Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: lulu.com (16 Sep 2011)
How Not To Save The World is a fast-paced thriller about one woman's quest for social justice. Remi Austin is a fundraiser for the African Peace Collaborative, a nonprofit focused on conflict resolution. Frustrated by her inability to raise funds and faced with the imminent closure of the organization founded by her dead mother, Remi turns to a life of crime. The novel follows Remi on a high-speed chase around the world as she eludes a dashing insurance agent and an elusive stalker. With the help of her best friend, a designer and inventor who creates gadget-packed gowns and her Harvard-educated brother who is serving time in prison for a crime he did not commit, Remi stays one step ahead of her pursuers and keeps her nonprofit afloat. From Sydney, to Tokyo, Geneva and Cape Town, Remi is transformed from a shy fundraiser to a daring international art thief. Remi must stop a war from breaking out and figure out how to save herself from a life behind bars.
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Remi is the sort of character that you can't help but love as you go along on her journey. With a soft heart, and a mission in life, Remi continues the fundraising for the African Peace Trust her mother started, and while things don't go exactly as planned when she can't raise enough funds to keep it afloat, she turns her hand at crime and this is where the fun begins.
I like, first off, that this all starts with the APC and her determined nature in keeping it going - this alone sets Remi apart for me, as a girl with a goal is one to be feared and Jessica creates her character in a manner that will leave Remi rebounding and jumping back up and at the world after every hit she takes.
Making use of the basic but effective 5 senses, we come to hear about Remi's adventures as she travels from exotic country to country, see her view of the world as she trudges on through, sense the bends around the corner yet still be surprised when they jump out at as and taste the excitement and romance in the air, always something to look forward to ;)
While we start the journey with Remi being a shy, and reserved character, we see how her determination brings out the creative girl in her as she cultivates her lies to gain what she must - a modern day, female Robin Hood if you will who steals from the rich, to help the poor. How can you not love her?!
Add in a dashing of gowns and dressing up to hide the inner-thief in Remi, and you have all you need to settle into the world that Jessica has created with Remi leading the way for us. While it's a fun light read, with the right amount of stress when called for, we can all take away something from the book - (no, not how to steal artfully) but rather there are virtues deep within us, such as belief, faith, a kind heart and a skilful hand that can help us make a difference ;)
Great plot - check. Loveable character - check. Romance - check. What more could you need?