Super in the City by Daphne Uviller
Bantam (2009), Paperback, 304 pages / ISBN 0385342691
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Beach Read
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Challenges: 2009 Pub Challenge (#1)
This is going to be released on January 27th! I got this book free through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.
My first Early Reviewers book of the year. So exciting, and luckily this was a good one! (Also, how awesome is that cover? Very elegantly done, I think!)
Summary from the back of the book:
In a city brimming with opportunities for heroism, twenty-seven-year-old Zephyr Zuckerman has often fantasized about committing acts of bravery that would make front-page news. Now she may get her big break—though it may require plunging a few toilets. When the superintendent of her parents’ Greenwich Village brownstone is led away in handcuffs, unemployed Zephyr takes over his post and unleashes her inner sleuth: discovering titillating secrets about her tenants—from a smoky-voiced Frenchwoman who entertains throngs of unsavory visitors to a moody musician who just has to be hiding something—and realizing that her new reality is far more intriguing than her imagination.
Soon Zephyr has sussed out wrongs that stretch from losers on the Internet to art fraud and an international crime ring. The mob thinks she’s in the FBI, and the FBI thinks she’s in the mob—a predicament she needs to clear up fast. But perhaps not before the cute, surly exterminator helps her solve the mystery of what to do with the rest of her life….
I had a lot of fun reading this; I liked the characters, even if they did really boneheaded things, and the story itself had enough mysterious and, at times, wacky things in it to keep me interested ’til the end. Zephyr is prone to having wild fantasies about, oh, everything, but I tend to do that, too, and so it made me like her even more. She also has problems getting motivated to do anything: she has a lot of excuses why she can’t do something (like get a job), but she doesn’t really make an effort to change either herself or her circumstances. She’s forced into being the super for her building by her parents, but she never really tries to succeed at it. Part of it is because she doesn’t want to be the super, but considering how many fantasies she has as being kick-ass at it, I would have expected her to try harder at it than she did.
That was actually one of the biggest disappointments, because I really did want her to be a good super, to have found her niche. Women supers are kinda rare, so I was hoping that the book would have focused more on that area. Instead, it was more about Zephyr finding a place where she’s happy with her life. As a bonus, she gets a new boyfriend and a new exciting job, which I think she’ll be good at. I’m not giving away any spoilers, but it’s awesome.
There are a few explicit sex scenes, but nothing like some of the hotter Harlequin novels. They’re quite easy to skim over if you don’t like that sort of thing (which I don’t, so I did).
I really enjoyed reading this, even though there were a few things I didn’t like. Both the hero and the heroine annoyed me to no end, mostly because they’re so dysfunctional! But I still liked them enough to root for them to get together. Zephyr’s friends were a little too perfect, but I could see a few flaws come out in the course of the plot; anyway, they were secondary characters and I didn’t really expect to get a detailed description of their personality and life. Zephyr saw them as she wanted to see them, which was mostly focused on how better they were than her at, er, everything. That would have glossed over a lot of their imperfections, I think.
Anyway, I’d recommend this to anyone who likes chick lit books with intelligent and lovable, if dysfunctional, heroines and their heroes.