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Gigi Levangie Grazer is the bestselling author of four previous novels, including The Starter Wife, first a miniseries and then a series on the USA Network, and Maneater, now a Lifetime miniseries. Her most recent book, Queen Takes King, is currently under option at Lifetime. Grazer has also written the screenplay for Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, and articles for Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and Glamour. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children and one miniature dachshund.
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This is honestly one of the worst books I've ever read. I do believe that there are people who can communicate with spirits, so that's not my problem with it. But the characters, dialogue, and storyline are all just ridiculous and poorly written. It's impossible to care about any of the people. I looked forward to it being over. I had read this author's other book, The Starter Wife, and remembered it being okay chick lit. When this went on sale for $1.99 I figured it was worth trying. I was wrong.
A tragedy occurs first thing out of the blocks in this book and the rest of the story is told from the widow's point of view and she discovers something about herself that was, initially, surprising but it worked out in the end. And there were too many characters that you had to keep track of. The wife does make funny statements (as in laugh) but at times it just doesn't seem appropriate. However, as the plot goes on, it does become a bit more interesting but for the price i paid for it (cheap) i'm not complaining. If i had paid full price for it, i would have been upset. I read better novels than this. If i bought it in paperback i would donate it to the library.
At the start of the book, I got lost in the author's references to California and Hollywood people. Every action seemed compared to some movie star. I put the book down and about 2 months later, picked it up again. Once I got past the continual Hollywood jargon, I started to enjoy the writing. The author is super witty and sarcastic. At first, the characters were interesting, but didn't seem to have respect for each other. By the middle of the book, their personalities were developing and I could see why the relationships work. I enjoyed it. Just a slow start for me. Now that I understand the author, I will look at reading more from her. Her wording actually made me laugh out loud!
3.0 out of 5 starsGoing to beach? Consider taking this along for filler-reading material.
Reviewed in the United States on 17 September 2016
This book would make a good beach read. The main character is likable, there is the "required" circle of quirky friends, and it doesn't require a lot of brain power to read/comprehend this book. On the down side, however, it seemed as though the author would think about developing one of the collateral characters a bit , then give up. And it was hard to tell whether this was a book about a "medium" or about the main character surviving after the unexpected death of her husband - neither theme was very well developed. Still a good beach read.
I read this as an antidote to Atwood's Alias Grace. I cycled from an academic gloom piece to this nonsensical farce. The story of a widow who communicates with dead people, including her husband, was full of snarky California themed inside jokes. I'm Midwestern. The book landed with a resounding thud. I'm not proud that I hated Atwood's book while admiring her humor and craft, and actually finished this one, a parade of stock characters thrown into a film treatment.
1.0 out of 5 starsDon't bother!! There are so many good books out there.
Reviewed in the United States on 5 November 2017
I can't remember what I paid for this book...free perhaps but not more than $2. I wanted to try a new author. I so wish I hadn't wasted my time on it. The start of the book got me interested and then the sarcasm took over and didn't stop throughout. The sad thing is that there was a story here that could have developed a good lead character but she just got more and more beyond the realm of anything real and human! What a boring, stupid book!!
When her beloved husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Hannah falls apart and begins to talk to the dead. Her friends help,her through what they feel,is her breakdown; only to find their own lives falling apart, too. This group of over-characterized people have snappy dialogue and ended up being enduring. The ending made all the sadness worth the read.
5.0 out of 5 starsTouching and Funny at the Same Time
Reviewed in the United States on 21 March 2013
Maybe it was the honest portrayal of a wife dealing with grief. Maybe it was the entertainment provided by her quirky friends. Could have been the insight into the spirit world. Definitely was the way the author touched on life after the death of a loved one ... there's sadness and disbelief but there is also humour in the strangest things and there is a palpable desire to reach out to the other side and communicate with those we have lost. When my brother died, I was shocked with how many "signs" that he was still around to the point of my very Catholic mother also seeking the help of a medium. I find this world fascinating and yet before my brother's death, I would not have been comfortable reading this material, which is likely why some people chose to give this story fewer stars. Some people have complained about the "political references" but as a Canadian, I did not find them bad and if anything, they were in keeping with more liberal California philosophies. I thought Grazer did a wonderful job with this novel and I did not want to put it down. I would take it down 1/2 a star because some of the references were so "LA" and out there, while they were interesting and it is fun to hear what the really indulged are doing, they were a bit too nutty for me (V-steams anyone?). That being said, I loved the spirit characters and their relation to the living people Hannah comes in contact with. This is one story I wish would have a sequel.
I don't go for long reviews that tell you the whole story. This could have been a really sad story about a woman who becomes a widow and how she deals with it. Instead, this emotional topic was written with warmth, a somewhat cynical sense of humor (which I loved) and an emotional support team of crazy friends. I found it both touching and hysterical! I decided this author is one to follow.
When I first got this book I had no idea it was going to be so hilarious. I found myself doubled over with tears and water (okay, wine) coming out of my nose. Loved everything about this book and my new mission is to read everything written by this wonderful author. Also, the editing was flawless. The more I read the more I appreciate good editing.
5.0 out of 5 starsWay better than its rating would suggest!
Reviewed in the United States on 15 May 2017
I read this book on the recommendation of a close friend, who did not care for "Starter Wife," but loved this one. I did as well, though it took me a while to get past a somewhat gloomy and depressing beginning. Readers who enjoy this will be entranced by the novels of Saralee Rosenberg. To say why would be too much of a spoiler. Suffice it to say, this book is worth its purchase price.
5.0 out of 5 starsReally could relate to the character in this book
Reviewed in the United States on 12 December 2018
As a widow, I especially liked this book. My John has made his presence known several times so I know that these things do happen. Unfortunately I can’t call him forth like Hannah does in the book but otherwise Gigi nailed the experience when it does happen. I really liked this book.
Just a fun book to read. It all works out in the end but a hilarious and sometimes sad time in between getting there it is great to have a circle of friends who have your back and accept your weirdness when you are able to see and talk to the dead.
Oh, this was good! The characters are such lovable odd-balls and have great chemistry. I have it on my Kindle and ended up highlighting MANY one-liners and situations. I'll occasionally go back and pick a random chapter to read for a laugh. Overall a terrific easy and funny read.