Saturday Read: Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me, by Maya Jax

After 8 months of reading textbooks with a highlighter, when it comes time for summer I want something light. Something fun. Something that I can devour quickly on the beach or when lying in bed on a rainy day. And Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me totally delivered. Well, almost delivered. The book never did make it to the beach or to a rainy day because I read the whole thing the night I bought it.

Escapades is the story of Leilana Zane, a twenty-something girl trying to make it in L.A. After three years of waiting tables while she attempts to make her mark as a screenwriter in Hollywood, her father falls ill and she’s forced to return home. Leilana thinks it’s just a short trip to be with her dad in the hospital, but that changes when her family guilt-trips her into changing her life plan and joining the family law firm. She’s torn between chasing her dreams, accepting reality and appeasing her parents, all while dealing with some ex boyfriend issues that inevitably come up when she’s back in her small town.

So what is it about this book that kept me up all night (thus forcing me to chug 3 venti iced lattes just to make it through work the next day)? Well for one, unlike most chick lit heroines, Leilana is totally relatable. She’s not your average main character working some dream job and dating some dream men. She’s a normal girl dealing with normal (read: immature, annoying, impossible to understand) boys that any college girl can totally relate to. She’s also a major klutz who gets herself into some pretty cringe-worthy situations that make you laugh out loud as you’re reading. Plus, Leilana’s situation is similar to what many of us are dealing with right now: figuring out our futures. Do we keep going after a nearly impossible dream or do we take the safe route?

Watching her grapple with that very decision is both comforting and therapeutic. And following her as she deals with family, work and one very awkward situation involving her panties and her boy toy’s mom, is just hilarious.

There are a ton of chick lit books out there right now, but if you’re looking for one that’s witty, entertaining and hard to put down, I highly recommend Escapades of a Romantically Challenged Me. It’s a fast, fun read – the kind you dream about when you’re in the library at 3am barreling through those 300-pages that bore you to tears.

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