Cover Image: The Roxy Letters

The Roxy Letters

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Written entirely in letters, Mary Pauline Lowry’s THE ROXY LETTERS is a humorous, deliciously messy look at the life of Roxy, a lovelorn activist who is ready for her life to begin --- whether the world is ready for her or not.

When we meet the titular Roxy, she has just made a huge decision by allowing her feckless ex-boyfriend, Everett, to rent her spare bedroom. She begins his rental period by writing him a letter of ground rules, namely that he must accept that they will never again enter a romantic relationship and that he must get a job. Though Roxy’s first letter is mostly a list of do’s and don’ts, Lowry manages to reveal a lot about her personality in only a few pages: she is a bit kooky, a little self-centered and very, very stuck.

As Roxy continues to leave letters for the hapless, still somehow mostly unemployed Everett, we learn a lot about her. She is envious of her college girlfriends, who have all ascended to office jobs and quiet stability, but she still has the soul of an artist --- despite the fact that her last major breakup stunted her will to create. She is also an avid vegetarian and an activist dead set on making sure that her beloved town of Austin, Texas, does not become gentrified. She works at Whole Foods and has just watched her best friend get promoted to the seemingly mythological fifth floor, and she is starting to worry that she will never realize her full --- or even her half --- potential. In sum, she is an every millennial: full of dreams and ambitions, morals and campaigns, yet is completely frozen in place and, with the reemergence of Everett into her life, possibly regressing.

When a new Lululemon --- a brand, in Roxy’s own words, “destined to sell overpriced workout gear to trophy wives whose sole job is to attend Pure Barre and keep it tight” --- opens in a local spot previously occupied by her favorite video rental store, she becomes incensed and, with the help of a new friend, decides to finally take control of her life. At the same time, her letters to Everett become less about his sloppiness and flaws as a renter and more about the ins and outs of her life --- from her failed flirtations with a sexy coworker, to her insecurities about making new friends, and even about how she looks in her new godforsaken Lululemons. And reader, it is a trip.

Because the book is composed entirely in letters, there is a lot of “telling, not showing,” which normally would render a novel a complete fail. Yet Lowry exceeds at giving her readers just enough nuance and depth to create a fully realized portrait of Roxy, even when she is not entirely honest in her correspondences. Roxy is equal parts funny and irritating, and you will laugh just as frequently at you will roll your eyes at her. But she is definitely unique, and THE ROXY LETTERS is an intriguing addition to the realm of 20-something literature that will appeal to millennials and older readers alike.

What makes it shine is Roxy’s wit and sense of humor. She compares the surge of Starbucks stores to the “spread of an STD in a nursing home,” and her often ridiculous and sometimes desperate reminders to Everett not to fall in love with her read like a teenager’s diary, in all of the best, cringeworthy ways. Roxy is her own worst enemy, and Lowry excels at highlighting not only the best parts of her, but how she often stands in the way of her own success, all without judgment or rebuke.

That said, I can see how Roxy could be grating on many readers, and I, too, found her unbearably vapid at times. Whenever she announces a new cause --- veganism, anti-corporatism, etc. --- she immediately underscores her own enthusiasm by journeying into the dark side and eating a wheel of cheese or rocking a new pair of Lululemons. Still, I found it impossible to break away from her and her letters. Roxy is the worst in all of us: worried about the future of consumerism, yet desperate to receive our Amazon Prime purchases in exactly two days; critical of the corporatization of beloved chains and yet unwilling to shop elsewhere, fearing the loss of convenience.

Roxy is not the lovable Bridget Jones or the controversial Bernadette of WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE. She is entirely original and completely in ownership of her own flaws and shortcomings, which may deter some readers for being just a little too real. In exposing her protagonist so clearly on the page, Lowry has given us someone to love and to hate, a plethora of witty new phrases to use, and, above all, a laugh-out-loud trek into the mind of a millennial everywoman (who looks amazing in a pair of Lululemons).
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A quick, quirky read. Reminded me a lot of Eleanor Oliphant. There is a certain obliviousness to both characters.  I liked the format once I got used to it. I've seen it compared heavily to Bridget Jones but it wasn't nearly as funny which was disappointing.
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Reading this book, I decided that readers were either going to love this book or not get into it at all.  Unfortunately, I was in the "don't love it" category.  The main character, Roxy, writes letters to everyone and is very long-winded.  She's also brutally honest, to the point of what I considered overexposure (her vibrator?).
Read it, it was just ok although funny in places.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Omg why did it take me so long to write this review!  I can’t believe I haven’t done it yet because I ADORED this book and I adored Roxy. She’s still living with her ex because she needs help paying the mortgage.  She lives in one of those small towns, filled with Mom and Pop shops and get this A Whole Foods (before it became the sensation it is now).  She occasionally dapples as being a vegan, but she is as snarky as can be and I mean that in a good way!  Her journey was such a fantastic breath of fresh air! 
Thank you so much to NetGalley for the arc!
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This is a Bridget Jones Diary like story, if Bridget Jones were about 10 years younger, a vegan and lived in the US instead of the UK. Rosy is 28, is completely stalled in her artistic pursuits and works at a dead end job at the local Whole Goods in Austin,TX. A chronically lonely young woman, who is financially challenged, Roxy invites her ex boyfriend,Everett, to stay in her spare room in exchange for rent. She starts writing a diary of sorts in the form of letters to Everett. Initially, many of her letter detail her frustrations with Everett as a roommate. As the story goes on she chronicles her various life struggles and triumphs. At first she does come off as a bit high strung and petty. Things do improve for her over time as she finally learns how to grow up a little bit. For that the story gets better as it goes on. Roxy genuinely blossoms from a floundering child-adult to a strong, well adjusted young woman. At times her trials and tribulations can be quite funny. In general this should appeal to fans of Bridget Jones. Review posted to Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, and Amazon
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I needed a fun, quick read to distract me during quarantine and "The Roxy Letters" was the perfect book! Told through letters from Roxy to her good-for-nothing ex who owes her rent, it's funny and heartwarming and you can't help but fall in love with Roxy. If you liked Bridget Jones or Where'd You Go, Bernadette, you'll love this book too. 

Thanks to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster and the author for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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When I saw the blurb comparing this novel to Bridget Jones' Diary,I was instantly intrigued. I can see why it was labeled that way, because the main character, Roxy, has a lot of the same temperament as Bridget, and (in my opinion) is just as likable.  

Roxy, the heroine, is an artist who makes ends meet by working at Whole Foods and renting out an extra room in her house to her ex boyfriend, Everett. She tells her story through letters that she is writing to Everett (not exactly a diary, but similar because she doesn't always send them to him- or doesn't send any of them, I'm not really sure on that one). She talks about her sex life (or lack there-of), the horrible men she dates, and her creeptastic boss, along with giving us insight in to her best friends and her underwear eating dog. Yes, it's as kitschy and chick-lit as it sounds. 

My only real complaint was the frequent use of the word "grrrrl" in any capacity. I know that the book was set in 2012, but I'm pretty sure no one in their late 20s was using that term. I know that at 22 I sure wasn't. But again, that's just me being petty because that phrase has always annoyed me. Grrrl problems aside, this was a funny, easy read that I would recommend to fans of Jennifer Weiner's or even Jane Green's.
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Thank you, Netgalley for sending me a digital ARC, in exchange for an honest review

A hilarious good book to read, based on letters that Roxy writes.  It will keep you entertained.  

The main character shares her tales of woe to her ex-boyfriend via letters. Through these letters, you get to know an interesting cast of characters.   This was a fun quick read.  I definitely would recommend it.   The first book by this author I have read Mary Pauline Lowry.
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I'm writing this review with the acknowledgement that I am not the target audience: I don't really enjoy romance, and I can't see Roxy and her beau really going the distance. That being said, I loved the wacky ensemble cast (especially her female friends!) and found The Roxy Letters a refreshingly quick read. 

The writing is easy to get into, as the letters make it seem like she's writing directly to you. However, Roxy's go-to phrases can get a bit repetitive.

TLDR: Very fun, very quick, but not going to be one of my most-recommended reads of 2020.
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If you are looking for a book which is funny and sweet and a feel good read, look no further.  The Roxy Letters is all those things and more.  Roxy is somewhat like a Bridget Jones, comical, confused and looking for Mr. Right, but she is much more.  She's a vegan who works at a deli department at a Whole Foods store  trying to get over a boyfriend she thought was the love of her life, who can't seem to make a grown-up decision to save her life and she is always broke.

Roxy's escapades are all told to us through letters which she writes to her housemate, Everett, a past boyfriend living with her now to help her not only split the rent, which according to some of the letters he seems to forget to do, as well as help take care of her pets Charlize Theron, a cat and Roscoe, a dog who needs a nightly insulin shot.

She comically tells tales of being Vegan and having to deal with patrons who order meat, from a deli, which sells meat! And don't get her started on the run-ins with "Dirty Steve" her manager who seems to dislike everybody and keeps trying to get her fired, or give her food poisoning on any given day.

As she maneuvers through life, dating men who act like children... literally, pining over the one she lost, she befriends a woman name Armetis Starla who is so carefree and put together that Roxy envies her. Why can't she be more like Armetis? But Roxy seems to become lost in her past unable to see any hope for a promising future.

Until a Lululemon store moves into their quaint block and Roxy, well just does not feel the store belongs. So she gathers her friends to make signs and picket the store. That's when chaos really begins to ensue! As Roxy starts to stand up for what she believes, her confidence seems to grow and she becomes stronger.

Roxy learns she needs to let go of her past and forgive her ex to move on realizing that he may have actually loved her very much because he did let her go. And something unique begins to happen to her.  She begins to become an adult! And she learns a very valuable lesson...not everything is always what it seems!

The hijinks are never ending and pretty amusing and the dialogue is quick-witted as we follow Roxy and her merry band of misfits to a very satisfying ending.

Thank you NetGalley, Simon&Schuster, Elizabeth Breeden and Goodreads for the advanced copies.
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This book is weird. The only parts I really enjoyed were the references to Austin and dachshunds (probably because these were the only two things in which I could relate to the main character). The book is set in Austin and the plot is revolves around the city itself which is fun. I would probably only recommend this book to a native or local Austinite who wouldn’t mind the rest of the ridiculous story. The sex cult, prayers to the goddess Venus, and letters to the ex boyfriend were just a few of absurdities that didn’t work for me with this book.
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The Roxy Letters was an entertaining novel, written creatively through one-way letters. The turbulent events in Roxy's quirky, life were told in a fun, light manner. Thank you NetGalley for the e-book for review. All opinions are my own.
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Comparisons of this novel by Mary Pauline Lowry to Bridget Jones’ Diary are inevitable. Protagonist Roxy — an educated, underemployed millennial, struggling to pay her mortgage and find love — writes down her thoughts and adventures in letters to her equally clueless ex-boyfriend Everett. Roxy’s basically a parody of herself: vegan, lauding the goddess Venus, underemployed and harassed at Whole Foods, devoted to her pets, trying to take down commercialism (in the form of Lululemon) and patriarchy. A University of Texas graduate and wannabe artist, Roxy realizes that, at 27, she should be in a better place, and she mourns her fate and that of so many of her cohort. I should have found her off-putting, but Roxy’s so sweet and compassionate that I couldn’t help but love her. And it’s reminder to us Baby Boomers how much easier we have it than our children.

Despite my love and compassion for Roxy, she spends so much time virtue-signaling and spinning her wheels that I stopped caring about her a third of the way through. She doesn’t think ahead, the cause of so many of her troubles. I wish I could dispense some grandmotherly advice to her, although I doubt that she’d take it. Oppressed, underpaid and a wage slave at Whole Foods — despite the multinational’s thin attempt at seeming hip and caring — is no way to go through life. You need a plan. That’s the first step to getting a life. And life doesn’t start next week or next month or next year. Life has to start today. Too bad Roxy spends more time wishing she had a life than lifting a finger to get one.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley and Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved this quirky epistolary novel.  It was a fun read. I will be featuring this novel in my blog. Thank you for letting me read an early copy.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-book of The Roxy Letters. 

Roxy is a little like me. I can't say I relate to her now but I did before getting married. I didn't have my s*** together. 
The letters she writes her ex boyfriend are cringe and sometimes they made me LOL. 
It's a fun, lay back and relax kind of read.
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The Roxy Letters by Mary Pauline Lowry
Roxy is a free-spirited 20-something going through a bit of a rough patch. Her job at the Whole Foods deli counter isn’t stimulating, and her love life leaves something to be desired. Roxy is passionate about what she believes in, so when a new Lululemon opens in her charming and eccentric Austin neighborhood, Roxy sees red. With the help of her two friends, Roxy makes plans to save the neighborhood from corporatization and find herself some love along the way.
When @simonbooks reached out to me to help promote this novel, I jumped at the chance! I have been reading a lot of heavy, serious, or dense material lately, and Roxy Letters was an enjoyable change of pace. There were parts of this book that were SO funny and relatable, I could almost picture myself along for the ride. This novel is written in letter format, which I didn’t love at first but it grew on me! Three stars because I found the story to drag a bit towards the middle, but I enjoyed the ending. If you’re looking for a light read that doesn’t take itself seriously, pick this one up! Thank you @simonbooks for my advanced readers copy. The Roxy Letters was released earlier this month and is available now!
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I’m not sure what possessed me to request this on NetGalley but I strongly suspect it was due to seeing it was an epistolary novel. Roxy is a late-bloomer in-so-far as she is a nearly starving artist – not that can bring herself to actually paint anything – that works in a deli at Whole Foods that occasionally mooches money from her parents. The Roxy Letters are firmly Women’s Fiction / Chick Lit with funny, cringe-worthy moments and a very flawed main character.

Roxy is a hot mess and if I’m being honest I didn’t care for her as a character. This isn’t necessarily the author’s fault. In fact, it shows just how talented she was at creating Roxy as an authentic, obnoxious hippie. She reminded me of the absolute worst characteristics of the “keep weird” movement when it came to my hometown. So painful. So snobby. If I wasn’t so curious as to what she would mess up next, I may have set it to the side. After all, its not every book I read that includes a sex cult.

There is an element of “coming-of-age” as Roxy’s self-awareness grows and she starts to take an active role in her life. The pacing was comfortable and appropriate for Roxy’s antics but, if you aren’t paying attention to the dates of the letters it is easy to lose track of the passage of time. 

While this wasn’t my favorite, Lowry did manage to make me laugh with Roxy’s ill-advised escapades. Be prepared for a lot of hippie, vegan talk, and elitism. If that isn’t for you then this might be one to skip. The Roxy Letters proved to be equal parts fascinating (train wreck character) and exceedingly awkward making this book quite an experience.

Side note: I had no idea that Austin, TX boasted a strange bubble of hippie, hipster, slacker community and I’m not sure what to do with that information. I almost want to see it for myself but then again…

**I voluntarily read and reviewed a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
*Reviews posted/submitted to Amazon, Bookbub, B&N, and Kobo (7 MAY 2020)
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I did NOT think this book was like Bridget Jones.  Sure Roxy puts herself into horribly embarrassing situations.  But there isn't much humor in it.  And when you find out the truth about one of her friends, it's not funny at all.   I did enjoy the letter writing tale.  It got slow in places and while I felt for Roxy, she sure could have straightened out her life a heck of a lot sooner!  It did all wrap up very neat and pretty.  It wasn't too heavy, which is what I need right now.  Just wish it was a bit funnier.
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THE ROXY LETTERS by Mary Pauline Lowry left me wanting more.  

Roxy enjoys writing letters to her ex-boyfriend, who, lives in her guest bedroom for awhile.  Could be funny but was not for me.

In those letters, Roxy writes about her life, her work life, her sex life, her eating habits, you get the idea.

The letters are lengthy and the whole concept of utilizing letters to tell her story did not work for me.

Perhaps this book would be enjoyed on a beach with a fruity cocktail.  If you're looking for substance look elsewhere; if you're looking for a light sorta-fun beach read, this just may be your book.
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It took me a while to get into this book.  I actually put it down and read another book then started this one again...However, once that I got into the book, I couldn't put it down.  Glad that I gave this one another chance.
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