The Cubicle Next Door

by Siri L. Mitchell

This was the first Mitchell book I’ve picked up, and I was rewarded with a cute “chick lit” story, complete with quick-witted characters and humorous situations that kept me smiling as I turned the pages.

The Cubicle Next Door centers around Jackie Harrison, a civilian employee at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. As the story opens, her office is about to be “compartmentalized” into cubicle space for two. Bewildered by the antics of her new officemate, Joe Gallagher (a pilot turned instructor at the Academy), Jackie begins to write about her frustrations on her online blog, The Cubicle Next Door. But just as Jackie’s feelings for Joe start leaning toward romance, a national news program features her blog on a special report: Suddenly everyone’s attention is fixated on Jackie’s unproclaimed love for her officemate–including Joe himself!

I enjoyed the witty banter between Jackie and Joe, but it was in the more sincere moments of Jackie’s vulnerability that the story became most endearing. From a whirlwind makeover by her grandma’s best friends to her first-time attendance at an Air Force football game, Jackie slowly allows her world to expand beyond the safety of her online blog. And of course, her feelings for Joe help prod her along the way.

With a clever plot and characters you want to cheer along, The Cubicle Next Door delivers a great mix of romance and reality. And for extra charm, Mitchell adds entertaining glimpses of the quirks and traditions of the Air Force Academy and Colorado Springs. In my opinion, it’s a winning combination, and I recommend this title for those who enjoy the chick-lit genre.

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