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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment...
Ms. Coburn graciously emailed me with the news of her second book coming out. Thank goodness, or I would have missed it-- having been placed in the "romance" section! I picked it up last night on a whim, needing something that would provide an original, lively story. How lucky I was to guess right!

Mona lived in a commune in Montana where her family and others...
Published on February 14, 2005 by Diane Moore

versus
104 of 110 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Manipulative, crazy female meets misogynistic male....
....and it was true love. Shudder. I really expected the best from this book. The premise was so great, but the execution was so terribly awful. Mona, the main character was poorly fleshed out, and, while I truly felt sad for the tragedy in her past, I found that she was so consistently disengaged from her own life, that I could not empathize like I wanted to. I had hoped...
Published on August 20, 2006 by booklass


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104 of 110 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Manipulative, crazy female meets misogynistic male...., August 20, 2006
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This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Paperback)
....and it was true love. Shudder. I really expected the best from this book. The premise was so great, but the execution was so terribly awful. Mona, the main character was poorly fleshed out, and, while I truly felt sad for the tragedy in her past, I found that she was so consistently disengaged from her own life, that I could not empathize like I wanted to. I had hoped that with the word "reinventing" in the title, I would see some sort of cathartic metamorphosis in her character, but she seemed to stay the same. I thought that at the very least, I would get detailed accounts of her physical makeover, fashion choices, and lifestyle changes, but felt that there were many missed opportunities to add color to the story. I hated the F-bombs dropped so frequently by more than just the main character. Come on, puhleease, write me a real dialogue! Put some effort into it! A steady stream of obscenities is just a signal to me that I, the reader, was not worth the effort.

As for the Mike, the male lead, so to speak, he simply came across as a misogynist of the highest degree. Having Mona keep saying that "there was more to him than that" did not make it apparent to my mind. I could not see what either saw in each other. She came across as seriously whacked and manipulative, and he was absolutely the worst the male world could possibly offer, an insult to men everywhere. Stereotypes and cliches abounded. It was a wasted opportunity for the author, and a waste of my time. Sorry.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment..., February 14, 2005
This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Paperback)
Ms. Coburn graciously emailed me with the news of her second book coming out. Thank goodness, or I would have missed it-- having been placed in the "romance" section! I picked it up last night on a whim, needing something that would provide an original, lively story. How lucky I was to guess right!

Mona lived in a commune in Montana where her family and others tried to create lives for themselves without counting on "outside" jobs and income. They lived off of the land, sold hand-made objects, and tried to create a peaceful world for their children.

When tragedy strikes, Mona has no other choice but to move to San Diego with her "grammy," in a house that could be compared to Gone with the Wind's "Tara."

Mona feels like her life or her personality has not brought her much excitement, but she receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to take an early retirement from her engineering job. Only then does she decide to "reinvent" herself, and marry the man of her dreams.

Her best friend Greta tells her to look within for true happiness, but Mona ignores this advice and looks to Adam as her salvation. (he has done her taxes for seven years) Not having too much experience with men, Mona finds "The Dog," aka Mike, who writes a column in "Maximum for Men" and he tells the truth about what men want from women. She hires this man as her coach. (while completely aware that this man acts like a misogynist) Suddenly, her life changes. She joins a woman's soccer league, takes a stripping class, and singing lessons, while trying to trap Adam into loving her.

Have you ever felt that maybe you were in love with the *idea* of someone rather than the person himself? Have you ever wanted to be completely different, only to discover that your "real self" was already inside of you?

Though I was a little disappointed with the "out there" scene during the musical, I was happy to know that hours flew by as I finished the book in two sittings.

So far, she has written 2 out of 2 books that have satisfied me. Please write more!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reinventing Mona, January 24, 2013
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This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Kindle Edition)
It wasn't my type of story. Too much sex and cursing. Some things just aren't necessary to make a good book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There has to be something better for you to read than this, February 21, 2008
I've read quite a few books in the "Chick lit" genre and this one would have to be the worst of the lot. It starts out as a serious book with a horrific tragedy, but then moves on to scenarios that were so outlandish they weren't even close to believable. Maybe they were supposed to be funny? Bottom line: I just didn't enjoy it. It wasn't laugh out loud funny (like so many in this category are), it didn't hold together, and it just wasn't convincing at all.

It felt to me like the author couldn't decide what to do with this book. If you have a choice, I would opt for something else.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scheming, Fashion, and Exercise Oh My!, June 28, 2005
By 
Erika Sorocco (Southern California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Paperback)
Thirty-year-old Mona Warren feels as if nothing is going her way for one very important reason: she is duller than dull. The bore in boring. A "mustard stain on a Sears tweed couch," so to speak. So Mona decides to change up her personality, attitude, and looks in order to win over the guy she's crushing on. But it's harder than it looks. First comes exercise, then carrot juice, white teeth, straight hair, clothes that actually fit, and voila, a brand new Mona. She's finally ready to get the guy of her dreams. The problem? She's clueless about winning him over, so she calls in Mike "The Dog" Dougherty. Mike is a writer for "Maximum for Him" magazine, penning the monthly column "The Dog House." While Mona despises him, and everything that he stands for, he seems to be the ideal person to coach her in snagging the man of her dreams. That is, until she realizes that Mike might just be the man of her dreams, throwing her completely off track.

I adored Jennifer Coburn's THE WIFE OF REILLY, so it came as no shock to me that REINVENTING MONA rivaled her previous contribution to the writing world in many ways - humor, style, and characters. Mona is a hilarious character who is stylish, fashionable, and totally clueless, which is a nice combination, if I do say so myself. Her personality is wacky, at the same time as compassionate, and the crazy situations she gets herself into border on insane. Overall, this is a fabulous new addition to the chick lit genre that will be hard for all to put down.

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amusing yet serious character study, November 28, 2004
This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Paperback)
In Coronado, California Mona Warren summarizes her life as a big no; having nothing in terms of personal relationships not even in the closet. For most of her life, she did not care, but now her strategic long term goal is to marry Adam Ziegler and have children with this hunk so that she can PTA her way through the next decade or two. However, at thirty in spite of her former boss (she grabbed the downsizing check) thinking she is forty, Mona has not gotten to the batter's box with Adam.

Knowing she needs help if she is to hit a home run and not believing her psychiatrist best friend Greta can assist her in swinging the bat, Mona concludes she needs male advice. She turns to Mike "the Dog" Dougherty, author of a guy's monthly advice column that is a chauvinists dream. However, instead of help, she finds herself within two inches of falling in love with Mike; thus Mona is more confused on getting to the plate.

REINVENTING MONA is an amusing yet serious character study that digs deep and shallow into relationships due to a fabulous cast ready to advice magnificent Mona, who begins to learn that relationships start solo by being true to yourself. The story line is very entertaining while also leading the audience to think about what is happiness and how is that intricate in a strong relationship. Jennifer Coburn provides a deep humorous tale.

Harriet Klausner
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time, November 6, 2006
By 
nodice (Manchester, Ga United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Paperback)
There is a good idea lost in the padding of this book. And make no mistake this book is padded real good. The author wants to sell you a bill of goods that Mona is just such a nobody. Yes, yes. She's rich and yes, she had this unique experience of living in a communte as a teenager. And her and grammy would travel the world every christmas-but all of that is just BORING. Sheesh. What does the author think is exciting? And oh gee, she's so out of shape she needs to lose at least...TEN pounds. So let's reinvent Mona! All right--but there really wasn't any reinventing. It was just a list of things that fell out the author's head with no rhyme or reason. The comedic moments were forced and nine out ten times fell flat. I never connected with Mona or cared whether she got her boring man or not. And certainly didn't believe that she and Mike were in love. What? Chapters about Captain John or Mona retelling the whole book to the police precinct like the reader needed recaps were all attempts by the author to reach a word count. Am I right to understand that eighty year old Capt. John married Vicki? Was this an attempt to have a play on the other Vicki (We all know as Anna Nicole)??

Trips back to the commune-just to hear questions on whether or not her father was stoned the day of the accident? Overall: buy a USED copy if you're absolutely curious-hopefully there's one selling for under a buck. Any more than that and you just overpaid.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny & Sweet, October 5, 2005
This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Paperback)
This book was very sweet. I could see a lot of myself in Mona's character and that is what really attracted me to this book. Mona was very sweet, but also very shy and naïve. I liked all the other characters in the book especially Mikes sister Vicki, the stripper with a heart of gold. There were some parts of the book that were way over the top but overall a very fun way to spend a few hours. Happy Reading!!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the read, May 12, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Paperback)
I think this book has been totally mis-advertised. I bought this book because it's been advertised like it's this wild, crazy romp. A "laugh out loud ever page" type of a book. Well... it's not.

In fact - quite the opposite. I found myself really sad in portions throughout the book... during the parts where Mona goes into a "flashback" about her life on the commune, before her whole family is killed in a tragic accident.

Even in the present-day scenes, I felt like Mona was a cold character and not very well sketched. This is odd, because the book is written in first person, so the reader should be able to be completely in Mona's head. I felt like some the choices Mona made were just silly -- not funny -- silly. Which made it hard to relate to her.

This is definitely not a book I would categorize as "romantic chick-lit". The romance is defintely a B-story here. The relationship between Mike and Mona is barely developed & it's somewhat unbelievable that he's fallen in love with her by the end of the novel. In fact, the two don't even meet until 20-30 pages in (which is when the novel actually picks up - it's quite boring until then). And the climax (I won't give it away) is competely unrealistic and gag-worthy. And, again, even though it's in first person, we get NO reaction from Mona. She's watching everything happen and hearing everyone speak. And then she just starts with the monologue and... nothing. We don't get her feelings and inner thoughts AT ALL. Enter epilogue - which has fast-forwarded 6 months. Very unsatisfying.

All in all, I gave this 2 stars because I think the writer has potential -- she can write descriptions really well & drama really well. Just not a crazy, funny, romantic romp. Which is what this advertised as...still can't quite figure out why.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hilarious, January 4, 2005
This review is from: Reinventing Mona (Paperback)
This book was a lot of fun with outrageous plot twists and hilarious scenarios. Who hasn't wondered what life would look like if we could engineer it so we could seem bigger and brighter than we really are?  This is what 30-year-old Mona Warren sets out to do as she sets her sites on Adam Zigler, her family accountant.  She hires a string of actors, consultants and dancers to set the stage for her happily ever after.  Instead of the Hollywood ending, Mona finds herself in a romantic comedy of errors, fumbling every step of the way.  In the end, Mona gets far more than she bargained for.  I got a delightfully funny and charming story about life, love and loss.  Good fun chick-lit.  Equally, if not as funny as Coburn's first book, The Wife of Reilly!
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Reinventing Mona
Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn
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