Sunday, March 8, 2020

Book Review: 'When All Else Fails: Chin Up, Tits Out: A chick lit romantic comedy' by Miranda Oh

When All Else Fails by Miranda Oh

Challenges – and how to overcome them…maybe

Author Miranda Oh lives in the corporate world – with escape hatches available as a storyteller treasured by her friends and family. She loves life and it shows in her writing. REMEMBER, NO MATTER WHAT was her first volume of a Chick Lit series she titles CHIN UP, TITS OUT – a series that is bound to find admirers who follow the Chick Lit genre, as volume two, WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, continues to impress.

Miranda writes well, able to create an atmosphere of contemporary real time inextricably bonded to the spectrum of love – both found and longed for – and related with a naughty verbiage that is so appropriate to the story she creates. She has sculpted a unique central character in Hadley Hope McLeary, a girl who seems strangely familiar to the readers without being a stereotype. And following the precedent of her first volume, Miranda drops a bit of suggestion about the story’s direction as the book opens – ‘The anticipation nearly killed me. After Riann’s permanent residency finally got accepted, it was a whirlwind. We had solidified a “move to Canada” date and there was so much to do. Riann and I had been working on getting his residency for four years. When it finally came through, the excitement was amazing, but then panic eventually settled in. He was packing up his life…into a couple of small suitcases that were about to be thrown onto a plane and shipped to the opposite side of the world…’ Tension established, and the story begins. 

With Miranda’s skills, the tension she suggests in the above dissipates quickly with an hilarious Prologue describing a very odd dating sequence. Then the direction of this continuation of the life of Hadley McLeary continues as distilled in the synopsis: ‘Hadley is elated that her husband is finally coming home after years of fighting with immigration. Assuming that her “happily ever after” is about to begin, she dives in head first at being the best wife ever. An unexpected diagnosis sends her into a downward spiral. No amount of wine can help prepare her for this new journey. They say it takes a village to raise a child, well...Hadley is in dire need of her village to help her get through the storm that lies ahead as she deals with disease, addiction, and a dark, twisted sense of humor. Because when life sucks so bad, sometimes laughing is easier than crying.’

Reading Book 2 after having enjoyed Book 1 rather strongly proves that Miranda Oh didn’t just have a one-book-success: the girl’s got talent and uses it well. While weaving a fine story, she inserts insights into not only the obliquities of love, but also some food for thought about many contemporary issues, all condensed into a short Chick Lit format. Miranda Oh has a style that should tempt lovers of this genre. A fine continuing saga!

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.