cover image The Lovers

The Lovers

Rebekah Faubion. Berkley, $19 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-64086-9

Faubion’s funny if shallow debut comes across like a sitcom episode, delivering a few good laughs but nothing that will linger long in readers’ minds. The protagonists are tarot reader Kit “Mystic Maven” Larson and event planner Julia Kelley, both terminally online 20-somethings working on the same destination wedding in Joshua Tree National Park. Of the two, Julia’s got it worse. Not only is Kit the girl who broke her heart in high school, but she has another ex among the bridesmaids, who’s circling for a second bite. Despite the heroines being characterized very differently—woo-woo aesthete versus type-A entrepreneur—Kit and Julia both narrate in voices that are essentially identical, particularly in their preoccupation with 1990s cultural references older than they are. This sameness, combined with Kit’s relentless commitment to the bit of wanting to be a rom-com ingenue, render it difficult to accept the artifice and engage with the romance on a deeper level. Still, readers in the mood for a quirky bit of fluff will find this entertaining enough. (Sept.)