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review 2018-01-23 18:55
Book Suffers From Backstory Issues
A Bump in the Road: From Happy Hour to Baby Shower - Maureen Lipinski

I really would have liked this story more if the author, Maureen Lipinski, had spent more time setting up the backstory of our main character and secondary characters. That through me so much while reading. At one point I did go back to Amazon to make sure I wasn't missing a first book or something. But nope, this is the first book in the series. Since I read the sequel right after finishing this, I realized that book (Not Ready for Mom Jeans) ended up causing me to dislike the first book more than I did and dropped this down to three stars. 


The main character is Clare Finnegan who has been married for several months at the start of this story. Clare and her husband Jake (who I can't even remember his name at this point...shows how much he stuck with me--I did go back and look it up though) are flying home from Vegas and thanking the gods they don't have kids. Of course the gods smile and then Clare ends up getting pregnant by accident (birth control + antibiotics = not a good idea to have relations). Clare and Jake go through a series of emotions since they are in their late 20s and were not really thinking of children yet. They do proceed with the pregnancy and go through the ups and downs of expecting their first child while dealing with their families, friends, and jobs.

For the most part I found this book slightly funny. Clare has a unique voice. She is an event planner and also a blogger. Apparently a blogger that gets 20,000 views a day (I feel like that is unheard of) with her providing details to her readers about her day to day life. I wish that we had gotten some excerpts from Clare's blog or anything that showcased her writing, since I was flummoxed why she would be so popular. There are allusions to her blog taking off, but that is one of the weird passages that this book contains that makes you believe there is another book before this. 


The secondary characters just fit character types. Clare's two best friends Reese and Julie (who haven't spoken in like a year after some blow up during Clare's bachelorette party) are the type A super mom/wife and the party girl. She hangs out with them while also judging them. I also ended up not caring for Jake too much since he made cracks about Julie and her upbringing. Apparently if you live in a mobile home you are white trash and that's that. God. Forget not caring about him, he and his sanctimonious family sucked.  


The writing was so-so. As I said there are whole passages alluding to things that Lipinski writes about that in a way that makes it seem you should already know about these things. It drove me up the wall and took me out of the story every time. I was wondering if this book came with a prologue and even went back to the title page at one point and worked me way through again.


The book takes place in Chicago and I really wish we had gotten more flavor of the town in this story. One reason why I love Jen Lancaster and Stacy Ballis's book is that they make Chicago come alive. The only settings you read about are Clare's workplace, her apartment with her hubby, and Reese's home. 


The ending has Clare delivering her first child and wondering what is next. 



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review 2017-04-27 15:46
Review: Always Happy Hour
Always Happy Hour: Stories - Mary Miller

Mary Miller offers a brutal and honest look at one breed of contemporary young women in her collection, Always Happy Hour. With stark consideration, Miller pulls the veil back from these seemingly rough women and shows us the pain beneath the surface. These are stories that do not shy away from “bad behavior,” nor from feelings. There is a rawness to them that leaves the reader with the feeling of an intellectual rug burn: it hurts, but you can't help but admire it.

Each story shows a slice of a woman's life, a woman dependent on some relationship, and the seemingly bad choices she makes. There was maybe one exception, but for the most part these stories followed the same thread. Halfway through the collection, the expectation is established and the formula becomes somewhat trite. Even the self-deprecating thoughts of each protagonist were horribly similar. Contained in 256 pages, it works, though readers who balk at hints of depravity will likely cease reading before reaching the end.

Here's the thing about Always Happy Hour: the lack of variety may go on a bit too long, but it's largely a success. Yes, all the lead characters share a similarity from story to story. Yes, there is an obvious theme at play here. And as I was reading, I was reminded of Junot Díaz. It's clear that Díaz is going to have a hell of a time getting away from Yunior or any character that resembles him. If he ever does, I suspect critics will tear the work apart. Díaz has typecast himself because he had a great character and a wonderful theme and he was excited to stay in that world. Miller's protagonists remind me considerably of Yunior: they're crass, their actions can be repulsive, and yet you see their humanity and feel something for them. Many readers assume Yunior is a reflection of Díaz and it seems, from Díaz's interviews and appearances, that the two truly share little. Whether Miller is like or not like the characters of Always Happy Hour doesn't matter, but what might matter is how her readers view her. It's evident in the talent shown here that Miller is very close to these characters, but I can see how that might lead to similar results as Díaz has experienced with Yunior. Of course that means there may be a Pulitzer in the future for Miller, but I hope it's not at the risk of her boxing herself in first.

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review 2015-04-25 17:17
Happy Hour is 9 to 5 by Alexander Kjerulf
Happy Hour is 9 to 5 - Alexander Kjerulf

The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. We all want to be happy in life. We all deserve to be happy. We all must do everything in our hands to achieve happiness.

Sometimes we get all caught up in life’s vicissitudes that we lose perspective, especially those in the work force. And if we are unhappy at work, we will have a hard time being happy in life in general.

Happy Hour is 9 to 5 by happiness expert Alexander Kjerulf is a wonderful tool everyone must read every once in a while. It is a tool full of invaluable lessons that I’m sure you will highlight every time you read it. It is a very positive read that will help you get back in the happy track of life.

The writing in this book is fast paced and entertaining. The information is complimented by real life case studies of companies that have been successful in achieving happiness, fun illustrations, and links to the author’s website for additional worksheets and related articles. When I first read the book, the links didn’t work, I suppose the author has updated them since the book’s publication date. Another helpful thing is that the key points are clearly marked in bulleted or numbered lists. You can’t miss them. They are very helpful for when you re-read the book.

Like I said, this book is full of important happiness lessons. The most important is that Happiness at work is possible. For more about this check out the full review on my blog.

Happy Hour is 9 to 5 is a great resource for anyone in the workforce, regardless of ranks. Either if you’re going through a Meh! phase at work, or you are just starting a job, you are looking for one, you’ve been promoted, etc. you must read this book. It will inspire a positive attitude and will motivate you to improve your work life and be happy. Highly recommended.

For quotes and more about this book check the full review on my blog.



Buy on Amazon US

Buy on Amazon UK


I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/read-reviewed-46-happy-hour-is-9-to-5-by-alexander-kjerulf
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review 2014-09-27 00:00
Happy Hour in Hell
Happy Hour in Hell - Tad Williams It was ok. Nothing special.
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