Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (Other Shelf Tours)

Published: October 27th 2009 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Hardcover, 184 pages
ISBN: 0374322287
ISBN13: 9780374322281

What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right? With overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers.


When Jane returns to the Community College classes she thinks aren't necessary for her senior year at Lincoln High, she finds their might be another reason to be there altogether. Especially when that reason confronts her about not be in class lately. After a bad break-up between her best friend Em and Em's long-time boyfriend, Jane makes it her mission to find her a perfect-match; or something close to it, anyway. Cue Cam, the rugged, blue-eyed student in Jane's class that she thinks would be the perfect date for Em. Only when Em starts to get more attached than Jane thought she would, does Jane start to second-guess her decision.

Working at Wired Joe's was always a fun experience for Jane, but when her boss catches her writing in a notebook at work does Jane's little hobby become a coffee house franchise. When put under tremendous pressure, Jane makes the on-the-spot match that she immediately regrets but leads to even bigger problems than it started with. What happens when the truth about one friend's feelings are revealed?

The Espressologist was a read I'd never encountered before, and what a refreshment it was. I believed the characters were very individual, their own person. They all seemed like they had their own story to tell. Jane, especially was relatable and seemed like a fun character to be. Jane's point of view on the people around her was very realistic and desperately funny. I like how Springer really got into giving her characters individual personalities. The only real flaw I found when I finished The Espressologist was that I believed it was either cut off too soon or just needed to have a better wrap-up ending.

Recommended to young teens that'll enjoy a light, refreshing read on a cold day.

Grade: B