Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jane Porter - Book Review and Giveaway (3 winners)

Mrs. Perfect

Author: Jane Porter

Paperback: 432 pages

Publisher: 5 Spot (May 5, 2008)

Book Description
As a young California girl growing up in a blue collar neighborhood, Taylor Young dreamed of being popular, beautiful, and acquiring a wardrobe to die for. Not to mention marrying a handsome, successful man and living happily ever after in a gorgeous house with three wonderful children. Now, at 36, Taylor has reached the pinnacle of her dreams, but is it all about to unravel? As the new school year approaches, Taylor prepares herself for playing the perfect alpha mom: organizing class activities, fund-raising, and chairing the school auction. But the horror! Her archrival, bohemian mom Marta Zinsser, is named Head Room Mom of Taylor's daughter's fifth grade class. As tensions rise at committee meetings and school activities, the two rivals seem to be destined for a final confrontation. But as Taylor plans her next move, she is floored by a more serious blow at home-her husband has been secretly unemployed for the past six months. With her posh lifestyle crumbling, Taylor struggles to maintain her alpha image-but could Marta, who cares little about appearances, be her only true friend?

Review

When I read the first Bellevue Mom book titled “Odd Mom Out” by Jane Porter last year, I was really impressed with her writing and the way her characters all felt very real…. except that of Taylor Young, the perfect Stepford-wife ruling the roost in Bellevue. She gave the protagonist of that novel, Marta Zissner, a tough time for not only was she her complete opposite in every feasible way but also the ideal standard against which Marta’s young daughter Eva compared her and found Marta terribly lacking. As you can imagine, this didn’t endear Taylor to Marta or the readers. And yet, here she is, Taylor Young, in a book of her own aptly titled, ‘Mrs. Perfect’.

With evocative words and an occasional but perfect jab of humor, Jane Porter takes us behind the scenes for a look at the world of the perfect Bellevue mom. Taylor Young volunteers at school and elsewhere, works ceaselessly without being paid, and does it all impeccably dressed and looking utterly gorgeous. But don’t be taken in. The flip side to this includes the fact that she has eating disorders, has exchanged financial freedom for Manolo Blahniks, is always in competition with younger richer moms, worries about losing her looks and her husband (in that order) and so on. Taylor makes it all look breezily easy. But the author shows that in fact it takes tons of effort and constant hard work to remain head alpha Mom in a place as financially loaded and competitive as Bellevue. Plastic is this kind of Mom’s only recourse and she’s its slave – whether it’s in her bosom or in her purse. But does she have to remain so?

Kudos to Jane Porter for taking a not-so liked character from a previous novel and making her the likeable protagonist in her new novel. It’s not like Taylor (or the author) does a complete volte-face and thus redeems herself. Rather, when her circumstances change drastically, Taylor is forced to face some major home truths and in dealing with them, she grows and changes and realizes how shallow her previous life and viewpoint was. While she does it in a way that personally didn’t resonate with me, I could feel her pain. No one fears losing it all more than those who have it all. And Taylor had it all. However, that wasn’t always the case. Without revealing key details, suffice to say that readers get to see what made Taylor into a Stepford wife, why she remained like that and how she gets past that ultimately.

Overall, I quite liked the book - the characters, the setting, the plotting and the way this story is at once independent and yet a continuation of the previous book. There were certain things though which didn’t quite gel with me. The unexpected maturity shown by some of the younger characters towards the end appears a tad bit too fast and convenient for words. Also Taylor’s sudden compassion for a cheating friend is ambiguous at best. The one character I found majorly difficult to like or swallow was that of Nathan Young, Taylor’s husband. His distant behavior, his blaming Taylor for their difficulties and even more importantly, Taylor’s acceptance of this, was really hard for me to understand. Still, it all works out in the end.

In short

Despite the requisite happy ending, this is a page-turner book with lots of emotion and entertainment. Yet another satisfying novel by author and a Bellevue mom herself, Jane Porter.

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Here's the GIVEAWAY!

- Two lucky winners will each win both the books in the Bellevue Mom series, Mrs. Perfect and Odd Mom Out. ***** EDITED TO ADD ***** There will be 3 winners. One more prize has been added. See details at the end of post! Rules remain the same.
- US and Canada only
(sorry, international readers. However, my other book giveaway is open worldwide!)

- Ends 5 am CST, June 1

I'll make it simple.

- Just leave a comment with your email address.
- Something more than "enter me" will be appreciated.
- I'd highly appreciate it if entrants spread the word about this giveaway as well, either by blogging it or emailing other bookworms about it. But, it's not necessary.
(I'll send a lot of virtual blessings your way , if you do :)

Don't forget - I'm also giving away 4 AUTOGRAPHED books here and anyone in the world can enter to win!

If you've also reviewed this book, please leave a link in a comment.

****** EDITED TO ADD **********


Some of you may remember from a previous post, Lisa Ferry, artist extraordinaire and owner of the Etsy store, Ferry Tales!! Not only does she create magic with her fingers, but she also makes uniquely customized items for her buyers. I can personally vouch for this.

Lisa has especially created a custom-made silver book thong for this book giveaway!!!
<- Take a look at this beauty.
Rules are same. Now there will be 3 winners instead of 2, with the lucky third winner walking away with this one-of-a-kind prize!!!!!

And do check out
Ferry Tales. At Lisa's store you're bound to find (and hopefully order) something to your taste - be it jewelry or fairy lures, book thongs and more!


This book has also been reviewed by :
http://www.bookroomreviews.com


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48 comments :

  1. I'm blogging about this.


    thismommyreads atgmail dotcom

    I really can't resist books and blessings...so here goes with everything crossed!

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  2. I'd love to be entered to win - I've had both these books on my TBR pile for awhile! Thanks for all the giveaways! skrishna1183 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  3. I absolutely love chick lit books. I haven't read many lately because of the abundance of paranormals that I've been reading. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Jane Porter's books and would LOVE to be entered in this contest. I will blog about it too! Take care! Oh and my email address can be found through my blog.

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  4. I would love to enter. Thanks Cheryl

    clbstitch at yahoo dot com

    I will blog about this contest.

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  5. More books please! I would love to have these great reads!

    kenzkween at hotmail dot com

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  6. These sound like really great books!!! Thanks for hosting this contest.

    ktulanko [at]aol [dot]com

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  7. Thanks for this lovely giveaway. I am captivated with these books and have had an interest in both fascinating novels.

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  8. I appreciate the books that you have selected. Very appealing and captivating for me. Thanks for this opportunity and I enjoy your blog.

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  9. How can I resist two chick lits books just in time for summer?

    bookingmama(at)comcast(dot)net

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  10. These books sound like something I could share with my sisters. We trade books all of the time. I enjoy all of your giveaways and appreciate all the reviews. Thanks.

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  11. These books look great! Id love to give them a read and pass them along!
    dansan826 at yahoo.com

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  12. Hello! I like the cover a lot! To me, it says something about the story line. It does sound funny. I loved to do classroom parties and they would joking call me the "Martha Stewart" of classroom parties. Please enter me in your book drawing. I truly appreciate it.....Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  13. racoo.smith @gmail . com

    Great giveaway! I have seen these books online previously and thought they would be a fun read. Especially since I live so close to Bellevue! :)
    Love your site and can't wait to read more.

    Thanks!

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  14. Thanks for the chance to win. I haven't read any of Porter's books yet, but have heard good things.

    Msheridan98 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  15. BIG Thanks for those who blogged it!! I'm sending blessings your way = May Health and Happiness be yours!

    traveler, anne, dh - you guys forgot to leave your email addy. Kiddo's teething like a force of nature. Hubby's sick. And I'm sleepless in hell! Please don't make me go looking for your email, guys. I'm too tired, {yawn}.

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  16. Sorry about omitting e-mail.
    sauble(at)tennis (dot)com

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  17. Here is e-mail address: rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  18. I am interested in the featured books. They are special and Look great! Thanks for the giveaway.
    bencanada1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  19. These books have been in my mind lately. Have heard lovely things about her writing. Thanks for having this giveaway.
    elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  20. Marvelous and put me in...would love to win!!

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  21. I blogged this giveaway on A Contest Blog at http://acontestblog.com/index.php/2008/a-book-bloggers-diary-mrs-perfect-giveaway/
    Good luck!

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  22. I love her titles, I've not read any of Jane's books yet, but would love a chance to win them.

    dlsmilad(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  23. Thanks for the interesting review. :)

    aromagik at yahoo dot com

    ~Lindy

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  24. I love Jane Porter's books. Both genres she writes are great reads.
    You can find my email in my profile.

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  25. These sound great!!

    elkmeese (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  26. I love reading books, and this looks like it would be a fun and great read, thanks!

    ticole96(at)msn(dot)com

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  27. I have reviewed this book and am giving away my arc copy on http://www.bookroomreviews.com

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  28. Hi, I have been reading reviews on
    "Mrs. Perfect!" The relationship that occurs between this mom and the other one vying for the title of being perfect seems interesting. I have read that the first book is very
    good, also! I know Lesa Ferry makes beautiful pieces of art. The book thong she designed for this contest is stunning. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  29. Hi, I blogged here:

    http://dinasthoughtblog.blogspot.com/

    Thanks,
    Dina

    dlsmilad(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  30. I'm adding you at Win a Book, of course, since you've been so nice about adding many of my contests.

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  31. This looks like a great book! Please enter me.

    Mommie
    http://www.mommieshome.net

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  32. Sorry it took me so long to blogg about this contest but I did at http://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

    Thanks Cheryl

    clbstitch at yahoo dot com

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  33. This book sounds really good, I'd love to read it!

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  34. I have read Jane Porter before and really enjoyed her books. That book thong is gorgeous. I would love to enter. Debby236(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. These are exactly the types of books I love most. I haven't read any of Jane Porter and how is it that I didn't hear about her yet? Chick lit is so much fun to read!
    doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
    Elizabeth

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  36. Great review...I'd love to win this book

    dolls123[at]gmail[dot]com

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  37. if the blessing of this book comes my way, that would be, well perfect!!
    kristybee at bellsouth dot net

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  38. Hi Bookworm!
    Looks like you are getting more readers joining your contests. Glad to see more people finding your site!

    Thanks for the giveaway! Please enter me.

    Carol {at} carolbee.info

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  39. I've never read a Jane Porter book.
    These sound great and I'd love to read them.
    Theresa N
    weceno@yahoo.com

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  40. I'd love to read this series. I have lived in that materialistic, competitive mom environment but a few years ago my husband and I opted out and moved from CA to NC. It was the best choice we ever made! I would never go back but it is so enjoyable to read about that world sometimes and appreciate the changes we made.

    Jenna
    jenny@lifeisnotacereal.com

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  41. Definitely interested in these books and will blog about them at Mama Bear Reads this weekend.
    sassylucylootoo@yahoo.com

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  42. Thanks to all those who've blogged it or otherwise spread the word! These are really great reads and you are a great bunch of readers! Come back tomorrow to see who won :)

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  43. This sounds like a great book. I read about your site at Ausjenny's blog.

    My email is wyndyc@gmail.com and I'm from Canada

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  44. You are within the deadline, Wyn. I have your entry.

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  45. I saw your site at J-kaye's and came over to check it out. I would like to be added in the Jane Porter contest if i'm not to late I really like her, their is a movie coming out by her book Flirting with Forty can't wait to see it.

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  46. I'm sorry i forgot to put my email lol! photoquest@bellsouth.net

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  47. O, please place me into this drawing. It looks awesome! lkubitz60609@yahoo.com

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