Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ARE YOU LISTENING? THE SMART ONE: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S" 
ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY"
I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE TODAY'S
AUDIO BOOK CHOICE....

  GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE SMART ONE
BY JENNIFER CLOSE
Read by Rebecca Lowman

ABOUT THE AUDIO BOOK:
Weezy Coffey’s parents had always told her she was the smart one, while her sister was the pretty one. “Maureen will marry well,” their mother said, but instead it was Weezy who married well, to a kind man and good father. Weezy often wonders if she did this on purpose—thwarting expectations just to prove her parents wrong.

But now that Weezy’s own children are adults, they haven’t exactly been meeting her expectations either. Her oldest child, Martha, is thirty and living in her childhood bedroom after a spectacular career flameout. Martha now works at J.Crew, folding pants with whales embroidered on them and complaining bitterly about it. Weezy’s middle child, Claire, has broken up with her fiancé, canceled her wedding, and locked herself in her New York apartment—leaving Weezy to deal with the caterer and florist. And her youngest, Max, is dating a college classmate named Cleo, a girl so beautiful and confident she wears her swimsuit to family dinner, leaving other members of the Coffey household blushing and stammering into their plates.

As the Coffey children’s various missteps drive them back to their childhood home, Weezy suddenly finds her empty nest crowded and her children in full-scale regression. Martha is moping like a teenager, Claire is stumbling home drunk in the wee hours, and Max and Cleo are skulking around the basement, guarding a secret of their own. With radiant style and a generous spirit, The Smart One is a story about the ways in which we never really grow up, and the place where we return when things go drastically awry: home.
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Close was born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago. She is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years and then in Washington, D.C., as a bookseller.

PRAISE FOR THE SMART ONE:
“I want to be friends with all of the narrators of Jennifer Close’s addictive novel.” —Megan Angelo, Glamour

“If you’re looking for the literary equivalent of HBO’s Girls, then check out Jennifer Close’s debut novel, Girls in White Dresses, which charts the travails of flailing twentysomethings. Her follow-up, The Smart One, feels the way Girls could circa season 6, when ‘almost getting it kind of together’ ceases to be cute. . . . This bighearted novel examines a generation of nonstarters with a mix of empathy and Close’s signature deadpan, pathos-driven humor.”
—Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly
 
“While Claire, older sister Martha, younger brother Max, and the rest of the Coffey family try to navigate the logistics of having adult children return to the previously empty next, they realize that no right answers can be found in any parenting manual. The Smart One focuses on the intersections of self-discovery, independence, and reliance in the modern family, all enlivened by Close’s signature wit and warmth. Close does an admirable job of equally voicing the Coffey children, straining to reevaluate their priorities under a shared roof, and the Coffey parents, aching to provide guidance without wanting to seem heavy-handed. A touchingly tender, emotionally honest novel about shifting priorities and the nontraditional career paths so many find themselves on.”
—Stephanie Turza, Booklist

“Close, whose first novel (Girls in White Dresses, 2011) romped with recent college grads newly on their own, focuses here on two sisters on the cusp of 30, both torn between independent womanhood and lingering dependence on parents. . . . Martha, who has always been needy and socially off-kilter, steals the novel . . . The friction between the sisters is palpable and real. . . . The novel sings in the small moments when its women express uncomfortable truths, undercurrents of sibling resentment and parental disappointment, which usually remain unspoken. . . . Perfect for the beach or a long plane trip.”
—Kirkus

“The Smart One is emotionally engaging and thoughtful; like Anne Tyler, Close goes straight into the heart of a group of people to show all its flawed, complicated members clearly and deftly and totally without judgment. There is not one dull moment—Close is a subtle and incisive writer who gets better with each new book.”
—Kate Christensen, author of The Astral 

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW: 
Jennifer Close's GIRLS IN WHITE DRESSES introduced readers to a delightful, new talent with that very popular book. Those same readers will now surely follow Close with her new novel, THE SMART ONE. I wonder how they will feel after finishing this one? I found it to be an enjoyable story for perhaps a light beach read but not really up to par with her first book. I did like that the female characters told the story in alternating chapters from their own viewpoints, and this sincere and direct approach is what saved THE SMART ONE for me.  Close gives us characters we can relate to in some ways but also there were some parts where the situations made me question their probability and authenticity.

The Coffey family who no longer have an empty nest is what THE SMART ONE is about. With three children, the parents, Will and Weezy, find themselves, as many parents are doing these days, with grown children still living, or returning to live, at home. Each “child” comes with their own baggage and although mostly believable, they aren’t so interesting that they are memorable, at least for me.

Martha, at 31, the eldest, is dubbed the “smart one” (note: not the pretty one) and STILL lives at home after not being able to cope with her chosen career as a nurse…at least at first. Next is Claire, who returns home after she breaks her engagement and her bank account so needs a place to live and recoup. Lastly, moving into the basement with his girlfriend, and soon to be mother of his child, is the youngest, Max. He was my favorite of the three as his situation seemed the most real to me.  

There were some endearing and humorous parts and it was a quick and easy read so for that, THE SMART ONE is worth your time. Sometimes we just need a book for fun and not one we have to “work at” to enjoy it. This was especially true as an audio book that I could enjoy driving, working and just relaxing. I'd be interested in seeing which character YOU think is "the smart one" in the book. THE SMART ONE by Jennifer Close is a pleasant introduction to the upcoming “summer beach reading” season.
 
 GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO RICHARD AND THE GOOD PEOPLE
AT RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO BOOKS, I HAVE ONE
COPY OF THIS JENNIFER CLOSE AUDIO BOOK
  THE SMART ONE, TO GIVE AWAY
  TO ONE OF MY LUCKY FOLLOWERS
  
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE IN
 

ORDER TO COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY

 
HOW TO ENTER:
+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THE SMART ONE THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS AUDIO BOOK 

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE OTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU CAN COMMENT ON EACH ON SEPARATELY AND GAIN MORE ENTRIES THAT WAY

 +1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
 6 PM, EST, APRIL 24

 
 GOOD LUCK!

81 comments:

debbie said...

Thanks for your honest review. It does sound like a fun summer read. I would like to see how she copes with her children coming home.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a email subscriber.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered exposure.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered making it.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered the homecide hustle.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Pamela Keener said...

sounds like an enjoyable read while driving. I hate when the story is so involved with many characters and I have to concentrate and drive lol.
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Carol N Wong said...

I like alternating viewpoints by different characters in a book. If this fun one then it would be great to listen to while doing a jigsaw puzzle.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I tweeted:

http://t.co/DJ9RuQvmmR

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with an e-mail subscription.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with Facebook.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with Networked Blogs.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with a RSS feed with IGoggle Reader.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with Twitter.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with
Goggle Friends Connect.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for "Curse of the PTA".


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for 'Big Sky Rover'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for 'Exposed'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
'The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for 'Making It'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for "The Mermaid in Brooklyn'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

ivEngl 2152I entered the giveaway for 'The Homicide Hustle'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for 'And Then I Found You'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
'There Was An Old Woman'.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for 'End Me A Tenor'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for 'Oak And Dagger'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for 'Prophet of Bones'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
'That Old Flame of Mine'.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

5 APRIL FACEBOOK (1)

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

5 APRIL FACEBOOK (2)

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

5 APRIL FACEBOOK (3)

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

5 APRIL FACEBOOK (4)

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

5 APRIL FACEBOOK (5)

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

traveler said...

This appeals to me very much. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Exposure. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Prophet. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered The Mermaid of brooklyn. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Dagger. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Tenor. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Whizz pop. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered The house at the end if hope street. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered There was an old woman. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered and then I found you. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Homicide Hustle. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Big Sky River. saubleb(at)GMAIL(DOT)COM

traveler said...

I entered PTA. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered That old flame of mine. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I live this daily since my adult son never left...just married and moved his wife in. I look forward to seeing it from another perspective. Or three or four.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am an RSS subscriber

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am an email subscriber

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

+5 April facebook

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

+5 April facebook
2
lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

+5 April facebook
3
lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

+5 April facebook
4
lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

+5 April facebook
5
lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Victoria Zumbrum said...

I would like to listen to this book. It sounds really interesting. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi!
I appreciate your honest review and would like the chance to hear it. My sister was 'the pretty one' Idk if I was considered the smart one but I'd like to hear this author's take on this.
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi! I tweeted!
https://twitter.com/MippyFoofalina/status/323346742693216256
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi!
I entered There Was An Old Woman
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi!
I entered And then I Found You
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi! I entered The House at the End of Hope Street
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi!
I follow via GFC
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi!
I follow via RSS
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi! I follow via email
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi!
I follow via Facebook
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

+5 APRIL Facebook -1
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

+5 APRIL Facebook -2
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

+5 APRIL Facebook -3
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

+5 APRIL Facebook -4
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

+5 APRIL Facebook -5
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi!
I entered That Night on Thistle Lane
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Mippy Foofalina said...

Hi!
I entered Stallion By Starlight
Thanks for the chance!
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Sue Farrell said...

As someone who doesn't have any children and who is always listening to stories about my friends perfect children and grandchildren---it would be refreshing to read about something a little more realistic.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I am an email subscriber.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I follow on twitter as @Suekey12.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I entered Oak and Dagger.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I entered Oak and Dagger.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I entered That Old Flame of Mine.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Mippy Foofalina said...

I entered That Old Flame of mine
Thanks for the chance!
~Mippy :)
bunnysmip (AT) gmail (DOT) com

CLICK HERE TO
SEE MY POLICY