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76 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done!
If Tina Fey was from Wisconsin and decided to write a novel, I imagine she'd come up with something like All the Lonely People. This is women's fiction at its best--touching without being sappy, funny in a clever way, and characters that feel real. It reminded me a bit of the novels of Jonathan Tropper and Nick Hornby. Why there aren't more books like this in women't...
Published 19 months ago by Anna Roberts

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good premise...
...and for the most part I enjoyed the story. Just never really warmed to the main character, nor did I buy into her lack of relationship with her siblings. And one glaring editorial error really did it for me: Jaime was the youngest at 37, but when she and her father went to visit her mother's grave, the mother's lifespan was given as 1956-2011. This makes her 55 (ish)...
Published 6 months ago by Lisa Mack


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done!, November 23, 2012
This review is from: All the Lonely People (Kindle Edition)
If Tina Fey was from Wisconsin and decided to write a novel, I imagine she'd come up with something like All the Lonely People. This is women's fiction at its best--touching without being sappy, funny in a clever way, and characters that feel real. It reminded me a bit of the novels of Jonathan Tropper and Nick Hornby. Why there aren't more books like this in women't fiction, I have no idea, but I'm glad I found this one. I was thoroughly entertained and am looking forward to reading more by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good premise..., January 12, 2014
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This review is from: All the Lonely People (Kindle Edition)
...and for the most part I enjoyed the story. Just never really warmed to the main character, nor did I buy into her lack of relationship with her siblings. And one glaring editorial error really did it for me: Jaime was the youngest at 37, but when she and her father went to visit her mother's grave, the mother's lifespan was given as 1956-2011. This makes her 55 (ish) when she died. Given Jaime's age of 37, this would have made her mother 18 when she had Jaime, and thus much younger when she had Gwen and Clint. Not particularly plausible...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this before Christmas!, November 25, 2012
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This review is from: All the Lonely People (Kindle Edition)
I want to meet everyone in Jess Riley's newest book! The characters span a range from genuine to shallow, gracious to obnoxious, warm to distant...just like real life. The main characters are quirky and you want to keep reading to find out what happens to them. The book starts out during the holidays so you definitely want to read this book before Christmas, or give it as a gift (maybe to yourself!) to read when recovering from holiday stress. The main character has touching insights about her mother, which will hit home with many readers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tu Family es Mi Family, November 2, 2012
This review is from: All the Lonely People (Kindle Edition)
Right from the beginning of Jess Riley's second novel, I found myself cringing in recognition of similar family issues. The brother and sister after a death was my life only with a sister, not a brother. The splintering apart of siblings after a parents' death is painful and my dead father cautioned against it happening! So obviously this is a universal theme, one most of us might face during our lifetime.

All the Lonely People reads like a roadmap of familiar dysfunction but thankfully with a side order of humor. And girlfriends! And alcohol!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reader, November 4, 2012
This review is from: All the Lonely People (Kindle Edition)
Every family has its dysfunction, and often times, a family death exacerbates it. Jaime has just lost her mother, has a knock down drag out fight with her brother and is emotionally distant from her sister. So she sets out to find a new "family." And discovers they are as dysfunctional as her own. The honest and humorous way she describes her long time marriage is relatable to anyone who has been married for more than a few years! I laughed, I empathized, and I thoroughly enjoyed Jaime's journey of compromise, understanding and love. I fell in love with Jess's writing while reading Driving Sideways and that has continued through All The Lonely People. I highly recommend reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts the "fun" in a dysfunctional family story!, January 14, 2014
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JackieB (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All the Lonely People (Kindle Edition)
Lucky for me, I have a functional family. Still, I have no grandparents so I was on board with the main character when she decides to advertise for a new family on Craigslist. (Thinking this could net me some cool grandparents. Or... leave me in a dark alley, wallet-less, with a large lump on my head...) Anyway, I loved this exploration of family and friendship, especially because of the voice. Some dysfunctional family stories can be tedious and trying (IMHO), but not this one! I don't often laugh aloud when reading, but I found myself laughing, smiling and highlighting phrases I especially enjoyed. (For example, the main character says of another that he squeezed her hand "with enough brute force to squeeze the lungs out of a chipmunk." And she describes her older sister as a sociopath. "Not a sociopath with a windowless van and a crawlspace, but one who reached her lifetime quota of empathy by the age of three.") Good stuff! I'll definitely be reading more by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book!, November 10, 2013
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This review is from: All the Lonely People (Paperback)
Very original story concept, sharp, funny dialogue and well developed characters. It's easy to become totally absorbed into Jess Riley's novel about family discord, and the attempt to create a family to replace one that is lacking. The book covers some serious ground, but is infused with very funny moments. I loved that it wasn't formulaic, but seemed like a story that could be true to life. This book, at its core, is about relationships (family, marriage, friendships), and Jess Riley nails both the big picture and the nuances that are inherent in these connections. I strongly recommend this book and can't wait to read my next book written by Jess Riley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected surprise!, June 30, 2013
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This review is from: All the Lonely People (Kindle Edition)
I don't remember exactly how I found this book as I searched for my next book, but I do remember thinking that often I have wanted to "trade in" a few members of my family. I also get a kick out of the assorted items available on Craigslist. Jess is a phenomenal story teller. She uses unique phrases, descriptions that make me stop to imagine, and weaves magically over, under, around and back with finess. I just discovered her, and can't wait to jump into my next Jess Riley piece!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Touching and Thought Provoking, April 7, 2013
This review is from: All the Lonely People (Kindle Edition)
Every once in a blue moon, I read a book and think, "I really wish that I had written this myself". Jess Riley's novel, All the Lonely People, falls right into that category.

Riley's novel centers around Jaime and Erik, a middle-aged, childless couple who are struggling with their definition of family. The novel starts slightly over a year after Jaime's mother has died and Jaime is left fighting with her distant and dysfunction siblings. Her husband, Erik, is an only child, whose only relative is his elderly father who lives in an nursing home and suffers from Alzheimer's.

Christmas is approaching and Jaime decides to advertise on Craigslist for a new family. It turns out that there are plenty of isolated people in need of new relatives and willing to take a chance on a stranger.

Riley is just a fantastic writer. The sense of humor that she infuses into her characters and their situations is razor sharp, a bit wicked and often completely hilarious. However, what I love most about her writing, is that she balances the humor with a sensitivity towards painful subjects (grieving over a loved one, family resentment, personal heartache) and creates a story that is truly touching.

On many levels, I found this book to be affecting and ridiculously relatable. I rarely cry when reading a book, but this one got to me. It feels real, because not everything was neatly resolved and although most of the characters were endearing, they all had a plethora of flaws.

The theme of family and what constitutes a family is of great interest to me. Does blood relation really matter? Is a childless couple just as valid of a family as those with children? What happens when you are left without family or left with a family whose actions are unacceptable? Riley doesn't give broad answers to these social questions. Each of her characters struggles with their own ideas and ultimately the reader is left to draw their own conclusions. This book gets personal.

All The Lonely People is so loaded with discussion topics that it would be an excellent choice for a book group!

This was my first book by Riley and I can't wait to read her others. I obviously really loved this book and highly recommend it!

Please check out my blog for more reviews and thoughts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Thoughtful, March 4, 2013
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This review is from: All the Lonely People (Paperback)
I enjoyed All the Lonely People. Anyone from Wisconsin in particular will appreciate the details of the characters' lives. This book has a lovely balance of humor while taking care with more serious themes. It's accessible without seeming lightweight which made it a great read. I'm happy to recommend this book!
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All the Lonely People
All the Lonely People by Jess Riley
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