Book Review – Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

by Maryse on September 1, 2014 · 6 comments

in My Book Reviews

Beauty and the Mustache: A Philosophical Romance (Knitting in the City Book 4)
Beauty and the Mustache, huh? LOL! I had no idea what to think when I saw that cover. ;) But this author is well-known for her quirky, comedic romances (in fact, here’s my review of her book #1 Neanderthal Seeks Human <— *snort* see what I mean about her book titles?), so I had a feeling we were headed for pure entertainment.

But it was when I received these recommendations (with the promise that it read perfectly as a standalone and I could skip right to it), that I immediately placed this one at the top of my TBR list. I was so excited. (P.S. many recommend reading the series in order anyway, to get the full “character” impact: Knitting in the City Series Reading Order)

Maryse’s Book Blog: Wow you guys, a commenter on my blog is going CRAZY for Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid. Okay this has GOT to be my next read after Black Lies. Can I read it as a standalone? Do you guys know? I’m dying to know *that feeling* they’re having… Okay, so Karen said: “I’m 70% into Beauty and the Mustache and… I don’t even know what to say. I saw you mentioned it so I had to tell you that it is so so so romantic. It’s got to be the most romantic book I’ve read in forever. It’s giving me all the feels like I can’t catch my breath. I had to force myself to put it down because I don’t want it to end but I can’t stop thinking about it!! Ah!!! I don’t want to jinx it but I think this is going to be my favorite book of the year!” and then she said: “I just finished Beauty and the Mustache. It’s going to take me a while to recover from it. I have THE WORST book hangover, I can’t stop thinking about Drew. Ah! I’m shaking!!” <—- eek I WANNA SHAKE TOO!!!!!!!!!!

Jodi: I just started it… Hopefully it will get me out of my book snit..

Darci: It can be read as a stand alone, but some of the characters are introduced in earlier books. I don’t think you would be completely lost if you just read this one, but having read all the prior books, it was much more fun to read this one. Hope that helps

Stacy: I absolutely love this series! Can’t wait to dive in to this one, too!!! One of my favorite series ever!

Kelly: Wasn’t interested originally in Beauty and the Mustache but tried anyway. I’m laughing and swooning. My fave’s so far: “I wanted to braid his beard”, and “does he give you zings in your things?”. Oh, and love the bathroom schedule!!!

Bobbi: Just finished … it was amazing. Loved it and it did give me the same kind of feeling that Archer’ s Voice did …. I adored Drew … I think he may actually be my new #1!

Maryse’s Book Blog: I like the sound of that!!! :D

Kandace: Reading it right now. I’m seriously in.. I can tell this is going to be a special story.

Angie: So I started this and Maryse this book is AMAZING. Like  AMAZING! Holy crap. I can’t wait to devour every single book ever written by this author. THE GIRL CAN WRITE! Wow, and her characters are INCREDIBLE. I’m all mushy and in love right now.

Lori: Just finished!! she handled it all so perfectly!!! The wisdom, the love, the family, the poetry, the humor, fanfreakintastic! SWOON even some slow reading Maryse!! I can’t wait for your review

Yep. I too wanted to be all mushy and in love, and so I spent my Sunday in my comedy romance world and experienced a wide range of emotions (even one that I wasn’t expecting, that actually was a BIG part of the story).

I laughed (5 stars on the comedy).

Maryse’s Book blog: Haha!!  I’m loving Beauty and the Mustache” already. The purple nurple was hilarious, but the “schedule” scene? Priceless. I’m one happy reader this weekend!

Tracie: I’m loving this right now!! Nurples, schedules and COOOOOONS!! Freaking priceless. So glad I saw this on your blog.

Jeanie: ”Today is Wednesday. I thought no one was assigned Wednesday.” “Unassigned days are wild card days, first come, first serve deal.” LMAO!!!!!!!!!

Bethany:  I love the schedule! And all of her brothers are so great. The bear & coon scene though… Fantastic!

Kandace: The coon scene was hilarious. OMGosh I’m still laughing.

Swooned. Huge and commanding. Scowly, moody, brooding and very independent. And yet so gentle and patient. A true hero.

“Tell me what you need,” he said between raining soft kisses against my hair, temple, and cheek. “I’ll do anything for you.”

I heard him, but I didn’t really process his words other than at the most basic level. He wanted to help me. That was the takeaway message.

Therefore, I wiped my nose on his shirt and said between tears, “I’m using your shirt as a tissue.”

Okay so I both *swoooooooned* and *snorted* there. :P

P.S. 5 stars on the journal <— OMG that was one of the most deep, heart wrenching, romantic things I’ve ever read!

Kandace: It was so romantic in a scowling H way. It’s just a beautiful story. I loved how each person has a role. Together they were AMAZing. It’s a beautiful story about roots.

Lori: I have to admit, I love a “brooder”!

Maryse: Brooding heroes are my favorite too. *sigh* ‘Cause when they smile or are sweet it is amazing!!! AND… they are always SO sweet.

Jillian: That scene where she’s wading around in the creek? And he recites that poem? GAH!! The departing line – I literally was gobsmacked. That’s the only way I can explain it. And then I fell in love with him just a little bit more because – DAMN!

Maryse: Here. Not here. :( wow. Loved that line…

Tracie: Gah!! The journal! I have no words. This book was beyond amazeballs. So so glad I read it.

Maryse: The journal KILLED ME in awesomeness. WOW.

AND there were tears. Sad tears, of all things (5 stars on that part of the story, too). ‘Cause this wasn’t just “funny”. There was a bittersweet reason that brought all of these quirky characters together, and it did break my heart (made it feel real). And brought depth to this story amongst all of its hilarity.

Maryse: OMG that gorgeous “sound of rain” scene (about half way in) was AMAZINGLY written… perfection!!!!!! And I feel like crying right now…

Tracie: Me too^^. I loved the rain description too, I could just hear it.

Good stuff!

The writing was great, but at times… it would simply take my breath away.

Around 2:00 a.m., I left the den, taking my quilt with me, and tiptoed to the backdoor. My plan was to stand on the back porch and listen to the rainstorm without the obstruction of walls.

Rain sounded different in the Smoky Mountains than it did in Chicago. The difference between a rainstorm in the city and a rainstorm in the mountains was the difference between hearing a song over the speaker of your cell phone versus listening to a live concert.

In the city, the sound was dull, rain hitting pavement, dumpsters, awnings, windows, and building. The sound was all treble with no bass.

In the old mountains, however, rain hit the surface of every leaf, every stone, every stream. It echoed, it surrounded, it felt layered and rich and comforting.

Paired with the smell of fresh, clean water, intermittent distance flashed of lighting and the nearly constant gentle rolling of thunder – the soft kind that is felt in the chest and subtly shakes the ground – the storm was more than a sound. It was an experience that touched every one of my senses.

Standing on the porch, I closed my eyes, cleaned my mind, and breathed in the storm.

And then I cried.

Oh WOW… right?!! That blew me away. Tears…

Mind you at times, I did find my attention waning, skim-reading through certain scenes, looking… hoping… to find more emotional intensity (because believe me, it is that kind of story!). And while this story was certainly angst-laden, I found that certain situations that should have had my heart aching badly, were not as thoroughly explored.

*okay so now skip this part if you want to go into this book “blind”. I don’t give actual spoilers, but I do analyze my experience of some “things”, just so you know. ;) *

It’s hard to explain what I mean here, but some events were just BIG, you know? Heartbreaking, or shocking, or… infuriating. I won’t say which scenes (you may experience them differently than I did), but there are a few that I expected more out of, and while I knew what she was feeling, I didn’t always get to feel it with her. Plenty of emotion, mind you. But there were situations and events that occurred that I expected to knock me on my butt in emotional overload. But for some reason, the emotional impact was almost… glossed over.

Maybe the author did that on purpose… not to drown us in angst? Maybe she did it for my own good? I probably should be thanking her for that. ;) But… time would go by, and I’d realize, “Oh?!! It’s already been weeks?”. And then… “It’s been weeks again!??” But what about the days in between? What about her thoughts? What about her memories? What about her catatonic state? Her frame of mind? And believe me, as often as she was told to “change her clothes and take a shower and eat already”, I KNOW she sat in her own depressed stupor. :P Tee hee!! So that’s it. That was what was missing, to me. At times we were told things, after the fact, and the story would simply progress from there. Angsty, yes, but considering the depth of the story, I just expected more in certain parts. And these were important parts, for that matter. A lot of funny “friends” interactions, a side-story “villain”, too, but there was something missing, for me, when it came to what should have been my favorite part.

*Okay you can come back now!! :D *

But all that to say, enjoyable! I didn’t get the shakes, or the love-fog, but I did chuckle a ton, I did have tears in my eyes, I relished the family-feel and I swooned. *sigh* That journal… ;)

4 stars <— (5 stars for quite a few unforgettable scenes and gorgeous writing, and 3.5 stars for the moments I felt I missed).


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Fabi September 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Gah, Maryse, no matter what you review, you always make me want to read it.

Maryse September 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Hehe. Well, it’s definitely worth the read. ;)

Diane September 1, 2014 at 2:53 PM

I just finished and I have to agree Maryse, the writing was phenomenal (I highlighted half the book–some real hilarious stuff in there) and there were so many great parts but it just didn’t all mesh together for me for some reason. It must be us though bc everyone is obsessed with this one

Linda September 1, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Maryse once again your review translated my feelings exactly. So glad I read it but weak areas were disappointing. The journal though omg right?

Barb September 2, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Just finished and have to agree with your review. Some of the angst was glossed over and Drew’s epilogue wasn’t up to par w/ the rest of the book. Wish it ended with more feels.

Kandace September 3, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Your spoiler section…. I agree but I also think it isn’t THAT kind of story. The story isn’t about “spoiler”. I wanted more when I was in that moment but after pondering I feel going too deep would have shifted the feel of the story. It wasn’t an internal story. The story is the family, roots and finding what makes you truly happy. Not what others have compartmentalized for you.

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