Best Beach Read Set in L.A., August 2010
Marco Candela’s narrator in Good-bye to All That would never hit the beach herself. Raquel Azorian is too busy clawing her way up the ladder in the marketing department of a Century City production company and trying to keep her neurotic family afloat (Mom’s a boozehound; her brother’s marriage is falling apart in his South Pasadena Craftsman). When Raquel’s high-powered boss suffers a breakdown that threatens to sink her career along with his, Raquel comes up with a plan to save her job, pinning her hopes on a hunky barista whom she hopes to turn into a star. Candela delivers witty prose (her More Than This won several awards in 2008), and Good-bye to All That comes complete with a Ferrari-driving love interest and a tantalizing portrayal of office politics. While the sex scenes are brief, they are potent. Soaking up the rays, you’ll forgive the improbability of the plot and enjoy the heroine’s spirited struggles in this breezy novel by a native.