Love a Little Sideways, Shannon Stacey

Oh, Ms. Stacey. I love your books so much. The Kowalskis are a family I want to just hang out with and play dirty scrabble and water games of DOOM. And if Leo and Mary could adopt me, that would be great. Get on that for me, would you? Thanks.

Seriously, though, I spent a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday with Liz and Drew and the rest of the Kowalski clan (both branches!) reading Love a Little Sideways. While I wish I had been able to re-read the series so as to refresh my memory about who is who and what happened in which book, this book absolutely stands by itself, and it is quite the achievement. To thrust a reader into a family this large and rambunctious and make us feel right at home immediately is the mark of a talented writer.

Yup. Can you believe it? I was worried for a minute there might not be any DOOM. Boy, was I wrong!  There was Water Ball of Doom and mentions of Romance of Doom and Baby of Doom and of course the “Annual Kowalski Volleyball Death Mach Tournament of Doom.”

“It’s going to feel unreal to go back to work tomorrow. I’ll be adding ‘of doom’ to everything.”

“You can give speeding tickets of doom. Those are way more fun than regular speeding tickets.”

I know how you feel, Drew. I find myself adding “of doom” to many things after spending time with the Kowalskis, too.

One of my favorite thing about the Kowalskis is how much fun they are. These books are sweet and sexy, but also funny and fun. The family all gets up in everyone’s business, as a close family likes to do, but if the chips were down, you couldn’t find better people to have your back. And even though half the family married in and some are really just Kowalski Adjacent (like Drew), they’re all treated like Leo and Mary’s kids. or Rosie’s kids. They may all be treated differently because they’re different people, but they are all loved the same. Without exception. That sense of family is comforting and lovely, especially now when the holiday craziness is upon us. It was also nice to read about a summer vacation when it’s starting to get cold here.

There were so many parts of this book which made me laugh out loud. The reason Drew loans Liz his car. And why she accepts. The post-it note in the shower. The scene with Bobby and the handcuffs made me laugh so hard my sides ached and the cat ran into the other room. I had to put down my Kindle because every time I picked it up to start reading again, I’d laugh even harder. Why Liz gets “middle named” during dirty scrabble. The RULES for dirty scrabble! LOLOL.

So go pick up Love A Little Sideways. You won’t regret it. Well, until your boss asks you why you just scheduled a Conference Call of Doom. That might get you a few looks.

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Kowalski Sticks of DOOOOOOM
aka The Fish With Sticks

Rating: 4 Stars