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REVIEW: Super in the City by Daphne Uviller

Dear Ms. Uviller,

038534269101lzzzzzzzIt was the back blurb of this book that caught my attention. The mob thinks the heroine is with the FBI. The FBI thinks she’s with the mob. And she’s dating an exterminator? After reading that I just knew I had to try this one.

Zephyr Zuckerman has a vivid imagination, four best friends from high school, a former asshole boyfriend she’s still not over and at age twenty-seven, still hasn’t made up her mind what she wants to do when she grows up. In the meantime, her parents have hit on something to occupy her time and save them some money. After the long time super of the small apartment building they own is arrested on charges of taking kickbacks from an oil company – and honestly how could that be a lot of money since there are so few tenants there? – they suggest that Zephyr take over his job.

A strangled, “What?!” is her initial response. She’s never dealt with stopped up sinks, unlocking the garbage hold, identifying unknown smells or allowing an exterminator through the building. It’s mainly the guilt over the money her parents have tossed down the drain funding her various attempts at grad schools that gooses her into agreeing to it. Now she’s the one getting the early morning phone calls from the neurotic old lady in the garden apartment. Oh yeah, and trying to figure out the exterminator who definitely doesn’t look to anyone like he’s an exterminator.

However it’s Gregory who actually discovers the mysterious secret staircase leading between two of the apartments which kicks off the whole bizarre FBI/mob mix-up. Well, that and the fact that Zephyr and her friends have a habit of crashing parties for free food and Zephyr has been called upon to do her civic duty.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “only in New York” and it’s the one which came to mind the whole time I was reading the book. Not only because of the ultimate way the plot winds up but also because of all the details of life in the city you include. I’ve never lived there, never even been there but I can see the stores, bars, hotels and places Zephyr and her friends grew up in and around. I can hear the accents, smell the food and feel like I need to dodge out of the way of dog walkers with their fourteen charges.

And even while the plot languidly spooled out, gathered steam then hauled ass to its conclusion, I was laughing my ass off as Zephyr daydreamed about the tales she would tell her children of how she cute-met their various fathers. And how she and her girlfriends recoiled in horror at the apartment that the ex-super treated like a petri dish – definitely double glove before going there. And as she tried to figure out who and what Gregory really is.

Zephyr shares a lot with other Chick Lit heroines – mid twenties and drifting through life, sucky job, repugnant ex-boyfriend, close gal pals and a hero who baffles her before they finally work out their HEA – but she – and the book- are also genuinely funny unlike a lot of the pratfall filled Chick Lit books I’ve struggled through in an attempt to recapture the joy of the first ones I read years ago. This is a book I’m glad I got in my bimonthly care package from Jane and one I know I’ll probably read again. B+

~Jayne

This book can be purchased in trade format from Amazon or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

8 Comments

  1. Jory Strong
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 09:37:50

    I don’t usually go for anything with even a whiff of “chick lit” on it, but this book sounds fun.

    ReplyReply

  2. Jayne
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 14:57:23

    Sadly, Jory, I’m getting that way too. I used to adore Chick Lit but lately the offerings are just rehashes of the same old song and dance. This one was a nice surprise.

    ReplyReply

  3. Claudia
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 16:30:40

    I got this at lunch and have been sneaking in pages at work. I’ve been on something of a break from most women’s fic for a few months now and this DA review and the few pages I read at Borders convinced me I could finish this book with a smile instead or a smirk or sneer on my face :D

    ReplyReply

  4. orannia
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 16:31:00

    Thank you Jayne. I find chick lit hit or miss. I loved Jennifer Cruise’s Bet Me – I spent a whole Sunday morning in bed reading that book and laughing. However, I have yet to enjoy another chick lit as much. Super in the City sounds like it will be very good!

    ReplyReply

  5. Kaetrin
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 23:41:37

    Thanks for the review Jayne,

    Is there a lot of romance in the story or is it more about Zephyr’s journey of self discovery?

    ReplyReply

  6. Jayne
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 05:18:22

    I would say there’s a little bit more romance than is usual for this subgenre. At the end of the book, the reader finds out a character’s reason for why there wasn’t more.

    ReplyReply

  7. MB
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 13:46:50

    Okay, you sold me. This plot sounds great.

    ReplyReply

  8. Review: Super in the City by Daphne Uviller (2009) « Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
    Sep 08, 2009 @ 20:53:43

    [...] reviews: Dear Author | S. Krishna’s Books | Pop Culture [...]

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