Specs Appeal
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Pages: 28
Goes Well With: A buffet of your favorite potluck dishes

All her life, Liz Matthews has lived in the tiny town of Everett, Indiana—a place where everybody knows your name…and your life story. But that was never really a problem for Liz until now, just months after breaking off her engagement to her high school sweetheart. Tired of the disapproving stares, she promises herself that she’ll never date another townie.

During her lunch break one day, Liz stops by the town optician’s office to get her glasses fixed. She’s surprised to find that it’s under new ownership—and the part owner is David Sherwood, her secret high school crush. It’s been years since David moved to Florida with his parents, and seeing him again brings back a flood of old memories.

  
 
Once the two old friends reconnect, it feels just like they’re back in high school math class, laughing and joking like they always did. Though she still has feelings for David, she doubts that he feels the same. And, even if he did, it doesn’t really matter—because he’s just another townie.

Specs Appeal is a super-short and sweet little story, set in an idyllic little Midwestern town. If you’ve ever lived in a place like Breton’s Everett, Indiana, you’ll understand the town’s (and, consequently, the story’s) old-fashioned innocence—but city dwellers might find it a bit too simple. At times, in fact, it feels like it came right out of an episode of The Donna Reed Show.

The characters are naïve and even folksy—especially David, whose constant jokes and bad puns make him a goofball of a romantic lead. I love a bad pun as much as the next English geek—but David had me rolling my eyes and groaning as I read. Handsome or not, his jokes might very well make you think of Steve Urkel from the ‘90s sitcom Family Matters—that skinny, geeky kid with suspenders and glasses too big for his face.

Of course, if you have a thing for puny guys and small-town romance, Specs Appeal makes a decent read. Small-town girls will be able to relate to Liz’s life in a fishbowl—and her need for change. And although the style is a bit awkward at first, it eventually evens out in later pages.

If you do choose to spend your lunch break reading Specs Appeal, though, I recommend loading your lunch with salty foods and extra carbs. You’ll need it to balance out this sugary sweet story.

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