In a thoroughly modern love triangle, heroine Izabell Chin is navigating the treacherous world of online dating — and learning what it could mean to date a best friend. Told exclusively through texts, emails, tweets and Facebook messages, Save As Draft details Izzy’s struggles to become a successful lawyer in Atlanta, Ga., while trying to assess her feelings for Marty, a charming man she met on eHarmony; and Peter, her co-worker and best friend.
Despite having gone on “the best first date of her life” with Marty, Izzy can’t quite shake the feeling that she’s pursuing the wrong man . . . and exchanges between her best friends can’t save her there, either. She has to see where things go with Peter. But that doesn’t mean Marty’s out of the picture . . .
Cavanaugh Lee’s Save As Draft was a fast and occasionally painful look at one woman’s romantic (mis)adventures, and I knew from the start that I would whip through this one in no time. Even after just finishing a book with a similar premise — in terms of online dating, anyway — I couldn’t put this one down. And after reading the acknowledgments and learning there is a real-life “Marty” and “Peter,” I’m even more intrigued. It feels very autobiographical.
The epistolary novel — a book told through a series of letters, say, instead of actual prose — is a familiar one. Reminiscent of Holly’s Inbox, these stories have an addictive, voyeuristic quality that makes you feel as if you’re actually peeking into someone’s private files. As hinted by the title, the most important messages in Save As Draft are not the exchanges that are sent between Izzy and others. It’s everything in between — the pure, unsent thoughts; the messages saved as drafts and never mailed — that are crucial to the story.
And who doesn’t have a million of those?
Nursing a broken heart years ago, I read that writing letters is a therapeutic way to handle your feelings and come to terms with what has happened — you know, without acting like a crazed stalker. I was having a tough time letting go after a break-up and writing to him did seem to make me feel better — even if I knew he would never see my words. Especially since I knew he would never see my words. Letter after letter flowed from my fingertips, all stashed away in a super-secret desktop file.
You know, I should probably find and delete those.
So I related to Save As Draft. It wasn’t as funny as Tales From My Hard Drive, for instance, but it wasn’t meant to be — Izzy’s struggles and ups-and-downs endeared her to us, and I didn’t go into this book thinking I’d have a knee-slapping good time. By the last page, I definitely felt like Izabell was a friend — and I wanted good things for her, especially when things veered off in not-so-great directions.
Though this book didn’t change my life, it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a few hours — and I felt like I’d finished just as soon as I’d begun. Anyone who has dabbled in the complicated dating world has probably known a Marty or two — and those stories alone were enough to keep me guessing. And reading.
3.5 out of 5!