Welcome to the second edition of Throwback Thursday reviews! And whaddaya know, it’s also the second Throwback Thursday of reviewing a Penny Reid book!
In case you missed it last week, Throwback Thursday reviews are short posts talking about a book I read a while ago. They’re different from my regular reviews because they’re less of a critical review/analysis and more just me talking about why I liked a book. Sure, I do that in regular reviews, but I also do the other stuff.
And in case you also missed this last week, Beauty and the Mustache was released (You can read my review and enter a Penny Reid swag pack giveaway here!), and to celebrate, I’m throwing back to the previous books in the Knitting in the City series that I read for the first time before starting this blog.
About Neanderthal Seeks Human:
There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.
After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.
So. Neanderthal Seeks Human. I very distinctly remember starting this book almost exactly a year ago. I was sitting in the waiting room at the allergist reading this for about an hour, but I only got like 5 pages in because I kept having to put down my Kindle to itch, seeing as how the ragweed pollen that comes out in Delaware this time of year had me covered in hives. Good times.
As you can imagine, it was hard to get fully absorbed in the story with that going on. A few days later, I picked it back up. I immediately related to Janie. Part of me wasn’t sure I could get through this book, even though I loved it, and here’s why:
I felt awkward for her. Add that to my own brand of awkwardness, and I wasn’t sure my body could physically handle that. much. awkward. I’m the girl who says “You, too!” to the waitress when she says “Enjoy your chicken tenders.” Like, I know she’s not going enjoy my tenders. But it’s reflexive.
So partially through the book, I was thinking, “I might not finish this book because my body might literally explode of awkward. I imagine it would be me just exploding into Skittles, because the commercials Skittles have put on TV recently are pretty awkward.
I approached it cautiously. Maybe I could take in the awkward in small doses and then let it leak out of my system, like sweat, before taking in more? This book was doing weird things to me, but I loved it.
In fact, I had originally gotten it on a loan through BookLending.com and about 25% in I went back and bought the book for myself because I knew that if I survived the experience, I’d put myself through it again.
And look at me. I’m alive! I survived the awkward. And I really wasn’t sure I would. Because it wasn’t that Zooey Deschanel “I’m being awkward to be cute,” kind of stuff.
Janie really wasn’t comfortable around people and I related to that so, so much. This is a romance book for introverts who, yeah, have a snarky side and can be hilarious, but aren’t always comfortable being themselves.
To the introvert bookworms who haven’t read this yet: read it. Janie is our queen and we will bow to her.
And now let’s talk about Quinn, because OMG Quinn! There were times when I was so scared he really was going to be a bad guy. But he was a good guy who used to be bad and thought he still was until Janie. And I love that. The fact that he was clearly totally smokin’ didn’t particularly make it hard to like him either.
And the knitting group. I feel like I’m a member of the knitting group at this point, although they would totally make fun of me because I’m a bad knitter and can only make the most basic scarves.
And I wouldn’t have that knitting group, I wouldn’t have those women I consider my friends, if I hadn’t tried to read a book while covered in hives a year ago.
About Penny Reid:
SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.