Secret Shopper and my beloved character, Phoenix Lizama Farmer could survive outside the bubble of Guam or Chamorro life.
Erin gave Secret Shopper 4.5 STARS out of 5. Be warned, there are many SPOILERS--so if you don't want to know yet (until you've read the book), check her review out later. You can read her full review by clicking here.
Secret Shopper was a fun, interesting book. I loved being immersed in the culture of Guam, a place I know little about--I'm a super dork, I had to wiki, and then spent at least an hour clicking around. Taimanglo did an amazing job of incorporating the language, food, and customs of "a good Chamorro girl" into the story without it reading like a guidebook, even blending in a little of Phoenix's Korean heritage via her mother (I want some Phoenix rice, STAT!).
I was fascinated by what I learned, and I think that the comedic voice really made the culture accessible to the reader; every time Phoenix said "like a good Chamorro," I heard my mother-in-law telling a story about her childhood, always including "like a good Polish girl."
Secret Shopper was funny, sweet, and romantic. I was rooting for Phoenix and Thomas all the way and I think I'll continue to root for them in spirit. I hope to see Taimanglo grow and thrive in the romantic comedy genre--she was definitely spot on with this one!
--Erin Roth, The Indie Bookshelf
Thank you, Erin! I'll be doing my Carlton Happy Dance now.