Ok, this week I’m combining two short reviews because I read two books by the same author back-to-back and well, I can’t help but make comparisons. So. Let’s get down to it.
Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch
Jillian lives the perfect suburban mommy life, on the surface anyways. She is a stay-at-home mom for her 18 month old daughter, Katie, her husband, Henry, travels a lot for his lucrative career, but Jillian feels unsatisfied, bored, and incomplete. She and Henry aren’t clicking like they used to. So when she hears her ex-boyfriend, Jackson, is getting married, she starts to wonder “what if.” What if she had actually made things work in her old life with Jackson? Would she be left feeling so unsatisfied with her life? Imagine her surprise when she wakes up in her old life, given a chance to rewrite her past.
Jillian’s do-over, though, doesn’t go quite as she expected. She misses Katie. She realizes the job she thought she loved wasn’t all it was cut out to be. She realizes Jackson is the unmotivated mama’s boy she forgot he was. Jill realizes the dissatisfaction she keeps feeling might have something to do with her own issues. Can she fix herself and get back to the Katie-Henry life she actually misses?
What I liked: I loved the thought experiment in the premise– what if we got a do over on life? I loved Scotch’s writing on mommyhood. It really hit home for me. I liked seeing Jill’s journey of self-discovery.
What I felt meh about: I was not a huge fan of Jill, to be honest. Girl had a lot of issues she needed to work out. Also, this resolution to the book was a bit unsatisfying. I really wanted to SEE Jill turn things around, not just jump back to the future where things are different and she is suddenly happy. I especially missed a resolution between Jill and her mom (who left when she was a child).
All in all: I liked Scotch’s writing a lot and this book struck a chord with me. In fact, I liked it enough to try another of her books immediately.
The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch
Willa is the daughter of a self-help writer, whose very famous book posits that everything is predetermined and fated and happens for a reason. She kinda buys into this theory and as a result has put forth very little effort in any area of her life. Then Willa loses her job. And her husband decides they should separate for a while. And her parents split up. And her brother gets arrested for being part of a pyramid scheme. While everything is going wrong around her, Willa and her friend decide to conduct a little experiment. Willa should do the opposite of her father’s advice. She should do the opposite of her instincts and make things happen for herself.
What I liked: Again, I enjoyed that this is a bit of a thought experiment. I was interested enough to finish it.
What I was meh on: Willa is awful. She has no oomph of her own and just sort of coasts through life. Her self-improvement mission was a bit convoluted and I didn’t really buy it. There is just so much that happens in this book that it’s almost a bit confusing, actually. The ending involved an oops pregnancy and I really hate that cliche.
All in all: I wanted to like this more than I did. Quite a disappointment after how much I liked Time of My Life.