Some books are burned into my retinas, and for some reason, this is one of them.
I tend to recall the books I've read during crucial parts of my life. Even if I don't remember what I was up to during that time, I remember what I was reading when it happened. And every single time I pick up this book, I remember Gloria Jean's Coffee.
I started my undergrad in a po-dunk town I thought was a city because it had a lousy bus system. Unlike my colleagues, it never occurred to me to be afraid of the buses, so the last year I lived there, I took bus-related adventures. Usually, this involved me going to the mall because it was somewhere that had a Waldenbooks. Since I was buying books at the CVS across the street, Waldenbooks was a huge step up (if I wanted to sit on a different bus for 20 minutes more, I could get to a Borders. That's where I bought Angel Season 5. Like I said: fiction-based recall).
That day, I hopped on a bus to escape everyone I knew, turned off my usually disfunctional phone, and went to the mall with the Waldenbooks. I vaguely recalled liking the one Crusie book I'd read in high school, so after picking up a paperback, I tottered downstairs to buy a mocha from Gloria Jean's and a pretzel from Auntie Anne's. I promptly spilled my drink on the first few pages, causing my copy to forever smell like coffee. From there, I remember sitting, drinking good coffee and eating pretzels, as I was launched into this book for the very first time.
The pretzel was long gone and the coffee half empty when I met Davy Dempsey for the first time. I remember reading while walking to the bus stop, then curling up in my grandpa's donated plush recliner in the living room while my roommate chain smoked and read the BBC online. I don't know what anyone else did for the rest of the day, but I ended up in my room, reading Jennifer Crusie, and it was like I had remembered how to breathe. I loved everything about this book. I just wanted to read more.
Crusie writes fun, fast-paced novels that I read when I hate everything. They're fun under any circumstances (I've read them at many different moods and points of my life), but unlike any other author, Crusie can pop a depression bubble so fast that I usually regain my standard optimistic worldview by the time I'm done.
And this, really, is my favorite Crusie. I know not why, but the madcap shenanigans are off the charts, the hero and heroine fight and laugh and there's pineapple orange everything for everyone. And Louise. I love Louise. Basically, I get clever ladies and a heroine with ashthma. What more could a gal want?