Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks

Title: The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs
Author: Matthew Dicks
Published: September 2015, St. Martin's Press
Format: Hardcover, 216 pages
Source: Publisher

Caroline Jacobs is a wimp, someone who specializes in the suffering of tiny indignities in silence. And the big ones, too. But when the twinset-wearing president of the local Parent Teacher Organization steps out of line one too many times, Caroline musters the courage to assert herself. With a four-letter word, no less.

Caroline's outburst has awakened something in her. Not just gumption, but a realization that the roots of her tirade can be traced back to something that happened to her as a teenager, when her best friend very publicly betrayed her. So, with a little bit of bravery, Caroline decides to go back to her home town and tell off her childhood friend. She busts her daughter out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback...some twenty-five years later. But nothing goes as planned. Long buried secrets rise to the surface, and Caroline finds she has to face much more than one old, bad best friend.

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is an enchanting novel about the ways in which our childhood experiences reverberate through our lives. It's the story of a woman looking to fix her life through an act of bravery, and of a mother and daughter learning to understand one another. Deceptively simple and highly engaging, this latest novel by Matthew Dicks is perfect for those of us who were last to be picked at sports, and for everyone who is thrilled not to be in high school any more.

My thoughts: This was another of the She Reads picks for the 'Books of Fall' selections and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I devoured it one afternoon...yes, it's a quick read, but it's also a good one. 

This book is going to make you laugh and make you think...it's one that you can certainly read quickly, but one that you won't forget anytime soon. We've all had moments where we wish we had that perfect comeback to something someone has said to us but at the time it's said, we have nothing. I know for me, I'm not a quick-on-my-feet type of thinker - I need to think things over to have that clever, snappy comeback when it's needed, so I could totally relate to Caroline in many respects. Would I, though, go back to something that happened 25 years ago...probably not, but it was telling watching Caroline attacking her plan.

What made this story so much more are the characters...they really round this story out. I absolutely loved Caroline's daughter Polly. She really keeps Caroline on her toes with her bluntness and outspoken nature - almost the opposite of Caroline herself. Her actions at the hotel had me in stitches!!! She really took what Caroline told her to heart about making sure she didn't back down with her plan when they got back to her hometown, despite Caroline having a change of heart. 

This small book packs quite a punch and will leave you with much to think about. I'm quite impressed with the male author doing justice with a female main character...this is the first book I've read by Matthew Dicks but it definitely won't be the last.

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks is one of the She Reads "Books of Fall" reading selection picks.

Head over to the She Reads website to read reviews and related posts of this book, as well as posts related to the other "Books of Fall" selections. 


  1. Good Recommendation. Adding it to my reading list.

  2. I've been seeing this book around and am very interested in reading it soon.


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