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Notes From The Underbelly Paperback – April 5, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Intrusion: A Novel
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Lara Stone is a college counselor at a ritzy L.A. prep school, and her experience with kids hasn't engendered much desire to have her own. But when her friend Julie announces she is expecting, Lara's husband says he is ready to hear the pitter-patter of little feet. Shortly thereafter, Lara finds herself reluctantly pregnant and entirely unprepared for the changes her body is going through. She ponders the horror of getting even "fatter" than the time in law school when she "ballooned" up to a size eight. Then she figures out that pregnancy means shopping and engages in some serious retail therapy. Meanwhile, a deal Laura made with her boss is hanging overhead: help get the daughter of a famed Hollywood director into NYU, and she'll be allowed to work part-time during her baby's first year. The relationship that Lara develops with the director's daughter is nuanced and actually quite touching, and much of the comedy hits the mark, but many pregnant women will find themselves unable to stomach the omigod-I'm-so-fat prattle spewing from Lara and her image-conscious L.A. friends. Beth Leistensnider
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Risa Green grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia and graduated from both the University of Pennsylvania and The Georgetown University Law Center. She has worked as a corporate finance attorney and, more recently, as a college counselor at a private day school. She currently resides with her husband, their daughter, and their dog. This is her first novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451214161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451214164
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Weirich on January 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I wish there was some way to rate this above five stars because this book is definitely worthy of more. This book is about Lara Stone who decides to go along with her husband's request to have a baby and ends up pregnant. The only thing is; she really doesn't like kids since she works with them on a daily basis at a prep school. As the book goes on, she discovers that she really has a "motherly" instinct in her. This book made me laugh many different times which is really hard to do since I don't laugh while reading books. I found that I related to her well. I have an 18 month old daughter, but am really not a kid person; except of course with her, and a lot of the things she said reminded me of things I've said. It's a really fun read and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
This book was really similar to Rebecca Eckler's "Knocked Up." Only in my opinion, that book was much better. And it was honest about being nonfiction.

"Notes From the Underbelly" is the story of a woman who is a college admissions counselor at a private school, was a corporate finance attorney before that, attended U Penn, has a dog and is pregnant. The author was a college admissions counselor, a corporate finance attorney before that, attended U Penn, has a dog and 2 children.

Like Rebecca Eckler, the protagonist in this novel chooses to have a C-section, has a hard time seeing the sex of her baby at first because the baby holds its legs together during the ultrasound, and so forth.

The difference? The heroine in this book is not really likable. She has two friends, a hyper-driven entertainment lawyer with no sense of humor and a chip on her shoulder the size of California, and a perky, materialistic stay-at-home mom. The book is divided about evenly between the protagonist's job and the protagonist complaining about her friends or being pregnant.

The book was good on a plot level - you wanted to know if the protagonist's charges at school would get into their top colleges, and how the pregnancy would go - but I found it hard to like or care about the characters. The ending of the novel just kind of fizzled out without any major character transformation or insight of any kind.

But if you like reading about selfish, shallow people who occasionally make funny jokes, you might like this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book was great, in my opinion. I did get a little angry when Lara decided to have a C-section based purely on selfishness. Overall though, I loved a lot about this book. Her complaining seemed so realistic and at times was so funny. You can just picture someone saying all of these things to you. I was so surprised at the end to see that is wasn't the end! I can't wait until her sequel comes out. I learned to love Lara Stone and everything about her. Great quick read (read it in 1.5 days), especially for the summer!
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I was a bit hesitant about buying this book after I read the reviews, but I'm glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love how the author is honest about the other side of pregnancy - the worries, unpleasantnesses, inconveniences, and sheer humor of it all. I thought the plot was fun (though I could have done without the talking dog) and I've pre-ordered her next book. This is a very humorous and very honest look at pregnant without the rose-colored glasses and I highly recommend it.
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I enjoyed this book a lot, and laughed out loud a few times, but I found the main character to be a little vain, materialistic, and shallow, which kept me from rating it a little higher. Enjoyable light read though.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a light look at pregnancy-related issues woven into a mostly fun and funny plot. Sometimes the characters' body image issues get a little silly and motivations seem a little shallow, but mostly it is a funny take on being pregnant & how it affects you, your body & your life. I read it on vacation at 7 months pregnant and had to read some parts out loud to my husband because they were so amusing and dead-on. I recommend it, but don't expect it to be great literature or touchy feely about pregnancy.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book in one day during the 6th month of my own pregnancy. While I did find myself engaged enough to be a little disappointed by the cliffhanger, it was tough to relate to the main character on several levels. First of all, while I'm crying over my unpaid lab bills, she's spending $900 on maternity clothes. Her childish vanity was actually insulting at times, such as her repulsion toward the "udders" on a breastfeeding mother, who she refers to as simply "Not Like Me," although that's probably what I would call HER if we met in real life. Furthermore, her husband was truly annoying- nagging her into a pregnancy when she wasn't ready and then being largely unsympathetic and often rude to her about her condition. If I was treated like that, I might start looking for divorce lawyers.

That being said, the author is a capable storyteller and I did find the characters believable and original. Though the lifestyle was foreign to me, it was fun to read about some of the things that I have been experiencing. I was also glad that she didn't undergo some huge evolution in which she became altogether maternal and selfless, because that would not have been believable for this particular character, and the little instances that hint at her motherly side were pretty cute. I would consider reading the sequel, but I wouldn't expect to like her any better than I did after reading this book.
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