cover image Pinch Me

Pinch Me

Adena Halpern. Touchstone, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4391-7114-1

Halpern (29) tackles cursed love and alternate dimensions in this gushy novel featuring uninspired characters plucked from central casting. Lily Burns's grandmother instructed her to "Never marry a man unless he's short, bald, fat, stupid, and treats you badly." Defiantly, Lily falls for and marries the most utterly perfect man, Gogo Goldblatt. Unable to believe her wondrous good fortune, she orders her new husband to pinch her to be sure it isn't a dream—and promptly finds herself in an alternate reality where Gogo is married to another woman and doesn't remember Lily at all. As it turns out, there is a family curse that has condemned all the women in Lily's family to misery unless they marry the worst possible men. The story wobbles like an earnest, tipsy party-goer, highlighted mainly by a painfully overabundant use of descriptive dialogue tags. (Aug.)