Monday, April 16, 2012

Review & Giveaway: "The Wedding Beat" by Devan Sipher

Do you ever go through reading streaks? As in, for a while every book that you read seems like it is not a good fit for you and you end up putting them all aside in complete frustration or, you get lucky and every single book that you read is amazing and you can't put any of them down? I have been incredibly lucky lately and every single book that I have picked up to read I have loved. Authors are really coming out with some amazing releases this spring, and for that I am one thankful reader! My most recent amazing read was Devan Sipher's debut novel, which I will admit that I was glued to yesterday despite the fact that I was supposed to be helping with the tiling of my kitchen backsplash.

Gavin Greene has been interviewing couples for the wedding section of "The Paper" in New York for several years now and despite the fact that he can write a touching story about true romance he has yet to find romance of his own. Tired of being single at the countless weddings that he attends, tired of having nobody to come home to at the end of the day, and tired of not having forged any true romantic connections in a very long time, Gavin decides to let go of his inhibitions surrounding dating and to find someone special. He finds a special someone, Melinda, at a New Year's Eve party but stupidly lets her walk out of the door, and out of his life, without getting her phone number. As a newspaper reporter Gavin knows how to track people down, but as lead after lead brings him to a dead end, he begins to lose hope.

When, by chance, he runs into Melinda again he is gutted to find out that she is engaged to be married, and he is even more upset when he realizes that her fiance is a scumbag. As Gavin tries to decide if he should let Melinda know how he feels about her or if he should leave her alone to her happily-ever-after, he comes to some startling realizations about himself and about his take on marriage which have been a long time coming.

I don't often comment about the covers of books, but I have to say that this one was particularly well done. The colors are attractive and the image of a woman's long, white wedding dress caught in the door of a yellow taxi made me think, in general terms, of missed romantic opportunities. It is truly one of my favorite covers in a long time!

Luckily for me, my enjoyment of The Wedding Beat didn't end at the cover. I always enjoy reading fiction aimed at a woman and written by a man, and this story was particularly well done. Gavin Greene is a sympathetic character and we want him to find love. We, as the readers, want him to find love with Melinda even more and the missed opportunities between the two coupled with the romantic tension apparent between Gavin and Melinda made this book impossible for me to put down. I found myself riveted for the last couple of chapters as I waited to see if Melinda and Gavin would ever actually get together (no spoilers, I'm not telling!).

Making this whole story even more interesting is the fact that Devan Sipher actually writes about weddings for The New York Times, and he just happens to be single himself. I couldn't help but wonder how much of the story, if any, was based on his own experiences. Even if it wasn't really based on his personal experiences at all, the story was made all the more authentic given his background.

The Wedding Beat is an entertaining, sweet, romantic and funny story that I enjoyed immensely, and thanks to the publisher I have one copy to give away to a lucky US reader! To enter:

1. *Mandatory Entry* Leave me a comment letting me know that you would like to win and include your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you are the winner. Optional: Share a funny wedding moment with me!

2. *Bonus Entry* Become a follower of this blog through Google Friend Connect and let me know that you are now a follower in your comment. Current followers are eligible for the bonus entry as well, just please let me know that you are a follower.

3. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this giveaway in some way. Blog about it, Tweet about it, or Facebook it, just leave me a link to how you spread the word for one bonus entry.

You can enter this contest until midnight EST on April 23, 2012. One winner will be chosen randomly after this time and will be notified by e-mail that they have won. They will have 48 hours to respond to the e-mail or they will forfeit their prize. Contest is open to US residents only. Good luck!


  1. Thanks for your wonderful review and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. This story would be wonderful. Excellent feature and background about the author. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. I have been reading a lot of lighter fiction/chick lit recently. I tend to do this in the spring/summer and read more serious novels in the fall/winter. Not sure I can explain this (other than the publishing trends).

    Glad you enjoyed this one!

    1. Mari, I do the same thing! I tend to gravitate towards the slightly heavier reads in the fall and winter, but come spring and summer it is all about the chick lit!

  4. This contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, petite!

  5. I am reading this now and totally enjoying it! I, too, keep wondering how much of the story is autobiographical.