Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center~★★★★

Author: Katherine Center
The Bright Side of Disaster
Release Date:
June 26th, 2007
Ballantine Books

Book Jacket: "Jenny Harris always expected that she'd fall in love, get married, and have a baby---in that order. Now, very pregnant and not quite married, she actually doesn't mind that she and her live-in fiance, Dean, accidentally started their family a little earlier than planned: she's happy to have to so much to look forward to. But Dean---who is charming enough that Jenny can overlook his bad facial hair, his smoking habit, and his total commitment to a cheesy cover band--is acting distant, and not in a pre-wedding jitters kind of way. The night he runs out for cigarettes and just doesn't come back, he demotes himself from future husband to sperm donor. And the very next day, Jenny goes into labor.
In the months that follow, Jenny plunges into a life she never anticipated: single motherhood. At least with the sleep deprivation, sore boobs, and fits of crying (both hers and the baby's), there's not much time to dwell on her broken heart. And things start looking up: Jenny learns how to do everything one-handed, makes friends in a mommy group, and even manages to give dating tips to her sweet, clueless father---who's trying to court her sassy mother again, fifteen years after their divorce. She also gets to know a handsome, helpful neighbor---with a knack for soothing babies---who invites her out dancing. But Dean is never far from Jenny's thoughts or, it turns out, her doorstep, and in the end Jenny must choose between the old life she thought she wanted and the new life she's been lucky to find."
Taryn's Review: I actually liked this book more than I thought I would, which is always nice. We all know a girl like Jenny; she is the girl with the wrong guy, but she is also one of the sweetest girls you know. Dean made it clear to Jenny she was his second choice after another woman turned him down, but Jenny, despite receiving advice from those who loved her, got into a serious relationship, engaged, then whoops, pregnant! You have a girl you're thinking of, don't you!

Anyway, the book wasn't what I'd call deep reading, just a book about a girl who found herself in a crappy predicament while 40 weeks pregnant. Center didn't dig too deeply into the psyche of her characters, but still laid out an entertaining story line, especially in highlighting the juggling act Jenny had when it came to caring for her baby alone.

I did like the way the author had Jenny teeter when Dean tried to pop back into the picture. I think that's true for so many women who are like Jenny. Besides, isn't it so much harder for a woman to tell the man "no" when he throws the fact that he is the baby's father in her face?

One point I didn't like in the book was Jenny's struggle to breastfeed in regard to how long her baby went without adequate milk because Jenny was so against formula feeding. I don't imagine most mothers would have their children on the verge of dehydration because they refused to give them formula. My other annoyance was how Jenny wasn't working the entire 8 months after the baby was born (where did her money come from?) and how easily it was made for her to never have to worry about an income again. It just got annoying. I would have liked to read about a woman who didn't have a rich mommy/daddy to make life perfect.

Overall, it was entertaining and passed the time quickly. Often you want to shake some sense into Jenny, but that's what keeps you reading the book!

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