Facebook Jeanie – Addison Westlake

What to expect:
“Ever wonder if you made the right choice? What if you could go back and find out?

31-year-old Clara is in a steady relationship—with Facebook. Every night after her depressing bureaucratic job (so much for saving the world), Clara comes home to her empty apartment (yes, she was dumped) and settles down with a pint of ice cream for some good, old-fashioned Facebook stalking. It’s her college boyfriend, The One Who Got Away. With the bod of a God and a net worth of umpteen bamillion, he now has the perfect life—everything she could have had if she hadn’t been so, so stupid.

But, wait. Jeanie from Facebook shows up at Clara’s job. There’s a new app they’re beta-testing and Clara’s perfect for it. That night she clicks on it and… nothing happens. But the next morning when Clara wakes up at noon, hung over, listening to her roommate blow-drying her hair and singing “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”, she realizes she’s back in college. With the chance to do it all over again.

Back in the world of frat parties, BFFs, and long-suffering, overlooked lab partners, join Clara as she discovers what it really means to hit the reset button on life. What could possibly go wrong? And, this time, can she get it right?”

I wasn’t sure whether I’d like this, what with the two main themes being Facebook and a hint of Groundhog Day (a movie I can’t like, despite the legendary Bill Murray). However the Facebook element is minimal, just a dash of your regular ex-boyfriend stalking and a mysterious time-resetting app. The time travel aspect doesn’t have the annoying repetitiveness of Groundhog Day, so fine by me!

Kooks for your Kindle?– Brad is the one who got away, happily married to the woman who was waiting in the wings in college and he’s earning a fortune as an investment banker. His polar opposite is Alek, formerly a foreign student from the Czech Republic in the flashbacks, and a seemingly humourless physics nerd with an attitude and well hidden charms. Jeanie is the woman who makes the craziness happen, and pops up like a pink-clad version of Mr Benn (pardon the obscure British reference).

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Clara has hit rock bottom and is a walking disaster having been ditched by her boyfriend, stuck in a dead-end job and overdosing both herself and her laptop on wine. Her misguided attempt to fix her situation involves accepting Jeanie’s offer and having a do-over; thus not breaking up with Brad and inserting herself into his happy-ever-after- which turns out to be a little different to his life with his original wife. Unfortunately she’s blind to the obvious and it takes a second re-set before she sees the answer to her problems and gains a refreshing perspective on life, redeeming her, somewhat. Clara’s not totally self-centred, even in her student days her passion was to help younger kids less fortunate than herself.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– The author certainly brings the past and the alternate timelines to life, with Clara’s pampered superficial life with Brad contrasting nicely to their second choice as hippies in San Francisco. The latter of those was particularly vivid and enough to scare anyone away from redwood trees.

Evaluation of your eBook?– I was pleasantly surprised, even though the romantic choices were foreseeable and the ending was very cheesy (especially the superfluous epilogue). The likable main characters and snappy narrative help, it’s fast paced and witty throughout. Both alternate futures were amusingly over-the-top, right down to Clara’s physical changes. I loved Jeanie’s explanation of how the system chooses sad candidates, the final straw being changing one’s profile photo to a cat (although I have to point out that the cat’s name, Jedi, is a type of person not the name of a character in Star Wars **nerd alert**). If you like funny, warm, frothy tales you’ll enjoy Clara’s transition from recently dumped, regrouping basket-case to….. someone a lot more together!
Many thanks to the author for the review copy.

Frothy Ranking: 3.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £1.93.

US: Amazon for $2.99.