Welcome back to the place that acts as an escape from my "lovely" life (said VERY sarcastically) and helps me share my love of books with all of you....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Seriously, life sometimes....ugh! You ever have one (or more) of those moments when you simply want to grab a pillow or a vacant room and scream at the top of your lungs? Yeah...SO been there recently and lucky for me, so have the characters in today's featured title. It comes to us via the great folks at Abingdon Fiction courtesy of Pump Up Your Book promotions and stars a Fiction title that would easily work for older teen readers as well as those that favor the Christian Fiction section. No worries guys; it's light on the holiness with a bigger focus on morals and the grand scheme of things. Ready to meet today's featured guest? Here we go! Today's book of choice is....
About the book....
Priscilla Slater goes to her 10-year high school reunion as a successful business woman. Even though she got rid of her mousy brown hair, swapped out her discount store wardrobe for designer clothes, and now has perfectly straight teeth, she can't get past feeling like the ugly duckling. Her parents' disapproval for her choice of careers—running a chain of hair salons—deepens her self-doubt. She experiences self-discovery and learns that things aren't always as they seem.
During the reunion, one woman passes out after starving herself for the event. The class beauty queen appears to have more self-confidence than ever until her ex shows up with his new wife. The reunion organizer has taken her responsibilities to a whole new level that makes the Marines look like Boy Scouts, while her husband drinks too much and makes a fool of himself. The man she always dreamed about being with finally gives her some attention, but when she finds out more about him, she realizes he's not worth her time. These realizations boost her self-confidence, but now she has to deal with her best friend Tim's new feelings for her.
So many things to love about this one, I'm not even certain I know where to begin!
Coming from the perspective of someone who has never attended a high school reunion (trust me, if even invited, no one would remember little old me...I was the quiet studious one in the background), this was a look into a life ritual for many I'd not actually seen and yet was both surprised and not surprised by. The not surprised by factored in when seeing how little some had changed and how insecurities from 10+ years ago are dredged up once again. Sorry guys, for those that say high school is the best time of your life, you're probably in the minority...not a bad place to be, just remember all of us "others".
The surprised by part was how much people that were actually successful whether monetarily or in some other way, fretted about what everyone else would think of them. I mean I suppose I can see it happening, it even happens between old friends who haven't seen each other in a long time, but I guess I didn't realize how it would affect even those crowned cream of the crop. Eye opening, reassuring in some ways, and yet dealt not with vindication but with a softer hand that reminds us we are all human....we all suffer the same things in life just in our own way. We also all deserve a chance to feel important in our own right and have others respect us for that place we've created for ourselves. So many lessons learned and shared....so many friendships made.
From the characters we grow to know and love for better or worse, to the endings (for now...yes, there is a book 2 coming soon!) that tie things up but only just and not with the assumed close out. That's actually one of the things I loved the most though it took me a few moments to process I was not getting the exact happy-ever-after I was reaching for; that almost ending felt more real and true to the character. I loved Prissy in all her I-will-help-all-and-make-them-feel-beautiful-doing-it attitude. Laura held much power with her organizational skills but four kids and an self absorbed husband would test anyone's skills. Trudy is the beauty queen who can't let go of the imagine and yet would present a better picture by showing her true self than the over the top persona that gets sent to the hospital. Tim was the voice of reason among them all and even he still needs a boost to his confidence if he ever intends on securing his in with his dream girl. Then again there is something to be said for being a bit meek because those that were and get a taste of what the other end of the spectrum is like, sometimes can't put it in perspective, creating a bit of a monster (*cough* Celeste *cough*) that needs a few good friends to knock 'em down a peg or two back to reality.
To summarize, I definitely can't wait to find out what awaits this group at their 15 year reunion...and thanks to the publisher, I won't have long to wait! (hehe...gotta love ARCs!) No worries guys, I'll share when the timing is right. ^_^ It's a multi-perspective (done well with alternating chapters!) look at life ten years after the BIG EVENT that will bring some back to their hey days and others remembering the shells they broke free of but by book's end, you'll have a crew of new literary friends to reminisce with and more memories to look forward too.
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About the author....
Debby Mayne has published more than 30 books and novellas, 400 print short stories and articles, more than 1,000 web articles, and a slew of devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. For the past eight years, she has judged the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been top ten favorites by the Heartsong Presents book club. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July 2009.
Her latest book is Pretty Is As Pretty Does.
Review copy courtesy of Abingdon Fiction and Pump Up Your Book. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, seek out the publisher online. To discover more about this tour as well as those forthcoming from the promotion side of things, seek out their site, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter. This is book one in the Class Reunion Series and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you....need some help locating it in the mean time? No worries! Here's a few online options to get you started before you make the run to your local store...Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Abingdom.
Oh! Also, if you like the sound of this one and are eager to get on board with the next, Bless Her Heart (book 2) is slated to hit shelves August 5th! Got your wish list handy? Good. It totally deserves a place.
Until next time...happy reading!