Saturday, May 19, 2012

I NEVER PROMISED YOU A GOODIE BAG: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

 GIVEAWAY ENDED
I NEVER PROMISED YOU A 
GOODIE BAG
A Memoir of a Life Through Events-
The Ones You Plan On and The Ones You Don't 
BY JENNIFER GILBERT

ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Jennifer Gilbert was just a year out of college, a twenty-two-year-old fresh-faced young woman looking forward to a bright future, someone tried to cut her life short in the most violent way. But she survived, and not wanting this traumatic event to define her life, she buried it deep within and never spoke of it again.

She bravely launched a fabulous career in New York as an event planner, designing lavish parties and fairy-tale weddings. Determined to help others celebrate and enjoy life's greatest moments, she was convinced she'd never again feel joy herself. Yet it was these weddings, anniversaries, and holiday parties, showered with all her love and attention through those silent, scary years, that slowly brought her back to life.

Always the calm in the event-planning storm—she could fix a ripped wedding dress, solve the problem of an undelivered wedding cake in the nick of time, and move a party with two days' notice when disaster struck—there was no crisis that she couldn't turn into a professional triumph. Somewhere along the way, she felt a stirring in her heart and began yearning for more than just standing on the sidelines living vicariously through other people's lives. She fell in love, had her heart broken a few times, and then one day she found true love in a place so surprising that it literally knocked her out of her chair.

As Gilbert learned over and over again, no one's entitled to an easy road, and some people's roads are bumpier than others. But survive each twist and turn she does—sometimes with tears, sometimes with laughter, and often with both.

Warm, wise, alternately painful and funny, I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag is an inspiring memoir of survival, renewal, and transformation. It's a tale about learning to let go and be happy after years of faking it, proving that while we can't always control what happens to us, we can control who we become. And instead of anticipating our present in a goodie bag at the end of an event, we realize our presence at every event is the real gift.

PRAISE FOR I NEVER PROMISED YOU A GOODIE BAG:
“Breathtakingly honest, funny, and surprising, I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag is the unforgettable story of how, after a traumatic encounter in her twenties, Jennifer Gilbert found her way back to happiness. I couldn’t stop reading.” — Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

“This is a beautiful and brave memoir, full of hard-won wisdom. I read it in one sitting. It speaks from the heart and to the heart, showing us how in the hands of a clear-headed, strong woman hell-bent on not just surviving but thriving, the worst imaginable events in life can lead to unexpected joy. I was rooting for Jennifer Gilbert every step of the way, even though I knew that the book I was holding in my hands was a testament to her triumph of spirit.” — Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of Devotion

“What distinguishes Gilbert’s memoir from the inspirational survivor pack is her willingness to share the bumps along her road to recovery. . . . [A] likable memoir that shows we can choose to be more than the sum of those events that are beyond our control."--Kirkus Reviews


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Gilbert is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Save the Date®, the New York-based special-events company. She was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, received Working Woman magazine's Entrepreneurial Award of Excellence, and her company was voted one of their top 500 woman-owned businesses. An in-demand speaker, she has appeared at numerous schools and industry events, and her work has been featured in People magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and InStyle Weddings, as well as on Fox and CNN. She lives in New York City with her husband and their three children. 

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
The charming cover of I NEVER PROMISED YOU A GOODIE BAG by Jennifer Gilbert has the look, in all probability, of a light and amusing, good beach read.  However, just as you must look closer at the subtitle, A MEMOIR OF A LIFE THROUGH EVENTS-THE ONES YOU PLAN ON AND THE ONES YOU DON’T, readers will find that inside the book is a much different kind of story. A memoir that almost single-handedly explains how Jennifer Gilbert learned that you can’t tell a book by its cover as she tells her story and how she learned that what you look like on the outside isn't always how you feel on the inside. While we all know this deep down, Jennifer’s story gives readers a chance to evaluate their own lives after reading about hers.

I NEVER PROMISED YOU A GOODIE BAG engages the reader from the start as Jennifer, young and starting her life in New York, is viciously attacked by a stranger and almost killed. It was a shocking part of the book to me especially when reading about the reaction of the friend who could have helped her and chose to hide in safety instead. Gilbert writes about what follows both physically and especially emotionally. Her body starts to heal and recover, but she still has so much terror within in her both day and night. Moving to Boston was to be a help but Gilbert realized she had to go back to New York in order to not only prove to others, but to herself that she could get over this trauma and create a meaningful life for herself.

Jennifer Gilbert describes how she recreates herself inside and out, or thinks she does, including some less than healthy ways of doing things. She buries everything emotionally inside and writes about how all this affected her relationships with others. She does find herself quite driven which does help her to launch Save the Date, her successful event planning business. As you read about Jennifer hiding inner and outer scars, and even facing her attacker eventually in court, you can’t help but feel involved in this emotional story. 


As the story progresses, Jennifer writes about dealing with the pain and seeing things changing for the good. She writes about the new way she looked at things over time and how they worked to help her to eventually trust, and love, again. She sought the help of a therapist and found that many of the small steps she was taking to rebuild her life could be applied to her business as well. Readers will watch Save the Date grow just as Jennifer Gilbert writes about the growth in her personal life. This is a memoir that was an interesting read which grabbed my attention from the start. I DIDN’T PROMISE YOU A GOODIE BAG would make for a wonderful book club choice and result in considerable discussion. It is also a testament to Jennifer Gilbert and lesson for anyone who has to face this kind of violence in their life and recover from it.

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO DANIELLE AND THE
FINE FOLKS AT HARPER COLLINS, I
HAVE ONE COPY OF THIS MEMOIR TO
    GIVE AWAY TO A LUCKY FOLLOWER
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU FOUND OUT ABOVE ABOUT I NEVER PROMISED YOU A GOODIE BAG THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK... DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT JENNIFER GILBERT'S WEBSITE HERE 

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON A CURRENT GIVEAWAY THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, JUNE 4
GOOD LUCK!

94 comments:

debbie said...

It sounds like she went through alot. I would like to see how she finally heals herself.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered what it was.
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debbie said...

I entered deadly grind.
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debbie said...

I entered the deadly grind.
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Beachreader said...

This memoir sounds interesting and heart-felt. Thanks for the giveaway
jgoffice(at)cox(dot)net

Beachreader said...

I loved the photos in her gallery. I also stopped by her blog and am now a follower :)
jgoffice(at)cox(dot)net)

Karen B said...

I'm always amazed when those "who could have helped (her) and chose to hide in safety instead." But then we don't always react like we think we would or should have.
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Entered A LAND MORE KIND.
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Entered A DEADLY GRIND.
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Entered Brownies & Broomsticks.
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Entered AGAINST THE NIGHT.
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Entered MRS JEFFRIES DEFENDS HER OWN.
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Entered 11th HOUR.
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Steve Capell said...

This one really sounds interesting. I would say she came back with a vengeance to achieve Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. I would really like to read about her life so thanks for the opportunity.

steven.capell@gmail.com

Linda Kish said...

It sounds like it could be a novel then you realize it's truly a memoir. What an amazing woman to come out the other side so strong.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

The Save the Date blog entries are fun and the pictures are amazing.

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Linda Kish said...

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Tore said...

I would love to know what happen to her and how she pulled through it. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

Karen B said...

Entered THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE.
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lauren guilbeau said...

I want to read this because it sounds like the perfect book for me at my stage of life. I am 23 and out of college looking to start my career and I think I could learn a lot from this.
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lauren guilbeau said...

I follow through GFC
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I follow through networked blogs
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I also entered the shoemaker's daughter giveaway
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I also entered more like her giveaway
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rubynreba said...

Very catchy title. I'd enjoy this memoir.
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Karen B said...

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Entered CALLING INVISIBLE WOMEN.
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Margie said...

Sounds like an inspirational memoir. Thanks for the giveaway.
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entered A Land More Kind
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Karen B said...

Entered COPYCAT KILLING.
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Entered THE BIG KITTY.
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Anonymous said...

sounds like there would be a lot of interesting things happening to an event planner
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entered skinny dippers
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entered NY to dallas
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entered daily grind
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entered big kitty
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entered brownies and broomsticks
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entred against the night
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entered calling invisible women
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Entered WIFE 22.
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Entered ALL SALES FATAL.
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traveler said...

I want to read this memoir. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

A heartfelt memoir. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Karen B said...

Entered A KILLER READ.
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