Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review
When Amanda Blick, a young mother and kindhearted San Francisco heiress, finds her gorgeous French chef husband wrapped around his sous-chef, she knows she must flee her life in order to rebuild it. The opportunity falls into her lap when her (very lovable) mother suggests Amanda and her young son, Max, spend the summer with her at the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. With the waves right outside her windows and nothing more to worry about than finding the next relaxing thing to do, Amanda should be having the time of her life—and escaping the drama. But instead, she finds herself faced with a kind, older divorcee who showers her with attention… and she discovers that the road to healing is never simple. This is the sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, but always moving story about the mistakes and discoveries a woman makes when her perfect world is turned upside down.
Monarch Beach is a nice summer read. It details Amanda's life after walking in on her husband having an affair and her journey of recovery and self-discovery as she tries figure out who she is. It's not the most profound book I've ever read, but I found it enjoyable.
One issue I did have with Monarch Beach was the constant name-dropping with all the designer clothing. While I understand that some of it was necessary to help set up who Amanda's mother was (as it is a big part of her identity), I felt that about halfway through the novel it was getting overdone. Although a little bit of the name-dropping was okay in the beginning of the novel for Amanda's mother, and yes, some for Amanda too, it really wore on me after awhile. Amanda's every outfit brand was given and for me, it became overkill. I can appreciate a cute outfit and I understand that Amanda is into fashion, but I'd rather focus on the story being told rather than if the main character is wearing Gucci or Chanel.
Monarch Beach is definitely geared towards an older audience; I normally don't accept books that aren't YA for review (there are more books in the YA genre than I'll ever be able to read in my life time!) but the author was really nice when she contacted me and the blurb caught my eye. It's unlike most books I read and I figured why not give it a try? I'm glad I did; it's an enjoyable beach read with a more serious side; a story of one woman's journey to self-discovery, but there's a resort and some more fun moments during her journey!
Overall: 3.75 out of 5
Plot: 3.5 stars
Characters: 3.75 stars
Writing: 3.75 stars
Cover: 4 stars