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Live a Little Paperback – August 15, 2008

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Green's third novel displays a charming, acerbic wit unfortunately employed in the service of an unlikable character. Raquel Rose finds her diagnosis with terminal stage IV breast cancer to be unfair: she put her artistic dreams on hold to raise two kids and now she'll never become the sculptor she always wanted to be. Life after diagnosis isn't all bad, though: knowing she has only months to live, Raquel agrees to go on Living with Lauren! her sister's Bay Area talk show; her husband turns from couch potato to pink-ribbon activist; and her two sullen teenagers start confiding in her the way they never did before. But when a follow-up visit to the doctor reveals Raquel's biopsy results were switched with another woman's and she's actually cancer-free, she can't bring herself to fess up and lose all the local celebrity perks cancer has brought her. The lies snowball in sometimes funny fashion, but Green unfortunately doesn't bring any gravity to Raquel's quandary. Instead the gambit is played as ditsy and vapid. (Aug.) ""
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."


"Green's effervescent prose and pitch-perfect humor will surely charm readers. Her deeply imagined characters seem like old friends as their story unfolds with effortless grace." (Author of NOTES FROM THE BACKSEAT Jody Gehrman)

"Kim Green is a must-read! Live a Little is wise, winning, and funny,
with engaging characters that pull you in and pages that crackle with
wit and insight." (author of MASTER OF THE HIGHLANDS Veronica Wolff)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot; 1st edition (August 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446697931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446697934
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,773,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi, folks. I'm Kim Green. I write women's fiction with comical and romantic elements. I also write a lot of marketing copy lacking in comedy or romance, for such clients as Kashi. (If you need to know anything about whole grains and fiber, I'm your gal.) I could tell you silly stuff about myself, like I have an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam that qualifies me to create exotic settings for my books and little else, but I think my blog is probably a better place to get to know me and my oeuvre (what is that, anyway?).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Siegel on September 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! She created such intriguing and endearing characters. Her writing style is so entertaining and really makes me giggle. I look forward to her next one!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Raquel Rose is a harried housewife with two teenagers who take her for granted and a rather distant husband. When she receives the news that she has breast cancer, her family does an about face. Her kids start helping out with the housework, are thoughtful and her husband is being attentive. Raquel appears on her sister's successful television show ' Living with Lauren' and raises a lot of money for breast cancer.

The trouble is that at her next doctor's appointment, she gets the news that her test results were mixed up with another Raquel and she does not have cancer.

Stunned, Raquel goes home and tells her family the good news. Or tries to - they don't believe her, they're sure she's just putting on a brave face. In the end she decides to go with the lie. After all, she raised $250,000 so far...and this would be a chance to turn around her life and reinvent herself.....and her family is being so good to her......and ........

Well, you can see there might be a problem with this. Does she get caught out? I won't give away anymore, but you are in for a comical read. Green's descriptions of people, places and situations are laugh out loud funny. Her fantasies of Viggo Mortensen, her overachieving sister, her best friend and the local society ladies are hilarious. Once in a while it seems to escape and go a wee bit over the top.

At first I was a bit wary of the premise - pretending to have cancer? The women battling cancer in the book are depicted as strong and use humour as one of the weapons in their fight. And although this deception is what gets Raquel into her predicament it's as much a story of family and finding love.

There are some mild sex scenes that some readers may either enjoy or not. All in all a good chick lit read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. McKay on October 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
A book about a woman who fakes having cancer - who knew it would be so funny? Not to mention touching and relatable. Through Raquel Rose, Kim Green voices with brutal honesty the challenges that many women struggle with, but never speak of: dissatisfaction with marriage, the disappointment of sacrificed dreams, frustrations with children, rivalry with other women, etc. Sounds heavy, I know, but somehow it is not. The story pulls you in and you can't wait to see how it all plays out.
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Format: Paperback
Live a Little is the kind of book Jennifer Weiner could write with a little more life experience and development as a writer. It's funny, grounded in Jewish family life, and has a well-developed serious side.

Raquel (nee Rachel) is a housewife whose art career was swept aside by family life and raising two kids in the perfect suburban environment. The kids want for nothing: private schools (which the family can't afford) and a McMansion community to provide them with safe surroundings and the right friends. Her husband Phil is a teacher who withdraws into TV and sports when he's home. When Raquel is diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer, her family rallies round. Raquel learns people are much nicer to you when they think you're going to die. Raquel's appearance on her sister's daytime talk show brings out a confident, blunt, and humorous side of Raquel that the audience goes wild for, and she raises over $250K to support breast cancer families. When she learns that a clerical error in the hospital gave her another Raquel Rose's bad news, she has a moral dilemma. Think of all the people she can help as a spokesperson for breast cancer! Think of the huge fraud she'll commit as well! She marshals her strength to tell her family, who think she's delirious and sweep her off to bed.

Live a Little is laugh out loud funny at many points and is a great treatment of the challenges faced by a forty-something woman. "Am I still attractive?", "Is this what marriage is after twenty years?", "Will my kids grow up to be rude parasites or is this just a phase?" The scope of Live a Little is ambitious and far more than a suburban romance.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on January 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just read in the November 2008 issue of Glamour magazine an article titled, "She Said She Had Breast Cancer--But She Lied," by Erin Zammett Ruddy, and it brought to mind this book.

For the most part, I enjoyed Kim Green's novel. Sometimes the author demanded a little more suspension of disbelief than I was comfortable with, especially in the end where everyone is shown having unconditional love for everyone in spite of their mistakes, big and small. In Ruddy's article, the "pretend" cancer patient wasn't forgiven as easily by everyone in the end. And she had a lot of explaining to do.

I thought, as a reader, that Green's glib ending oversimplified the effects of deceit, betrayal, grief, and pain that the characters experienced. Granted, this is a "light" novel, not a serious read. Even so, it didn't resonate with me.

I've struggled with the tough questions and I've come up empty handed plenty of times, but even a "light" read can have some depth to it. I don't know many people who can stop talking about their spouse's affair or gloss over it because of their affection for one another. But maybe I'm blind and everyone is more tolerant than I think.

If you are part of the "I can forgive anything" crowd, this book is for you.
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