Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review: The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Pages: 184
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 27/08/09
I bought this on Kindle store.

What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. 

Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. 

Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right? With overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers.


I was in the mood for a fun read when I picked this up (or rather clicked on it). I really liked the concept of the blurb and was looking forward to a read where I could have a bit of a giggle and a bit of a drool. 'The Espressologist' was pretty much what I had imagined but there were a few things I would have liked to have seen that I didn't.

I thought that Jane was a really fun character. She had a few nasty girls that managed to find her and torment her from her workplace since they had finished school, she had a few smart ideas, she had some interesting (hilarious) opinions about other people and she was an expert at matching other people while she was clueless with boys in her own life. I think Jane is a character that many girls will resonate with and find very entertaining!

I really liked the concept of match-making people through the type of hot beverage they prefer. It's not an entirely new concept as many authors have used food in a romantic or magical sense, but it was executed nicely. It was interesting just to see how many types of beverages that you could get at a coffee place! And, I thought that making it into a career title and having someone called an 'Espressologist' in the store was definitely cool. I couldn't help but think though; if this 'Espressologist' thing were to continue, were they going to use it in other coffee stores? And, if so, were they going to pay her for her idea?

I really liked the story line, but felt like it was a little too obvious at times. Though it is to be expected I would have liked the author to have made it a little more mysterious. I liked how the story went, but felt like I would have enjoyed it a bit more if it was more believable. I did still enjoy it a lot though...

Another thing I'm going to be a bit picky about is the language choices for the characters. I felt like some of the characters were a bit 2D because the language they were using wasn't really "them". For example Cam (who is a guy) said something about a girl being nasty as in not being very friendly and it seemed like a strange choice of word. And, something the mother said about the Gabby girls was a bit off too.

Overall I think this book is worth 4.5/5 stars. I really really enjoyed it and with a few changes it would have been a definite winner. I would have really liked to see the whole essay that Cam wrote though and I would like to see a sequel so that I could see what becomes of Jane's idea and whether or not she gets into her dream school.

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Wall-to-wall books said...

Oh yay! This was already on my wish list! It sounded real cute to me. And I really don't mind that books are obvious.
Thanks for the review!

Natalie_vintage_girl said...

well, I do mind sometimes, but I was in a real mood for something romancy and light so It didn't really bother me too much, but it's the sort of thing I feel like I have to mention as some readers won't like it for that reason.

Jessica Cangiano said...

Fascinating premise for a book, it reminds me of one of the first jobs I had as a teenager. I worked at a candy store in a busy mall for a few months, and began to notice that a person's candy choices (if they were buying for themselves) often said a lot about the kind of person they were. I see no reason the same couldn't ring true for coffee as well.

Thank you for another great review, dear gal.

♥ Jessica