Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Guest Book Review: All the Lonely People

By Sara Steven

Don’t want to spend the holidays with your jerky relatives? There’s a simple solution. Get yourself a new family. That’s the premise behind Jess Riley’s All The Lonely People.

Jaime Collins lost her mother to cancer. You’d think an event like that would bring people closer together, but it’s driven a wedge between Jaime and her siblings. A fight at the dinner table with her cantankerous older brother propels Jaime to do the unthinkable: put an ad out on Craigslist.

“WANTED: a whole new family to share the holidays with. Please have a good heart and be a thoughtful, polite person. No sociopaths, no pedophiles, no fans of the Kardashians. We're not weirdos, I promise. I love old Steve Martin movies, new Steve Martin banjo tunes, Indian food, and reruns of Bob Ross painting happy little trees. So if you're looking for something other than the typical family dysfunction this Christmas, drop us a line.”

She gets more than she’d bargained for.

I don’t often finish a book as quickly as I finished this one. From start to finish, it was not only cleverly written, but insanely funny. I had a really difficult time putting it down! I was laughing my butt off when Jaime meets her adopted family for the first time, and the quick wit she shares with her husband Erik reminded me a lot of the banter my husband and I have with one another. It’s also clear that Jaime has a lot of healing to do when it comes to her mother’s death, and she is learning to forgive as best she can, while coping with loss. What I appreciated most, though, is the realism behind this book.. I know, it sounds silly to invent a new family to share the holidays with, but Riley makes you feel as though it’s totally doable, and it made me want to put out my own ad! There’s always room in your life for quirky friendships. Not only that, but we’ve all dealt with loss. The grieving process is difficult, and Jaime gets through by using her wit and humor as a tool.

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you laughing, and may elicit a tear or two (there are quite a few touching moments) give this one a try. Like Jaime, you’ll get way more than you bargained for.

Thanks to Jess Riley for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sara Steven is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two rambunctious boys in Bellevue, NE. When she’s not running marathons, or working on her novel, she takes a break and opens up a good book (or turns on her Nook). Find her at her blog.

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