★★★★.5/5 | Goodreads
Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right.
After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she’s engaged, Anne can’t help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn’t a dating service; it’s an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it — and the company’s success rate — the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn’t it work for her?
A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out — until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all.
I got into another reading slump post Shadow and Bone. I feel like that’s all I fall into, reading slumps. It’s really frustrating, because now that I’m done with school, I thought I would have more time to read all those books that are sitting on my shelves since forever. But I just couldn’t find another book to read and I felt like there’s nothing interesting coming out. I searched Goodreads for a couple of days, I went to bookstores searching around in vain. So, when in doubt, I thought it could be a good idea to reread one of my favorite books of all time. I went into my list on Goodreads and decided to reread Arranged by Catherine McKenzie. I wanted to be sure that was it was going to be a book I could count on to remind me why I love reading and a book that I knew the plot and characters were awesome. I had reread this book a couple of years ago and thought it couldn’t hurt to reread it a third time 😂.
I always enjoyed Catherine McKenzie’s books and even more because she’s from the same town as me and that we share the same name. I had met her once at a book signing and she was very nice 😁. Recently, I’m not as excited as before for her newer books, because they’re more on the thriller/mystery side and I’m not as invested in that genre that her previous books. But her first two books definitely marked me as a reader and they are in my list of all-time favorites.
The beginning of the story was a bit slow for me, but I think it was only because I was too excited for Jack to enter the storyline. But I understand why there was so much explanation at the beginning to bring Anne to the point where she would want that arranged marriage and not make it too rushed, which in the end worked out great. I liked that she did her research and actually thought about it before doing it instead of just jumping into it blindly. That made the story a little bit more realistic. The storytelling was well done and well-paced. I was definitely more invested in the part where they were in Mexico and absolutely flew through that part of the book because it was mostly Anne and Jack together. It was very typical chick-lit 🥰.
I love love love Anne. I don’t think I related more with a main character than Anne Blythe. And I love her relationship with Jack, I think they go so well together. I really like how she goes for what she wants, even though it’s completely crazy. I love her sarcastic tone, the way she interacts with others, her thought process 😍.
And Jack is amaziiiiiing. The chemistry he has with Anne was so real, at one point it was making my heart hurt because I felt so invested in their relationship. Closer to the end, I remember rooting so much for Anne and Jack and hoping that their relationship would work out despite all the hurdles and doubt that their entourage had 😪.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book. I want everyone to read it because it’s so good and it’ll make you feel so many emotions. It also made me want to reread Spin by Catherine McKenzie, which was a book that I really enjoyed and made me discover the author. After this third reread, I still stand by the fact that it remains one of my favorite books of all-time.