Review: Feng Shui & Charlotte Nightingale

Feng Shui Charlotte Nightingale Book Review
Genre: Romance, Women's Fiction
Authors: Pam Ferderbar
Series: Charlotte Nightingale #1
Publishing Date: June 21, 2015
Publisher: HenschelHAUS Publishing, Inc.
Edition: hardcover 1st edition (I got an e-ARC via Netgalley)
ISBN-13: 9781595983985
Size: 280

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APARTMENT #4. CLUTTER. DEAD PLANTS. A MIRROR FACING THE BED. PLUMBING ON THE FRITZ. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

For Charlotte Nightingale, the question is will anything ever go right? Stuck in a rut, constantly repeating the mistakes that knock her down, what will it take to turn Charlotte’s life, and luck, around?

Enter Kwan, a mysterious stranger who secretly practices Feng Shui in Charlotte’s apartment. Will the ancient art of ”wind and water”—the Chinese philosophy of harmonizing people with their surrounding environment—change Charlotte’s life for the better, or is it all about to get worse?

A laugh-out-loud page turner, "Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale" is an enchanting contemporary fable and a captivating debut.

Charlotte Nightingale has the worst luck in the world. Every day is a bad hair day. Her boyfriend’s a snake, her job blows, and her own family seems to hate her.

For over 4,000 years, the Chinese have practiced the ancient art of Feng Shui, a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health, love, and good fortune for people inhabiting it. The Chinese never met Charlotte Nightingale.

A handsome Chinese food deliveryman/Feng Shui master takes pity on Charlotte and breaks out every tool in his Feng Shui arsenal to bring her some modicum of happiness. It rocks her world all right. Charlotte’s life goes from bad to worse.

When everything comes crashing down and run-of-the-mill catastrophes pale in comparison to recent events, Charlotte unwittingly embarks on a great adventure during which she finds romance, a new wardrobe, bags of money and most importantly, herself.

Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale is the laugh-out-loud feel good book of the summer.


Review:

I almost couldn't stomach this book. Charlotte Nightingale is a total wreck, a dirty disgusting mess. To finish the book, I had to pass by the first 6 chapters to witness Charlotte's untidy apartment and sickening lifestyle.

It's just very implausible for one to keep a half-empty bottle of shampoo as a memorabilia and yet here Charlotte was able to bring one from her childhood days (imagine bringing such a thing from her old home to various apartments she'd ever lived) and about 2 decades later, the shampoo still smells good. Really?

Then love-interest (Kwan, a Chinese American) came along to deliver food for our protagonist who turned out to have an itching obssessive-compulsiveness when feng shui is concerned and started fiddling with Charlotte's things so he may momentarily fix them while waiting for Charlotte to collect some money for his delivery... and discovered balled-up napkins! Seriously? Are they just balled? I'm wondering if she at least put EACH one inside a plastic.

Charlotte is really gross for not even throwing her used napkins in the bin. *Cringes in revulsion*

Yes, the introduction put me off and I'd like to say that the narration was bland. But for some reason, I couldn't put the book down. For all the bad things I hate about it, I was so engrossed with the story. I didn't even realize how much time flew by that the next thing I knew was that the sun has risen up already (that I missed my cardio workout). The characters are so well drawn and even in its simplicity, the plot delivers.

Perhaps, the reason I was agitated with the protagonist was because Charlotte is a real character. She's not your usual almost-if-not-all-too-perfect female protagonist nor the kind that wallows too much in insecurities. Yes, she's messy but her strength lies in her comfort with her own skin.

Waiting for Charlotte's transformation was the reason I kept reading the book. That and the curiosity of how Kwan's changes of her apartment will play out in the story that will eventually lead to the two of them together.

It's actually delightful that everything turned out well for each of the characters in the end (that involves Charlotte's boyfriend turned ex, her sister and her fiancé, even secondary characters in Las Vegas). It's a quirky book similar to the likes of The Devil Wears Prada and Confessions of a Shopaholic. It's small wonder it was bid to be shown on the big screen which was won by New Line Cinema.

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