Thursday, March 28, 2024

How to Plot a Payback - Review

How to Plot a Payback

By: Melissa Ferguson

Expected Publication: April 2, 2024 by Thomas Nelson

336 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--She’s been muddling his plans for years—now he’s the writer for the beloved character she plays on television, and it’s time for payback. Murders have just become so tedious . Finn Masters has been in the business of murders for five years. Writing murders for the television drama Higher Stakes , that is. And he’s more than ready to move up the corporate ladder until, ideally, he gets his own show about almost anything else. So when an unbelievable offer is presented to him—becoming the supervising producer in none other than the nation’s most popular ongoing sitcom, Neighbors —it’s an opportunity he can’t pass up. Despite the fact that the star of the show and of America’s heart is Lavender Rhodes. And everybody loves her. Except him. And for good reason. Because Lavender Rhodes is generous to everyone. But there’s a figurative price to pay for the fortune she bestows time and time again upon those in need, and the one who always ends up “paying” it, unbeknownst to her, is him. Finally, after she unknowingly destroyed his acting career, accidentally wrecked his relationship with the love of his life, and inadvertently begins to tear his new job to shreds, he’s had enough. He’s now the writer for the beloved character she plays on television. And it’s time for payback.

Melissa Ferguson is a bit up and down for me. I have never out and out-disliked her books, but I go from blown away to meh. I struggled to get into How to Plot a Payback, and I was a little confused partway through. Finn's list of things Lavender has ruined for him was funny but confusing. I must have read through his list wrong because I thought he said he'd had a three-year relationship with Lavender and almost proposed when she suddenly dumped him. But when they met at work, and she didn't even recognize him or his name I was thoroughly confused. Turns out, they went to high school together but haven't seen each other since.

Poor Finn. He was negatively impacted by some major coincidences involving Lavender. And she was completely unaware of them. I loved how the way he perceived her was nearly the exact opposite of who she was. And I also truly loved how every attempt on his part to pay her back in big or small ways always turned out to backfire on him.

Lavender is a sweet person without a bone of malice in her body. She loves those closest to her and cares for them, even to the detriment of herself. I found myself laughing at the shenanigans of her dog Bernie because my sister-in-law recently got a Bernese Mountain dog, and he is absolutely huge and not even a year old. Over a hundred pounds already. Plus his fur is fluffy and all over the place. They've just started obedience school for him, but the lack of obedience so far has me completely picturing the antics that Bernie gets up to.

I loved Melissa Ferguson's Meet Me in the Margins because it felt like a love letter to stories, to writing, to readers. And similarly, How to Plot a Payback was also about the love of writing. Just this time, the medium was film and not books. While I do appreciate a good TV show, I didn't get into the creative process as much with this book as the other I mentioned. I am curious if they could take a show (that seems to be fashioned after Friends) and turn that into a crime/mystery show with the same cast. It seems impossible, but I'd like to see it happen now. Like Friends alternate universe, and Phoebe turns out to be a serial killer.

Favorite quotes:

-She's so good at ruining my life that of course I should've suspected she could ruin my payback.

-"No, Lavender. I very much do not deserve your forgiveness." "Maybe, maybe not," I say, "but that's the beauty of forgiveness. You don't get the say. I do. And I say"--I shrug-- "I forgive you. Life's much too short for me to hang on to resentment, especially as none of us is perfect."

How to Plot a Payback was a good book. I loved the romance. I especially love the story of Finn realizing that Lavender was never the villain he made her out to be. I loved Lavender's goodness. I liked the animals, Miles and Bernie especially. The ode to writing in the film sense versus books was good but not as well done as her previous book Meet Me in the Margins. And I was confused a time or two--probably my own fault, but it still adjusted my experience of the book. How to Plot a Payback gets 4 Stars. Have you read How to Plot a Payback? What did you think? Let me know!

No comments:

Post a Comment