I received this book via Library, Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.If You Ask Me by Libby Hubscher
Narrator: Shannon McManus
Published by Penguin Audio, Berkley on 2022-03-08
Length: 368 pages
Length: 10 hours and 25 minutes
Reviewing Audiobook, eARC from Library, Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2022, 2022 Audiobook Challenge, 2022 New Release Challenge, COYER 2022
When an advice columnist’spicture-perfect life implodes, she opts to go rogue in this hilarious, heartwarming romance from the author of Meet Me in Paradise.
Violet Covington pens "Dear Sweetie", the most popular advice column in the state of North Carolina. She has an answer for how to politely handle any difficult situation...until she discovers her husband, Sam, has been cheating on her. Furious and out of sensible solutions, Violet leaves her filter at the door and turns to her column to air her own frustrations. The new, brutally honest Dear Sweetie goes viral, sending more shock waves through Violet’s life. When she burns Sam’s belongings in a front-yard late-night bonfire, a smoking-hot firefighter named Dez shows up to douse the flames, and an unexpected fling quickly shows potential to become something longer lasting.
A lot of people want to see the old polished Violet return - including her boss, who finds her unpredictability hard to manage, and Sam, who’s begging for another chance. But Dez appreciates Violet just the way she is - in fact, he can’t get enough of her. The right answers don’t come easily when Violet finds herself at her own personal crossroads. But maybe, by getting real, Violet can write her own happy ending.
Picking up this book, I expected a romantic comedy, and to some extent I got that. But I also got SO MUCH MORE. If You Ask Me by Libby Hubscher has a little something for everyone. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, and just in general felt all the emotions a book can make you feel. Following an advice columnist as her picture perfect life implodes, the book tackles big emotions like grief, infidelity, infertility, and ultimately moving on. Believe me when I say, this isn’t for the faint of heart. However, Hubscher handles the topics delicately, realistically, and gives voice to mental illness in all shapes and forms.
Violet Covington, from the outside, has the perfect life. She has the man of her dreams, the job of her dreams, the house of her dreams. However when she arrives home early to announce the news that her column is up for syndication, Violet finds the man of her dreams in bed with perfect Shelby down the street. Her visceral reaction to this is to do what every Southern woman is taught to do with their emotions: push it down, hide it and never let them see you cry. My heart broke for Violet here. I understood and empathized with the fact that her life was never going to be the same going forward. All those dreams, all her plans that she thought her husband shared with her, were gone.
How does one recover from that? That is the point of this plot. I absolutely love that while this does have some romance with a sexy firefighter, the book focuses more on Violet, her grief, and her self discovery as she moves through grieving not just her marriage, but all those dreams you share with your significant other. While some of what Violet does is cringeworthy, a lot of it is relatable. She’s picking up the pieces of her life, examining what to keep or what to toss, and putting herself back together again. I love her resilience….and Dez. I love Dez 😉
Overall, I really enjoyed If You Ask Me. This is a love letter to all women (and men) dealing with grief in some form or fashion. It’s a gentle reminder that the outside picture isn’t always a reflection of the inside and that you shouldn’t always judge what you don’t understand. If you are a fan of romantic comedy full of heart and emotion, I highly recommend it.