May 3, 2012

A Wedding Columnist in Search of Love (Book Review)

Devan Sipher, a writer for the New York Times "Vows" column, turns to what he knows best for his first novel, The Wedding Beat, a witty romantic comedy detailing the ups and downs of one man's hunt for true love. Gavin Greene, 37 and single, writes a wedding column for 'The Paper.' A hopeless romantic, Gavin is tired of being the single guy at all these weddings. Confronted by love and marriage on a daily basis, he is unhappily aware that he isn't getting any younger.

At a New Year's party, he happens to meet a beautiful woman named Melinda. Unfortunately, she leaves before he works up the courage to ask for her number, forcing him to search all over Manhattan for Melindas. Unable to find the right one, he dejectedly returns his focus back to reporting on other people's weddings.

Several months later, having becoming convinced he'll never meet the love of his life, Gavin finally crosses paths with Melinda again. The catch? Her upcoming nuptials are his latest story. Will he have the nerve to disrupt her wedding plans? Or will Melinda get away from him once again?

Sipher writes with a voice that makes Gavin's stresses about his job and his search for Melinda--even his worrying about his abnormally small neck--believable and funny. And seeing a love story play out from the man's perspective makes The Wedding Beat a refreshing take on traditional 'chick lit' themes.

Gavin's neuroses made him believable, and mostly likeable. Towards the end he was starting to come across as a little whiny, but all in all it was a pretty funny read. It's kind of the book version of "27 Dresses" (that movie with Katherine Heigl and the guy from X-Men) and in fact references "27 Dresses" several times. I think if you liked the movie you'll like this.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Should I recommend this to my grandma? I think so. My memory is a little fuzzy on this one though.

Did you see 27 Dresses? 
Have you ever noticed a man's neck size?

A version of this review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers on Tuesday April 10.