Sunday, April 13, 2014

Slapshot of Love by Gary Pearson- Review!

Slapshot of Love by Gary Pearson is a satirical romantic comedy in the tradition of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity and Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. Geri Halton is a young woman with an all too real life, working in an seniors’ residence in an industrial town, who finds herself thrown into the glamorous, but artificial world of a reality TV dating show called Slapshot of Love. Smart, funny, attractive, but not ‘model pretty’ or remotely glam, Geri must navigate the phony world of television and determine if her relationship with Ryan, the handsome hockey playing star of the show, is real, or contrived for the TV audience. The hilarious circumstances at both a seniors’ residence and the set of a reality TV show propel the characters through a comic story that also has a lot of heart.

My Review:
Slapshot of LoveSlapshot of Love by Gary Pearson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Geri Halton works at an elder care facility, lives above a laundry mat, and is dating a man who lives in his mother's basement. She is feeling like her life might be a little stagnant. While driving her cousin to an audition, she manages to inadvertently land herself on a reality TV dating show where she could end up with a proposal from a hunky NHL player. Geri decides to use this opportunity to make some cash and take a little time to see if she can put her life on a different track. The story that follows is charming, witty, and gives a look into the complete phoniness that is "reality" TV.

Through the wit and humor, there is a lot of heart to this story. Geri quickly gains popularity on the show as the authentic and clever contestant. It is interesting to watch her maintain her sense of self, while trying to figure out whether there is any authenticity to her budding relationship with hockey player Ryan. Throughout the bizarre experiences she goes through as part of the show, she manages to really consider what it she wants to focus on in her life and what changes she may want to make. Watching Geri and her co-workers deal with the very unsavory parts of their jobs with humor and understanding was really endearing. I also loved how Geri formed connections with the residents there in a way that was meaningful to her and them. Geri's roommate and co-worker Juli was a fun character to get to spend time with. It was great to see that despite Geri having lost her family, she had created a wonderful support system for herself.

The pacing of this story was good, and I was engaged throughout. There are all kinds of drama going on, both personal drama in Geri's life, and the fabricated and real drama created by the TV show. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a book that is funny, smart, and takes a look at aspects of our culture that many of us find ourselves drawn to despite our best efforts. I enjoyed this a lot and would gladly read more by this author in the future.

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About the author: 
Gary Pearson is TV writer with credits on such shows as MadTV (FOX), Corner Gas (CTV), This Hour Has 22 Minutes (CBC), The Ron James Show (CBC) and That’s So Weird (YTV), for which he was also Executive Producer. Gary has been nominated for 6 Gemini Awards, 3 Canadian Screen Awards, has won the Writer’s Guild of Canada Award and a Canadian Comedy Award. He was a member of The Chumps Comedy troupe and a cast member of the Mainstage Company of Toronto’s Second City. Slapshot of Love is his first novel. Also look for 'Me and the Crack Mayor', his second novel. You can follow Gary on Twitter @CaptainPearson and his website is captainpearson.com He is not actually the captain of anything

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