"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I was sadly disappointed in this book. I've heard such great things about Jennifer Coburn that I was truly excited to discover her writing, but I feel I made a mistake making this my first experience. The characters were predictable, as were the scenarios. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. For a light read sometimes you want predictable, easy and fun. But I found the protagonist of the story to just be a unbearable for me. Her tunnel-vision that marriage is the only thing that will make her happy, and marriage to a man she barely knows none the less. Her efforts to change everything about herself to appeal to said man she doesn't know. The predictable falling for her "chauvinistic, dirty-mouthed" coach was just too much to bear. It was just all too much! I wouldn't recommend. Too much predictability. Too much frivolity. Too much "change who I am to get a guy". I will probably check out a couple more of her books because I have heard good reviews, but this did not leave me hopeful.
There are many ways to make a heroine be interesting. In this novel, the author goes out of her way to make it difficult to like or relate to Mona. She is 30 years old, looks 40 and acts about 15. Mona grew up in a commune, but lost her family in a bus accident. Now she lives in a mansion inherited from her grandmother. What the heck? I have read vampire stories that were more plausible.
I am all for leading ladies who dont have to be drop dead gorgeous, but here is Mona's description. "My body was not fat, but certainly not thin. It was doughy. I checked out my face, neither strikingly ugly nor pretty. My coloring could only be described as mashed potato with sunspots littered around the edges." DOUGHY? MASHED POTATOES?
She thinks makeup on unattractive girls is a waste of time. The author doesn't even give this sad sack a winning personality. "I wasn’t lying when I said I had no friends."
Okay then. Not sure what to do with this information. Given an opportunity to change her life, our beleaguered heroine decides to marry a guy she hasn't seen in over a decade.
Life is too short, people. You could be off having more fun washing walls or cleaning the toilet.
Super padded book. Found myself bored with the storyline and skipping sections of the book to get to the 'good part' which I simply never came. Felt like the author spent way to much time articulating on Mona's past, so much so it got annoying and then skimmed through present events that were unfolding in the book in a few poorly written sentences. Left me annoyed and the plot dry at best. The ending was no different, it almost seemed as if the author realized she was about to go past a page limit, and crammed as much dramatic, wrap-it-all-up but skip any form of a cohesive story details into the last few pages. Overall, annoyed I wasted my time reading this book.
Chick lit at it's most mediocre. The references to Google, cell phones, current movies and music definitely date this book. Easy to see where it's going with the Dog and Adam from the get go, but the way it comes to a head is pretty much unbelievable. I could have certainly done without the liberally sprinkled political views. I would have liked to have seen more character development with Greta, and more background of Mona' s job, so we'd get a better idea of what she was leaving- not necessarily giving up. What the heck happened once she got in the Naval Base, anyway??? A few typographical errors and being a little disjointed here and there also lend their contribution to the two star rating. Read this if you need a giggle and you've exhausted everything else in your library.
One of my favorite movies is The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. And so I was delighted to experience a story similar in the form of Reinventing Mona. You have to meet Mona. I mean, did you read the synopsis above?? Her back story is deep though. Nothing frou-frou about it. She's got depth as a character. And really, so does "The Dog" even though you think he's the spitting image of Gerard Butler's character in The Ugly Truth. (Side Note: that's who I was picturing every time "The Dog" was conversating...not a shabby thought bubble..lol). Definitely add this one to your summer reads list!
I wanted to like Mona. I really did. There is a lot to like about her. But I cannot help being seriously annoyed with how utterly stupid her behavior is. It is meant (I think) to be madcap and zany, but to me, she just comes off as dumb and desperate. I knew from the minute "The Dog" was introduced, that he would become her One True Love, and that Adam was going to turn out to be a dweeb. I ended up liking Vicki and Greta much better than Our Plucky Heroine Mona, because she just ran around behaving in ways that simply weren't believable. She reminds me of Jess from "The New Girl," a show that makes my tired ache. Maybe this is just a style of character that simply doesn't work for me.
That said, the writing is engaging, and I think it has potential. I want to see this author get a great editor to work with and keep writing. There's something engaging about it at its heart.
Really well written and I enjoyed it until the end. The epilogue didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story for some reason, but it was short so not that big of a deal. I loved to see the change in Mona along the way, along with some funny scenes. Some parts were predictable, but still entertaining. All in all, it was a good read and I'd be willing to read more from this author.