Review + Giveaway: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Posted 29 August, 2014 in Reviews / 11 Comments

beauty and the mustache by penny reid
Title: Beauty and the Mustache

Series: Knitting in the City (Book #4)

Author: Penny Reid

Release Date: August 28, 2014

Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords

Rating: 5 mustachioed stars

Recommended for: chicks who dig philosophical dudes, beards, and purple nurples. Also, people who like good books.

About Beauty and the Mustache:

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston:

1) She has six brothers and they all have beards

2) She is a reader, and

3) She knows how to knit.

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction.

However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the ‘Knitting in the City’ series.

My Review/Feels:

beauty and the mustache quote 2I honestly feel like the worst blogger and superfan in the world because of how long it took me to write this review. I received the ARC quite a while ago. I’ve read it twice. I loved it, but I’m having such a hard getting together my words. And my feelings, although all positive, are really mixed.

I mean, the book was wonderful. Penny’s books always are. It’s now tied with Friends Without Benefits for my favorite Knitting in the City book. And she warned us that this book would be different. It was. Those aren’t my issues. I mean, I don’t even really have issues, per se. Oh my effing eff, this is hard to articulate! Which is why I’m spelling letters. efffff.

And on the topic of this book being different, I hate to think an author as awesome and down-to-earth and sweet as Penny has haters, but right now I kind of hope she has haters. I hope there are people who only thought she could write a certain way. Because this book will make them look like dumbasses and prove them wrong.

beauty and the mustache quote 1First of all, I love how Ashley talks. “Cattywampus-heads.” “Purple your nurple.” “Fiction handsome.” And as I’ve said before, I relate so much to each of the knitting girls, and I totally get Ashley’s need to escape. Fictional people’s lives are always so much more interesting. Even if it’s non-fiction, it was interesting enough reality (the complete opposite of reality TV).

I also loved the depth. While the other Knitting in the City books are anything but shallow, they’re deep in a different way. They’re smart, they make you think, but the subject matter doesn’t get very dark. They’re light and make you feel good. Beauty and the Mustache is smart, it makes you think, and it ends light, but it has it’s dark moments. This book was like a dimmer switch in the hands of a toddler – switching between light and dark a lot.

I tried to prepare myself. I read the blurb and heard from Penny that this book was different and I knew it would make me cry. But it made me cry. so. hard. Some things this book had that others didn’t:

  • Family dynamics and dysfunctions (well, more so than the other books)
  • Philosophical quotes you’ll feel smart if you understand, not so much if you have to Google them (not that I had to do that…I’m smart…)
  • Illness and loss
  • Schmaltzy deep discussions about feelings without any comic relief
  • A lot of facial hair

It’s the kind of book where you’re going “I love this author for writing this but hate them for making me feel so much. Kind of like how I really, really hate John Green.

Luckily, the book wasn’t all serious. Although Ashley and her brothers were going through an incredibly rough time, they had their moments of fun and/or laughter. And, best of all, there were appearances from the knitting group. When one of them (ah I can’t remember but I think it was Sandra and I didn’t highlight it) kept calling Drew “Charlie” because he reminded her of Charlie Hunnam, I cracked up.

They came in in all the right spots. When I felt like I would need to go on anti-depressants in a few minutes, there they were, making me laugh.

And although there were a lot of things happening that I wish didn’t (obviously), there was only one thing that I can say I didn’t like, and it’s for purely, completely selfish reasons. I don’t want to be too spoilery, but when I read that the book took place in Tennessee, I started getting really, really scared that a certain something would happen. And sure enough, it did. And I’m happy it happened because of why it happened. But the what will still make me mopey. What the what? If you actually understood this, I applaud you for following the musings of a crazy girl.

I’ll likely be updating this review as I can pull my thoughts together more clearly – maybe I need some time away from the book (this sounds like I’m asking a boyfriend to take a break or something, but so be it).

*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review


So, I bought some swag from Penny. I don’t remember exactly what, but it was good. And I’m not keeping it. (Well I’m keeping some. I’m only human.) That means you can have if you do a few things…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Penny Reid:

penny reidSEX! 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.

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