This is my 1st review as part of the Clean out your E-reader Challenge! I’ve started reading Afterlife Academy, so you can expect to see a review soon on it! I’m really hoping to knock out some of these free (or at least I purchased them that way) e-reads. I’m sure I have broken a record for most free e-reads on a kindle or something! I have a serious problem – I can’t say NO to a free book!! I just can NOT do it!
What happens when good enough just isn’t enough anymore?
Stella Dahl assumed her life was as good as it was ever going to get. But after twelve years with a man who’s more a habit than husband material, she walks out on her bland existence, determined to start over. Goaded by her friends and a group of crass retirees she befriends at water aerobics, Stella plunges back into the dating pool. After a few false starts, she meets Joe, the sexy banjo player in a popular children’s band. He’s cocky, a smirking flirt, and a musician…everything she’s *not* looking for in a guy. Even still, she begins to fall — hard.
Just when Stella is beginning to think she could find true happiness, a family tragedy turns her world upside down. As she tries to hold together everything that’s crumbling around her, Stella starts slipping back into old habits — and away from Joe. Soon, she begins to wonder: Is she really destined for anything more than a life that’s good enough?
For fans of Jennifer Weiner and Kristan Higgins, CHEATING ON MYSELF is a touching, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy about starting over and finding your happily ever after.
My Review ***3 Stars***
Throughout the book Stella is just trying to figure out what she wants, and if she’s making the right decisions. She is very stiff/disciplined and has lived her life according to a list she made when she was fifteen. Now when she hasn’t marked off the last line of her list – getting married, she begins to question everything. Problem is – it is a long back-and-forth process to figure things out.
So, I wasn’t crazy about this book. I just couldn’t make myself care about Stella. Since the story was Stella’s, it ruined the book for me. I have to point out that it was a personal preference thing, though. The pacing was fine. The characters were well-developed, or at least they were as well-developed as possible, and the plot made sense. The deal there is that Stella wasn’t sure who she was or what she wanted. She wasn’t particularly concerned about who she hurt to figure it out, either, which was often sad for me, and this is supposed to be a romantic comedy. Now I will say, that I definitely found myself laughing a few times. This story wasn’t pure junk. It just seriously lacked a romantic element for me because Stella found herself between two guys (although the story isn’t really about that), and I liked both of them, but Stella just had issues with both. I found myself feeling equally bad for both of them and disliking Stella further. I didn’t really feel the happily ever after at the end.
Would I read another book by Erin Downing? Yes! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her writing. Although I picked this up as a free ebook, there were few editing issues. I enjoyed her writing style, I just wasn’t crazy about Stella, although some of you may absolutely LOVE her. As I mentioned, it’s just a personal preference. Matter of fact, I’d really like to get a story giving Erik’s (her ex’s) happily ever after.
About the Author ~ Erin Downing
My first novel for adults – a romantic comedy, entitled CHEATING ON MYSELF – was published on October 1, 2013!
My latest young adult novel – NONE OF THE REGULAR RULES – was published as an e-book exclusive on November 20, 2012.
My next tween novel – BEST FRIENDS (UNTIL SOMEONE BETTER COMES ALONG) – will be published by Simon & Schuster/Aladdin in April 2014.
THE QUIRKS – a series for younger readers – debuted on June 4, 2013 (written as Erin Soderberg). The second book will be published in February 2014.
I always love book recommendations, so please send them my way! I’m partial to contemporary romance, romantic comedy, funny/snarky voices, and quirky characters.
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