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Pushing 30 Paperback – September 30, 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gaskell's sprightly debut tackles one of the great chick-lit dilemmas-how to turn 30 in style. For "consummate Good Girl" Ellie Winters, a snappy but unlikely D.C. litigation attorney, it means breaking up with her staid boyfriend, getting highlights, tossing aside The Rules and diving headfirst into a May-December romance with sexy Ted Langston, a cable TV news big shot. Their first meeting is comically, familiarly inauspicious: his mutt begins "humping at" her pug outside the all-night drugstore where Ellie has gone to buy hair bleach to fix her initial hair-coloring disaster. Upon a later chance encounter at a fund-raiser, though, Cupid's arrow hits its mark. Problems quickly arise on their first date, when Ted puts Ellie's age at 38 or 39, sending her self-esteem into a tailspin and her credit card to the Clarins counter ("The next time he saw me I'd have skin like a baby's bottom, and he'd be full of jealousy... in comparison, he was just a shriveled old geezer"). Meanwhile, Ted decides their 23-year age difference might be insurmountable. After another serendipitous meeting, the flame is rekindled-and then snuffed again. For all the on-again, off-again nature of their affections, readers will see the happy ending coming from miles away. But Gaskell's breezy prose, sharp wit and skillful interweaving of Ellie's struggles-with her boring job, with Ted's nasty ex-wife-keep a fluffily familiar plot from becoming stale cotton candy. Ellie's self-absorption may rival that of a reality-TV dating contestant's, but her down-to-earth appeal as she moons over dazzling Ted, her demanding dog and the ups and downs of the lives of family and friends makes her a delightful romantic comedy heroine.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Take one hapless, likable Good Girl (Ellie Winters). Place in prestigious, lucrative, yet personally unfulfilling profession (litigation attorney). Set in bustling glamorous city (Washington, D.C.). Add one brash and sexy best friend (Nina) and one dashing prominent potential boyfriend (Ted Langston). Toss in some professional drama (coworker Katherine trying to sabotage an important case), romantic competition (Ted's ex-wife, Alice), and an overbearing mother (Gloria). Watch everything explode in the heroine's life as she loses both job and boyfriend and experiences Thanksgiving from the Black Lagoon. See Good Girl rally, with support of best friend and dog, to start over with new self-confidence and creative stress-free job. The latest entry in the chick-lit derby is a fun, fluffy read with some formula scenarios and cliched dialogue--Good Girl meets boyfriend wearing a highlighting cap under a baseball cap to hide the disastrous dye job; Good Girl screams at Mother during horrendous dinner party, "It's my life, not yours!" Recommended for collections that can't keep enough of this subgenre on the shelves for fans. Kaite Mediatore
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (September 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553382241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553382242
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tracy Vest VINE VOICE on April 14, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After finally doing something out of character (by doing something for herself), Ellie dumps her longtime boyfriend. When a hair coloring incident goes awry, she flees to the nearby drugstore to remedy the situation, and her pug Sally is immediately accosted by amorous pooch, Oscar. Of course, Oscar is attached to a very attractive man named Ted, which is just Ellie's luck, considering the state of her appearance. After a second meeting at a banquet, the two start talking and hit it off. At a romantic dinner, Ted and Ellie find that they have a lot in common. Until 52 year old Ted finds out that Ellie is only 29. Ellie's shock at being mistaken for someone older is priceless. Divorced Ted wants nothing to do with the whole "I'm in a mid-life crisis so let's get a young chick" scenario that so many men his age are currently into, after all, he has his reputation as a news anchor to protect. But Ted cannot seem to deny his feelings for Ellie, as the two live in the same neighborhood and keep bumping into each other. Many misunderstandings result in some poignant and sweet situations, including unsupportive friends and annoying exes.

"Pushing 30" is an engaging and humorous look at the May-December romance between a lawyer (who'd rather be an artist) and a famous newscaster. It's a great story of one woman's quest for empowerment while bridging the gap into an adult relationship. I really loved this book - I checked it out of the library based on the cover art alone, read it in a day, and decided I wanted my own copy! I like first person narrative - I like seeing a story unfold as the protagonist does, as well as the insight that the narrative provides. This was a great first book - looking forward to starting her next one!
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Format: Paperback
I decided to buy this book when I read the first chapter in the bookstore. It got me from the beginning. Ellie is a "good" girl who always washes off her makeup, writes thank you notes, and sends Christmas cards. Being this kind of girl, it is extremely hard to break up with a man. In this first chapter, this is what she is struggling with. Breaking up with (another) boyfriend who just doesn't seem right for her.
Sooner than later, she runs into a new man. 20 something years her senior, his dog nuzzles up to her dog, and she's in love. She goes on a first date with him, and still has a thing for him, even after he guesses that she is 10 years older than she really is. Unfortunately, it doesn't go so well when he finds out what her age really is.
Fortunately for Ellie, his attraction to her doesn't cease, and he comes back for more, even though his morals keep trying to keep him away. He thinks that dating younger women is wrong, and as a newscaster, he wants to keep a professional reputation. There is also the matter of the ex wife, who doesn't like to see any woman take her place.
Quick, fun, and laugh out loud funny at times, this is a good summer book and only took me a couple of days to finish!
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Format: Paperback
I felt that this book found me, rather than the other way around, as I came across it browsing through a book store while having my own first real "age crisis". What I like the most about this book is how easy it is to relate to the main character, Ellie Winters. Even though I actually like my job (and have a very normal family), I could relate to her on so many levels. The rest of the characters also seem very realistic, even though they, as all characters in a comedy, are a little exaggerated. The one character who seems the most "out of focus" is Ellie's love interest. He doesn't seem as alive as the rest of the cast of characters, but it doesn't really detract from the story. The story itself holds quite a few surprises even though the ending is predictable, in a good way. It's a good read!
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Format: Paperback
PUSHING 30 by Whitney Gaskell
Whitney Gaskell's debut novel, PUSHING 30, is a delightful story of a young woman about to turn 30. Ellie Winters is a lawyer working in what she considers a very boring job for Snow & Druthers in the heart of Washington DC. She lives with her spoiled and manipulative pug Sally, and is dating yet another boring but sweet guy; this time the name is Eric. She doesn't see any hope in sight, but she is not one to make waves. She therefore plods along, doing what she thinks everyone else expects of her, especially her parents. The idea of becoming a lawyer was a way for her to make her father happy, since both brothers Mark and Brian refused to go into the family business (their father is a judge). There was no other reason for her going to law school. She had absolutely no desire to become an attorney.
Then, on a really bad hair day, (her hair was pink), Ellie is out with Sally when Sally is accosted by another dog by the name of Oscar, who is owned by none other than handsome Ted Langston, television anchor and eligible bachelor. Ellie and Ted start a rather awkward relationship, not really dating but not really friends either. And, there is something about Ellie that attracts Ted to her and he keeps coming back. Ellie can't stop thinking about Ted, but she is afraid of falling in love with him when she may just be some passing fancy for him. The other big problem is that Ted is only a few years younger than her parents are. And Ellie isn't sure she wants to start a relationship with someone this old.
In the meantime, she is dealing with a somewhat dysfunctional family, a best friend who has gotten involved with a guy Ellie does not like, and the frightening prospect of getting older.
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