Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Triple Love Score...Review
What Happens When You Stop Playing Games?
When playing-by-the-rules poet, Miranda Shane throws out convention and begins to use a Scrabble board instead of paper to write, she sets off a chain of events that rattles her carefully planned world. Her awakening propels her to take risks and seize chances she previously let slip by, including a game-changing offer from the man she let slip away. When the revelation of an affair with a graduate student threatens the new life Miranda created, she is forced to decide between love or poetry.
I love words and reading and writing. And I adore Scrabble. It's my favorite game. No one in my family will play with me anymore. After nearly 20 years of marriage, my husband can still count on one hand, the number of times he's beaten me. But it will always be my favorite game to play. So when I saw a book that used Scrabble as a plot point, I had to read it.
The premise is fantastic: a poetry professor begins using a Scrabble board to write 4-5 word poems or "word sculptures" that echo her thoughts or life events. Miranda photographs the board and then posts the pictures on Instagram. She soon finds anonymous fame that boosts her confidence.
Always a proper rule follower, Miranda's newfound confidence moves her to indulge in an affair with Ronan, an Irish grad student auditing one of her classes. She breaks off with him when she is reunited with Scott, the man she has long loved and who reappears in her life.
The road to true love is often paved with heartbreak, but true communication can ease the journey. One of the biggest pet peeves I have in written relationships is how easily people jump to conclusions and get angry without taking time to talk things out. This happened too easily here.
As Miranda's story weaves its way through dramatic ups and downs, she finally discovers what it is she wants from life.
The Scrabble parts of the story were my favorite. There were even photographs of the game boards with the word sculptures. They were clever and inventive and Miranda just shone as the Blocked Poet.
Unfortunately, the rest of the story lacked the same luster. Multiple subplots were juggled throughout the novel and I found the characterizations shallow. There was more sex than I had anticipated and the affair scenes with Ronan are moderately graphic, where the scenes with Scott are merely mentioned.
The word sculptures were brilliant as was Miranda's use of social media to share them. I may start using the same technique at times in the future to express myself! I certainly did this past week.
I have a magnetic Scrabble Board that hangs in my kitchen and my kids love to make words and phrases. We are entering a new phase in our life with some professional changes and I was moved to create my own word sculpture that reflects our life at the moment.
Overall, I think this is a novel that those who love words and romance should enjoy, even if I didn't. I really wanted to love and adore this story. As it was, there were parts I liked more than others. Giving it a star rating was difficult. I don't know that I would reread it, but I loved the premise.
For a 4 Star review and terrific author interview, check out Meg's review at A Bookish Affair.
Thanks to Suzy Misserlian and the author for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Brandi Megan Granett on her website and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.