In Sarah Mlynowski’s fast-moving chick lit novel Milkrun, Boston transplant Jackie spends her days editing steamy love scenes for romance publisher Cupid — but can’t quite hit a romantic stride in her own life. After her college sweetheart Jeremy unexpectedly leaves for Thailand in order to “find himself” and tells her that she should probably see other people, Jackie picks herself up, spends far too much time at local bars with pseudo-friend Natalie and goes on a little journey for self-discovery of her own.
I started out really liking this book, then got a bit annoyed by it in the middle, but ultimately really, really liked Jackie’s character! I thought the dialogue was believable, enjoyed Jackie’s obsessing and constant questioning of whether or not every man who crosses into her path is “the one.” Jackie is pretty hung up on Jeremy for the first fourth of the book, then realizes she needs to start putting herself out there again and try to meet someone much more worthy of her affections. She dons the requisite high-heeled boots, grabs the girlfriends and gets a little too drunk a little too often, but she seems to hold it together enough to realize that the “man of her dreams” isn’t quite who she thought he would be . . . and that’s a good thing.
Yes, we’ve seen most of this plotline before — and yes, I could see the end coming from about page 20. But I still enjoyed it for what it was — a frothy look at a twenty-something trying to make her way in the world. Jackie didn’t seem vapid or spineless to me, so I spent most of the novel waiting for her to wake up from her Jeremy-breakup-induced coma, and when she did — awesome! I really enjoyed all of the secondary characters, too: Iris, Jackie’s half sister, was especially hilarious.
If you’re not into sugary-sweet women’s fiction, I would probably leave this one on the shelf. But readers who enjoy chick lit and “adventures in dating” stories (a “milkrun” is the process of dating to no avail) will probably breeze through Mlynowski’s quirky novel.
3.5 out of 5!