Can you really finish a book in just two days?
Oh yes of course.
And to be honest, it was only because I had to go to work and needed a night’s beauty sleep that I did not devour Shipped faster. On the other hand, I woke up extra early (at 4 am!) Because I simply had to read on.
It’s not often that happens nowadays, that a book sucks me in i in a way that makes me unable to let go of it. But god how lovely it is when it happens. And it does not have to be a particularly remarkable book, no great literature, no lofty language where every word is weighed on a golden scale. It is perfectly enough with characters that you care about and a story that engages.
This is exactly what Angie Hockman has succeeded in this book. She takes me on a cruise in the Galapagos. She lets me be a fly on the wall so I can see everything that happens between Henley and Graeme. She makes me feel as if I am there, with them. It’s really well done!
I completely devoured this book from the first syllable to the last. Even the afterword and the author’s thanks I read – parts that I usually skip.
So what’s so remarkable about Shipped?
Well, it’s a cozy romcom about Henley who finally has a chance to be promoted. To get the job she wants, a job she deserves and has worked hard for, but her boss is not just going to hand it to her on a silver plate. Oh no. It’s soon clear that there is another candidate – Graeme – who lacks both mail manners and common decency. And to prove themselves worthy, they must also take part in one of the company’s cruises in the Galapagos – it’s after all a tour operator they work for. Ten days on a small cruise ship, only about a hundred passengers, and the two of them.
This far, we are following the template for an ordinary romcom, one of which there are thirteen out of a dozen.
But when we consider THE ENVIRONMENT, everything steps up a notch – Galapagos, with its rugged cliffs, frothy sea, tranquil lagoons and fantastic and unique wildlife. A sensitive and endangered wildlife. It’s now that the story grabs and really sweeps away with me. Without it, Shipped would be a perfectly ok story, not unique enough to endure or engage, but enjoyable reading for a few hours. But it’s so skillfully written, it is obvious that the author knows what shes talking about and that she is deeply involved in the endangered wildlife on the islands and the threats against them. Instinctively, I reached for the phone ready to give a penny or two to the first organization i spot that works to save the sea iguanas, giant tortoises, blue soles, darwin finches, flamingos….
I love it!
And the placing! I mean, when was the last time you read a book set in the Galapagos? I’ve never done that before. Cool!