My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a pleasant surprise and a quick read. I was grabbed by the cover, hooked by the characters, and committed to the story.
This book had a character that I loved to hate, Kathryn. Part of me kept reading just to see if karma would come around on her, because I know women like Kathryn. She flaunts her wealth, barely registers other’s needs, spoils her child blindly, and blames everyone else around her. Oh, Kathryns of the world, open your eyes and step down from your high horse. Kathryn wasn’t even the “bad” guy in this one.
I really enjoyed the multiple stories that are a part of a single story aspect of this book. There is the story of Lizzie and her failed career as a Food Network star, the relationship between Lizzie and her mother, Zoe and her blog, and the strange and dysfunctional Silvester family dynamic. All the pieces fit perfectly together and add layers to the overall story of Lizzie finding herself.
I became invested in the story, particularly Susan, Lizzie’s mom. She was the one I wanted to see with a happy ending. She was the one I was flipping pages to find out how she was doing. Her story was a little predictable, but it was set up nicely with all of the accompanying details of Lizzie’s story. I think what I liked the most is that Susan’s story is told through a series of emails between herself and her sister, Linda. It broke up the pieces of Lizzie’s story nicely.
Like I mentioned, the story was a little predictable, but not in the Oh-this-kind-of-story-again sort of way. The details created a great mental image of Lizzie and the Silvester’s home that I didn’t have to fill in the blanks myself. The relationship between the details and the timing was balanced just right. When I guessed what would happen next, it wasn’t 10 chapters down the line that I found out I was right, but a matter of paragraphs or pages because the pace was steady.
My complaints with the book are few, such as the lack of pronoun use. Normally, I would say using too many pronouns is annoying, but there were parts of this one where a pronoun would have been nice. There was an entire paragraph at one point that almost every sentence started with “Lizzie.” It took away from the story that I had to read her name so many times in sections.
Also, Lizzie’s love life was Oh-this-kind-of-story-again predictable. I saw it coming a mile away and I was hoping I would be wrong, but it was very much the clichéd love story we’ve all read a million times. It took away from Lizzie’s story instead of adding to it and it just felt like filler.
While I was more invested in Susan, Lizzie’s self-acceptance and journey finding herself was a definite highlight. Many of us, myself included, put too much weight on our shoulders and have unrealistic expectations. Some people get lucky and make millions of dollars on business ventures before they are 30, but the majority of the population aren’t lucky like that. Lizzie’s whole life had centered around her cooking show when she was in college. She rode the fame train and thought that because that didn’t work out, she failed.
We all make mistakes, however, and who we are and what we do at 20 is not who we become at 30.
With age and experience come maturity and self-acceptance. I just wish Lizzie would have seen this without the help of Nate, but that’s just me.
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