I read Emancipating Andie during a major book slump. It had been sitting on my Kindle for months and a friend of mine had been insisting I read it so I figured now was as good a time as any. I was elated and simultaneously kicking myself mentally for not read this book sooner. It was really, really good. So good, in fact, that I read it in one sitting.
Glenn begins the story with Andie and Colin on their first date. Colin brings Andie to his friend’s engagement party. Little does Andie know that she’s about to walk into a mansion. Andie has always been cautious, always does what she’s supposed to…what’s expected of her. However, when Colin leaves Andie alone for a few minutes her curiousity gets the best of her and she finds herself wandering the house. She comes across a wine cellar and heads inside, hopeful she isn’t caught snooping around. Unfortunately the cellar doors shuts behind her and she’s trapped inside with no way out and no cell phone. Unbeknownst to Andie, she isn’t alone. Chase McGuire is also locked in the wine cellar with Andie and he seems to find the whole scenario extremely entertaining, much to Andie’s annoyance. Chase doesn’t just annoy Andie, he infuriates her, knowing exactly what to say to shake her calm façade.
The story then fast-forwards and Andie and Colin are still going strong over a year later. Andie’s life is seemingly perfect, full of order and continuity, just the way she likes it. Of course that doesn’t last long. Andie and Colin are set to head to their friend’s wedding in Florida. Andie decides she wants to drive there and Colin asks his friend to accompany her. Loe and behold, who shows up but Chase McGuire. This throws a wrench into Andie’s precise and efficient travel schedule. Andie wants to drive straight through, only stopping for necessary bathroom breaks and a night of sleep, but Chase would rather sight-see and enjoy the scenery. It becomes a point of contention between the two but Chase’s easy-going personality begins to ebb some of the tension. Chase challenges Andie, allowing her to be more than what’s expected of her and begin to feel more than what she has allowed herself to feel in many years.
I really liked Chase and Andie. I thought they were really well-fleshed out characters. Andie was more than just the neat and tidy person she presented to the world. She had some deep-seeded vulnerability and wildness within her. It was just hidden beneath layers of routine and a bit of OCD. I never really found Andie’s personality to be annoying, as it easily could have been. Her little quirks, like writing a 3-month expiration date on her mascara, actually made me like her even more. Chase’s tendencies to make up hypothetical scenarios and steer conversations towards the philosophical side of things is what really tugged at my heartstrings. He was an inherently a good person. I appreciated that he wasn’t intimidated by Andie’s personality and encouraged her to look inside herself and be the person she wants to be. I thought their evolving friendship was really well-done. This story could have easily headed into a stereotypical love-triangle scenario but it didn’t. The tension built between Chase and Andie was unbearable at times but I can’t lie and say I didn’t love it. I love when characters become friends first and later evolve into something more. But don’t worry for those of you who aren’t fans of cheating, there’s none of that. So please don’t shy away from this book assuming infidelity is a major theme.
Emancipating Andie is a well-written, engaging, and funny story. I enjoyed everything from the plot to the characters to the way Glenn captured the essence of the road-trip. This was definitely a story about taking a risk and learning a little more about yourself in the process. I can tell Glenn really has a way with words and I’m excited to read both Back to You and Coming Home!
“We judge people by our own standards of happiness … What makes you happy might not make that woman over there happy. But human beings have a terrible habit of thinking they know what’s best for each other. ”
“Are you gonna put your shirt back on?” she blurted out.
Chase froze, looking over his shoulder at her with the most maddening smile. “Why? Is this bothering you?”
“I just…” Andie sputtered, floundering through her response. “I mean, what if we get pulled over or something?”
“If we get pulled over, this could only work in your favor,” he said, running his hands over his chest.
Andie tried to stifle a laugh. “My God, you’re insufferable.”