These days there are very few American comedy writers bringing their A-game, but Browne is swinging for the fences.

FATED

Another radically funny comedy from one of America’s best satiric novelists.

California must have good stuff. California-based Browne (Breathers, 2009) hails from the same neck of the woods as humor powerhouse Christopher Moore and brings the same mojo to his sophomore novel. After getting down with zombies in the subversive romantic comedy Breathers, the author turns his attention to the human condition. His hero is the deeply flawed and conflicted Fabio, the nom de plume of the literal Fate, the predestination of your life on this crazy Earth. Fabio reports to Jerry, who sounds a lot friendlier than God but is actually a bean-counting bureaucrat complete with quotas and a serious deficit in the sense-of-humor department. Not that Fabio is the only anthropomorphized divinity on the clock—there are plenty of compatriots, among them Lady Luck, Gossip, Karma, Justice (who is a sociopath), Truth (the kleptomaniac), Dennis (which sounds friendlier than Death) and, the most troublesome, Love. Not to mention that his rival, Destiny, is gunning for him. Unfortunately, Fabio has fallen head-over-heels in love with Sara Griffen, his neighbor in New York City, from which he telecommutes to ruins most people’s lives. Bummer for Fabio: His girlfriend is slated to be part of the “Big Event,” the return of the Messiah to Earth, delivered by memo, no less. “Effective immediately, all staff members are instructed by executive order to prepare for the Messiah’s arrival sometime within the next eighteen months as indicated in your individual job descriptions,” scribbles Jerry. “Those not directly affected are expected to plan the baby shower.” Genuinely comic novels are hard to come by, so grab a copy of this one. There will be long lines at Browne’s book signings if he keeps this up.

These days there are very few American comedy writers bringing their A-game, but Browne is swinging for the fences.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-451-23128-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: NAL/Berkley

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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