December 13, 2012

Latest Read: All the Lonely People

Here are the basics ...
Book: All the Lonely People
Author: Jess Riley
Site: http://www.jessriley.com/
Category: Fiction - Chick Lit

Summary: After losing her beloved mother to cancer, 37-year-old Jaime Collins must confront the ugly fact that she and her siblings don't actually like one another. At all. Fueled by grief and an epic argument at Thanksgiving dinner, Jaime decides to 'divorce' her siblings and posts an ad on Craigslist for a new family for Christmas. (Adapted from goodreads.com


I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you Jess!
My thoughts…
The good: I love my family, I really do but there are moments when they drive me totally and completely crazy.  I'm pretty sure that's a sentiment we can all agree on.  All The Lonely People explores this feeling and takes it one step further.  After the loss of her mother to cancer, it's becoming achingly clear to Jaime that she doesn't get along with her older siblings - Gwen and Clint.  Gwen is pretty much MIA and despite her efforts with Clint, she gets the distinct impression that he can't stand her.  So after a disastrous Thanksgiving dinner which leads to her getting kicked out of her brother's house, she decides to find herself a new family. How? By posting an ad on Craigslist, of course.

Throughout the book, we're introduced to all the people who have been a part of Jaime's life and all the new people who come into it because of the ad. It's these wonderful, real and kind of kooky characters that make this story so great.  First there's her husband, Erik, who I loved. He's got this dry sarcastic humor and he's kind of a big kid at heart. But he's reliable and he loves Jamie and he actually goes along with her crazy idea to meet/create a new family. I think her sometimes irrational frustrations with him were easy to relate to also. Like, why are you being so calm and logical when I'm yelling! (I hate when guys do this because it makes me feel like a crazy person.) Then there are her three best friends from college. I enjoyed that through all the marriages, kids, new jobs and changes in their lives - they were able to maintain their friendship. It's not as easy as it used to be but they all hold onto it and I enjoyed the glimpse into that.  Again, felt very true to life.  And I can't not mention her new "family" of lonely people.  I loved them! They were all such characters but they all had good hearts. As crazy as the circumstances were, there was something beautiful about these different people finding each other.

Based on what I've written so far, it might seem like Jaime's idea was so easy to accomplish. Need a new family? Done. But it's not and I'm glad the book went into that.  Because these new set of people came with their own set of problems that Jaimie inevitably got sucked into.  There's a balance you have to maintain between your husband, old friends, new friends, etc. And no matter how much you may think you hate your family.. you can't change the fact that they'll always be your family. This theme was explored really well throughout the book, with humor and lots of realistic moments.

(Very minor) reservations: There's this one scene featuring Jaime's sister Gwen that felt a little out of left field. She suddenly recalls a childhood memory (a rather important one!) and it feel a little brushed off. For something like that to come up, I expected a conversation or some acknowledgement between the two sisters.

Do I recommend?: If you're the mood for a heartwarming book that will make you laugh, deals with family and Christmas - I definitely recommend this!

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. I love books about families! Like love, love, love them. I'm pretty close with mine, so it's always been interesting to read about familial relationships. Never heard of this one, but it sounds good!

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    1. This was definitely an interesting spin on the whole family dynamic. You should check it out!

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  2. Thank you so much for featuring me on the blog! I really appreciate the thought you put into your review, and I'm thrilled you enjoyed it. Have a great Christmas! :)

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    1. And thank you for sending me the book! Have a great Christmas!

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