Review by Dale:
This is perhaps my second foray into chic-lit comedy? And it's probably targeted more at the adult or advanced YA reader rather than the Tween.
This is also another genre that that I don't claim to be any kind of expert in. I've seen the Bridget Jones movie and something with Sandra Bullock in it so I'm not completely nieve....
What is immediately obvious a few pages into this novel is that author Shannon O'Neil has quite a way with words. "My grandfather would sooner have seen his youngest son in full drag carrying a Jimmy Carter campaign sign than..." The whole story is punctuated with snappy little punchlines that make you laugh out loud and cause those sitting around you to eye you with suspicion and move away. Definitely better to read this when you are alone or out of earshot.
Comedy is tricky and weaving comedy into a serious story that has a great message is not a challenge for the feint hearted writer. So I think O'Neil has done exceptionally well in maintaining the comedic flow of the book whilst delivering a credible and compelling piece of dysfunctional domestic drama for us to enjoy.
I think O'Neils greatest strength maybe lies in her character development. Some of the amazing nut cases she has conjured up are absolute gems. A personal favorite being the massive lumberjack simpleton Maylene. O'Neil has given only a tiny amount of detail in describing her and yet this character has fully metastasized in my mind. The other thoroughly enjoyable character is Olivia, whose complete insanity would give Batman's arch nemesis the Joker a run for his money. I dont want to spoil the fun for any potential readers out there by giving away too many of the jokes and shenanigans contained within though.
I'll be Home for Peacemas is easy to read and moves along briskly. There are a lot of characters in this book and honestly I did get them confused at times, probably because I didn't get a chance to read this in just one or two sittings but kept coming back to it. The story itself is told as a recollection of past events and jumps randomly around the last few Christmases in the life of Bailey Hamilton. You know something big has happened, but you dont know what triggered it off and that suspense keeps you turning in the pages.
So if you are looking for something to take away for a long weekend of reading in the sun and you like that 'Meet the parents' kind of mad humour, then this is the book to pack.
Available from Smashwords
Link to Download: Here
Price: $2.99c (at time of review)
Wordcount: 80,000 (appx)
Author: Shannon O'Neil