack for character development and voice make this a wonderful debut romantic comedy novel, giving readers a new author to look forward to reading.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.