Otherwise Engaged | By Lindsey J Palmer
About the Author
Lindsey J Palmer has worked in the magazine industry for years. From there, she moved on to become an educator. Currently she is working as a script writer for BrainPOP, an animated educational website for kids. Otherwise Engaged is her third book published in 2019.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Molly and Gabe are a young couple in love and newly engaged. But when Gabe's debut novel about his ex-girlfriend Talia, becomes a best-seller, Molly feels as if she is a third wheel. In her confusion, things start to fall apart for Molly. Her career and life takes a toll as Molly fails to differentiate between fact and fiction.
Will Molly get a grip on what is happening, and turn her life around?
Narrative and plot
Otherwise Engaged is definitely an engaging story. It is told from the protagonist - Molly's point of view. There is also another parallel track going on with Molly as narrator when she reads her boyfriend's book.
When you have a strong plot, the rest of the elements just contribute to it. We only get the Molly version of things and how she perceives everything and everyone around her. However, Molly is unforgiving about her own thoughts and actions which gives the necessary depth to the story.
Characters and Conflict
Finally you read about a heroine who studied a subject instead of what she loved, because it would lead to gainful employment. I am some one who did that. And now I work in a completely different area which is ironical, but irrelevant to the matter at hand. The point is, I relate to Molly on that aspect. Molly is your everyday girl whom you can connect at some point of your life. She is flawed, aggressive in her own way and much real than your normally nice chic-lit heroine who is too nice and meek for her own good.
Every relationship aspect of the story was meaningful with three-dimensional characters and not just for the sake of it. They contributed to the plot equally and fueled Molly's character development. Even the fictional characters were well defined.
I guess, writing about a fiction getting twisted and mixed with reality must be a piece of cake for an author, right? On a serious note, the whole unraveling was well executed. What I appreciate most is, in the end it wasn't as if Molly was the only right one with everyone wronging her. She admits that herself too.
This is a book with a strong message. It does not preach it to your face but it shows that it is important being good to people. Particularly in a world where there is a platform for everyone to lash out about something or the other. Instead we should focus on the positives about others, be honest with ourselves and if we don't agree or accept someone or something just let it be. Respect their existence and move on.
Needless to say more. I enjoyed it a lot. In the beginning it felt like just another chic-lit novel. But the book took me by surprise and I am delighted that I read it.
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