I was excited when Dee DeTarsio asked me to review her second novel, The Kitchen Shrink, after I had such a fun read with her debut The Scent of Jade. I gladly dove in to this contemporary, laugh out loud novel about the evils of reality TV, the stress of Do It Yourself (DIY) projects, and the struggle of finding oneself after a divorce. And did I mention this was all going to be a on a reality show? The heroine, Lisby Shaw, gets suckered in to appearing on “The Kitchen Shrink,” a new reality show that focuses on giving your kitchen a makeover while trying to also change your life. Lisby needs help in both areas- not only is her kitchen an outdated underwhelming mess, but her life has turned upside down since her divorce, and her kids are slipping further from her grasp. She dives headfirst into the reality world, letting the cameras invade her home and once private life.
I really had a good time reading The Kitchen Shrink. It was funny and current, with snappy dialogue and unique characters. Lisby was really sweet and likeable, and readers are meeting her at such a vulnerable stage in her life that you can’t not root for her to win. The characters that come with the reality show are all a hoot, and the men that Lisby tries to hook up with make for some great scenarios. I liked the relationship between Lisby and her BFF, and what strains their friendship half way through turned out to be pretty funny as well. The ending left me a little like “what happens next” and I like the endings to be a little more tidy, but overall I enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Dee DeTarsio. I would recommend The Kitchen Shrink to chick lit fans, and be ready to wonder how your life would change if you went on a reality show![Rating: 4]