The Curl Up & Dye by Sharon Sala ( tweet | web )
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: Southern living, childhood friends, small towns, moving forward
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley. (Thanks!)
Summary: LilyAnne has been stuck in a rut since her fiance died in Iraq many many years ago. When a new stranger bursts into town on his hot rod, she feels a spark for the first time in forever and focuses on making her life happier and healthier. But like always, nothing goes according to plan.
I love how close-knit small towns are. Don’t get me wrong. I know there are certainly. Gossip! Everyone knowing your business! But it’s still nice to know that everyone is looking out for the other, and this alone made The Curl Up and Dye so enjoyable.
The title of the book refers to the beauty salon in town that everyone (ladies and gents) frequent and I’m sure you’re not surprised to find out that the fine people who work there meddle in the lives of their clients in a good way. They go to some great lengths with LilyAnne and her best friend, Mike. The two have lived next door to one another since childhood, and while Mike has always been in love with LilyAnne, she was either dating her deceased fiance or too broken down after his death to move forward.
When Mike lands in the hospital and a ridiculously good looking man shows up in Blessings, LilyAnne’s life gets the kick its been needing. I don’t necessarily love that a stranger like T.J. jolted her awake, but Sala handled this fantasy well and LilyAnne remained very logical about T.J.’s effect on her life. Lines get a little crossed when Mike thinks LilyAnne is dating someone else, and tries to make her jealous with a fake girlfriend. Man oh man, I loved witnessing LilyAnne’s fiery outbursts at an uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner and the gradual realization of Mike’s importance in her life.
But there’s a darker side to The Curl Up & Dye that I was not expecting. Lessons are dealt in some scary ways and there are few too many calls to 911 but in the end, the town of Blessings only gets closer. Sala treats us to LilyAnne’s character growth, the will-they-won’t-they story line, and even the more intense stuff with as little melodrama as possible and it made this novel a smooth read for me. Lots of laughs, lots of love, and a good time all around.