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Because for me McKenzie is a local author, there was considerable publicity about this title earlier in 2016, and the cover caught my eye (Brilliant, BTW)! So  I was eager to dive in to it, because it sounded like it had it all: quirky female protagonist, commentary on the whole Palo Alto-Silicon Valley-nouveau-riche scene, dysfunctional families on both sides (hers AND his), commentary on war, and humor.

I confess it took me a while to get into it…I started it and kept putting it down to go off and read something else (book club deadlines, etc., kept calling). And now, looking back, I realize that I was subconsciously saving it for a time when I needed a lift. Because I LOVE quirky female protagonists, and I love commentary on the social mores of the folks who have essentially taken over the South Bay and now are oozing into the Santa Cruz scene…and it makes my day when someone puts the fun in dysfunctional families! This book was just hugely entertaining, different, and just a fun read.

The heroine, Veblen, is a joy in so many ways. A friend disagreed, saying she found her to be a bit of a pain in the ass, but there was so much about her that resonated with me, maybe particularly as she works to try to make the disparate characters in different families and circumstances mesh. Aarrgghh!

Don’t want to ruin the fun, but I highly recommend this one. I am glad I kept it for a time when I needed something to drag me away from what felt like a looming slide into the black hole of depression…for that alone, I would give it four stars, and when you add in the outstanding writing and humor and amazing character development, FIVE stars! Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.