#BookReview: A Spoonful of Sugar by Amanda Orr

Reviewer: Samantha

I received a review copy

a spoonful of sugarSummary:

A generation ago we asked how does she do it all. Now comes a story that wonders, how do we stop?

A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR is a satire on the frenzy of modern parenting, feminism, childcare, and most certainly the pervasiveness of the pharmaceutical industry. THE NANNY DIARIES collides with PROZAC NATION in this story that chronicles Anna Moore’s journey from Super Mom to Super Hot Mess to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Propped up by vitamins and caffeine, Seattle Supermom Anna Moore thinks she has it all figured out. Three free range, organic-fed kids, a skyrocketing career as creative director at her advertising agency, and a stable marriage to a gaming nerd. But when she returns to work after an extended maternity leave only to discover that she’s been mommy tracked and the health department has shut down her daycare, she loses her grip. In swoops Maria, a seemingly experienced nanny, who enables Anna to go and win back her job. Anna quickly gets swept up into her work; while on the home front, Maria’s meddling antics reach a disastrous crescendo. Soon, every aspect of Anna’s life is going horribly and hilariously wrong and she must fight to redefine her existence, with or without a prescription.

Review:

This review is coming at a great time for me, as just the night prior to writing this I saw the movie BAD MOMS in theaters. The movie reminded me a lot of this book – how moms these days feel like they have to be Super Moms. They have to do it all, achieve it all, have it all, and make it look easy at the same time. While I am not a mom myself, I can try to sympathize with those who feel the overwhelming amount of pressure when it comes to parenting. It was easy to relate to Anna and the struggles she was going through. She was a great heroine, though I did have to wonder sometimes about why she kept around Maria, the nanny. There were just a few too many instances that I didn’t think I would want someone like that around my children, but I can also understand that she was feeling desperate for childcare the majority of the time. There were plenty of humorous moments along the way as well and overall I thought this was a terrific read that gave me plenty to learn and appreciate.

4 stars

#BookReview: Up and In by Deborah Disney

Reviewer: Samantha

I received a review copy

up and inSummary:

A laugh-out-loud debut that will delight fans of Liane Moriarty and Fiona Higgins, this is The Devil Wears Prada at the school gates.

Distinctly middle-class parents, Maria and Joe have committed every bit of available income to giving their daughters Kate and Sarah the best education possible, which to them means attending the most exclusive girls school in the state. But when Kate befriends the spoilt and moody Mirabella, Maria must learn to play nicely with Mirabella’s mother, Bea – the beguiling yet beastly queen of the toffee-nosed school mothers at Riverton.

A series of social blunders and intentional snubs make Maria determined to ensure Kate’s rightful position both at school and on the Saturday morning netball team, but as Maria works hard to negotiate the social hierarchy, her previously contented life with Joe falls far from view.

With her mastery of dialogue and character, Australian author Deborah Disney skillfully balances keen and witty observations about daily life with the more serious issues of schoolyard bullying and social isolation.

You will laugh, you will nod along, and you will want to take the increasingly neurotic Maria aside and point out that in all her desperate, gaffe-filled attempts to fit in with the well-heeled, champagne-swilling mummies of Riverton, she might just be risking all that she holds dear.

Review:

I don’t know what it is lately, but I am totally drawn to this comical mom-lit books. I am not a mom (well, I’m a puppy mom!) so I’m a little surprised at how much I am enjoying these types of reads. I’ll be honest – I got behind on my reading schedule due to an injury that kept me stuck in bed for days, and had just over 24 hours to read this book in time for my scheduled review date. But alls well that ends well, because I did not want to put this book down! Ooh, it was so juicy, well-written, funny, and relatable, even to a non-mom like me. The competition these women put themselves through – it’s like Keeping Up With the Joneses but on steroids – if they steroids were designer, of course. In the middle of it all we have a down to earth heroine in Maria who tries her hardest not to get caught up in the drama of the other beas, but when it comes to her child being left out, her protective side kicks into gear. 5 big stars from me, and I highly recommend for your 2016 reading list!

5 stars



On Tour: Cookies for Dinner by Pam Johnson-Bennett and Kae Allen

Pam & Kae will be on tour May 6-27 with their novel Cookies for Dinner

cookies for dinnerPam and Kae are good friends but total opposites. Pam is a worrying germophobe and Kae stands by the philosophy that everyone will eat a pound of dirt in their lifetime. In this collection of humorous essays, Pam and Kae come clean on motherhood…

  • No one tells you that your breasts will be treated like a fast food take-out window or that a ravenous infant can create more suction than industrial-grade vacuum cleaners.
  • I went into labor with my first child four months after my soon-to-be ex-husband moved out to live with his girlfriend, six months after my 20th birthday and precisely the morning that I was having my house tended for ticks. Yes, ticks.
  • Jumping off the cliff into potty training makes you realize that you didn’t truly appreciate the diaper years. Once you begin potty training, a toddler’s backside becomes a loaded gun, ready to launch its missile in whatever direction it happens to be pointing.
  • No matter how we got on this ride, at some point we all end up standing on the checkout line at Walmart, totally unaware of the fact that we’re still wearing our pajama top.

Pam and Kae are living proof that even though every mother is different, we’re all on this roller coaster without a seatbelt. Scary? You bet, but it’s the ride of our lives.

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops! **Everyone who leaves a comment on Pam and Kae’s tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Cookies for Dinner before May 27 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**


CLP Blog Tours

pam and kaeAuthor Bios:

Pam Johnson-Bennett
The one thing you can’t say about Pam Johnson-Bennett is that she’s a chicken. She certainly loves a challenge! After paving a career in the then-unheard-of field of cat behavior consulting and becoming a leader in the profession, she has decided to throw caution to the wind and defy the advice of family in order to reveal the REAL Pam…the Pam who is a worrying germophobe mother of two. In her “other” life, Pam is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and best-selling author of 7 books. She is the star of the upcoming television series “Psycho Kitty” that is set to air on Discovery UK channel later in 2013. She is a former Vice-President of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and is the founder of the IAABC Cat Division. She is one of the most well-known experts on cat behavior and her ground-breaking “Think Like a Cat” approach to cat behavior has been featured and profiled in numerous magazines and television shows. Her books are considered the “cat bibles” when it comes to understanding felines and what makes them tick. Her parenting skills, however, are still in question.
Pam and her husband have been married for 15 years and have two children. The family lives in Tennessee with a dog, cat and three goldfish.

Kae Allen

On thing you can say about Kae is she likes to laugh.  No matter what the situation, you can rely on her to find the humor and share it with all around.   In Kae’s professional life she has dedicated over 21 years to building her own accounting practice. In her personal life, she is the mother of three wonderful children.  She has been married to her husband, David for 26 years.  Kae’s favorite playtime passion is bowling.  She may wish for a higher average but is thrilled at the sound of crashing pins and friendly laughter.  She is the secretary of two bowling leagues and the association manager for her local bowling association.  All of Kae’s children have graduated from college and have so far avoided the need of a therapist couch.  She spent three years enjoying her empty nest having time to travel to bowling tournaments, play golf and dote over her husband and her female goldendoodle dog, Fred.  As of the writing of this book, Kae’s empty nest has filled back up with her in-laws moving in. For Kae, the best day is one that has her house filled to the brim with family, friends and, of course, lots of laughter.

Connect with Pam & Kae!