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Everything Nice (Bantam Discovery) Mass Market Paperback – July 29, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“A chick lit heroine with beauty and brains—and a bad-ass attitude that lands her in trouble…. Everything Nice is a gem of razor-sharp wit and impeccable timing.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Ellen Shanman is a graduate of Northwestern University. She lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.
Top customer reviews
Mike's relationship with her students was both touching and believable as she revamped a "life skills" class to take it from home economics to the kinds of instruction kids should get and never do--how to talk to people, how to navigate life in a big city--and she learns more about herself, and her ability to interact with others in a personal rather than professional capacity. Her personal growth was funny and touching, and I would definitely recommend the book as one to read and re-read.
Mike obtains work as a substitute life skills teacher to a group of seventh-grade girls. She wants to nuke the curriculum which teaches girls to be domestic girlie girls instead of all you can be. Meanwhile, she and visiting Aussie reporter Gunther seem attracted to one another, but he must soon leave the city of "oy vey" pessimism to return to home land of sunny optimism.
Mike is fabulous as a tomboyish kick butt woman who cannot cope with the inane office females arguing over mascara and lipstick color; she prefers to be one of the guys. The story line is fast-paced as she struggles with earning money, residing in the land of barbarians (Brooklyn), teaching girls to cook and sew, and dealing with Gunther who has turned her life upside down. Fans will enjoy Ellen Shanman's fine chick lit character study as the heroine makes EVERYTHING NICE, RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES.
Her life has hit a major glitch. She's been fired from her job, can't afford her apartment so is forced to move in with her father and (surprise!) his soon to be bride. And to put the icing on the cake, her ex-boyfriend is using her as the brunt of his jokes in comedy clubs around New York. Can it get any worse? Yes!
While interviewing at a charter school for a public relations job, she finds herself instead filling in for a teacher on sick leave teaching a life skills course to 11 seventh graders! The first lesson is supposed to be making granola which she quickly changes to how to have a conversation without hand raising. As she sees it "Life Skills doesn't have to be a useless period for tatting and darning. What if instead she could teach them all those vital tidbits that no one had ever taught her? The things she'd had to learn the hard way. She could genuinely equip them for life, spare them some of the knocks she'd taken, and perhaps fit the world with eleven more sensible, palatable women that she herself wouldn't mind being in a room with. This could be a good thing."
This includes recognizing obnoxious behavior on subways, basic self-defense, how to spot scams, body image and why they should never base anything on how they looked. She would assign them to do one thing that scared them so they could learn never to be afraid of anything.
I enjoyed all of the characters in this book. The 11 little girls were marvelous and their interactions with Mike so very well written. Cheryl, another teacher who floats around in many scarves and takes a big interest in Mike's Australian friend, Gunther. Mike's dad and Deja (fiancee) and her daughters who give Mike ready made sisters whether she wants them or not.
My review is longer than normal but I totally recommend this book and hope that I've piqued your interest. It's a keeper!