by Suzanne Selfors
Coffeehouse Angel has been on my wishlist since I first started blogging last June, and saw it around the blogosphere (so long ago, I know!) So you can understand how excited I was when I found out my school finally got it even though my public library hadn’t. So excited.
Summary: Hard-working Katrina isn’t really good at anything. That is, except trying to keep her grandmother’s Scandanavian coffee shop afloat and warding off the arrogant Mr. Darling who runs a ‘hipper’ coffee shop right next door. When she selflessly gives food to a ‘homeless’ she finds in the alley, little does she know that the hobo was actually a messenger angel, Malcolm. He grants her wishes as a ‘reward’, but not everything goes as smoothly as she wants, and she finds herself tangled in a fight with one of her best friends. The angel, the coffeehouse, her friends, and her grandmother all just make her life a bit crazier.
Review: I had some high hopes for this. I thought I would love a fun, light read with a feel-good story, it was just what I wanted during a hectic school week. Was I disappointed? Yeah, I was. Like I’ve said, this book has been on my wishlist for so long, it just didn’t really measure up.
I’m trying to make my reviews more thoughtful and less “the characters this, the plot this, the writing this.” But that doesn’t mean I won’t touch on these subjects.
Everything in this novel just feels a bit lukewarm. I did really like Katrina; I thought she was portrayed quite realistically, being jealous over her best friend hanging out with other people and worrying about the coffeehouse. Secondary characters had their quirks, but I never felt they were as fleshed out as they could have been. I felt the connection between Katrina and Irmgaard could have been better, and again, could have been fleshed out more. It was like “hallelujah, revelation! Let’s move on!”
Malcolm had potential to be swoon worthy, but fell short because the story wasn’t as focused on romance. I’m not sure if I liked this more or less, but I did wish there could have been a bit more Malcolm.
Katrina’s personal growth was a pretty obvious, but I won’t say it was written perfectly. When reading it, it just seemed more like telling than showing, despite some strong and positive ‘messages’. Some scenes or places felt awkward and forced.
The plot was enjoyable, but not perfect. It focused a lot on Katrina’s rivalry with the neighbour coffeehouse, which is completely understandable. I wish there could have been a bit more drama though, either with Mr. Darling, or even with Heidi. Drama with Vincent (her friend who she’s fighting with) was interesting and I thought her feelings about it were realistic.
I disliked the whole Ratcatcher phenomenom. Seemed just a bit too out there for me, and I wish the story could have stayed a bit more grounded.
The ending was a bit perfect, a bit unlikely, and predictable.
I am glad, however, that she didn’t end up with Vincent, because if she did I would of complained about how out of the blue it seemed, especially at the beginning with the “this isn’t a story about me falling in love with a best friend” bit. Horribly quoted by the way. It would have been clichéd and corny and just predictable.
7.9/10 – because I felt let down by the book, I really wanted it to be the kind of book I thought was fun, fluffy and fantastic. Unfortunately, it was just average for me, with a fun plot with a dash of drama. Writing was choppy at places, but the plot was pretty solid and the characters were likable. Katrina’s indecisiveness with her future and her life kind of reflects mine, and I was definitely rooting for her to pull through.
Recommended for readers who would like a light read about a courageous, sympathetic heroine. And a pretty cute angel.
Go HERE to see my "updated" explanation of my weird rating system (warning: includes math!)