REVIEW: “Going Up” by Katherine Stevens

Katherine Stevens has created a hysterically comedic book, with an incredibly quirky heroine, and a terribly sweet second chance romance.  Going Up” folks, has the BEST “Meet Cute” in the Business!  You can quote me!!!  Katherine Stevens’ “Going Up” is the second book in her Elevator Series.  Though it’s a stand-alone Cici and Cole, from “Going Down”, make a significant appearance.  Maggie level of “eccentric” makes Cici look “normal”.  Finn, is the Hero, who is almost as “unique” as Maggie.  He started a company with friends from college and made his own.  Like Maggie, Finn is a Sci-Fi aficionado, a bit of a geek, and spontaneous.  While Maggie’s Big and Brash and mows down anything and anyone in her way Finn is Good-Humored, Charming, and Sweet.  But they are definitely one heart and one soul.  “Going Up” features Maggie’s backstory including her meeting Cici, and all of her notorious boyfriends.

“Going Up” is snort out loud, laugh until the words are blurry with tears, good time reading.  The pace is good and the storyline is amusing and intriguing.  This is one of those romances where the Hero and the Heroine don’t “really” have sex until the bitter end.  HOWEVER, the sex they do have, before they meet, is HOT.  When they DO get together it’s a whirlwind of Shock and Aw!  Notice not “Awe” but “Aw”.  Consequently Maggie and Finn’s ultra-spontaneous personalities cause them to be unrestrained and borderline illegal, but oh so romantic.  The secondary characters are Gold!  Maggie’s beleaguered mother is wonderful.  Her unflappable father, when he’s ruffled is firing on all cylinders.  Then the infamous past boyfriends.  Lake, the smelly, dreadlocked commune dweller.  The rodeo clown.  Ramone – poor Ramone.  GOLD I tell you!!!  I don’t think I could love this book any more if I tried.

Maggie’s the only child of wealthy parents.  All she knows is her family’s Connecticut estate, private schools, summers in Marseille, nannies, etiquette lessons, yachts, and foxhunts.  Everything’s Tradition and she’s existing in High Society’s cotton batting until she gets older.  She finds out there are exotic worlds her parents never took her … Disney World and public movie theaters.  The Vincent’s world goes sideways when Maggie discovers the Internet.  She wants to grow up to be Vanna White, subscribe to “Tiger Beat”, and lose herself in television.  Maggie litters her silk-covered bedroom walls with movie and band posters.  Maggie feeds her pop culture addiction on EBay winning her own treasure trove of memorabilia.  David Bowie’s scarf.  A lock of fur from the monkey in “BJ and the Bear”.  And a sweet Elvis on black velvet with a light up belt buckle.

Maggie hates the society life that her parents live.  She begins to rebel against the world of Society her parents dwell within.  She stages her own brand of protests.  Before Maggie knows it the time comes to find suitors.  Maggie’s mother ambushes her with a friendly dinner with them, another couple, and their son.  Finally, at some point during the evening Maggie realizes it’s a “chaperoned date”.  She accused her mother of “pimping her out” and demands recompense.  Tickets to San Diego Comic Con.  Maggie’s mother told her that she wouldn’t be allowed to go alone and Maggie said she knew.  Before Maggie’s mother realizes what’s happening she’s on a plane then suddenly in the middle of thousands of cosplaying conventioneers.  Finally, Maggie’s mother can’t stand another meal of “meat on a stick”.  She leaves Maggie at the convention, alone, for a few hours.

While Maggie’s on her own someone asks her what she’s dressed as, for the millionth time.  A boy’s voice identifies exactly what her obscure costume is.  The boy’s then asked what he’s supposed to be.  Maggie knows instantly what his equally obscure costume is and he’s very impressed.  When Maggie sees the face of the boy, who’s about her age, she feels bees in her stomach.  Maggie wants a lock of his hair, a little darker than Chewbacca’s fur, to put in a locket. He’s “the kind of boy a girl might wait a lifetime for”.  They immediately clasp hands to explore the convention and exchange names.  His name’s Finn.  Allegedly George Lucas’s in the building.  Maggie has a celebrity hair collection and wants a lock of film maker’s hair, but doesn’t get it.  She does meet someone who makes her feel like less of an oddball, less lonely.

When Maggie has to leave she wants to cry and Finn looks sad to see her go.  He asks if she wants to exchange phone numbers.  So then they enter each other’s phone numbers into their mobile phones.  However when Maggie gets back to New York Finn never calls.  When she tries calling him.  At first the calls go to voicemail, then changes to a disconnected number, eventually it changes to someone else’s voice.  But Maggie never forgets him.  When Maggie goes to college her roommate is Cici.  Maggie’s world is seen through the viewfinder of TV and therefore not realistic, Cici grounds her.  Almost every night Cici wakes Maggie up, because she’s dreaming about Finn.  Maggie goes through college dating the most unacceptable guys she can find, seemingly to torment her parents.

After graduation Maggie and Cici go into the corporate world.  Their ultimate goal is to one day work at the same company.  Maggie’s mother goes back to trying to introduce her to suitable suitors and their parents.  One day Maggie ditches a scheduled lunch date with her parents, their friends and son.  At that Maggie’s mother ultimately gives up her matchmaking for good.  Maggie continues with her Human Resources career.  Finally we get to the present day.  The day before the New York City Comic Con and Maggie’s ready to go.  Her dreams about Finn more vivid than ever.  Also getting ready for the NYC Comic Con, is Finn.  He jumps in with his point of view now.  We learn Finn and Maggie are extremely similar.  Geeky, the dreams, spontaneous, and yet individuals.  Finn’s going to blow Maggie’s mind … then he’s going to blow up her world.

I ADORE the romance in “Going Up”!  After Reading it more than once, I grin like a loon, envisioning the Fairy-Tale-like whimsical utopias Comic Cons must be.  Katherine Stevens does a magnificent job with the characters of Finn and Maggie.  Finn’s geeky charm hob-nobs with an almost guileless childlike joy.  Maggie is a rebel force, an unconventional free-spirit on a mission.  She’s extremely complex because she has so much passion to be unique and different from her parents.  She doesn’t want to be like them nor does she like what their money represents.  But she doesn’t hold the mirror out far enough to see the entire picture when she’s looking at herself.  Maggie’s not that far off from what her parents are exactly.  Katherine Stevens has the internal monologues on point.  Both “Going Down” and “Going Up” are worth reading.  But “Going Up” is definitely an amazing Romantic Comedy!

I’m giving “Going Up” 6 Lightning Bolts and a Storm Warning.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed

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